Friday, May 29, 2020
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Kerala Flood Relief – Furore over Foreign Aid – Much Ado over Nothing?

Much Aido About Nothing

Much Aido About Nothing 

We have seen many tragedies day after day due to the Kerala Floods. It almost seemed as if we may not laugh anymore, especially those emotionally linked (through family and friends) to Kerala. Amidst his great tragedies and histories, Shakespeare wrote a few comedies too. The Kerala misfortune, likewise also gave us reasons to smile, thanks to the many glimpses of humane support and the will to battle adversity. To ensure that we do not miss out on the smiles and guffaws for a comical reason, Chief Minister Mr Pinarayi Vijayan too has led from the front. But we are jumping the gun….

The Tragic Background

Indeed, just a month ago, Kerala had almost been a ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ of a State, God’s Own Country. It might have been about two weeks, but by The Twelfth Night, the masses had weathered enough to see and feel their Life’s/ Love’s Labour Lost. More than Rs 20,000 crores is the estimated loss, Measure for Measure  …..and maybe will take considerable time to rebuild. Mathematics obviously cannot do justice to the numerous lives lost and innumerable ones shattered by the spate of Tempests.     

Pining due to Policy

Towards the end of the fury vent by Nature, much furore was also created by Mr Vijayan/ the Congress/ some opposition members. The background was the rejection by the Indian Government of all foreign aid. That this was merely in continuation of a foreign policy existing for more than a decade is an inconvenient truth. But, As You Like It, some may not, especially, those who may use such aid or it’s rejection for their political or personal ends. Foreign policy is never a simple line and like Cymbeline’s story, often full of twists and turns. But then a Pinarayi may as well believe there is a genuine JuliAid out there, questioning, “o PinaRomeo, o PinaRomeo wherefore art thou foreigno?”       

To Be or not To Be, Kerala CM

Also, had the Chief Minister been Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, he might have been forced to murmer, “To Be or Not to be (Aided), that is the question…”

To cut a long story short, the understanding about UAE offering aid seems to have been a Comedy of Errors. Mr Pinarayi Vijayan may not have learnt from the Merry Wives of Windsor that one False Staff-member or fake news could undo him. Mr. Vijayan is surely no Merchant of aVarice. He should have checked personally with The Two Gentlemen (whether of Verona or not), Mr Yousuf Ali (Keralite Businessman) and the UAE official concerned. Had Pinarayi recollected Poloniusadvice to his son Laertus, he may not have faltered. But then, these lapses can be effected by the best of us. Such is life

On our part we pray for God’s Own Country and hope All’s Well and That Ends Well.        

Related Reading

UAE Denies Announcing Aid 

Works of Shakespeare

Clarification on Wherefore Art Thou 

Metro Man’s View

Another View


Kar nautanki – Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018

karnataka kar,nautanki,assembly,2018,state,elections,
u n i decide the Director

Kar nautanki – Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018

Karnataka, the biggest state (electorally and GDP wise) in the Indian Union that is still with the Congress is going to the polls today. The results are to be announced on May 15. The Exit Polls promised by the media at 5 pm today are eagerly awaited.

Most of the elections in the past few years have been hi-decibel ones. But this State Assembly election is extra special. It is the last/ major poll battle before the National General Elections scheduled in 2019 rolls in.

The BJP meanwhile has transitioned India from a (Indira) Gandhi fiefdom to one which has seen the benefit of more meaningful ‘inner-party democracy’ oriented party functioning. Despite the challenges/ suffering  in major policy initiatives undertaken (like Demonetization), the BJP has been voted to power in most of the state elections. Congress meanwhile has been limping from one defeat to another. Perhaps the biggest harm it could have done for itself (and Indian democracy) has been ‘crowning’ the dynasty scion, Mr Rahul Gandhi as its Leader, without any serious soul-searching. India sadly and badly, needs a strong opposition to ensure that no party gets drunk on power. 

In Karnataka, the BJP has not done much to walk the talk by continuing to ride on Mr Yeddyurappa (a Lingayat), who is seen as corrupt and self-centered. Karnataka also has a history of going against the party in the Centre while choosing its State Government. These points could make Mr Deve Gowda a critical ally post elections. The Congress proved its Secular credentials hollow by trying to divide the Hindu Vote-bank. Its attempt to woo the Lingayat community may not be enough for it to win the Karnataka Chair at least on its own. 

