Saturday, 18 November 2017

My objections to Sanjay Bhansali’s film 'Padmavati'



(downloaded from internet)

Celebrated filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s yet to be released magnum opus 'Padmavati' has created nationwide controversy. While his critics are attacking him for committing ‘historical mistakes’ and presenting a queen in bad light, his supporters are defending him for making an excellent film on a fictitious character.

I have three serious objections to what Bhansali has done.

(1) Whether Padmavati was a historical character or a figment of poet Jayasi’s imagination, the fact is that lakhs of people believe that she really existed and along with thousands of women committed suicide by jumping in fire to save their honour. No one, not even a celebrated filmmaker or a story writer, has right to hurt sentiments of people in the name of creativity and freedom of expression.

(2)  Even if she was a fictitious character, no one who has any respect for Indian traditions would accept that a queen will dance like a  dancing girl, for entertainment or for the sake of art.  Was Padmavati or Rani Padmini known for dancing? Such films should not be allowed. If such films are encouraged, tomorrow someone will make a film on Ram and Sita and and show Sita dancing. Someone may make a film on Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi and show her performing a dance before Dalhousie. Will Indians accept such an attack on their faith and respect for Sita and Rani Lakshmibai?

Will Bhansali or any other brave filmmaker have courage to take such liberty if he makes a film on the life of Prophet Mohammed? Will any one make a film that hurts the sentiments of Muslims?

(3) My most serious objection is that the film has encouraged caste system by making the Rajasthan Rajputs conscious of their caste. Caste-based organisations should be starved of issues and made irrelevant. Unfortunately, there are opinion  makers who provide excuses to caste-based organisations to become active. In my opinion, they are doing great harm to the society. If politicians are doing caste-based politics and thereby dividing the society on caste lines, people like Bhansali are encouraging caste-based organisations.

Devendra Narain
November 18, 2017



Monday, 13 November 2017

A Pappu as Prime Minister


A serious question to blog readers:

Has any country got a Pappu as Prime Minister or President?

India is under threat because one such character is convincing people that he is the best alternative to Modi.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Ease of doing business in India: who deserves gold medal?


(Beyond satire)



Oommen Chandy deserves Gold Medal
 for his contribution to the “Ease of Doing Business”

The “Ease of Doing Business in India” has improved significantly under Prime Minister Modi, so says the World Bank in its report: “Doing Business 2018”. The Modi government is patting its back and going gaga over the World Bank certificate.

However, I have a solid reason to assert that the Modi government does not deserve gold medal for that. The World Bank has considered business only in the economic field which is not the sole or primary field for large number of our ‘entrepreneurs’.

The primary field of business for large number of our enterprising people is politics, which gives quick and substantial return, often without investment of own capital or with nominal capital. During the decades of its rule, the Congress party had made it easy to make quick progress from rag to riches. We have large number of such ‘entrepreneurs’ who entered the business of politics and built rich empires from scratch, without making any investment from their own pocket. This was an important part of the ‘Garibi Hatao’ mission launched by Indira Gandhi. Not just Indians, even large number of foreigners are aware of famous names. In case any reminder is needed, here are a few examples: Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Behan Mayawati, Sasikala and her late mentor-cum-friend Jayalalitha and Dayanidhi Maran.

Perhaps, the golden era in the Indian history was the rule of the UPA (2004-14 AD) when Dr Manmohan Singh, portrayed as economist, was graciously given the driver’s seat with a dummy steering wheel. The real steering will was some time at 7, Janpath, New Delhi  and some time at 12, Tughlak Lane, New Delhi. It was unparallel in the world history. The person occupying the driver’s seat was to receive blame for all the accidents and those really controlling the steering wheel claimed credits for smooth driving. The arrangement suited all the three. Manmohan Singh could not have become prime minister without the mother and son at his back. The mother lacked confidence to control the steering wheel from driver’s seat. The son was an apprentice though he often behaved as if he was the real master, making the people bewildered. Perhaps, he will always create this confusion.

During that ‘golden era’, it was so easy to combine business of politics with trade, commerce and industry. It was so easy to get coal blocks. 2G spectrum could be obtained without knowing the meaning of spectrum. The Commonwealth Games made making money the most important ‘game’. A foreign company gave money in advance, much before getting the contract, for VVIP choppers. It was a much better situation than Bofors, which is now part of history. Even (Tatra) trucks carried money. Before most of the shareholders could realise, the National Herald had become private property of the ruling family. As railway Minister, Laluji got real estate in lieu of putting clearance of tenders on the fastest track. The Indian Railways remained on the slow track, though.  Some politicians wanted only money without any fa├žade of indulging in commercial activities. The result was what the critics say “cash-for-vote” scam.

