PERSPECTIVE

Monthly Archives: NOVEMBER 2019


INNOCENTS SHOULD NOT BE HARASSED
The Priyanka Reddy rape and murder: A Note of Caution
30.11.19 - Markandey Katju & Dhruti Kapadia
The Priyanka Reddy rape and murder: A Note of Caution



The rape and murder of veterinary doctor Dr Priyanka Reddy, and the subsequent burning of her body in Hyderabad, has rightly enraged many people in India, and has indicated the dangers which working women in India face, particularly if they have to travel at night from their workplace to home.

While I agree that the perpetrators of such heinous crimes must be given harsh punishment, I would also like to strike a note of caution. 

Correct identification of the real culprits is as important as avoidance of false implication and conviction of innocents, and it is here that the problem arises.

Criminal investigation is a science. If we read the stories of Sherlock Holmes we see how Holmes investigates a crime scientifically, by going to the spot, examining fingerprints, footprints, ashes, bloodstains, etc which enables him to solve the crime.
 
On Discovery channel we see how the American police solves a crime, by collecting fingerprints, fibers, semen, firearms evidence etc, and by sending the same to a laboratory for DNA testing etc.

In India, on the other hand, most policemen are neither trained in scientific investigation, nor given the equipment for the same, and so they are unable to find the real culprits. Yet there is pressure on them to solve the crime, failing which they may be suspended.
 
So what do they do? Very often they implicate persons on mere suspicion, and then fabricate evidence against them. The result is that innocents are also sometimes convicted.

It is well known that in India very often the police spread their net wide, by implicating innocents too along with the guilty. For instance, if in a crime three persons are the real culprits, the police often implicates not only these three but also three more who may be innocent.
 
It is for the Court to sift the grain from the chaff, which is not always easy. But unless that is done, an innocent person may be convicted along with the guilty.

So while I too demand harsh punishment for the real culprits, I also hope that no innocent person is falsely implicated and convicted. Unfortunately I fear that may happen in view of the huge hue and cry which has been raised in the country to send the matter to a fast track court and punish the perpetrators of this heinous crime.
 
When emotions rise high, often injustice follows, as illustrated by Shakespeare in his play Julius Caesar, in which the hysterical Roman mob demands hanging of Cinna the poet despite his pleading that he is not Cinna the conspirator.
 

 

Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India. Dhruti Kapadia is Solicitor, Bombay High Court and Advocate on Record.


  

 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





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SGPC'S RESOLUTION CONDEMNING SUPREME COURT ORDER
AYODHYA VERDICT: Why the Sikhs are angry and the reasons for their confusion
28.11.19 - Charu Soni
AYODHYA VERDICT: Why the Sikhs are angry and the reasons for their confusion



THE BABRI MASJID case is not just a title dispute. It’s a dispute between the idea of the nation state and the idea of India that ordinary people carry in their hearts and minds.

Babri Masjid 1863-1887. Credit: Getty’s images
 
On one hand you have the demand for a Hindu nation as envisaged by the RSS and its political wing, the BJP and and on the other the fluidity of the India that refuses to be boxed by narrow/conservative definition of religion, caste/jati, region or language, something that the preamble of the Constitution of India in some measure reflects with its emphasis on justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as foundational stones of democracy.

This is amply illustrated by the reaction of the Sikhs to the recent verdict of the Supreme Court on the Babri Masjid case. 
On Wednesday, 27 November 2019, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC) in Amritsar passed a resolution condemning the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya judgement in the context of some references to Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak Dev in it. 
 
The resolution was passed on the question raised by Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, who as reported in a section of the press said:
 
"I object to the Supreme Court verdict mentioning Guru Nanak’s visit in Ayodhya in its verdict on the Ram Temple issue. Why didn’t the Supreme Court ask SGPC about any such visit before making references in its verdict? How can an RSS man’s words be admissible in court over information related to Sikh history? It is a misinterpretation of facts and history. It should be condemned and the court should be asked to review the same.” 
 
