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Shed beacons for equality in society

You are right in quoting from George Orwell’s book ‘Animal Farm’ in the editorial Flashing red beacons (May 21). The book remained banned in the Communist countries for decades, simply because it mirrored the aberrations in their system. But the ban did not help as the philosophy fell prey to its own shortcomings and the world saw the obliteration of mighty Soviet Union from the face of this earth.

Now, if democracy in India is aping the same ‘some are more equal than others’ principle, will it not meet a similar fate in due time? One shudders to think, where are we headed to.

In my opinion, more than Orwell’s Animal Farm, the situation is rather akin to Eugene Ionesco’s play ‘Rhinoceros’( a prominent exponent of the theater of the absurd) in which a few individuals grow a single horn on their head like a rhino and become the talk of the town. After a few days, some more people feel a horn like bump growing upon their foreheads, Try howsoever they may, the horn shows up ultimately and they too become hot news. Eventually, a time comes when every other person grows a horn and it becomes a stale topic.

Not a criticism, I feel that red beacons should be made freely available, consequent to which VIPs and VVIPs will automatically get humbled and start feeling the ground under their feet. Mirza Ghalib’s following couplet describes the reality of such vain people aptly: ‘Bana hai seh ka musahib, phire hai itrata; Varna is shahr mein Ghalib ki abroo kya hai’ (Your vanity is purely because of an official recognition, otherwise O Ghalib, who cares for your reputation in the whole city).



A red beacon accompanied by a hooting siren is not merely a visual display of authority but a symbol of contemptuous arrogance practiced by the ruling elite over their democratic masses. It is a carry forward of the legacy of our erstwhile colonial rulers who used these props to forewarn Indians to clear the way well in advance for their ‘white’ sahibs whenever they took to the road. It is a matter of shame that we are continuing with this derogatory practice which should be completely banned. Their can surely be better dignified ways to ensure safety and precedence on road to our ruling worthies, if so required. Beacons and sirens should only be used for emergency services, like ambulances, fire engines, police parties chasing criminals, etc.


Where is cricket?

Molestation charges, spot match fixing, ban on SRK by the MCA, late night rave IPL parties, big fat pay packets– but where is cricket? The Indian Premier League (IPL), a twenty 20 format, a version of instant cricket, has turned out to be a business model and the game has been blatantly commercialised.

It is painful to see degeneration of cricket, particularly the IPL, and money being the centre of focus rather than the game. Cricket is being sold like a hot commodity, and all limits are being crossed to amass crores, be it by the organisers, team owners, broadcasters, advertisers, or even the players.

Politicians and celebrities are controlling the game in various forms, while we the public, for whom cricket is like opium, are paying through our nose for watching IPL tournaments. Where is the transparency in dealing with huge funds. Why has the BCCI still not been brought under the RTI?

Cricket players are put on auction like residential plots. It is a slap on the face of over 350 million poor people who do not even have a roof over their head or two square meals a day. Can someone please stop this money laundering business?

Col R D SINGH, Ambala Cantt


‘Show us the money and we will play for you honey’. With IPL cricket, most of the cricketers are getting hypnotised towards this ideology, rather than sticking to the idea of nation's prestige and honour.

Every year the stage is set, market is laid out for buyers — big investments, bigger profits, famous players, high glamour quotient — IPL is surely drifting away the gentleness of this gentleman’s game. The country where corruption , black money are burning topics and activists are going all the way for a strong Lokpal Bill, IPL accounts are going unnoticed. The BCCI should be put under the RTI scanner.


Drama of pain

Happiness is an occasional episode in a general drama of pain’, this line of Thomas Hardy came to my mind on reading Harwant Singh’s middle The curse of power(May 22) describing the series of tragedies that had struck America’s famous Kennedy family, with all four Kennedy brothers dying one by one.

Other than being members of an elite and powerful family, Kennedys were also decent men. John F Kennedy in particular was India-friendly. His wisdom can be measured from his proverbial line, “We are here not to curse the darkness but to light the candle…” Infact, Kennedy brothers were larger-than-life legends.

The middle’s elegy on the last brother’s death and the tragedy that scrupulously stalked all of them reminded one of Shakespeare’s famous lines, “As flies to wanton boys, are we to Gods; they kill us for their sport.”



In the news report “No Bismillah Khan will now die in poverty”, Mubarak Begum has been inadvertently mentioned as dead. The error is regretted. 



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