The term ‘scam’ was suffixed, unfairly in the opinion of beneficiaries, not just to “cash-for-vote” but also to most of the activities covered by the ‘ease of doing business of politics’ during the ‘Garibi Hatao’ era.

With so many persons contributing to the ‘ease of doing business of politics’, the million dollar question is, who deserves the Gold Medal?

In my humble opinion, the most suitable candidate is a lesser-known worthy,  Oommen Chandy, Congress Chief Minister of Kerala from May 18, 2011 to May 20, 2016. He extended the facility of making payment to the facilitator (he himself) by the beneficiary of political largess in easy instalments. Please note, he did it for a good cause, providing cheap solar energy to the people of Kerala. The ‘reform’ reduced the financial burden on the company engaged for the good cause and the facilitator expected that the instalments would not attract public attention. Unfortunately, Chandy’s expectation proved wrong. His adversaries proved smarter and forced an enquiry that confirmed his contribution to the “ease of doing business”.

I must add that he was not the first to introduce this method nor is it free from risk of default. In the early 1970s, an important aide to a powerful central minister had told a friend of mine that the people had become very ‘dishonest’; they paid half of the ‘fee’ (as he described the deal) before the work was done and promised to pay the remaining half after the work was done but many times they did not fulfil the promise. Such a betrayal is bad for long-term relationship and growth of business.

Despite Chandy’s personal failure, I still consider him the best candidate for the Gold Medal. He revived an old practice and gave an idea to his fellow entrepreneurs in the business of politics. While using the method, they may take necessary precautions to avoid the type of trouble Chandy is likely to face. They may consider issuing ‘bonds’ with a reasonable coupon rate to be redeemed when it would not attract public attention.

Unfortunately, Prime Minister Modi has not taken kindly to that sort of “ease of doing business”. Investigating agencies like Income Tax, CBI and Enforcement Directorate are raiding empires of many engaged in business of politics and even confiscating their assets. Well, this is all part of the game. History bears testimony to the fact that kingdoms and empires have always fallen prey to enemies. Even under the present regime, large number of ‘startups’ have ‘died’ pre-mature death.


A ray of hope is that our judiciary takes years to give verdict on what the Modi government is doing to the ‘business of politics’. No wonder, all those who are facing the music have been expressing their ‘full faith in judiciary’. (I hope, I will not be hauled up for ‘contempt of court’.)

Devendra Narain
November 11, 2017



Monday, 6 November 2017

Prime Minister Modi should should throw them out.



                                                             Jayant Sinha




Prime Minister Modi should should throw them out.

One  of the 714 Indians named in the Paradise Papers is a minister in the Modi Government. He is Jayant Sinha, son of former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha.

BJP MP R. K. Sinha is also included in the list

One interpretation in a section of media is that their names have been leaked out to embarrass Prime Minister Modi.

Prime Minister Modi may feel embarrassed because of the names of his minister and BJP MP but he cannot be held accountable for their sins. Most likely, these two worthies carried out their alleged illegal financial activities prior to NDA coming to power, though the actual facts would be known only after investigations.

To save his reputation and the reputation of his government, Prime Minister should immediately sack the  minister and suspend  Minister and MP from the BJP. Let them take rest during the period of investigation.

Just before the last Cabinet reshuffle, Modi had shown the door to a Minister for State who was under surveillance because of his illegal financial activities. Though the name of the Minister was never made public, off the record the people who claimed to know identified the Minister and justified action taken against him.

Like Caesar’s wife, public figures must be above suspicion. Prime Minister Modi can ill afford to have suspicious characters in this ministry.


                                                                                                    November 7, 2017

PS
The Modi government is defending Jayant Sinha. Perhaps, the Prime Minister has accepted Sinha's explanation.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Hardik Patel inviting quotations for a joint venture in Gujarat

Beyond Satire

Hardik Patel with leaders of pre-qualified parties


                                           With Rahul Gandhi



With Praful Patel

  
                                              With Raj Thackeray 



                                        With Arvind Kejriwal


Notice for a limited circulation

Quotations are invited in sealed covers from the pre-qualified parties for a joint venture to be launched shortly in Gujarat. Gujarat has been chosen because our researchers have found that at the moment the environment for doing business of politics is quite favourable there. This year Gujarat has jumped several notches into the top 30 rankings on our Researchers’ 'ease of doing business of politics' index, thanks to the widespread dissatisfaction we have created among different sections of the society.

