*Meaning

A poet died
back home
and I,
miles away
couldn't make out
what it meant.

He had died before also,
almost, I mean.
Like a frog run over by a truck
many a times he had
fallen down on the black mud
of the streets,
drenched in blood,
in wine,
spread eagled,
almost dead.

There were his other deaths too,
less physical,
but more intense.
Mostly murders, i guess.

Love hate lust
and folks like you and me
together had him dead
at the cross, many times,
and yet, from his blood,
holy in its unholiness,
they had risen like fire,
words,
burning their way 
right into you.

They called him an addict,
made fun at his back,
but were silent as the stones 
when he rode,
with his 'bird' and the 'snake'*
like a king 
on the streets 
in the rain 
of molten, acidic,
black ink.

I asked a friend of mine
what it means when
a poet dies;
don't know why, but she said
probably it was a 
'trick question'.
May be 
that's what it could mean
when a poet dies.

A trick
to end the agony 
of being shackled to life.

A question
that keeps screaming
in your head, 
never letting you 
forget.



* In memory of the Malayalam poet A. Ayyappan who passed away recently. The poet who had led a tumultuous and lonely life remained lonely in his death also. His body remained unidentified on the roadside for hours.The poet had recently won the coveted Aashan prize.

* The poet's favourite metaphors, the 'bird' and the 'snake'
Dear friends, 
Due to the issue of word limit, i'm forced to post this article in  6 parts, each part a separate post. If you can take the pain of reading it from bottom to top, you would be able to read it as one article, which's how i wanted it to appear. Hope you would bear with the inconvenience!

(continuation of Tales from Dantewada..page 6)

The Maoists have time and again proclaimed their reluctance to compromise with the “bourgeois democracy” of the Indian state. But when one takes a closer look, what’s happening in Dantewada doesn’t look like a struggle to capture the state at all.  Instead, what’s revealed is the sad plight of a people forced to take up arms when their last resource, the land, is being forcefully looted by a corporate-state nexus.  In their struggle for existence they’ve none to turn to, except the Maoists. So naturally, they become Maoists.  But it’s not the Maoists who have forced the adivasis to take up arms; it’s the vicious and unyielding exploitation inbuilt in the system that’s responsible.

The conflict that’s snowballing in to a full scale war in the Indian heartland is a cause of concern for every citizen in this country. With the murder of Azad (maiost spokesperson) in a fake encounter, the prospects for dialogue between the gov. and the Maoists have become bleaker. The Indrāvati river in Dankaranya is turning dead red.


“History had taught him
how dictators are  born
from the blood of the poor
time and again.


but at this moment
he’s with the these black people
singing the songs of liberation
under these tamarind trees”
                                          (There, Sachidanandan)

Today the Indian democracy is at crossroads, confronting the historic ‘ on whose side are you’ question. It doesn’t look like as if it can escape answering it, not this time.
Will it be able to stand at the side of these “black people singing the songs of liberation”? Shouldn’t it be?
(continuation of Tales from Dantewada..page 5)
It was in 1980 that the Maoists, fleeing from AP, reached Dantewada, amidst the unorganised and exploited tribals. They had to build the organisation from scratch, and that’s exactly what they did. It all started when the Maoists intervened to secure better prices from the contractors for the ‘tendu’ and Bamboo products on which the sustenance of the adivasis depends upon heavily. They won over the peoples’ hearts with a relentless struggle against forest officials that saw the men in uniform retreating in to safety, out of Dantewada. The Maoists’ dominance in these areas is not an overnight phenomenon. It happened as a result of relentless struggle for the peoples’ rights along with ideological education and military training. Today the Maoists claim that there’s not a single landless adivasi left in the whole region.

But we also need to enquire here about the nature of the alternative put forward by the Maoists. It’s obvious that that in the last 30 years of their campaign they have been focussing almost solely on building up a well trained armed force. Till now, disappointingly, they’ve not been able to effectively intervene in basic issues of the people such as agriculture, health and education, nor have they managed to raise the standard of living of the people. Most importantly, the Maoists have failed to initiate Panchayathi raj institutions, a vital prerequisite of people’s democracy, which is promised to be heralded by the Maoists. Also, pro poor legislations of the state like NREGA and Forest Rights Act etc also remains largely under utilised by the Maoist administration which has denied the people the little relief that they could have got from their daily routine of penury and exploitation. Of course the Maoists were severely crippled as a banned organisation, no doubt, but even then there were things they could’ve done, if they were willing to shift the focus from arms.  It’s a fact that almost all the money tolled from the contractors was dedicated for the procurement of arms.

