Monday, 8 December 2014


John Swinton, the doyen of the New York press corps, upon his retirement, made the following speech at the Dinner celebrating his retirement:

There is no such thing, at this stage of the world’s history in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dare write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with.
Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my papers, before twenty four hours, my occupation would be gone.
The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting of an independent press? We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.

(Source: Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)

Friday, 18 July 2014

Maithri Trust - Silver Jubliee #Maithri25

Maithri Educational & Charitable Trust was started in 1991 with the objective of providing financial assistance to needy children to pursue their education. We at Maithri firmly believe that education is fundamental to human liberation. Maithri Trust celebrates #Maithri25, our Silver Jubilee year. (1991-2016)
Maithri Trust started off funding for 7 students in 1991 & thanks to our donor's, currently extending educational benefits for 250+ students.
Maithri Trust, is continuing to strive to educate children from economically deprived families to provide them a purposeful future and bright career. 
We have around 30 students who have passed Plus 2 this year and planning to pursue professional/higher studies. 
Cost of professional/higher studies is between 30,000-50,000/-, against school fees which is around 10,000-15,000/-. In 2015 Maithri supported up to 12 students to Professional courses. This year the student numbers have doubled, and there is incremental cost due to escalation of fee structure in colleges.
Maithri Trust has had the support of regular donors, still there is substantial gap to be filled, due to escalation in number of students and cost escalation.
Hence we appeal to support the cause of Maithri Trust and help us fulfill the commitment of educate needy children. 

The amounts received as donations are exempted from Income Tax U/S 80G of the Income Tax Act - 1961, Vide Letter C No. DIT (E) No.2 ((90) 91-92 80G approval in perpetuity. NRI Donors can donate by money transfer in US dollars or any other Foreign Currency in favor of "Maithri Education and Charitable Trust". We are registered under Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act under Registration No. 075900819 under section 6 (1)(a) of FCR Act 1976.

Bank Account Details:

Maithri Educational and Charitable Trust.
Pondy Bazar, Chennai Branch

Account No: 10477448025
IFSC Code : SBIN0001020

We will ensure sending you a 80G receipt

To get in touch with Shri.Sridhar Rajaram -

For more information on Maithri Trust visit

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

NaMo, Bollywood & reactions.

For a few days now, there is huge outcry in Tamilnadu. This started last 13th April 2014 when Shri.Narendra Bhai Modi was expected to address a public meeting in AM Jain College, Meenambakkam. That evening after landing in Chennai Shri. Narendra Bhai Modi, visited the house of Shri.Rajinikanth, ‘SuperStar’ of Tamil cinema. The meeting was a mutual one of friendship, which was explained by Rajini. Something in Social Media shocked everyone, almost 3 Lakh ‘Like’ for the picture in FaceBook. And that too in a couple of hours.
Next 16th April 2014, in Salem Shri.Narendra Bhai Modi shared dias with his NDA alliance partner Thiru.Vijaykanth. And later in the evening the social media was flooded with pictures of Actor Vijay( Known as Thalapati ) meeting Shri.Narendra Bhai Modi in Coimbatore.
There are mixed reactions, scores of educated blasted me saying that Shri Narendra Bhai need not have mixed with these Bollywood stars. Few even said its Shri. Narendra Bhai who instructed for all these meetings. Few even said that Shri. Narendra Bhai wanted to meet all Southern Cine Artists. Even Actor Vijay’s meeting news mention that he was asked by Shri. Narendra Bhai  to meet him.
Well, if due to meeting all this actor’s there is traction in voting, then WHY NOT?, Who so ever has advised Shri. Narendra Bhai to meet these actors, publish pictures in Social Media, if there is positive result then ‘WHY NOT’?
The educated polity does not understand that there are huge perceptions. Rajini, Vijay have a following & it they can be converted to votes for NDA/BJP candidates, Shri. Narendra Bhai Modi will help.

Conclusion : All the Stars of Bollywood will only benefit from meeting Shri. Narendra Bhai Modi. Their Picture sessions will help them in their career. #NaMo is unbeatable. 