While the exact wording of the SGPC resolution is yet to be made public, it is imperative to reprise what exactly occurred in the court. The case which has so far been projected as a Hindu-Muslim dispute, has now acquired a third dimension.

In the Supreme Court judgement announced on 9 November 2019, the Court in its wisdom sought to include deposition made by an unknown Sikh expert (Rajinder Singh) on the question whether Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539) the founder of Sikh religion, visited Ayodhya as part of its perusal of travelogues before the construction of the mosque in 1528. Guru Nanak is believed to have travelled to Ayodhya between 1510-1511, that is, before Babur's invasion of the Indian subcontinent.

The judgement refers to the "expert” on pages 992–994, where it states that Rajinder Singh, was a witness for the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Board of Waqfs (defendant №2 in Suit № 4). On this page, Sikhism is described as a "cult” and Rajinder Singh as "a person having interest in the study of religious, cultural and historical books of Sikh cult”. In his deposition Rajinder Singh states:
 
"Guru Nanak Devji, after getting the appearance of God on auspicious day, Bhadrapad Poornima, 1507 CE prepared him for going on pilgrimage. Then he went to Ayodhya via Delhi, Haridwar, Sultanpur etc. Almost 3-4 years have passed in this journey. Similarly, Guru Nank Dev went on pilgrimage to see Shri Ram Janam Bhoomi Mandir in 1520–11 CE. It is mentioned here that invader Babur has not invaded India by that time.”

The judgement notes that along with this statement, Rajinder Singh annexed various "janam sakhis”. His deposition in this context is:

"I had studied a number of ancient books in the form of edited and published books about Sikh cult and history which include
"Adhi Sakhies (1701 CE), "Puratan Janam Sakhi Guru Nanak Devji Ki” (1734 CE) creation of Bhai Mani Singh (1644–1734 CE);
"Pothi Janamsakhi: Gyan Ratnawali”, "Bhai Bale Wali Janamsakhi” (1883 CE) creation of Sodhi Manohar Das Meharban (1580–1640);
"Sachkhand Pothi: Janamsakhi Shri Guru Nanak Devji”, creation of Baba Sukhbasi Ram Vedu (8th descendant of Sri Laxmi Chand younger son of Guru Nanak Devji);
"Guru Babak Vansh Prakash (1829 CE); creation of Shri Tara Hari Narotam (1822–1891 CE);
"Shri Guru Tirath Sangrahi” and famous creation of Gyani Gyan Singh "Tawarikh Guru Khaira: Part I (1891 CE) etc.
It is fully evident from the information gained from these books that disputed land is a birth place of Shri Ramchanderji and Guru Nanak Dev had sought the darshan of Shri Ram Janam Bhoomi Temple at Ayodhya, it is also proved from these books that with the passage of time Shri Guru Teg Bahadur and his son, Shri Guru Gobind Singh have also sought the darshan of Shri Ram Janam Bhoomi Mandir at Ayodhya”.

The judgement then goes on to record that "It is true that from the extracts of the Janma Sakhies, which have been brought on record, there is no material to identify the exact place of Ram Janma Bhoomi but the visit of Guru Nanak Devji to Ayodhya for darshan of Janma Bhumi of Ram is an event, which depicted that pilgrims were visiting Ayodhya and were having darshan of Janma Bhumi even before 1528 AD. The visit of Guru Nanak Devji in 1510–1511 and to have darshan of Janma Bhumi of Lord Ram do support the faith and beliefs of Hindus.”
 
The SGPC has reacted vociferously to this deposition and inference made by the 5-member bench led by the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi. Their essential objection is that Sikhism has been misrepresented and misunderstood.Senior Supreme Court lawyer and former AAP MLA, HS Phoolka, had also objected to the use of the term "cult” for the Sikh religion in the judgment. Oxford Dictionary defines "cult” as "a small group of people who have extreme religious beliefs and who are not part of any established religion”. The Constitution of India, Section 25 (2) (b), while grouping Sikhism as subset of Hinduism, refers to it, Jainism and Buddhism as religions not cults.

