Our mythology is replete with rich metaphors that contain valuable insights on how we can successfully negotiate the turbulent waters worldly existence. They need to be understood metaphorically as well. To understand them literally is to lose the message contained in them. The blindness of King Dhrithrashtra is not merely physical: he was blinded by his love for Duryodhana (attachment), which he placed above all else, including dharma. That was the key to his undoing. Consider the case of Hanumana, son of Vayu, the “wind god.” As a child, he tried to swallow the sun! Full of mischief, he used to play pranks on sages involved in their austerities until the day came when they could bear it no longer. They cursed him by declaring that he would no longer remember his celestial powers. When his father Vayu heard of the curse, he restrained all movement in the universe.The world began to suffocate as it is impossible to survive without wind. The Gods rushed to him and beseeched him to revoke his stand. But Vayu refused and declared that until the curse on his son is revoked, he would not budge. The Gods approached the sages and understanding the gravity of the situation, they relented by declaring that if anybody recalled his powers, they would be restored to Hanumana. Only then did Vayu relent and the universe returned to its original state. Years later, when Sri Rama was seeking the whereabouts of his beloved Sita, he asked Hanumana if he could cross the ocean and visit Lanka to find out if Sita was alive and well. Hanumana was in a dilemma; how could he cross the ocean? Just then Jambavan, the king of the bears, began reciting Hanumana’s exploits as a child and it is said that as he was singing his praises, Hanumana rose in height, beauty and splendor. His confidence thus restored, he crossed the ocean without difficulty and returned after having performed some extraordinary exploits in Lanka. The insight of this tale is this: the intensity of your problem is determined by the smallness of your mind. If you allow your problem to grow in stature, you become small and thereby allow the problem to become big. On the other hand, if you can outgrow your problem and become a Hanumana, your problem becomes small because you are taller than the problem. If you want to successfully negotiate your life’s challenges, become a Hanumana. In the matter of devotion too, the figure of Hanumana is both inspiring and uplifting. They say in Kali Yuga, devotion is fastest means of achieving merger with the Supreme. When gifted with a garland of pearls by Sita Devi, he placed it upon his ear and bit into it with his teeth. When Sri Rama who was quite taken aback by this behavior asked him what he was doing, he replied by saying, “I want to see whether I can see Your form in these pearls. Otherwise they are of no use to me. Your Name alone is what I want.” On hearing these words, it is said that Lord Rama embraced this peerless devotee and said: “Maruti! What other gift can I give you? I shall give you Myself as the gift. Accept Me.” This is why it is said that we can be sure of Rama’s presence through Hanumana. It is also said that Lord Rama conferred upon Hanumana the gift of immortality and said that as long as His name survived in the world, the name of Hanumana would survive with Him. Once Lord Rama asked him why Hanumana always bowed and knelt to Him when he knew that there was no real difference between him and the Lord. Hanumana replied by saying: “My Lord when I am away from You, I know that there is no difference between you and I but when I come in front of You I can only approach you as Your slave!” Lord Krishna once asked Garuda, His mount, to bring some lotus flowers from the garden of Kubera, king of the yakshas. On the way, Garuda’s ego began to inflate and he thought how there was nobody who was equal to this task than him in the entire universe. Pleased with himself, he reached the garden and began plucking the flowers. Hanumana saw Garuda picking up the flowers and reprimanded him for taking the flowers without securing Kubera’s permission. Bloated by his ego, Garuda replied: “I am taking these flowers for Lord Krishna. I do not need any permission.” Hanuman was annoyed. He caught Garuda in his grasp and headed directly for Dwaraka. The earth trembled in panic. The Lord’s Sudarshana chakra stood in his way but he caught hold of it and held that too, in his armpit. The Lord was watching Hanumana’s actions with a bewitching smile and told his companions: “Hanumana is in a state of anger and he can be pacified only by the darshan of Rama and Sita, his consort. Otherwise he will lift Dwaraka single handed and drown it in the ocean.” Lord Krishna asked several of His consorts to assume the form of Sita but none of them could accomplish that transformation. They eventually called upon Radha Devi and both Lord Krishna and Radha Devi immediately assumed the form of Rama and Sita. Hanumana was overjoyed when he saw the divine couple. He prostrated joyfully to Rama and Sita even as he was firmly holding Garuda and the Sudarshana chakra under his arms. Lord Rama then asked Hanumana what he was holding under his arms and Hanumana gave the Lord, the following reply: “This is nothing my Lord. It is but a small matter. While I was engaged in doing my japa, a little bird came and disturbed me. I caught hold of it and kept it under my arm. Then a little chakra came and disturbed me and I kept that too under my arm. My Lord! If you wanted lotus flowers, all you have to do is to command me and I will bring it in as trice.” Pointing to Garuda, Hanumana said: “This weakling does not have the capacity to pluck flowers from the garden of such a mighty king as Kubera.” Lord Rama then addressed Hanumana: “My son. Leave these poor things with me. I am very happy that you brought them to me. Now go and resume your japa.” Garuda thought he was all powerful and the Sudarshana Chakra thought it was invincible. Lord Krishna’s consorts thought their physical beauty would suffice to make the transformation but they could not. In one powerful instance, the Lord taught them all the need to eschew the ego and surrender it to His sacred feet. Such was the nature of Hanumana’s devotion: pure, innocent and utterly without guile. The wonderful story of Hanumana teaches us many valuable lessons. He was able to cross the sea by the power of chanting His name; his first thought was victory to Lord, never for himself. It was always Jaya Sri Rama or “Victory to Lord Rama” on his lips. From being a monkey, he became an unparalleled devotee of the Lord. This is an instruction to human beings to conquer their monkey minds or as the late Satya Sai Baba said, from being a pashu (creature) to becoming a pashupati or the Lord of all beings. It teaches us the value of expanding our minds to outgrow our difficulties by embedding the inestimable value of devotion and surrender. There is no figure quite like Hanumana.

