Tags Posts tagged with "Gandhi"

Gandhi

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Today is the ninety third birth anniversary of the renowned peace loving icon, cultural activist and symbol of relentless struggle, The Gandhi of Uttarakhand late Indra Mani Baduni, the main inspiring force behind the separate Uttarakhand movement that finally led to this 17 and a half year old state coming into existence. 24th December is commemorated as the” lok sanskritik diwas” in Uttarakhand and elsewhere, the day this iconic personality was born in the land of abode of Gods,the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.(then the Tehri Riyasat ruled by the Garhwal kingdom)

While the entire Uttarakhand and people of Uttarakhandi origin living elsewhere , globally are paying their rich tributes to Baduniji today they are equally sad and disappointed that the concurrent state governments of the state have not done anything fruitful to keep his inspirations alive. Indra Mani Baduni is not a name but an inspiration as an institution who dedicated his entire life as a freedom fighter, social and separate state movement activist, a trekker and inventor of mysterious Khatling glacier, a cultural activist and a social reformer of eminence.

While the demand for separate Uttarakhand movement was first raised in 1952 by the then communist leader PC Joshi it actually gained tremendous momentum in 1994 when this popular Gandhi of Uttarakhand organised a huge rally in Pauri and undertook thirty days incessant hunger strike, finally addmitted in Meerut and then AIIMs compelling the union government to acede to the peoples’ long aspirations of a separate entity known as Uttarakhand state.

A frail looking determined Gandhi as are the Himalayas, Indra Mani Badooni was a simple man with extreme popularity and highest TRP of acceptability within Uttarakhand. He was arrested again while going to Mussourie to pay tributes to the martyred andolankaries and was in jail for a pretty long time. He was grievously injured in the Lal Quila Maidan Rally in 1994 where he was likely to address a massive rally protesting against the shameful incidents of Ram Pur Tiraha, Mujaffar Nagar where several movement activists were killed and women coming to participate in the Delhi rally sexually assaulted and brutally raped.

Indra Mani Badooni was a true selfless mass leader whose entire life was dedicated for the cause of Uttarakhand and who’d always been in the forefont to safeguard, promote and conserve the culture and dialects of Uttarakhand. His tremendous contribution in promoting the folk lore of great icon Madho Singh Bhandari who sacrificed his son’s life for peoples’ cause, bringing water in Maletha, finding the Khatling glaciar and bringing it to the knowledge of the world and conserving its civilisation including infinite contribution in Uttarakhand movement as its only inspiration as a fatherly figure, its undisputed leader and a sacrificial figure, The Gandhi of Uttarakhand will always be remembered in the annals of the history of India and Uttarakhand. Our tributes to this great soul.
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHANDJOURNALISTS FORUM

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Story of 1991, About the fascinating picture of Rajesh Khanna aka Kaka with the former PM and leader of the opposition Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia whom he revered too much as his chief political mentor and even termed him as his God on the day of Rajivji’s sad demise. Rajiv Gandhi was Kaka’s ardent fan.This is the true narration about the actual happening.

I was with the then super star turned politician Rajesh Khanna for the entire day on the day of polling of the New Delhi parliamentary election from where he was contesting against the BJP’s heavy weight Lal Krishna Advani. The picture below is of polling station near Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. I alongwith RK alias Kaka went inside the polling booth near Vigyan Bhawan( the building of ministry of health and family welfare) in the morning with RK Dhawan ( Indiraji’s former special Assistant and union minister ) already standing there in advance, amid tight security, waiting for former prime minister and the then leader of the opposition Rajiv Gandhi and his wife Sonia to come to cast their vote, being the voter of New Delhi constituency.

