The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Wednesday 4 July 2012


The cartoons are finally to be assassinated.

The 'Thorat' cleansing is all set to be put into motion. 

Did you say something like 'freedom of expression'? Come on! Don't you know our politicians are increasingly becoming conceited and intolerant? 

Cartoons stirred the imagination of Indian politicos to the extent that two committees were formed in quick succession within days to fix the ‘cartoon question’ (as if it was some Syrian Question framed by the Assads) and implicate the scapegoat. One was six-member S K Thorat Committee while the other was single-member B S Baswan Committee.

The committee led by one Professor S K Thorat has found the NCERT textbooks have overdose of ‘political’ cartoons and has recommended 21 of them to be purged. Overall, Mr. Thorat’s insight has sought purging/modifications in 36 out of total 176 cartoons. Incidentally, Professor Thorat is also chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science and Research (ICSSR). It seems Professor Thorat has done groundbreaking sociological research with opportune political motivation and so could so efficiently toe the government line in finding and explaining fault in almost every cartoon. He was so authentic in his findings that one of the members of the committee had to file dissenting-note against the findings of the committee.

According to a report published in The Telegraph quoting sources, Pandian did not attend all the committee’s meetings in protest against the “attitude of the chairman” whose primary concern, according to him, was “to find fault with the cartoons and text”.

Professor Pandian would probably never be able to head a body like ICSSR.

In compliance with the assassination order, the committee has recommended some other measures. One of this is asking the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to frame guidelines on ‘appropriateness’ of cartoons for students. NCERT has called meeting of the experts who were associated with the preparation of the ‘tainted’ textbooks. The committee and other concerned officials would discuss the Thorat wisdom to decide on the future course of action.

Did you again say something on 'freedom of expression'? Come on! Be realist. 

Did you something on real issues like corruption, price-rise, dull Monsoon, farmer suicides, poor health care and education and so on? But who are you to decide if these are the real issues? 

The Thorat task-force recommendations came on a day when Government of India’s Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu said India should be ashamed of the widespread corruption. He said it has gone to the ‘infuriating’ levels. He said, “For ordinary people it is very very discouraging when you face a mountain of bureaucracy and the demand for bribes to be paid for these kind of things to be got to be done."

But who has the time and the intent? 

No one, not even Mr. Basu’s boss Mr. Manmohan Singh would like to see this culture gone. Had it not been the case, we would certainly have seen a clearer stand by Mr. Manmohan Singh on the ‘Lokpal’ issue. Its true he cannot get it passed as his own party would not like it to happen, but he certainly could have taken a stand speaking his intent clearly.

The Thorat lower court death sentence to the NCERT cartoons came on a day when the designated young political honcho of the country, chief minister of India’s most populous but also one of most backward states with millionaire politicians, Uttar Pradesh, came with an idea aimed to strengthen the tradition of the ‘political philanthropy for politicians’ from the taxpayers’ money.

He announced that every MLA of the state could purchase a car worth Rs. 20 Lakh for use during his term as MLA. The catch is the sum was to be taken from the fund allocated to each MLA for development of his constituency. A political decision had to see a political reaction. Adversaries were calling shots, criticizing the young CM but no one was in berating tone as Congress leader Mr. Pramod Tiwari said that he questioned the move but believed the CM’s intent behind it.

Now don’t we know how the politicians from warring camps gel so well when it comes to the issues of their selfish gains. So, we never hear politicians making noise on unprecedented increase in their salaries, perks and on issues that foresee them to be on equal footing with the voters who elect them. We recently saw the living testimony to this brethrenhood when the whole Parliament conspired to derail the ‘Lokapl’ Bill as it was directly hurting their misrule tentacles.  

They need us to see what they want us to see.

To keep the focus away, in the classic ‘The Truman Show’ style, our policymakers craft diversions like this ‘political cartoons’ issue and burn the midnight oil to let them become the top-priority policy issue. The machinery of political hooliganism then comes into full motion organizing protests by vandals of the streets. They disrupt activities of the legislatures and call for immediate action.

In a country where the media comes into overdrive even at the slightest hint, the issue is overblown pushing every other issue like the ever-increasing number of farmer suicides or criminal hike in the prices, and the agenda is set.

And so is the case even this time.

And so the issue has been comfortably resolved within months the way they had wanted.

But who has become the scapegoat then.

Who else but ‘you and me’! And what you have been trying to say - Freedom of Expression my dear. 

Now the whole exercise will be redone. Another expert committee will sit. Yet another committee will frame guidelines on the ‘appropriateness’ of the political cartoons for the students. 

All at the cost of the taxpayers’ money!

When would the bewilderment cross its threshold?

For how long are we going to continue with the cleansing by the likes of ‘Thorat wisdom’ of the politicians that can stoop to any low?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -