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EDITORIALS

Reopen and act
There are many besides Sajjan Kumar
T
HE government seems to be living up to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s solemn promise made in Parliament sometime back that wherever the Nanavati Commission looking into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots had named any specific individuals as needing further examination or specific cases needing reopening and re-examination, it would take all possible steps to do so within the ambit of law.

Beasts in khaki
Doctors have a taste of UP police brutality
W
HENEVER the Provincial Armed Constabulary of UP is in the news, it is mostly for wrong reasons. This time PAC jawans have earned a bad name for their organisation through their lawless behaviour on an Allahabad-bound train near Moradabad on Sunday night.








EARLIER STORIES

Iran on a slippery path
January 16, 2006
Reservations must in private sector
January 15, 2006
Horrifying stampede
January 14, 2006
Why Lone alone?
January 13, 2006
A pipedream?
January 12, 2006
Growers of gold
January 11, 2006
Speaker is right
January 10, 2006
Indo-US deal on track
January 9, 2006
From the Raj to Inspector Raj
January 8, 2006
No quota for AMU
January 7, 2006
THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Unrest in Orissa
Need to address tribals’ concerns
T
HE continued unrest in Kalinga Nagar of Orissa’s Jajpur district since the police firing on January 2 that claimed 13 lives has affected the state’s investment climate and pace of industrial development.

ARTICLE

Mini-Vietnam syndrome
Iran to gain as US plans Iraqi withdrawal
by S. Nihal Singh
A
S if by instinct, events are moving towards an era of inevitability in Iraq, the Bush administration having dramatically scaled down its bar for a “victory”. The first significant American troop withdrawals will begin in spring or summer, there will be fewer American boots on the ground and US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will arm-twist the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish leaders to form some kind of a coalition government.

MIDDLE

Taming a Gypsy
by Reena Sen
I
saw her tripping along, dancing to drum beats only she could hear. She was tiny, covered with fleas, eating off the dustbin, but there was such freedom and joyfulness in her demeanor you could not but notice her.

OPED

Nitish Kumar woos NRIs
by Ambarish Dutta
I
T was more a drive for image makeover than immediate investment by NDA Chief Minister Nitish Kumar when he attended the just-concluded three-day “Prabashi Bharatiya Sammelan” (NRI conclave) in Hyderabad between January 7 and 9.

Chile elects socialist President
by Patrick J. McDonnell
M
ICHELLE Bachelet, a socialist who was jailed and went into exile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, was elected the first female president of this South American nation on Sunday in a historic vote that underscored a leftward drift in the region.

Delhi Durbar
Sibal keen on teaching
H
AVING taught modern Indian history before he donned the lawyer’s robe, Kapil Sibal says he is familiar with the concerns that the teaching community faces today. What’s more, he even began offering solutions.

From the pages of


 REFLECTIONS

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Reopen and act
There are many besides Sajjan Kumar

THE government seems to be living up to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s solemn promise made in Parliament sometime back that wherever the Nanavati Commission looking into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots had named any specific individuals as needing further examination or specific cases needing reopening and re-examination, it would take all possible steps to do so within the ambit of law. As a first step, the CBI acting on its directives has moved the trial court to reopen cases against Congress MP Sajjan Kumar seeking original documents of the case, which were closed without even filing the charge sheets. The commission had found “credible evidence” of involvement against him and several others. More than two decades have gone by without any substantial action being taken against the real culprits behind the butchery. In this long period, the trail has gone quite cold but there is still pressing evidence against many of the high-profile persons which should be enough to nail them. One just hopes that the CBI will go after them in a clinical, unbiased manner.

The reopening should be only a “beginning”. A lot more will have to be done to prove the government’s seriousness to nail the kingpins. The culprits moving about freely are nothing less than slow death for those whose near and dear ones were massacred in an organised manner in 1984. They should be brought to book forthwith if the wounds of 1984 are to heal fully.

As said earlier, Mr Sajjan Kumar is not the only one. Cases against all those accused of organising the riots — or, the killings — should be reopened and duly investigated once again, without succumbing to the pulls and pressures which saw them away from the punishment they deserved. Just as it is said in the case of the polio campaign that it would not be complete if even one child is left without immunisation, even one criminal going scot-free would be a black mark on India.