But the most disappointing aspect has been the rise in the violence unleashed by the Maoists in the last few months. One might even be able to justify the resistance they offered against Salvajudum, the tyrannical government sponsored militia which heralded a reign of terror in the villages. But the killing of civilians in recent times strips them off from whatever moral justification they had and points to a serious degradation in the organisation. It also offers a taste of things to come.  The ultimate casualty is undoubtedly the life of the poor tribal, caught in the crossfire between the state, Maoists and the salvajudum.
(continuation of Tales from Dantewada..page 4)
There’s no dearth of statistics. More than two and half crores  of people have  been displaced as a result of mining activities in the first four and half decades of Indian independence. Not even 25% of these people have been rehabilitated. Out of this population more than half are Adivasis (‘Rich Lands, Poor People’- report by CSE, 2008).  The blatant loot by private players empowered by National Mineral Development Policy of 1993 is largely responsible for this sorry state of affairs. More than 164 lakh hectares of forest has been cleared for this purpose till now. Official statistics say that there are more than 15,000 illegal mines in the country. All the gallant declarations made by the Indian gov. in various international forums for climate change regarding its commitment towards forest conservation and environmental protection has been reduced to just another joke.

Arundhati Roy, in her brilliant essay titled “Walking with the comrades”, raises yet another aspect of the problem.  The Gond tribes of Orissa have been worshipping the ‘Niyamgiri’ hills as their gods for centuries by now. MNCs like Essar, Tata and Vedanta have  signed various MoUs with the state government to mine these hills which happens to be a  rich source of bauxite, iron ore and other natural resources, obligating the gov. to provide basic infrastructure like roads and conducive atmosphere for the same. Now, the question is, “would the gov.  have acted in the same way if it was faced with a situation involving, say temples or mosques instead of these hills?” Isn’t Right to Religion applicable when it comes to adivasis?  The 5th schedule of Indian constitution dealing with Administration and Control of Tribal Areas assigns the governor to report directly to the President regarding the administration of tribal areas. But all these safe guards provided by the constitution vanish in to thin air at the prospect of multimillion dollar agreements between the MNCs and the government.

This reflects the inevitable internal contradiction faced by all ‘democratic’ governments that follows the neo-liberal paradigm of development. This happens when the very conception of development becomes extremely one sided and the majority of people gets evacuated from its premises. The neo liberal slogan of development above politics effectively reduces the scope and depth of political activity in the society. Politics devoid of a dialogue about the nature of development is undoubtedly impoverished and ineffectual. Above all it makes Democracy a meaningless and wasteful exercise. Something that’s visible only in the polished streets of Delhi and not in the villages of Dantewada.
(continuation of Tales from Dantewada..page 3)
The chief aim of ‘Operation Green Hunt’ is to ‘liberate’ these areas from the Maoists (in yet another instance of irony, these are already ‘liberated zones’ as per the Maoists i.e., liberated from the tyrannical Indian state). The relevant questions here are:
1) Why does the Indian state insist on bringing these areas under the “rule of law”?
2) Till now, what prevented the state from achieving this goal?
3) What exactly was the role of the Indian state in these areas which are comparable to Sub-Saharan African countries in terms of poverty and backwardness (as per MPI-Multi Dimensional Poverty Index- Study done by Oxford backed by UN)?

It can be seen that it’s the adivasi communities that has been at the receiving end of almost all the large scale developmental projects undertaken by the gov. of India ever since independence. It’s true that the country needs hydro electric projects, express highways and mineral ores for its growth. But nothing can justify our wilful negligence of this basic question which an egalitarian society is supposed to pose at every mode of its journey-“On whose cost development?”