In the interest of transparency, it must be clarified that total agreement on all the social, economic and political views has not been the criterion for pre-qualification. The criteria are financial and political capability of making foothold in the state and acceptance of the value of our supreme leader, Shri Hardik Patel. By now, everybody knows that our supreme leader sacrificed his running business to create awareness among his community members, who have been doing business for centuries, that now government service is a better option for making money. It is the duty of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is also from Gujarat and the State Chief Minister to provide jobs to all our community members. If Narendra Modi feels that trade, commerce and industry are better options and the ‘ease of doing business’ has improved, he should vacate the chair of the Prime Minister and become a businessman. There are many leaders waiting for Modi’s sacrifice.

The application forms are available at our party office and will be issued only to the authorised representatives of the pre-qualified parties. The application duly filled in must be submitted along with Rs. …… cr. (to be disclosed personally), as security money, within 15 days from the issue of this notice. 50% of the security money will be forfeited if the party is not selected for the joint venture.

The sealed tenders will be opened personally by our supreme leader at a place of his choice. Thereafter, he will invite each tenderer for one-to-one meeting in midnight at a mutually agreed venue. To maintain secrecy and to guarantee security of the leaders, will be ensured that no CCTV functions in that area. The terms and conditions are negotiable. After discussions with all the tenderers, our supreme leader will decide the winner with whom the joint venture agreement will be signed.

The agreement will be signed in a midnight at a mutually agreed venue where no outsider will have access and were no CCTV is functional. Our supreme leader does not want another video to go viral on the social media.

Hardik Patel caught on CCTV coming out after meeting with Rahul Gandhi


 The selected party must keep a big briefcase ready with “undergarments”. (In case anyone accidentally sees the briefcase and enquires about its contents, our leader must have an acceptable explanation.)

Needless to say that the joint venture is for mutual benefit, to end Modi-raj. Since our leader may be in great demand after the success of the joint venture in December 2017, the contract for the present joint venture will automatically lapse after the results of the Gujarat election are announced. Fresh quotations for joint ventures in future may be invited in due course.

The last date for submitting the quotations is November 15, 2017.


Sd/-

(Authorised signatory of the “Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti”)

November 2, 2017


PS.

A serous satire, not a humour,  on Hardik Ptael's politics, Hardik Patel who left his family business to join business of politics and in doing so degraded politics and is determined to ruin Gujarat. I hope, people of Gujarat will teach him a lesson that not only he but all those who have degraded politics will never forget. 

Quotations invited from pre-qualified parties

Beyond Satire

Hardik Patel with leaders of pre-qualified parties


                                           With Rahul Gandhi



With Praful Patel

  
                                              With Raj Thackeray 



                                        With Arvind Kejriwal


Notice for a limited circulation

Quotations are invited in sealed covers from the pre-qualified parties for a joint venture to be launched shortly in Gujarat. Gujarat has been chosen because our researchers have found that at the moment the environment for doing business of politics is quite favourable there. This year Gujarat has jumped several notches into the top 30 rankings on our Researchers’ 'ease of doing business of politics' index, thanks to the widespread dissatisfaction we have created among different sections of the society.

In the interest of transparency, it must be clarified that total agreement on all the social, economic and political views has not been the criterion for pre-qualification. The criteria are financial and political capability of making foothold in the state and acceptance of the value of our supreme leader, Shri Hardik Patel. By now, everybody knows that our supreme leader sacrificed his running business to create awareness among his community members, who have been doing business for centuries, that now government service is a better option for making money. It is the duty of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is also from Gujarat and the State Chief Minister to provide jobs to all our community members. If Narendra Modi feels that trade, commerce and industry are better options and the ‘ease of doing business’ has improved, he should vacate the chair of the Prime Minister and become a businessman. There are many leaders waiting for Modi’s sacrifice.