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Beasts in khaki
Doctors have a taste of UP police brutality

WHENEVER the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) of UP is in the news, it is mostly for wrong reasons. This time PAC jawans have earned a bad name for their organisation through their lawless behaviour on an Allahabad-bound train near Moradabad on Sunday night. Their contempt for law has come into sharp focus soon after the UP police landed itself in trouble by its “Operation Majnu” in Meerut. The PAC men gave a taste of their brutal ways of functioning to a group of doctors when the latter objected to a posse of PAC men occupying the seats reserved for the medical professionals returning after appearing in a postgraduate entrance examination in Meerut. The PAC men not only beat up the doctors, but also allegedly threw some of them out of the running train. The medical professionals, some of whom sustained serious injuries, must have realised later on that they were dealing with the people notorious for their high-handedness.

Though not surprisingly, senior police officials did not express regret for the unfortunate happening, which resulted in the train services on the Delhi-Lucknow section of the Northern Railway remaining paralysed for many hours. The agitated medical fraternity has given a call for a strike in the state’s hospitals, which is bound to add to the suffering of the sick. Shamefully, the police top brass is indulging in a blame game with a view to protecting the guilty PAC men. Ultimately, the men in khaki have been suspended, but only to help in bringing the situation under control. Given the ways of the UP administration, there is every possibility of their being brought back to duty after some time.

Police personnel, particularly PAC jawans, have the habit of giving the impression that they are the law unto themselves. The state government should punish the guilty instead of trying to protect them. Those who have been suspended must be removed from service immediately to send the message down the line in the police force that their high-handedness will never be tolerated. There is urgent need for ensuring that the guardians of law and order never even think of indulging in unlawful activities.

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Unrest in Orissa
Need to address tribals’ concerns

THE continued unrest in Kalinga Nagar of Orissa’s Jajpur district since the police firing on January 2 that claimed 13 lives has affected the state’s investment climate and pace of industrial development. On the face of it, the firing on the tribals protesting against inadequate compensation for the land acquired by the government for Tata Steel was wholly unwarranted. The police should have exercised restraint and used other methods of crowd control like water cannons instead of resorting to firing. The government has transferred the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police. As Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has reiterated his willingness to sort out the tribals’ problems across the table, they should lift the blockade on the highway and help restore normalcy in the state.

Industrialisation and rehabilitation are inextricably intertwined and no government can afford to ignore the concerns and apprehensions of the displaced. The tribals were enraged by revelations that the government had sold 2,000 acres to the Tatas for Rs 3.35 lakh an acre (as against the current market rate of Rs 5 lakh) last year but passed on only Rs 76,000 an acre to the original landowners. Moreover, most displaced families are yet to receive the promised assistance of employment, home allowance of Rs 50,000 each and aid for raising temporary shelters.

The lack of a standard rehabilitation package in cases of tribal land acquisition has triggered unrest not only in Orissa but also in other neighbouring states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. As the Orissa government’s policy of industrialisation through land acquisition raises disturbing questions, there is need for a uniform national policy on rehabilitation. The Centre should coordinate with the states to work out a comprehensive solution in this regard. Earlier, steel plants used to negotiate packages which included a job for at least one member of the displaced family. However, with steel-making and mining having become increasingly mechanised, unskilled workers are hardly recruited, compounding the problems of the displaced. Clearly, new ways of rehabilitation are necessary to create alternative jobs for the displaced.

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Thought for the day

Definition of a cynic: A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

— Oscar Wilde

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Mini-Vietnam syndrome
Iran to gain as US plans Iraqi withdrawal
by S. Nihal Singh

AS if by instinct, events are moving towards an era of inevitability in Iraq, the Bush administration having dramatically scaled down its bar for a “victory”. The first significant American troop withdrawals will begin in spring or summer, there will be fewer American boots on the ground and US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will arm-twist the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish leaders to form some kind of a coalition government.

The only real winners of the American misadventure in Iraq are the two Kurdish parties in the North and Iran. The Kurds are already enjoying de facto independence and if they win the prize of the Kirkuk oil complex, they will have the base to achieve economic independence as well. For Iran, the dethroning of Saddam Hussein and the Sunni ruling class has been a godsend because the rule of the majority Shias will give Teheran a base for power, despite Arab-Iranian differences.

In a sense, the political map of West Asia has already changed although the Americans are making a half-hearted attempt at bringing the disaffected Sunnis into the political power structure. An important Sunni leader, an unsurprising fact that will further alienate Sunnis, has already sabotaged the promised amendments to the constitution.