It was approximately 9.00 in the morning. When we ( Kaka and me) went inside the polling booth room to check and supervise the polling arrangements, hundreds of cameras clicked on us. The press photographers, umpteen in numbers, I think nearing hundred or so, had already taken their positons to extract best picture of the then former PM Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia and Rajesh Khanna. The tight security wasn’t allowing them to roam freely as usual. After all Rajivji was on the high security guard and protection due to the possible threat of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LITTE) etc. However, we came out soon after inspecting the arrangements and waited for Rajvji and Sonia to arrive. In just ten minutes, thereafter, a smiling Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia came in a fleet of bullet proof cars.

With no time the trio went inside. I was kept at bay due to security reasons. But a bad omen had already occured on that day. When Rajiv arrived at the main entrance of the polling centre, the Congress women volunteers who tried applying tilak on the foreheads and taking the arti of Rajiv and Sonia, suddenly got imbalanced due to nervousness and the Aarti Thali with flowers, incense and vermilon etc fell down with a bang sending a silent wave of whispering and rumour mongering of some bad omen in the offing. Anyways, it was not taken seriously at that moment except a small news item appearing in the Indian express the other day in tit bits coloum, expressing it to be something unusual termed as unlucky. Some derived it with meanings like Kaka loosing the election or something else but in nutshell nothing much serious about Rajivji was ever thought of .

But being conservative if we really believe in this, just a day or two after , the entire course of Indian political history was changed. Rajivji was shockingly assasinated in Sriperumbudur, Tamilnadu and the anguishing news reached Kakaji’s ears in a marriage function of my younger brother at Rama Krishna Puram, New Delhi where he was blessing my bro Anil Negi and his wud be wife surrounded by hundreds of his fans and invitees . I remember how shocked Kakaji was on that day as if he has lost his God Father. He just murmered while tears in his eyes that he has lost his mentor and God. Rajiv Gandhi loved and adored him the most and it was only on the former’s personel request or advise that Rajesh contested and won from New Delhi and became MP, finally, the heartiest desire he had cherished since long, finally the dream coming true by his mentor’s blessings.

You will be surprised to learn that this picture ( as above) Rajesh Khanna helping Sonia Gandhi caste her vote with pleasing and smiling Rajiv Gandhi the then prime minister looking over, appeared in the front pages of almost all the newspapers of the country with Delhi’s largest selling newspaper Hindustan times giving it place on the front page with banner news. This was Kaka’s best photograph and he adored this picture very much, being extremely dear to his heart. Since those days there weren’t mobile phones, digital cameras and even coloured pictures, the said pivital photograph was in black and white and the picture couldn’t be procured as is easily available these days with mobile phones.

Kaka wanted its negative by all means and used to personally request me repeatedly to arrange it. I tried my level best to find the negative but of no avail. He would sometimes even challange me asking what connections do I have in media that I can’t even arrange a single negative through my sources? It wasn’t possible because the photo journalists kept it in their record and can’t officially part with the only negative as it was unique and outstanding as an archive for them.

If I am not wrong Mr. Suresh Sinha of Hindustan times had two negatives of this pic. Kaka used to even call me from Mumbai to get it, even if it is charged heavily for. I was actually fed up with Kakaji’s repeated pressure for this negative and used to wonder what special is there in this picture as being a superstar MP he already had infinite pictures of him with VVIPs. But Kaka would not relent and continued to pressurise me. Actually, he didn’t had direct contacts with media as I was the conduit and more over for a negative he would never like to belittle himself going to photo journalists n requesting them.

However, after much efforts I finally got it from Mr. S N Sinha, the then Photo editor of HT after several years when Kaka had become an ex MP having permanentally shifted to Mumbai. It however took many years to procure the negative of this outstanding picture very close at Kaka’s heart. Kaka was really grateful to have the negative. He could have made a negative out of the picture but he actually wanted the original one for the sharpness and precision which could be enlarged to any size and therefore dosen’t lose its focus and sharpness as well.

