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06 NEW DELHI, SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER 2020 Vol. CXXXXXI 252

Incorporating and directly descended


from THE FRIEND OF INDIA - Founded 1818
Robbing the Child A MEMBER
OF THE

If realisation dawns that we are heading for a generation of mental giants but emotionally ASIAN VOICES
Utter disregard crippled pygmies, we might avoid the scenario where a one-month-old baby is found We pause
W hile the Election Commission and Mad- interacting with the computer screen
hya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh to think

B
Chauhan may feel aggrieved at an order
hutan’s border with India, about
of the Gwalior bench of the Madhya Pradesh High 700 kilometres of wildlife infest-
Court restraining district magistrates of nine dis- ed jungle, characterised by bru-
tricts from permitting election rallies, it must fair- tal terrain and harsh weather most of
ly be conceded that they are protesting far more the year, has been vulnerable to crime,
than the facts justify. Former Chief Minister Kamal including armed militancy, for
Nath and Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar decades. With the menacing implica-
may feel similarly aggrieved at the court’s instruc- tions of the Covid-19 pandemic, we
tion that cases be registered against them. Yet the are reminded that this porous border
fact is that the Court had put the state, political will always be a threat to our well-
being.It takes special attention and
parties and their leaders on notice several weeks
effort to understand the conditions
ago. Acting on a Public Interest Litigation initiated and circumstances that affect life
by an advocate on 11 September, more than five along this expanse. Even as we enjoy a
weeks ago, the Court had appointed an Amicus relatively comfortable life in most
Curiae to examine the petitioner’s grievance that other parts of the country, the current
political gatherings were taking place in the state situation requires that we stop to think
without public health protocols in place. The about the reality that is daily life along
Court had issued notices to the state’s Chief Sec- the border for our fellow citizens.
retary, District Collectors and Superintendents of An unprecedented crisis can only
Police. Since all officials come under charge of the be overcome by an unprecedented
response. Between September 26 and
Election Commission once the poll process is ini- October 13 His Majesty The King visit-
tiated, neither Nirvachan Sadan nor the Chief ed the settlements along Bhutan’s
Minister can claim to be unaware of the concern southern border and talked to govern-
expressed by the Court. On 29 September, the ment officials, security troops, volun-
Court considered the report of the Amicus Curiae teers, businessmen and women, stu-

I
that pointed out several breaches of Covid-19 pro- try, has the potential to boost the the fulfilment that they can offer; entrance of God into this world dents, farmers ~ people who under-
tocols. After hearing District Magistrates of five t's a lost world for children. children to become innovators of they continue to reassure us of as a troubled child. When Christ stood that they are not left on their
districts, the Court on 4 October felt constrained In the second half of the tomorrow. By using science and the existence of a future, while we was born the “Massacre of the own. The Bhutanese population was
to pass an interim order that said: “The DMs of the twentieth century kids first technology to support basic edu- can only stand for that which is Innocents” destroyed thousands also comforted to see His Majesty The
lost their innocence by get- cation and stimulate innovations, past. They justify for us the debil- of little children. The Christ-child Fourth King visiting the Southern
nine districts falling within the territorial jurisdic- ting themselves exposed to the a new India has been envisaged. ity and helplessness of old age as survived by escaping to the Land dzongkhags last week.
tion of this Bench i.e. Gwalior, Guna, Morena, essence of generation gap; their To top it all, WhiteHat Jr has being symbolic of the stage of life of the Jews, but even there was The diligence of officials, the loy-
Bhind, Vidisha, Ashok Nagar, Datia, Shivpuri and authority was rejected in the age emerged as a coding learning when the old man transformed no room for him in the manger. alty of security troops, and the out-
Sheopur are directed by writ of mandamus to reg- of protest. Faced with a lonely platform for young minds with acquires a new simplicity - as The birth of Lord Krishna pouring of volunteers inspired by His
ister offences by invoking penal provisions of Dis- world, kids lost their love. the lone mission of transforming Nietzsche implied in Thus Spake amidst the tumult of storm and Majesty The King has been heart-
aster Management Act and the Indian Penal Code Plagued by the horror of a kids from consumers to creators Zarathustra when dealing with tempest and the fiery wrath of warming. But this Royal tour also
(IPC) not only against the defaulting members of nuclear nightmare they lost their of technology. This is made for the “three transformations”. It is King Kansa is also well-known. focused on the Bhutanese people. It
the congregation but also against political/gov- hope. Growing up with the irra- children (6-8 years) to learn pro- adults who, strengthened by the When God as a child survived brought home the veracity that, while
ernmental/State or social functionaries in whose tionality of a postmodern world gramming and they are then new awakening force that chil- human cruelty, he stood for a we appreciate the work of our front
kids lost their power to reason encouraged to create games, ani- dren provide, can make their lives future awakening. Even today liners, the daily lives of the average cit-
name or on whose behest and behalf the said con-
and found out that they had lost mations and applications. Fun- meaningful by looking on them when one dreams of a child, the
gregation takes place, failing which the DMs of their imagination too. damentals of cod- as symbolic of the interpretation is that some great
the concerned nine districts shall be liable for And, finally, the last shreds ing - logic, struc- “mystic centre”. Do spiritual change is about to take
contempt of this Court and shall also be exposed of their innocence have been lost, ture, sequence and adults have the place. One also thinks of the mys- izens play a critical role in protecting
to the rigours of penal provisions of relevant laws.” thanks to the cyber world and algorithm are right to be psycho- tical child who solves riddles and the rest of the country. They, too, are
The political class, including leaders of the BJP celebrity. The astonishingly taught to enable logically and emo- teaches wisdom, the “child that our defense line. And their lives are not
and Congress, were thus fairly warned that the grown-up air of our nursery kids to generate tionally supported is father of man”. easy. Bhutanese living in the south are
Court would not allow public health to be sacri- entrants in recent years, coupled creative outcomes by children when But men forget that at least sometimes more connected with their
ficed at the altar of politicking. Yet, in utter disre- with escalating parental expecta- like websites, ani- they lock the gates on the physical level they owe a neighbours living across the border
gard of the order, political rallies were held, and tions has compelled almost every mations and apps. of a dignified life to responsibility to children who than with the people who live inland.
nursery applicant to attend a play However, them, when they sustain them so well mentally Farmers depend on Indian workers to
safety norms flouted while masks were reduced
school. Many of them are experts are of the place them on and spiritually. On the mythic till their fields, they buy their basic
to ornaments for the chin. It is at this stage that stretched to KG level standards view that building doorsteps under plain of the general and the col- necessities from Indian stores, and
the Bench intervened to say physical rallies be and their parents appear to be software is not a declining shadows? lective, one thinks of the heroic there are even intermarriages with
restricted. To feel aggrieved, as Mr Chauhan is, by vastly impressed by the 'phe- child’s play; it may In Christian child who liberates the world people across the border. Today, the
AK
the application of the order to some districts and nomenal' knowledge that their take years to GHOSH iconography, chil- from monsters. The youthful restrictions on the communities on
not others (that is districts which fall outside the toddlers display. become an apt soft- dren often appear activities of Lord Krishna are the both sides of the border are necessary
Bench’s jurisdiction), or to suggest that since Bihar The proud parents lament ware developer if The writer is former
Associate Professor,
as angels. Paintings Indian contribution to this uni- and their lives are understandably dis-
is getting away with flouting safety norms so must their own lack of knowledge and one starts from Department of English, abound with soft versal concept of child as deliv- rupted. Such a situation heightens the
Madhya Pradesh, is both dishonest and disingen- awareness even when they were scratch. How to Gurudas College, Kolkata,
and is presently with
figures of little ones, erer. In alchemy, the child wear- sensitivities and cross-border implica-
uous. The Election Commission, too, has failed in much older. Their charged-up code cannot be Rabindra Bharati University draped over the ing a crown or regal garments is a tions of the pandemic. India not only
countenances are eager to find taught easily to large bodies of symbol of the philosopher’s ranks high on the international Covid-
its responsibility of conducting elections with ade- out the latest pedagogic children; they can just be trained grown-ups. In almost all cases stone, that is of the supreme real- 19 infection scale, we are told that the
quate safety measures in place. approaches and technology that in how to modify a template. To the little angels with soft limbs isation of mystic identification of actual numbers may be greater. The

Indo-Pak games would enhance their wards'


quantum and quality of learning.
learn directly how to make an and cherubic faces stand for
App without total computer undefiled beauty and unfallen
the “god within us” with the eter-
nal.It is true we realised that man
does not live by bread alone but
real level of infection and death and
the difficulty of tracing, monitoring,

I
Added to all this is NITI knowledge is not an easy task. It perfection. In art, they frame with and treating a population of 1.5 billion
f Lalchand Rajput, as Zimbabwe’s coach, is Aayog' s innovation drive in edu- is not practicable to develop soft- elegance and innocence the cen- needs an emotionally warm cli- often seems like an exercise in futility.
required to tour Pakistan with his team, what cational institutions for stimulat- ware without sound knowledge tral passion of evil and destruc- mate to realise his potential. Medical experts predict that it will
New Delhi tells him is that he shouldn’t, given ing and nurturing young minds of any programming language or tion which are enacted by the Although urbanisation has be months before a vaccine is avail-
that there’s this thing about inviting trouble. Or to inculcate a scientific attitude. technology stack. central figures of adults. They altered the functional and struc- able. Trends indicate that the situation
words to much the same effect. And we get to The decision to establish open- One begins to wonder if this stand for the ideals of happiness tural pattern of the family unit, it will become worse before it gets better.
ended innovation workspaces is the unalterable truth of naked and harmony. Their psychologi- does not mean that parents For Bhutan, every new infection is felt
know of it only after the Africans fetch up in equipped with sophisticated sen- reality - are all our conceptions cal impact is on the soul; they should not be co-partners of with excruciating consternation.
India's neighbouring country minus their tutor, sor technology kits, elementary and myths about “innocent’’ chil- symbolise formative forces of an other socialising agents in soci- Meanwhile, the least we can do is to
which stirs curiosity and fuels comments, though electronic gadgets and comput- dren themselves an exploitation unconscious, beneficial and pro- ety. Hopefully, if realisation appreciate and support our people in
you get the hang of the complications in Indo-Pak ers, robotics to promote creativi- by the conscious “experienced” tective kind. It is not ironic that dawns that we are heading for a the south who are, in many ways,
relations and that, of course, is something to share ty, curiosity and imagination is adults? Do we take that innocent adults should derive psychologi- generation of mental giants but holding the fort. We were reminded,
with your coffee house chums. Not that anyone something more to cheer par- affection and simple love of cal protection from beings to emotionally crippled pygmies, once again, of the values that truly
harbours any illusions that everything has ever ents. which only a child is capable as whom they do not offer even we might avoid the scenario matter, on October 13 ~ the ninth
really been hunky-dory. The chums add their own Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLS), our birthright? Do those to whom material protection. where a one-month-old baby is wedding anniversary of His Majesty
bits to the narrative, leaving you wondering what the Centre' s flagship initiative in we give birth have no right? The mythology of many found interacting with the com- The King and Her Majesty The
selected schools across the coun- Children have not denied us major religions conceives of the puter screen. Gyaltsuen.
things were like when Pakistan too was, well,
India. An inalienable part of it, in fact. But that
was a long while ago and, in the none too distant
past, Pakistan’s shooting squad found themselves LETTERS TO THE EDITOR editor@thestatesman.com
barred from a world championship that New

World needs more like her


Delhi hosted. India copped it rather badly in con- CURBING ART
sequence, of course, given that no governing body
would want sport’s never-stopping wheels being SIR, Opposition from sections of Tamils mainly the film industry
stalled in any way, but if the Indian Olympic Asso- and political parties, has led to versatile Tamil film star Vijay Sethu-
ciation was obliged to turn stones and explore SIR, Apropos your editorial, “Per- political leaders but in research ing increasing intolerance in a viral pathi withdrawing from a planned biopic on the Sri Lankan bowling
formance rewarded”, published laboratories. onslaught on democratic politics. legend, Muttiah Muralitharan. The reason is that Muralitharan had
avenues galore to square themselves with global today, the New Zealand PM, Ms Long before Covid, a greater Amidst such loud majoritarianism, not raised his voice against the Sri Lankan state, and some Tamils
high-ups, official India betrayed no contrition. Ardern’s remarkable success in her scourge had been creeping in. New Zealand under Mrs Ardern have warned the actor against playing his character. It is a shame
Truth to tell, Pakistan seldom fails to get India’s ~ nation’s parliamentary polls may Hard won democracies were acquires an enviable lustre of that these protests have prevented a talented actor from essaying a
and a lot of Indians’ ~ dander up. If we had a arguably be attributed to her han- sweeping Right in the global polit- utopian and progressive liberal- role based on the story of Muralitharan, who scaled peaks in inter-
patriotism test at any level, hatred for Pakistan dling the Covid crisis with great ical canvas. Recently Sri Lanka, ism, be it in handling the mosque national cricket and was appropriately named ‘800’, in celebration
would be one of its major areas of scrutiny, cer- aplomb and considerable acumen. earlier some European nations, attacks or ensuring wide-ranging of the number of Test wickets he bagged. Protest against art is not
tainly when exaggeratedly jingoistic regimes call Her nation seems to have Brazil, India, the the US, swinging ethnic representation in the legis- new to Tamil Nadu. Madras Cafe, a Hindi film, could not be
the shots. Which is why Pakistan has begun its wrested the initiative from this wily hard right under Trump, all in step lature, or the welfare schemes for screened in the State after opposition to its portrayal of the LTTE. In
administrative spadework for October 2021’s affliction, at minimal cost, even as with the anthem of exclusivity set the lesser enabled. Such a gener- 2008, a Sri Lankan producer was forced to give up his footage while
a few other nations have also done to the score of hollow claims to ous bandwidth in the socio-politi- he was in Chennai to process his film at a studio. Some of those who
Twenty20 World Cup, to be hosted by India, as
perhaps as creditably. majoritarianism. cal spectrum of a nation is a politi- demanded that Sethupathi withdraw from the biopic have empha-
early as October 2020. “We run up against all sorts But then the preventive reme- Clearly affluence, falsely relat- cal rarity. sised that they were merely making an appeal to him, given his
of problems trying to go to India, you see,” it has dy of Covid lies not in the hands of ed to a supremacist tenet, is breed- The world caught in a mael- past political views in favour of causes that resonate with the people
told the International Cricket Council, adding, for strom of social discord, could do of Tamil Nadu. Whether it was an appeal or a threat, it has brought
good measure, that the ICC has to take up with with more leaders like her. pressure on an artist to give up his professional decision. As for
India the little matter of visas for its tour contin- Yours, etc., R Narayanan, Muralitharan’s political views, it may be that some of his remarks
gent. Not that the selections are to be made Mumbai, 20 October. were seen as supporting the Sri Lankan Army’s triumph over the
overnight. LTTE. However, that is no reason to run down his monumental
CAUTION NEEDED achievements in sport. It is unfortunate that the heckler’s say has
Remarkably matter-of-fact in his statement
on the way things are, Pakistan Cricket Board SIR, This refers to the editorial, prevailed.
“Necessary caution” (October 22). Yours, etc., Vandana, Chandigarh, 22 October.
chief executive officer Wasim Khan has let it be India is now in “Unlock” mode,
known that there won’t be any bilateral series in and people seem to be assuming
the foreseeable future. Not on your nelly. The that things are back to normal.
Indian board, he says, has to secure the crucial Faced with a potential reversal of lies. Cases of people throwing cau- nel nor volunteers are stationed at
go-ahead from the government in New Delhi, the gains that India has made in slow- tion to the winds as they make all hours to make sure people fol-
tactfully glossed-over implication being that it ing the spread of Covid-19, Prime purchases during the festival sea- low protocols.
won’t come through like water out of a tap unless Minister Narendra Modi is right in son are examples we must be Let us not forget what WHO
it’s worked for strenuously and persistently, with asking us to be cautious against aware of. chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swami-
bureaucracy finding support in official policy. But weakening the fight during the A lack of safe behaviour dur- nathan said recently: “There will
annual season of festivals. Over the ing Kerala's Onam festivities is an be a lot of guidance coming out,
the World Cup is a much bigger show and an
past six months, numerous indi- indicator of what might happen, but I think an average person, a
India, required to let all teams come and put them vidual events have enabled the reversing all the good work done. healthy young person, might have
up, being difficult about Pakistan can't fail to be infection to explode and spread. As a part of standard operating to wait until 2022 to get a vaccine.”
spoken ill of. And the longer it drags on, the worse Every single Covid-19 safety pro- procedures, there is no effective Indians do need to be cautious.
will be the hostility. Pakistan has hit upon a crack- tocol is being violated by almost system to enforce the rules in pub- Yours, etc., SS Paul,
erjack ploy. every political party in election ral- lic as neither civil defence person- Nadia, 22 October.
NEW DELHI, SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER 2020 07
SATURDAY INTERVIEW 100 YEARS AGO

‘Vajpayee consulted NDA allies’ OCCASIONAL NOTE


It is good news that the Turkish
Treaty is signed at last. Nothing was
to be gained by delay and very
much was risked. The Graeco-Ital-

D
ALJIT SINGH CHEEMA, 58, Q. SAD has questioned the functioning ian difficulty seems to have been
is a leader of the Shiromani of the National Democratic Alliance settled much in the sense of M.
Akali Dal (SAD) and its (NDA) under PM Modi. What’s been Venizelos's announcement made in
spokesperson. The former wrong with the ruling coalition at the the Greek Chamber last May. All the
legislator joined politics in 1993 seven Centre? twelve Greek islands seized by the
years after completing his MBBS. Dr A. Basically, at the time of Atal Italians during the Libyan War in
Cheema served as education minister Bihari Vajpayee, the consultation 1911 revert to Greece, except
in the previous Parkash Singh Badal gov- process (among the NDA allies) was Rhodes. Regarding that island there
ernment in Punjab. In an interview much better. Even for smaller issues, is to be a plebiscite within fifteen
with the allies were called, meetings were years - although no one can doubt
RANJEET JAMWAL, Dr Cheema spoke regularly held, they were taken into the result of the plebiscite even if it
on a range of issues including the SAD’s confidence but day by day now a sys- be deferred for fifteen hundred
decision to break its decades-old alliance tem of arrogance has started. You may years - and apparently the original
with the BJP over the Narendra Modi gov- be a small partner or big partner, you suggestion that Rhodes should
ernment’s controversial farm laws. expect that when a major decision is to become Greek as soon as Cyprus
Excerpts: be taken, you would be consulted and does so has been rejected. Regard-
your inputs would be taken — that ing the Smyrna area Italy seems to
Q. Despite being the BJP’s oldest ally, process has gone down. have abandoned her claims. It is to
the SAD first quit the Union Cabinet be hoped that no secret indemnifi-
and then the BJP-led NDA after the Q. SAD and the BJP have together cation has been arranged for in the
passage of farm Bills in Parliament. fought elections in Punjab for a long Adriatic although, in view of the
What made SAD take this decision? time. So will the SAD-BJP’s break-up Powers' invincible predilection for
A. Basically, we had requested affect Punjab politics? the old diplomacy, some secret
them (BJP) that these three farm sector A. In Punjab, this alliance has understanding is suggested by Ser-
Ordinances, which you (BJP) are say- played a big role in maintaining peace bia's abstention from signature. No
ing are for the welfare of the farmers and communal harmony in the state. race in the world has better reason
are not being accepted by the farmers Post 1984 and the 1990s, the Congress than the Serbs to show gratitude to
and they are on the path of agitation. had alienated Sikhs in the country and Providence for their final delivery,
You should not hurry and first con- Sikhs were labelled as terrorists. Fol- and it is a thousand pities that the
vince the farmers, send these legisla- lowing the SAD-BJP alliance, a confi- Serb statesmen's signatures should
tions to the Select Committee and after dence was built up in the Sikh commu- find no place on the historic docu-
that when conditions are favourable nity, and over the years there were no ment.
and farmers are convinced about the communal riots in Punjab. Permanent
provisions, then introduce them in peace was established in Punjab after NEWS ITEMS
Parliament. But the way these Bills such a long period of militancy. The
were introduced in Parliament in a
hurry — because of that we had no
SAD-BJP alliance played a major role in
it. SOUTHERN-
alternative but to break the alliance.
We belong to a top state in agriculture
from the beginning.
Q. What are your objections to the
tem will collapse. And once the govern-
ment system collapses, then they (pri-
middleman is being given (in the con-
text of farmers) because an Arthiya Q. SAD is facing challenging times INDIA PLANTERS
and it’s witnessing a big agitation over Centre’s new farm sector laws? vate players) will exploit the farmers (grain commission agent) is basically a ahead of the 2022 Punjab Assembly The Twenty-seventh Annual Meet-
these legislations, so if you are not lis- A. The overall perception of these and will do whatever they wish to. Then facilitator. He is not a middleman. It’s polls. How do you see the way forward ing of the United Planters' Associa-
tening to your allies, what’s the use of three laws and the thinking of farmers there will be no MSP of the government not the case that he is buying it cheap for the Akali Dal? tion of Southern India opened
continuing the alliance. So we broke has become that they are not pro- and they will be at the mercy of traders. from farmers and selling it at a big mar- A: The Akali Dal has seen worse today at the Mayo Hall, Bangalore,
the alliance over this issue. farmer. The second main perception These are the main concerns of the gin. He is providing services like clean- times than this. There were so many with Mr. A.S. Dandison as Chair-
is that today the Minimum Support farmers, that’s why we want that MSP liness, sheds to farmers, loading and Akali Dals in 1980s and 90s. At one time man. The Chairman said, the past
Q. Questions are raised on the party’s Price (MSP) will continue but the way must be declared as a legal right like unloading facilities. The second thing only Simranjit Singh Mann’s Akali Dal year has seen varying fluctuations
silence when the Union Cabinet, of private markets are being allowed, Right to Education or any other right. is that he also provides financial help, was left and our main Akali Dal was out in the demand and prices of our
which Ms Harsimrat Badal was a part, ultimately its effect will be that the soft loans to farmers and fulfills their of the picture. But then the public ulti- products, and at the present time
cleared the Ordinances? government’s marketing system will Q. Prime Minister Narendra Modi other requirements. A middleman is mately accepted this Akali Dal only. Our there is a very marked depression.
A. No, she (Harsimrat) raised her come to an end. After a few years, claims these reforms will prove to be someone who buys cheap and sells at a party is over 100 years old, and our We are still suffering from the direct
objections when the Ordinances were farmer organisations fear private play- “farmers’ shields” against middlemen. premium. An Arthiya is a facilitator, not cadre is very mature. Our cadre has effects of the War and still more so
approved by the Union Cabinet. In ers may take over the whole procure- Your take? a middleman. never supported such people (splinter from the world-wide unrest it has
fact, our (SAD’s) objection is there right ment process and the government sys- A. Actually, wrong definition of groups). engendered. The good time, the
Hon. Mr. Cobb prophesied at last
year's Conference is still to come,

