Off the record

Bihari Babu’s beti

The maddening crowd of Patna went hysteric when Sonakshi Sinha descended here on her maiden trip to her home State after becoming a Dabangg star.

Daughter of Bihari Babu Shatrughan Sinha, Sonakshi was flanked by ‘Son of Sardar’ Ajay Devgn who had come to promote their film which, of late, has run into controversy with Yash Raj films’ forthcoming release Jab Tak Hai Jaan, which is also slated to be released on the Diwali day - November 13.

But it was a doting father Shatrughan, a BJP Lok Sabha member from Patna Sahib, who personally took care of the security cover for his daughter dearest.

Right from Patna airport to the Takht Sri Harmandirji (the birth place of Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh), Shatrughan was seen personally monitoring the security of lead pair of Son of Sardar. With the lanes approaching gurudwara being quite narrow, the police and the district administration as well as private security personnel had a tough time controlling the over-swelling crowd which had made a beeline for miles to have a glimpse of the Bihari Babu’s daughter.

“When the movie is Son of Sardar, we had to visit Takht Hamandir Ji to pay obeisance and seek the Guru’s blessing,” said Devgn.

“Last time, before becoming a celebrity, I visited the Gurudwara in 2009 to pray for my father’s victory in the Lok Sabha polls. Hope this time too, God will be kind to us,” said Sonakshi, who was presented a saropa there.

“Sonakshi has, of late, become Sau-nakshi, as her each and every movie has done a business of 100 crore or more,” averred a die-hard teenager fan, hoping her career will sparkle more this Diwali.

Abhay Kumar, Patna

Vain argument

JD(U) Chief Sharad Yadav has always been a straight-forward person. Knowledgeable and articulate, Yadav never hesitates to express his ideas and opinions, and at times it comes very hard on others. But nowadays, he has almost turned into an angry-man of  Indian politics. Anything can enrage him. Though, he is angry at every thing around, the most appalling thing for him is the way Indian politics is run. He is very tough on it and attacks all kinds of hypocrisy, whenever he finds a chance.  

We do not know how it is affecting his own politics; but it certainly has some effect on media relations. Journalists are hesitant to ask him questions as it may anger him and they will have to face the wrath.

At times, it is very difficult for them.  Recently, he called mediapersons to complain about their ignorance of his big rally in Haryana organised by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Omprakash Chautala and scolded them for only running stories of anti-graft leaders, Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan. Journalists tried to defend themselves, but failed as Yadav had a point.   

“However, he can not defend Chautala. The latter’s presence might be the reason why the media chose to ignore the event,” commented a journalist, “but who will argue with Sharad Ji ?” “No one!,” said another one.

Anil Sinha, New Delhi

A Mangalorean in Chennai

Former Tamil Nadu Health Minister, Dr H V Hande, popular as the ‘ever-genial Mangalorean’  in political circles here owing to his ancestral roots in Mangalore, recently shared an instructive lesson on how even development issues need harmless diplomacy.

As health minister in the late 1970s’, in the first MGR ministry, Hande was keen to get a second Rs 15 Crores tranche under a DANIDA (Denmark’s Development Corporation under its Foreign Affairs Ministry) aided health sector project for the State. He first sounded out K S Narayanan, Hon Consul for Denmark in Chennai and a pioneering industrialist of South about it, who in turn conveyed it to the Danish Ambassador in Delhi.

Hande, recalling this episode at a memorial meeting for Narayanan who passed away here recently, said he went to Delhi to meet Denmark’s Ambassador. But the “Delhi Babus were unhelpful”, asking how a State minister could officially meet a foreign envoy without the Centre’s nod. Anxious to get the health project extended, Hande told them that he was “going to meet the Ambassador to discuss continental classical music”. Thus, Hande got past the ‘babus’ to meet the envoy. “In no time, another Rs15 crore was sanctioned under the DANIDA health project that benefitted thousands of poor people,” added Hande amid applause from the audience.

M R Venkatesh, Chennai    

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