How on earth can you expect a people to accept and acknowledge a ‘state’ that shows no interest whatsoever in fulfilling their basic needs such as food and education? Why would they recognise such a ‘state’? For the people in the states of Chathisgarh and Jharkhand, for a long time, the officials of the Forest Dept. have been the chief symbol of the Indian state. These were men who took raping adivasi women as a matter of their right, whose routine involved destroying adivasi farm lands, day after day. It’s this brutal face of the state that forced the people in to direct confrontation with it, under the leadership of the Maoists. Today the whole Dankaranya region is devoid of the dreaded forest dept. officials. Do we need more reasons to explain the rise of Maoism in the Indian heartland?

(continuation of Tales from Dantewada..page 2)
An analysis of the history of the Indian Maoist Movement right from its beginning in 1967 reveals a crucial fact. Be it Naxalbari in WB or Wayanad in Kerala, the adivasi population has been the strongest bastion of all these movements. The voice of this highly marginalised and exploited section of the Indian society has been unmistakably loud and clear in all these battle fields. If we take a look at the maoist strongholds in the country, tagged as the red corridor by the Indian state, this will become very obvious. The states of Chathisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and W B are the core realms of influence for the Maoists. These states are largely inhabitated by tribal populations like Ho, Santhal, Oron, Kole, Munda and Gond, ‘black people’ who  have been around much before the birth of a country named India, much before colonisation took roots here.
These are people with a history of entering in to conflict with the mighty British even before the uprising of 1857. They have also offered resistance against the exploitation of the Jamindars who came later at the scene. Today, armed and organised by the Maoists, they’re fighting yet another battle, this time with the Indian state.

What exactly makes the gigantic Indian state so worried about the Maoist movement? After all, it’s just poor, illiterate and malnourished adivasis lead by a bunch of ideologues. This question inevitably leads us to the concept of sovereignty, a basic tenet of state as the highest political association. Apart from sovereignty the other important elements that characterises a state are territory, population and government. When these basic elements are challenged it’s the very existence of state structure that comes under question. Today, this is exactly what the Maoist movement has managed to achieve.  The system of parallel government that exists in Maoist dominated areas bear testimony to this fact. If one also takes in to account the self declared goal of the Maoists, the overthrow of the Indian state by 2050, the picture becomes clearer, but also grimmer. The system of government followed by Maoists in their areas of influence goes roughly like this:

                                        These areas are governed by janatha sarkars, modelled on Chineese revolution and Vietnam War. Each janatha sarkar is elected by clusters of villages with populations ranging from 500 to 5000. They function with the help of 8 depts. -agriculture, trade, finance, justice(nyay), defence, health, public relations, education and culture and forest conservation(ironically, gov. statistics say that the forest cover has actually increased in naxal affected areas!)
                                  Tales from Dantewada: India's      Great Internal War


The question ‘whose side are you on’ is an often repeated one in history. Marx, Gandhi and even Hitler arrived on the world stage as answers to this particular question. Revolutions, freedom struggles and revolts have all been different manifestations of the quest to answer it. They all happened as responses by the people to their realities in different contexts in history.But what happens when the very concept of a single reality is shattered? The 21st century is characterised by multiple voices, true, but it’s also characterised by multiple realities. This short introduction is meant to draw your attention to the changing nature of the Indian state since its ‘conversion’ to neo-liberalism, especially after the 80s. Also, to impress upon the contemporary complexities of the seemingly simple ‘on whose side are u’ question.
It was in 2005 April that Dr. Manmohan Singh described Maoism as the ‘gravest internal threat’ of India. It can be seen that the then Maoist movement, when compared to the present scenario, hadn’t really qualified itself for such a remark. But today what we see is a movement spreading over 60,000 sq.k.m of forest land, with lakhs of supporters, in thousands of villages. It has become a movement that has established itself as the strongest rebel force challenging the writ of the Indian state.