Our mythology is replete with rich metaphors that contain valuable insights on how we can successfully negotiate the turbulent waters worldly existence. They need to be understood metaphorically as well. To understand them literally is to lose the message contained in them. The blindness of King Dhrithrashtra is not merely physical: he was blinded by his love for Duryodhana (attachment), which he placed above all else, including dharma. That was the key to his undoing.

Consider the case of Hanumana, son of Vayu, the “wind god.” As a child, he tried to swallow the sun! Full of mischief, he used to play pranks on sages involved in their austerities until the day came when they could bear it no longer. They cursed him by declaring that he would no longer remember his celestial powers.

When his father Vayu heard of the curse, he restrained all movement in the universe.The world began to suffocate as it is impossible to survive without wind. The Gods rushed to him and beseeched him to revoke his stand. But Vayu refused and declared that until the curse on his son is revoked, he would not budge.

The Gods approached the sages and understanding the gravity of the situation, they relented by declaring that if anybody recalled his powers, they would be restored to Hanumana. Only then did Vayu relent and the universe returned to its original state. Years later, when Sri Rama was seeking the whereabouts of his beloved Sita, he asked Hanumana if he could cross the ocean and visit Lanka to find out if Sita was alive and well.

Hanumana was in a dilemma; how could he cross the ocean? Just then Jambavan, the king of the bears, began reciting Hanumana’s exploits as a child and it is said that as he was singing his praises, Hanumana rose in height, beauty and splendor. His confidence thus restored, he crossed the ocean without difficulty and returned after having performed some extraordinary exploits in Lanka.

The insight of this tale is this: the intensity of your problem is determined by the smallness of your mind. If you allow your problem to grow in stature, you become small and thereby allow the problem to become big. On the other hand, if you can outgrow your problem and become a Hanumana, your problem becomes small because you are taller than the problem. If you want to successfully negotiate your life’s challenges, become a Hanumana.

In the matter of devotion too, the figure of Hanumana is both inspiring and uplifting. They say in Kali Yuga, devotion is fastest means of achieving merger with the Supreme. When gifted with a garland of pearls by Sita Devi, he placed it upon his ear and bit into it with his teeth. When Sri Rama who was quite taken aback by this behavior asked him what he was doing, he replied by saying, “I want to see whether I can see Your form in these pearls. Otherwise they are of no use to me. Your Name alone is what I want.”

On hearing these words, it is said that Lord Rama embraced this peerless devotee and said: “Maruti! What other gift can I give you? I shall give you Myself as the gift. Accept Me.” This is why it is said that we can be sure of Rama’s presence through Hanumana. It is also said that Lord Rama conferred upon Hanumana the gift of immortality and said that as long as His name survived in the world, the name of Hanumana would survive with Him.

Once Lord Rama asked him why Hanumana always bowed and knelt to Him when he knew that there was no real difference between him and the Lord. Hanumana replied by saying: “My Lord when I am away from You, I know that there is no difference between you and I but when I come in front of You I can only approach you as Your slave!”

Lord Krishna once asked Garuda, His mount, to bring some lotus flowers from the garden of Kubera, king of the yakshas. On the way, Garuda’s ego began to inflate and he thought how there was nobody who was equal to this task than him in the entire universe. Pleased with himself, he reached the garden and began plucking the flowers.

Hanumana saw Garuda picking up the flowers and reprimanded him for taking the flowers without securing Kubera’s permission. Bloated by his ego, Garuda replied: “I am taking these flowers for Lord Krishna. I do not need any permission.” Hanuman was annoyed. He caught Garuda in his grasp and headed directly for Dwaraka. The earth trembled in panic. The Lord’s Sudarshana chakra stood in his way but he caught hold of it and held that too, in his armpit.

