News meeows


The verdict on the Godhra case will be pronounced on Tuesday. 10,000 cops will guard Ahmedabad and 2000 will be posted at Godhra. This is a telling indicator that it is the big city that decides how the tide will swing.

Godhra collector Milind Torawane has banned all TV channels from showing images of the Godhra carnage or the riots that followed, for 12 hours beginning noon of February 22. Joint commissioner Satish Sharma told mediapersons on Saturday that they should refrain from showing or publishing images of Godhra and post-Godhra riots on the verdict day so as not to fuel public emotions. The police have given security cover for families of all the 92 accused booked in the case.

I understand it, but why did the Gujarat government use images of the burning train in its own election campaign? Was it not to fuel public emotions? How selective are these emotions? The locals go on a rampage, the police with the connivance of the government kills over 1200 people – their own people – because of a burnt train coach with 59 passengers they did not know the identities of?

94 accused were rounded up and are in the Sabarmati prison since 2002, whereas Narendra Modi remains the chief minister. Have these accused been given security cover because the verdict will go against some of them or because it won’t? Then the public emotions will again be divided. The post-Godhra riots took place without any photographic evidence. It spread through hate-inducing pamphlets and posters. So, images won’t cause any such reaction unless they are engineered to.

However, I’d agree that they should not be aired because TV channels will sensationalise it for no reason other than to grab attention for themselves. And anyway, the media people do not decide the fate of criminal or civil cases, although they’d like to believe they do.


The Orissa government on Saturday seemed to be working to a hush-hush plan to swap abducted Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi with a clutch of jailed Maoist leaders. This could be the first such exchange deal since the 1999 IC-814 Kandahar incident in which militant Masood Azhar and others were freed for 190-odd Indian Airlines passengers.

There is a huge difference. The plane was hijacked by Harkat ul Mujahideen, a Pakistani militant outfit, and demanded the release of its members. The lives of 190 people were at stake. In Orissa, the kidnapping is against the Indian establishment. It is an indigenous hostage situation.

From reports one gathers that the cops helped in putting up the bail pleas for the Maoists, but the lawyer says it has to be done the proper judicial way. Apparently, the reasons for the arrests are flimsy. The government may well go the quiet way because it can be questioned regarding its policies. I do wonder, though, why the Maoists have not kidnapped policemen or politicians.


The Dalai Lama gave a lecture in Mumbai on “Ancient Wisdom and Modern Thoughts”, but he did sneak in politics:

“Now in China, genuine socialism is no longer there; a communist party without communist ideology. Capitalist communism: this is new. I heard that the life of some Indian communists and a few leaders of the Indian communist party is more bourgeois than socialist.”

True. Just as the life of some spiritual leaders who check into five-star hotels while their people sit for hours in protest. The Dalai Lama has consistently played a dog and the bone game with China. The problem is this tussle on his part takes place in India. And he does it so subtly, so 'spiritually', that we don’t even realise what is happening”

“I describe Indians as the guru, we (Tibetans) are chelas (students) of Indian guru. Essentially we learn from you.”

And then he said:

“Caste, dowry, discrimination, these may be a part of your tradition but they are outdated, and must change. The youth must change some of these…. From your chela, this is constructive criticism. Sometimes, you are a little bit lazy. You must be more hardworking; work with full self-confidence.”

Did anyone object? Of course, these are evils but where was the BJP that starts getting all hot and bothered everytime someone talks about our ‘tradition’?

Forget Indians, may we know in what manner the Tibetan youth can be self-confident and hardworking when they don’t even have their own land? How many of them have access to the huge amount of donated money from overseas by foreign supporters? Does the Indian government not have limits on this?

He made a rather curious comment:

"Modern education system does not pay attention to wholeheartedness. Teaching ethics without touching the religious space is important."

Is he conceding that ethics is antithetical to religion? And if it is important and 'wholehearted', then why must it not infringe into the religious space?


Yoga guru Baba Ramdev got a taste of politics on Saturday at his yoga camp in Arunachal’s Pasighat where he was allegedly called a “bloody Indian dog” by Congress MP Ninong Ering. Taking exception to the insult, the yoga guru’s spokesperson S K Tijarawala threatened that Ering wouldn’t be allowed to come to Delhi to attend Parliament. Ering, who has denied the charge, has been asked by the Congress to explain his conduct.
  1. This should tell the Congress that, if true, its own party is completely removed from Arunachal. 
  2. Who is Swami Ramdev to disallow an elected MP from attending Parliament? File a case against such libellous language. Simple.