Some History

The 1967 Naxalbari movement in Bengal under the leadership of Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal and Jungle Santhal (later came to be known as Naxalism) is the first organised Maoist movement in India. This movement characterised by the adage ‘the thunder of spring’ rose to prominence in the 70’s and was suppressed by the 80’s. The Charumajumdar essays and speeches inspired by Chairman Mao gives a general idea regarding the nature of this movement. Majumdar’s violent and unpopular ‘annihilation theory’, lack of influence in the urban areas etc were some of the reasons for the failure of the Naxalbari movement. The Naxal uprising in AP during the 80’s can also be viewed in this context. Like Naxalbari, it was also suppressed ruthlessly and effectively by the state. The gov. intervention using special forces such as the ‘Grey Hounds’  in AP is regarded as a model for anti naxal campaigns even today.


 
Today, India is witnessing the strongest Naxal resurgence ever in its history. The media, irrespective of its corporate and alternate avatars, has been continuously voicing its concern over the issue. The Indian state has launched ‘Operation Green Hunt’, a massive military campaign against the Maoists. In one of their most brutal attacks, the maoists massacred 75 CRPF personnel in an ambush in Dantevada recently. Special Police Officers and civilians have also been targeted. Maoists have also had to face severe setbacks. Talks about the armed forces being brought in to action are in the air.
What is it that enables the Maoist movement to re-emerge from their ashes time and again even after being repeatedly and brutally suppressed by the state? What makes a country that claims to be the largest democracy, declares war against its own people? What exactly is the alternative put forward by the Maoists? What should be the stand of the civil society of this country in this highly volatile and threateningly huge issue? These are some of the issues to which answers are sought through this article.
                                                                                      ( continued in the next post..on page 2..pls scroll up!)
                                          The Peacock Lake


One of the most favourite hangouts in the campus. It's almost a surreal experience to be here in the evening. You are tempted to believe that you are actually in a tourist spot and not in a University!! Although the place resounds with peacock calls all the time, am yet to actually see a peacock here!




The Peacock Lake

An evening drenched in Banjuri

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasya  performed here in H C U as a part of  Viraasat, a cultural fest organised by SPIC-MACAY(  Society for the promotion of Indian Culture, Music and Art Among Youth ). He was accompanied by Vijay Ghate on Tabla. The chief component of the performance was the ‘Kalyani’  raga. The artist later obliged to a request from the audience and played a mesmerising ‘Pahadi’ tune. The dual between the flute and tabla also proved to be a real delight as both artists soared to higher levels of competence and skill. The evening  turned surreal with the splendour of music, rejuvenating the soul and soothing the mind.
Undoubtedly a welcome change from the academic routine, it also brought back memories of my Trivandrum days, where I used to spend whole days drifting through venues in the city!
                                         MONKEYS!!

Something very drastic happened yesterday.

Since our hostel mess is yet to start, I usually have lunch at the Students Canteen.Yesterday when I reached the canteen,it was overcrowded, which was only normal. What was not normal( for a newcomer, i guess) was something I saw there: MONKEYS!! Not one, not two, plenty of them. Some were perched up on the trees, some walking fearlessly on the ground, some eating rice from some poor chap's plate ( the guy had gone inside to fetch water or something, not knowing that he'll return to find his plate half empty!)
In short, absolute pandamonium.

Finally the canteen staff had to intervene and they tried to scare them away. Some of the animals even tried charging at them,to my utter disbelief. They were so unbelievably  aggressive!!
                                                Public Meeting

The campus life slowly picks up pace as activities gets started. There was a public meeting yesterday night at the GOPS (a popular eatery and hang out at the campus) organised by SFI. Prof. Hargopal, renowned Political scientist and human rights activist, was the main speaker. He spoke on the topic 'The Changing Nature of Indian State', followed by an interaction with the students.The highlight of the talk for me was his concluding remark " Marxism is a way of thought and not a substitution for thought".

It has started raining here and memories slowly comes calling!!
                              At H C U
Hey friends,

It's been a while.
And here is the reason- got admission at the H C U (Hyderabad Central University) for M A programme ( Pol.Science).
Had to do some running around to get my papers in order. Hence the gap.Still there's a considerably long list of documents  Iam yet to submit here at the university : the T C, Marklist, Provisional....

Well, I have to confess, its worth the effort. This is a humongous, gigantic and mind blowing one - this campus. Its supposed to be not less than 2300 acres, one of the largest in Asia itself. The chief mode of transport is none other than our good old bicycle!! Its really a pleasant sight to see them dominating the road once again, believe me.I have also bought one (the vintage model, with steel bars and all!). Life without a bicycle is almost impossible here. Its 3.5 km from my hostel to the dept.