Monday, 24 February 2014

My experience of living in Modi's Gujarat - Another E-Mail Blog.

Dr Vathsala Mani 

I’m a 72 year old South Indian Brahmin lady – not belonging to Narendra Modi’s caste, I must mention in these days of caste-ridden mindsets – just survived the attack of the Emperor of Maladies, cancer that I have been suffering from for the past two years.  I have no expectation from life for myself, even if Modi were to become the Prime Minister of the country.  But I want the teeming millions of my compatriots, especially the younger generation, to learn that there is another side of the Modi story than the one they get bombarded with from anti-Modi industry.
The announcement of Mr. Narendra bhai Modi as BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 elections in fact took me back to my Gujarat days 2004-2007. To begin with, I recall a conversation I had with the late Kiritbhai Rawal, the then Solicitor-General of India, whom I met in the company of my husband early in January 2004.  Kiritbhai was instrumental in getting my husband to Gandhinagar, Gujarat, to set up GNLU. I asked him why Modi was not replying to the many public criticisms, Kiritbhai replied: Modi would not waste his time replying them, as they would continue to crop up ad infinitum. But he would rather focus his attention and energy in developing Gujarat as no other state would, and that would be his way of answering the critics.  It’s a pity that Kiritbhai is not alive today to watch the way Gujarat has developed today.
Before my husband’s formal appointment to GNLU, he told me that he would decide on the offer only after meeting Modi (as he then had an opportunity to go abroad). Kiritbhai had said, the appointment would be formalized only after a meeting with Chief Minister Modi.  He soon arranged a meeting between my husband and Modi at Ahmedabad.  Besides, Kiritbhai, Modi was accompanied by two of his ministers.  Towards the end of the meeting, my husband brought to the attention of Modi of his JNU background, and the fact that he had published a newspaper article on Gujarat (on the need for a law on genocide in India, published in The Hindu).  Modi’s reply was that my husband could hold any opinion he wanted, but Modi would like him to build the best law University for Gujarat.  He wanted a professional.  My husband said, if he faced any problems on job, he would contact Modi’s office.  Modi replied: “Not my office, but me directly.”  So much for the so-called intolerance of Modi towards people who held views not agreeable to his.
My husband was impressed by the way he was treated and accepted the GNLU offer immediately.  I was happy he did so, for this brought me closer to Gujarat.  I really wanted to find out on the ground about the events leading to the 2002 riots, over which the media and political parties were going overboard. Also, I was earlier been snubbed badly by a senior teacher from Sambalpur, Odisha when I expressed my sincere condolences to him over the gruesome killings of Graham Steine and his children over religious intolerance.  He shouted at me: Madam, you sit in an ivory tower in Delhi and pass judgments without knowing the ground realities.  He said he felt sad human life was lost.  But what about joint families being broken up by misguided conversions?  His own family was one such victim eventually leading to coercive partition of family property for which he held the likes of Graham Steine responsible. How come, no media reported this side of the story?
In the initial years Gujaratis working in our Government-allotted house and also at GNLU were reluctant to open up.  Later on as mutual confidence grew, they found me friendly and helpful, and then they began to be more informal.  What they narrated to me showed that the media, particularly, English language media were lapping up one-sided news portraying Modi as the Demon and all his opponents’ angels. They told us about the earlier riots in which the Hindus were mostly at the receiving end. There were several instances of stone-throwing on Hindus passing through Muslim dominated areas of Ahmedabad.  The governments of the day kept a blind eye to all this. All the suppressed passions broke loose at the Godhra carnage, and no government, Modi or no Modi, could have stopped what followed – despicable and condemnable as both the Godhra and post-Godhra killings were. 
The Teen Darwaza area is always abuzz with people jostling with one another, with mostly Hindus customers of all classes visiting shops offering all kinds of wares, mostly owned by Gujarati Muslims.  I was a regular visitor and took my friends and relatives for shopping for saris and gorgeous children’s dresses.  A Muslim shop keeper told me once that Gujarati Muslims were all peace-loving, but the Muslim immigrants from other parts of the country often created trouble here. This was also confirmed to my husband by a sociology professor of JNU origin, from Gujarat University.   