Having finally recognised the consequences of their ill-judged invasion, Americans seem interested in the semblance of a functioning coalition government, having reconciled themselves to the ultimate likelihood of Iraq falling apart. With each passing day, domestic compulsions are shaping policy in Washington, with congressional elections casting their long shadow over the Republicans’ fortunes. It is becoming increasingly difficult to hide the scale of American casualties or the escalating costs of the war.

Externally, the Bush administration is finding out that its hands are tied in coping with the Iran crisis by the strains caused by Iraq on the American fighting machine. And the US electorate will simply not put up with an open-ended conflict based on lies and wishful thinking. There is serious questioning even in the President’s Republican base on the wisdom of invading Iraq decried as illegal by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Theoretically, the idea is to combine the militias of the dominant Shias and Kurds with Sunni representation to form a unified army. In practice, the Shias and Kurds will not give up the great advantage they have gained from the American invasion and occupation. The US has sought to score some points after discovering nearly 150 Sunni prisoners kept in a holding area in deplorable conditions bearing telltale signs of torture. But Americans’ own conduct at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons hardly equips them to play the good guys.

Jon Lee Anderson quotes Peter Galbraith, a former US ambassador and an adviser of sorts to the Kurdish leaders, telling him in a recent issue of The New Yorker, “Iraq as a country will not hold together. The question is what is a decent interval, and whether there will be two states or three”. If the division of Iraq is thus openly discussed, the American policy-making elite seems to have reconciled itself to a divided Iraq, with or without a civil war.

With an eye on the end game, the Bush administration is seeking to leave the present top civilian-military team in Iraq undisturbed for at least a year. There also seems to be an attempt to distinguish between “insurgents” and “resistance fighters”, the latter, in the American belief, amenable to return to the fold with inducements of jobs and money. In any event, long-term plans are being given the go-by in favour of smaller local and regional works likely to make a more immediate impact.

Recent weeks have been particularly trying for Americans because they have lost many men and the scale of carnage of Iraqi civilians was horrendous. In fact, every time Americans believe that violence is letting up, there are spectacular attacks and the insurgents have developed greater expertise in shooting down helicopters, the workhorses of American operations, given the proliferation of deadly roadside explosives.

Iraq’s neighbours are assessing the consequences of America’s decision to wind down Iraq operations prior to departing. Syria is locked up in its own struggle with the UN-appointed investigation team and the outbursts of its former Vice-President and a veteran of Mr Bashar Assad’s father’s days. And the intricate Syrian-Lebanese relationship, soured after the murder of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, leading to the withdrawal of Syrian troops, will take time to unravel.

An element in Iran’s decision to break the seals in pursuing its nuclear programme, despite the advice of the international watchdog and Western powers, is certainly Teheran’s reading of American vulnerabilities in dealing with a second crisis in West Asia. The Bush administration, on its part, is proceeding warily, leaving much of the heavy lifting to the Europeans, particularly the European Union-three who had been negotiating with Teheran for close to two years.

Israel, on the other hand, has its own reasons to egg America on to take strong-arm action against Iran or, better still, to permit it to bomb Iranian facilities, repeating the pattern of what it did to the Iraqi nuclear installation in 1981. The US is unlikely to take, or give assent to, the military route for the moment because the world is facing an energy crunch at present and roiling the Iranian water could only lead to an energy crisis of horrendous proportions. Nor is the American partiality for referring Iran to the UN Security Council a panacea because imposition of sanctions would require the acquiescence of Russia and China.

The Bush administration thus finds itself in an unhappy situation. President Bush’s rhetorical flow on Iraq is unceasing but hard words and a resolve to stay the course — which course? — are often preludes to withdrawal. Perhaps, a future generation of Americans will call it the mini-Vietnam syndrome their parents suffered from. The unhappiest people in America are the neoconservatives whose resolve to spread a form of democratic imperialism has come unstuck.

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Taming a Gypsy
by Reena Sen

I saw her tripping along, dancing to drum beats only she could hear. She was tiny, covered with fleas, eating off the dustbin, but there was such freedom and joyfulness in her demeanor you could not but notice her.

With the help of my friend Tessa, I brought her home. I called her Gypsy after the Great Indian Pi, Tessa named her Rani, and so our little Gypsy became “Gypoo Rani”!

My children approved, my husband frowned but Gypoo was there to stay. She made her bed in my walking shoe, de-worming medicine made her expel the largest worm I had ever set eyes on, we got rid of the fleas and she took to house training like a dream. So it went…smoothly, and it looked like my Gypsy Queen had been tamed.

