Sunday, June 7, 2015


Mr. Thapar! Before I go into the nitty gritty of what issue yo dealt with or failed to deal with in today's column in Hindustan Times, let me harp upon a philosophical, a historical, a moral and a mundane issue.

That you were a columnist, par excellence, is a fait accompli. There is no gainsaying the fact that, in days of yore,  you were dealing with day to day issues with aplomb. That was long back. In the middle you slipped into a coma and started dreaming in your coma (if one can do it), that whatever Sonia was doing was right, that there was no alternate to Rahul Gandhi to save the nation from the morass (created by his own family) and if he had married he would have created another heir to clear the morass he would have created. So, your pen lost the edge or the lap top suffered error 403 or 404. You slipped in your capacity.

But your Droma (dream in coma) did not become reality and Modi became PM. In all subjects he got high distinction even by the standards set by foreign media. Now, you have no issues. So you are going after bald heads to pluck a hair or two if you can lay hand on. So, your pen lost ink too and lap top became lap stop, unable to boot. So, you resorted to discussing non-issues and trying to create a sensation in your followers, a disgust in your bete noirs, panic in sections or groups of citizens and a sadistic pleasure for you and your publishers. This is bad journalism. This is bad media ethos. In the long run you will remain, yourself, a non-entity, with no issues. Today's column is on OROP and your arguments hang on the precipice of stupidity.

To illustrate this let me harp upon a philosophical issue first. In Mahabharata (you may not like this, you are too secular), Bheemasena always had a different view from that of Dharmaraja on many issues. That did not deter Pandavas from discussing issues, sort out problems and come out victors. How this reflects in your column, I will come later.

Now, let us dwell on the history. Chanakya, the author of Rajaneeeti Shastra (in Sanskrit, do you like it?) enunciated four principles for a Raja to dwell upon to be successful. They are Trayee (Vedas, you may say Bible, no issue),, Vaarta (knowing what is happening around him, intelligence gathering), danda neeti (punishing the delinquents), anveakshaki (strategy, logic to act upon the intelligence gathered). Obviously, Chanakya wanted these to be discussed in closed doors with the Ministers, not in Media Studios or HT columns. I will relate this to your column later.

Now, moral. Vishnu Sarma wrote Panca Tantra. It is also, unfortunately, in Sanskrit, that you guys oppose. In Telugu it is translated like this." ఎవడు బుద్ధిమంతుడో వాడు వృద్ధుడు కానీ ఏండ్లు మీరిన వాడా వృద్ధుడు." ( The man who is responsible is old, not the one who gains age). That way Jaitely, Paricker, Modi or me too who might be younger than you are better suited to be called responsible citizens. We do not rouse the rabble against the State on non issues. We tackle issues as issues and deal with governance. That way your headline for the column is the notorious "patriotism" as defined by Dr. Johnson, who called "patriotism is the last resort of a scoundrel(sic.)

Fourth, the mundane. I hope you have children who settled well in life. When a child passes through the 12th class, he might have told many he would pursue medicine. His mother too says, it is decided to admit him in medicine, but ball is in father's court. If you interview the father, he says, "Let me study the whole issue. My finances are limited. My parents did not save anything for me. (Here, Congress)  But I want to do total justice to my son. I have other children to look after. ". Will you immediately conclude that the three are sailing on different ships, guided by different wind speeds in different directions? Or will you wait until the final admissions are over? After all, he may join medicine, complete PG too in due course.

Now,let us correlate these with what you wanted to say in your column. You wanted to show that what Paricker knows, Jaitely does not know and what these two know Modi does not know and the three are misguiding the  Service Personnel and they have to spend a difficult summer. You know OROP is a long pending demand and simply because Modi promised that he would look into the matter did not make him a culprit by not ordering OROP on the first day itself. Once,in government the issue is being studied deeply and the government is trying hard to see justice is done to all the three service personnel at the earliest. This is like the parent studying his financial burden, how to raise funds, how to do justice to the first son not putting the future of other children in jeopardy. The father here is the Finance Minister, Jaitely. Give him time.

Mother here is Paricker. He wants his child to study Medicine, come what may and is trying to convince the Finance Minister to come out with some solution, so justice is done. Mr.Thapar!

The student here is Modi, who wants to study medicine and keep up his word given during 12th class to his whole class, but wants the parents to study the issue deeper and see that he continues with his ambitious plan without much burden on family. This is the basics on which a family or government works.  You know this but you pretend you do not know, as you do not like Modi and Company. And please note these issues are not discussed in public platforms. Modi is not as dumb and naive as Kejriwal, who does nothing but plays Opera on Broadway, to please the galleries.

Second, historical view. Chanakya said a king would gather intelligence, review it, use logic and strategy to implement policies from what he heard and analysed. Elementary, Mr.Thapar! You need no Sherlock Holmes to analyse this chemically and prove. I don't think you are so naive as not to know this. But you pretend.

Third, philosophical. That the Pandavas talked in different voices at different times on different issues did not make them a divided lot.In Raja Tantra, differences crop up on individual perception of things. That is why a Raja Sabha, a closed circle, an advisory council used to discuss matters, not in Jantar Mantar or Ram Lila grounds but in  a hall, specified for it secured by guards. Involving people in governance does not mean referendums on all issues. It is helping them to help solve their problems by properly dissiminating information and calling for considered views. Now, in Democracy, we have a cabinet to discuss issues. So, if the ministers expressed differently it is the perception of their ministries and common view emerges as discussions take place. Doing something without proper exercise and amending constitution later is the Congress method. Bank Nationalization is a classic example. System must be evolved on foolproof methods post discussions. PLEASE LEAVE ISSUES TO GOVERNMENT AND ANALYSE THE PROS AND CONS.

Moral view, I already explained. All young ministers and me too and many more youngsters are more responsible than you. Please do not nitpick and rouse the rabble. Help governments,help nation, help yourself.

Duty of a columnist is to analyse and not just criticize. To be fair to you, you are an expert in the latter.