The application forms are available at our party office and will be issued only to the authorised representatives of the pre-qualified parties. The application duly filled in must be submitted along with Rs. …… cr. (to be disclosed personally), as security money, within 15 days from the issue of this notice. 50% of the security money will be forfeited if the party is not selected for the joint venture.

The sealed tenders will be opened personally by our supreme leader at a place of his choice. Thereafter, he will invite each tenderer for one-to-one meeting in midnight at a mutually agreed venue. To maintain secrecy and to guarantee security of the leaders, will be ensured that no CCTV functions in that area. The terms and conditions are negotiable. After discussions with all the tenderers, our supreme leader will decide the winner with whom the joint venture agreement will be signed.

The agreement will be signed in a midnight at a mutually agreed venue where no outsider will have access and were no CCTV is functional. Our supreme leader does not want another video to go viral on the social media.

Hardik Patel caught on CCTV coming out after meeting with Rahul Gandhi


 The selected party must keep a big briefcase ready with “undergarments”. (In case anyone accidentally sees the briefcase and enquires about its contents, our leader must have an acceptable explanation.)

Needless to say that the joint venture is for mutual benefit, to end Modi-raj. Since our leader may be in great demand after the success of the joint venture in December 2017, the contract for the present joint venture will automatically lapse after the results of the Gujarat election are announced. Fresh quotations for joint ventures in future may be invited in due course.

The last date for submitting the quotations is November 15, 2017.


Sd/-

(Authorised signatory of the “Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti”)

November 2, 2017


PS.


A serous satire, not a humour,  on Hardik Ptael's politics, Hardik Patel who left his family business to join business of politics and in doing so degraded politics and is determined to ruin Gujarat. I hope, people of Gujarat will teach him a lesson that not only he but all those who have degraded politics will never forget. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

An open letter to VVIP Prakash Javadekar

An open letter to VVIP Prakash Javadekar

What is an auto driver's son


before a VVIP




Respected Sir,

Perhaps, this letter will not reach you and even if somehow it reaches you, it is highly unlikely that you will bother to look at it because it is not from a VIP or a celebrity or anyone whose name is familiar in media. It is from a common person – I prefer to say a “lesser citizen” – whose words do not carry any weight. Nevertheless, I think it is my duty to make you aware of the consequences of your visits where there is no regular facility for landing of helicopter carrying a VVIP like you.

I am referring to the incident I saw in the media a short while ago. According to the media report dated October 24, 2017 (it is available on Internet), young star cricketer Pranav Dhanawade “faced the humiliation of being caught by the collar of his jersey and detained in a police lock-up for more than an hour.” His fault, again according to the media report: he “failed to vacate the Subhash Maidan (Kalyan, Maharashtra), in time, which was being used as a makeshift helipad” for your arrival. This is the place which the children has been using for a long time to play cricket.

I hope you remember this young boy, son of an auto driver. In January 2016, when he was not even 16, he created sensation by becoming the first person to score more than 1000 runs (1009, to be precise) not out from 323 balls in one innings. He broke the 116-year-old record of 628 not out, set by the English schoolboy A. E. J. Collins in 1899. He received tremendous appreciation from the people. The Maharashtra Sports Minister said that “Dhanawade ‘s score has made Maharashtra proud…. He has made the country very proud as well.” The Minister announced that the State government would pay for his future educational and coaching expenses.

Unfortunately, what has happened to the young boy because of your visit to Kalyan now, had happened in December 2016 also due to your visit to that very place. At that time also he was thrashed by the police for not vacating the ground that was to be used as makeshift helipad for you. According to the media reports, when you came to know of the incident of December 2016, you called the boy “pride of India”, advised the authorities to be cautious to see that playgrounds were not used as helipads and promised to “talk to the Maharashtra Chief Minister over the issue.”

I do not know whether you talked to the Maharashtra Chief Minister or not and even if you talked to him, whether he promised to take action. Obviously, no action was taken.

Of course, on each occasion the police officers gave their own justification.

The young players’ problem is that they have no alternative place to play. The authorities’ problem is that have to keep in mind that a VVIP enjoying Z+ category security must be given special treatment and would not like to incur his or her displeasure if he or she feels even slightly inconvenienced. What is the social status of an auto driver’s son, even if he is a great cricketer? He is not a VVIP like Sachin Tendulkar or his son Arjun Tendulkar. I am sure, had there been Arjun Tendulkar in place of Pranav Dhanawade, police would not have touched him. Perhaps, by now either a new helipad or a new playground would have been made.