Gypoo was a beauty. She had large, black eyes naturally lined with kohl, long legs, and the face of a Pointer – at least that’s what it looked like to me. Tessa disagreed — she said it was a nice face no doubt, but a pi’s face.

She hated bland, salt free “dog” food She wanted spicy curries, the hotter the better, and fish with bones.

She got so used to relieving herself on newspaper that no amount of effort in taking her to the road for her ablutions, worked. Walking Gypoo was an adventure as all the pi dogs in the neighbourhood tried, in envy, to attack the one member of their clan who had made it good!

Robust and strong, Gypoo’s natural exuberance became her worst enemy. She didn’t walk, she ran; she didn’t chew up odd household articles, she made gaping big holes, including in the wall; she didn’t wag her tail to greet people but jumped, almost knocking them over; she gave ‘friendly’ nips that left awesome bruises. She wanted to be out ‘there’ so spent her time looking out of the window and her nails — that magically grew within hours of being cut — left deep scratches down the walls.

Worst of all, she would take off at tremendous speed like an aircraft and land on an unsuspecting guest’s lap! In desperation, I started taking her for walks every morning and hired the services of a dog walker to give her the run of her life, every evening.

Nothing worked. Gypoo Rani was tired for about 20 minutes after her run, and then, revived, walked her path of destruction.

Finally, after Gypoo lovingly took off a pound of flesh from my friend ‘s dog, I realised that a life within walls was too much for my wild and wanton gypsy. My cousin, always obliging, offered his parents’ home with an open terrace, space inside and outside, uninhabited but for the caretaker and his family.

Gypsy Queen has been adopted and although she still nips in excitement, she keeps the house free of cats and miscreants. I went through tremendous guilt after giving my child away, but when I went to visit her and she bounded up followed by a laughing child calling out to her, I knew Gypoo had, finally, found her home.

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Nitish Kumar woos NRIs
by Ambarish Dutta

IT was more a drive for image makeover than immediate investment by NDA Chief Minister Nitish Kumar when he attended the just-concluded three-day “Prabashi Bharatiya Sammelan” (NRI conclave) in Hyderabad between January 7 and 9.

The unwriten speech delivered by Mr Nitish Kumar clearly indicated that he looked forward to a positive upswing in Bihari sub-nationalism to fulfil his dream for a new Bihar.

This involved not only NRI Biharis, but also non-resident Biharis (NRBs) who have been living in different parts of India. For Mr Nitish Kumar, it was akin to his pre-poll pledge to restore the lost “self pride” once attached to a Bihari.

In his inaugural speech Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too appealed to the people of Indian origin in Mauritius, who hail mainly from Bihar, to help the state develop economically. Mr Singh’s appeal to NRI Biharis living in Mauritius, by and large, vindicates Mr Nitish Kumar’s stand advocating Bihari sub-nationalism.

What was appreciable in Mr Kumar’s effort was that he did not try to hide the realities confronting Bihar.

At the bottom of India’s state-wise GDP rankings, Bihar was indeed the buzzword at the NRI conclave this time with Mr Nitish Kumar leading a strong 40-member delegation. The hi-tech Bihar pavillion, a mix of its glorious past and promising future, attracted not only NRIs, but Chief Ministers from other states too, including Mr Narendra Modi from Gujarat, a state which is considered as a yardstick for development.

Mr Nitish Kumar was the first Chief Minister from Bihar to attend the NRI conclave in four years.

And after a long time, corruption, the feudal mindset, abductions and the law of the gun, so identified with Bihar, vanished for a moment as Mr Nitish Kumar spoke a new language.

Investment, infrastructure, single-window clearances, air-taxi services, websites and multi-plexes had been hitherto unheard from any Chief Minister of Bihar.

“We want investment. People have been scared of Bihar. We will take all decisions needed for investment. We have already initiated the process to create a conducive atmosphere for investment in education, hospitals, sugar mills, agro processing, power and infrastructure. Our human resource is the best asset. Give us a chance”, he appealed.

In his speech and the subsequent one-to-one interaction Mr Nitish Kumar asserted that the mandate at the just-concluded assembly poll was for a change in Bihar and his government was determined to make it happen.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, before leaving for Hyderabad, was surprised to note from a local website that over 1.2 million NRIs responded to its questions to decide the “Hero” and “Zero” of 2005 in Bihar.

Mr Ajay Kumar, a noted social analyst who has been dealing with NRIs through his website for past few years, said that there was indeed a ray of hope in the minds of NRIs who want to be keenly involved with the development of Bihar. “It is up to the the new government to put things in order fast so that things can fall in place”, he added.