The Hindu ideology of exclusion


as come it must, when normal or
inside the former’s home, conducted a and violence, including many of them at least steady conditions prevail,
weekly ‘Caste Conversation’ series with her own, Wilkerson’s Caste lays out but its proportions will greatly
international scholars and activists in eight pillars of the caste system: Divine depend on our taking our part in
English for 14 weeks. The Foundation will and the laws of nature; Heritability; the general reconstruction and
also ran a number of other programmes Endogamy and the control of marriage moving with the times. In the past
in Nepali. In the meantime, Nepal’s and mating; Purity versus pollution; our policy has been to keep out of
other organisations, such as the Tarai Occupational hierarchy; Dehumanisa- politics as much as possible.
Madhes National Council, organised tion and stigma; Terror as enforcement,
their own virtual sessions on caste, gen-
der and ethnicity to highlight the issues
cruelty as a means of control; Inherent
superiority versus inherent inferiority.
THE CAUCASUS
of discrimination. Indologists and anthropologists The Pioneer has received further
While the solutions they provide from Louis Dumont to Declan Quigley information from a reliable corre-
vary, the interviewees and interviewers to Nicholas Dirks have variously spondent in the Caucasus describ-
of these various sessions all agree that described and analysed caste in vari- ing the growing opposition to the
caste injustice is inhumane, a stigma on ous ways, but the challenge is to write Bolsheviks in that region. It learns
Hindu society and that it must end. But about it in a way to destroy it from peo- that the rising in Grozni was sup-
it is unlikely to end soon. Hindus, espe- ple’s consciousness, from social, politi- pressed with the utmost brutality,
cially the so-called upper caste mem- cal, legal and economic structures so no fewer than 20 persons being put
bers, have stuck to it, especially when that it disappears from people’s prac- to death. So bitter is the enmity
it comes to the Dalits, the fifth column tices in daily life for good. Attributing it between the Bolsheviks and the
of Hindu society. to British colonialism or just under- peoples of the North Caucasus that
That’s why, any assault on the caste standing it in terms of a balance not only have the tribes abandoned
system must be accompanied by intel- between status, power and wealth hier- their quarrels in order to unite
lectual firepower. Hindu society needs archy is not enough. Only by exposing against the common enemy, but the
many more BR Ambedkars, many more its fraudulent nature and inhumanity Cossacks and tribesmen have been
WEB Du Boises and Isabel Wilkersons example by example, as Wilkerson has fraternising to the same end. There
than it has at the present moment. Only done about the caste of race in Ameri- have been numerous cases of Cos-
through a merciless analysis and ca, can it be eradicated from Hindu sacks escaping in a body from the
demystification of the system can it be consciousness and Hindus shamed to Bolshevik regime and retiring to the
exposed as one of the biggest frauds the abandon it. hills where they have been hos-
world has ever seen against another By leading the discursive assault pitably received by the tribes. There
group of human beings. Fraud because on the caste system in the aftermath of is reason to believe that if an out-
by spreading the tentacles of caste, priv- the Rukum massacre, the Samata break occurs in Daghestan the Tar-
ileges of status, wealth and power have Foundation has done a tremendous tars will immediately join in.
iStock
been accumulated and maintained and service to Hindu society, as Wilkerson
PRAMOD MISHRA turies, in the Hindu case for millennia. its atrocities to the country’s law minis- passed on from father to son to grand- has done in the case of the United NEW TRUNK
Rajesh Hamal, the male superstar ter, attorney general, two former prime son for thousands of years in Hindu States. But the Samata Foundation’s
CANAL
I
sabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Nepali cinema, anchored the half- ministers (one from a centrist party and societies. And just because somebody, work goes one step beyond that. It is
of Our Discontents has been on
The New York Times Bestseller list
hour Kantipur television programme
for all its 12 episodes. He opened the
another a former Maoist leader), the
police chief, and Dalit and non-Dalit
or a group of Sanskrit scholars over
time, framed the laws doesn’t mean it
also building a discursive community
of Dalits and non-Dalits from various
PROJECTS
since it came out last August in the series by taking the questions about intellectuals and activists. He asks ques- must remain in place as binding for per- social and professional groups to build Mr. F.A.A. Cowley, Chief Engineer,
wake of George Floyd’s killing and the caste and the perpetuation of its injus- tions, highlights the issues and seeks petuity. But it has remained so. Why? a consensus against the toxicity and Bengal, will arrive in Simla to discuss
protests that followed. In Nepal, since the tice to the bereft parents of Ajit Mijar, a answers and solutions in his suave Wilkerson in her book Caste goes backwardness of caste practices in the with the Government of India the
killings of six young men (four Dalits and young Dalit man who was found mur- manner with a sense of bewilderment, beyond the twin pillars of commensal- name of gods and religion. This com- question of the reorganisation of the
two others) in Rukum, Jaat Ko Prashna dered in 2016 after he fell in love and his emotions barely in check. ity and endogamy on the grid of purity munity building and discursive assault establishment of the Public Works
(the Question of Caste) along with other secretly married his Brahmin sweet- While this series was shown on and pollution in defining the caste sys- must continue and people of con- Department necessitated to some
programmes organised by the Samata heart. The parents have refused to claim television in Nepali and posted on tem’s insidious grip on society, whether science everywhere must support this extent for working of the new Trunk
Foundation have created waves in the his body until the culprits are identified YouTube, Samata Foundation’s Chair, in its racial form in the United States effort in whatever way possible until Canal projects in Bengal recently
Nepali public sphere. These are salutary and brought to justice and Mijar’s body Pradip Pariyar, himself a Dalit and vic- and Germany during the Nazi era or as the inhumanity of caste and the blotch sanctioned by the Secretary of State.
discursive assaults on the inhumanity that still lies in a morgue in Kathmandu. tim of discrimination in childhood a system of privilege for some against on the Hindu society goes away. Mr. Cowley will also take the oppor-
both the United States and the Hindu soci- Episode by episode, Hamal takes his when his teacher let him get drenched others in Hindu society. A book filled tunity of conferring with the Govern-
ety in Nepal have perpetuated for cen- questions about caste’s prevalence and in the rain rather than allowing him with anecdotes of caste humiliation The Kathmandu Post/ANN. ment of India on the proposal to
separate the Roads and Buildings
CROSSWORD Department from that of Irrigation.
NO 28114
ENEMY DEBTS
ACROSS (7,8)
19 Aim to keep call private?
4 It's lucky mother's got
somewhere to put baby (6)
IN INDIA
SOLUTION FOR 7 Got together with a potential
Ensured it's so (9) 5 Commute, hands raised (4) The following communiqué has
YESTERDAY'S SOLUTION 17 OCTOBER partner, one covering up
22 Carry round a little weight (5) 6 Run in street, shamefully been issued:- In accordance with
electronic background
23 Work given to model is a naked, unclothed (6)
information (8)
con (7) 9 Ace dismissed by harassed Section 1(1) of the India Treaty of
8 Conflict around borders Peace Order in Council, 1920, pub-
25 Bullfighter endlessly changing course trainer, being late
surrounding the most
precious resource (5)
direction, one twisting riser? (12) lished in the Gazette of India Extra-
around (7) 10 Set super booster to ‘loud' ordinary, it has been decided to
11 Hope Crosby's enjoying Sleigh
26 Strips after retiring for (12)
Ride? (7)
shuteye (5) 15 Where g-good parts of an egg establish a local clearing office in
12 Evergreen City, bypassing India, working under the central
27 Tree beside grave gets may be found? Wrong! (10)
midfield, push forward (7)
13 Spike in rent around end of
emergency treatment (5,3) 17 Maybe cherry's sour for clearing office in Great Britain, for
bird (8) the settlement of outstanding debts
month (5) DOWN 18 Like Wagner's Ring, came with
14 Fussy person, one making
1 Politician turned up penniless translation (8) and claims between subjects of Ger-
selection after getting money many and of the British Empire. In
in Welsh town (8) 20 One getting 2p? (6)
back (9)
16 Threesome in extremely
2 Hate grand city in France – 21 Charges a rector getting into accordance with the terms of the
country's superior (10) dispute (6) Verseilles Peace Treaty the Governor-
adventurous liaison, primarily
3 Alarming, stumbling on the 24 Drains baths from the
relating in complicated way
edge (8) bottom (4) General in Council has appointed
Mr. B.S. Kisch, I.C.S., at present Judge
in the United Provinces, to be Con-
NOTE: Figures in parentheses denote the number of letters in the words required. (By arrangement with The Independent, London)
troller of the clearing office, which
will start work at Calcutta soon.
4 EDIT DELHI FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER 2020

it to air news not their political views

Brazen misuse of airwaves should stop alone. Of course, the Additional Solic-
itor General had gone ahead and clari-
fied that the State owned airwaves, but
no control over the content being

B ombay High Court has thrown


some pertinent questions to the
journalists in India when it sought to
ism. It also deliberately meddled in the
'drugs' issue and sought to tarnish the
Bollywood drawing the ire of the movie
being carried out by news channels,
commenting "putting up messages on
the channel and then discussing evi-
transmitted through. The News Broad-
casters Federation argues that there
should be no government supervision
know whether they have given a go-by moguls. This apart, the channels (at dence, is that investigative journalism?" over the media, but where is the self-
to journalism's basic norms and eti- least one) relentlessly attacked the Ma- "You did not even leave the deceased! regulating mechanism that is touted
quettes, particularly while reporting on harashtra Government. Foreign media Forget the witnesses," the Court said. much?
the suicide of a public figure. The ques- was so puzzled initially that it remained During the course of the hearing, the While arguing that there should not
tion does not come as a surprise going silent and then woke up the nonsense Court also enquired with Additional So- be any government supervision over
by the coverage of news channels in so- being churned out in the name of de- licitor General Anil Singh, who appears the media, the channels argued on the
called sensational cases. The despicable bates on prime time to call it macabre. for the Central Government, on how the lines that they know the best. It cer-
coverage and the race for the TRPs No doubt, the Bench dealing with the government was not regulating the air- tainly is not the case. The problem is
makes the deceased persons turn in case led by the Chief Justice Dipankar waves, which was public property, leav- that the media in this country thinks

Here’s a 21-day
their grave (if they are buried). Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni which ing it open to misuse by the media. what it seeks to air is what the nation
The reference in this particular case was hearing submissions by news chan- This is a relevant point to be noted. seeks to know. People have too many
was to Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide nels in the PILs filed against media trial, The question regarding misuse of problems on hand and they seek solu-
and the 'tamasha' surrounding it. All of though it fit to comment thus on the ex- the airwaves - a public property - is tions to those so that their lives be-
us have noticed how a channel tried to
turn this into a national issue first and
later into almost an issue of national-
uberance of the motivated media. The
Court on Wednesday raised concerns
on the kind of "investigative journalism’
cardinal here. No one so far thought in
these lines as if the channels owned
the airways whereas they only leased
come easier. Soap operas at least en-
tertain their viewers but not views of
individuals with bloated egos!
immunity plan you
can follow forever
Trump’s re-election is imminent one were to assess the outcomes
W
VISHNU MAKHIJANI

ith 80 per cent of chronic disease attributable to lifestyle and


linked environmental factors and within the lifestyle hierar-
chy, poor diet being the most important contributor, the coronavirus
SURGICAL STRIKE
of his policy impact in real num- pandemic has not only added to our vulnerability and lack of im-
bers. Trump has undone much of munity, "but also taught us to look to a brighter future," says a new
the past decisions to reconstruct book by a leading NHS-trained cardiologist and a pioneer of lifestyle
a new path of progress for Amer- medicine.
ica. He has walked out of global "What has been missing from the mainstream media discussion
accords, broken unfair trade and public health messaging surrounding the virus is that the un-
agreements, deserted exploiting derlying root cause of these conditions is related to lifestyle (fuelled
allies, withdrawn support to UN by the environments in which we grow, live and work) and that di-
bodies, threatened trade part- etary changes alone, as my own medical experience with patients
ners with new tariffs to achieve has also demonstrated, could rapidly and substantially improve
KRISHNA his agenda of ‘Making America many of these risk factors," Dr. Aseem Malhotra writes in "The 21-
SAAGAR RAO Great Again’. Day Immunity Plan -- How to Rapidly Improve Your Metabolic
Many of these decisions are Health and resilience to Fight

P
residential elections in impossible to make, if one acts in Infection" (Hatchette).
USA are barely 15 days the traditional mould of the PO- What has been "Beyond my observations
away and most of the polls
are indicating Joe Biden has a
TUS. President Trump broke
many rules, traditions, practices
missing from the as a medical scientist and my
duties as a clinical doctor to
clear lead over President Donald and built a path-breaking legacy mainstream media share knowledge on the link
Trump in many battle-ground
states. Even on the ground it
of his own.
Analysing President Trump’s
discussion and between metabolic health and
immunity," what Covid-19 has
seems like there’s a huge bump full-term performance against public health also done is to expose areas in
in support for Joe Biden, as those his voter expectations clearly es- pain in comparison to many contest against Donald Trump great causes to fight for in a democ- messaging health systems and personal
voting for him are quite vocal tablishes that he has outdone other nations, which have been than a tired and almost retired Joe racy. However, the direction peace- well-being "that have long
about their choice. Joe Biden’s them and delivered a ‘voter-de- deeply unsettled socially and Biden. ful democratic protests have taken surrounding the been neglected, and in them-
voters are articulating the rea- light’ as the CEO of USA. As I see, economically. In a well-structured and a func- across the nation in an unprece- virus is that the selves have made us more vul-
sons for their choice publicly and he will lose no votes from those President Trump certainly is tional democracy like USA, espe- dented pattern driven by hate, nerable to such a pernicious
effectively. There’s an eerie si- who voted for him in 2016, for his not a role-model for Covid-19 cially in the contemporary times of leading to loot and destruction of underlying root virus", Malhotra writes.
lence from Trump’s voters all performance. safety protocols, and his public ‘messaging-means-everything’, personal property has evoked mas- cause of these "But in spite of the tragedy,
along this campaign, however I image has certainly been dented Donald Trump brings raw aggres- sive resentment. the disturbing statistics and
see a silent vote of tsunami com- Covid-19 consolidates by his unruliness. He possibly sion, clear vision, executive com- Republican voters are enraged, conditions is related heart-breaking stories that
ing. Covid-19 and its aftermath is would have even temporarily lost petence and un-conventional wis- as their agenda espouses national- to lifestyle (fuelled have collectively gripped the
My remote analysis from In- not of President Trump’s mak- few of his loyal voters for his dom to the table, alongside an ist pride, law and order and consti- world, we can draw from the
dia, of the elector-behaviour, pat- ing. In fact, his traditional voters brazenness in violating the safety impeccable full term of positive tutional process. However, the
by the environments lessons the virus has taught
tern of emotional expression, and swing voters will rally behind protocols. track record on all hot-button na- moderates and swing voters seem in which we grow, us and look to a brighter fu-
and political context in the back- Donald Trump more, for how ef- However, I see the return of tional issues like jobs, economy, ed- to be hit by this unruliness too. In ture," he adds.
drop of recent civic unrest and fectively his administration has miffed voters to choose Trump ucation, health and social security. fact, even many Democrats leaning
live and work) and Malhotra then presents his
Covid 19, leads me to a clear con- handled the crisis. Massive over Joe Biden, after a dining In my structured assessment of to Left would disapprove this level that dietary changes 21-day immunity plan, adding
clusion. Donald Trump’s re-elec- deaths due to Covid-19 in USA is table family discussion on the electoral behaviour across states, of lawlessness and vandalism in the alone, as my own for good measure that lest it
tion as President of United States more for the lack of treatment successful resurrection of nor- Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will name of protests. be mistaken as a quick-fix
is imminent. methods for this gigantic pan- malcy in the nation, despite all experience huge disappointment, I foresee an angry American medical experience measure, his experience is
I completely understand that
a week in politics is a long time
demic, than any specific policy
failure of the federal govern-
his disliked optics.
Covid-19 is the only large ob-
as they might end up losing many
swing states like Michigan, Florida,
voter against the recent backdrop
of riots, loot and vandalism choos-
with patients has that three weeks "is that for
most people it takes...to break
and nothing is done, till it’s done. ment. stacle President Trump seemed Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Car- ing President Trump over Demo- also demonstrated, any habit, or for many what is
Nevertheless, I have formidable
reasons to back my claim, which
In fact, unlike Europe and
many other nations, President
to have faced at the fag end of his
term, which led to the current
olina to Donald Trump despite all
the polls showing a big lead for De-
crat candidates in this election. The
unison of nationalists, patriots,
could rapidly and a form of addiction to sugar
and ultra-processed food" -
is going against all the polls indi- Trump did not panic and surren- electoral situation of a serious mocrats in all these states with an peace-lovers, law-abiders, hard- substantially these two being the bugbear
cating a different result favoring
Joe Biden.
der to Covid-19. Instead, he took
a strong position very early in the
contest. If it was not for the 10-
month long ordeal of this pan-
exception of Ohio.
Visual strength, optics, dy-
working entrepreneurs, blue-col-
lared labor, constitutionalists and
improve many of major health issues.
"Over the course of the
I am calling the election out- Covid-19 timeline against gen- demic, President Trump’s re- namism and unconventional phys- of course the Republicans can cre- of these risk three weeks, you will follow
come in favour of President Don-
ald Trump, and I also foresee
eral public and global opinion, to
not impose a nationwide com-
election would have been ‘Walk
-in-the-Park’.
ical appeal of President Trump is
unmatched to almost reticent, low-
ate a huge ground swell for Presi-
dent Donald Trump, in both Red
factors," says an eating plan, you will be re-
quired to move your body
both popular and electoral col- pulsive shutdown. This critical In my analysis, Trump’s com- energy, no-optics campaign of Joe and Blue states. Dr. Aseem Malhotra daily, carry out breathing ex-
lege vote will lead him to victory decision eventually ended up petent handling of Covid-19 with Biden and Kamala Harris. I foresee There are many other factors ercises, monitor and improve
by big margin and clear majority. protecting many jobs and the federal government support ex- this factor will play a very big role which were analysed to arrive at a your sleep habits and be seek-
Below are some key factors I economy. tended to states, timely decisions in the choice of voters in swing projection for calling this election ing to reduce your stress and improve your mental well-being by
have analysed for projecting An immediate slew of Covid- to expand and equip the national states. result this early, however space making a concerted effort to nurture and celebrate time with friends
President Trump’s clear victory 19 relief measure to small busi- health infrastructure and his constraint led me to highlight just and family," Malhotra writes.
in this election: nesses, medium-scale employers, comic ability to reduce panic, has Conservative nationalism the prime factors.
infusing millions of dollars into created a Pre-Covid-19 electoral The unpresented arson and riots As I foresee, President Donald Quite naturally it begins with EAT
CEO OF USA research for treatment and vac- situation for President Trump. have taken a massive psychological Trump is not vacating the White So, "Enjoy" three meals per day maximum, at least two-four ta-
President Trump certainly cine, are very efficient and timely The electoral outcome will prove toll and unsettled many law abid- House in January 2021. blespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily, one small handful of tree
was never a regular Commander- decisions to mitigate the direct my analysis right, with the return ing, god fearing, hardworking Disclaimer: This objective ana- nuts (walnuts et al) daily, at least five-seven portions of a variety of
in-Chief of the USA throughout impact of this pandemic on peo- of all his cynics back to his side. American citizens. Especially, lytical opinion-piece is written in fibrous vegetables and low-sugar fruits a day, vegetables in at least
his term. He was and continues ple’s lives. when arson, loot and vandalism my professional capacity as an Or- two meals a day and oily fish (salmon, mackerel et al) at least three
to be an unconventional leader Despite USA being the top Joe Biden factor were not contained and con- ganisational Strategist. This is not times a week.
of the state, that America and the Covid-19 infected nation in the The ‘Joe Biden - Kamala Harris’ demned enough by states run by in any way a partisan position. "Avoid" all added sugars, fruit juice, honey and syrups; avoid all
world has never experienced be- world, President Trump’s ticket has made things easier for Democrat Governors, it led to pub- low-quality carbohydrates and starchy foods that lack fibre; and
fore. adamant but right decisions en- President Trump. An aggressive lic dismay cut across party lines. ( K.Krishna Saagar Rao is an avoid all ultra-processed foods.
He actually played the role of sured ‘life as usual’ and ‘business articulator and persuasive Demo- Racial discrimination, inequal- internationally reputed Organi- "Fast" by gradually reducing the time window in which you eat
a CEO and was quite successful as usual’ in a very less turn- crat like the New York Governor ity, injustice and use of excessive sational Strategist / Leadership from 12 hours to eight hours - ultimately aiming to fast for 16 hours
at that throughout his term, if around time, causing minimal Cumo could have built some real force by police are all undeniably Coach & An Author.) a day and for your eating window to be between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.,
11 a.m. and 7 p.m. or 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. "Eat according to your hunger
levels...if you feel you need to eat three meals in that short time
the land for a particular crop. It is equally important to landscape ecology. But yet , rivers are constantly polluted, frame, that's fine, but many people get by with just two and they in-
LETTERS ensure recently passed farm laws not give scope to black
marketing. Meanwhile governments must supply onions
abused and face grave environmental degradation due
to urbanisation.
clude some healthy snacks in between", Malhotra advises.
"Move" -- go for a brisk walk of at least 30 minutes on five days
Controlling onion price volatility at subsidy rate through Rythu - Bazaars like in AP.
Pratapa Reddy Yaramala ,Tiruvuru
For successful further interventions of blue green in-
frastructure solutions , the solution needs to be multi -
each week; you want to aim to get your heart rate within a range of
50-70 per cent of your maximum, which is related to your age; to

T he volatility in onion prices is common in India. In


the past the prices of onions could change the gov-
ernments. At present not only onion prices but also other Five urgent solutions
dimensional , holistic and should involve all relevant
stockholders . We need tremendous amount of efforts for
a strong public awareness . Hence , regulation and ripar-
calculate this, deduct your age from 220 - for example, if you're aged
40 then the figure would be 180; if you're starting to exercise like
this for the first time, then start with 10 minutes and gradually build
vegetables prices are skyrocketing.The people have been ian limits should be framed . We needs to improve future up; do not sit for more than 45 minutes at a time - take two-minute
facing hardships from two ways- the coronavirus and to save Hyderabad projects and avoid poorly designed and costly interven- movement breaks.
heavy rains. As a result of latter the horticulture crops The ‘Panchsheel’ solutions to save Hyderabad are: tions with no social and environmental benefits . "Breathe" in slowly, slowly, counting for five seconds in your head
were severely damaged due to floods following. It is re- • Save people in inundated low lying areas, especially Khushboo Ved , Hyderabad and then breathe out; another technique is to breathe in for four
flected in the prices of onions and vegetables. The prices people of ground floor seconds through the nose, hold it for seven seconds, and then exhale
of onions climbed from `40 to `100 per kg within no time. • Every apartment in sensitive low lying area must have for eight seconds; start for 10 minutes every day and then build up
It is because of lack of transport from production point a pump-set. Residents in turns and in shifts, can pump Herb-grown in India!! to 20 and even 30 minutes.
to markets. Further several farmers gave up their crop in
the fields as heavy rains damaged the crop due to flooding
for several days.
out water, when it is foot-high itself (in the cellar / on
lanes / on roads). This was successfully done for years
near Begumpet flyover.
A safoetida or commonly known spice heeng is con-
sumed a lot in India but whole of its demand is
met through imports from Afghanistan, Iran and
"Socialise" - make an effort to increase time spent with friends
and family each week; its' not just good for mental health but also
helps mitigate stress.
However even at the time of bumper crops either farm- • Focus on Immediate repairs of tanks, drainages, clear- Uzbekistan. This contributes to a large part of India’s "Sleep" a minimum of seven hours each night.
ers or costumers shed tears because of inefficient rulers ing illegal structures on nala / drainage areas. forex expenditure. So, with the upsurge in the popu- Has something been left out? You bet it has!
and corrupted officials. In fact there are 140 countries • All apartments must have simple and modern rooftop larity of ‘aatma nirbhar bharat mission’, scientists at Can I consume alcohol? It's good to have a few days completely off
are cultivating onions across the globe, but China and solar energy generators (very popular in Australia). CSIR – Institute of Himalayan Bioresource, Palampur alcohol each week, but if you do like a tipple, then stick to the current
India occupied first and second places respectively.But • Plant millions of saplings on the outskirts of Hyder- in Himachal Pradesh have taken the initiative to group recommended limit of 14 units (50 ml) a week and drink like they do
India is following conventional methods in onion farming abad, preferably oak trees and horse chestnut trees the widely consumed herb on the Indian soil. This in the Mediterranean - no more than a glass of red wine with your
which is known for high cost. Though the centre banned that give out more oxygen comparatively. species requires cold desert atmosphere to grow. India evening meal, which at that dose may even provide a benefit in pro-
the export of onions, it doesn't rein prices. Srinivas P V, Secunderabad imports about 1200 tonnes heeng worth Rs. 600 crores tecting your heart. If I'm a vegetarian or vegan can I follow the 21-day
It is because of inadequate godown facility for stocking annually. This will substantially reduce its price and plan? Yes, although if you're vegan don't forget you'll likely need a Vi-
the product when there is a bumper crop.The government sooner or later will also make India enter a new export tamin B-12 supplement.
must encourage the farmers to increase productivity as Save urban rivers market. The trials have been successful but as the herbs At the bottom line, what after 21 days? "If it's going well, and you're
it is only 15000 tonnes while other countries getting
above 50000 tonnes. It is must as average consumption
of onions will reach 12 kg from present 6 kg and there is
I t has been observed historically that human settle-
ments often evolved alongside water near lakes or
rivers . The river passing through a city offers ecosystem
take 4 year to become consumable it’s a long road
ahead.
Kavya Shah, Ujjain
starting to see results, just carry on," Malhotra writes, by "sticking to
the 80/20 rule" of following the plan for at least 80 per cent of the
time. "The time for action on metabolic health and investment in
no perfect substitute to onions and also must for any type services that can be seen as provisioning , regulating and well-being is long overdue. If we don't act, there may even be more
of curry. Moreover the governments must divide the agri- a supporting system. It not only serves as source of water misery and devastation when the next pandemic comes around," Mal-
cultural lands in to zones depending upon suitability of supply but also helps in balancing flood Control and
thehansreader@gmail.com hotra concludes.
millenniumpost| NEW DELHI| SATURDAY, 24 OCTOBER, 2020 mp editorial 7
EDITORIAL
Life goes on-line
A risky The onset of COVID-19 brought with it many changes to the way human society
proposition operates — changes that will likely outlive the pandemic itself