At the time of election, every politician goes to the people with folded hands, begging for votes. Once people have cast their votes, for the next five years the politicians become ‘Maharajas’. Ordinary folks are humiliated and beaten as a mark of respect to the ‘Maharajas’

Prime Minister Modi says that VIP culture must end. The removal of red lights from the rooftop of cars alone does not end VIP culture which is deep-rooted. Our elected representatives feel uncomfortable unless treated very much different from those who elect them.

Yours faithfully

Devendra Narain

October 24, 2017

Saturday, 14 October 2017

An open letter to former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee





Close friends

Respected Sir,

Trust, this finds you in the best of health and spirit. Please excuse this ordinary citizen of India for writing an open letter to a former First Citizen of the country.

Sir, like millions of Indians, I have always been enlightened by your words of wisdom. You have been very forthright in sharing your thoughts with public, though sometimes, I find your words beyond my comprehension. That is my fault. Permit me to give a few examples.

I can never forget your memorable speech about late Sanjay Gandhi who was widely perceived as Indira Gandhi’s successor but the cruel fate snatched him away from us. Sometime in one evening of December 1982 or 1983, at a function organised at Vithal Bhai Patel House, just behind the Reserve Bank of India building on Parliament Street, to celebrate Sanjay Gandhi’s birthday, paying glowing tributes to the departed soul, you had said, ‘Sanjay was a great management expert’. I was present there as an onlooker. What you said was a news to me. Yes, Sanjay was the first Indian to dream of a completely indigenous car manufacturing plant to produce "people's car". He laid the foundation of his dream project in a garage in Gurgaon. Unfortunately, he had no knowledge of how to convert the dream into a reality. His mother expected the Planning Commission to support his project but D. R Gadgil and R. Venkatraman, the then Deputy Chairman and Member, respectively, of the Commission in 1971, rejected the proposal. The Maruti Limited went into liquidation in 1977. 

On May 13, 2017, still President of India, you participated in a function of the Congress party on the occasion of the release of a book, India’s Indira - A Centennial Tribute, compiled by the  Congress party. Addressing a galaxy of senior Congress leaders on the occasion, you gave another memorable speech (which I read in newspapers) that Indira Gandhi “was one of the remarkable personalities of the 20th century all over the world and to the people of India, even today after her passing away, she is the most acceptable ruler or prime minister of a democratic country.” No doubt, she was “remarkable” because there was something in her character that is not common but do the majority of the Indians really believe that she was most acceptable ruler or prime minister of a democratic country? People remember her more for imposing her personal rule (Emergency) in the name of saving the country when she put almost all her opponents in jails. She had misused the constitutional provisions and the President of the Republic to impose Emergency to save herself, not the country. 

You described her as a bold later and recalled several of her ‘bold decisions taken in the interest of the country’ including decision to ‘cleanse Golden Temple of militants’. However, can we forget that Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was her creation?

Sir, as an officer in the Government of India, I had personally seen and heard from most reliable sources how she often worked against the country’s interest and showed scant regard for democratic institutions. She had agreed to take useless Westland helicopters from Britain, though the deal was finalised by her son, Rajeev Gandhi. We all know how disastrous it proved. Perhaps, I am one of the few living persons who know how she forced D. R Gadgil and R. Venkatraman the Planning Commission to quit for their audacity to oppose Sanjay Gandhi’s car project. (I was told the inside story by a close elderly friend who was eyewitness to whatever had happened in Yojna Bhawan.)

Incidentally, you used the book release function (a purely Congress party function function) to indirectly advise your former party colleagues how to revive the Congress.

Sir, very recently, on October 12 last, in an exclusive interview to the India Today Group Editorial Director, you said (categorically, according to a media report) that you did not feel disappointed when Sonia Gandhi chose Manmohan Singh over you for the post of Prime Minister. In your own words, “Not disappointed, because I considered myself disqualified from ever being the Prime Minister of India.” Among the reasons, you mentioned your being member of Rajya Sabha for the most part of your career before 2004 and your lack of knowledge of Hindi. (But Dr Manmohan Singh has always been a member of Rajya Sabha.)

Sir, may I humbly remind you of what you have written in the third volume of your autobiography, The Coalition Years, 1996-2012? You have written that on June 2, 2012, you had a meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi “and I returned (from the meeting) with a vague impression that she might wish to consider Manmohan Singh as the UPA presidential nominee. I thought that if she selected Singh for the presidential office, she may choose me as the prime minister. I had heard a rumour that she had given this formulation serious thought while on a holiday in the Kaushambi Hills.”

