Off The Record

Off The Record

Bull run

The passengers, who were on way to the airport lounge, were amazed at viewing the blue bull on the airport campus. “Is it a state capital or a jungle,” remarked one of them, even as the security personnel posted there had a tough time in taming the animal, who came in from no where.

Soon, a huge crowd gathered there to have a close look at the blue bull, which led to more trouble for the animal which, by now, had got scared. Jumping and running, it incidentally entered the premises of the Met department office which is located on the airport campus. However, the problem for the Forest department officials compounded when a battery of cameramen from different news channels descended there to shoot a ‘scoop’.

The ‘catch-me-if-you-can’ episode continued for more than a day even though more zoo officials from nearby Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park were requisitioned to apprehend the wayward animal.

Finally, the scared blue bull was nabbed after 28 hours of effort. But that left many journalists from the electronic media hugely disappointed who, by that time, had readied a footage as to what would have happened had the blue bull hit the runway… how many flights would have been disrupted…. how many lives of passengers were at risk…is runway barricaded properly….etc etc.
Not a run-of-the-mill story!
Abhay Kumar, Patna

Jayalalitha soldiers on
If politics is the transient art of taking away what it gives in an ecstatic fleeting moment of success, then none can be more in an unenviable position as AIADMK supremo J Jayalalitha.

Six months down an unprecedented mandate the Tamil Nadu people gave her and her party to rule, ‘Amma’ has been soldiering against odds heavily stacked against her.

From the Centre’s non-release of special assistance grant, major imbroglios over the Kudankulam nuclear power project and the Mullaiperiyar dam issue, inner-party pressures, besides her assets case before a Bangalore special court, and several unpopular decisions like her bid to shift the Anna Centenary Library for which the courts are pulling up her regime, Jayalalitha has not thrown in the towel of despair.

If anything, the ‘formidable lady’ of Tamil Nadu politics – as Mark Tully in his recent book ‘Non-Stop India’ has chosen to describe her, is living up to the Shakespearean dictum “fruits are the uses of adversity”.

That stance was in fine display during the recent one-day special session of the state assembly to discuss the Mullaiperiyar issue, when Jayalalitha’s political sagacity came off at its best.

Not falling for the hawkish pro-Tamil nationalists’ line on this sensitive inter-state water issue on the one hand, and yet on the other without compromising on Tamil Nadu’s legal rights on a lifeline for farmers in five southern districts, ‘Amma’ dexterously essayed a fabric that also urged that the traditional ties with Kerala and saner voices of friendship should not be undermined. Hard times, but Jayalalitha solitarily soldiers on!
M R Venkatesh, Chennai

On a sticky wicket

From P Chidamabram to Kapil Sibal, lawyers in the Congress are on a sticky wicket. Gandhian Anna Hazare and his team have been targeting Sibal fiercely since the failure of the joint drafting committee on the Lokpal bill. The anger continues till date. Though Sibal has been sober towards the team for some time now, Hazare’s associates are not ready to spare him.

Abhishek Manu Singhavi proved to be fortunate enough to be saved from being the main target as Rahul Gandhi, according to Team Anna, was behind diluting the parliamentary standing committee’s report on the Lokpal bill.

Chidambaram has been facing more attacks from all sides. Everyone seems to be ready to take him on. If Subramanian Swamy is not giving him any breather, Anna also seems to be in a mood to settle scores. 

But, Anna’s attacks on Congress lawyers can not be compared with the accusations of giving priority to professional interests over their ministerial or political responsibilities. Singhvi had faced attacks from his partymen in Kerala for arguing for Endosulfan in the Court and taking the brief on behalf of the lottery scam case accused.
Anil Sinha, New Delhi

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