The Lord was watching Hanumana’s actions with a bewitching smile and told his companions: “Hanumana is in a state of anger and he can be pacified only by the darshan of Rama and Sita, his consort. Otherwise he will lift Dwaraka single handed and drown it in the ocean.”

Lord Krishna asked several of His consorts to assume the form of Sita but none of them could accomplish that transformation. They eventually called upon Radha Devi and both Lord Krishna and Radha Devi immediately assumed the form of Rama and Sita. Hanumana was overjoyed when he saw the divine couple. He prostrated joyfully to Rama and Sita even as he was firmly holding Garuda and the Sudarshana chakra under his arms.

Lord Rama then asked Hanumana what he was holding under his arms and Hanumana gave the Lord, the following reply: “This is nothing my Lord. It is but a small matter. While I was engaged in doing my japa, a little bird came and disturbed me. I caught hold of it and kept it under my arm. Then a little chakra came and disturbed me and I kept that too under my arm. My Lord! If you wanted lotus flowers, all you have to do is to command me and I will bring it in as trice.”

Pointing to Garuda, Hanumana said: “This weakling does not have the capacity to pluck flowers from the garden of such a mighty king as Kubera.”

Lord Rama then addressed Hanumana: “My son. Leave these poor things with me. I am very happy that you brought them to me. Now go and resume your japa.”

Garuda thought he was all powerful and the Sudarshana Chakra thought it was invincible. Lord Krishna’s consorts thought their physical beauty would suffice to make the transformation but they could not.

In one powerful instance, the Lord taught them all the need to eschew the ego and surrender it to His sacred feet. Such was the nature of Hanumana’s devotion: pure, innocent and utterly without guile.

The wonderful story of Hanumana teaches us many valuable lessons. He was able to cross the sea by the power of chanting His name; his first thought was victory to Lord, never for himself. It was always Jaya Sri Rama or “Victory to Lord Rama” on his lips.

From being a monkey, he became an unparalleled devotee of the Lord. This is an instruction to human beings to conquer their monkey minds or as the late Satya Sai Baba said, from being a pashu (creature) to becoming a pashupati or the Lord of all beings. It teaches us the value of expanding our minds to outgrow our difficulties by embedding the inestimable value of devotion and surrender.

There is no figure quite like Hanumana.

http://indiafacts.co.in/lessons-from-the-story-of-lord-hanumana/

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Stalling India

On the night of August 10 Barkha Dutt was vociferously asking BJP member OP Sharmawhy he had called Alka Lamba a “drug addict”. The man replied that the behaviour of Lamba at his sweet shop made him believe she was “under influence” of some drug or alcohol. It’s a hyperbolic answer but what is interesting is that the questions were being directed at Sharma instead of to the one who committed the crime. Alka Lamba, for whatever her problems in life, had no business barging into a shop and damaging cash registers and other items. This Goondagiri first started in the media as an attack on her (with which she later played victim with frivolous fake bandages) till the CCTV exposed both Lamba and the media. Just imagine what would have happened if the CCTV footage wasn’t available:
1. Alka Lamba CCTV

The woman claims she was hit by a stone on her head. Though no major injuries were visible in the pics circulated on Twitter she bandaged herself and refused to undergo a medical test offered by the Delhi Police. And she also claimed her vandalism was reaction to her injury. Seriously, if one gets injured he or she would attack property inside a shop? One would have thought Arvind Kejriwal & Co. would be more sober after getting a huge majority in the Delhi assembly. On the contrary, their MLAs seem to indulge in more lawlessness than ever before. Here’s what MJ Akbar wrote sometime back and Iquoted him earlier too:
2. MJAkbar AK chaos

AK is less interested in delivering on promises (500 schools, colleges, more hospitals, power, water etc.) and is now talking mundane crap like getting a Film City in Delhi. The AAP hunger for more and more power to be concentrated in their hands is never-ending. The greed is insatiable. Confrontation with LG, PM and others seem to be the order of their lives. At another corner, former member of AAP, Yogendra Yadav, was on his own trip of street agitations with tractors. One doesn’t really know what his problem in life is either – other than being out of news for long.
RahulKanwal Kabrastan

