The Padma Awards Controversy

Where cronyism becomes the creed only the craven can be celebrated. The annual brouhaha over the Padma awards therefore never ceases to startle me. Such honours are always conferred even where they are not actually deserved. The truly deserving seldom seek awards and, in the distorted scheme of things in which we live, thus become disentitled to receive them. After all it is not honour which is being bestowed but patronage!

Acharya Kriplani had, in 1970, moved a non-official Bill for the abolition of these awards. According to the Bill the decorations were not always according to merit with the Government of the day not the best judge of the merit or eminence of the recipients and what was intended to be for a few exceptionally talented individuals was transformed into a torrent of conferrals.

Quite predictably the Kriplani’s Bill was defeated. The Padmas had to be conferred by politicians on themselves (Indira Gandhi), their teachers (Rajiv Gandhi), their doctors (Vajpayee & Manmohan Singh) or on prospective political allies (MGR and now Sharad Pawar) or those who shout the loudest (Saina Nehwal). Bharat Ratna Tendulkar is busy endorsing products and teams on television while Dhyan Chand (a national icon but of a less favoured sport) lies obscure and anonymous in his grave. Dubious antecedents are no bar to the grant or holding of these awards – being shady or above-board has nothing to do with qualities intrinsic to the individual in question and is only a question of perception. And a favourable perception of those who have to confer awards is all that is required for entitlement!

Interestingly, the Supreme Court of India while rejecting a petition against conferring of awards nevertheless observed that it is necessary to ensure that the “recipient are subjected to feelings of respect rather than suspicion” and that “the number of awards should not be so large as to dilute their value.” The Court “did not say more” because it had entrusted the job to a Committee of “high level functionaries” which was to keep in view the “anxieties” expressed by the Court.

Judgments are not meant to be homilies which is the reason the Court’s exhortation has been treated with utter disdain and contempt.

As the RTI activist Subhash Chandra Aggarwal said “when the Awards Committee choose about 100 names from thousands of nominations in just a few hours over two to three meetings, it seems likely that a pre-decided list is put before the committee for endorsement.” No ennobling exercise this, just a kick in the teeth of the deserving while giving short shrift to the “anxieties” which led the Court to constitute the Committee itself.

It is apparent from the manner in which the Padma awards have been granted that what was meant to be an honour has been reduced to a mere title which is specifically barred by Article 18 of the Constitution of India and the breach of the condition precedent for their retention as declared by the Supreme Court renders the very process of granting these honours void in law.

Considering its process and its selectees I feel the Padma Awards should be re-named Padma’s Wards!

Saif, Taimur & Name-Calling!

In an Indian Defence Review Blog it was mentioned that Pakistan is working on an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) named Taimur. India however has an Intercontinental Celebrity Baby Made (ICBM) in India with that name thanks to Saif! It is a sheer coincidence that Pakistani’s and Saif share the liking for that name. Pakistan chose it because of its visceral hostility towards India celebrating the Taimur’s invasion of Delhi and the brutal massacre which followed it. Saif however is the ultimate patriot – he has shown some Indians can do in India what Pakistan cannot from Pakistan!!

Then perhaps Saif chose the name because he is actually a Mongol. He wants to celebrate the Taimurian passion to restore and then expand the Mongolian Empire. It is a different matter that Ghengis Khan is credited with the largest contiguous Mongol Empire. The point Saif very intelligently notes is that Ghenghis’ military campaigns in India were not of the same ferocity for Saif’s son to proudly carry that name. Taimur is better! There is another reason; Ghengis was called “Great Khan” and Bollywood has too many great Khans to bother about that old chap!!

Or perhaps its got nothing to do with Mongols. In fact nothing at all to do with anyone. You see Saif, the eminent historian that he is, knows that in Taimur’s time everyone was fighting everyone else. Muslims fought Muslims too! Saif only likes the razing of cities and torturing and massacring of captives – the more cruel a person the better. And does Taimur not fit the bill. Come on the answer is an obvious YES!!

And are we not living in INTOLERANT times? The name should suit the times. Enough of secularism and tolerance – God its suffocating! The Sword of Islam is the answer. With whom is the Sword of Islam associated? Hehhehheh – Taimur!

Saif is just a loving parent choosing the best name for his son! No one from the Islamic Golden Age could be the right choice for him. Do you think we need to be bothered about Philosophy, Science, Mathematics or Art and Culture with whom have been associated very eminent Muslims? Not at all!