Later Kaka got it enlarged and nicely framed to decoratedly put it at the main inner entrance of Ashirvaad, his adorable bunglow at Carter Road. ( Unfortunately now in rubbles with construction of builder flats already started on them). Such was Rajesh Khanna’s attachment with Rajiv Gandhi, the former prime minister of India and Kaka’s fan as well.
SUNIL NEGI, President, Uttarakhand Journalists’ Forum and Former Media Advisor to Rajesh Khanna

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Politics is usually said to be the last game of scoundrels. But to me this saying, proverb or adjective( whatever you call it) it still sounds bad and undesirable as I am of the firm opinion that politics should rather be a platform of good, nice, ethical and transparent people instead of scoundrels as they ( politicians) are the one who actually rule the country , guide and shape the destiny of the largest democracy of the world. India got freedom from the colonial rulers due the sacrifices of our freedom fighters and leaders like father of the Nation Gandhiji, revolutioneries like Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose and umpteen other leaders who later on guided and shaped India’s destiny.

But why is it that the political fraternity that gave us independence after so much of sacrifices and finally took India to new heights of development earlier known as freedom fighters then leaders and now politicians are now expeditiously loosing their reputation and respect. Corruption, red tapism, favoritism, pro capitalism, money laundering, black marketing, anything that is untrustworthy and major domination of criminals and criminalism in Indian politics has actually changed its entire character. Parliament and state legislatures and elected bodies at the decentralised level of governance as well are not devoid or bereft of criminals or politicians with suspected and dubious anticedents.

The character of the major part of our pious political system has taken the shape of suspicion, unethical and highly unconstitutional practices with people carrying highly literate and intellectual educational background, expertise and reputation too are speaking the uncalled for language of the illeterates vindicating the fears about our polity’s highly degradable standards. If a former union minister, a veteran journalist and once Rajiv Gandhi’s closest friend Mani Shankar Ayyer can stoop so low to call the prime minister of the country a NEECH publicly and than instead of apologising for his deliberate blunder try to vindicate his bad, highly uncalled for and ugly utterances then we can definitely arrive at the conclusion that the political standards in India are at its lowest ebb and its really shameful. However, thanks and tons of gratitudes to Congress Vice president Rahul Gandhi who without any sort of inordinate delay took no time to deplore his own party senior leader’s bad mouthing against PM of the country and suspended Mani Shankar from the primary membership of the party with a show cause notice and also asking him to apologise publicly for his deliberate blunder.

It may be recalled that Mani Shanker Aiyyer is Rahul’s dad’s one time closest friend who’d been with Rajiv Gandhi during his thick and thin but despite all this, Rahul being the prime minister Modi’s ardent and arch rival wasted no time to show Mani Shankar Ayyer the door by suspending him from the primary membership of the party and also pressurising him to seek apology for his unethical act against the PM.

This strong decision on the part of Rahul Gandhi clearly emphasises the point that the Gandhi Nehru family scion and the would be president of the Congress Party is not at all in the mood to either accept psycophancy, arrogance, misconduct, indescipline or bad mouthing by any leader in his party even against its political rivals nor is he likely to tolerate hooliganism in the party, any more. Such a strong shock treatment to veteran leader Mani Shankar Aiyyer will go a long way in sending a good message amongst the party cadres and leaders who believe in arrogance and unethical behaviour and dictatorial style of functioning within the Congress party? The BJP leadership should also take cue from Rahul Gandhi’s example of expediency in taking action against Mani Shanker Aiyyer and follow suit by giving up its hypocritical style of functioning and take similar action against its fanatic leaders as well who in the name of religious fundamentalism repeatedly issue highly objectionable communal statements putting the position of the party leadership and prime minister Modi in quandary. It may be recalled that from Doon School, he dabbled in journalism, most of his active life was spent as an Indian Foreign Services officer….and yes, post retirement (as the article begins) went where most scoundrels like to end…in Politics! finally, good riddance of bad-stuff!
SUNIL NEGI

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Indira Gandhi is the tallest leader of the century and his name will always be remembered in the annals of Indian and global history in the centuries to come. A towering world personality who as Indian prime minister for 17 long years not only kept the imperialist and colonial powers at bay but endeavoured hard to established cementing relations with the then USSR and now Russia who always came to India’s rescue in terms of its precious contributions in industrial, economic, trade, commerce, cultural and above all military relations, particularly when during the Bangladesh war of 1971 it not only vetoed in UN’s favour in the United nations but also sent its 8th fleet to compell United States of America take a U turn, which was fastly marching towards India in the Indian Ocean to help Pakistan.