But what exactly are "janam sakhis”? The literal translation would be "life stories” or in other words, tazkiras or written hagiographies and malfusat (compilations of conversations of a saint) that became popular during the rise of Sufi movement in North India in about 12–13th century. As its contemporaries it was natural for Bhakti saints (Sants) to borrow this form of remembrance/ recording from the Sufis. This accounts for records of Kabir Bani and Baba Farid Ganj-i-Shakkar’s philosophical discourses and many others (that have been reproduced in the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs).

As was the norm of the day, many of the saints, addressed their faithful in various literary forms. The most common of which were oral literary forms such as dohas (couplets), pads (short lyrics set to music/ raga) and sakhis (is a form of doha with roots in Sanskritic tradition of Aparbrhamsa).

The first compilation of Sant poetry which bears a definite date, according to historians, is the Adi Granth i.e., the holy book of the Sikhs, compiled by Guru Arjan in 1603–1604.

The Sants from this time are divided into two main groups. The northern group which includes poets from the North-West region of Punjab, Rajasthan and the Gangetic valley, whose figurehead is Kabir and the southern group that includes Maharashtra, and whose figurehead is Namdev. The difference between the two groups is that north group is defined by strong anti-Brahminical overtones, while the southern group was strongly wedded to the Vedantic tradition or the authority of the Vedas and the Vaishnava tradition.

The idols installed in the Babri Masjid in 1949, shown in a photo taken in 1950.
 
The North group to which Guru Nanak Dev belonged, as his affinity for Kabir demonstrates, make fun of Vedic teaching, rituals and knowledge. Kabir though Muslim, rejects the authority of Quran. Guru Nanak Dev asserts that he’s neither Hindu nor Muslim. Here not only "sruti” and "smriti” of scriptures is disregarded but the authority of scriptures as such, which is viewed as the privilege of the Brahmins. As the following Sakhi of Kabir demonstrates:

"Brahimin is the guru of the world
but he is not the guru of the devotees
He got entangled in his four Vedas
and there he died

Guru Nanak Dev like Kabir rejected idol worship and the ritual barriers between castes based on notion of pollution. He held pilgrimage to holy spots and holy baths as totally irrelevant to man seeking salvation. In fact, studies show, that Guru Nanak Dev’s position is in many places identical to that of Buddhist and Jains of old. The belief in nirguna — one formless whole — Ek Onkar re-asserts this position. How could such a man have gone for a darshan or a pilgrimage, as suggested in the deposition?

A photograph of the Babri Masjid from the early 1900s. Copyright: The British Library Board 
 
The question that arises here then is what "janam sakhis” were presented before the Court? Going by the dates of the sakhis mentioned in the deposition it is clear that all the sakhis date from 18th century and later, when the Brahminical revivalism becomes evident. So, only a detailed study of these sakhis, on whether they represent the Vedantic scholarship or the nirgun view of the world held by Guru Nanak Dev as recorded by Guru Arjan can decide the matter.

Punjab, Rajasthan and the Gangetic valley are the repository of an alternate idea of India. And this idea of India cannot be overturned by a bench of judges. As a legal expert commented, "The law and state cannot and should not tell us what is essential or non-essential in a religion. The judiciary is not supposed to take over the role of the clergy.”

Note: To keep clarity of the text only Christian Era (CE) dates have been retained. The SC judgement also includes Vikram Era dates. The text from the judgement has been reproduced as is.
 
 
 
Charu Soni is a senior journalist and historian.

 
 ------------------------------------
 Watch Video:
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT




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OBITUARY
TN Seshan — The Man Who 'Ate Politicians For Breakfast'
14.11.19 - VIPIN PUBBY
TN Seshan — The Man Who 'Ate Politicians For Breakfast'



IT IS RARE to find such an outpouring of grief on the passing away of a government officer who retired about 25 years. But then former chief election commissioner T N Seshan was no ordinary officer. He was an institution in himself.

He not only made the Commission an effective and independent organisation, he changed the way elections are conducted in the largest democracy of the world. As one of his successors, A Y Qureshi pointed out, he put the fear of God in the politicians. He had himself said during the course of an interview that he "ate politicians for breakfast”.

