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CHO RAMASWAMY
SIXES AND SEVENS

Jaya triumph greater than Mamata Banerjee’s

People in Tamil Nadu voted for J. Jayalalithaa in spite of being aware of her lifestyle and adventurous history in politics. PTI

take guard this Sunday thus:
I will not be surprised if the Central Bureau of Investigation ends up alongside the Income Tax Department at the rough end of the stick when the Supreme Court wields it in the context of the 2G spectrum issue. But, the SC terming it "unsatisfactory" perhaps is an understatement reduced to the power of minus infinity.

Of the election results that came out in five states, Tamil Nadu assumes the greatest importance. The people in the southern state know Jayalalithaa's style of functioning and have therefore voted positively for her rule. While the West Bengal result was an avalanche against the loony Left that ended up bringing in Mamata Banerjee into the Writers Building with a virtually unknown track record, in Kerala, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) very effectively scored an own goal by downsizing the importance of V.S. Achuthanandan. The triumphant return of Tarun Gogoi is Assam's slap in the face of anti-India propaganda there. The tiny union territory of Puducherry has given a loud thumbs-up sign to the simplicity personified Rangasamy, rejecting the infighting within the Congress that had led to his ouster sometime back.

Betting allegations surfacing in Sri Lanka are ordinary milestones in the path of a game called cricket that has been stoned by the entrance of big money and bigger advertising — pun intended. The now lamentably dead South African Hansie Cronje confessed to its existence. Our former captain Azharuddin had to step down under that kind of dun fallout cloud. Imran Khan has openly admitted to ball-tampering in an autobiography leading one to wonder whether it is a gentleman's game at all. The less said about the Pakistani betting scandals, the better. And now, Shane Warne's shaming his team management of fixing a pitch to suit an away win for the Chennai Super Kings has queered the Indian Premier League's pitch — a tournament beset with moody Modi hassles. In Tamil the word moody means lid and in Hindi, it translates into dhakkan. There cannot be a better word to fit the now no-show show-stopping former IPL CEO. But how quickly will the now asunder cricket covers (read envelopes containing ill-gotten wins) cross boundary points of no return is anybody's guess.

All along I expected the Supreme Court to overturn the Allahabad HC verdict on Ayodhya because it granted a boon never requested by any believer of either religion to divide the disputed site into three. When the mosque had been pulled down in 1992, Thuglak's wrapper featured a cartoon depicting Lord Ram being informed that except Hanuman, the rest of the monkey army had gone to Ayodhya for kar seva. In my opinion, the monkeying in this matter may never end.

hat is your problem if someone is willing to distribute part of his ill-gotten wealth during elections," is the newest refrain of corruption defending the spoilers of democracy. Looking at it from an arithmetic angle — let us say the "compensation" per vote is Rs 1,000. That makes it Rs 200 per annum, or 53 paise per day. While that money buys a legislator the licensed, privileged power to indulge in pelf-culture beyond imaginations regardless of he/she becoming a minister, think of what one ends up losing. For 53 paise, one gifts away one's future, wrongly thinking that it is only for five years. During that period, the wrong decisions of a regime's representative may actually not only end the life of the voter but also his entire family or even the state. It can perhaps decapitate a nation. And all these wonderful set of events can happen on a globally laughable scale for this princely sum.

Frankly, I am finding it difficult to comprehend our urge to augment our own strife. Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has demanded Pakistan's handing over persons liable for prosecution in India for various outrageous omissions and commissions (pun indeed intended). For the sake of argument, let us say Pakistan does heed our request.

Since the Nineties, those found guilty of having participated in the murder most foul of Rajiv Gandhi, the attack on our Parliament, the reprehensible attack on our financial capital Mumbai, tens of murders as in the cases concerning slain forest brigand Veerappan and several other cold-blooded killers are leading cushy lives in prison, when one compares the lot of those families whose breadwinners lost their lives defending the nation. No one needs to be told what kinds of empires are being controlled by which anti-social element from which "high-security-prison" with the simple instrument called mobile phone. We gullible taxpayers will host those who came to guillotine us with the new-fangled way called suicidal-terrorism. And what are the alibis for these characters' continuing nine (or is it ninety) lives?

Last heard, Chidambaram was heard saying about a long queue of mercy petitions pending disposal since 1999 ... because of the busy schedule and the majesty of the office of the President. Sure. Three Presidents have been so busy that they could not take a call on the doomed future of those who dared to kill one of our former PMs and challenged the solemnity of our seat of power, the Parliament when it was in session some nine years ago. Isn't that simply great?

Translated from Thuglak by T.S.V. Hari

 
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