A
ll black swan events school or college. Home spaces

E
change the world so have had to be redesigned to
lections are both a starting point and defining point dramatically that cater to the WFH phenom-
of any nation that claims to be a democracy. As RAJ LIBERHAN we have to rede- enon. Dining spaces have
such, the changing face of elections in the COVID fine ‘normalcy’. Such is also become work tables and bed-
era is of much interest worldwide. On the one hand, the case with the invasion of rooms have been converted to
governments worldwide desire the routine functioning of the COVID-19 virus that has accommodate online learning
the election process, on the other hand, there is an acknowl- altered the way the world lived for the children. No office gos-
edgement that the scale and nature of the activity can eas- its life. Populations around sip, no coffee breaks for kin-
ily lend itself to becoming a source of infection on a mass the world did pretty much the dling a chat with a colleague.
scale. Naturally, no one is suggesting that elections should same things. Some in extrav- It’s all work with as many lonely
be put on hold. Indeed, many nations across the world are agance and some in penury, breaks as one wants. What
currently experimenting with various methods to make most lives were routine. Going does this new reset button
the whole election process safer for everyone involved. The to school, college or univer- augur for times ahead? Politics
natural solution in some ways to take things online or use sity or work was the story in has to become robust and car-
other methods that minimise person to person contact. every family. Earning a liveli- ing. The opacity of the process
Naturally, this being a period of trial and error, the pro- hood was a high priority, inter- must make way for open and
cess has not been smooth. Those who organise such elec- spersed with few moments of fair governance. Urban spaces
tions now have additional challenges that have become romance for some and holidays will need a rethink. As corpo-
particularly daunting during this period. This can range for some others. These were lit- rates redo their maths, many
from concerns over low turnout, technical glitches playing tle breathers meant largely to of them will make working
spoilsport and even the elections themselves being ques- recharge and rejuvenate for the from home a regular feature.
tioned on grounds of legitimacy as we shift from a pre- fortunate. It has all changed for As social distancing becomes
dominantly in-person, close contact method. Measures like the foreseeable future. a norm of using public spaces,
mail-in voting have particularly been affected by such con- The best-laid In 2019, Wuhan was still how will these be re-defined to
cerns. While studies in various countries show that there are a distant city the enterprising ensure safety from the spread
no additional vulnerabilities in mail-in voting that hamper plans of mice and Chinese had built as another of this obstinate virus that is
its use, its adoption has been mixed and the perception that men are wasted landmark to modernity. Come not only refusing to go away
it is easy to rig remains in many cases. Mail-in voting is not December, and it became but surging even now? Surely,
new but has had very limited use before the time of COVID-
by the ‘gang aft notorious for having let loose public transport will need to
19. Alternatively, depending on the circumstances, a coun- a-gley’(often go a deadly virus, COVID-19, be re-configured as will sani-
try may opt to make adjustments to the various processes awry) as Robert contagious and spreading tation and hygiene standards
that go into elections to make in-person activities safer. across the globe, faster than and facilities. It appears certain
This involves everything from having more voting booths Burns has said in any wildfire can ravage forests. that all of us will have to maxi-
to requiring masks and having staggered voting hours. For his ‘Apology to a The world had to come to a mise contactless living and all
much of the world, this has been the preferred method with stop. Dead stop. First, Wuhan gestures of warmth and cordi-
measures like mail-in voting coming on the side. Of course, Mouse’. The virus went into a lockdown and to ality, love and care will have to
while it is relatively easier to keep control of the voting part from Wuhan has curb the raging infection rate, find expression in words only.
of the election process, it is more difficult to make physical every country had to shut its How will humans live with-
rallies safe. As experiences worldwide continue to show, it is made our world airports. Travel was restricted out the reassuring touch of a
harder to regulate rules and restrictions in large-scale rallies.
The ongoing US Presidential Elections provide a glimpse
go awry to emergency and rescue only.
While each country devised its
maternal or a friendly caress, in
the foreseeable future is scary
at the complications behind holding large scale rallies. In own protocols, we in India too for all yearnings of gentle
America where the use of masks has become a political pulled down the shutters. Life natures.
point, large Trump rallies often see thousands of supporters went off-line in a jiffy. Who knows about the
in close proximity standing maskless and fervently shout- All of us were ordered to future? One thing for sure is
ing chants. Even before he and much of his staff and fam- stay at home. Worse, we were happening: the digital thresh-
ily tested positive, many states had politely requested him not to step out at all. This was old is proximate to the com-
to hold off on having large scale rallies. Critics have stated the only way we could beat mon man and virtual space is
that these rallies threaten entire communities and not just the virus from infecting all taking over the geography of
the rally-goers themselves. Joe Biden, on the other hand, sections of society. This was the earth and going beyond
has run a more subdued campaign, one which embraces a disruption of life unparal- known horizons. The best-
changes like virtual fundraisers. While many Democrats leled and not seen in recent laid plans of mice and men
are worried over this low-key tactic, Biden himself has human memory. Only essen- are wasted by the ‘gang aft
confidently stated that he is doing so out of respect for the tial services were to function. a-gley’(often go awry) as Rob-
public safety guidelines. Schools, colleges, regular jobs, ert Burns has said in his ‘Apol-
COURTESY: PUREPROFILE
In India, the safety of physical rallies is even more ques- everything was to be on hold. ogy to a Mouse’. The virus from
tionable. It is a well-known fact that India is the world’s Life had to be re-invented. All Predictions over the state of the new normal began early in the pandemic’s lifecycle Image Wuhan has made our world
largest democracy and our elections are the most complex sellers of essential goods went go awry. Fear has entered our
events of their kind, operating on a mind-boggling scale. digital. Orders could be placed is here to stay and if anything one thought. It is the vulner- risk-prone. Hesitancy is in the psyche and got entrenched.
Even the rallies reach record sizes, a trend that has not been on the phone or on email and will be the norm in our altered ability of the moment that has air and we have to learn to live Leaderships in every field are
deeply affected by this pandemic. This has been evidenced delivered at the doorstep. Gro- living styles. unnerved the populations all with it as a routine that our getting tested as never before.
by photos of Bihar election rallies with thousands gathered cery, fruit, chemists and many The nostalgia for the nor- over. Everything looks unpre- comfort has been disrupted. We can celebrate our life as it
in close proximity with masks or any other sign of com- other vendors, confectioneries, mal of 2019 and even until the dictable. Even the things of life The hurly and burly of life is or regret what might have
pliance to the Election Commission guidelines. As many rations and all needs moved to first two months of this year that we all took for granted had absorbed us all and took been. The way of life as we
news outlets have noted, norms were even flouted during demand and supply through is understandable. The social have now become contingent. us all away from the basics and knew it in 2019, is history.
events like nomination fillings. This led many to comment electronic or telecom media. interactions and the available Flights will take off but when fundamentals of life. COVID- The writer is the now
that COVID-19 has made only a marginal difference to the New learning had begun freedom to mingle unmasked you can return has become 19 has pressed the pause and retired-Director of the India
Bihar elections. If the Bihar elections were a trial run, then because it was needed to sur- were a way of life that would a question mark. Social vis- reset button. No longer is it Habitat Centre. Views
this perceived laxness of safety rules would only be a taste vive. Good or bad, this change not change, was the way every- its, earlier the norm, are now the morning rush to office or expressed are personal
for what is to come. In the latest development, both the EC

Vaccine promises
and the BJP have approached the SC regarding the latest
order by the Gwalior Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High
Court which restricted physical rallies in the state. The HC
in question castigated the political parties when delivering
this order, stating that no stone had been left unturned in
drawing out voters from the safety of their homes for the
ulterior motive of gaining votes, The court order states that
all such physical events are to be banned until the magis-
trate is convinced that the candidate cannot hold a virtual With no clarity yet on how and when all Indian citizens will get the Covid vaccine,
event for whatever reason and that too, only on the express
permission of the EC. Political parties aside, even the EC including it in the Bihar poll manifesto is unethical and opportunistic

T
has reacted to this decision with anger and has claimed that
this new order not only makes light of the EC and its efforts he festive season is
but also threatens to disrupt a level playing field. Even the truly upon us with a
BJP complaint makes mention of the many Bihar rallies SHUTAPA PAUL slew of festivals lined
in calling to question the fairness of such measures being up that usually make
selectively applied. The truth is that, much like anything else the end of the year the most
to do with the ‘new normal’, we simply don’t know enough joyous time for all Indians.
about the effect of elections on COVID spread. The lim- While there is no denying
ited examples we do have contain too many variables for a that COVID-19 has dealt a
clear conclusion. But what is clear is that the conversation blow on all merrymaking, the
on such matters needs to focus on the safety of the citizens starkest change is noticeable
first and foremost. Elections are important to democracy in the way Durga Puja is being
but so is a government that is willing to go the distance in celebrated in West Bengal.
keeping its electorate’s safety. Known for magnificent tab-
leaus and ‘sarbojonin’ (pub-
lic) celebrations, this year,
APPEAL TO Dear When BJP
like the ‘pandals’, the revelry

VOTERS Editor announced in


is understated too. After the
Calcutta High Court passed
the order to ban the entry of
I appeal to the voters in the impending Bihar election.
its poll promises people inside pandals fearing
for the upcoming large numbers of infections,
Please cast your vote on the issue of jobs, education, even the biggest Pujas bear
healthcare and development. Do not be misled by political Bihar elections, a deserted look. The streets
propaganda and go by the record of the candidate. It the distribution of are the emptiest that one has
is best to even ignore your own ideological leanings if seen in years, makeshift road-
the candidate you deem otherwise suitable belongs to a free Covid vaccine side stalls have been quickly
different political party. Vote responsibly and in the larger was included in dismantled. Many have opted
for virtual tours of the most
interest of the state. its manifesto. The famous Durga Pujas in the Covid vaccine is our fundamental right irrespective of the political party we vote for
....NOOR AHMAD, HYDERABAD via email vaccine is the right city, but the ‘spirit’ is ever-
present, with sounds of Puja home. The High Court had cinate everyone in India. A Rs 30 crore people who will cal, opportunistic, and simply
millenniumpost.in of every citizen rituals wafting into homes in to step in keeping the pub- lot of the vaccine that will be receive the vaccine on prior- wrong at so many levels, that I
and a commitment the mornings and evenings, lic health emergency in mind produced will be exported ity. This includes healthcare am surprised that the Election
Log on to write letters to the editor or send them to and Bollywood and Tolly- and while the order was a wet as well. It will be a massive workers, police, sanitisation Commission of India has not
letter2editor.mp@gmail.com. You can also send your comments to The Editor,
of the Central and wood songs keeping listeners blanket to revellers, it was an immunisation drive, larger workers, armed forces, elderly stepped in to scrap it. The EC
Millennium Post, Pratap Bhawan, 5 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi 110 002 state governments entertained through the day. astute decision. This year has and most urgent than any over 50 years of age, and peo- says that it has cleared policy
The city is celebrating albeit been most challenging and that India and the world have ple with comorbidities. promises in previous poll man-
to all of us in the staidest manner that it with the imminent fear of ever undertaken. Adar Poon- So far, so good, the plan ifestos. But the availability and
tweet Millions of Americans has in decades. And suddenly, the second wave of Corona- awalla, the chief executive sounds fair. This week, how- distribution of the Covid vac-
OF THE DAY are suffering during this after months of ‘Unlock India’, virus infections in winter, we officer of Serum Institute of ever, when the BJP announced cine is not just any poll prom-
pandemic. Rather than lift a there seems a consciousness must be over cautious. These India, claims that Rs 80,000 in its poll promises for the ise. It’s not like the giving away
finger to help them, Senate of the onslaught of the deadly precautions must continue crore is needed over the next upcoming Bihar elections, the of cycles, grain, computers, or
virus once again. until the elusive Covid vac- one year to buy and distribute distribution of free Covid vac- pro-farmer policies. We are
Republicans are spending And this was necessary. cine becomes available. The the COVID-19 vaccine to all cine was included in its mani- in the middle of a global pan-
the last 12 days before the Before the High Court passed most precious commodity Indian citizens. The govern- festo. Tamil Nadu and Madhya demic, and the access to the
election on an illegitimate the order, the images and vid- and drug in the world today ment disagrees stating that the Pradesh have since followed Covid vaccine is our funda-
process to seat a Supreme eos were scary. People (though is the Covid vaccine, it’s also government will inoculate as suit. The vaccine is the right mental right whether we vote
Court justice—so that justice masked) were thronging puja the most eagerly awaited. per prioritisation of popula- of every citizen and a commit- for a particular political party
can help take away your pandals like in any other year, Experts suggest that even tion with a focus on staggering ment of the Central and state or not.
not even paying heed to the if the vaccine is ready for pro- immunisation. With this view, governments to all of us. Mak- The writer is an author and
HILLARY CLINTON health care. state administration that had duction by mid-2021, it will the government has already ing it a poll promise with the media entrepreneur. Views
@HillaryClinton
been advising people to stay take another 2-3 years to vac- started identifying around view of luring votes is unethi- expressed are personal
www.firstindia.co.in I www.firstindia.co.in/epaper/ I twitter.com/thefirstindia I facebook.com/thefirstindia I instagram.com/thefirstindia
PERSPECTIVE AHMEDABAD | SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2020
04

THE CHEMISTRY OF LOVE


IN-DEPTH

TRUMP’S REMARK CALLS


FOR INTROSPECTION SADHGURU, ISHA FOUNDATION

W
hile commenting on air pollution in Del-
hi, the Supreme Court had remarked in Ranked amongst the fifty most influential
November last year that “Delhi has be- people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic,
come worse than narak (hell)”. The air visionary and a New York Times bestselling
quality over Delhi remained in the se- author Sadhguru has been conferred the Padma
verely polluted category for months but the Centre Vibhushan by the Government of India in 2017,
and the government of Delhi kept sparring over the highest annual civilian award, accorded for
the issue. As Delhi blamed stubble burning by Pun- exceptional and distinguished service
jab farmers for air pollution in Delhi and the Na-
tional Capital Region, Centre and other states
blamed Delhi for not taking effective steps to im- Shekhar Kapur: Sadhguru,
prove the air quality. And this blame game has be- the most discussed thing in this
come an annual ritual as a combined and concert- world is relationships. One re-
ed effort is not made to help people breathe non- lationship that is causing more
toxic air. Delhi’s air quality was so bad in Novem- anger than anything else is
ber last year, that travellers cut short their visit to man-woman love. Tell me about
India’s national capital to avoid breathing trouble. the nature of it. Is there some-
Delhi’s air quality becoming a topic of the US thing we can find in a marriage
presidential debate was unexpected. President Don- that takes it beyond the every-
ald Trump was as hard-hitting as the Supreme Court day stresses and strains?
was in 2019. “Look at India, it is filthy. The air is Sadhguru: There is no such
filthy,” Trump said during his debate with Democrat thing as man-dog love, man-
Joe Biden while claiming that the US has had the best woman love, man-mother love,
carbon emissions in 35 years. The remark drew anger man-son love, man-daughter
with Congress attacking Prime Minister Narendra love. Love is just a certain sweet-
Modi who enjoys a special friendship with Trump. ness of emotion. The method –
More than venting anger at Trump’s remark, we how you are arriving at it – is
need all stakeholders---governments which cannot the only question.
arrive at the right balance between development and The man-woman thing is a
environment as they cut down forests, industry compulsive love affair. Nature is planet, to be free of everything Sadhguru: It is definitely a
which cares little about emissions, the pollution con- pushing you towards each other so that you can be just the way possibility, but it’s a risky possi-
trol boards which wink at polluters, transporters because nature is interested in you want to be. Once a human bility. You may just get entangled
and the people---to put their heads together to im- only one thing – perpetuating being becomes more aware of IF YOU HAVE TO REALLY and lost in so many complexities
prove climate’s health. herself. They have to come to- his own nature, he begins to BE WITH SOMEBODY, of a relationship rather than
gether somehow. Otherwise, experience love, blissfulness YOU HAVE TO GIVE UP A finding the ultimate nature. I’m
you and I wouldn’t be born. This and ecstasy. Even to experience PART OF YOURSELF IN not saying it’s not possible. It’s
PAY DOCTORS THEIR is a compulsive need. This is one
love affair that is chemically
orgasmic ways of life, you actu-
ally don’t need anybody. If you
SOME WAY. SO, THE
ENGLISH EXPRESSION,
very much possible. So, that is
why, in India, when we got people
SALARIES, PLEASE! supported by nature.
In most of these love affairs,
just sit here, you can make it
happen within yourself be-
“FALLING IN LOVE,” IS
VERY SIGNIFICANT
married, we tied what is called
mangal sutra. There is a way of

T
hey were frontline corona warriors for unfortunately, once the chemis- cause after all, it’s your body, taking a strand of energy from
whom the country lit candles and beat try runs out, they wonder why it’s your mind, it’s your emo- you and your partner and tying
thaalis. That was at the onset of the pan- the hell they are together. So, tion, it’s your chemistry and it up in a certain way so that be-
demic in India. Even in those early days before the chemistry runs out, you are the one who is creating yond your logic, beyond your un-
doctors busy in Covid care centres faced you are supposed to establish a all the experiences of your life. A UNION OF TWO BEINGS derstanding, beyond your psy-
hostile neighbours and resident welfare associa- different level of a conscious So, if it’s self-created, right Shekhar Kapur: But is it pos- chological, emotional, and physi-
tions who looked at them as potential virus carriers. love affair which is beyond the now, if you sit here, would you sible for two people together cal needs, somewhere deep in-
What the doctors in some Delhi hospitals are now chemistry. If that doesn’t hap- choose to maintain the sweet- beyond the chemistry or hor- side, two beings are tied together,
facing is worse: they have not been paid salaries for pen, it turns ugly. ness of your mind, body, emo- mones, to be starters for each two lives are tied together. So we
the last three months. In protest, resident doctors of The man-woman The bodily chemistry plays up tion, and energy or would you other and continue that rela- always said that this is a lifelong
Hindu Rao Hospital went on an indefinite hunger thing is a certain things according to its like something bitter? tionship? tie, you cannot break it. If you
strike from Friday. They have been protesting for a compulsive love needs. The moment the need is Shekhar Kapur: I’d prefer Sadhguru: If you have to re- break it, you have to tear two lives
few weeks now and resorted to hunger strike after affair. Nature is satisfied, you wonder why the sweetness. ally be with somebody, you have apart because it was a kind of
the protests did bear fruit. Also on strike were resi- pushing you hell you are here. That is na- Sadhguru: So you would to give up a part of yourself in union. If you listen to all the man-
dent doctors of NDMC Medical College. Why should towards each ture’s trick. When you were 10 or naturally be loving. When you some way. So, the English ex- tras chanted at weddings, they
doctors go without salaries for months after provid- other because 11 years of age, everything was see a man and a woman, you are pression, “falling in love,” is are talking about how these two
ing intensive medical care to Covid patients? After nature is fine with the world. Then, your talking about a relationship. very significant. You can only beings are being welded together.
the strike call, Hindu Rao Hospital was removed interested in only intelligence got hijacked by your There are different aspects to it fall into it. You can’t stand in it, These marriages which were
from the list of the designated Covid-19 hospital. one thing – hormones, and the whole world – social, physical, psychologi- you can’t climb in it – you have done in a certain way were nev-
Was all the thaali-taali a mere showbiz or are sala- perpetuating looked different all of a sudden. cal, or an economic angle to it. to fall into it. One who thinks er about you. It was always
ries of doctors stuck between Delhi’s Aam Admi herself. They have The chemistry had hijacked you. We form relationships with a too much of himself cannot be about the other person. If both
Party government and the BJP controlled New Delhi There’s nothing wrong or right variety of people in our lives. in a love affair. Somewhere, you people think like this, it’s a
to come together
Municipal Corporation which runs the Hindu Rao about it, it’s just limited. Is being You have business relation- have to surrender a part of beautiful place to be. If only one
somehow.
Hospital? Some doctors blamed the Delhi govern- limited a crime? – No. But the ships, personal relationships, yourself to be in a love affair. person thinks like that, it be-
ment for their salary dues, so did the NDMC. Delhi’s
Otherwise, you nature of the human being is and professional relationships. Shekhar Kapur: But in this comes exploitation. If both the
health minister Satyendar Jain blamed the BJP for and I wouldn’t be such, he suffers limitations. He We form relationships basically weaving, as you called it, is it persons don’t think like that, it’s
doing politics over the issue. “They earn through sev- born. This is a doesn’t like them. to fulfill certain types of needs possible for you to be with an- just a compulsive relationship,
eral taxes and if they can’t run hospitals, they should compulsive What you are referring to as or to fulfill somebody else’s other person that becomes, and me trying to extract something
hand over hospitals to the Delhi government.” need. This is one love is basically the sweetness needs, whichever way it is. But I’m just guessing here, that be- from you, you trying to extract
It is indeed shocking to see corona warriors be- love affair that is of your emotion. If you look at what you refer to as love is just comes the conduit towards something from me. It’s a con-
ing made victims of BJP-AAP politics. It is amaz- chemically this carefully, naturally your the sweetness of your emotion. your own self-realization? Is flicting situation all the time.
ing to see how insensitive politicians can be to the supported by innermost longing is to be free You can use another person to that a possibility? Could that be THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY
plight of others for cheap popularity. nature of every human being on the stimulate that within you. the basis of a relationship? THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL

The astrology on American president’s contest Top


TWEET
Dharmendra Pradhan
DR ASHOK @dpradhanbjp
PANAGARIYA WHILE DONALD Spearheading India’s quest for
TRUMP BORN ON energy security and commitment
THE WRITER IS A RENOWNED JUNE 14, 1946, HAS for a low-carbon future, Hon. PM
@narendramodi ji will inaugurate
INDIAN NEUROLOGIST, MEDICAL A SINGH LAGNA the 4th #IndiaEnergyForum
RESEARCHER AND ACADEMIC WITH MARS IN organised by @PetroleumMin &
FIRST HOUSE AND #CERAWeek and also interact with

I
SUN AND RAHU IN Global oil & gas CEOs and experts
t is a million- tional finance is trying to through VC on 26th Oct, 2020.
dollar question venture into this exciting 10TH OR HOUSE OF
that who is go- science-based on statistics, RAJYA AND
Anand Sharma
ing to be the observations, and millions MERCURY IN HIS @AnandSharmaINC
world’s most of years of history behind 11TH OR LABH President @realDonaldTrump has
powerful person on Novem- it. While Donald Trump GRAH. THE JUPITER insulted #NamasteIndia & exposed
ber 3rd, 2020 the date on born on June 14, 1946, has IS 2ND HOUSE IN his lack of knowledge on climate
which the fate of the two, a Singh Lagna with Mars change and the Paris Agreement.
KANYA LAGNA. THE A fact check would have told him
Donald Trump and Joe in first house and sun and
GURU PERIOD MADE that US is the largest polluter
Biden will b decided. While Rahu in 10th or house of
the answer would lie in the Rajya and mercury in his
HIM THE PRESIDENT historically & its per capita green-
house gas emissions are 6 times
secret ballot, I wonder 11th or labh grah. The Ju- IN A NECK TO NECK #FilthyAir India.
whether a nonlinear sci- piter is 2nd house in Kanya FIGHT IN 2016
ence like astrology can fa- Lagna. The guru period
cilitate attempting a predic-
tion. If the data retrieved
made him the President in
a neck to neck fight in 2016. vember 20th, 1942 has a in Moons Rashi, an excel- president of the most pow- has been extensively re-
Spiritual
by friends in the USA from This time however the Vrishcick Lagna with sun lent position for the high- erful nation. The astrolog- searched time and again. SPEAK
the internet are correct I phase of Jupiter, Sat, and placed in Lagna, Gaj Kes- est job in politics. ical comparison makes Let us see what is the final
am with my co-author Rahu beginning on Oct ari in bhagya, and Rahu His Guru Rahu guru him a clear and clean win- result whether Biden wins Nothing can harm you as
Badri Lal from Bhilwara 28th , in his chart impairs in 10 the house. Further, combination beginning ner. This science has limi- or we lose. much as your own thoughts
and my son Arihant. his victory chances. in navmansha he has September 6th is building tations because it is based THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY unguarded. —Buddha
An expert in interna- Joe Biden born on No- Guru in the tenth house him to take over as the on principles of chaos but THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL

 Vol 1  Issue No. 329  RNI NO. GUJENG/2019/16208. Printed and published by Anita Hada Sangwan on behalf of First Express Publishers. Printed at Bhaskar Printing Planet Survey No.148P, Changodar-Bavla Highway, Tal. Sanand, Dist. Ahmedabad.
Published at D/302 3rd Floor Plot No. 35 Titanium Square, Scheme No. 2, Thaltej Taluka, Ghatlodiya, Ahmedabad. Editor-In-Chief: Jagdeesh Chandra. Editor: Anita Hada Sangwan responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act
EDIT
THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL
MUMBAI | SATURDAY | OCTOBER 24, 2020
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: There is no more fertile
ground for revolution than the educated unemployed.
— Mark Tully

SINCE 1928

FOUNDER EDITOR: S SADANAND


What India needs is a drain brain road is being built in the sea along the

Capitalising on The Fault With Reality western coast of Mumbai. Activists


say, with some justification, that recla-
mation for the coastal road project re-
ANIL SINGH sulted in South Mumbai getting flooded

pandemic fears this monsoon, something that had not


happened even on 26/7.