The website, Bihartimes.com, has also introduced a new section entitled “Friends of Bihar” with over 2,500 active members from 60 countries across the world.

A recent report by the World Bank points out that the basic reason for lack of industrial climate (IC) in Bihar is poor road connectivity (77 kms of road length per 100 sq kms). In communication too, Bihar has the lowest telephone density in India (0.93 telephones per 100 persons). In the power sector Bihar is heavily dependent on the central grid as its own production does not even meet 20 per cent of the requirement.

Interestingly, Union Rural Development Minister and RJD leader Raghubansh Prasad Singh at a recent press conference had argued for the protection of engineers working for national and state highways in Bihar by the central security forces. He said his department was finding it difficult to get bidders from districts like Siwan and Madhepura.

Although the question how the situation came to such a pass as the RJD had been in power for the past 15 years was not answered by Mr Singh, the fact was a month ago two enginers of a construction company working for the “East-West corridor” were abducted, which prompted Mr Nitish Kumar to deploy the CISF for the protection of engineers working on the project.

Mr Nitish Kumar, during his interaction with the Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industry had admitted that the potential of Bihar lay in agriculture and his focus would be on agro industries.

In a state like Bihar where the majority was still deprived of preliminary education, the IT and BPO could be only one of the means of development.

The invitation to NRIs for investment should thus be linked with agriculture and agro-based industries and development of roads, power and communication”. “The proposed development should never be at the cost of rural Bihar where people still are deprived of minimum basic amenities”, said former government employee Satendra Prasad.

Mr Nitish Kumar feels that Bihar requires 15 per cent of growth in the next two decades to match the 8 per cent growth at the national level.

Fourteen out of the 38 districts in Bihar are still in the complete grip of the Maoists, who take advantage of the frustration of the local people arising from underdevelopment.

The new government requires, as is admitted by Mr Nitish Kumar, at least two years to put things in order so that new investment falls in line with the development of infrastructure. There is need to provide basic civic amenities, improve the health scenario with the existing facilities and boost agriculture production with a long-term planning to combat the perennial flood problem.

One appreciable move on the part of Mr Nitish Kumar was the way he recently approached his bete noire, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, to unitedly protest against the alleged move by the Defence Ministry to shelve the proposed ordnance factory at Rajgir in Nalanda.

This was apparently an effort by Mr Nitish Kumar to develop a new politicial culture based on consensus on issues concerning the devlopment of Bihar.

Mr Lalu Prasad and Mr Paswan too responded positively to it. “We are united when it comes to issues concerning Bihar”, said Mr Lalu Prasad.

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Chile elects socialist President
by Patrick J. McDonnell

MICHELLE Bachelet, a socialist who was jailed and went into exile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, was elected the first female president of this South American nation on Sunday in a historic vote that underscored a leftward drift in the region.

The 54-year-old physician and single mother, who served as health and defense minister in the administration of outgoing President Ricardo Lagos, became the first elected female chief executive in Latin America whose rise to power was not linked to a powerful husband.

“Who would have said — five, 10, 15 years ago — that Chile would elect a woman president?’’ Bachelet asked a boisterous crowd of thousands of supporters in front of her hotel in downtown Santiago. “We have shown a country can be prosperous without losing its soul.’’

Her remarks highlighted the changes that have overtaken this nation of 16 million people, long considered among the most socially and economically conservative countries in Latin America.

Bachelet, who will be sworn into her four-year term March 11, was the standard-bearer for center-left coalition that has held power since Pinochet stepped down in 1990. She won nearly 54 percent, based on a tally from more than 97 percent of the polling stations, the government Electoral Service said.

The election of Bachelet and the defeat of the conservative alliance opposing her is the latest in a series of electoral results across Latin America that have shifted the region’s politics. But Bachelet’s coalition differs markedly from the rest of South America. Chile staunchly supports free-market trade policies, and Chile’s status as a major U.S. ally is not expected to change, analysts say.

By contrast, the newly elected Bolivian President, Evo Morales, was sworn into office on Sunday as the first full-blooded Indian president in South America. He has pledged to be a ``nightmare’’ for the United States, and his affection for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban President Fidel Castro troubles policy makers in Washington.

Leftist leaders of varying styles also run Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, which led to the defeat in November of a Bush administration plan for a regional free-trade zone.

Long a nation of conservative trade and business policies, Chile joined Mexico, a U.S. partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement, in supporting the hemispheric trade proposal. While Morales has hinted at scrapping such free-trade policies as harmful to his under-developed country, Chile has tended to favor fine-tuning the current system.