And the greenery is heartening, to say the least. Actually its not greenery, its wilderness! I have already seen mongooses, monkeys and a peacock.Walking from the hostel to the main campus in the morning is a refreshing experience.

The only disappointment so far has been missing Arundhati Roy's lecture.She was here on 12th, invited by the Uni. to deliver a lecture on Globalisation. I could join only on 14th, a real pity.

Hindi serves the purpose of a link language here. From the University staff to the auto rickshaw driver,  natives communicate in Hindi with outsiders.

Food is adjustable,though I spend much more time in the toilet these days!

So that's it about H C U for the time being. I do plan to develop this in to a column of sorts if time permits, so that I can share 'the H C U Life' with you.

N.B: If Mr.Rubin happens to get the feed of this post by any chance, pls do respond!!
Crowded

These days
I find myself
increasingly in love with 
things which I once abhorred:
like crowds,
yes, crowds.

You see, I have my reasons:
A crowd
is the safest place to be
when you are 
a wounded animal.
It lets you
grunt and growl
and lick the wounds
till you're ready
to hunt again.

Nobody will notice.

A crowd
is where you should be
if you want to play
say, hide and seek.
At times 
you might get lost
that is, lost forever
never able to find 
who you were.

But that's okay
part of the game.

Once in a crowd
you can slough off
all your apprehensions.
Flimsy pretexts of 
love and care
nagging doubts of
right and wrong
won't even dare
to come near you.

Instead, you are blessed 
with courage and skill
of course, to kill.

One can hardly miss
the unfathomable 
benevolence of a crowd.

Always keeps you locked
in its giant embrace
until  you give in
and replenish yourself
to a new birth.

Faceless and soulless. 

But do you know what the sad part is?
All its virtues
have yet not made me
the loyal follower
the obedient soldier
that I would like to be.

Still, at times
I feel
that I need to get 
my voice back
from the labyrinth of
its endless sounds.

But it'll pass, Iam  sure.

For who can resist
and who wants to miss
the might that is 
the bliss that is
the crowd.
ഈ നഗരം


ഈ  നഗരത്തെയിനി
പിരിയാനാകില്ല


നെറുക ചൂഴുന്ന
ഇതിന്‍റെ വെയിലില്‍
ഇണ ചേര്‍ന്നിഴയുന്ന പാതകള്‍
ഫണം വിടര്‍ത്തുമെങ്കിലും  
ഇതിന്‍റെ മൃതസന്ധ്യകളുടെ
ഉലര്‍ന്ന ചുണ്ടുകളില്‍
ഉറയാത്ത കാമം
അറപ്പിക്കുമെങ്കിലും
കുതറുന്തോറും
ഇറുക്കമേറും
ആവര്‍ത്തനങ്ങളാല്‍
ഇതു നീട്ടുമാലിംഗനം.


ഒറ്റ വേഗം
ഒരേ നിറം
മറുവിളിയില്ലാത്ത
ഒരേ നിശബ്ദത


നുരയടങ്ങാത്ത
തീക്കുഴമ്പിന്‍റെ
ലഹരി തീര്‍ക്കും
ഇതിന്‍റെ സൗഹൃദം
യാത്ര പോകുമ്പോള്‍
പതിഞ്ഞ താളത്തില്‍
'തിരിച്ചുവാ'യെന്നു
സ്നേഹഗദ്ഗദം.


ഇതിന്‍റെ പ്രണയം
എന്‍റെ മുറിവുകളില്‍
പഴുത്തുകിടക്കുന്ന 
മദജലം.


