Thursday, January 21, 2010

Erich Segal: Poet, Historian, Novelist

I did not believe my eyes when I read that Erich Segal the author of Love Story had died in London. I remember reading this wonderful novel set in Harvard and Radcliffe which touched all the emotional and political chords of the 1960's USA: a more innocent and less politically correct time. I was in High School when I read Love Story and I was struck up the culture and openness of American University education, and that impression prompted me to go to the US for my graduate studies. From the first line: What can you say of a girl of 24 who died. That she was young and beautiful and that she love the Beatles, Beethoven and me" to the last this novel is a wonderful depiction of class in urban America. But done is an evocative manner. Of course the whole story was just a mushy romance, but the humanity was genuine.
I am sure that this scholar with a Ph D in Classics who taught Latin and Greek at Oxford was influenced by the great traditions of European tragedy particularly Sophocles who was in the fragility of human existence the inexorable hand of fortuna.
Some of the lines from this novel like Bob Dylan's "blowin in the wind" have become part of American popular culture.
Erich Segal deserves to be remembered as a great scholar and novelist.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I have always maintained that Tamil Nadu has degenerated into medieval barbarism under the Dravidian dispensation. By this I include all political,parties of Tamil Nadu and most certainly the two prime Dravidian parties. I have no hesitation in saying that had Shri E V Ramaswamy Nayakkar been alive to day he would have rejected the criminalised identity politics of the two Dravidian parties.
Nothing illustrates the degeneration of the political culture and humanity in Tamil Nadu than the callous manner in which two manmamigus (sarcasm intended) the ministers Pannerselvam and Muhammad watched with utter disdain the death of Shri Vettrivellan, a sub-inspector of Police in Tinevelly District who was involved in arranging the security for the ministers. A few minutes before the arrival of the convoy of the manmamigus Shri Vettrivellan had been attacked with country bombs and hacked with avuvals (a local weapon glorified in Tamil Nadu as the Tirupacchi) and as he lay dying the two honourable ministers watched the fun with their dothis folded up and not one of them even bothered to send the dying man to the hospital even though an ambulance was part of the ministerial convoy.
Tinvelly district has become notorious for gang warfare between Maravars and Kallar politicos and thew police are part of the gang warfare as they are used by rival gangs to settle scores. This kind of violent politics has been going on in the region since the late eighteenth century and it is high time factional fighting is checked. Rayalseema area of Andhra Pradesh is another region where such violence has become rampant.
The two ministers must be forced to resign as they acted in a highly irresponsible and criminal manner.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

K P S Gill is not S P S Rathore: Do not Humiliate a Hero

K P S Gill, the former DGP of Police in the strife ridden state of the Punjab at the height of the "Khalistan" terrorism was the man responsible for defeating the menace of terrorism in the region: the security won by this brave and fearless policeman was squandered away by the dynastic fascist Party called the Congress, which launched the pogrom of massacre against the Sikhs after the demise of Indira Gandhi. I agree that his behavior in the Governor's party when he intentionally patted the bottom of Mrs Rupam Bajaj IAS and the acting Chief Secretary of the state was in bad taste. But that act in and of itself does not constitute molestation or even an attempt to "outrage" the modesty of the lady. The very fact that the objectionable action took place in full public view shows that the intent was only misguided bravado and nothing more. KPS Gill did not bring his influence and stature to either suppress the facts or evade accountability for his misguided act. He was punished and he has appealed. The fact that Mrs Rupam Bajaj was not a 14 year old school-girl but a senior IAS officer has to be borne in mind and moreover the system did not fail her. The governor acted immediately.

This is not the case with Ruchika. She was molested and false cases foisted on her younger brother in order to further traumatise and humiliate the family of the victim. Moreover she committed suicide as she was just too young to bear the terrible consequences of the predator S P S Rathore IPS. Anyone suggesting a moral equivalence between K P S Gill and S P S Rathore is trivialising the death of the young child and molestation of a young impressionable child is an altogether different proposition than patting the bottom of a Chief Secretary. Certainly K PS Gill was in the wrong but to somehow suggest that he too is in the same category as that criminal S P S Rathore is altogether misplaced.

K P S Gill ruthlessly hunted the terrorists who has made normal life impossible in the Punjab and has earned the Nation's gratitude. He cannot now be thrown to the wolves just because all the insects are coming out of the woodwork.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Is there any progress in the Ruchika case

The media hype surrounding the Ruchika Molestation and subsequent suicide case is unprecedented in recent history. I heard the eminent lawyer Shri Ram Jethmalani declare on NDTV show the other night that he does not think that the former DGP of Police of Haryana Shri SPS Rathore is guilty of anything serious. With criminal lawyers like that it is no wonder that crime is the biggest growth "industry" in India today. In the University where I teach a similar lawyer criminal became the Registrar and misued the position and power to forge his daughter's BDS degree from the Mahatma Gandhi Dental College at Pondicherry. Even though the Lt Governor of Pondicherry and the Dental Council of India were notified in writing nothing was done. From this episode I learnt a very valuable lesson: In India crime not only pays but the entire system protects the criminals and this is the reason why I advocate justice being brought to the criminals in high palces.