Bachelet, a mother of three long separated from her husband, will become Chile’s fourth consecutive president from the center-left coalition, known as the concertacion, which was formed in opposition to the military dictatorship.

Her father, an Air Force general sympathetic to the leftist regime of Allende, was arrested and tortured in the September 1973 coup. He died in custody. She and her mother were subsequently arrested.

Bachelet has played down the suffering she endured, saying her mother experienced true torture. Mother and daughter first left for Australia and, later, the former East Germany, where both were active in the Chilean exile resistance movement.

Upon their return, Bachelet took up her pediatric medical practice, while continuing her work in socialist circles.

— LA Times-Washington Post

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Delhi Durbar
Sibal keen on teaching

HAVING taught modern Indian history before he donned the lawyer’s robe, Kapil Sibal says he is familiar with the concerns that the teaching community faces today. What’s more, he even began offering solutions.

For the teaching community to snap from its present inertia, he said there ought to be periodic reviews and a provision whereby professionals can teach students.

“What I can teach law students about constitutional law will be entirely in a different perspective from that of a professor,” he explained, citing the example of American universities where professionals are allowed to formulate their own course that can be taught to students.

Sibal maintains that teaching is his first love and he intends returning to it soon.

The new BJP boss

The new BJP President, Rajnath Singh, does not want the message of being the party’s boss lost either on the public or mediapersons. Since taking charge, he has been attending office at the BJP’s headquarters at 11 Ashoka Road in the Capital.

At lunch time, he retreats to his residence nearby and returns without much ado. Leader of Opposition L K Advani, who stepped down recently as BJP President, largely operated from his residence. His predecessor, M Venkaiah Naidu, was also not seen at the BJP headquarters often.

Rajnath Singh has infused some life at the party office. One of the permanent fixtures at the BJP office is Prakash Javadekar. Speculation is gaining ground who will be in or out of Rajnath Singh’s new team to be announced in the third week of January.

Hyderabad in limelight

Hyderabad appears to be the happening place these days. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be making his third foray to Hyderabad in January.

He was in Cyberabad for the Indian Science Congress, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and soon for the Congress plenary.

President A P J Abdul Kalam also visited the city for the Science Congress. Now it suggested that when President Bush visits this country in February or March, Cyberabad should be part of his itinerary.

Delhi CM takes to new exercise

A habitual morning walker, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was kept indoors by the severe winter chill. While others were compelled to suspend their morning exercise, Sheila found an effective alternative. She chose to burn the extra calories through a machine that was recently presented to her.

“You just have to lie on it and it shakes. It gives you your dose of exercise,” observed the CM at a function recently. Pointing out that present lifestyle has put an end to people doing household chores, she gave her own example as that of a grandmother who does more work than her own children.

****

Contributed by Satyanarayanan, R Suryamurthy, Smriti Kak Ramachandran and Prashant Sood

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From the pages of

March 30, 1923

A poser to Rajaji

The most interesting part of the statement of Mr Rajagopalachari is his candid admission that if the patient does not recover, he may lose faith in the doctor, with the result that another doctor may come in. Who is this doctor, pray? Not Mr Rajagopalachari or any other single individual; no, not even Mahatma Gandhi himself, but the Congress. It is just because this is so that the leaders have to be extremely careful as to what they say and do in the name of the doctor. In the present case can Mr Rajagopalachari deny that the very formation of the new party is a clear proof of the fact that the country has partially lost its faith, not, indeed, in the doctor yet, but certainly in the treatment he has been trying for the last two years? Is it not time for the doctor to change the prescription now? That is exactly what the new party has been asking the doctor to do.

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In order to gain such a spiritual frame of mind, personal discipline, austerity, penance, good conduct, selfless service, yogic practices, meditation, worship prayer, rituals, and study of scriptures, as well as the company of holy persons, pilgrimage, chanting of the holy names of God, and self-inquiry are needed to purify the body, mind, and intellect.

— Bhagvad Gita

In the garden of God, bloom many flowers the exotic rose and the humble nettle. So in this world, the rich man and the poor live side by side.

— Sanatana Dharma

True swadeshi is that alone in which all cotton has to pass are carried out in the same village or town.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Avarice is the mind’s impurity and falsehood is that of the tongue.

— Guru Nanak

Thieves, adulterers and gamblers are pressed in the oil-press; Slanderes and back-biters are first fettered (then duly punished).

— Guru Nanak

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