 I leave it to the readers to compare what you have written in your autobiography with what you have stated in an interview on October 12, 2070 and draw their own conclusion.

Sir, you concluded the interview with a remark that has been interpreted as a tip to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on diplomacy. You said, “I have always believed war no solution. Armed intervention is no solution. The only solution is to talk, dialogue, and nothing beyond that, when it comes to Pakistan and China.”

I wish, you had said that Prime Minister Modi tried his level best to engage Pakistan in dialogue. He invited Nawaz Sharif, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, to his oath taking ceremony. In December 2015, he made a surprise visit to Lahore to meet Nawaz Sharif. Soon Modi realised that no dialogue with Pakistan to resolve differences was possible. The real problem is, whom to talk to?  The Prime Minister of Pakistan is not as effective as Prime Minister of any democracy is because the Pakistani army and the ISI are more powerful. In addition, there are numerous powerful militant groups in Pakistan, which thrive on their ‘destroy India’ mission.   We have reached a stage when it is just impossible to solve the Kashmir issue and stop daily violation of ceasefire by Pakistan through dialogue.

Sir, your words on diplomacy may sound very noble and maybe appreciated by those who have soft corner for the separatists and militants but you have not given any workable solution to the problem. As an experienced minister for years, you should know that diplomacy with Pakistan will not work.  Diplomacy being ineffective, Modi is resorting to what any serious minded Prime Minister sshould do i.e. deal with the intruders with an iron hand and make the Kashmiri separatists ineffective by stopping the supply of money from Pakistan and putting them in jail for violation of the law of the land. If you have any concrete suggestion, please come forward with that.

Perhaps, dialogue is possible with China. Despite all the tensions on borders, there has been no exchange of fire and diplomatic pressure has often worked.


Before concluding, one humble question. Sir. do you propose to conduct yourself as a former President of India or as a leader of the Congress Party? By telling the nation that “Don’t write off Congress… The 132-year old party will bounce back” you have probably chosen to act as a Congress leader. Is it not unbecoming of a former President who is expected to be above party politics?

With kind regards and best wishes for a long healthy life.

Yours faithfully

Devendra Narain

October 14, 2017

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Rahul Gandhi to ensure gender equality



During his Gujarat visit, Rahul Gandhi entered "Ladies Toilet" to answer nature's call. Did he do innocently? Probably. After all, he is still "Mama's small baby". May be, after become Prime Minister of India, the "baby" would establish gender equality in wash rooms, a leap forward to empower women and to ensure gender equality, at least washrooms!


"Achhe Din" aane wale hain! ("Good Days" are on way.)

Devendra Narain
October 12, 2017


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

First coalition government in history



First coalition government


Every year on Dussehara day Indians burn effigies of Ravana. On that day Lord Rama had killed Ravana who had kidnapped his wife, Sita.

 According to the mythology, Ravana had 10 heads. Naturally, every effigy had 10 heads with a big one in the middle. Those who burn Ravana’s effigies every year claim that they burn symbols of evil. This has to be an annual ritual because the evil refuses to die or disappear forever.

I have always wondered whether Ravana had really 10 heads or it is just a figment of imagination. To have 10 heads on a single shoulder is a physical impossibility. The ancient epics used metaphors to describe situations. Therefore, there has to be some basis for this imagination.

In all probability ‘Ravana’ was the name of a coalition government of 10 parties,  the first coalition government in the world, each head representing one party. Everything was done in the name of Ravana giving an impression to the later generations that there was only one king. Perhaps, the leader, whatever his real name, kidnapped Sita out of lust or to establish or re-establish his supremacy over his coalition partners. He was lucky that he had the support of his family members except his own wife and brother Vibhishan.

Since there was no opposition party, the leader’s own brother, Vibhishan, played that role and opposed the government’s policies including kidnapping of Sita. I cannot say whether Vibhishan did so out of jealousy or out of conviction or because he felt sidelined. Quite likely, the leader had sidelined him and therefore he became critical of the government and its policies. 

The leader’s wife, Mandodri, was not happy with Sita’s kidnapping but had no courage to openly oppose her husband who headed the coalition government.

