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|April 19, 2001||
Dear Readers, VI
None of the comments entered in the thinggie under my column came directly to me; a colleague bundled all the messages from January to April into a single, fat file and mailed it to me. Seriously, no way could I have read every message and yet retained my anyway dubious sanity. So I protested to the sainted one; scanned as much as I could of the damn thing; and decided that some messages needed to be answered:
a. The Vajpayee govt is referred to as Hajpayee govt. Kindly correct the errors.
I'm sorry for the confusion. Since August 2000, when I re-baptized the PM, some readers have complained about the "grave error" but I chose to ignore the admonitions. Thing is, I believed my readership was static and that most knew why I write "Hajpayee." However, I can't set up a glossary; instead, I'll note down the names I'm bound to repeat:
a. It is not 'Bandaru' but 'Bangaru'. If not then Bandaru Dattatreya will have a heart attack
and he has just recently undergone a heart transplant!
I plead guilty. I named Laxman "Bandaru" because of his bandar-like deeds -- and did not know about the existence of Bandaru Dattatreya. It possibly is "the typical North Indian ignorance of South India & South Indians" as one reader noted, only, I fail to see how Maharashtra falls into North India. And, touché: I've got at least 10 irritations addressing me as "Mr Harsha" or "Ms Bogle." I wanna kill that Harsha!
a. While you want this Govt out, out, OUT, whom do you propose to bring in, in, IN?
This is the dilemma that worries every sane Indian today ("sane" automatically discounting those who wrote stuff like: "The BJP still continues to be the party with a difference. At least, it did sack Bangaru" and "BJP is the real protector of Hindu's Human rights. Varsha Bhosle is a traitor and must have been f***** by a Muslim").
Uffff, I wish you new loggers would bother to read my opus before thinking that I may have even considered the dorks' rule. As I see it, there is no option within the Opposition; if the Shroud wins, I'm outa here. But there's no danger of that, is there? I mean, look into what the Congress has dug itself! In May 1997, this column said: "I'm told that there's excitement in Delhi's air again: It seems that the hounds are sniffing at Sonia Gandhi's 17 visits to Bangkok in the last twelve months -- the most recent one being around the time of Mr Deve Gowda's confidence-motion in the Lok Sabha. It is unlikely that Madam Gandhi was on a goodwill visit to improve Indo-Thai relations (you see, there was no press coverage). A little bird tells me that the trips have something to do with antiques."
Now read that with Subramanian Swamy's recent charges against the Shroud: "In other charges levelled against Ms Gandhi, Dr Swamy said her family had smuggled temple statues and precious gems from the National Museum out of the country" (The Pioneer, 18 April). Between L K Advani's propaganda and the innate natures of the Congress and the motley crue, we are stuck with the TINA factor.
However, by dint of my profession, my approach to the issue needs to be different. And, I'm an analyzer -- not a king-maker or seer. I cannot dismiss the BJP's degeneration simply because all other politicians are corrupt. My Job No 1 is to bring to the attention of the blind segment of the public this very deterioration. I genuinely believe that Hajpayee has totaled the J&K issue and the morale of the Indian Army. I truly think that L K Advani only talks and talks. And I know that corruption has entered the BJP's bloodstream. Otherwise, the Tehelka transcripts would have gone:
Tehelka: Rupees or dollars?
Bangaru: Rupees, of course. What will the BJP do with dollars?
"Dollars. You can give in dollars," and the lightning swift grab at the wad of money, reeks of, umm... experience.
See, at the dinner table, if you're served one stinking, rotten aloo-gobi and a rotten, maggot-infested bhindi, would you make do with the aloo-gobi just because there are no maggots in it...? Well, I'm the kind who'd toss both out, do without a meal and start agitating for a decent one. Meaning, I will not support or vote for a "less corrupt" party. I am egoistic enough to believe that my attitude can infect others, and that such an attitude can be a pressure factor on parties.
Do I have an option to give you now? No; TINA has overrun us all. But that does not mean that the necessity of and the search for an option should stop. For an alcoholic to dry off, he must first admit to himself that he, indeed, has a drinking problem. Today, the BJP's supporters, so scared are they of the "alternatives," are not even willing to accept that they have a selective-blindness problem. And thus we see ridiculous spins put out against Tehelka, and that despicable attitude which prompts: "Has she forgotten who got $ 35 million bribe in Bofors and who is the beneficiary?" and "Did tehelka try to adopt the same means with other political party presidents? Would they have come out cleaner?"
Point is, as reader Bhupendra wrote, "Two wrongs by the Congress does not give the BJP a right to commit one wrong." Especially since it is the BJP that made corruption and nationalism election issues against Congress governments. Regardless of the vile hate mail I've received from the submissive bhangis of the Sangh Parivar, I'm happy to see that I'm in good company: Jay Dubashi, Cho Ramaswamy, Abhishek Singhvi, Julio Ribeiro, Madhu Deolekar ("BJP members like me and the late Hashu Advani exposed corruption in the Congress government in Maharashtra. But over the years we found that we were being isolated by upstart elements who under the guise of collecting money for the party started converting the organisation into another Congress"), Air Commodore (retd) Jasjit Singh, Indira Jaisingh, and K P S Gill ("The guilt of others cannot exonerate those who stand so completely exposed in the present cases. More significantly, it will have to be conceded that, the payoffs notwithstanding, the Bofors deal did not involve any kind of compromise of national security, and the guns have already proven their mettle in the field of battle"), have all grasped the core of the issue and dispensed with the dishonest legalese that politicians have been allowed to get away with.
First, I have to get people to admit that the BJP is no different from the Congress. Only then will an alternative arise -- from the pressure that only the people can exert. (But at a pinch, how does Chandrababu Naidu grab ya??)
a. Varsha, Join Congress (I). You have a big future there.
Such garbage answered by reader A K Singh: "Disappointing. Varsha can be at her vitriolic best only where Congress Party is involved. In the current Tehelka expose she is almost apologetic."
Varsha always seems to be writing against someone, I just awaiting to read an article supporting someone.
Sorry, I'm not in the business of PR. Also, I get paid only by rediff.com...
If u r writing something in "English", why don't u just stick on with one language, I always find lot of "Hindhi" words used. Do u expect all readers to know "Hindhi."
Yes, I expect every Indian to know the rashtrabhasha, samjhe?
a. Varsha Sux Big Time!! What the hell she thinks?
Practice maketh perfect, slurrrp ;-)
I usually disagree with most things you say, being an atheist pinko. But I do admire your principles and courage. And with this column you have me as an admirer who may disagree on details and ideology and with much of what you say -- but an admirer nevertheless. Keep writing! I wish there were a pinko writer with your gumption and principle. But in today's journalism a pinko with principle appears to be an oxymoron.
I love you, too, K VijayRaghavan, more than any other reader I know. If only the "believers" were like you...
I love you Varsha. I want to date you! MMMcchh!
firstname.lastname@example.org And, muuuaaaahhhh...
Varsha, I am from Delhi. I am completely obsessed with u. U r really great. I love you. Waiting for yr reply.
Love you, too, Sunny, and there's enough of me to go around!
And, finally, my all-time favourite e-prank. Thank you, whoever you are, for bringing on a giggle in the most miserable fortnight of my life:
Date: Mon Mar 19 13:31:49 2001
I feel ashamed for my wrong doings.
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