T
he Hyderabad flood visual of a current climate, you could well be What has improved since 26/7 though
man being swept down the street charged with sedition for sabotaging are the weather forecasts and the early

T
he Bharatiya Janata Party’s promise to provide free should have sent alarm bells the India growth story. warning system for commuters. The
Covid-19 vaccines to every resident of Bihar if it ringing in all Indian cities which are The Madhav Chitale committee that rivers and nullahs too are dredged reg-
comes to power may pass the Election Commission’s regularly inundated, especially in probed the 26/7 deluge came up with ularly.
model code of conduct test – a Union Cabinet minister has Pune, where rapid streams carried off the obvious diagnosis and predictable However, crisis-time communication
already famously equated it to the farm loan waiver prom- people through the streets last year and treatment. Like telling the chain-smok- between government agencies remains
ises, which have now become part and parcel of virtually in Mumbai, where a woman recently er to go easy on cigarettes and do some poor - for instance, the timing and quan-
every election in our country – but it fails the test of pro- fell into an open manhole in a water- breathing exercises. tum of water to be released from dams
priety and principles. This is not to say that the Covid-19 logged street only to emerge as a corpse Among other things, the Chitale com- during the monsoon. Ecologist Madhav
pandemic and the governance response to it, are taboo top- floating in the sea. mittee recommended that Mumbai’s Gadgil had blamed such lapses for wide-
ics. On the contrary, the massive public health challenge Strangely, the drowning of Hyder- rivers and natural drains be widened spread floods in Sangli and Kolhapur
posed by the pandemic, as well as the economic devastation abad has not initiated a discussion on and dredged, that encroachment on districts in 2019 and in Kerala in 2018.
wrought by the consequent lockdown-induced collapse of drainage in our metros. The media is their banks be removed, that contour sea, the creeks, the ponds and even the Mumbai’s blind spot though, remains
the economy and the widespread misery that has gripped obsessed with trivialities, flooding does maps be made and flood-risk zones be drains. There was a time when minis- the threat of submergence by the sea,
large parts of the population should – indeed, must – form not become an election issue and no demarcated and that construction in ter Chhagan Bhujbal and architect which is rising at the rate of 1.7 mm per
an important part of any evaluation of performance of in- one computes the loss to the economy; such zones be regulated, that new un- Hafeez Contractor proposed reclama- year along the Indian coast. Mumbai
cumbents and challengers alike. However, the promise of the deluge is treated like an annual act derground storm-water drains be laid tion of the sea along the western coast! was marked as one of the coastal cities
free vaccines does not address any of these issues, but of god. We talk of flooding only when with pumping stations, that mangroves Saeed Mirza’s satire 'Mohan Joshi at risk of being submerged by 2050 in a
rather, hopes to capitalise on the fear and panic unleashed our city is submerged. It’s like digging be protected, that the municipal corpo- Haazir Ho’ captures it perfectly in the study last year by Climate Central, a US
by the virus, which has demonstrated that no one – rich or a well when your house is on fire. ration be consulted before any con- scene where two builders tell pension- non-profit news organisation compris-
poor, young or old, urban or rural, educated or illiterate – is There have been ample warnings and struction in low-lying areas… er Mohan Joshi, the lone tenant oppos- ing scientists and journalists.
immune. forecasts, studies and reports, even It was only after the deluge of 26/7 ing their proposal to redevelop their old The news hit the front pages but there
The attempt to cynically tap into and exploit that PILs but like a chain-smoker, we live in that Mumbai realised that the Mithi building, "Hum Bambai se Dubai tak has been no follow-up. Expecting a re-
primeval fear of death marks a new low, even for Indian pol- denial of lung cancer. Accepting the re- was not a nullah but a river running makaan bana sakte hain’’. action from Maharashtra, which has
itics. By now, the Indian voter has developed a pretty good ality of climate change, global warm- from Powai lake to Mahim creek. In While most of Chitale’s recommen- no town planners in its urban develop-
understanding of how poll promises made by political par- ing, melting polar caps and rising sea fact, the Santacruz airport had divert- dations were accepted, the one to de- ment bodies and no hydrologists in its
levels is expecting too much from our ed Mithi river on its own to extend the The classic case of marcate flood-risk zones and to regu- water resources department is futile.
ties and politicians work. While they may not exactly be urban flooding is
written on water, they know that by and large, pre-election politicians. Their attitude is typified by runway, aggravating the flooding. late construction in them remained on However, there are still some scien-
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who The Chitale committee had proposed Mumbai. It calls paper because of opposition from the tists left in our scientific institutions
promises are to be taken largely as a statement of intent and
dismissed climate change as some- setting up river development authori- itself India’s builder lobby. and they say that while not all of Mum-
direction and not actual milestones to which those making
the promises can be held accountable. So the BJP and Prime
thing imaginary. ties for each of Mumbai’s four rivers – financial capital Only half the projects initiated on the bai will be submerged by 2050, there
The classic case of urban flooding is Dahisar, Poisar, Oshiwara and Mithi -- and the Maximum basis of the committee’s recommenda- could be prolonged flooding in low-ly-
Minister Narendra Modi, who promised to create two crore Mumbai. It calls itself India’s financial but it has been done only in the case of tions have been completed. Meanwhile, ing areas. After all, South Mumbai’s
jobs a year, and to bring back black money stashed overseas City but Mumbai
capital and the Maximum City but Mithi. Here too, the grand plans for riv- has forgotten that new flooding spots have emerged be- Pydhonie (which translates as 'foot
so that every Indian could get “Rs 15 lakh in their bank ac- Mumbai has forgotten that at its core, it er rejuvenation and beautification of cause of fresh construction over the wash’ in Marathi), was so named be-
count” in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, had no is nothing but seven islands fused to- the banks were reduced to pre-mon-
at its core, it is last 15 years. This is the story of Hy- cause on this stretch, the feet got wet
problems convincing voters to resoundingly back them for gether just 300 years ago. soon de-silting. nothing but seven derbad, Pune and several other cities. while crossing from one island to an-
a second term, despite manifestly failing to deliver on either Instead of incorporating this truth in The cardinal sin of constructing the islands fused Mumbai is now eyeing one of the last other at low tide.
of these pre-poll promises. What was important was the un- its urban planning, it has gone on spree Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), by re- together just 300 open spaces left in the city, the salt pan Countries like China are seeking to
stated understanding that while these targets might not ac- after spree of reckless and haphazard claiming the Mithi estuary had already years ago. Instead lands. The Mumbai Metropolitan and counter urban flooding through the
tually be met, a sincere attempt would at least be made to- growth. Everyone here talks of vertical been committed two decades before of incorporating Region Development Authority (MMR- concept of sponge cities, which are
wards those ends. growth/skyscrapers but how many 26/7. The BKC, the financial nerve-cen- this truth in its DA) is looking at seven such plots total- structured to absorb and capture rain
But the BJP’s current promise is much more than a lofty know the depth of its drains or the tre of India, went six feet under, on urban planning, it ing 300 acres between Kanjurmarg and water, say through a wide unpaved
poll promise. It seeks to tap into the fear of death, which has width of its sewers. Out of sight is out of 26/7. The mistake was repeated by re- Mulund for development. strip running along the road which fa-
has gone on spree
gripped the world at large in the pandemic. It is also, quite mind. The plan for a business district claiming mangrove land in the Gore- By the way, the MMRDA itself is cilitates percolation.
untenable at the moment. There is no vaccine candidate was passed in a jiffy but a storm-water gaon-Malad stretch for a software hub,
after spree of housed in BKC. And next to the MMR- Perhaps we should also look at the
available. There is no clarity on by when a vaccine will be drain project was held up for a decade. Mindspace. reckless and DA building is the drive-in theatre, now model where professional managers
available. Nobody knows whether it will be available at a What do you expect if not flooding? The new airport is now coming up in haphazard growth. shrunk, with the major chunk used for run the city, instead of politicians and
scale large enough to be sufficient to inoculate every resi- Mumbai got its first wake-up call on Navi Mumbai in a basin of three rivers a massive commercial complex that IAS officers.
dent of India’s third most populous state, leave alone the rest July 26, 2005, when over 400 people per- originating from the Matheran hills. stands less than 10 metres away from If the Harappan cities had sophisti-
of the country. No one knows at what price such a vaccine ished in a deluge caused by the heaviest As for mangroves, they are fair game. Mithi river. cated drainage systems there’s no rea-
can be made available – and whether that price can be af- rainfall the city had witnessed in a cen- An additional fag for someone who The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) son why we can’t.
forded by the Bihar government. The Centre – which is also tury. Now, linking this is to climate smokes a pack a day is no big deal. laws that protect the coastline are be-
ruled by the BJP – has already been quick to point out that change, which results in freak weather, This is a city where hills have been ing systematically diluted and disman- The writer is an independent journalist
since health is a state subject, it can only make vaccines is anathema to our legislators. In the levelled and the debris used to fill the tled. And as if to add insult to injury, a based in Mumbai
available to the states at a “reasonable cost” and it is up to
the states to decide whether they want to charge their citi-
zens or not.
ONE FLEW OVER THE NEST #Namaste Trump SATURDAY'S SWIPE
LETTERS
This is cynical doublespeak. Now that the genie of free TO THE
vaccines has been let out of the bottle, it simply cannot be put
back. Already, three more states have announced that they
Look at China. How filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India, it’s filthy. The air is filthy: US President Donald Trump on climate change during the Presidential debate EDITOR
too, will offer the vaccines free. This will inevitably spur a Trump did not say ’India’s air is filthy’, as many are pointing out. He said ‘Look at India, it’s filthy!’. Which meant India as a whole is filthy. Which is a worse insult.
competitive race to the bottom. Given the massive revenue All that money, energy and time spent on Namaste Trump instead of containing a pandemic! Unfair jab
Abhiti (����‫ )یتیھبا‬Sharma@AbhitiINC
shortfalls that all states are facing, even if such an assurance Ref: 'Divide & Rule vaccine:
were to be implemented, it is clear that it can be done so only Only a true friend will tell you the truth. The air in India is filthy. Not the people. The air; filthy. It is Bihar v/s rest of
at the cost of other, and perhaps equally pressing require- Mr Stan@sjonyems India' (October 23).
ments. So hiding slums in Ahmedabad during Namaste Trump didn’t work. Atrocious! At a time when
Despite the vaunted “social engineering” under the St. Sinner@retheeshraj10 the entire country is facing
decade-plus of the JD(United)—BJP alliance, Bihar is per- the cruel onslaught of the
ilously close to being a failed state. It ranks dead last among Our frand Dolan Trump : ‘Look at India, the air is filthy.’ Bhakts : "Namaste Trump ji."
pandemic, it is highly
states in per capita net state domestic product. Its average Advaid@Advaidism
condemnable that Finance
household income is less than half that of Kerala’s. Bihar Damn it. Modi ji built special walls to cover the filth enroute airport during Namaste Trump. Yet, Trump saw the filth? Namaste Trump wasted? Minister Nirmala
again ranks dead last in the Human Development Index Amit Tyagi@hiambuj Sitharaman has promised
rankings. Its gross enrolment ratio in higher education is free vaccines for Bihar in
just 13.6, which means less than 14 out of every 100 youths in the BJP's election
the target age group of 18-23 years is actually pursuing high- manifesto. If the BJP-led
er education. As a result, a state with one of the highest con- When J&K showed reluctance to go with Pakistan, ‘Operation Gulmarg’ was initiated government at the Centre
tributions to India’s “demographic dividend” stands to gain is interested in the welfare
the least from it. It also contributes the most to migrant and well-being of all the

Kashmir 1947: A case of Pak perfidy


labour and consequently, has been hit hardest by the forced citizens of India, they
return of such workers. should have announced
Apart from some competitive one-upmanship in the area of free vaccines for all
jobs – the BJP topped the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav’s promise of Indians. Of late, we find
10 lakh jobs with a 19 lakh jobs promise -- none of these press- that such benefits are
The invading Pakistan militia force (tribesmen) plies of transport and petrol. Lorries and fuel conceded only to the BJP-
ing issues form a part of the debate. Regardless of who wins
in Bihar, the cause of principled politics is already a loser. Looking Back were mainly recruited by officials of the North-
West Frontier Province Government and incited
were made available through active assistance of
Pakistani officials. Petrol was a rationed com-
ruled states. How can
taxpayer money be given
RAGHVENDRA to 'jehad' by the premier of the province, ably as-
sisted by the Pirs of Manki Sharif, Wana, and oth-
modity, to be supplied against coupons issued by
district officials. While civilians in Pakistan
as an election bonanza
only to one particular
FPJ ARCHIVES OCTOBER 23, 1962 SINGH, IAS (RETD) er Maliks. The Pir of Wana was one of the most found it impossible to obtain petrol, it was easily state, for votes?
successful recruiting agents. He would host the made available to the tribesmen. In the North- Sitharaman's refusal to
militia and then arrange for them to meet the West Frontier Province, the movement of motor take questions on this

F
or Mohammed Ali Jinnah and his newly cre- deputy commissioner of Dera Ismail Khan. The vehicles was regulated. Transportation of motor blatant violation raised by
ated Pakistan, it would have completely tribesmen would then visit the superintendent of vehicles, other than military, was not allowed, ex- reporters is a case in point.
negated his two-nation theory had the police, Dera Ismail Khan and pick up rifles and cept on permits. Vehicles carrying raiders were Tharcius S Fernando
princely state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) decid- ammunitions. Thus armed, they returned to the exempt. Their lorries had Pakistan number
ed to opt for India. When J&K showed reluctance Pir who would again speak to them. Thereafter, in- plates; those damaged in action were repaired in
to go with Pakistan, ‘Operation Gulmarg’ was ini- cited to war and tempted by the promise of loot in the workshops of Rawalpindi. Free for all
tiated. The Pakistan government decided to attack Kashmir, they left in lorries for their destination. Much of the modern equipment used by the The Bharatiya Janata
J&K militarily, the attack commencing on Octo- raiders came from military stores of the Pakistan Party (BJP) has assured
ber 22, 1947. Operation Gulmarg had taken government. The raiders' armoury included light the people of Bihar that
months to plan. Pakistan’s prime minister was in- Operation Gulmarg was launched from machine-guns, mortars, mines, signal equipment the corona vaccine will be
volved in the planning and so was the chief min- bases in Pakistan. Rawalpindi was one of and wireless sets with batteries. These were used provided free of cost if the
ister of North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan’s in quantities far exceeding those lost by the Indian BJP comes to power in the
finance minister, prominent leaders of Muslim
the main centres. The raiders were and Kashmir State Forces. As the fighting in Kash- Bihar assembly elections.
League and members of the Pakistan army. Jin- concentrated in towns like Sargodha, mir progressed, the number of raiders increased Coronavirus has infected
nah himself greenlighted the 'operation’. Abbottabad, Wazirabad and Jhelum, and the quality of their equipment improved. Ra- all the states in the
Major Khurshid Anwar, the 42-year-old Naib- dio messages from the raiders were regularly in- country. So how is it fair to
Salar-e-Aala of the Muslim League National which served as supply depots and tercepted. The codes employed in these messages provide free vaccines to
Guard, led the North-West Frontier tribesmen in training centres. Here, the raiders rested were among those used by the Indian Army before Bihar alone? Promises
the attack on Srinagar. His main column could and recuperated, replenished supplies, Partition. Pakistan Army personnel, ostensibly on should not be made just to
make considerable progress on the Kohala-Bara- leave, were fighting with the raiders. win elections. This is why
mulla road, fanning out and devastating villages sold women and consolidated loot After August 15, 1947, the supplies of essential people are wary of rulers.
and towns on either side. Uri fell to the raiders. collected during raids. Wounded raiders items from Pakistan to Jammu & Kashmir had Sudhir Kangutkar
On October 26, they captured Baramulla and in- begun to decrease, leading eventually to their dis-
dulged in an orgy of rape, arson and looting. were also treated in hospitals and continuance. Supplies of oil, food, salt, sugar and
Women were abducted, and a large number were dispensaries in these towns, many of cloth from west Punjab ceased. The working of Appeal to voters
held in a camp at Alibeg in terrible conditions. Al- which were significantly, important the postal system became impossible. Bank ac- Here is my appeal to voters
ibeg was run by the 'Azad Kashmir Government'. counts were inoperable. Postal certificates were in the impending Bihar
Originally, it had over a thousand Kashmiri cantonments of the Pakistani army. not cashed, cheques of West Punjab Banks were election. Please cast your
women of all religions. Of these, only a couple not honoured. Even the branches of the Imperial vote on the issue of jobs,
hundred survived. Bank were hard put to meet their obligations. education, healthcare and

Pledges signed in blood


Faced with this threat, the Maharaja of Kashmir Operation Gulmarg was launched from bases in The civilian administration of Pakistan had development. Do not be
approached the Government of India for assis- Pakistan. Rawalpindi was one of the main cen- worked in tandem with the Muslim League. Jin- misled by political
tance on October 24. On the day after, the state for- tres. The raiders were concentrated in towns like nah was the head of the Muslim League, as well propaganda, go by the
PATNA, Oct. 22 (PTI) -- Five hundred pledges signed in blood by mally acceded to India. On October 27, the first Sargodha, Abbottabad, Wazirabad and Jhelum. as head of the state. Many officials down the line record of the candidate. It
youths of Bihar to work in any capacity to defend the motherland contingent of Indian airborne troops landed in These towns served as supply depots and training were trusted members of the League. A junior is best to even ignore your
against Chinese aggression have been sent to Defence Minister Srinagar in the morning. However, it was not un- centres. Here, the raiders rested and recuperated, government official could be quite high in the own ideological leanings if
Krishna Menon. til reinforcements arrived that Indian troops could replenished supplies, sold women and consoli- Muslim League command. The show was run by the candidate you deem
This was disclosed at a meeting of youths held here under the go on an offensive. On November 8, Indian troops dated loot collected during raids. Wounded the Muslim League high command, working otherwise suitable belongs
auspices of the newly-formed "Bihar Youths Antu-Chinese recaptured Baramulla. They found the town com- raiders were also treated in hospitals and dispen- through its trusted officers. A fair number of to a different
Aggression Front" by its president. pletely ruined. Indian troops captured Uri on No- saries in these towns. It was not without signifi- them held positions in the government. political party. Vote
Several youth leaders addressing the meeting exhorted young vember 15 and removed any serious threat to Sri- cance that many of these towns were important responsibly and in the
men to gird up their loins and be prepared for shedding their last nagar and the surrounding Valley. This concluded cantonments of the Pakistani army. The writer is Secretary, Ministry of Culture, larger interest of the state.
drop of blood in the defence of their country. the first stage of the Kashmir operation. The raiders were properly assisted with sup- Government of India. Noor Ahmad

Letters to the editor should be sent to: The Free Press Journal, Free Press House, Free Press Journal Marg, 215 Nariman Point, Mumbai. 400021; Fax: 22874688, e-mail: mail@fpj.co.in; Type letter, leave space, write your views and name. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
THE SIKH TIMES EDITORIAL New Delhi, Saturday, 24 October, 2020 6

Air pollution and COVID- Opposition must think harder about political economy of
19: Risk of infection,
precautions to take protest to counter new political economy of reform
What does India’s political economy look like on tariffs in different sectors. It will be
in the aftermath of a series of high-profile interesting to see if these negotiations are
economic reforms that the Narendra Modi governed by an economic or a political
government has undertaken? The economic economy logic.
effects of these reforms will play out over the Finally, this government is comfortable with
long run. This piece is not an economic greater concentration of capital. The argument
assessment of these policies. It is a reflection Despite economic headwinds, it has not that there is a need to create national champions
on the political economy of the Modi model, who can leverage scale will be used to justify
which is now acquiring systematic contours. been easy to use the economy as a point the dominance of the Ambanis over the Indian
First, broadly speaking, macro-economic economy to a point that is unhealthy. But can
stability matters. But, politically, the with which to attack the Modi this nexus be converted into a political narrative
government remains convinced that inflation of corruption? This is going to be difficult. In
The adverse impact of air pollution on one’s carries serious political risks. This is going to government. It has still positioned itself the previous anti-corruption movement, the
health is not unknown. From respiratory remain a cornerstone of macro political media was complicit in the campaign and it
problems, eye irritation to cardiovascular economy. as a breaker of the status quo. acquired plausibility because of existing high-
diseases, air pollution can cause a lot of Second, the relative bargaining power of profile transactional corruption. Structural
serious health issues.With the increasing air capital in relation to labour will continue to corruption will be harder to convert into a
pollution levels in Delhi NCR amid the radically favour capital. This has been the trend for political narrative.
ongoing coronavirus pandemic, experts are the last two decades. In emerging economies, there Fifth, there is a deepening of the new welfare state.
all the more concerned about how high will be a race to the bottom as far as sensible Interestingly, the Modi government’s focus here is on six
pollution levels can aggravate the situation, protections for labour go. Indonesia has, like India, of the new indicators that the Oxford Multi-Dimensional
suggesting an increase in the spread of the gutted labour protections. The previous regime of Poverty Index uses to supplement traditional indicators
virus. labour laws was deeply broken and it served neither of health and education. Cooking fuel, water, sanitation,
the cause of capital efficiency nor labour protection. electricity, housing and assets. These schemes have
How are air pollution and COVID-19 related? So, it is politically pointless to defend the status quo. several political advantages. These are vital initiatives.
Dr Richa Sareen, Consultant, pulmonogy and Politically, it was easy to portray the small section of They target women, and are visible. The real question is
critical care medicine, Fortis Hospital Vasant the economy that has protected labour as an whether outcomes are translating into results. For
Kunj, told indianexpress.com, “We will get to aristocracy impeding the progress of other excluded instance, the Ujjwala Yojana was quite successful in
see in the coming days but it has definitely labour rather than as a bulwark against capital. But reaching its target of the number of new connections.
been predicted that with the increase in air the migrant labour crisis throws up another puzzle. But, according to government data, per capita cylinder
pollution and upcoming winter, there is a The degree of hardship inflicted on migrant labour is argument will turn on convincing affected farmers of the use under the scheme in 2019 was 3.28 refills,
chance that the coronavirus is going to spread still not showing up in any serious political backlash. One government’s intentions. The events in Punjab could yet suggesting that the gap between the number of
further. With air pollution, especially smog, explanation is the politics of faith — like demonetisation, spiral into a crisis if not handled well. But there is little connections and the usage you would expect based on
particles remain suspended in the air for a this punishment has not deeply broken faith in Modi. But evidence of a national opposition to the bills.Fourth, state- those connections was very wide. But these are the six
longer duration. So the aerosol, which is the there may be something deeper: That migrant labour has capital relations. State and capital relations will remain schemes to monitor closely. We need more objective
major source of COVID-19 infection, will been always so radically disenfranchised in political very politically cosy. In significant sections of Indian scrutiny of these schemes of the kind MGNREGA was
also be in the air for a long time and can spread terms that they have little faith that any alternative capital, there is a deep commitment to the Hindutva subject to under UPA. But a lot will depend upon whether
the virus more.” dispensation would have done better for them. So no project. The government understands that control of the the government narrative on these schemes can be
“Secondly, air pollution in itself is harmful for political strike against Modi. information order requires control of capital; so it will countered with some real evidence that these schemes are
the lungs and the respiratory tract and can lead Third, in agriculture, the problem is similar to labour — any superintend it. Corruption will be more structural rather not delivering. From a political point of view, the
to its inflammation. This can predispose you position that simply involves defending the status quo than transactional. This has the advantage of being able to challenge will be that while some of the government’s
to other infections including COVID-19,” she loses political support. Whether or not these bills will mobilise all the necessary funds, and yet at the same time claims may turn out to be inflated, will the shortfall be
added.With the festivals coming up (after result in greater prosperity for farmers is an open question. giving the impression that transactional corruption has sufficient to demonstrate government failure?
which air pollution levels generally increase) It depends on the follow-up. The political consequences come down. There are three areas of discretion that will Finally, there is the political economy of federalism that has
one needs to be very cautious, warned Dr of the agriculture bills are far-reaching in a state like continue to be the subject of state-capital negotiations. come under immense strain because of GST and the
Sareen. To keep illness at bay, she suggested Punjab where MSP is very significant. But the political First, there is no evidence to suggest that the channelling government’s encroaching on the state’s rights in recent
taking the following precautionary measures: effects will be largely concentrated in a few states like of credit will not, at the margins, continue to be directed to legislation. But the blunt truth is that, in the final analysis,
Punjab and Haryana. In fact, for those not in agriculture, the favourite players. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy the potency of this fault line depends on the states. If the
* People need to refrain from visiting crowded Code was a good legislation. But, as Urjit Patel argued in
the bills strengthen the government’s reformist BJP wins Bihar and Bengal, the potential of significant
markets and other places. credentials. Ideologically, it is not easy for the Congress to Overdraft, the government undermined its own revolt on federalism issues will diminish.
* They need to wear a mask whenever they step mount an opposition to the bills, because their policies legislation, largely it seems so that it could still exercise Despite economic headwinds, it has not been easy to use the
out along with adhering to other precautions were headed in the same direction, even if they might have discretion. So the political economy suggests that we are economy as a point with which to attack the Modi
like maintaining social distancing and using been more nuanced. Also, nothing in the bills precludes not going to see major financial sector reforms soon. With government.
sanitisers. the state from continuing with MSP. So, the whole Atmanirbhar Bharat, there is more scope for negotiation
* Use air purifiers at home because indoor air
pollution can also hamper your health.
* People who suffer from chronic respiratory
issues like asthma or chronic obstructive
Unrest in Pakistan: On movement against Imran Khan government
Events in Pakistan’s Sindh province from London, named Army Chief Opposition to prison. The co- General’s home and forced him to
pulmonary disease (COPD) should avoid in the last few days indicate that Gen. Qamar Bajwa and ISI chief chairperson of the Pakistan’s sign the FIR against Mr.
going out, specifically during early morning the Imran Khan government is Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed for “rigging People’s Party and former Safdar. Top echelons of Sindh’s
hours and late evenings when the air �Popular dealing with a serious political elections”, restrictions on the Pakistan President, Asif Ali police force, backed by the
pollutions levels are relatively higher.
* Avoid exercising outside, specifically during sentimen crisis, perhaps its biggest, since media, harassment of journalists,
taking office in 2018. Eleven putting pressure on the judiciary
Zardari, is already in custody on Provincial PPP government, rose in
money laundering charges, while outrage, applying en masse for
early morning and late evening hours.
* People should avoid burning firecrackers or it
t is Opposition parties, which have and subverting other democratic
n o w f o r m e d t h e P a k i s t a n institutions. While most Pakistani
the government has requested the leave after expressing their distress
U.K. many times to extradite Mr. over the humiliation meted out to
will only add to the pollution levels.
* Around this time of the year, it is best to get
building Democratic Movement (PDM),
have held two mammoth rallies,
politicians, Mr. Khan included,
h a v e a t t a c k e d P a k i s t a n ’s
Sharif so that he can be charged their chief. This was an
and tried again.With the next unprecedented response which
part of a plan for nationwide o m n i p o t e n t m i l i t a r y generation of Bilawal Bhutto and could have seen a more serious
vaccinated against influenza and pneumonia.
Although we do not have the coronavirus
against agitations, calling for the establishment when in opposition,
resignation of the PTI government and drop the rhetoric when they
Maryam Nawaz taking the stage at stand-off between the police and the
PDM rallies, the government Army.
vaccine yet, these vaccines would protect you
from being co-infected with any other
the Army over law and order, food
shortages, inflation and gas cuts.
come to power, Mr. Sharif’s
comments indicate a popular
swung into its next act: Matters are under control for the
arresting Ms. Nawaz’s husband, moment after Gen. Bajwa has
illness.To combat air pollution and illnesses
induced by it, you also need to follow a
and the They have called the Prime sentiment that is chafing at the
Minister both a failure at curbs by the Pakistani
Captain Safdar, after a midnight promised an inquiry report on the
raid on their hotel in Karachi, controversial arrest within the next
healthy diet. Dr Sareen suggested the
following:
governm governance and the military’s establishment.
“puppet”. But what has surprised The PTI government’s response is a
charging him with disrespecting 10 days. However, with politics on
Jinnah’s mausoleum by raising the boil again and the PDM
* As far as possible, have homecooked food that
is high in protein.
ent many is their solidarity as well as well-worn script. For the past few
the sharpness of their attack: at the months, government prosecutors,
anti-government slogans there. planning at least four more rallies
What made matters erupt was the this year, it is clear that Pakistan’s
rally in Gujranwala, former PM on Mr. Khan’s orders, have arrest that had reportedly been ruling party will find its feet held to
* Avoid skipping meals and keep your and Pakistan Muslim League (N) focused on preparing cases to send carried out after Army rangers the fire more frequently.
hydration levels high. chief Nawaz Sharif, speaking as many members of the surrounded the Sindh Inspector