Since 2002, there has been peace and progress in the State. This is probably due to Modi’s policy of “justice for all and appeasement of none.”  Pampering one community at the cost of another only leads to public resentment, perpetuation of communal divide.  On the ground, practices of religions are not mutually exclusive.  I was pleasantly surprised an array of Muslim traders and hawkers selling flowers and other puja samagris near Hindu temples in Ahmedabad – again the Bhadrakali temple near Teen Darwaza stood out. The hundreds of boatmen ferrying Hindu pilgrims from Dwarka to Bed Dwarka and back are Muslims who earn their living by facilitating Hindu pilgrimage. 
The common people were happy with Modi as he was accessible to them for a hearing. Modern technology made it possible for Modi to personally reach out distant villages – he even spoke to them, identified them by video-conferencing on a regular basis. People could attend government functions without any security hassles.  My housemaid told me that in not so distant past, womenfolk had to walk long distances to fetch water and return the same distances with pitchers on the head one over the other, but after Modi came the Narmada water reached their villages to their doorstep.  In terms of the luxury of getting uninterrupted electricity (I have a house in Gurgaon), Gujarat was unrivalled.
After we arrived in Gandhinagar, we were allotted a government house in Sector 22, Gandhinagar.  Being an old construction, it needed some repairs and electrical rewiring.  The local works department office sent some electricians for the job.  When they finished the work fast and to my satisfaction, I was pleased and gave them some money by way of tips.  They were most unwilling to accept it, yet I persuaded them.  It was just a token of my appreciation of their hard work. Finally they accepted it reluctantly.  In the afternoon, to my utter surprise, two senior officers visited my house and asked me whether I paid any money to the workers and why.  I said, yes, as I was pleased with their work. It was not a bribe and I really wanted to show my appreciation.  The officers said, Madam,  you are getting us into trouble: “if Modi Saab came to know of this, we would be taken to task.”  They wanted to return the money, but I refused to take back the money.  They said, don’t do this again and put them into trouble. This was clean, bribery-free administration for a housewife to experience.
As for the much criticised “Hindutwa” of Modi, here is food for thought.  After the Bhoomipoojan of the GNLU campus in mid-2005 and installation of an Ashok Pillar at the entrance of the future campus, my husband happened to be a party to a discussion at the CM’s Chambers, Gandhinagar Secretariat.  The then Law Minister suggested that in the future GNLU campus there should be a Saraswati temple, just across the Ashok Pillar.  Modi killed the proposal in the bud by instantly asserting that the university was a public body to be constructed on government money.  You can’t have a temple there, as the State must be non-religious.
Further, if Modi were a ‘kattar Hindu vadi,”  why did he allow demolition of many Hindu temples that stood in the way of expansion and modernization of roads by the Gujarat Roads and Buildings Department?  Some of these temples stood in the middle of some main roads in Ahmedabad. I particularly remember a very popular Shani Dev Mandir standing in the middle of a main road, and this had to be removed.
It was my feeling that L.K.Advani was not exactly popular in his constituency in Gandhinagar.  My husband narrated to me a conversation that took place in a barber shop at the Sector 19 market on one fine morning. The shopkeeper was sharing with someone his disenchantment with Advani.    He recalled his enthusiasm to lend support for an Advani election meeting in the small open space in front of his shop.  Advani promised the audience to return to the constituency after elections and inquire about their welfare. This never happened until the next election. Two elections on, the people in the constituency had no glimpse of Advani.  Someone asked the shopkeeper, why then did he continue to vote for Advani?  The answer was “I was supporting Modi.”  So, I don’t know who should be grateful to whom – Modi to Advani, or Advani to Modi.
Once we were returning from Junagarh after attending a function in a school.  It was around midnight by the time we reached Gandhinagar. To my utter disbelief (I was so used to Delhi), I saw girls/women walking along the road in singles or in groups, perhaps after a mid-night shift in the nearby factories. I asked our driver about safety of girls and women in Gujarat.  The driver announced proudly that they were safe and that they could move about in the night in any part of Gujarat.
Modi also ensured poor people’s access to justice, by streamlining the administration in the Secretariat.  I was told, during Keshubhai’s time and before, the officers were not found on their seats even by 11 am, and they would nowhere be found in Gandhinagar by 3 pm.  After Modi took over, the same officers were suddenly found on their seats 9 am to 5 pm, for fear of being reported to Modi, by the people with grievances to resolve. 