As this post is getting written, there are footages of voters being paid money outside voting booths. Both the Congress and the BJP have been accused of encouraging this. Hope the Election Commission / Executive/ Legislative takes cognisance of the massive irregularities that political parties are capable of and takes appropriate measures to prevent/ minimize recurrence. 

In ending, whether the KarNautanki is the ‘dance of democracy’ / nautanki or a puppetry show, the next few days will reveal who the master Puppeteer is.

Related Reading      

First Appearance of the term ‘Dance of Democracy’

Part 5 – Long Live Democracy, tweets PM Mr Narendra Modi! Need Opposition. Congress also OK.

Then Nirbhaya, Now Asifa, when Deliverance ?

The brave Police Officer in charge of the Asifa case.

Then Nirbhaya, Now Asifa, When Deliverance??

It takes an Asifa to remind us that it was only yesterday that the country was aghast at the Nirbhaya rape.  Widespread outrage and some legislative amendments followed. But it seems not much has changed. Abominable thoughts are still harboured by some diseased minds about the female body, however young or tender it may be. The only pre-requisite to become the target is the vulnerability which an average lady, more so a young child/ toddler, is susceptible to.  The despicable thought that the female body is meant to be used or abused for male whims, continues to fester in many, if not most, minds. 

India is still a ‘Jalionwala Baag’ for many women. Many General Dyers run amock knowing there is more than an even chance that they would escape and continue to rape another day.

Deliverance for Justice (in the Asifa case) through DSP Sharma and Deepika?? 

Thanks to the brave efforts of honest officers like Deputy Superintendent of Police Shwetambri Sharma and her team of cops some amount of evidence has been salvaged (though much may still be irrecoverable). Likewise, a lady lawyer like Deepika Singh Rajawat is taking up the legal fight against the accused. Deepika (like the police officers above) is being threatened with dire consequences.  Time will tell how the Asifa case or the other cases including the infamous Unnao case pan out. 

Politics and Probity 

It is sad that Lawyers and BJP Leaders (J&K Ministers, no less) took upon themselves to obstruct the natural course of Justice. The normal process that should happen in every democratic society, regulated by an impartial/ unfettered Administration took a deviation. Some rhetoric also questions the outrage in the social media being triggered as late as April for a crime which took place in January. This is almost like questioning the victim of the rape (on her character etc) rather than chasing the accused. The BJP may wish to criticise the Congress’ ‘dirty’ hand for the ‘expose’ of this dastardly act in the social media (and the national anger it helped fan). But the plain truth is that if it is indeed the Congress that has engineered this outrage, the Nation needs to be thankful. No citizen can afford to let Power get into the heads of those governing the country. Even if it is the well meaning Mr Modi, whose personal intentions seem beyond reproach. 

Abdicating Responsibility

The government in power has the moral duty to ensure that its weakest subjects feel safe and are adequately protected. The BJP and its Leaders (majority in U.P./  and sharing power with PDP in J&K) have been guilty of not abiding by ‘Raj Dharma’ (the obligation of the Ruler to adhere to Dharma). We could still have understood Mr Modi’s and his men’s reluctance had the BJP not marshalled the kind of grass-root/ legislative base that it has today. More than 70%  of the Indian Union’s states, probably contributing an equivalent/ more share of India’s GDP, are ruled by the BJP, either on its own or with its alliance partners.

The rape cases in the public domain now would have been an excellent opportunity for the BJP top brass to buttress BJP’s claims of commitment to better Governance. Somehow they have missed the opportunity to showcase these credentials in both the Kathua (J&K) and Unnao (Uttar Pradesh) rape cases. This also reflects poorly on the BJP’s commitment to its vision of Ram Rajya. 

Vision of Ram Rajya is mere talk,

If Justice/ women, the Vanars, brazenly stalk. 

The Crack in BJP’s Castle for Congress to Capitalize on 

The Congress may have enough skeletons and more in its cupboard. But it has not wasted much opportunity to put the BJP on the back foot in the past few days. The BJP may push back, comparing these cases are a small percentage of the overall rape or crime rate in the country. But for a party which seeks to build a better Bharat and an Incredible India, BJP needs to show it is made of better Governance matter. It has to ensure that it’s own house is more or less in odour-free order. The Congress is but doing the Opposition’s role to  keep the ruling party on its toes. 

Congress by trying to mould public opinion against the BJP by leveraging these rape cases, is hoping its dalliance with Cambridge Analytica will be somehow buried.   