And now that Taimur is taken, Ghaznavi, Ghauri and Abdali remain as future choices. These are the names of the existing Pakistani missiles.

The supremely cultivated Rishi Kapur told everyone disapproving the choice to “shut the fuck up”! How will he respond to people like me who provide the justification for Saif’s choice?? ūüôā

Rahul Gandhi’s “Earthquake” & Alice In Wonderland moments!

Without joining the political battle and confining myself only to the language used in political discourse I feel that many times our “leaders” (its a disgrace at times to use this undeserved appellation) not only NEVER MEAN WHAT THEY SAY say but actually SAY WHAT THEY CANNOT MEAN. I was amused to hear Rahul Gandhi’s comment on Narendra Modi. He MEANT Modi is “QUAKING” because of the apprehended revelations. However he SAID there will be an “EARTHQUAKE” when he will speak. He COULD NOT have MEANT that because the earthquake would consume the maker (that is Rahul Gandhi) himself rendering the quaking of Modi irrelevant! So far from being EXPLOSIVE as was presumed the allegations would actually be IMPLOSIVE. And that is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what was intended to be conveyed! Orwell will surely turn in his grave. He used “DOUBLESPEAK” as a CONSCIOUS political strategy to manipulate and control the population. He never anticipated a variant of this arising SPONTANEOUSLY out of the utter banality of the speaker with consequences completely different from the original intent. That’s DOUBLESPEAK DOUBLESPEAK – we KNOW the speaker did not mean it yet WONDER what he meant with no one knowing the real meaning. The ensuing confusion enables everyone to take any meaning from it with the real meaning not known to anyone! Thus we have BJP saying Rahul Gandhi has “nothing earth-shattering to reveal” assuming what he MEANT but did not SAY but it is NOT saying that what Rahul SAID affects HIM not THEM! And AAP wonders why Rahul is NOT actually speaking out what he threatens to say UNCONCERNED that taking what Rahul SAYS literally will consume AAP in the earthquake for no fault of itself! Its the ALICE IN WONDERLAND MOMENT – the only thing is it is REAL. Wish I could say (borrowing from the work) “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS” – but in the scheme of things the heads seem irrelevant and so “off with their heads” will actually make NO difference!! ūüôā

Salman Khan & Pakistani artistes…

“Ideal situation should have been of peace. But now reaction to an action has happened. It was a proper action because they were terrorists. But in this day and age I think if we lived in peace and harmony it would have been better for everyone especially for the common people.” Thus spoke Salman Khan protesting banning of Pakistani artistes.

For Salman Khan the Uri attack and killing of 19 Indians was merely “an action” – a physical fact to which one can be indifferent and which can carry not attribute of right or wrong! ¬†This is a flawed premise which cannot but doom the conclusion which follows.

India, according to him, did not respond¬†(that is did not act in a thoughtful or reasoned manner) but “reacted”¬†that is acted thoughtlessly and impulsively to the action which brings both countries at par with nothing to distinguish between them. India responded not reacted as it moved mindfully against specified targets to prevent infiltration into the country which Pakistan has no right to permit.

I presume what he called “proper action” actually implied “proper reaction” unless he feels that terrorist infiltration into India is proper with which point of view I cannot have a reasoned discourse. If however the reaction was “proper” then he cannot simultaneously rue the want of “peace and harmony” because a proper reaction is a restore a disturbed equilibrium and impose restraint to curb injuries of excess.

Peace and harmony can be an end in itself only if the intention is shared. It is always the preferred state of existence but in an interactive environment that goal can be achieved only when actions are conducive towards that end. The Pakistani track-record (to which Salman Khan does not allude) needs to take the blame for want of peace and harmony. Pakistan has to be condemned for Pakistani artistes losing work in India. Have any of the Pakistani artistes spoken? If they are not affected whose case is Salman Khan espousing?

Pakistani artistes may not be terrorists but who amongst them have called the terrorists terrorists? And will these artistes not endorse the official Pakistani line both on Kashmir and terrorism on which Pakistan justifies the repeated disturbances in India? How can Pakistan be defeated unless the mindset which drives Pakistan be vanquished? And how can that mindset be vanquished without quelling those who endorse it overtly or covertly? This is not a question of mere politics but survival of India as India and art cannot be the Trojan Horse for India’s defeat in its battle for existence. India wants its position to be accepted as that acceptance gives India the justification to resist Pakistan. If we host those who are not aligned with India’s interests how can we isolate those hostile to it and prove the seriousness of our intent to do it?