By relocating National Museum and IGNCA,


we are letting go of our history, heritage
to stay on Curzon Road. I would look forward to The architect in-charge of the project has
Under the new plan, the IGNCA weekend outings when my mother (Ajeet Cour)
would take me boating at India Gate, followed
stated that many of these trees have
outlived their lives — that’s the first time I
will be shifted to another by a children’s film at Sapru House or a visit to am hearing of something like that. We
the National Museum to view artefacts that know of trees that have lived for hundreds
location, while the National introduced us to the rich heritage of India. This of years — look at the Bodhi tree in
Museum will move to North and was the 1960s, when Delhi was still
uncongested and innocent. As a child, I was
Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka) and
Bodhgaya.Under the new plan, the IGNCA
South Block, which is a high- fascinated by the sheer magnificence of the
National Museum, its round building with
will be shifted to another location, while
the National Museum will move to North
security area and so intimidating. pillars, circular corridors and sculptures. You and South Block, which is a high-security
entered like you were entering a temple of art. area and so intimidating. Our attempt
In a recent newspaper article, I read how architectural The charm of its magical courtyard, with life- should be to bring art closer to people, not
plans for the “other buildings” under the Central Vista size sculptures and high-ceiling galleries, has take it further away from them. The
Redevelopment project — after the Parliament — are not worn off with time. I have seen visitors footfalls are bound to be negatively
being readied, which includes the Indira Gandhi offering flowers to the lying Vishnu in the affected. As artists, we are also concerned
National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and National corridor, others marvelling at the life-sized Kali Vatsyayan’s vision, who recently passed away. She that most of the collection is not
Museum.Since March, I have been reaching out to the and Kuber sculptures near the entrance. had conceived of Mati Ghar with so much affection, documented and, therefore, there is no guarantee that
government to express concerns of the artist I have been there thousands of times, but I still enter with and I am sure it would have hurt her to see what is being everything will be shifted safely.
community on the relocation of the two cultural a sense of wonder. I will never forget the busloads of planned now. I have participated in several exhibitions In March, just after the lockdown, the land use laws were
centres that have played such a crucial role in the school students I interacted with when I was exhibiting of women artists here, including one dedicated to changed from public and recreational to “office”. It’s
promotion of art in independent India. Their central my Nanaks in digital form early this year. Its collection Nirbhaya in 2014. The majestic venue has hosted so important to acknowledge this is also a cultural land
location attracts hundreds of art lovers, who can just has also inspired much of my own work — from the many literary festivals — memorable exhibitions like with two major art institutions. During one of the
saunter in after a walk in the India Gate lawns. I call Chola bronzes to the starving Buddha sculpture from “Kaal” (1991) and Satish Gujral’s retrospective meetings of architects I attended in March, I was rather
them the mai-baap of Indian artists and moving them Taxila. I have turned to the miniatures in its famed (2017).The idea of using the space for office buildings appalled that these buildings were mentioned as mere
would snatch these away from us. galleries so often, as have so many other artists. For is preposterous. There are more than 600 trees at the plot numbers. These mean much more to us. They
My own relationship with these two institutions goes me, it is the Kohinoor of museums in India. IGNCA — including Delhi’s oldest Molshree tree — belong to the artists and by letting them go, we are
back several years, when I was around eight and used It is the same with IGNCA, which was Kapila and we don’t know how many of them will be razed. letting go of our art history and heritage.
EDIT
THE ASIAN AGE | SATURDAY | 24 OCTOBER 2020 | NEW DELHI
pg 5

24 OCTOBER 2020

Polls before policy? BJP Subhani

vaccine carrot unethical


T
he announcement of Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman
on the Assembly election campaign trail in Bihar on Thursday that
the BJP would offer free anti-Covid vaccines to everyone in Bihar
is apt to be seen as a con by the people of the state. This is because
it is widely understood that the timelines for the arrival of a safe, effective,
efficacious vaccine are fuzzy and confusing.
Top labs and top scientists in the world have made contradictory obser-
vations on this matter, although some governments, including our own,
have chosen the seemingly reassuring way and hinted that we should have
the cure in the bag early next year. Here too the basis is purely political,
with not a shred of science attaching to it.
The government strategy is clearly to spread a ‘feel-good’ sentiment. The
underlying message is that the government is in control, and that we are
in trustworthy hands. Ms Sitharaman’s
If cynical statement appear to attempt to further that
strategy, except that she was speaking on an
LETTERS
The ‘perils’ of euphoria:
opportunism is what election platform and unveiling her party’s
the BJP is playing at election manifesto for the state poll, where
in order to defend free vaccine is point one on the agenda.
its electoral position There are hosts of problems with such an
THE VACCINE BOGEY
announcement, especially when it comes
in Bihar, then Bihar from the country’s finance minister. Her
At a time when the entire
can ask about the wearing of the party hat is not relevant here.
promise of a ‘special What’s noteworthy is that only the ruling
package’ that has party could have made such a statement, and
been spoken of not its opponents. The Election Commission
will therefore be called upon to see if this is a
ad nauseam by violation of the principle of each party being
Govt messaging flawed alism with convenient now. The government is
country is facing the
cruel onslaught of the
coronavirus, it is in bad
taste on the part of
chief minister Nitish offered a level playing field. This is as far as comparisons, positive spin playing games, making finance minister Nirmala
Kumar for more than elections go, but other questions also arise. de-emphasising the rising money and enabling big
a decade other If Bihar is to get the Covid vaccine free, will
states also get it free? Has the cost of
Shashidhar cases and deaths, and a people to make money.” Sitharaman to raise the
new bogey (jumla) of
Nanjundaiah
defensive tone. In the As the World Health
this been calculated? If the zero-price favour interim, according to some Organisation (WHO),
is only for the state going to the polls, then it is clearly a bribe — a case of reports, the government points out, we are also in
free vaccines to the peo-
the use of political power to influence an election in which the ruling coali- set up a committee to the middle of an infodem- ple of Bihar conditional
tion’s prospects look less promising than previously. More, there is also examine how to state with ic: “An overabundance of to the BJP’s victory. It
the question of all states having equal status in the eyes of the Centre. conviction that it did not information — some accu-
triggers automatic recall

W
If cynical opportunism is what the BJP is playing at in order to defend its hy are you gone about their Covid botch up its policy on the rate and some not —that
electoral position in Bihar, then Bihar can ask about the promise of a “spe- people not narratives with more plan- migrant crisis. makes it hard for people to of the `15 lakh to every
cial package” that has been spoken of ad nauseam by chief minister Nitish listening?” ning and conviction. The “The industrialists and find trustworthy sources
Kumar for more than a decade. That might concept of mixed messag- innovators turned the and reliable guidance
citizen promise made by
On the coronavirus front, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pointed as well have ing is valid — we need to Covid situation into an when they need it.” But the party during the 2014
the right way recently when he said that in the distribution of the vaccine been the central problem hear the problem along opportunity, and success- should the blame be
the country will have to take the right lessons from the planning of logis-
general election. Only
for Prime Minister with the solution. fully established a home- passed on as usual to the
tics in the process of holding national elections or coping with natural Narendra Modi’s seventh Mr Modi’s first address grown ventilator indus- social media, where mil- this time, the fictitious
calamities. This would need a national-level conceptualisation and distri- coronavirus-related ad- to the nation after the pan- try,” health secretary lions of people are talking beneficiaries of this claim
bution effort. Those at the frontlines of risk, such as health workers, will dress to the nation on demic broke out was Rajesh Bhushan said in about it and passing their
have to be prioritised, followed by those placed high under a hierarchical October 20, when he mixed — an appeal to peo- August, adopting a story- own judgments, and to our
will be limited to Bihar. It
gradation of vulnerability, for example elderly people with co-morbidities. exhorted us to adhere to ple to be cautious as well teller’s tone and demean- mainstream media, where is time the Election
The BJP’s announcement in Bihar mocks such planning and places nar- the Covid-19 safety norms as an appeal to their faith. our. “The biggest news the bombarding of ever-
row politics above the nation. Commission is empow-
and not falsely assume “This loud sound is for this week is that we have developing stories and
that the coronavirus has thanksgiving, and also for conducted two crore eclectic insights lead to ered to take note of such
gone. The answer to that the beginning of the victo- tests… The number of public confusion, and outrageously fake
presumed question, how- ry march in a long fight,” recovered cases is more leave the elephant in the
ever, lies in his govern- Mr Modi said in a tweet than double the active room unaddressed? promises and asked to
Pope and family values ment’s political messag-
ing in its
communications.
health
that followed his speech.
As though in a Pavlovian
response, his followers
cases.”
These are briefings of
what the government
Already, news platforms
must grapple with evolv-
ing information and
publish a report card
based on them.
Tharcius S. Fernando
C
hristians live their lives in the perpetual fear of their sins catching The problem is by no took out marches in the hopes will be seen as insights. Additionally,
up with them as they fight the world, the flesh and the devil but Jesus means exclusive to India. streets, disobeying the achievements rather than television news channels Chennai
Christ would not have intended it that way when he built his church The United States and lockdown norms and problems. That fact that both relay and bust silly
on the rock called Peter, the first Pope. The Lord was unequivocal when he India now have the most affirming their faith in a the pandemic is far from myths about the virus. On
said “my yoke is light and my burden is easy”, promising to make a break
with a believer’s life till then, tied to the tough knots of rules, rituals and
numbers of Covid-19 cases,
and arguably, mixed mes-
leader’s words. Is down-
playing statistics the
gone and is still worsen-
ing is downplayed.
the other hand, they are
carriers of information
TALK TO FARMERS
sets of beliefs. The Church had different ideas about itself. Over the course sages have exacerbated answer? This was a criti- Euphoria is an obvious and political narrative. If YOU CANNOT expect farmers to
of history, it built on itself immense structures and then the parapherna- the crisis. The 2020 Ig cal, almost rhetorical, impact of the spin among the news-you-can-use understand complex laws and regu-
lia to protect them. The yoke ceased to be light and the burden grew to be Nobel Prizes for Medical question that I was asked believers. We see it all becomes so mind-bog- lations. It is natural for people to be
daunting. Education —the global at a recent webinar. around us — educated, gling, politically charged apprehensive as soon when the exist-
Pope Francis, the bag-carrying Franciscan in Jesuit robe who wrote satirical “awards” for the In times of crisis, govern- urbane people walking in narratives only exacer- ing procedure of operation is
encyclical fratelli tutti to drive home the point that all are brothers, now worst inventions and ments and media plat- groups with no masks on. bate public confusion. changed without any consultations.
says LGBT persons have the same rights every other who belongs to the ideas — was “awarded” to, forms put in their best In the environment of These official narratives The Centre's new laws just show how
species has. Francesco, the newly-released documentary on the Pope has among others, Prime efforts to make available conflicting messages, it often come in a nationalis- lack of communication can cause
him say this: “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re Minister Narendra Modi information and insights seems we assume the tic package, with a liberal trust deficit among people. Farmers
children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, and US President Donald that are immediate and most convenient possibili- dose of political have been dependent on government
or be made miserable because of it.” Trump for “teaching the usable. These include crit- ty — sometimes with braggadocio. subsidies and protectionist policies
The conservatives say the Pope has only reminded the families of LGBT world that politicians can ical health information to unexpected results. A few So, the narratives put out for decades. A sudden transition to a
persons not to throw them out and that it is not an imprimatur for them to have a more immediate insights that build a psy- days ago, I took an by government communi- free market model, however good or
start families of their own; the liberals see some fresh thought entering the effect on life and death chological fortification autorickshaw for a short cators — from the Prime advantageous that might be, will
dogmatic Holy See. The debate could heat up in the coming days, and well, than scientists and and acceptance. The ride to a store. The driver Minister to health min- lead to concerns. Therefore, the
Jesus had seen it happening. “Do not suppose that I have come to bring doctors can”. media’s dependence on did not have a mask on. istry officials — have often Centre must reach out to farmers.
peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” We would In the US, Mr Trump out- official sources is more When I questioned him, been too clever by half. Neha Jamal
say amen to that and then wait for the yoke to lighten and the burden to did himself in September pronounced than usual in his response was star- There is a dire need for Chandigarh
ease at the end of it all. by offering a confusing a crisis. In that commu- tling: “Corona is gone so them to rethink the strate-
array of rhetoric related to nicative framework, how I’ve stopped wearing it.” gy that is dividing the
the coronavirus, swaying
back and forth between
has our government has
disseminated public mes-
When I prodded further,
he explained: “There is
nation between the panic-
stricken and euphoric and
HUNG ASSEMBLY
conflicting messages. As a sages during this crisis, only sarkaari corona left stop taking undue advan- THIS REFERS TO your editorial
result, that nation is divid- and to what effect? tage of the media’s pro- on Bihar polls. Your observation
ed between mask-wearers When the pandemic nounced dependence on that Tejashwi Yadav is gaining
and non-wearers, largely broke out, the health min- kThe media, too, official sources during a ground in Bihar is a valid one. The
differentiated on political istry started issuing daily health crisis. The media, chief minister’s campaign is no
THE ASIAN AGE lines of whose voice they press briefings. These must realise too, must realise the dam- doubt lacklustre. Twenty seven per
trust. Just in one week in briefings were largely the damage age overdependence on cent of Bihar's population is less
T. VENKATRAM REDDY September, he announced informative, albeit com- overdependence official sources brings, then 28 years old and these people
Editor in Chief that he had “downplayed” pulsively political as this on official sources even in a crisis, and must have not seen Lalu rule. The
the pandemic in order to government is known to temper the official narra- promise of 10 lakh jobs by RJD is
Printer & Publisher: K. SUDHAKAR
make people “feel safer”. be. Then, with no warning brings, even in a tives with scientific reason exciting voters. In this scenario,
THE ASIAN AGE office is located at:
Exactly three days later, in May, the ministry took crisis, and must and simpler news that peo- the contest is wide open. Perhaps,
New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru National Youth Centre, 219 Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, New Delhi-110002. Phone:
(011) 23211124. he claimed he actually a break from the daily temper the official ple can use. it will result in a hung Assembly.
played it up. briefings and only restart- narratives with D.B. Madan
Prime Minister Modi’s ed them much later. The The writer is a New Delhi
Published and Printed on behalf of and for
◗ Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited, Jawaharlal Nehru National Youth Centre, 219 Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, own rhetoric has been far horror of the migrant exo-
scientific reason communications expert
New Delhi 110 002 at BFL Infotech Ltd., C-9, Sector-III, Noida -201301.
more measured than Mr dus had unfolded. When and simpler news and has led reputed Every Monday the best letter of
◗ London: Quickmarsh Ltd, 8th Floor, Block 2, Elizabeth House, 39 York Road, London, SE1 7NQ.
Trump’s. By that I mean the briefings did restart, that people institutes of media and the week wins `500. Email:
RNI Registration number: 57290/94 he and his ministers have there was forceful nation- can use communications asianage.letters@gmail.com.

“I am the last to finish a meal “aiy don’t be silly yaar!” when con- restaurant as a meeting place. I went absurd. It’s possible that the British trial, so the drama is confined to the
Farrukh Because I eat so slowly
O Bachchoo, must you
fronted with some absurdity.
Having seen two very compelling
there occasionally. No drugs were
ever found and no prosecutions
prosecutors were throwing the book,
or even a shelf of the library, at the
interaction between the lawyers, the
judge, the witnesses and defendants,
Dhondy be condemned
Because of this as lowly!”
courtroom dramas on television this
week, made me wonder why I hadn’t
brought, though the police smashed
up the restaurant, wrestled its clien-
accused in order to encourager les
autres.
with occasional contributions from
the press and the spectators.
Cabbages — From Row Row K. Gumbihara by
ever attempted the genre. I’ve always
thought writing should reflect one’s
tele and arrested its owner, workers
and customers without any evidence
The film of the trial, seen today as
a historical milestone in the settle-
This re-enactment of the Chicago 7
trial, with Bobby Seale, the only
& Kings Bachchoo own experience, observation, insight
and memory, even through the
with which to charge them.
In reaction to the raids the ‘politi-
ment of the new communities of
Britain, is as fair a representation of
black defendant, bound and gagged
in public when he vociferously

I
’ve written in several genres for invention, as In Shakespeare or cal’ elements and individuals in the the events and the court proceedings protested against a judgement of the
the small and large screen but, Dickens, of dramatic characters. community called a demonstration as dramatic reproduction can make bench, was also an essential and
gentle reader, never a courtroom The first of the TV shows I admired to expose these raids as racist it. Yes, I spotted twenty discrepan- telling record of US history.
drama. And that’s strange was a recreation of the British attacks on the innocent. The British cies or petty falsehoods in the And now, gentle reader, I am
because as a viewer I find them fasci- ‘Mangrove Nine’ trial of 1970, in establishment, and the West London retelling, with some characters with inspired to mull over which trial I
nating, mesmerising even, if well which four out of nine of the accused police force as its arm, had not faced the wrong names and wrong can dramatise and attempt to have

Tried! When Arun written with the suspense main-


tained till the last word, as in Billy
Wilder’s adaptation of Agatha
were friends and ‘comrades’ of mine
and two others were people I knew.
The trial arose from the West London
such a militant protest before. The
demonstrators, in the argot of the
time were shouting slogans of Black
accents, but the overall impression
captured the events before and in
the courtroom.
produced for the screen. To tell the
truth, I have only been indicted per-
sonally in one trial I which I defended
Christie’s Witness for The Police’s reaction to and attack on a power, notably “the Pigs, the Pigs, The second trial on screen was that myself and was acquitted of the
Jaitley batted for art Prosecution.
My taste for courtroom drama was
perhaps formed when reading my
demonstration of 160 black people
protesting against the unjustified,
repeated and destructive raids on a
we gotta get rid of the Pigs”. This
was, in that era, a porcine metaphor
for the police force (later known to
of the Chicago 7, individual leaders
of the hippie generation who
opposed the draft law which would
charge of assaulting policemen in a
London demonstration. Ten-minute
drama if that. Then there were two

and when my films grandfather’s discarded paperbacks


of the Perry Mason books by Erle
Stanley Gardner. I still feel com-
West Indian restaurant called The
Mangrove.
The restaurant was owned by the
the black young as “de Babylon”).
The confrontation ended in a mild
fracas, with flaying police batons,
send thousands of young men and
women to fight and possibly die in
the American war in Vietnam. I
trials in India in which I was periph-
erally involved: the failed attempt to
get my film Bandit Queen banned

weren’t banned pelled, though I restrain myself, from


dismissing a friend’s, foe’s or dining-
table-guest’s argument, with “that’s
incompetent, irrelevant and immate-
late Frank Critchlow and was sub-
jected to regular, vicious and
destructive raids by the West
London police under the pretext of
women being held on the ground by
three burly policemen and some
demonstrators aiming kicks at blue-
uniformed crotches and shins.
remember following reports of the
trial in which the accused had led
protests against the Democratic
Party convention in Chicago.
and the dismissal of the case against
my other film Mangal Pandey, the
Rising. Both dramatic — the first
with the future minister of the BJP,
rial!” Those were Perry Mason’s closing down a drug den. The Nine people ended up in court In both trials, the defendant’s fate the late Arun Jaitley, appearing to
nails in the coffin of evidence, but I Caribbean community of Notting accused of riot and affray and other was in the hands of a jury. Jurors are represent, believe it or not, freedom
suppose I am more inclined to say Hill and North Kensington used the lesser charges. These charges were not allowed to speak at or during a of speech and truth.
2
From
AHMEDABAD SATURDAY 24/10/2020
Editorial
‘The Water Phoenix’ author Rituparna
Editor’s Chatterjee is courage personified
Desk By Vishnu Makhijani
New Delhi,
How many women
have the courage to portray
auto fiction but it would be
very powerful as a memoir,
especially because stories of
healing from abuse are ex-
reaching out. I’m frankly
overwhelmed. We need
more such stories so that
there is a collective cathar-
in graphic detail the sexual tremely rare. Writing it was sis,” she added.
abuse they have suffered therefore an act of courage. However, it was not a
from age six? Rituparna I wasn’t afraid to revisit what book Chatterjee set out to
Chatterjee grew up through had happened, for I am the write. “I was trying to write
the “sheer hell” of it — and very rare case of someone another novel but it was not

The wrong dose “healed and made peace who has healed,” Chatterjee going anywhere. I sought
with the demons” to write told IANS in an email inter- refuge in writing poetry, as I
“The Water Phoenix” view from San Fransisco, have done since childhood,
(Bloomsbury), a memoir where she is now settled — and finished two volumes
By making vaccine a manifesto that she describes not as a far away from the rural Ben-
gal where she was born.
that I’ve chosen to never
publish. And still, no traction
catharsis for her but one
promise, BJP in Bihar gives a self- which she hopes will serve “I wasn’t afraid to revisit with the novel. Then while
serving response to a grave public as purge for the many
grownups who have never
what had happened, for I am
the very rare case of some-
painting, ‘The Water Phoe-
nix’ came, wanting to burst
health emergency. spoken out about their own one who has healed. This is out, and so it did, writing it-
Election manifestoes are not usually known for horrors of being abused and also why this book was not self fairly quickly.”
prudence or their measured use of language.Yet, even who are already reaching catharsis for me. But it will be Set in five parts — Child-
in times when political parties play to sentiments and out. for the many grownups who hood, Boarding School,
Tunisian President Kais Saied (R) meets with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves have never spoken about Bombay, Forgiveness and
raise false expectations without compunction in the Le Drian in Tunis, Tunisia, on Oct. 22, 2020. Saied held a meeting on Thursday with “I was afraid to write it
run-up to polls, the BJP’s manifesto promise for the though, even more so when their own horrors of being Freedom — the tale unfolds
visiting French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, during which they discussed abused and who are already through 21.
Bihar assembly elections is remarkable. Its promise of boosting bilateral ties and the Libyan peace. I was told it won’t work as
free vaccine against COVID-19 to every “Biharwasi” is
not just another instance of poll populism — it’s an
attempt to manipulate the anxieties caused by the
most lethal pandemic to have ravaged the world in
more than a century. Union minister of finance, and
senior party leader, Nirmala Sitharaman’s announce-
Bringing dignity to theatre has given me sense of fulfilment
Hyderabad, ministers and had a huge ex- director to be invited by Ox- ing postal cover in memory of and all of us were first timers. “Not so far, thank God,”
ment — “the people of Bihar will get vaccination for From an ad filmmaker to posure.” ford University to present his his father on his 33rd anniver- It had a brilliant screenplay. I he quipped with a smile
free once the production in India is on a large scale. a theatre actor, director and Moving images attracted work. sary and foundation’s 10th played a different role and when asked if he ever felt
This is our first poll promise as mentioned in the mani- playwright and now a film him and he was soon into Qadir Ali Baig Foundation, year of theatre revival. enjoyed it.” oppressed or overwhelmed.
festo” — reeks of desperation, and shows the BJP to actor, Mohammad Ali Baig making the ad films. He real- the biggest professional the- Having worked in adver- He is also working in an- Baig said he was never
be cavalier to the demands of science or requirements has donned many hats in his ized that he still had to intro- atre repertoire in the country tising and having run away other big-budget Tamil film asked such questions and
of administrative protocols, and to the need to re- career and with equal ease. duce himself as an ad film- today, conducts a theatre fes- from theatre, he knows what ‘Cobra’ in which he plays the this itself shows that this
spond to the stress suffered by society in the past 10 After making 450 ad films maker while with two feature tival for 10 days every year. It turns people off in theatre. “I role of hero Vikram’s guru. He situation is unfortunate.
months in large and compassionate ways. and documentaries, this films, neither the director nor gets entries from around the put myself in the audience is also working in Telugu He is of the opinion that
So far, the Centre and states have done a good job Hyderabadi accomplished the actor had to introduce world. According to him, no seat and think if a person has movie ‘Kalinga’ and along art and culture, religion, poli-
in pulling together for COVID management and have the task of reviving theatre themselves. other privately run theatre to watch one hour of drama with Rahul Bose in Netflix’s tics should stay away from
largely insulated the process from politics, while shar- and playing challenging roles Baig had a feeling that he festival in the country draws what would he like.There has ‘Baahubali’ (Hindi). each other. “When religion
ing best practices. In the past month, Prime Minister in South Indian films. lost his illustrious father be- as much crowd as this festival to be a mix of everything. I He feels that the current enters into politics and poli-
Narendra Modi, his cabinet colleagues and the A Padma Shri awardee in cause of theatre and hence in Hyderabad present my theatre in a way situation in the country is tics enters into religion you
government’s medical research agencies have indi- 2014 and a recipient of vari- he never took interest in the Baig says the revival of which touches people’s volatile.“It is a passing phase. see a different face of de-
cated that a policy to deliver the vaccine is in the works. ous international honours, field. “Theatre was stark and theatre is what has given him hearts and connects with One hopes and wishes it is a mocracy. Maybe for a sec-
Negotiations are on with vaccine manufacturers; price Baig says he is into theatre by intense for me. Frankly it was a sense of fulfillment. “My ad people. Theatre is for the au- passing phase.” tion of society it is right and
discovery is weeks, if not months, away, given that no accident and he is an actor by too boring for me then.” films, millions of bucks, mil- dience and not for self indul- He believes that for a section of society it is
candidate has cleared the final hurdle yet. Given India’s default. When the government of lions of viewers around the gence.” Hyderabad with its cosmo- not. The victimized section
population, the government needs to secure a reason- Grandson of a polo cham- undivided Andhra Pradesh world did not give me that Baig’s audience spans 4- politan culture and ‘Ganga will always say this is not
able price for maximum public safety; it is expected pion Mehmood Ali Baig and was commemorating 20th sense of fulfillment that these 5 generations. “Theatre Jamuni tehzeeb’ is a blessed right, the beneficiary section
to be free for vulnerable sections, subsidised for oth- son of theatre legend Qadir death anniversary of his fa- 10 productions of mine should be a mix of intellectual city and role model for the would say that is the way to
ers and the private sector is also being roped in. Union Ali Baig, he initially stayed ther in 2004, he realized that would have given me. I am stimulation as well as mean- rest of the country. be. There is no end to this
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has, rightly, cautioned away from both as he did not can pay the best tribute to not only paying tribute to my ingful entertainment. You “I never grew up think- debate. It is a very unhealthy
that the first lot may not be available to everyone and want to dilute their achieve- him by reviving the theatre. father but I am doing some- can’t give sermons on stage,” ing that I am Indian Muslim. debate, unfortunate de-
hinted at the rudiments of a prioritising strategy fo- ments. The state government thing beyond selling sham- said Baig who had directed I grew up thinking I am an bate.”
cusing on health workers and people with co-morbidi- Coming from a noble formed Qadir Ali Baig Theatre poo and coke.” on stage actors like Anupam Indian. We have old family He believes that Mus-
ties. Conversations over other critical issues like the family with a privileged child- Foundation and he was cho- He is proud that he is tak- Kher, Farooque Shaikh, Kabir friends who would not eat lims are already mainstream.
cost of a cold-chain infrastructure to transport, store hood, he had no academic sen to head it. People asked ing Hyderabad’s ‘Ganga Bedi and Shabana Azmi. three meals during Ramzan “They had been in main-
and distribute the vaccine are at an incipient stage — pressure. “I had no ambition. him why he was flogging a Jamuni tehzeeb’ and India’s Baig believes that theatre because we are fasting, who stream and will remain in
early reports indicate that COVID-19 vaccines will need Even if you ask me today what dead horse. cosmopolitan culture world- will remain as it has its own would get new clothes for mainstream. Indian Muslims
to be stored at temperatures lower than those of MMR your ambition is, I don’t know. It used to hurt him when wide. “We have also taken audience. He recalled that them and their children be- should not feel threatened.
and other traditional vaccines such as the BCG. How I am a very staunch believer people used to call ‘becharey Hyderabad heroes world- when films came people said cause Eid is approaching, You need to hold the
will resources be mobilised? Will it involve the private in destiny. As a Muslims we theatre waley’, how they sur- wide be it Quli Qutub Shah, theatre will die and the same who would visit our house ground and say listen I am
sector, and in what capacity? Such questions are inex- believe everything is preor- vive and what they earn.“To- Turrebaz Khan, Hayat Bakshi was said when television on Eid days. I have my staff who I am. I don’t need to be
tricable from those of equity and transparency in vac- dained,” he told IANS. day you should be proud that Begum or Osman Ali Pasha. came. who would not fix meetings apologetic or feel threat-
cine distribution and require discussion. To throw the Impressed by his design- the country’s highest paid They are the unsung heroes.” He wants to see profes- during certain time on Fri- ened. They have been living
complex matter into the hustle and bustle of election- ing work, an ad agency of- theatre actor outside “Quli: Dilon-ka-Shehzada’, sionalism in theatre. “It is day because they know I in the mainstream in 72
eering, making the vaccine a poll sop, is a rude rup- fered him a job after he Bollywood is from a play on the founder of ironic that India which gave have my commitments. countries around the world,
ture in a conversation that has only just begun. graduated from Osmania Hyderabad.” Hyderabad Quli Qutub Shah Natya Shastra to the world Similarly we have respect for why can’t they be in a main-
BJP leaders’ argument that this is the equivalent University. The agency was Baig feels that his biggest was performed at Oxford. 2,000 years ago, lacks profes- Diwali, Dasara, Holi and stream in a country, in a sub-
of a “loan-waiver” announcement is specious, at best. then handling print media accomplishment was bring- ‘1857:Turrebaz Khan’ had the sionalism in theatre today.” Sankranti. We never grew up continent where they had
Unlike a targeted poll sop, a COVID vaccine affects the campaigns for former Prime ing dignity to theatres and to world premiere at Edinburgh Baig also recently made in Hyderabad thinking I am been in mainstream for cen-
entire population, not just a section; it is critical to the Minister Rajiv Gandhi. “I take Hyderabad theatre to Festival Fringe. debut into films with Tamil a Muslim, you are my Hindu turies. Five to 10 years of
health of individuals and the community. Singling out started designing and writing the highest echelons of the- According to him, the un- blockbuster ‘Aruvi’ (2017) in friend or Christian friend. subjugation should not
one state as a beneficiary just because it is going to and one thing led to another. atre worldwide. He is the only precedented honour was the which he played the role of a You being a Muslim or non- make you feel threatened,”
vote is bad science, bad politics —and plain wrong. I also worked with 4-5 chief Indian playwright, actor and Government of India releas- police officer.“It was a cult film Muslim is a coincidence.” he added.