Not Just the Body, the female mind is also under siege  

That these acts are facilitated by the very mothers of the unfortunate girls, the same mothers who themselves are living victims, only shows the imprisonment of their minds. 

We need to realize how Society has tied women up in all manner of knots possible. Not only have we helped perpetuate ideas about how women ought to behave or conduct herself, we have also created an eco-system wherein the female victim is more likely blamed or sadly enough, ends up blaming herself.  The way we have created and helped perpetuate customs and practices regarding female behaviour may embarrass even Nazi Practitioners. How women are supposed to act, behave, be subservient to male interests etc. Some structured religious orders/ sub-systems take it to extreme lengths, even enforcing barbaric acts like female genital mutilation. That these acts are facilitated by the very mothers of the unfortunate girls, the same mothers who themselves are living victims, only shows the imprisonment of their minds. 

Widespread Education Necessary – of both Men and Women

Men need to be taught to respect women. Women too need this training. To learn to respect themselves and train to protect themselves from an early age. Needless to add, it all begins at home. A parent who encourages a fair and equitable division of education, labour, favour, reprimands etc irrespective of their child’s gender takes the first step. 

Stakeholders should also start understanding more about the psychology of sexual abuses. It is not about sex in most of the cases. It is about power. More often than not, the perpetrators don’t believe they are actually committing a rape or a crime for that matter, though they acknowledge having had forced intercourse/s. Such is the nature of this activity which (in animal society) is just strain of behaviour, but in our higher order communities is treated as a crime, and rightly so. For the truly evolved man/ woman, God lies within. For others including rulers , the fear of God needs to be instilled, by cracking the whip as necessary. What else is the Rule of Law/  the opposition for.           



Reverse Swing or not, Don’t Swerve. Play Straight.

In all Spheres of Life, Keep Hands Clean, and the Spheres too

Reverse Swing or not, Don’t Swerve from Values

The ball tampering ( to increase reverse swing) controversy in the Test Match between South Africa and Australia has progressed predictably. Guilty players have confessed to tampering with the leather ball and officials have initiated actions. But the concern is that we may forget the matter in due course.

But there are some things that are sacred in this world where blasphemy is increasingly rife. One such sacred element in the Commonwealth  (the Queen’s erstwhile dominions) of Nations is the reverence with which Cricket used to be taught to be played. A quintessential aspect which underscores the sublime nature of this game is the ‘spirit of walking’. 

For the uninitiated, ‘Walking’ means, a batsman/ batswoman giving himself/ herself out if he/ she knows his/ her wicket  has been taken legitimately by the opposition. The batsman decides his innings has ended and walks way from the pitch. The batsman does not wait for the Umpire to give his decision. India’s Sunil Gavaskar used to ‘walk’ and in recent times, we have seen the brilliant Australian Adam Gilchrist ‘walk’ on numerous occasions.   

Another example of sportsmanship was seen in the 1987 World Cup when the West Indies player Courtney Walsh avoided running out Pakistan’s Saleem Jaffer, who was backing up too much (and illegitimately so). West Indies could have easily won the match and progressed into the semifinals. This disappointed many West Indies fans, but also thrilled a lot more West Indian and Global Sports fans. 


But the 1990s and the last two decades have seen virulent behaviour on the Cricket field which has had many traditionalists shaking their heads. Sledging and desperate acts to win at all costs ( a sign of our value eroded times, maybe) are more the norm than the exception.

Cricket shows the Way

As most fans will agree, Cricket is far more than a game. Cricketing situations guide us in Life too. For eg. When Life presents tough situations, it is akin wiser to facing Mcgrath’s and Warne’s overs. If we resist the temptation to fish outside the off stump when McGrath is bowling or control the urge to hit Warne outside the stadium, we can always survive to have a go at the lesser bowlers. Targets in business are like the run rates required to win a limited overs game. Not all conflicts/ negotiations need to see one side win and walk away with the  honours. We could always strive to eke out a draw as in a Test Match, if we are not in a position to force a win.    

Sometimes as in personal or professional life we may fail some days, both as a bowler and a batsman. But if we can get a star opposition batsman run out, make some excellent saves, our fielding would help us keep us remain motivated/ confident and contribute to the team/ business/ family.  

The Way Ahead for Cricket

We cannot allow any further degeneration in a sport that teaches us to Win graciously and lose with grace. Hopefully the ICC and the respective Cricket Boards will take earnest action. They need to ensure that the game is played with the traditional spirit of fair-play. Equally importantly ensure respect for the opposition.    