These words were expressed by the former Speaker and union minister and the daughter of former defence minister of India late Babu Jagjivan Ram at a function cum seminar organised by the Indo Russian Friendship Society at USSR cutural centre in New Delhi to pay tribute to late prime minister Indira Gandhi on her 1st birth centenary. The title of the seminar was Indira Gandhi’s contribution in strengthening the Indo Russia Friendship during her prime ministership. Those who spoke beside former speaker Meera Kumar were former MP and Delhi State Congrss chief Jai Prakash Aggrawal, the Russian diplomats F Robosky and the director of Russian affairs stationed at New Delhi. Several prominent personalities of various fieds including two Arjun awardee were also felicitated with honours on this occasion. While addressing the august gathering Meira Kumar said that she had seen and known Indira Gandhi as a child when she alongwith her family were shifted to Delhi in 1946 when the forst interim government was formed before general elections and India was to get full freedom in a year or so.

Her father late Babu Jagjivan Ram was also in the first council of ministers that comprised of 19 ministers under the first Indian Prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. It was under the regular guidance of her father that Indira Gandhi was tutored in socio political hierrchy and finally after becoming the prime minister Mrs Gandhi by the dint of her hard work, grit, determination and perceverence not only gave the nation a pro people leadership by empowering the poor, youths, women and peasents socio economically but had also established a strong bond of friendship with Russia by signing a historical peace and friendship treaty alongwith further strengthening the non aligned movement of which she was later on elected the chairman. pronouncing her as the Iron lady of the country Meira kumar said how strong, confident, fearless, brave and powerful was she can be gauged from the fact that during the 1971 war she didn’t care about United State’s intervention of threatening who then stood solidly with Pakistan but creating the vertical division of Pakistan and created Bangladesh.

And when the 7th fleet of America was marching towards India sought the then USSR’s help and requested the latter to send its 8th fleet after which mighty super power had no option but to take a U Turn, thus leading to the enemy nation’s surrender of 90 thousand military soldiers in Dhaka under general Niyazi. Calling a multifaceted and multi dimensional global leader Meira Kumar said that the friedship ties and the treaty signed by Mrs Gandhi during her prime ministership with the then USSR still stands intact and would incessantly continue in the years to come. The Russian Diplomat F Robosky and the Director, Russian Affairs in India called Indira Gandhi as a tall determined towering leader of the 20th century who left no stone unturned to side with USSR keeping the then super power America away. They said Indira Gandhi was a towering personality.who brought adocal socio economic, industrial and military reforms in India despiye facing tremendous dissent within and outside her party and government.

She stood and fought for the poor and encouraged green revolution in India by incorporating modern agricultural inputs and bringing reforms in agricultural sector. Despite USA’ s presure India lead the non aligned movement and succesfully conducted non the aligned summit in Delhi. From 1960 onwards she helped in strengthening the bond of friendship  between India and Russia called strategic partnership between the two countries. Mr. Robosky added that the 1971 Bangladesh war decided the fact that USSR stands with India at the time of crisis who also helped India while vetoing in India’s favour compelling mighty America  to send back its 7th fleet marching towards India in the Indian ocean to attack India.

The period of Indira’s tenure marked the growth of patnership between India and Russia in the field of bipartisan trade, space and military research and also helped India send Indian astraunaut to Moon. In  1970 Russia saw a tremendous growth in the field of cultural and movie exchanges. He further said: She will be remembered in the centuries to come. We cherish her fond memories.The celebration of Indiraji’s 100 anniversary will continue as Russian plans to hold future exhibitions on Indiraji’s memories in Russia and India.

