Who killed Rajdev Ranjan, the correspondent of a Hindi newspaper, is a question that reverberates today throughout the public sphere of Bihar and fuels private anxieties of those living in Biharis. The more we know the more stridently we ask the question 'Who killed Rajdev Ranjan?' We know who did it. By asking the question we are merely trying to point the needle of suspicion away from our own guilty selves. The society as a whole killed Rajdev Ranjan.
("The act of God" remark in the context of the Calcutta bridge collapse and the indigence senior civil servants and police officers as reflected in their property statements triggered these musings. Some of the remarks and statements have appeared in my interviews or articles published elsewhere. After all, you can't have something new to say everyday on the timeworn old issue of corruption.)
JNU has made great contribution to the cause of learning in India; it has also played a seminal role in the life of significant contention- the proper calling of intellectuals – over the years but sadly the students of this premier university are being discussed for their intellectual daring which extended no further than a pledge to dismember their own motherland and a clever application of their assiduously acquired knowledge of "subaltern studies and dialectical materialism" to fox and hoodwink plain, blunt policeman.
Kanhaiya Kumar’s totally uncalled for arrest and slapping of the charges of sedition etc. have clouded the issue and furthered the interest of the elements the government claims to rein in.
Just when the national temper was cooling down, Mr. Aamir Khan has shared his wife’s sense of insecurity, which was blissfully short lived, just as his desire to leave the country but a transient impulse.
Assembly elections are upon us. Universal suffrage is one of the great gifts of our constitution and the elections are our opportunity for making a choice; if we do not make a correct choice then we would have to suffer the consequences of the ineptness of our choice. So we must choose wisely! We have been fed on this diet for so long that I have come to believe that this bit of wisdom has welled up from within me; it is imminent, self evident and without the need of proof. However, I am wondering whether voting is a privilege or a punishment.
"You heard of honest Socrates
The man who never lied:
They weren't so grateful as you'd think
Instead the rulers fixed to have him tried
And handed him the poisoned drink.
How honest was the people's noble son.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's honesty that brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none." - Bertolt Brecht
My reputation as a problem solver seems to have never died down even though it has been years since I last showed my abilities. (For the information of the ignorant few I have described my heroic feats in quite unheroic terms on my blog.*) In fact, it is only I who seem to have put aside that glorious chapter of my life behind me, the rest of the world remembers.
Uncharacteristically, the mainstream media in Bihar has been reporting news on Bihar’s corruption and urban chaos in Patna for the last few months. While the muck raised by the opposition on the score of dozens of scams could be dismissed as malicious propaganda, the admission of Sri Jitan Ram Manjhi, the CM of Bihar, that corruption had gone up in and in fact as a minister in the previous government he himself had to pay a bribe of Rs. 5000 to get his electricity bill rectified cannot be dismissed lightly.1
My mind was made up. I would not waste a day more in approaching the neighbourhood bank for a loan of Rs 5 crores. But I was not too sure if the bank would as readily make up its mind about my creditworthiness with such a large sum. How would I know that, I thought, unless I took the first step. All my life I had been following the principle "neither a borrower nor a lender be", so I was ignorant of the ways to charm your lender about your creditworthiness.
Tarun Tejpal, the inquisitor par excellence is now himself being pilloried in the media for his "bad lapse of judgment". This "bad lapse of judgment", however, comes with its own palliative – his literary worth, his courageous journalism, his mastery of the art form of essay, his Midas touch are narrated in the same breath. That makes me feel so inadequate because I must confess; I have not read anything by Tejpal - essays, fiction, whatever.
If we judge by the result, the terrorist strike in Patna failed to achieve its objective. The terrorists seek to disrupt normal life by injecting a deep sense of insecurity and fear, to break the even tenor of life, to disrupt the routine. It kills five and terrorizes a city of five million.
After DG Vanzara’s letter claiming mere agency for himself and scores of his colleagues cooling their heels in the jails for all the gory deeds that are being attributed to the police in Gujarat comes the allegations by the police that they were forced by the UP administration to wink at communal bloodbath.