ഇതിന്‍റെ ഓര്‍മ
ഞാനുറങ്ങുന്ന
പൂക്കാത്ത മരത്തിന്‍റെ
പൊത്ത്.
     സന്ധ്യ 

വിഷാദം പോലെ
മഞ്ഞ വെയില്‍
പരക്കുമ്പോഴോ
ചുവപ്പിന്‍റെ
ക്രുദ്ധസൂര്യന്‍
പടിഞ്ഞാറു പോകുമ്പോഴോ 
മേഘവെണ്മയില്‍ നിന്നു 
കാക്കകള്‍ 
പറന്നു പോകുമ്പോഴോ 
അല്ല 

നിന്നെയോര്‍ക്കുമ്പോള്‍ മാത്രം 
എനിക്കെപ്പോഴും 
സന്ധ്യയാകുന്നു 


സംശയം 

നിന്നെ ഞാന്‍ പ്രണയിക്കുന്നത്‌ 
കവി 
വസന്തത്തെയെന്നപോലെയല്ല
മരണം ഉറപ്പായവന്‍ 
ജീവിതത്തെയെന്ന പോലെ.

അത് കൊണ്ടാണ് 
നീ യാത്ര  പറയുമ്പോഴെല്ലാം 
ഇനി കാണില്ലേ 
എന്നെനിക്കു സംശയം. 

       എളുപ്പമാകില്ല

എളുപ്പമാകില്ലിനി  
ഉറക്കം നടിക്കുവാന്‍

ഉണര്‍ത്തുവാന്‍ വരും
ഓര്‍മ്മയായി അന്‍സാരി 
നിറഞ്ഞ കണ്ണുമായ്
 നിതാന്ത ഭീതിയായ്
പലസ്തീനില്‍ നിന്നു
കരച്ചിലായി വരും 
വെളുത്ത ബോംബിനാല്‍*  
മരിച്ച കുഞ്ഞുങ്ങള്‍  
കൊടി നിറങ്ങളില്‍ 
പൊതിഞ്ഞ ചാവിന്‍റെ   
സ്മരണയായെന്‍റെ 
ദുരിത ഭൂ വരും 
വറുതി പൂക്കുന്ന 
വിളനിലങ്ങളായ് 
തിര നിലയ്ക്കാത്ത 
കദനമാഴിയായ്
വരുമൊരായിരം 
നിനവുകള്‍ സ്ഥിരം 
പുതിയ നേരിന്‍റെ 
പ്രവചനങ്ങളായ് 
വഴി മറന്ന 
പഥികനെപ്പോലെ 
മുഖം ചുവപ്പിച്ചു 
പുലരിയെത്തുന്നു 

ഇനിയൊരിക്കലും 
എളുപ്പമാകില്ല  
ഉറക്കം നടിക്കുവാന്‍.


* വൈറ്റ് ഫോസ്ഫറസ് എന്ന മാരക രാസായുധം 
          *In My Room


This is my Room.

This is where I behold 
death in all its detail:
when spiders dangling from the cobwebs
suck life out of tiny moths

The faded wings
lying in dust
 mementoes of their last strife.

This is where I hear
silence breaking in to pieces:
when rain falls 
at midnight.

An orchestra in the beginning
And then an avalanche
Engulfing me 
Through the open window.

This is where I discover
the meaning of loneliness:
when from a sleep of unending nightmares
I wake up,panting
find no one to hold hands with
but darkness.

This is where I realise
that the child is no more:
that he is long dead
stabbed and strangled
and dragged in to the dark

The child within.

This is where
from a thousand paper bits
red in colour and spread on the floor
I read, like a revelation
so small a word
yet so enchanting
'love'.

This is from where all my journeys begin
and to where I return everytime .

To these graffited walls and open window
these orphaned letters in books scattered
the heat the cold
of my Room.


* A tribute to my hostel room where I spent the most part of the last three years.











SHASHI THAROOR: The Story Till Now

  There was much jubilation among the youth and the upper middle class section of the city of Trivandrum when Mr.Shashi Tharoor was elected as MP from the constituency in the last gen.elections.Much was expected when he was made the Minister of State for Ext.Affairs.Nobody had doubts regarding his worthiness of the post. This eminent diplomat, writer and orator par excellence had captured the imagination of the people.But,after all the euphoria, it baffles one to think about the kind of mess that he has managed to land himself in, neck deep that too. Now since the smoke has subsided after his resignation, let’s do a recap.