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The Gujarat election is becoming tumultuous and stormy day by day and despite prime minister Narendra Modi’s impressive public meetings enticing full assurance of support from majority of the electorates on Gujarat pride issue, political analysts say that the 24 year old leader Hardik Patel’s increasing anti BJP and pro Rahul and Congress campaign has to a great extent shaken and politically threatened the state’s BJP leadership.

Though there is not an inkling of doubt that various opinion polls have so far shown BJP winning the Gujarat polls, but as the election date is nearing while Nehru Gandhi scion and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Patidar leader carrying the majority support of over 12% votes of the influensive patidar community Hardik Patel, OBC leader Jignesh and Alpesh Thakor have accelerated their political campaigning and vociferous attacks on the ruling BJP including its top leadership, already facing an anti incumbency factor due to its being in power for the last 19 protracted years the enhanced tirade of the opposition seems to have visibly shaken the state ruling party leadership and it was on 12th November that an alleged morphed CD of Hardik Patel was made available to TV channels by unknown sources to defame his image.

This clearly shows how badly is the state BJP shaken and disturbed. However,  equally visibly upset was the Patidar leader then and  had to become offensive when he accused the state BJP leaders of allegedly planting a morphed sex CD showing somebody like him with a woman to pre strategically denigrate his image. Denying and outrightly rejecting the highly objectionable CD showing him with a woman in an uncompromising act Hardik had accused the BJP of intentionally doctoring it to defame his image, reputation and increasing popularity.

He added that it’s the old tactics and habit of BJP that when they become apprehensive of losing the polls they resort to such cheap and unethical practices to defame their political rivals.The BJP has however, outrightly denied. Similarly, the BJP was in a dock earliar, last month, when prior to this incident, one of Hardik’s associate Narendra Patel has presented a first instalment of wads of currency, Rs ten lakhs, in front of the media given to him by the Gujarat state BJP leaders as a bribe to join the BJP assuring 90 lakhs to be presented later on.

Patel’s exposure has really led to the defamation of the BJP when the state campainging for the election is in a full swing. As the dates of elections are nearing the poll of Gujarat has heated up to the maximum with Rahul Gandhi and his entire team holding good number of public meetings being further strengthened as well, by the anti BJP campaigning of Hardik Patel and OBC leaders’ like Jignesh.

However, the Gujarat election this time too seems to be going in favour of the BJP as political analysts say that come what may the Gujarat pride factor and the freebies delivered and assured by prime minister Narendra Modi and his government to the tune of several thousand crores pertaining to its development and jobs to the weaker sections will definitely bore fruits and help in BJP’s return for another term.

The spate of incessant development in Gujarat during and after Modi’s tenure and his every possible efforts to break into the Patidar vote bank by participating in the Narayanswamy Mutt event which comprises of maximum devotees of the patidar community compounded with giving the Gujaraties a direct flight from London to Ahmedabad and a hi speed bullet train project worth more than Rs.100 crores are some of the revolutionary developmental achievements that are bound to go in BJP’S FAVOUR.

Yes, but the Congress is bound to improve its tally this time due to Rahul’s increasing efforts and anti BJP stance of Hardik, Jignesh and Alpesh Thakur the leaders of Patidar, OBC and the dalit communities. However, whatever, may be the result of this election but one thing is definitely confirmed that despite the Congress facing defeats in several states in the recently held elections, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has always kept his moral high as a strong and dashing leader of the oldest political party of the country.

His increasing mobilisation capacity and single handedly taking on the ruling party tirades in Gujarat and Himachal despite all odds has proved beyond doubt that the Gandhi family scion is a horse of long race who believes in strugglung relentlessly even if he loses every battle. This fighting spirit of Rahul Gandhi has atleast kept the spirit of the rank and file of the party renewed with enthusiasm and potent zeal that will definitely help the party come to power again at the centre, sooner or later.

