Gadhafi's boring 'The Green Book'

I was then editor of a newspaper. Gadhafi was then the Muslim world’s hero number one. Pakistan had named the main sports arena in Lahore after him, Gadhafi stadium. He sold his country’s oil with as much enthusiasm as he did his faith in Islam. He had his own way of doing so. Whenever and wherever he was invited to a foreign country, he would take a hundred beautiful Arab girls and thousands of copies of the Koran with him. He invited beautiful girls of the host country to his gatherings. There he would read out extracts from his ‘Green Book’ on how to convert barren land into lush green producing fruit and vegetables.

I promptly accepted the invitation and took the morning Air India flight to Rome. (N D Tiwari, then a cabinet minister, was on the same flight). From Rome I took the Lufthansa flight to Tripoli. We arrived at our destination in the early afternoon. The Indian ambassador to Libya was gracious enough to receive me. We had to waste a couple of hours in the lounge as it happened to be a Friday and all the porters had gone to different mosques to offer Jumma prayers.

They returned two hours later and off-loaded our luggage and cleared it from customs without bothering to examine its contents. The ambassador drove me to a college hostel where I was to stay. Fortunately, I had brought small bottles of Scotch which Air India gave free to first class passengers. I consumed a couple with tap water. I was served with Indian meal in my room.

Early next morning I rose to the melodious, sing-song call of the muezzin for Fajr prayers. I stepped out of the hostel to take a look at the city. It was bleak without any characters. I returned on time to breakfast and glanced through the contents the ‘The Green Book.’ There was nothing worth reading in it. I then found the other seminarists in the main hall of the college. They were all from Arab countries. The proceedings were in Arabic of which I did not understand a word. For my benefit my hosts had got a pretty girl who translated all speeches into English as they were delivered. I had something to look forward to.

The seminar was extremely boring. Apart from gaping at the seminarists translations, I kept solving crossword puzzles.

There was strict prohibition in the country. Our ambassador gave me whiskey when he invited me over one evening but refused to give me a bottle to take to my hostel. The Narulas, Serena and Surindea, who lived in a high-walled home invited me to join them in the evenings. They had made a tidy fortune, building roads which they invested in England buying a chain of hotels and Delhi’s real estate including the biggest book store Ebony. They had one Rolls Royce in England and another in Delhi. They financed Jaipur’s writers festival held every January.

It seems that in every Muslim country ruled by a dictator half the population worship him, the other half loaths him. So was in Libya: half the populace admired him as they do their Prophet, the other half hated him as if he was an incarnation of Satan. So on the morning of Thursday, October 20, he was shot dead -- like a rat in its hole. There were celebrations in the streets of Muslim countries. What has gone wrong with them? They keep telling the world that Islam means peace and goodwill towards everyone.

Kiran Bedi

You too Kiran? We regarded you as a model of rectitude. You were given the Magasayay award for efficiency and integrity when you were director of Tihar Jail, the largest prison in the world, holding over 12,000 prisoners. You invited me to inspect it. I gave you fulsome praise. And now you have been caught cheating on air fares. Your explanation is not acceptable to anyone. No one believes your word anymore. You have to explain why you did so. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Team-Kalmadi

Amar, Raja, Kanimozhi and Kalmadi
Together they can play kho-kho as well as Kabaddi
They have put India on the world map
Passing the baton of perfection in their respective lap.
Amar Singh has been an unconquered king maker,
Raja has been a spectrum shaker,
Kanimozhi, a new age broadcaster
And Kalmadi, the undisputed games master.
They can give Team-Anna a run for their money
For they as Team-Kalmadi, are all crooked and phoney.
Never did they do any cheating, lying or doping,
Then why, it has become difficult meeting, vying and coping?
With life’s various transgressions
And these unending court sessions,
Tihar for them has been a boulevard of broken dreams
As it entraps them with their political sheen and cream.

(Contributed by Sandeep Dewan, Delhi)

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)