Jail or outside, we Chautalas stand together. Hours after the judgement was delivered, my family and friends procured three excellent high-breed buffaloes and two cows to accompany me to Tihar jail. You see, this is a Chautala family tradition. When patriarch Devi Lal left native Haryana to settle down in Delhi as deputy PM, he took with him a bunch of cows and buffaloes. We will have to organise sheds and enough fodder for the animals this time. Hopefully, the Tihar jail authorities will not raise any objections or the Haryanvi kisans will be on the streets of Delhi.
For me myself, it is a time to reflect. What is 10 years in the life of a politician? And anyway, have you ever seen an Indian political leader spend long years behind bars? There are appeals and things like that and we are certain the higher courts will set me free. In the meantime, my faithful sons have booked a few deluxe suites in Delhi’s hospitals because people like us always fall ill when we are arrested. Mind you, I am 78 and age is respected in this country. What I am puzzled by is why CBI judge Vinod Kumar found me guilty. After all, I was only doing something for the good of Haryana, adding 3,206 ‘talented’ state primary school teachers to the roster. You won’t believe it, but me, my son Ajay and some handpicked IAS officers worked round the clock, going through the syllabus, setting question papers for the recruitment exam, correcting the answer books, tabulating the marks and so on. It was one massive job, never before undertaken by any state CM. I expected at least a Padma Vibhushan but instead got 10 years in the clinker.
I ask you, unless we have talented teachers, how will Haryana produce talented students? To keep the Haryana flag flying, we need young men and women to join our famous khap panchayats and administer traditional justice. ‘Catch them young’ is my slogan and that was why we had to start with primary schools and their teachers. Despite great leaders like us, Haryana always felt left out of mainstream intellectual life in India. That fellow, V.S. Naipaul, I am told, wrote a book called, India: An Area of Darkness. We will not rest until another Nobel prize winner produces a book, ‘Haryana: An Area of Darkness’. This will be possible only if we have the right kind of primary teachers.
My secret diary, which will now be completed in Tihar jail, will pay handsome tributes to the other 54 convicted people in the case. And what wonderful variety we have among us! IAS officers, senior babus, MLAs and so on convicted for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy. Once we are comfortably ensconced in our cells, we shall hold special classes for other Tihar inmates and impart our own specialised knowledge to them.
The Mumbai-based satirist is the creator of ‘Trishanku’; E-mail your secret diarist: vgangadhar70 AT gmail.com
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
A great piece of writing,indeed!But the irony is that these politicians have no feeling of guilt or remorse.They are rather claiming it a great service done to the unemployed youth of Haryana,without realizing how many deserving & poor candidates(who couldn't pay bribes)were left without a job.This is the height of the shamelessness!!
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