Access to Modi was facile to common people.  A student of GNLU told me once that she wanted to complain against a Minister and she could walk straight into Modi’s office and submit a petition. No wonder, an employee of  GNLU – a staunch Congress supporter – said without hesitation, he would vote for Modi, if Modi were to contest from his constituency!
I have heard instances of Modi putting down some of his relatives who tried to exploit their relationship with Modi.  Till this day, no allegation of corruption sticks on him.    
The above reminiscences bring out the multifaceted personality of Modi.  He was known to be blunt and straight mincing no words – quite ‘unIndian,’ would you say? While he gave patient hearing to the needy, he had no time for sychophants, or for frivolous talk.
The purpose of this write up, however, is to warn the younger generation against being swayed by the biased and motivated anti-Modi reports. To a non-partisan like me, Modi has all the qualities to make him the Prime Minister of India.

Thanks to the original writer, whose e-mail is reproduced hence. 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

NaMo bashers, Please read this

This content was sent by mail. Wanted to Share it with all. 


In a biography released this week, former IPS officer K.P.S. Gill talks about Gujarat Chief MinisterNarendra Modi’s handling of the 2002 riots. Excerpts:

Riots were at a peak in Gujarat; police was not able to control (the situation) and there were reports in the media that "The CM was ineffective for the challenge, or he simply lacked the will to stop this violence, or to say worse, he is himself, along with other BJP and VHP leaders, organising all these riots."

Seeing the sensitive situation and the negative publicity it was generating for the BJP, L.K. Advani, the then Deputy Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister, was busy finding ways to end that mayhem. The situation was confusing since it was not becoming clear what the root cause of the problem was. Was it Modi himself or the ineffective administration of Gujarat! Anyway, the first priority of Advani was to end this violence at any cost...

It struck Mr Advani that there was a man who was no more in active service but who was never away from the service of the nation who could be trusted to bring peace in Gujarat at that time. That was KPS Gill. So the only solution which seemed plausible to the Union Government was the appointment of former DGP Punjab KPS Gill as incharge of Police in Gujarat. But Gill was retired. Advani then came to the conclusion that Gill should be requested to become Security Advisor to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Dr Chandan Mitra met Mr Gill and broached the subject. On understanding the proposal, Mr Gill expressed his willingness to undertake the assignment but had one reservation. He said, "Chandan, you know I cannot be an armchair theorist, what will I do, if I am not given any freedom to control the affairs? What if my advice is not implemented? As a result Muslims will continue to get killed and then, I will also be held responsible for the killing of innocent people despite not having any power to stop it?" Mr Modi through Dr Mitra assured Mr Gill that he would not interfere in his work and would provide him all possible support to end the riots.

When news spread that Gill would be joining as Advisor to CM Gujarat, his former boss and former Punjab Police chief, J.F. Ribeiro, in his praise, said, "Gill can solve the Gujarat problem in a week but he will have to arrest VHP members and Muslim criminals. If Modi allows that, he will be signing his own death warrant."
In the first one to one meeting between Mr Gill and Mr Modi, what Mr Modi told Mr Gill, expressed the sincerity which he had towards the whole episode which was going on in Gujarat at that time.

Mr Modi said, "Gill Sahib, we have been talking to each other through Mr Mitra or Mr Advani but I want to request you now in person that I am not finding any solution to this violence, I am not getting a fit police response which could end the riots, I sought more force from the neighbouring States,
which happen to be Congress-ruled States, but they refused. Media, opposition parties and activists have launched a false anti-Modi campaign that I am behind all these riots, which is not true. My first principle as a devout Hindu and as a politician is  "Sarve Janah Sukhino Bhavanthu (May all the people in the world be happy and peaceful)."