If my hypothesis is correct, Ravana started the system of coalition governments. It also proves that coalition governments carry seeds of their own destruction.

I do not say that every coalition government in India or abroad is 'Ravana' though all of us have seen modern 'Ravana' in our own country earlier. For 10 years there was one hydra-headed 'Ravana' with a dummy central head. The real central head, carrying tag of "No. 10", lived behind curtain with a remote in hand. Another special feature of that 'Ravana' was that its Kumbhakaran too had a remote which he publicly displayed, of course when awake. Instead of burning effigies of such 'Ravanas', people banished them.

The Modi government does not fall in this category.

Several political leaders, mostly in position and some threatening to join the opposition, are trying to create a new Ravana to defeat Narendra Modi and BJP in 2019, if not in the Gujarat assembly election this year. It is not yet clear whether the coalition, the ‘Ravana’  in making, will consist of 10 parties or more and who will shown with the largest head. There are many in the field and many aspirants for the central position. Larger the number of the partners, faster will come the time to burn their effigies.

One special feature of the modern ‘Ravana’ may be inclusion of ladies who cannot tolerate politics without their participation. Politics is not a ‘stag party’. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh in particular may provide some female heads for the future Ravanas.

Vibhishans will always be there. The BJP already knows it.Anyone who is sidelined in a ruling dispensation starts speaking "in the interest of people". 


 The ‘Ravana’ in making will also have its own Vibishan if he/she is sidelined.

Devendra Narain

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Ravana was coalition of 10 parties




On September 30, 2017, once again the Indians burnt lakhs of effigies of Ravana. According to the mythology, Ravana had 10 heads. Naturally, every effigy had 10 heads with a big one in the middle. Those who burn Ravana’s effigies every year claim that they burn symbols of evil. This has to be an annual ritual because the evil refuses to die or disappear forever.

I have always wondered whether Ravana had really 10 heads or it is just a figment of imagination. To have 10 heads on a single shoulder is a physical impossibility. The ancient epics used metaphors to describe situations. Therefore, there has to be some basis for this imagination.

In all probability ‘Ravana’ was the name of a coalition government of 10 parties,  the first coalition government in the world, each head representing one party. Everything was done in the name of Ravana giving an impression to the later generations that there was only one king. Perhaps, the leader, whatever his real name, kidnapped Sita out of lust or to establish or re-establish his supremacy over his coalition partners. He was lucky that he had the support of his family members except his own wife and brother Vibhishan.

Since there was no opposition party, the leader’s own brother, Vibhishan, played that role and opposed the government’s policies including kidnapping of Sita. I cannot say whether Vibhishan did so out of jealousy or out of conviction or because he felt sidelined. Quite likely, the leader had sidelined him and therefore he became critical of the government and its policies. 

The leader’s wife, Mandodri, was not happy with Sita’s kidnapping but had no courage to openly oppose her husband who headed the coalition government.

If my hypothesis is correct, Ravana started the system of coalition governments. It also proves that coalition governments carry seeds of their own destruction.

I do not say that every coalition government in India or abroad is 'Ravana' though all of us have seen modern 'Ravana' in our own country earlier. For 10 years there was one hydra-headed 'Ravana' with a dummy central head. The real central head, carrying tag of "No. 10", lived behind curtain with a remote in hand. Another special feature of that 'Ravana' was that its Kumbhakaran too had a remote which he publicly displayed, of course when awake. Instead of burning effigies of such 'Ravanas', people banished them.

The Modi government does not fall in this category.

Several political leaders, mostly in position and some threatening to join the opposition, are trying to create a new Ravana to defeat Narendra Modi and BJP in 2019, if not in the Gujarat assembly election this year. It is not yet clear whether the coalition, the ‘Ravana’  in making, will consist of 10 parties or more and who will shown with the largest head. There are many in the field and many aspirants for the central position. Larger the number of the partners, faster will come the time to burn their effigies.

One special feature of the modern ‘Ravana’ may be inclusion of ladies who cannot tolerate politics without their participation. Politics is not a ‘stag party’. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh in particular may provide some female heads for the future Ravanas.

Vibhishans will always be there. The BJP already knows it.Anyone who is sidelined in a ruling dispensation starts speaking "in the interest of people". 


 The ‘Ravana’ in making will also have its own Vibishan if he/she is sidelined.

Devendra Narain

October 01, 2017
www.devendranarain.com