Reel Offers Reality , Politics Sells Dreams !

BY R.K.MISRA Politics is pragmatic, films create fantasy. One rarely bargains for a role reversal and yet it happened. The reel was offering reality and politics stood petered to   dream selling. After years, with mixed feelings, one walked into a movie hall to watch a film, ’Twelfth Fail’ and emerged from it both shaken and stirred. Shaken, because it was the re-creation of the real life story of a village   youth from the one-time dacoit infested Chambal region and his poverty riddled struggle to become an Indian Police service (IPS)officer. Stirred , for it brought alive to me   in striking detail my bitter battle to become a journalist in the India of the sixties. Nothing new, many   of my generation have done so too. The movie mirrors the struggle of millions of Indian youth who survive in sub-human, sardine tin packed conditions in cities for years on end chasing a dream. A few make it, the rest are crushed in the melting pot of their own desires. This one, Dr Manoj Kumar

Maharashtra-Gujarat Spar Over Gems And Jewellery

  BY R.K. MISRA Instant solutions have long term implications for governments may come and governments may go but bruises blight for long. In recent times, three states saw popular   mandate being side-stepped to ensure change of horses mid-stream. The verdict is out in Karnataka with the Congress back in the saddle, this time on its own steam. Madhya Pradesh is full scale in poll mode and the outcome is just around the corner. Maharashtra, the third state has just about a year to go but the government so cobbled seems foot sore and travel weary.   Whatever may be the outcome , It is however the fall-out of   this politics that is impacting popular perceptions between neighbours- Maharashtra and Gujarat-   and calls for a soothing touch. Once a part of   bi-lingual Bombay state, the separation was not rancour-free and while the hurt may have healed, the sore remains, surfacing every time the’ sunny’ summer gives way to the winter ‘chill’. The latest spot of abrasion-whether per

A 'Fake ' Government Office Siphons Off 93 Projects !

  BY R.K. MISRA India presents a kaleidoscope of emotions and   contrasts. It leaves us amused, entertained and   yet sad and sorry.   Five   states across the country are set to   go to polls    with over 161 million casting   their vote for a result that will   set the tone for the general elections due next year. Isn’t it amusing that the best   the political creme de la creme can conjure up is a wrestling bout   between India and Bharat, shadow advantage of the Israel-Hamas conflict and the ‘lolly-popping’ that is now a routine feature.   The Ram temple, off course remains the leitmotif of the Indian poll process for decades now. If the ruling BJP-led   government has its ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra’, the Congress which is battling it has it’s ‘Adani’ to drive home the difference in choice   between a government for the rich and one for the poor. To each party its own, to political pundits the impact of the poll outcome and its implications, but   when one is done with the h

A Warning Judgment For Cops India-wide

  BY R.K.MISRA Injustice is easy to inflict , what stings is justice. And when the applause or censure has died down you are left to savour the   pleasure or pain in private. If the abiding sentiment is   redemption for one, it is of rumination for the other. On October 19,2023 the Gujarat High Court sentenced four police officers and men to 14 days simple imprisonment for the public flogging of five muslim men for their alleged involvement in stone pelting during garba last year. They were also fined Rs 2000 or 3 days jail in lieu thereof. The operative part of the verdict has been stayed for three month to appeal against it.   A benchmark judgment delivered by Justice A.S.Supehia and Justice Gita Gopi has been scathing   in upholding the law and yet softly mindful   in giving ample time to appeal. Published excerpts of the judgment sound a warning bell for the cops who play to the gallery with an eye to pleasing those in power.   The verdict took note of the fact that the

The Politics Of Spectacles In India !

  BY R.K.MISRA Karl Marx and cricket have little in common .And   yet how the two mesh.   Religion is the ‘opiate of the masses’-disconnecting disadvantaged people from the here and now, and dulling their engagement in progressive politics, said Karl Marx. But that was nearly 178 years ago. Nearer present times, in 2008,Top Scholar, the research and creative database of the Western Kentucky University(WKU) of the US showcased a paper on sports as the ‘opiate of the masses”. It represented a small part of a larger project titled, Game Day and God: Football, Faith and Politics in the American South. To each their sports, to each their game. Baseball to one set of countries, soccer to another lot and cricket to the Commonwealth camaraderie….but bridging national divides and sporting fissures, is the games politicians play in hitching their bandwagon to power trains. The India-Pakistan World Cup cricket engagement in Ahmedabad on October 14, a day before Gujarat’s festival of nine

Political Doublespeak , Contradictions & Consequences !

  BY R.K.MISRA Politics is propelled by contradictions within and   spouting doublespeak without. It’s almost akin to the faith in medicine and prayer, an uneasy existence with a standby fall guy, be it doctor or God ! last Saturday former BJP chief minister Suresh Mehta, who subsequently quit the party,   had an interesting example to narrate. In   2018 Gujarat State Land development Corporation(GSLDC),a state government owned company, was rocked by a major scandal when Rs 56 lakhs in illegitimate cash was seized from its office. Its main task was to provide technical and financial help in agriculture and minor irrigation-related activities . In November the same year after a cabinet meeting, the then agriculture minister, R.C. Faldu announced the government decision to dissolve GSLDC but persist with   the schemes initiated by it, particularly in the tribal and the backward areas. Mehta showed media-persons RTI documents to prove that the schemes had all ceased but GSLDC still re

A Brief History Of Smuggling In Gujarat !

  BY R.K.MISRA History and geography are like a perennially copulating couple, too intertwined to separate. And yet   the hemline of history unfolds only when the sensuous contours of geography are defined. Thus it is that the recent   spurt in narcotics seizures on the Arabian sea washed- Kutch coastline has one   drawing back the curtains on a colourful part of a clandestine past of the Saurashtra-Gujarat shores. Half a century of reporting a state   has helped firm up an uncanny insight into the innards of the underground, the clandestine and the cash sleaze trail. It emanates from this sandy soil, travels half-way around the earth and returns back to base. The history of clandestine trade on , what was then the Kathiawar coast ,goes back   to the times   when Bombay was a mere fishing village and Surat and Karachi thriving ports. Surat was the chief port of the Moghul empire and northern India’s gateway to the Afro-Asian maritime world. It held sway into the days of the East