Salman Khan may feel sorry for Pakistani artistes friends. But he should also wonder whether his friends feel sorry India.

KAPIL SHARMA’S ACHHE DIN SHOW!

Kapil Sharma before demolition of illegal structures:

Talking to a friend: These are Achhe Din! I am burning trees every night to make extension of my building. I am also making unauthorised construction on the 9th floor of my apartment. One Chaubal has made a complaint and BMC has issued me a Stop Work Notice but I do not care. I am paying Rs 15 crore as tax so forget how much I am declaring and just imagine how much I am making. All celebrities host me in my own show and I just pretend I am hosting them. I will be movie star in my own right soon. Modi ji is great. These are really Achhe Din!

Kapil Sharma after demolition of illegal structures:

Tweet: Yeh hai apke achhe din?? I am paying 15 crore as income tax for the last 5 years and have to pay 5 lakh bribe to BMC officials for making my office!

BMC:

He pays 15 crore as income tax? And bribe just 5 lakhs?? Ab hamare Acche din aaenge

Politicians other than BJP:

He tagged Modi! Good. Now we will target him. Hamare Achhe Din shuru! Congress and BSP join the chorus.

BJP:

These ARE Achhe Din. Why is Kapil Sharma thinking only of himself. All he needed to do was file a complaint. Law would have taken its course. Name the culprit.

Kapil in a spin…Broods. When I said yeh hain AAPKE achhe din I was only complaining about mine not handing OTHERS any opportunity for achhe din. That is Mr Modi’s business!Now everyone is happy aside from ME!!

Mr Modi:

This is bringing a bad name to Achhe Din. Take action immediately.

BMC:

There are many more illegalities both in Goregaon and Versova! We will take action against all of them. Bribes may have kept some of us quiet earlier but we will take stern action now. Achhe Din Modi Style for BMC with respect to Kapil Sharma!

Politicians other than BJP:

Got them on the mat! These are Achhe Din.

BJP:

See action has been taken immediately. Who can deny these are Achhe Din?

Kapil Sharma:

Demolition Notices received. Complaint against me contemplated. Bribes not working anymore. System is functional. Politicians are not obliging by intervening. I cannot complain to Modi anymore. My next tweet: Mujhe apni shakal bilkul achhi nahin lagti.  Yeh hain MERE achhe din?!

LOUD NOISE in the background! Siddhu laughing. He laughs at every Kapil Sharma Show…

 

SCOOP or PARODY?-Nawaz Sharif’s interview on 22 Kashmir Envoys!

Nawaz Sharif talking to a reporter:

Sharif: We will send 22 Special Envoys for Kashmir to different countries

Reporter: There are 196 countries. And you have 342 seats in the National assembly and 104 Senators. Why not send all the Senators and the remaining from the National Assembly to the 196 countries? Will that not show you are serious about the issue?

Sharif: Number 22 in numerology is the number of Spiritual Master Builder and when the number senses its full capacity ¬†it can achieve what is hardly imaginable… Besides someone has to remain in Pakistan lest there is coup!!

Reporter: Considering your choice of the Spiritual Master Number you think Kashmir as you contemplate is not imaginable?

Sharif: (Angrily) No…I mean not imaginable to India!

Reporter: But its Pakistan which is sending the envoys!

Sharif: Yes. But Pakistan wants India to get the message.

Reporter: Why not send the message directly to India?

Sharif: India has got the message from my statement…

Reporter: If India has already got the message why send the envoys?

Sharif: (In a huff) You have another question?

Reporter: You said the measure is to send “prayers of Kashmiri people across Line of Control.” There is Kashmir on both sides of Line of Control. Whose prayers are you sending.

Sharif: Those on the Indian side ofcourse.

Reporter: What about the prayers of those on the Pakistani side?

Sharif: China is agnostic.

Reporter: (Confused)…

Sharif: Its not Pakistan alone but Pakistan and China on the other side. Even Pakistanis cant pray there.

Reporter: Oh! And who conveyed the prayers to you to be sent through the envoys?

Sharif: (Angrily) Convey prayers!!! Though Amanullah Khan of JKLF passed away recently Hafiz Saeed and Zaki ur-Rehman Lakhvi are in Pakistan. All those who sincerely pray for Kashmir are Pakistan only. Their prayers will be conveyed. Even indians prefer to be in Pakistan. Look at Dawood. His prayers will also be sent.