  Right from the time of his ascension to power, he has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. The 'Cattleclass, holycows’ remarks, comments on the visa regulations, the 'Interlocutor' episode (asking Saudi Arabia to be the interlocutor between India and Pakistan)...........it’s a long list. Apart from his five star accommodation at the time of UPA's austerity drive, all were triggered by the Twitter comments of this hi-tech diplomat turned politician (no wonder the media called it 'Twittergate' when Lalit Modi opened a can of worms in his twitter which finally shot Mr.Tharoor down).

  So, the question is, who’s to be blamed? The media for making a mountain out of a mole hill? The dirty game called Indian Politics? The ultra sensitive and ignorant Indian public that lacks the knowledge to digest English idioms and phrases, as some bloggers point out?Or,could it be.....I mean, is there any chance that it could be....er.... Mr.Tharoor's fault itself!? Why is it that, of all the issues, he stumbled upon the IPL, the Indian Paisa Loot (P.Sainath's coinage)?

  To be frank, Mr.Tharoor has not been able to come up with a point by point rebuttal of the allegations heaped upon him by the opposition and the media. Instead he chose the denial mode. Even in his speech in the parliament, instead of giving specific answers to specific questions, he banked on his oratory skills to bail himself out.Worse, he even played the Kerala card by stating that what he did was in the interest of the state. Was this the new brand of politics that he offered to herald?. Quoting poetry from Vallathol in the parliament exhorting the pride of Kerala was just not enough.There were questions that need to be answered.

  Well, you know what they are.The 'Sweat Profit' issue, his phone call to Lalit Modi asking him to stop enquiring about the whereabouts of Kochi IPL team owners……..The devil is in the details, you see! If his hands are as pure as he claims, why not come out and rubbish these allegations? Why spoil a chance to prove his integrity and mettle?

  If he was genuinely moved by the crying needs of the ‘God’s Own Country’, what prevented him from putting in a word at the centre for the preservation of the Public Distribution System (PDS) of Kerala? After all, a minister of State would have some powers, wouldn’t he? Or, is it because Rice lacks glamour when compared to Cricket?  Why not speed up the Kochi Metro Rail Project? Why IPL? It seems that the man got his priorities wrong big time. And it proved fatal for him.

  Nothing can take away the hope that he generated in the initial stages of his campaign as minister. Sure, we need politicians who are transparent and who can keep their channels of communication with the public open. May be, we even need politicians who tweet religiously!

  After 60 years of independence, we still are a conservative country. There’s bound to be some resistance when someone steps out of the trodden path. But what disappoints me the most is the fact that Mr.Tharoor fell not by being new or true, but by being typical. He didn’t resign on his own, but was forced to go. He didn’t defend himself by facts, but by rhetoric. New brand of politics, anyone? Till IPL it was Tharoor, the new politician Vs conservative Indian Polity. But after IPL, dear folks, it’s the same old story.

  Well, I still don’t believe it’s the end of road for him. There’s always scope for amends. If he’s willing to give some thought to what and where went wrong and re-prioritise his agenda, there’s still hope for a come back. The promise of change can still be fulfilled. Take those steps one by one, Mr.Tharoor, for they’re slippery. But that’s what Indian Politics has always been.
 All the best.

THE 'ROOTS' THAT REACH DEEP AND WIDE....

This is a blurb on one of the greatest books that I've ever read in my life.I call this a blurb because it would be a gross injustice to call this a  review.'Roots'demands much more.

A scorchingly  realistic revelation of the 'Slave Trade' that caused the black community of America;
A man's search of the roots of his existence;
Crisp,simple and captivating narration without a hint of sentimentality;
Pangs of violent and cruel truth reveals itself even when the fiction element tries to smoothen it;
A work of epic dimensions.

Kinta Kinte,the African abducted by the traders to America,is an unforgettable and powerful character.

The fact that today a black man runs the very state that once tortured the community seems like poetic justice.

Alex Haley's 'Roots' is a true classic.

NIGHT


Night 
Is a brooding dog
waiting to plunge at my throat
A dead river
my thoughts as dead fishes floats by
A tornado
my voice drown in it
Is empty
still flows over
Is cruel
yet loving
Like the butcher who pats the cow
and slits its throat neatly

Deceptive in its calm
And unforgivingly true.