I believe in this prayer and I start my day as a politician with it. I have lot of faith in you, the country is indebted to you for saving Punjab from going out of the Union. Without cops like you there can be no democracies, there can be no political leaders and there can be no kings. I will personally be thankful to you for my life if you can help ending this mayhem at the earliest. The onus now is on you to fail me or make me successful as a democratic leader."

Mr Gill says, "After meeting Mr Modi, I was moved by his sincerity. I found him to be fair and sincere in terms of his intention to end the riots. He seemed worried and sad because his police had failed him in ending this violence; he wanted me to take whatever steps I deemed fit to end this violence and assured me whole-hearted support."

To make a proper assessment of the situation, Mr Gill started touring all those places which had witnessed communal riots. He listened in detail to the victims of violence, the constables, the officers and the locals to assess where the problem or the weakness lay. After a detailed assessment of the challenge which lasted for one week, Gill says, "I found the police force unequal to the challenge; majority of the policemen themselves had become communal in their duty as they were enraged with the killings of so many kar sewaks (fellow Hindus) at the hands of Muslims in Godhra. Similar was the condition of the civil administration. Since Mr Modi had become the CM only a few months back, the administration and the police force were not in his proper grip and it takes time to develop such a grip when you are at such a top position. I found that in the previous two months Mr Modi had made all efforts to stop riots, he had called in the army with swiftness, he sought forces from the neighbouring States and the Centre.

"I realised that people of all political parties who were anti-Modi and anti-BJP were taking advantage of this mayhem and making all efforts to defame Modi one way or the other.

"The so called dharam-nirpeksh (secular) parties were taking advantage of the fact that Mr Modi follows the principles of Hindutva. They were portraying Hindutva as something anti non-Hindu religions. My understanding was that Mr Modi's practising of principles of Hindutva in no way meant that he would allow killing people of other religions.

"Today Gujarat is one of the best administered States not only for Hindus but for all religions and all castes. The credit for this goes to only and only Mr Modi."

Mr Gill's assessment was that the problem which needed an immediate solution was to cut this communal bug from the minds of the policemen and those who could not be freed of this bug should not be allowed to sit in sensitive posts...

The first step Gill took within three days of joining there was transferring all those officers who failed to prevent the riots in their areas. Mr Gill interacted with all those officers and based on his assessment of their competency and intentions he got them transferred from sensitive posts. Those officers expected to be fair in their working were given sensitive posts.

Mr Gill says, "Mr Modi provided me full freedom to transfer those officers whom I considered ineffective in terms of preventing violence as per their record of the past few days. The kind of free hand Mr Modi gave me to apply my strategies was given to me in Punjab by Sh. Beant Singh and through the pages of this book I want to make it clear to one and all that Modi was never communal in his conduct during this whole mayhem. He only conducted himself as an able administrator, whether it was during my tenure as Security Advisor or before it.

"My observation is that when things like riots, terrorism, natural calamities, etc. happen then sometimes the administration or the Government gets stupefied by it. In those circumstances the administration is not able to find an appropriate solution to the problem which leads to inordinate delays.

"This delay is sometimes used by the opposition parties to tarnish the image of the Government. Media also plays a negative role by being judgemental and describing those false statements by the opposition leaders or other people who are anti-Government, as facts. The allegations may be proved false later on but this false propaganda created through media initially, goes a long way in developing wrong perceptions about that Government or the leader and this happened with Mr Modi in 2002. Moreover, the stupefaction was compounded by the fact that Mr Modi was new to Chief Ministership.

"What I feel is, the media  should not only behave as a critic of the Government all the times, they ought to sometimes understand the crisis situation for the Government and act as a supporting arm to it, which unfortunately media failed to do in 2002 vis-à-vis the Gujarat riots.From my first-hand experience of the Gujarat situation I can say with conviction that the Gujarat riots were not the failure of Mr Narendra Modi; instead it was the failure of the Gujarat Police as well as the intentions of the Chief Ministers of the neighbouring States which had then denied forces to Gujarat when the riots started."
Excerpts from "KPS Gill: The Paramount Copby Rahul Chandan, Maple Press 
Courtesy Shri. Rahul Chandan, Maple Press.