Reporter: What about your Embassies and Ambassadors? Why Special Envoys

Sharif: You see Pakistan Independence day was celebrated as Freedom for Kashmir. That was the first step. Pakistanis becoming Kashmir Envoys is the second. In due course the Embassies of Pakistan will become Kashmir Embassies. We will also rename Pakistan and change the flag too.

Reporter: But there is more to Pakistan than Kashmir. There are eight administrative units in Pakistan.

Sharif: Yes. But you see there is unrest in Balochistan. We are facing problem in Gilgit. There is also problem in Azad Kashmir. The Pashtuns are not integrated in FATA. And there is militancy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These together make up majority of the territory of Pakistan. We need a place to rest outside Pakistan as we are always fighting within the Pakistani territory. Kashmir fits the bill.

Reporter: And what about prayers of Pakistanis?

Sharif: Hahaha! We run the government. And we prefer to PREY!

 

Digvijay’s Dream AND “India Occupied Kashmir” remark!

The REAL story behind Digvijay’s retraction of “India Occupied Kashmir” remark. Digvijay “had a dream” of a conversation with a Pakistani. Our sources have the transcript:

Digvijay: I am disappointed with the Prime Minister

Pakistani: Yes Modi is bellicose…

Digvijay: No No!!! I am talking of Nawaz Sharif

Pakistani: Oh? OUR Prime Minster

Digvijay: Yes! He is the only PM I recognize.

Pakistani: But why?

Digvijay: When he talks of Kashmir he uses complicated expressions like “indigenous ¬†freedom struggle” more than “India occupied Kashmir.” You see “Indi” is a town in the State of Karnataka in India. INDIgenous freedom struggle would suggest Sharif supports India’s struggle to rid Kashmir of Pakistani elements.

Pakistani: (Angrily) What do you “Pakistani elements”? Pakistan only supports Kashmiri aspirations.

Digvijay: Kashmiri aspirations? But it is India occupied Kashmir…

Pakistani: Yes! that is why Kashmiri aspirations are suppressed.

Digvijay: But where are the Indians?

Pakistani: In Kashmir ofcourse…

Digvijay: (Confused)If Indians are occupying Kashmir where are the Kashmiris?

Pakistani: (Annoyed)In Kashmir!!!

Digvijay: (Doubly confused) If Kashmiris are in Kashmir where are the Indians??

Pakistani: With Indians…(mulling using the word dim-wit) Dont u DIG it?

Digvijay: But then if Kashmiris are with the Indians how does Sharif talk of Kashmiri aspirations? I thought Kashmir should be with Pakistan.

Pakistani: (Gleefully) Yes!

Digvijay: But now that you have brought Kashmiris in where will they go?

Pakistani: Kashmir!

Digvijay: But are they not already in Kashmir?

Pakistani: Yes.

Digvijay: So why does Pakistan want Kashmiris in Kashmir when they are already in Kashmir with the Indians?

Pakistani: Because Pakistan wants to be with Kashmiris!!!

Digvijay: Oh. But I thought you named the northern part of Kashmir Gilgit-Baltistan??

Pakistani: Yes…Only because India could not cannot call it “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir”

Digvijay: But you just said Pakistan wants to occupy Kashmir. So why the objection?

Pakistani: (Starting to pull his beard) Gilgit is part of Pakistan…

Digvijay: (Hesitantly…not having hair to pull) But Gilgit was part of Kashmir…

Pakistani: (Getting ferocious) There is only Azad Kashmir!!

Digvijay: Azad Kashmir?? If Kashmir is azad how can Kashmiri aspirations not be fulfilled?

Pakistani: (Showing a map) Azad Kashmir is also part of Pakistan. It south of Gilgit…

Digvijay: (Pausing…Brooding)…NOW I GET IT! Gilgit is not Kashmir anymore. Kashmir is azad south of Gilgit. Pakistan wants India occupied Kashmir. Nothing will remain of Kashmir but Pakistan! FANTASTIC! You people are brilliant. We must learn from you.

Pakistani: (Exhausted but relieved) Now you get it?

Digvijay: Yes…But then why did the PM call it “indigenous freedom struggle”?

Pakistani: ENOUGH. Behead him!!

Digvijay got up perspiring and issued the clarification! Lets only talk of “India’s Kashmir” he said.

Some dreams fortunately or unfortunately never come true. Pakistani dream of Kashmir and Digvijay’s dream about Pakistan being cases in point!