Pak supported 1947 invasion of Coronavirus gives fragile Rohtang Pass recovery time
Kashmir still has victims in trauma
port just as the tribal raiders spite being in India.
BY VISHAL GULATI
Manali,
cated at an altitude of
13,050 feet and 52 km from
tourist resort Manali in
to heavy snowfall.
After nearly six months
of sealing borders, the state
on their preferred list,” he
added.
Government officials
studies on the impact of
pollution on the local ecol-
ogy.
New Delhi, The Coronavirus-in-
To settle matters, Paki- had reached Srinagar. On Rajiv Chuni from duced lockdowns have Himachal Pradesh. government on September said the Rohtang Pass nor- Besides tourist vehicles,
stan has always used non- October 27, Indian soldiers Mirpur—now in Pakistan cleaned up the fragile Her friend Gauri Vaidya 15 threw open its borders mally closes for the traffic a major component of the
state actors and utilized pushed back the Pakistani occupied Kashmir (POK)— Rohtang Pass with the piles said in her past visits, the for free movement of every year in December ow- traffic is also the defence
power that flows from the army and tribesmen and fights for the people dis- of trash almost vanished ninth this time in as many people and goods. ing to snowfall. vehicles, with the forces tak-
barrel of a gun. Way back on saved Srinagar from falling placed by the tribal invasion, and nature making a come- years, she felt angry to see “In the last one or two “This time the Rohtang ing supplies to strategic
October 22, 1947, Pakistan into Pakistani hands. Even says: “Can you believe that back in the cold, rugged and the stunning amount of weeks, the trend of tourists Pass remained closed for the points through the Rohtang
first unleashed tribesmen though the invasion was re- people displaced after the rocky mountains of the Pir waste like beer and liquor is picking up in Manali and tourists for a longer dura- Pass.
from the North West Frontier pulsed, India lost consider- tribal invasion in 1947 are still Panjal range of the bottles and food sachets its nearby areas. Compared tion i.e. from December to The deteriorating ecol-
Province (NWFP) along with able territory of J&K to Paki- living in camps across Himalayas — the origin of dumped haphazardly in the to thousands of tourists that mid of September. Firstly ogy of Rohtang, meaning
its army to foist a brutal war stan. Jammu province? There are one of North India’s major mountains. normally descend here daily due to snapping of road “piles of dead bodies” in Per-
on the people of Jammu and Beside the negative geo- 39 camps for thousands of rivers, the Beas. “This visit is memorable ahead of Diwali, now tour- links by snow and then due sian, has also caught the at-
Kashmir (J&K). political fallout of the inva- people, all of who live below Also the vehicular pollu- to see nature blooming ists, mainly from the north- to coronavirus lockdowns. tention of the National
For decades Pakistan sion for India, this attack by the poverty line. Many work tion plummeting to levels again amid pine forests and ern states, are thronging This has given enough time Green Tribunal (NGT).
termed the Kashmir invasion Pakistan remains traumatic as laborers, drivers and con- unseen in the living gurgling streams,” she that too on weekends,” an for nature to revive,” an offi- With its direction, the
as a spontaneous attack by for the displaced people.The ductors.” memory. added. official of the state Himachal cial said. government has checked
its people and managed to barbaric attack rendered Chuni, who heads the “What a pleasant sur- The picturesque Pradesh Tourism Develop- Trekking along the unregulated plying of ve-
camouflage the military tens of thousands of Hindus Jammu-based organization prise to see no littering of Rohtang Pass, which re- ment Corp. told IANS here. Rohtang Pass is another ad- hicles by imposing an envi-
planning and State role in a and Sikhs as refugees; they SOS International, says that trash in hills en route to the mains under snow even Travel agent Naresh venture pursuit, the back- ronmental cess on each of
brutal invasion. However, the fled to what is now the In- three generations of people Rohtang Pass,” remarked during the onset of summer, Thakur said the tourists from bone of the state’s economy, the 1,300 vehicles permitted
surfacing of a book by Paki- dian side of J&K. have lived in these camps, Nikita Pandey, a tourist from is a major attraction for both Manali now prefer to travel from June to September. every day to cross the
stani soldier, Maj-Gen Akbar Their ordeal didn’t end spending each day in Delhi. domestic and foreign tour- towards the Lahaul Valley Excessive emission of Rohtang Pass, besides con-
Khan, Raiders of Kashmir, de- there. For the last seven de- trauma. “The Indian govern- “We should be thankful ists. via the newly opened Atal carbon monoxide from the struction of eco-friendly toi-
tails the meticulous planning cades, they lived in camps ment says that all of J&K be- to Covid-induced According to the state Tunnel, beneath the vehicles and huge quanti- lets and installation of gar-
behind the Kashmir invasion. without the rights and en- longs to India, so we are not lockdowns that gave nature tourism department, more Rohtang Pass, rather than ties of trash left behind by bage collection bins en
It was first published in 1970 titlements available to all In- refugees. But we cannot a recovery time to regain its than 1,00,000 tourists visit taking the long, treacherous tourists on the Rohtang Pass route. According to a journal
in Pakistan. Despite docu- dian citizens, as Kashmiri even go back to our lands glory,” she told IANS, while the Rohtang Pass every year route of the pass. are taking a heavy toll on of the Asiatic Society, Lieu-
mentary evidence, India has politicians denied them vot- which were taken away by pointing towards spots and tourism, including ski- “Snow is the only attrac- the snow cover, says the Na- tenants A. Broome and A.
been lethargic in tackling the ing rights and equal citizen- force.The place where I lived where non-biodegradable ing, trekking and tion for the tourists and the tional Environmental Engi- Cunningham trekked to the
successful Pakistani propa- ship. Even now tens of thou- now has the Mangla dam waste was normally paragliding, is a key source mighty Rohtang Pass is the neering Research Institute Rohtang Pass on July 7,
ganda over Kashmir all these sands of displaced people, and our lands are sub- dumped carelessly along of income for the local only destination near Manali (NEERI), a Nagpur-based in- 1839, to trace the sources of
seven decades. erstwhile citizens of the merged. A lot of our areas in the banks of the glacial-fed people. that remains marooned in stitute that has carried out the Punjab’s rivers.
Just nine weeks after the Maharaja’s kingdom but POK have been occupied by Beas river near Marhi, en For more than five snow cover till end of May.
now Indians, carry those China under the China Paki- months from December, the In this season, Rohtang
brutal Partition on religious
lines, India had to fight back
tribesmen, marshaled by Pa-
scars of murdered kin, lost
lands, and maltreatment de-
stan Economic Corridor
(CPEC).
route to the Rohtang Pass
from Manali.
The Rohtang Pass is lo-
pass remains cut off from
the rest of the country due
slopes are totally bereft of
snow cover, so they are not
Disproportionate impact of
kistani Army officers, to save
J&K from Pakistan’s tribal mi- COVID-19 on young girls: Survey
litia. In their bid to take over
J&K, the attackers had in-
dulged in rampant massacre,
Growing sense of civic responsibility among youth: Kunal Sood By Siddhi Jain
New Delhi,
Acknowledging“a grow- IANSlife. protector of the people and terms of quality as well as honor life in all forms not Revealing a marked gender divide in the distribution
rape and looting across all of housework during the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey re-
towns that fell on their way ing sense of civic responsi- Created as an exponen- the planet.” lifespan. I also believe given just human life but all forms
bility among the youth of tial global movement, the After curating TEDx at the global health crisis of life on land and under the veals that a greater number of girls (39 per cent) were re-
from Pakistan till quired to contribute to housework as opposed to the num-
Srinagar—the capital of today”, impact strategist #WeThePlanet campaign the United Nations, he many of the youth will find sea.”
Kunal Sood — who envisages going beyond shifted his focus towards renewed purpose in serv- “There’s a new force of ber of boys (35 per cent), while more boys (31 per cent) had
Kashmir. the luxury to devote their time to studying than girls (27
The attack on J&K hap- launched We The Planet in ‘We The People,’ and focus- supporting the United Na- ing in the field to become young entrepreneurs work-
2019 to unite global leaders sing on something that is tions full time. He subse- doctors, nurses, global ing to create social impact- per cent).
pened after the Maharaja of In fact, the household activities girls were mainly in-
Kashmir, Hari Singh, decided to reimagine our approach larger than humans; as a col- quently hosted the first healthcare practitioners.” driven business models and
to the planet, people, peace, lective, we must be focused ever Novus Summit in the Asked his thoughts on strategic frameworks by fo- volved in included activities like household cleaning, cook-
to remain independent of ing, washing clothes, washing utensils, taking care of sib-
both India and Pakistan. The prosperity, and partnership on ‘We The Planet’.” United Nations General As- the pandemic itself, he says: cusing on consumer con-
— says that high-impact Growing up in India, sembly hall, partnered with “I view the COVID-19 crisis sciousness as opposed to lings, whereas boys were found spending a majority of their
leaders of both countries time watching TV, on the phone, farming, interacting with
tried to persuade him to join entrepreneurship is fast be- Sood suffered as a young UN to stage the first ever as a wake up call to all of us just profit-driven conven-
coming a prime choice to child from a learning dis- UN SDG Innovation Sum- to look around and value life tional businesses. relatives, and so on, says a new survey by Centre for Cata-
them but the Maharaja was lyzing Change (C3) among 7200 adolescents from four
convinced about his deci- venture into as a career ability and obesity, and was mit, and produced the first- and every breath. Also for us This new class of high
path. often the target of bullying ever Youth Dialogue. to not take mother nature’s impact-driven social entre- states, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Odisha.
sion.Though still a new State, Conducted in two rounds in the months of April, July
carved out of India, Pakistan “This is particularly com- in school. Feeling like a mis- Speaking from his expe- gifts for granted such as the preneurs creates business to
mon in developing econo- fit and an outlier early in his rience as a former global clean air we breathe, the overcome the most press- and August 2020, it delved into four overarching topics:
decided to take unilateral adolescents’ awareness of COVID-19 symptoms and preven-
military action and launched mies like India where there life taught Sood valuable health scientist, Sood says clean water we drink and ing social and environmen-
are vast socio-economic lessons where he went he is personally very opti- the privilege of living in a tal problems by focusing on tion, adolescents’ access to basic health services and edu-
a war against Kashmir with cation during the lockdown, and how much agency they
its army aided by tribesmen. concerns ready to be ad- from being bullied to build- mistic about the future of world of abundance. I feel both strategy and impact.
dressed. The popularity of ing the moral courage, global health and its evolu- COVID-19 serves us as a These entrepreneurs are de- can exercise or how much vulnerability they face while
The Maharaja’s troops were being confined to their homes during this period.
overwhelmed as many de- social strategy and entre- emotional resilience and tion. “I believe that digital warning sign for the effects voted to solving problems
preneurship has increased, mental strength to stand biology and advances in ex- of climate change and how ranging from global health In terms of technology, there was a clear disparity as
serted his army on commu- well. Only 22 per cent of the girls surveyed knew how to
nal lines and joined the tribal considering the progressing up to his adversaries. “I ponential technologies is our selfish need for human and climate change to sus-
COVID-19 pandemic. We learned how to harness my going to allow us to break progress and industrializa- tainable agriculture and use online learning platforms and only 12 per cent had ac-
raiders. cess to their own mobile phones to be able to attend online
Finally, the Maharaja ac- have witnessed acts of altru- learning disability as a su- barriers at warp speed to tion is not serving us in the conscious capitalism with
ism and heroism from all perpower and since then strengthen our immune re- long game. We need to treat their relentless drive for classes without distractions. In comparison, 35 per cent
quiesced to join India, allow- boys had access to their own mobile phones. Further, 51
ing the Indian Army to rush corners of the nation,” have made my life’s calling sponse to COVID-19 and COVID-19 both as a harsh transformation and impact,”
Chennai-born Sood told to serve as a guardian and extend human life both in lesson and a blessing to concludes Sood. per cent of the adol
its troops to the Srinagar air-
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I long celebrations of the
150th birth anniversary of
Mahatma Gandhi on
October 2. One had the
privilege of participating in sever-
al learned deliberations on the rel-
evance of Gandhian ideas in the
whole world.” And this came
from a devout Muslim who
never missed a namaaz and
who also had “the spirit of
brotherhood” innate in himself
more than many so-called
orthodox Muslims.
$QGZKHQVRPHERG\OLNH8QLRQ)LQDQFH0LQLVWHU1LUPDOD6LWKDUDPDQPDNHVWKHDQQRXQFH present context. In most of these, Religious fundamentalists
it was rather a unanimous conclu- and protagonists of the two-
PHQWLWVKRZVWKDWWKH*RYHUQPHQWLVGHVSHUDWHDERXWWKHSROODULWKPHWLFRIWKHSDUW\LW sion that Gandhi’s principles, val- nation theory, expectedly, dis-
UHSUHVHQWVWKDQSXUVXLQJKROLVWLFSROLFLHVWKDWLWLVFDYDOLHUDERXWWKHGHPDQGVRIVFLHQFH ues and his life could give a heal- liked him and his approach and
DQGKHDOWKSURWRFROVDQGLVXQFRQFHUQHGDERXWOLYHVOHDYHDORQHEHLQJFRPSDVVLRQDWH ing touch to suffering humanity in inflicted numerous cruelties
a world characterised by wars, vio- on him and his followers once
+RZHYHUWKLVLVQ·WWKHILUVWWLPHWKHSDUW\KDVPDGHVXFKTXHVWLRQDEOHSURPLVHV7KHUH lence, distrust, hatred, fundamen- they came to power. The per-
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FLQHE\$XJXVWWRPDUNWKHQDWLRQ·V\HDUVRI,QGHSHQGHQFH$SSDUHQWO\WKH,QGLDQ hunger, poverty, ill-health and sufferings that he endured even
&RXQFLORI0HGLFDO5HVHDUFK ,&05 ZDVXQGHUSUHVVXUHWRIDVWWUDFNFOLQLFDOWULDOVEXW much more. Peace, non-violence after Independence, must be
and religious harmony remain revealed to young Indians, who
ZLGHVSUHDGFULWLFLVPDERXWFRPSURPLVLQJHIILFDF\IRUWKHVDNHRISROLWLFDOH[SHGLHQF\DQG elusive commodities. And Gandhi are working for religious amity
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RI<HWWKH%-3·VFODLPRIIUHHYDFFLQHGRVHVKDVDOUHDG\WULYLDOLVHGDJUDYHLVVXHLQWRD violent path to human dignity, har- India to its destination of hon-
mony and liberty. He could influ- our and acceptability in a strife-
SRLQWVFRULQJH[HUFLVH$VLPLODUDQQRXQFHPHQWIROORZHGLQ7DPLO1DGXZKHUHWKHHOHF ence leading personalities within country.” In this very statement, personality could only be succinctly summarises: “He torn world.
WLRQVDUHGXHQH[W\HDU$,$'0.OHDGHUDQG&KLHI0LQLVWHU(3DODQLVZDPLSURPLVHGWKH and beyond India, who plunged Nehru wrote about Frontier termed unparalleled. He gave a was among the very few lead- What happened to Bacha
VKRWVRQWKHEDVLVRIKLVSUR[LPLW\WRWKH%-3,QRWKHUZRUGVWUDGHRIIVRIWKLVQDWXUHZLOO headlong into creating a peaceful Gandhi. He said: “Few people new interpretation of force, ers of undivided India who, by Khan or what was done to him
world by following his values and know about the work that Khan courage and valour to his peo- dint of their sincere effort and is summed up by Mohammed
EHPDGHWREX\WKHDOOHJLDQFHRIIHGHUDOSDUWLHV2QHZRQGHUVZKDWWKH%-3·VVWDQGZRXOG successfully achieving attitudinal Abdul Ghaffar Khan has been ple and the community. This, he selfless service to their people, Arif Khan in the foreword to
EHLQ%HQJDOZKHUHLWLVVHHNLQJWRGLVORGJHWKH7ULQDPRRO&RQJUHVV"%XWWKH%-3·VIDWDO transformation within their com- carrying on during the last six could do through his creative rose to eminence and earned a the treatise by Singh: “As an
IODZKDVFHUWDLQO\JDOYDQLVHGWKH2SSRVLWLRQ'HOKL&KLHI0LQLVWHUDQGOHDGHURI$DP$DGPL munities and nation. months. He does not believe in leadership, deep and thought- niche for themselves in the top Indian, I feel that what we did
The life of Khan Abdul Ghaffar ostentation but he has gone to ful interpretation of Islam as a political hierarchy of the coun- to Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
3DUW\ $$3 $UYLQG.HMULZDOZDVTXLFNWRSRLQWRXWWKHSOLJKWRIWKHSHRSOHLQQRQ%-3 Khan, also known as Bacha Khan villages seeing his people, religion of peace. He was a man try. Yet in spite of having earned and the Pashtuns in 1957 was
UXOHG6WDWHVZKLOH1DWLRQDO&RQIHUHQFHOHDGHU2PDU$EGXOODKFDOOHGWKHDQQRXQFHPHQWD and Frontier Gandhi, presents organising them and encourag- with a universal message of a place among the galaxy of very unfair. The Pashtuns had
´EODWDQWSRSXOLVPµWKDW´VKDPHIXOO\H[SORLWV&29,'IHDUVµ+HHYHQZRQGHUHGLIWKH%-3 one of the most scintillating exam- ing them in every way. Thus, he brotherhood and camaraderie. eminent leaders, Khan Abdul voted in 1946 for a united
ples of achieving a rare communi- has covered the entire province.” He knew how vibrant the cul- Ghaffar Khan never advanced India but the decision of the
ZRXOGEHSD\LQJIRUWKHVHYDFFLQHVIURPWKHSDUW\WUHDVXU\6RZKHQWKH8QLRQ0LQLVWHU ty transition from violence as a cult Apart from numerous tural heritage of his people and his claims to recognition in the Indian leadership reduced them
RI6WDWHIRU+HDOWK$VKZLQL&KDXEH\WULHGWRFOHDUWKHDLULWZDVWRROLWWOHWRRODWH$FFRUGLQJ to the path of peace and love as the impediments from various the region was, and how this Indian context.” One could say to being subservient to the
WRKLPWKH&HQWUHKDGSUHSDUHGDQHODERUDWHSODQRQGLVWULEXWLQJWKHYDFFLQHDQGLGHQWL value of total commitment. His quarters, Khan also had to face cradle of learning and culture without hesitation that India breakers of Indian unity. The
name may appear just as unfamil- false propaganda of vested sank “into a state where there failed Bacha Khan, his result was that Khan and his fol-
I\LQJWKRVHZKRZRXOGEHJLYHQ´SUHIHUHQFHµ+HHYHQDGGHGWKDWHYHU\6WDWHZRXOGEH iar to most young Indians as his interests. Born in 1890, he was was no room left for such good Pakhtoon people and the lowers were treated as traitors
JLYHQIUHH&RURQDYLUXVYDFFLQHV%XW$PLW0DOYL\DRIWKH%-3·V,7FHOOIXUWKHUFRPSOLFDW role as a stalwart in the Indian free- greatly touched by the devastat- work such as education and NWFP. There is no other way and he spent more time in jails
HGPDWWHUVZKHQKHVDLGWKDWOLNHDOOSURJUDPPHVWKH&HQWUHZRXOGSURYLGHYDFFLQHVWR dom struggle, and after ing misery of his own people learning.” out of this but to follow the path of Pakistan after 1947 than in
Independence, as a fighter for his which, he concluded, was due While India was celebrating shown by Gandhi and Bacha British jails before 1947.” All this
6WDWHVDWDQRPLQDOUDWH$QGKHDOWKEHLQJD6WDWHVXEMHFWWKH%LKDU%-3XQLWKDGGHFLG people in Pakistan, that he waged to the lack of education and the birth anniversary of Khan. happened in spite of the fact
HGWRJLYHLWIUHHLIHOHFWHGDQGWKDWRWKHU6WDWH*RYHUQPHQWVWRRFDQGHFLGHWRGRWKH till his last breath on January 20, consequent ignorance. He start- Mahatma Gandhi, an erudite During the freedom struggle, that the top Indian leadership
VDPH7KLVLVQRWXQH[SHFWHGDVLWKDVEHFRPHQRUPDOIRUWKHUXOLQJGLVSHQVDWLRQWRFKDQJH 1988. He finds little resonance ed schools and the British did scholar of post-Independence Gandhi tried his best to per- of the freedom struggle was
LWVVWDQGRQZKDWVXEMHFWVXQGHUWKH6WDWH/LVWFDQEHPDQLSXODWHGE\WKH&HQWUH([FHSW even in India for various reasons. not like it. He was 19 when he history, RNP Singh, was search- suade the Muslim League and fully aware of the significance
In July 1942, Jawaharlal Nehru was first imprisoned and then ing literature and sources in Mohammad Ali Jinnah to give of Bacha Khan’s contribution
WKDWWKH2SSRVLWLRQLVQRWEX\LQJWKLVQDUUDWLYHZLWKWKH5DVKWUL\D-DQDWD'DO 5-' XUJLQJ issued a statement on the happen- it was a life in and out of jails libraries and institutions to put up the two-nation theory. He and his unflinching commit-
WKH(OHFWLRQ&RPPLVVLRQWRUHVWUDLQWKH%-3IURP´VLJQLQJDSROOGHDOXVLQJWKHYDFFLQHµ ings in the Frontier Province — of the Britishers, and then the up an authentic account of the failed in his persuasion and ment to a united India. Sadly
7KHODUJHUFRQFHUQLVWKDWWKHSROLWLFDOSDUWLHVZLOOVWLOOJHWDZD\PDNLQJZLOGFODLPVGXU now in Pakistan — clearly indicat- Government of Pakistan. His great Gandhian, Khan Abdul India suffered the ghastly enough, India was divided.
ing how scarce the news from historic movement, Khudai Ghaffar Khan. And how India tragedy of the Partition. And we Even Gandhi, who had declared
LQJWKH%LKDUHOHFWLRQVWKHUHVXOWVRIZKLFKZLOOEHDQQRXQFHGLQ1RYHPEHU$QGQRWULDO there was, and that too, was “often Khidmatgar, was launched to ignored his contributions which still need persistent efforts to that Partition could take place
UHVXOWVZLOOEHDYDLODEOHEHIRUH'HFHPEHUOHDYHDVLGHWKHSURVSHFWRIDUROORXWE\WKHEHJLQ tainted and contained many wrong overcome poverty and banish had the potential to bring forth strengthen our efforts to cement only over his dead body, accept-
QLQJRIQH[W\HDU:RXOGWKHYRWHUEHWRQVRPHWKLQJWKDWKDVVWLOOQRWVHHQWKHOLJKWRIGD\" allegations.” Nehru had personal- the British from India. He was, peace not only to the erstwhile the age-old mutual harmony ed it. All that the great Bacha
ly experienced difficulty, during till the end of the freedom North-West Frontier Province between the two major com- Khan could say to the Indian
7KH*RYHUQPHQWVKRXOGLQVWHDGIRFXVRQWKHYDFFLQHDGPLQLVWUDWLRQSURFHVVDQGVHWXSD his own visits to the Frontier struggle, for a united India. (NWFP), Afghanistan and munities. leadership that had accepted the
VHDPOHVVFROGFKDLQLQIUDVWUXFWXUHERWKRIZKLFKDUHKXPRQJRXVFKDOOHQJHV9DFFLQHSUHVHU Province, in sending out proper Khan was inspired by Baluchistan but to the entire Inspired by the increasing Partition of this great country
YDWLRQLVDWULFN\EXVLQHVVDVZLGHVZDWKHVRIYLDOVFRXOGJREDGLIVDIHW\QRUPVDUHQRW news through normal agencies or Gandhi’s message of non-vio- Middle East region, and even influence of Gandhi, whose was: “You have thrown us to
otherwise. He further observed lence and he knew how difficult beyond. persona and ideas had begun to wolves.” He and his people
DGKHUHGWRDQGWKHWHPSHUDWXUHFRQWUROVDUHQRWPRQLWRUHGVWULFWO\7KH&29,'YDFFLQHKDV that restrictions on such news it would be to convince his Singh has established, based influence the remote North- were left at the mercy of those
WREHVWRUHGDWWHPSHUDWXUHVORZHUWKDQRWKHUNQRZQYDFFLQHV7KH6HUXP,QVWLWXWHKDV being sent out were stricter in the “freedom-loving” Pathans to on his study, how great was the Western part of the empire who never liked him for his lib-
DOUHDG\UDLVHGTXHVWLRQVRQWKH*RYHUQPHQW·VDELOLW\WRNHHSDVLGHCFURUHIRUWKH Frontier Province than elsewhere execute the idea. He had the measure of wrong done to this and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, eral stance on Indian culture,
in India. He then revealed a courage and conviction to frontline freedom fighter and young Bacha Khan opened history and his progressive
UROORXW,VWKH*RYHUQPHQWHTXLSSHGWRKDQGOHWKLVZLWKRXWURSLQJLQWKHSULYDWHVHFWRU",I painful truth: “The result is that accept the challenge and he an exceptional devotee of schools for both boys and girls. ideas about religious harmony
VRKRZPXFKZLOOWKHSULYDWHVHFWRUEHUHDG\WRVXEVLGLVHFRVWV"%HVLGHVKRZZLOOWKRVH the people in the rest of India achieved this miracle. The type Gandhi. In his seminal work, He organised young people and social cohesion.
DWULVNEHPDSSHGFRQVLGHULQJWKDWPRVW,QGLDQVKDYHDKHDY\GLVHDVHEXUGHQDQGFR know little of what is happening in of attitudinal transformation Durand line: Did India Fail under the banner of servants of (The writer works in educa-
this highly important part of the achieved by this charismatic Frontier Gandhi, Singh very God — Khudai Khidmatgar — tion and social cohesion)
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WLRQLQD86SUHVLGHQWLDOGHEDWHPLJKWIRUFHWKH&HQWUDO Sir — The BJP has sunk to a new and nearly two-thirds of the
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DQG6WDWH*RYHUQPHQWVWRILQDOO\GRVRPHWKLQJDERXW Coronavirus vaccine shots for ^]P]hQ^Sh³bSPdVWcTaXbP]PccPRZ^]^daSPdVW fumes emanating from cooking
LW/LNHLWRUQRW'HOKL·VDLUNQRFNV\HDUVRIIWKHOLYHV the people of Bihar. This only cTa±CWT^QbTaePcX^]RP\TX]cWTR^]cTgc^Ud_W^[S fuels. The study also highlight-
RILWVFLWL]HQVDQGLIIDUPHUVZDQWWKHV\PSDWK\RIWKH proves that the party is fearful of X]VcWTcaXP[R^dac³b^aSTa^UbT]cT]RX]VbTeT]PRRdbTS ed that more than 1,16,000
being defeated and hence is c^[XUTX\_aXb^]\T]cU^acWTVP]VaP_T^UP[PfbcdST]c Indian infants died due to air
XUEDQSRSXODFHDQGWKHPHGLDRYHUWKHQHZ$FWVWKH\ selling the fear of the pandem- ^]cWT9]P]P1WPaPcWXRP\_dbX]1T]VP[dadX]! ! pollution in 2019. So, while
ZLOOQRWJHWLWWLOOWKH\VWRSEXUQLQJVWXEEOHWKDWOHDYHV ic to the people. The fact of the CWTR^dac]^cTScWPccWTSXUUTaT]RTQTcfTT]cWT! ! Trump’s comment might sting,
DKD]HDQGEORFNVVXQOLJKWHYHU\PRUQLQJ7KHSHU matter is that the Coronavirus =XaQWPhPRPbTP]ScWTVP]VaP_T^UcWT[PfbcdST]cfPb the Indian Government should
vaccine is not the private prop- cWPcX]cWTU^a\TacWTVXa[SXTSQdcX]cWT[PccTacWTbda take the poor air quality of
VLVWHQWO\SRRUDLUTXDOLW\LQ,QGLDLVQRZRIILFLDOO\DJOREDOMRNHDQGRXUSROLWLFLDQV·UHOXF erty of the BJP and it cannot eXe^a SXbR^]cX]dTS WTa bcdSXTb P]S caPd\PcXbTS India, especially Delhi, seri-
WDQFHWRGHDOZLWKWKHLVVXHKROLVWLFDOO\EHFDXVHWKH\GRQRWZDQWWRLUULWDWHWKHLUDJUL decide which States can have free aTcda]TSc^WTaW^\T[P]SX]=T_P[ ously. The blame game between
FXOWXUDOYRWHEDQNLVDQHYHQELJJHURQH+XQGUHGVRIFURUHVKDYHEHHQUDLVHGDVJUHHQ access to it. Its leaders need to CWT7XVW2^dacWPbaTR^\\T]STSP\T]SX]V_a^ the Centre and the States needs
realise that they are also in eXbX^]b^UcWT8]SXP]?T]P[2^STc^X]R[dSTRP_XcP[_d] eXRcX\bPaT[TUcSTPS^aX]]^bcPcTc^\PZTPR^\_[PX]c to stop and adequate steps
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IDUPHUVLQ1RUWK,QGLDVRWKDWWKH\FDQJHWULGRIFURSZDVWHLQDQHFRIULHQGO\PDQ entire country’s well-being is eXbX^]b^U[XUTX\_aXb^]\T]cfXcWUX]TCWTSTPcW_T]P[ cWTPRRdbTSXbZ]^f]c^cWTeXRcX\P]ScWT[^^\X]V Bhagwan Thadani
QHU"7KHOLYHVRIRXUFKLOGUHQDUHEHLQJUXLQHGE\FKURQLFSXOPRQDU\FRQGLWLRQVVXFK their concern and not limited to chP[aTPShTgXbcbU^aaP_TRd\\daSTaRPbTbPbX]cWT UTPa^UcWTU^a\TaQTX]VWP]STS^dcPSTPcW_T]P[ch Mumbai
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DVDVWKPDDQGSROLWLFLDQVDUHWU\LQJWREODPHHYHU\WKLQJXQGHUWKHVXQEXWWKHPRVW under their rule. If they want to aP_TX]fWXRWcWTaTWPbQTT]]^STPcW7^fTeTabcdS fT]TTSc^bcaT]VcWT]cWT_a^RTbb^UaTWPQX[XcPcX^]
REYLRXVFDXVH7KH\FDQ·WHYHQDWWDFNWKHDXWRPRWLYHLQGXVWU\DQ\PRUHDVLWKDVPRYHG give away free vaccines, then XTbS^]³c_a^eTcWPccWTSTPcW_T]P[chXbPSTcTaaT]c8c :EBTTcWPaP\PXPW <_g[UiVUcdYfYdYUc
WRYHU\ORZHPLVVLRQ%6YHKLFOHVQRZ7KHUHFRXOGVRRQEHPHGLFDOHYLGHQFHWRSURYH they will have to do so in all the R^d[SP[b^[TPSc^_Ta_TcaPc^ab\PZX]VbdaTcWPccWTXa 7PbbP] Sir — The festive season has
States and not only in Bihar. started but at no cost should we
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SDQGHPLF6D\ZKDW\RXZLOODERXW'RQDOG7UXPSKHGRHVVSHDNDERXWDORWRIWKLQJV the Janata Dal (United)-BJP carbon emission.” Contrary to from stubble burning in its ongoing pandemic. We will
ZLWKRXWILOWHULQJWKHPWKURXJKSROLWLFDOGRXEOHVSHDN+HZDVSURYHQULJKWDERXW&KLQD coalition in handling the pan- >_hY_ecXQjU Trump’s claim, the US stands neighbouring States, vehicle have to celebrate with caution.
demic, the returnee migrants’ Sir — Once again, US President second in the world in terms of fumes and industrial emissions Use of face masks, adhering to
DQGKHLVDEVROXWHO\ULJKWDERXW,QGLDQDLUTXDOLW\ issues and not to forget the Donald Trump has made a carbon emission. It leaves a big- have been turning the Capital’s social distancing and avoiding
3ULPH0LQLVWHU1DUHQGUD0RGLKDVWKHSROLWLFDOFDSLWDOWRGRVRPHWKLQJDERXWWKLV floods, the NDA is offering free critical reference to India dur- ger carbon footprint than the air toxic every winter. It was the crowded areas should be every-
DQGKHPXVWEHFDXVHLQDFWLRQRQWKLVIURQWZLOOWDLQWKLVOHJDF\7KHULJKWWRFOHDQDLU vaccines to woo the electorate. It ing a presidential debate. Earlier, majority of the world’s popula- world’s most polluted capital one’s priority. This year, let us
VKRXOGEHDJLYHQDQGOLNHLWRUQRWWKLVLPSDFWVWKHSRRUDQGXQGHUSULYLOHJHGZKRP should instead focus on improv- he had questioned India’s tion. However, in terms of his city for the second straight year pray from our humble abodes.
ing the conditions in core sectors Coronavirus data amid criti- comment on India’s poor air in 2019, according to Swiss- Rishav Vatsh
0RGLDQGHYHQ&KLHI0LQLVWHU$UYLQG.HMULZDOFODLPWRVWDQGIRUWKHPRVW7KHFKDWWHU like education, employment and cism of his handling of the pan- quality, the truth is that he was based group, IQ AirVisual. Mumbai
LQJFODVVHVZLWKDFFHVVWRDLUSXULILHUVFDQDIIRUGWROLYHZLWKLW6RZKHWKHU7UXPSUHPDLQV healthcare. demic. And recently he called just stating a known fact. New Additionally, according to the
Noor Ahmad India’s air “filthy” while claim- Delhi has indeed been blanket- State of Global Air 2020 study, BT]Shh^daUUTTSQPRZcc^)
LQRIILFHRUWKH86JHWVDWK3UHVLGHQWWKHWLPHIRU,QGLDQSROLWLFLDQVWRDFWLVQRZ Hyderabad ing that the US has the “lowest ed in a noxious haze. Smoke that was released on October 21, [TccTabc^_X^]TTa/V\PX[R^\
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breast in April this year. However, the Coronavirus-
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ing a doctor. Even when the lockdown was eased,
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DVWDWLVWLFDOO\VLJQLILFDQWFKDQFHRIKDYLQJDQXQSOHDVDQWHQFRXQWHU ously-ill patient being deprived of timely treatment
ZLWK6$567KHSURWHVWVEHJDQWZRZHHNVDJRDIWHUSLFWXUHVDOOHJHG due to the ongoing contagion. While we will never 8=3800;B>70B0
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it is evident that the number is significant. Patient <09>A8CH>5C74
attendance in oncology clinics fell significantly in ?0C84=CB0A4BC8;;
GDQJHUDQGDFWHGIDVW:LWKLQWZRGD\VKHDEROLVKHG6$56SURPLV the initial months of the pandemic. The number of 3806=>B438=C74
LQJLWWRUHSODFHLWZLWKDNLQGHUJHQWOHUIRUFH³EXWWKHSURWHVW new cases diagnosed continued to remain relative-
HUVKDGKHDUGWKDWVWRU\EHIRUHDQGEHVLGHVWKH\KDGDOUHDG\PRYHG ly low even several months after the total lockdown
;0C4BC064B>5
RQWREURDGHUWDUJHWV had been eased. Breast Cancer Now, a British char- C7438B40B40=30
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VRXWKHUQ1LJHULDDQGQRWDOOZHUHQRQYLROHQW2Q2FWREHUD ing appointment. This might have led to thousands C74<0A4=>C
PREEXUQHGDSROLFHVWDWLRQLQ<DEDDQRWKHUXSVFDOHVXEXUERI of cancers going undetected. For a country like India, 01;4C>64C
/DJRVDQGNPWRWKHHDVWLQ%HQLQ&LW\DUPHGFURZGVIUHHG where a majority of breast cancer detections still hap- 0??A>?A80C4
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pen in the later stages of the disease, the Coronavirus CA40C<4=C priority, adequate policy measures need in nearly 60-70 per cent of the patients to deliver more precise radiation (thus
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outbreak has further hampered diagnosis and 0=>C74A to be taken to ensure that other serious either upfront or after chemotherapy. sparing adjacent organs like the lungs and
treatment, and is likely to negatively impact survival F>AAH8=6CA4=3 diseases are not neglected in the process. Similarly, complete removal of armpit the heart from a high dose of radiation)
WKDWLVFOHDUO\WUXHEXWWKDW·VQRWZK\WKHUXOLQJSROLWLFDOFODVVLV rates from the disease. Governments as well as healthcare nodes, a procedure done routinely in all and in a shorter interval of time (as less
SDQLFNLQJ7KDW·VQRWZK\WKH\VKRWGRZQZHOOHGXFDWHGWUHQG\ Rising disease burden in India: Breast cancer
8B0=8=2A40B8=6 providers, both have a role to play in patients until a couple of decades ago, has as two weeks as compared to the usual five
EXWODZDELGLQJ\RXQJSHRSOHLQ/HNNL,W·VEHFDXVHWKRVHLQSRZHU is the most common form of the disease among 8=2834=24>5C74 achieving this. It is important to educate given way to sentinel lymph node biop- weeks in a select group of patients).
IHDUD\RXWKUHYROWWKDWFRXOGQRWRQO\WUDQVIRUPWKHFRXQWU\EXW Indian women and accounts for an estimated 28 per 38B40B48= people about the importance of not sy in which only a few nodes need to be In more good news, researchers in
VSOLWLWLQKDOI cent of all cancers. In fact, a woman is diagnosed H>D=64AF><4= neglecting their health conditions and pre- tested for the presence of the tumour. Canada have developed a new, inexpen-
1LJHULD$IULFD·VPRVWSRSXORXVQDWLRQ PLOOLRQSHRSOH  with it every four minutes while another dies of this B7>2:8=6;H vent interruptions in treatment modali- If these sentinel nodes are not sive technology that could save lives and
LVUHDOO\WZRFRXQWULHV7KHVRXWKHUQPRVWO\&KULVWLDQKDOIZLWK disease every 13 minutes in the country. In 2018, it =40A;H70;5>5 ties, too. It is equally important to ensure involved in the disease, one does not need money by routinely screening women for
DOOWKHRLODQGSRUWVDQGPRVWRIWKHLQGXVWU\LVDURXQGSHUFHQW is estimated to have claimed as many as 87,000 lives C74?0C84=CB8= continuation of unimpeded non- to remove the remaining nodes, thus breast cancer without exposure to radia-
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in India. The incidence of the disease has increased DA10=8=3800A4 Coronavirus services in hospitals while bringing down the rate of shoulder dys- tion. The system, developed by researchers
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dramatically over the last 25 years due to multiple ;4BBC70=$ also instilling confidence among people function as well as lymphedema (swelling at the University of Waterloo, uses harm-
factors, including increasing urbanisation, adoption H40AB>5064 about the safety of hospitals and clinics, of the arm) significantly. Similar to less microwaves and Artificial Intelligence
UHJLRQKDYHQRIRUPDOHGXFDWLRQZKDWHYHU1DWXUDOO\UHODWLYHSURV of unhealthy lifestyles (smoking, drinking, junk food especially outpatient departments (OPDs). surgery, personalised systemic therapy software to detect even small, early-
SHULW\VKRZVWKHVDPHGLVSDULW\2QO\SHUFHQWRIWKHVRXWK consumption and so on), increased use of plastic
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However, the silver lining in the dark (chemo, hormone, immune and targeted stage tumours within minutes.
HUQHUVOLYHEHORZWKHSRYHUW\OLQHDQGSHUFHQWRIWKHQRUWKHUQ utensils and microwave ovens, rise in obesity, drop 01>DCBH<?C><B cloud is that thanks to advanced diagnos- therapy) has enabled us to avoid more By comparing the tissue composition
HUVGR<HWLWLV\RXQJVRXWKHUQHUVZKRDUHRQWKHEULQNRIUHYROW in physical activity levels, delayed age of child-bear- ;02:>50 tic and treatment modalities, survival rates toxic treatment in patients with a good of one breast with the other, the system
EHFDXVHLWLVWKHSROLWLFDOGRPLQDWLRQRIWKHQRUWKWKDWNHHSVWKH ing and reduced breast-feeding. D=8E4AB0;0=3 of breast cancer patients have increased biology tumour. Two patients with the is sensitive enough to detect anomalies less
UXOLQJNOHSWRFUDF\LQSRZHU India also has a high mortality rate because a 2><?A474=B8E4 significantly globally. While survival same size of tumour can have very differ- than one centimetre in diameter. A neg-
,WVWDUWVZLWKWKHDUP\ZKRVHRIILFHUFRUSVKDVEHHQGRPL majority of the patients are still diagnosed in the late B2A44=8=6 depends on a number of factors such as ent outcomes. New-age prognostic tests ative result could quickly rule out cancer,
QDWHGE\0XVOLPQRUWKHUQHUVVLQFHFRORQLDOWLPHV7KDWLVZK\ stages of the disease and a significant proportion of ?A>6A0<<4 the type of cancer, stage at the time of diag- help predict the risk of cancer relapse in while a positive result would trigger refer-
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them are not able to get appropriate treatment. B>280;C01>>B nosis, the quality of treatment, in the US the early stage of breast cancer with a high ral for more expensive tests using mam-
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Another worrying trend is an increasing incidence 0=3 it is estimated that up to 90 per cent of degree of accuracy, stratifying patients into mography or magnetic resonance imag-
of the disease in younger women. Shockingly, near- 4<10AA0BB<4=C women survive five years after diagnosis low and high-risk categories, based on ing. In addition to reducing patient wait
&KULVWLDQSUHVLGHQWLDOFDQGLGDWHVIURPWKHVRXWKDUHLQKRFNWRQRUWK ly half of the patients in urban India are less than and 84 per cent manage to survive 10 their tumour biology. Those patients who times and enabling earlier diagnosis, the
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50 years of age. Poor awareness about symptoms, years. fall in the low-risk category have very lim- device would eliminate radiation expo-
QRUWKFRQWUROWKHELJEDQNVRIYRWHUVWKDWFDQEHVROGWRWKHKLJK lack of a universal and comprehensive screening pro- 8BBD40A4C74 However, in India, the survival rates ited risk of relapse and may be able to sure, improve patient comfort and work
HVWELGGHUDQGLWLVLQWKHLULQWHUHVWWRNHHSWKRVHYRWHUVLJQRUDQW gramme, social taboos and embarrassment to dis- <08=A40B>=B remain abysmally low for reasons men- avoid chemotherapy. on particularly dense breasts, a problem
DQGREHGLHQW7KHVRXWKHUQNOHSWRFUDWVZKREX\WKHYRWHVKDYH cuss the issue are the main reasons behind delayed 1478=334;0H43 tioned above. Increased awareness and Cancer patients face a higher risk of with mammograms. However, this tech-
DQHTXDOO\VWURQJLQWHUHVWLQWKHV\VWHPDVLWOHWVWKHPJRRQVWHDO diagnosis as well as the resultant high mortality. 3806=>B8B health literacy, regular screening after 40 catching the Coronavirus infection as well nology will take a while to come to India
LQJ2QHWKLUGRI1LJHULD·VRLOUHYHQXHVRYHUWKHSDVW\HDUVKDYH Unfortunately, the prevailing situation due to a years of age, adoption of a healthy and as suffering from its complications as it is still at the nascent stage.
HQGHGXSLQIRUHLJQEDQNDFFRXQWV worldwide pandemic has impeded diagnosis and active lifestyle sans smoking or excessive because of their immuno-suppressive In the end, people have to realise that
treatment of a number of non-Coronavirus diseases, drinking, timely and appropriate treat- state as a result of the disease itself and due while the Coronavirus is a serious pan-
7KH\RXQJPHQDQGZRPHQLQWKHVWUHHWVRI/DJRVPD\QRW including all types of cancers. Already a neglected ment can help improve survival rates in to chemotherapy. These prognostic tests demic, they must not neglect their over-
UHDOLVHWKDWWKHLUUHEHOOLRQFRXOGHQGDQJHUDQHQWLUHFRUUXSWV\V subject, women’s health has further been relegated India too. that can help them avoid chemotherapy, all health, compromise on regular check-
WHPEXWWKRVHZKREHQHILWIURPLWFHUWDLQO\GR:KLFKLVZK\WKHLU to the back-burner as families delay medical con- New-age technologies can help nav- if used judiciously, can kill two birds with ups and doctor consultations or delay can-
UHVSRQVHKDVEHHQVRH[WUHPH:KDWKDSSHQVQH[WPDWWHUVDORW sultation and avoid visiting healthcare facilities or igate the Coronavirus pandemic: The one stone — patients can avoid cer treatment. However, all hospital vis-
EHFDXVH\HDUVIURPQRZ1LJHULDZLOOKDYHRYHUWDNHQWKH86LQ undergoing regular disease screening. adoption of new-age technologically- chemotherapy, which is immunosup- its must be undertaken with complete pre-
SRSXODWLRQDQGEHFRPHWKHWKLUGELJJHVWFRXQWU\LQWKHZRUOG,W Pandemic or not, do not put health issues on advanced methods further helps improve pressive, and avoid visits to the hospital cautionary measures that are the new nor-
ZRXOGEHQLFHLIE\WKHQLWZDVDVWDEOHZHOOHGXFDWHGGHPRFUD the back-burner: The Coronavirus is a long-term the quality of life of patients. Now, surgi- to undergo chemotherapy. mal now.
F\ZKHUHSURVSHULW\H[WHQGHGEH\RQGWKHVRXWK problem, which is likely to stay with us in the near cal treatment does not mean removal of Radiation therapy has also undergone (The writer is head, Department of
*Z\QQH'\HU·VQHZERRNLV¶*URZLQJ3DLQV7KH)XWXUHRI future. While containing the pandemic and ensur- the whole breast in all patients. It is pos- a complete metamorphosis over the Surgical Oncology, Manipal Hospitals,
'HPRFUDF\DQG:RUN· ing treatment of all infected people must be a high sible to offer a breast conservation surgery decades and modern machines enable us Dwarka)