Related Reading


The Ball Tampering Controversy

Stephen Hawking – A Brief Story of a Mind honed against all odds (1942 – 2018)

A Brief Story of A Mind honed against all odds

Stephen Hawking – A Brief Story of a Mind honed against all odds (1942 – 2018)

Rest in Peace, Stephen Hawking in the Abrahamic Traditions….Om Shanthi in the Indic Ones

No one could possibly hold anything against a brilliant mind which rallied a body beset by the devastating ALS disease. A mind which used humour with as much verve as simplicity to explain Singularity and other mysteries of the cosmos.

If there is one thing Cool Chilli had wanted to educate Stephen Hawking on (sounds audacious, right and maybe impolite too now) it is about giving more recognition to the ancients in India. Hawking had mentioned about the mathematics that the world had learnt from ancient India. But he refers to the Europeans to credit them for theories on Helio-centricity.

A brief Visit to 1000+ (very conservative estimate) year old Temples in South India (still standing after the invasions) is enough to show that the world has a lot to learn about Incredible India. The Navagraha (Nine Celestial Bodies) altars clearly depict the Sun at the centre with all the other bodies arranged around it. But then, this understanding would be kid’s play for a culture which knew about Binary Star systems and dovetailed it into marriage rituals to reinforce the importance of partnership. 

But then this column is not about childishly finding fault with a genius. This is about applauding the brain, the wit and the grit of a person who symbolised the best of Human Spirit, fighting adversity against all odds. As seen in the figure, Cool Chilli’s thunderbolt which tries to inspire him, is too thunderstruck at the news. Saddened that the Universe has finally called ‘Time’ on the man who tried to explain it (to laymen) and expand it (his own longevity after Doctors gave him only two years, 50+ years ago).   


Related Reading

The Death of A Star  

Bravo ISRO! 20 in One Go. Bee’s Knees as usual.

An Obituary to Sridevi: ‘Khuda Gawah’, no ‘Moondram Pirai’ for ‘Poombatta’ to flutter again. the ‘Chandni Chaplin’ who as Hawa Hawaii called ‘Mr India’, ‘ChaalBaaz’ , chal bazi.


An Obituary to Sridevi: ‘Khuda Gawah‘, no ‘Moondram Pirai‘ for ‘Poombatta‘ to flutter again. the ‘Chandni Chaplin’ who as Hawa Hawaii called ‘Mr India’, ‘ChaalBaaz‘ , chal bazi

Sridevi was born in Tamil Nadu village into a Telugu family. She ruled the cine industries in Kollywood, Tollywood and Bollywood as the Numero Uno Heroine. Her sense of timing was well cultivated, especially in the comic scenes. Cool Chilli's Views On News, Sridevi, Death, Arts, Governance, Politics, Economy,
image courtesy: An Obituary to Sridevi: ‘Khuda Gawah’, no ‘Moondram Pirai’ for ‘Poombatta’ to flutter again. the ‘Chandni Chaplin’ who as Hawa Hawaii called ‘Mr India’, ‘ChaalBaaz’ , chal bazi
In ‘English Vinglish, she brought out the predicament of a typical home maker looked down upon by even her close family. Sadly, the ability or inability to communicate well/ assertively, that too in English is still a stigma. What Pink did for the working/ extroverted woman, ‘English Vinglish’ did for the house wife.
Along with her legions of fans we are saddened to realize that Khuda Gawah‘, there will be no ‘Moondram Pirai‘ for the beautiful ‘Poombatta‘ to flutter again. The ‘Chandni Chaplin’ who as Hawa Hawaii called ‘Mr India’, ‘ChaalBaaz‘ , chal bazi (has left us)……. or did someone feel, “baz, ab chal” (enough, now leave). One hopes not. 
Like the butterfly (Poombatta, one of her early films), she underwent metamorphosis time and again. Maybe this caterpillar went through one transformation too many. We will never know for sure. But sadly her death also brings to mind, the demise, a year ago of her senior fellow-artist from the Tamil film industry. Can Success also be cruel to the women who rule their domains???  All her life, we understand Sridevi too struggled to find peace,(shanthi). It seems ironic to say on her death, Om Shanti‘.  

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Dubai Police Holding Mortal Remains

Madras Mother’s Mortal Remains Moor at Mentor MGR’s Memorial at Marina

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