Unfortunately the Election Commission has again become the hand maiden of the government. Anyone defying the government diktat or seeking to question the top brass can invite serious trouble for himself. This is what is happening with Ashok Lavasa, a former Haryana cadre IAS officer, who just retired as an Election Commissioner and is facing the wrath of the powers that be. Shall discuss this a little later.

Election Commission was formed as an autonomous organisation, drawing powers directly from the constitution, to conduct elections. It was given huge powers to ensure that elections were conducted in a fair manner. Yet the chief election commissioners before Seshan did not exercise their powers.

Old timers would recall how common it was to hear about booth capturing, particularly in the Hindi heartland, and the use of weapons and threats by goonda elements hired by politicians. The booth capturing involved forcible stamping of ballot papers by goons even as the actual voters were made to stand outside the booths.

They would also recall how money power was used by certain politicians and how the campaign used to be a long and noisy affair. There was no one to enforce rules on expenditures and it had increasingly become difficult for a common man to contest elections.

What Seshan did was to to strictly enforce the law. He staggered elections into phases to deploy security forces to ensure that the elections were not rigged. He capped election expenditure and ensured that all expenditure was counted by independent auditors even to include cost of serving tea and pakoras to supporters. He even took action if candidates defaced and painted appeals for votes on walls. 

He enforced discipline by issuing notices that those who exceed expenditure would get disqualified and even debarred from contesting future elections. He enforced rules to register FIRs against those who violated rules. He made the candidates declare their income and expenditure. The candidates were also made to declare their criminal history if any.

While proving a terror for politicians, he also initiated massive electoral reforms. These included shifting from paper ballots to electronic voting machines, issuance of voters’ identity cards, fixing of upper limits of expenditure during electioneering, introduction of model code of conduct and strengthening of state election commissions.

Seshan who did not come into limelight even though he had remained an IAS officer for three decades and even remained cabinet secretary, proved to be a one man army and left a lasting impact.

His innings is indeed a contrast with what is happening now. The Election Commission has again become the hand maiden of the government. The way it acted, or did not act, during the recent Lok Sabha elections, would have defiantly pained Seshan.

The most glaring favouritism it indulged in was to overlook the reported divisive and communal statements by top BJP political leaders. The Commission, which is now a three member organisation, framed a rule that all decisions taken by a majority of the members would be binding.
 
Thus when one of the election commissioners, Ashok Lavasa (in pic), gave divergent verdict, he was over ruled. He was not allowed even to record his dissenting views.

Worse, he is now being hounded even though he has retired as election commissioner. The government has not only opened investigations  against him and set the Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate after him, inquiries have also been opened against his wife, son and even sister. Neither the judiciary nor the opposition are coming forward in his support.

No one, including the government of the day, would have dared to unleash the state power against him or the Commission if Seshan was around. He drew the power of the Election Commission directly from the constitution.

Unfortunately a series of steps in the recent past  have sought to dilute the standards set by Seshan. The government has relaxed and amended norms for finding of political parties. Amendments to the Foreign Contribution (Regulations) Act have opened doors for indirect foreign funding of political parties. Besides, the cap on corporate donations has been removed. Even worse is the introduction of electoral bonds in which the donors’ identity would remain a secret.

Seshan would not have favoured such regressive steps and would have put in a fight to defend the spirit of the Commission. It is very rare to come across such officers who leave an indelible mark on history.
 

 

(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.)

 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT




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MUSINGS
Thudding sound from the roof
09.11.19 - ANIRUDH KALA
Thudding sound from the roof



Last night, I woke up because there was this thudding sound from the roof and people babbling animatedly. Ran up to find a gaggle of men and women in strange dresses with pick axes and hammers discussing how to raze the house down.

"Why?" I asked shocked.

"Because our houses are down there, under yours. We are the Indus Valley people."

"But you guys have been dead for five thousand years. How can you be here ?"

" Well we are here. Arent' we?" A pretty dark woman with a hand on her hip asked archly.

