November 2008

Went out this morning (honest to God that was my only intent) to have my morning cup of tea……but then had a look at the flowers and went trigger happy. So,here is this morning’s ‘flowery’ update. As I said, let me know
when to stop.

This one is entirely self -sown, from last years seeds that have somehow survived the summer intact in the soil, and  now gives a spectacular show each morning.

It has slowly woven its way up into the bougainvilla and makes for what I call the ‘Kanjeevaram saree combo’

This one seems lit from within.Just love that glow.

Fixing that trellis was a good idea afterall. Now the bougainvilla stoops to conquer and the Morning Glory rises upwards in its glory.

Caught this Hibiscus before it could fold up after a day’s work. Pooja anyone?

The humble pumpkin flower is also not a wimp in the looks stakes.


Today hooliganism in the public sphere of our nation hit a new low when some activists of ABVP,the student wing of BJP, barged into a seminar being held by some students of Delhi university.

The seminar was being held to discuss the police encounter at Batla House some weeks ago.One of the guest speaker was Prof.Geelani (who had been implicated in the Parliament attack case but has been subsequently,found not guilty by the highest court of the land.)

To show their opposition to the idea of  a police encounter( to catch terrorists) being up for discussion, some activists barged into the venue of the seminar and disrupted the proceedings. This ,however was not the end of it all.One protestor then marched up to where Pof. Geelani was sitting and spat in his face.This was caught by the camera of a TV channel covering the seminar and has subsequently been shown on television.The face of the this particularly low brow activist can be seen clearly on TV. I wonder if any action will be taken against this young man who can be easily identified and can not even plead “not-guilty”as he has been filmed in his ugly act.

While I condemn this man,let me admit that I am one of those who has been upset by the way the politics of vote banks and political opportunism has been played around the Batla encounter. In the whole game of accusations and counter accusation,truth has been a casualty and all of us will forever wonder what really happened that morning and how and why a police raid to apprehend terrorists involved in the Delhi bomb blasts ended up being called a false encounter,why a Prof. of Mushirul Hassan’s standing risked being labelled a communalist by offering university help to the student’s involved in the incident and why a police cop’s death, in the line of duty, became a political football for every opportunistic politician.

Where I differ from this young man is that I do not believe in this kind of ‘dadagiri’ and disrespectful and crass method of registering my protest. This was a seminar and the ABVP guys and girls should have sat through the seminar,listened intently and then picked holes in the theories presented using their intellect and reasoning prowess. Going up to a man who is a teacher and older than them and spitting in his face goes against my “Hindutva”.It goes against the principle of respect and reverence for Gurus and for those elder to us.These things are part and parcel of my Hinduism and Bhartiya sanskriti and are not up for negotiation. Disagreement and differences in points of views are accepted in my land but not via such naked shows of vulgarity and impropriety.

If in the name of Hindutva, instead of Ram Rajya, BJP and its student’s wing plan to give to us a total destruction of our ancient ways of dissent through discourse then I would like to opt out of the whole Hindutva caboodle.Yes, I do get upset at the politics of vote banks and the opportunism of our politicians like Karunanidhi who openly denigrate the Hindu religion and its visible symbols, it makes my blood boil when rather than defending the nation’s border and preventing infiltration by Bangladeshis, Ram Vilas Paswan says we should give citizenship to all illegal Bangladeshis, I am upset when secularism is selectively applied in this country but none of this gives me(or anyone else) the right to walk up to any other citizen( especially one who is engaged in a discourse) and spit in his/her face.

There is an ancient saying that you ultimately become like the one you hate most…..well the ABVP, RSS, VHP and other such activists better take heed. They hated the moral policing done by taliban type Muslims and have now been reduced to policing things like Valentine’s Day and  the dancing at the all night Dandiya pandals; they hated the fatwa espousing mullahs but now do not shy at pronouncing dire outcomes for those who do not agree with their ideology;they accused Islam’s followers of a totalitarian approach in cases of differences  of opinion  and have now taken to spitting in the face of someone who probably had a differing opinion (on Batla encounter)to theirs;they accused Christians of forcible conversions but to oppose those ended up resorting to exactly the same thing in some parts of Orissa…………they’d better take care as they are well on their way to being cast in the image of the one they love to hate the most !!