The year of reckoning

Last Updated 14 January 2011, 17:07 IST

The onus for achieving it rests largely on our judiciary. So far it has allowed scamsters to delay the final verdict for as long as possible in the hope that people will forget what it was all about.

 It can be assumed that those who prolong hearings have something to hide while those who expedite court proceedings are anxious to have their names cleared as soon as possible. It is for the government to issue instructions to bring hearings to an end as expeditiously as possible -- within a month or two -- and I am sure the UPA government and the trinity comprising prime minister Manmohan Singh, the president of the Congress party Sonia Gandhi and secretary of the Congress party Rahul Gandhi will regain much of the respect they lost in 2010.

Uppermost in my mind is the fear that the Opposition parties, particularly the BJP, may succeed in stalling debate in Parliament and force a mid-term general election. We can’t afford it. And it will not solve any problems that face us today whatever the outcome. It is time that Members of Parliament realise that they have been elected to perform duties expected of them and not render parliament ineffective by not allowing it to function.

It is a criminal waste of time and money. We may as well admit that the parliamentary democracy does not suit our temperament and try out the Presidential form of democracy by which we elect a President and let him select his Cabinet ministers only answerable to him. It has worked in the United States and France; it may work for us. Give it some thought.

 Joy of giving

When it comes to the joy of giving without expecting anything in return, the name of Gene Smith comes up first in my mind. I met him first when he was a lodger in my friend Prem Kirpal’s flat which was across the road from where I live. Prem was then chairman of the governing body of the Delhi Public Schools and as such had a servant Mangaram Kashyap allotted to him.

 Gene was with the Library of Congress collecting books on Tibetan literature. He was born in Utah into a Mormon family. After being involved in Tibetan writings he converted to Buddhism. Evidently he was very well off. He built a house for Mangaram’s family. When he was transferred to Indonesia, he took Mangaram with him to Jakarta.

He invited Prem Kirpal, my wife and myself to stay with him. When we got there, he invited many Indonesian authors and poets to meet me. Then he lent his car to us to take us down the entire country from Jakarta to Bali with Mangaram as our guide and mentor.

 After retiring from the Library of Congress he joined Leiden University in the Netherlands to study Pali and Sanskrit. He never bothered about himself. He was a diabetic and had problem with his heart. He died in New York on the December 16 last year. He was only 74. As he had wished, Mangaram flew to New York to perform his last rites. But for Gene Smith’s efforts, Tibetan literature would have been lost in the world for ever.

 The guilty doctor

 We have the greatest respect for our judiciary
Not just for the justice done but also its travesty
Hence the butchers of nineteen eighty four roam free
And the murderers of Gujarat have boundless glee
 While a doctor who looks after the health of the tribals and downtrodden,
Whose services make him one in a million
Is a guilty man of the nation.
Against our great nation, he waged a fight
For, whatever the police says must be right
So he should get a taste of this country’s might,
While the scamsters and swindlers, for their brilliant record
Should never be held guilty of fraud
And because our judiciary can never fail
Dr Sen will remain in jail.

(Courtesy: Kuldip Salil, Delhi)


When the husband finally died his wife put the usual death notice in the paper, but added that he died of gonorrhea.

No sooner were the papers delivered when a friend of the family phoned and complained bitterly, ‘You know very well that he died of diarrhoea, not gonorrhea’. Replied the widow, ‘I nursed him night and day.So of course I know he died of diarrhoea, but I thought it would be better for posterity to remember him as a great lover rather than the big shit he always was’.

(Contributed by Vipin Buckshey, New Delhi)

(Published 14 January 2011, 17:07 IST)

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