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per the recently released Household So most such schools have either cropper in all such institutions. affordable and fruitful because apart
Social Consumption on Education in closed down or are facing closure as The pandemic gave rise to the from learning from books and the
India Report, the aggregate household they are neither able to pay their need for having a digital infrastruc- teachers, the children learn language
expenditure on private schools is teachers nor can they afford infra- ture and due to their low budgets, the skills, etiquette, discipline, interaction
approximately C1.75 lakh crore, structure costs. Some had planned unaided private schools claim that with peer groups, use of a library and
almost equal to the e-commerce sec- expansion in early March and taken they are neither able to match up with social behaviour. So parents, despite
tor. Also, about 50 per cent of the total loans. Many have gone into severe elite schools nor with the State-run their low incomes, do not mind pay-
school enrolments are in private debt and even after closure, are in dis- schools, for which the content is aired ing for education at brick and mor- 2>=24A=B>E4A
C89F1:9 B0A:0A schools.
Though almost all schools,
tress. Most of these are entrepreneur-
ial ventures by innovative individuals.
through television and radio channels
and other Government-run plat-
tar schools.
As per a Ministry of Statistics and 0=0648=6F>A;3
ndia’s unaided private school edu- Government or private, are under In Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh, a shop- forms. To make matters worse, par- Programme Implementation report, 6[^QP[[hcWT[XUT^UcWT
I cation is collapsing as thousands
of institutions have closed down
and many others are struggling to sur-
stress due to the lockdown, the worst
sufferers are the virtual informal
schools. With or without Government
keeper’s son started a school that fol-
lowed the concept of “pay C1 a day.”
However, since the students are not
ents do not consider online teaching
to be proper education. They do not
pay the schools because their wards
Indians pay 12 times the money for
pre-primary education at a private
school. The number decreases to
T[STa[hWPbRWP]VTSUa^\P
bX\_[T\PX][h[^RP[XbTS
R^]RTa]c^PbhbcT\XR
vive. This may cost the nation over recognition, they serve the hinterland coming to school, entrepreneurs like are not going there. Apart from that, about three times at the higher sec-
C1.75 lakh crore a year, as the of the country. They have improved him have little option but to close given as the teachers (trained or not) they find online teaching expensive ondary level. A majority, 70.8 per cent R^\_aTWT]bXeTP]S[^]V
Coronavirus-induced lockdown has school enrolment, especially in rural down operations. are from the neighbourhood. This is due to the high internet costs. Another students, pay less than C1,000 month- cTa\UPRc^aaT[PcTSc^cWT
harmed the education sector areas, where the number of students The impact on society is severe as making education more mass-based problem they face is that each child ly fee, while 45.5 per cent pay less than bdbcPX]PQ[TSTeT[^_\T]c^U
immensely. Though the mention of attending private schools has these virtual schools employ mostly as the official system has many limi- needs a smart phone or computer, C500. The monthly median fee in an
private education conjures up images increased from four per cent in 1993 jobless youth at low salaries. The pay- tations and despite some recent which they cannot afford. elementary unaided school is C958 in cWTTR^]^\hP]Sb^RXTch
of swanky private schools with world- to 26.6 per cent in 2017-18. ment is on a daily or hourly basis. But efforts, suffers from delivery prob- Apart from this, many children urban areas and C500 in rural India. FXcWPaP_XS[hPVTX]V
class facilities and sky-high fee struc- The CSF says that the struggle for each school sustains at least 100 peo- lems. Recruitment of teachers itself is do not find online teaching interest- Schools complain that at least one- b^RXTchcWTRWP[[T]VTbcWPc
ture, these are also in crisis today. the survival of private education in the ple on an average. The youth prefer flawed as the disclosures from VYA- ing as there are many glitches and third of the parents default in paying ]TTSc^QT^eTaR^\TaP]VT
However, it is the online, low bud- country is intense. Even under nor- to opt for such jobs for sustenance as PAM in Madhya Pradesh and by the teachers, too, find themselves strug- this minimal amount also. The closure Ua^\cWTaXbX]VbW^acPVT^U
get schools that have been the worst- mal circumstances, it is not easy for well as for the prestige they enjoy in UP Government have shown. The gling due to the lack of eye contact. of budget private schools can adverse-
hit by the pandemic. These schools private schools to attract students and their neighbourhood due to it. In vil- Yogi Adityanath Government also Plus, students mostly switch off the ly impact “education for all” and mul- [PQ^dac^X]RaTPbX]V[h
penetrate rural areas, small towns or during the Coronavirus era, the sit- lages or semi-urban areas, such found that the district officials inter- video mode because of the poor net- tiply unemployment. With apathy, low d]bdbcPX]PQ[T_T]bX^]Ud]Sb
low-income localities of metros, uation has worsened further as par- schools have become the first choice fered in “Basic Shiksha” schools and work across the country and to Government allocation and high- P]SX]PST`dPcT\TSXRP[P]S
according to the State of the Sector ents refuse to pay fees. Plus, the dig- for parents, as they are perceived to issued orders for severing these from reduce unaffordable data use. handedness, school education is ]dabX]VaTb^daRTb
Report on Private Schools by the ital footprint has made online educa- be better than Government schools the district administration. Plus, The students and their parents becoming nobody’s baby.
Central Square Foundation (CSF). As tion unaffordable. due to the overall care that a child is online education has largely come a find brick and mortar schools more (The writer is a senior journalist)
2WX]P3PX[h TSXc^aXP[
08 OPINION THE TRIBUNE
JALANDHAR | SATURDAY | 24 OCTOBER 2020