''We have courts you know?" I was firm.

"Yeah, we heard. That is why we are here.They say we can. The original occupiers have a claim. Do you know anyones more original?"

Well, she did have a point.

They were kind people and like somehow more human and after some serious negotiations and some jokes about the smog, agreed to take out just one brick as a souvenir to show it to their people.

Another woman with hair in braides and kohl lined eyes produced a clay pot of wine from somewhere and we all celebrated the deal.
-------------
-------------
Before going, the coquettish one said, "You are a nice man. Can we come again and have some more wine together?"
 
I said that would be great.

"No more bricks, but."

" One is enough.We will go five thousand years back and show this brick to our people."

"And tell them you had better bricks?" I asked.

She nodded her head, smiled and said, "And better courts."
 
 
Dr. Anirudh Kala is a psychiatrist and author based in Ludhiana.
 
 
 
Watch video: 

 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





[home] [1] 2  [next]1-5 of 6


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Uniting under the Chinar tree
03.11.19 - Justice Markandey Katju
Uniting under the Chinar tree



Many years ago, in 2014, I tried to create an organisation called the Chinar Foundation for uniting all Kashmiris - Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, and for promoting the Kashmiri Sufi culture (see my article Chinar Foundation on my blog Satyam Bruyat of December 2014). My effort failed.

Now in the Bay Area of California, where I am presently located, I have renewed my efforts. Yesterday I had a long telephonic discussion with a young Kashmiri Muslim lady who is settled here for the last 20 years, and who has agreed to become the General Secretary of the organisation (with myself as its Chairman). I had met her on a few occasions earlier.

I explained that the aim of the Chinar Foundation will be to unite all Kashmiris, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh, and promote the true Kashmiri culture, which was the culture of the Kashmiri rishis or Sufi saints (who were both Hindu and Muslim). This was the culture of love, compassion, tolerance and brotherhood among all humans, of whatever religion.
 
In his autobiography Jahangirnama, Mughal Emperor Jahangir (in pic) writes of the Kashmiri Sufi saints "They possess simplicity, and are without pretence. They abuse no one. They plant fruit bearing trees so that all may benefit, and seek no advantage for themselves".

Unfortunately, attempts have been made in recent years in Kashmir to replace the tolerant Sufi culture, which is the true culture of Kashmir, by the intolerant and bigoted Wahabi culture. These attempts must be strongly opposed.

Unfortunately, presently Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims are deeply divided. Kashmiri Pandits are very bitter about being hounded out of their homeland, where their ancestors had lived for centuries. They have reason to be, but we must move on. Not all Kashmiri Muslims committed those atrocities. Moreover, Kashmiri Muslims too have suffered.
 
Now the time has come to give a healing touch and bind up our wounds (using President Lincoln's (in pic) words of in his 1865 Second Inaugural Address).

The Kashmiri Muslim lady with whom I spoke told me she had many Kashmiri Pandit women friends in the Bay Area of California but they have stopped speaking to her after she criticised abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
 
It seems almost all Kashmiri Muslims are critical of abrogation of Article 370, while almost all Kashmiri Pandits support it. This is another symptom of the deep divide.

I told her that she should arrange a preliminary meeting of Kashmiris, both Muslims and Hindus, so that we at least start talking with each other, and acquaint each other with our respective viewpoints.
 
At present Kashmiri Muslims and Hindus are hardly on talking terms as there is a lot of animosity among them.
 
When some Kashmiri Pandits kissed the hands of Prime Minister Modi in the Howdy Modi function in Houston recently Kashmiri Muslims were incensed.

The Chinar tree is what will unite us. It is only found in Kashmir, and is our real symbol. It is a tall, large tree, and its shade gives comfort to all below it.
 
I have often said to my Kashmiri Muslim brothers and sisters that though I am a Kashmiri Pandit my DNA is the same as yours.
 
The call of the hour is to remove our animosity, misgivings and bitterness in our hearts, and unite under the Chinar tree. That is the correct way forward
 
  
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.
  

 

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