SUNIL NEGI

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These are my pictures of the eighties with the former Union Minister ( three time minister, communications, Petroleum n Chemicals n Finance ) n CM UP,  late H.N. Bahuguna, a renowned political stalwart, rather a statesman  ( would not hesitate to say) addressing few of my friend volunteers at his house, 92 Shahjahan Road, New Delhi who’d volunteered to go to Pauri Garhwal constituency  to campaign for him from where he was contesting as an independent candidate (after leaving Congress in a huff but on principles) against the then Congress candidate Chandramohan Singh Negi. This election was postponed after it was rigged n later HN Bahuguna won by over thirty thousand votes, giving a huge rebuff to the then PM Indiraji as under her directives, the then entire central government was  allegedly involved to ensure his defeat. To substantiate my contention,  I would authentically say that the then home minister Gyani Zail Singh, the chief ministers of the then Congress ruled states viz. Arjun Singh, Madhya Pradesh, Bhajan Lal, Haryana, Darbara Singh from Punjab n several other central ministers, MPs n MLAs’ were deployed at Pauri, Srinagar, Karnprayag, Rudraprayag, Kotdwar n Dehradun with the clear instructions that there should be no dearth of resources to ensure Bahuguna’s defeat who was then considered to be the direct political threat to the then leader of the political establishment at the centre i.e. Smt Gandhi herself. The election assumed historic significance because the then election commissioner SL Shakdhar has taken a serious note of the rigging n other serious malpractices at the behest of Congress through the hired goons from several states outside Uttarakhand. The BBC played a pivotal role to highlight the injustices done against the people of Garhwal n Bahuguna by denying them the fundamental right to vote through coercion n threats. The print media too highlighted it extensively demoralising the then ruling Congress Party. However, this was HN’ s last election from Garhwal as he shifted to Allahabad next time to lose at the hands of the political novice, the popular cine actor n international celebrity Amitabh Bachchan who was the Congress candidate. I’ve been privileged to be in close political proximity of HN Bahugunaji from 1979 till his journey to the eternal home.  I along with my several youth volunteers were deputed as the in-charge of Kot n Choundkot blocks of Pauri Garhwal, being Rajput dominated blocks in both the elections n number of the then opposition political dignitaries like Raj Narain, Tarkeshwari Sinha, C Rajeshwar Rao, Chandra Shekhar etc were campaigning from Bahuguna’s side. Am immensely lucky to be under his political guidance n patronage as I got a golden opportunity to learn a  lot from him. Stalwarts like Indira Gandhi n HN Bahuguna take birth once in centuries. Bahuguna transcended all boundaries of caste, community, religion n races. He was the great secular leader, the inventor of Roza Iftar parties in India.  He was above all n as determined n committed as the Himalayas. As per my fb friend  Gajendra Bahugunaji’s version his memories would leave everybody flabbergasted n spell bound.

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To think about the violence of Partition, is to question the very legitimacy of Pakistan.

According to Gandhi, European ideas can produce violence in attempts to recover past glories. In Pakistan, Partition has only become a publicly debated issue quite recently. To think about the violence of Partition for them, is to question the very legitimacy of the state.

Gandhi was right when he said that no peace between the two is possible until all those who had been driven away are given rights to return and compensation for their losses of life and property.

Gandhi and Jinnah had relied upon communal allegiances, to hold the country together. It was not trust in each other that allowed Indian and Pakistani leaders to agree to Partition, but the famous ‘hostage’ theory, according to which a Hindu or Muslim minority in one country guaranteed the good treatment of its fellows in the other.

It has always been the lack of concern of the citizens of each country for the other, that has kept India and Pakistan united. The imperial character of these diverse societies has kept them united, the mutual relations of citizens of each country defined neither by love nor hatred but indifference.