Politics of, by and for TRP


THE TRIBUNE established in 1881
Faulty viewership ratings are used to offer credibility to unseemly propagandists
government and investigated by its
police be simultaneously investigated
by the police of a BJP-ruled govern-

Covid vaccine politics ment and conveniently passed on to


the CBI? This agency is well known
for its political investigations, as none
Making it a poll promise undermines fight against pandemic other than the Supreme Court of India

T
HE BJP’s surprise decision to make free Covid-19 vaccination in NOUS INDICA had termed it a parrot caged by the
RAJESH RAMACHANDRAN Central government. This tendency
Bihar an election promise adds an avoidable and uncalled-for was first witnessed in the case of
political twist to the battle against coronavirus. The Union Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide. But

T
Finance Minister and not a party functionary making the announce- HE Television Rating Points at least Rajput hailed from that state,
ment only makes it look and sound worse. Singling out a state and steer- (TRP) scam has conse- Bihar, and his family members were
ing the vaccine conversation from identifying who needs it on priority in quences that go much grieving complainants. Not so in the
any part of the country to who should get it as a poll promise amounts to beyond the lung power of case of TRP manipulation. Here an
fiddling with management of an unprecedented public health emer- uncouth anchors, whose nightly executive of a Delhi-based advertising
gency. Within hours of the BJP, ruling both at the Centre and in Patna, shows, one thought, were comic relief agency filed the complaint in Luc-
releasing its manifesto, the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, which goes after a hard day’s work — only to REAL TEST: Journalistic credibility lies in immeasurable virtues of goodwill and know, which was handed over to the
to the polls next year, and BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh announced free learn late that the joke was on us, the respect, which ought to get translated into reach or viewership and readership. CBI in just 24 hours! At times the Indi-
coronavirus vaccination. This could just be the beginning. viewers. This scam has layers and lay- an bureaucracy functions at lightning
ers of fraud, duplicity, dog-whistle pol- speed, but only when it is ordered by
Suddenly, from a cooperative Centre-state national resolve, a
itics and hatred in varying doses that
Another dangerous dimension of the scam is the attempt the political bosses. Is that the case
political agenda has been injected into the Covid containment
processes. The implications of encouraging competitive federalism
have damaged the entrails of the body by the UP government and the CBI to hijack a case filed with the TRP scam as well? The Maha-
politic and conned the average Indian rashtra government seems to believe
and a state-versus-state, party-against-party tussle for getting to turn her into something that she by the police of another state government. so, and that is why it has withdrawn
access to the vaccine stocks could be grave. There will be genuine was not. Of late, Indians were made to the general consent to the CBI, limit-
apprehensions in various state capitals about whether the Centre believe that a certain brand of loud, ing its powers in the state. Now the
plans to dilute a national vaccine management plan. brash, opinionated, hate-filled report- pany operator had only to bribe 10 former employees are in the dock CBI has to seek permission from the
In a bid to douse the criticism, a Union minister did allude to the ing and anchoring is what news TV households to keep a particular chan- now for the fake TRP scam). Maharashtra government for every
fact that if a vaccine comes, it will be for the whole of India, not just ought to be because that is what view- nel on the whole day. And these 10 Market survey findings can and will case it has to investigate in the state.
one state, but that is not the message the manifesto tends to give. ers want. And the proof of what the households were mostly from a certain get manipulated, and so would any But why would the Centre tear down
The Prime Minister has repeatedly assured that there will be no viewers want was dished out in terms category, for which a paltry payment of other currency; it is for the industry — the gossamer-thin federal fabric that
shortage of funds for the gigantic undertaking of vaccinating the of TRP figures week after week, pro- Rs 400-500 every month was a good TV, print or digital — to come up with holds the Union and the states togeth-
second most populous country after China. On the eve of the festi- claiming that any sober, reasonable enough bribe. So, just Rs 400 a month a more complex system involving sev- er over a TV rating scandal? Therein
and true reflection of social realities is was enough to decide the fate of budg- eral matrices, with all of them indicat- lies the rub! The media in India holds
val season, he even warned citizens that the disease was still active
not acceptable or palatable to the etary allocation of thousands of crores ing a similar result for the ratings body disproportionate sway over the hearts
and present, and they would be putting their own lives and those of
viewer. That thousands of crores of rupees; worse, that meagre amount to proclaim a certain news TV channel and minds of the people, in shaping
their family members at risk if they were irresponsible about safe- worth of advertising was riding on was enough to inject poison into the a clear winner. Apart from bar-o- opinions that determine the fate of elec-
ty measures. The BJP choosing to make vaccination an election these TRP numbers is the crucial minds of perfectly normal people. meters, results of separate market sur- tions and ultimately, that of the nation.
issue, too, cannot be deemed a responsible approach. dimension of the fraud as this money This scam is the collective failure of veys of viewers and advertisers, and Just as Rs 400-a-month payouts decide
further fuelled the disgusting content. the industry body, the Indian media, digital consumption patterns ought to advertising priorities worth thousands
When the TRP scam was busted in the advertising fraternity and the converge to identify a leader. Similar- of crores of rupees, the same can deter-
Mumbai in the first week of this government regulators. It was kept ly, a market survey with a questionably mine the credibility of the news chan-

On the right track month, it was merely the exposé of a


poorly-kept secret. All that the agency
or its employees or former employees
hidden all these years because many
important players were complicit in it
at one time or the other. Sure, the
small sample size should not be
enough to proclaim a newspaper as
the No. 1. It should be factored in along
nels. But journalistic credibility is
priceless — it cannot be tabulated like
a balance sheet; it lies in immeasura-
Cycle paths welcome, but Gurugram needs far more involved in conducting the viewership industry body has suspended the rat- with circulation figures and the ble virtues of goodwill and respect,

T
survey for the industry body that con- ings for three months, but the alterna- strength of advertising rates and vol- which ought to get translated into
HE suspension of public transport and the closure of gyms dur- trolled the Rs 70,000-crore Indian tive that it would come up with can- umes, particularly classified ads, reach or viewership and readership. If
ing the Covid-induced lockdown spurred the use of bicycles, advertising pie had to do to manipu- not be a dramatically improved which is the best test of a brand. viewership parameters are tampered
especially on short-distance trips. With the virus still posing a late the TV ratings was to bribe some version of the scandalous, criminal Another dangerous dimension of the with, then credibility gets manufac-
threat despite a gradual fall in the number of daily cases, some peo- of the 44,000 homes where the TRP enterprise that finally got exposed by TRP scam is the attempt by the UP tured. News, views and opinions
ple are continuing with this environment-friendly option — which meters — or bar-o-meters — were the Mumbai police. Earlier, when the government and the CBI to hijack a matter only if they are credible, and
offers health benefits too — during the unlocking process as well. kept. As for English news TV, it was print industry faced a similar situa- case filed by the police of another state they all seem to have been cheaply
Taking note of this trend, the Gurugram Metropolitan Development simpler as the panel of homes was tion, all that was done was to change government. Should every crime com- manipulated like the bar-o-meters —
Authority (GMDA) has devised a plan to build 800 km of cycle tracks much smaller — a fraudster TV com- the agency (in fact, the same agency’s mitted in a state ruled by a non-BJP by and for a political reason.
and 400 km of footpaths in the city over the next two decades. The
twin objectives are to curb accidents and reduce pollution. Gurugram

Gene-mutating rural scene


district is the worst performer in terms of road safety in Haryana,
accounting for about 8 per cent of the state’s road fatalities last year.
A sizeable proportion of these victims are unsuspecting cyclists and
pedestrians who are run over by speeding motor vehicles.
The experience of cities such as Delhi and Chandigarh shows that cycle RS Dalal ised in the village on bovine health. Haryanvi saying — ‘Desan mei des ever, scientists have now invented a
tracks and footpaths are brazenly encroached upon by motorists and road- ‘What shall I do there?’ I asked Haryana, jahan doodh-dahi ka magic technology. They are success-

J
side vendors. Many drivers treat them as a thoroughfare to bypass the UST a few years before I retired, a laughing. ‘I’m impressed with the khana’ — epitomises it. ful in separating the X chromosome
unending traffic jams and also to park their vehicles, forcing cyclists and chance interaction with a famous micro-forest that you have devel- The camp was a big draw. A large from Y chromosome. Through artifi-
pedestrians to risk their lives on busy roads. Poor or no lighting on these heritage restorer kindled my inter- oped along the johad (pond). Once number of men and women had gath- cial insemination, a female calf will
routes renders them unusable after dusk. The GMDA’s initiative could est in our village and in our modest you helped villagers procure a pedi- ered with their cattle. The women are be born in every lactation. Such a
come a cropper if these issues are not addressed at the outset. heritage haveli of 1861 vintage. What greed he-buffalo to boost milk at the forefront in rearing the milch technology is now available with us.
Merely constructing parallel paths won’t help in easing the Millen- also fascinated me there was the yield,’ thus flattering me, he carried cattle, attending to this tedious Now onwards, no worries for you;
nium City’s traffic woes. Strict enforcement of rules is required. Reg- quaint, sparse population (as a result on, ‘such wonderful technologies in round-the-clock task. contact us for the solutions,’ he said.
ular road safety campaigns for residents should be a proactive exercise, of urban migration), large open spaces this field are on the horizon that you And once the sick animals had Some looked at him with disbelief
and water bodies, though heaps of will be amazed to know.’ He seemed been attended to, the chief veterinar- while many others clapped.
not just a formality. Such programmes should involve traffic cops at all
filth, open drains and general neglect to be leaving me no way out except ian picked up the mike and perked I too felt bewildered by such tec-
levels. The entire road infrastructure has to be revamped to encourage
cried for attention. If these could be to accept his invite. up the audience to be ready for a big tonic-shift advances of science,
people to travel on foot or on a cycle, at least in their neighbourhood. attended, it would be like a European The cattle population of our village announcement. ‘Aren’t you fed up where one could just manipulate
The public bicycle sharing scheme, which has been tried out in Bhopal village. These thoughts provoked me is substantial; the majority being buf- of male calves and their disposal?’ he the desired gender of an animal.
and other cities but has only flattered to deceive, should be made user- to take the challenging restoration faloes of famous Murrah breed. May asked in his raised voice. All nodded And above all, what a paradox! For,
friendly through cheaper rentals and easier access to the bikes. At the work as my post-retirement project. be that's how the strong tradition of in ready boisterous agreement. humans have always craved for the
same time, the authorities need to improve public transport drastical- Observing my engagement with vegetarianism got nurtured. Nutri- ‘When a female calf is born, delicious male child, and took to tantriks,
ly so that fewer commuters clog the roads with their vehicles. our village scenario, the District Vet- tious milk and butter go to raise stur- desserts halwa and kheer are served, hakims, quacks, charlatans and
erinary Officer extended an invite to dy young men and women, excelling whereas the birth of a male calf is ultrasound machine and what not,
me for a livestock camp being organ- in sports and armed forces. A popular greeted with crestfallen faces. How- in their crazy quest!

❝ ❞
thought for the day letters to the editor
Whoever controls the media, controls the mind. The poor option stand for inclusive nationalism try, and even outside the country ply Minister Bisahulal Singh also
— Jim Morrison Reference to ‘Ration kits for poor which is essential for a strong and where best prices can be invited ire for allegedly calling
rot in Abohar’; the latest report developed nation. obtained. Profits gained through his opponent's wife ‘mistress’.
of ration kits rotting at Balluana ASHWANI BANSAL, BY MAIL this exercise can be shared pro- Both senior politicians have been
constituency in Abohar once portionately. Simultaneously booked for their highly derogato-
on this day...100 years ago again reminds one of the negli- In farmers’ interest money for procurement can be ry and offensive remarks. But it
gent and insensitive approach of Corporate houses are being arranged by all three segments raises a question: do politicians
the officials in charge towards encouraged by politicians to grab jointly, and further safe storage, really care about women' s
the most vulnerable section of the crop of farmers, in the name of transportation and sale. It will not respect? Women empowerment
society. It is not by pandemic development that benefits politi- interfere with new farm laws as and eve-teasing can't go together
alone that the poor are being cians and corporate houses. This these allow producers to sell their by playing dirty politics. The gov-
lahore, sunday, october 24, 1920
pushed to hunger but due to the approach will not bring us at the produce at premium anywhere ernment and law bodies must
apathetic attitude of the people top in development, but will defi- instead of local mandis. take tough action against them.
SOME BASIC CONSIDERATIONS. in power. When the government nitely push us towards poverty. No JAGDISH SINGH JASSAL, PATIALA PULKIT JAIN, BANUR
WE have endeavoured to show that the simultaneous and universal boycott of has sanctioned food kits intended corporate can double crop produc-
educational institutions with which either the Government or the University has to feed the hungry, how can the tion. If they are superior in tech- Poll code violation Fill in the details
anything to do, that seems to be under contemplation at the present time, is not officials be so heartless? Indeed, nology, why don’t they buy stub- The ruling BJP has violated the Apropos of the news report ‘SAD,
sanctioned either by the Congress resolution or by the All-India Congress the option for the poor remains ble from farmers and make model code of conduct by specifi- Cong engage in verbal duel over
Committee. But this is clearly no formidable objection from Mr. Gandhi’s point of the poor option. superior products out of stubble? cally announcing during cam- scholarship scam’, the entire
view. He can say that the movement was not originated by the Congress, that it JOSHNA SWEEZAL MORAS, MANGALURU The courts should also direct the paigning for the upcoming Bihar report does not tell anything
had been actually in operation for over a month when the Congress sanctioned it, government/corporates to make Assembly elections that the state about the scam. It just talks about
that the same thing may happen in this case, that if the country shows itself Social harmony stubble viable by using the knowl- will first get the coronavirus vac- the sparring among the ruling and
sufficiently in earnest in this matter and takes his suggestion, there will be no Apropos of ‘Virus of communal edge of science and technology. cine for free. Will the Election opposition parties. For the benefit
difficulty in the way of the Nagpur Congress quietly eliminating the word hatred’, wherever in any country This will help increase farmer’s Commission initiate any action of readers, a brief background
“gradual” or substituting some other word in its place that better expresses his of the world, any type of religious income and reduce their liability. against the offender? about what the scam/issue is
own meaning. Whatever one may think of such a plea in its theoretical aspect it is or racial fanaticism has deepened T SINGH, PANCHKULA BALVINDER, BY MAIL should be given. It would enlight-
impossible to ignore its force in actual practice. The Congress is what the people its roots, all kinds of social, eco- en the readers about the actual
have made it, and if the people do not choose to wait for its sanction or would think nomic and political rights of the Buy produce jointly Sexism in politics issue at hand. For reports on acci-
it enough for their purpose that they are following the lead of someone in whom people have got trampled. Growth Apropos of ‘Discord on MSP’, the Reference to “Kamal Nath gets dents, the cause of the accident
they have trust and confidence, there is an end of all discussion on the question of and development has been taken state government and farmer EC notice on 'item' jibe”; the (driver not wearing helmet/over-
sanction. The only thing that we have to guard ourselves against is that there may over by destruction and devasta- leaders may go for the purchase Congress leader did cross the speeding/stray cattle/vehicles not
be no misunderstanding of the position, that the public may have no tion. All fundamentalist Muslim and procurement of produce at line, calling BJP's Imarti Devi an having proper brake, lights/pot-
misapprehension as to whose lead it is following, that it may not assume from the countries, especially Pakistan in MSP jointly, and then assign the ‘item’. He attempted to brush off holes etc) should also be given so
mere fact that the Congress has passed a resolution on non-co-operation, that it our neighbourhood, are a perfect sale through traders of the state the comment, saying that 'item' that people may be more aware of
has also sanctioned this particular step. So far as Mr. Gandhi is concerned, there is example. Do we too want our at profitable rates in the open term is commonly used every- the lurking dangers while driving.
no need to put anyone on his guard on this score. He is not in the habit of quoting nation to go that way? We must market within the state or coun- where. MP's Food and Civil Sup- BHUSHAN CHANDER JINDAL, SHIMLA
the authority of the Congress or of any other body or individual in support of what
he asks the people to do. His appeal is always direct and personal. Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribunemail.com
THE TRIBUNE
JALANDHAR | SATURDAY | 24 OCTOBER 2020 OPED 09

New warnings from Hyderabad floods mate scientists have enough evidence
that shows that extreme rain events
are on the rise in India — their num- While extreme rain events are
ber in central India has tripled
between 1950 and 2015. The region
linked to climate change, every
covers large swathes of landmass, such episode of high rainfall
extending from Gujarat to north Kar-
DINESH C SHARMA
nataka and south Kerala, and includes need not end in urban
Chhattisgarh and Telangana.
SCIENCE COMMENTATOR These extreme rain events, according
flooding. Cities get flooded
to studies led by Roxy Mathew Koll at when there is not enough

J
UST when the Covid-19 pandem- the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteo-
ic appears to be showing signs of rology (IITM), are occurring not due to space for rainwater to flow into
slowing down in many parts of
the country, some states are fac-
low pressure systems developing over
the Bay of Bengal or local temperatures
drains, rivers and
ing another challenge — floods. but due to transport of moisture from other channels.
Disturbing scenes of streets sub- the Arabian Sea. The north Arabian Sea
merged with gushing water, cars and is warming due to transport of pollu-
motorcycles floating like toys, newly tants from land and this increased LAPSES: Floods raise questions about urban
built highways washed away and warmth is causing a surge of moisture development, conservation of water bodies, flood
houses falling like ninepins have supply, which, in turn, causes extreme warning, and policy response to climate change.
been reported from Hyderabad in the rain events over the central Indian belt.
past 10 days. The capital of Telangana This link between carbon emissions
has been battered with heavy rain in a and warming seas, triggering changes have changed in the past two to three was farsighted and has served the city lower than the southern bank) and the mate scientists have shown the trend of
short spell of time, a phenomenon in moisture transport, is now clear. decades and open, green spaces have well through most of the last century. construction of a riverfront with new rising extreme weather events, and oth-
that scientists and meteorologists call While extreme rain events are shrunk. Hyderabad is no exception. Though the Nizam was a great believ- boulevards along the river in the city. er research groups are working on pos-
an extreme weather event. The rain linked to climate change, every such By blindly attributing urban flooding er in astrology and had even wor- Most of these works were imple- sible adaptation measures, like model-
and resultant flooding have left a trail episode of high rainfall need not end to climate change, we mask wrong shipped the river, as suggested by mented during the reign of Mir Osman ing drainage systems, urban flood
of destruction and human misery. in urban flooding. Simply put, cities urban development policies. Hindus priests, he sided with scientif- Ali Khan, the seventh and last Nizam, forecasting systems, real-time flood-
It also raises important questions get flooded when there is not enough The policy response to extreme rain ic advice on long-term flood protec- earning him accolades for being a monitoring, stormwater management
concerning urban development, con- space for the rainwater to flow into events as well as urban flooding has been tion measures. Within weeks of the modern ruler. The city’s population, systems and the use of localised data for
servation of water bodies, climate drains, rivers and other channels. slow, despite mounting scientific evi- flood episode, the Nizam commis- including the Residency and the the prevention and management of
change, flood warning systems and When natural soaking mechanisms dence and possible solutions. Most politi- sioned Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, Secunderabad cantonment, was about floods. Satellite imagery, weather fore-
policy response to climate change. like lakes have been converted into cians and policy-makers love to dub such a leading engineering expert of half a million, but Visvesvaraya casts, ground information through
Focusing on one aspect and leaving built infrastructure, when new struc- episodes as ‘nature’s fury’ and are satis- British India and later to be Diwan of planned for taking care of a future sensors, all have to be used in an inte-
out the others could lead to a faulty tures like roads, flyovers and build- fied by announcing immediate relief and the Mysore state, to prepare the plan. increase in the population up to one grated manner. The revival and con-
understanding of the situation. ings are disregarding natural funds for rebuilding damaged structures. Visvesvaraya’s recommendations million. He even provided for the servation of water bodies and an
Since 2000, urban flooding has drainage flows and when floodplains For many Hyderabadis, these floods were three-fold — the construction of introduction of an electric tram service understanding of their inter-connec-
emerged as a national trend. Several of rivers and rivulets are encroached are a grim reminder of the 1908 floods two large reservoirs for storing excess in future, as it was being rolled out in tivity need to be given top priority.
cities have been getting flooded, crip- upon legally or illegally, all such in the Musi river, which flows through waters of the Musi and its branch Isi many large cities in British India. State climate action plans have existed
pling normal life and posting huge actions have no direct relation with the city. The flood had affected almost (Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar); an Policy-makers and politicians in for over a decade, but mostly on paper
losses to the economy. The list includes climate science but have everything two-thirds of the city’s population and underground drainage system and Hyderabad today are in a much better due to lack of linkages within the admin-
Mumbai, Chennai, Srinagar, Jaipur, to do with faulty, shortsighted and razed to ground one-fourth of the built separate stormwater drains for the position than the Nizam was a century istrative machinery. Now, it is time to
Baroda, Kochi and, now, Hyderabad. politicised urban planning. The satel- structures in the city. city; raising the embankments of the before. All knowledge needed to prepare climate action programmes for
In most of these cases, floods were a lite imagery of major cities shows how The policy response mounted by Mir Musi (because most flooding was address the challenge resides in the city individual cities so that a focused and
result of extreme rain events. And cli- rapidly land-use patterns in cities Mahbub Ali Khan, the sixth Nizam, caused due to the northern bank being and expertise is just a click away. Cli- coordinated action can be initiated.

Let’s fight the forces of evil together


T
HERE is a saying in Sanskrit strength of an individual and society. the weaker organisms applies to
that reminds us of one of the Whether it is Nirbhaya, Gudiya, nations also. We have seen how impor-
most powerful truths. It says Hyderabad’s veterinarian or Hathras’ tant it is to follow simple rules, such as
that not a horse, not an ele- daughter, all these cases are a manifes- wearing the mask, keeping social dis-
phant, not a tiger, but only the lamb is tation of the rise of the evil forces which tance and washing hands repeatedly.
sacrificed in a ritual. Not even God are harming our society and our nation. In the case of the pandemic, we are on
protects the weak. We need to deal strictly with lawbreak- our way to victory. Now when we are
This saying echoes the universal tru- ers and anti-social elements. about to defeat the virus, we need to be
BANDARU DATTATREYA
ism that the weak are left without pro- We need to become a powerful more vigilant. There is no need to
GOVERNOR OF HIMACHAL PRADESH tection. This is the law of nature and it nation. Whether it is Pakistan or Chi- become casual till the vaccine comes.
is the guiding force behind the journey na, we will feel safe only when we are In Sat Yuga, the power of knowledge
of the universe. Veer Bhogya Vasund- powerful. Since Pakistan cannot harm was supreme and in Treta Yuga, the
Today’s evil Ravana has hara is one of the repeated affirmations India, it has entered into an unholy power of mantras was predominant. In
in our scriptures. It means that only alliance with China. Pakistan is known Dwapar Yuga, the strength in war was
innumerable heads. We the brave enjoy this earth. to encourage terrorist activities in the dominant power. And in Kali Yuga,
need to burn all these evils, Vijayadashami symbolises the victo-
ry of divine powers over demonic
India. Infiltration from across the bor-
der, supporting separatists and seces-
power lies in unity, in joining hands
together. The more united we are as a
both within and without, to forces and it is the festival to worship sionist forces and drug trade are a part nation, the more powerful will we be.
power. It is said in the Upanishads that of its nefarious design. But today’s This is the foundation of patriotism
attain victory and become the powerless persons cannot attain India is capable of facing every chal- and love for our motherland. This
powerful. Some of the evils God. The law of nature favours the
strong. It applies to nations as well.
VIJAYADASHAMI: The festival symbolises the victory of divine powers over demonic forces. lenge. Our armed forces are ready to
meet any challenge on the border.
country is our mother, and it is our
duty to increase its pride and prestige.
are atrocities on women, Only powerful nations are recognised (power). Durga Puja is essentially the nepotism, black marketing and injus- Every citizen should work in the We should take a vow that India shall
in the world and weak countries festival of worship of Shakti. Goddess tice. All these are the evils that we have national interest, for, only then will we become one of the most powerful
exploitation of children, remain under their influence. Durga gives us a message to become to put an end to. emerge as a strong nation. countries and a prosperous and
female foeticide, terrorism, Vijayadashami celebrates valour and
strength that is backed by dharma and
powerful and inspires us to conquer
ev