The media also went on another trip of kicking and screaming over the hanging of Yakub Memon as if India had hanged a freedom fighter or hero. The I&B ministry has sent notices to a few channels on their coverage of the event. Although this may not amount to much it is clear that a new regulatory body is a must. Self-regulation by media is as much nonsense as Tihar prisoners wanting to have their own set of wardens from among the inmates. Rahul Kanwal of India Today even relays message on behalf of the terrorist to assemble at his funeral, with the time, while agencies are keeping a watch. If this is not inciting some kind of untoward incident or violence, what is it? This, and others, claim GOI is imposing another Emergency on media. This cannot pass under any journalistic license. I don’t see why inciters like Rahul Kanwal shouldn’t be arrested:
3. MC Rahul Sushma Fin

The idea is to create a climate of chaos in the country – to make the world believe that India has gone into deep disrepair under a new dispensation when the facts indicate otherwise. That was AAP which is now in power in Delhi; imagine when they’re out of power. In another corner of Delhi, the two ChineseGandhis are doing more than all these put together to ensure India doesn’t move forward, India doesn’t get reforms and are doing all they can to stall India through their rioting in the Parliament. They don’t have any genuine cause to disrupt parliament. Even as they claimSushma-Lalit Modi is an issue, it certainly doesn’t warrant such extended disruption of parliament. The only thing hanging in the balance for Congress is the bruised ego ofSoniaG and her duffer son RahulG. The major political and electoral losses the Congress has suffered in the last year or so has left this duo clueless on how to revive the party. Sample this nonsense from the little moron:
4. LS Bills Pending

Pappu says SS must reveal her financial transactions with Lalit Modi. And the BJP or SS are supposed to answer such stupid, imaginary nonsense? If he has any information, it is for RG to table that and demand answers. There were many media reports on billions worth of assets of SoniaG. The Congress and its lawyers worked hard to have those articles deleted when there isn’t any such article published yet about SS or her financial deals with Lalit Modi. So these bogus excuses are used by Sonia and Rahul to stall the parliament. And the headless wonder even calls SS a “criminal” for no reason other than empty blabber. I have no hesitation in making this statement:

“Sonia and Rahul want India to fail”

They want India to fail because of their extreme contempt for Narendra Modi and their unbearable loss of power at the Centre and in many key states. Of course, the poor, the farmers and all are just there for them to exploit not to serve. They are behaving like monkeys whose bananas have been taken away. One can find many faults with the GOI but not one single issue claimed by the Congress is really worth holding up the parliament for. And the objective is simple – don’t allow any Bills to be passed. And I have stated this many times earlier SoniaG doesn’t want any Bills to be passed whatsoever. And her duffer son, who is mostly abroad, goes around and agitates with FTII students or some group while ignoring dying farmers in the Congress state of Karnataka. Beyond street-theatre these two have nothing to offer to our parliament or to our country. They offered nothing to our parliament even when Congress was in power. Here is a summary of some major Bills held up in parliament, of a total of 64:
5. Jaitley Blame Sonia

On August 10 Arun Jaitley slammed the Chair in Rajya Sabha on the latter’s inability to conduct the House properly. It is true that both Kurien and Ansari have not shown the slightest wish to discipline the house. The LS Speaker at least took the step of suspending 25 rioting members of Congress. I use the term rioting for these members because they weren’t at their seats shouting and protesting. They had carried placards like a street rally into the Well of the house. This is nothing short of rioting on a daily basis. They did so even when a Bhutanese delegation was in parliament to witness proceedings. And the BJP has an equal amount of blame to share because they have all along treated these ChineseGandhis with kid-gloves and ignored how vicious and vindictive they really are. It is time that the PM and his party realised that these folks are only interested in their favourite “poison” called power. Without power, they have shown what gutter-levels they can stoop to. If the BJP has made a start then they must continue exposing the misdeeds of these Gandhis every week.

Now then, the question that comes up in mind is why these Gandhis are into such belligerent, lumpen behaviour. I have no doubts whatsoever that some of the Congress MPs and other members of the party would be embarrassed by their churlish behaviour. I consider SoniaG the “Congotri” of corruption which has destroyed India. Many other actions of hers which were anti-majority have also caused social ruptures in a decade. In rioting the way these two Gandhis do like spoilt kids what do they lose? NOTHING!They lose nothing but they are making sure India loses a lot.

Since the LS2014 verdict there isn’t much by the way of electoral victories to show for the Congress. And what is in store in the near future for Congress? The upcoming elections in Bihar this year, Bengal next year and even UP in 2017 have absolutely a SIBAL in store for Congress. They have no stakes in these states and they know it well. Last time in Bihar they got a high of 4 seats. So even as these Gandhis know public opinion is turning against them for destroying the parliament they know they have nothing to lose and absolutely nothing to win. That drives their motivation to agitate and disrupt and ensure no bills are passed in parliament. They probably hope the public will forget all this in 2-3 years. I estimate this nonsense will not last forever. Already the SP and some other parties have seen through the fraudulent disruptions and backed away from the Congress. As public anger grows it will be the Gandhis who will pay the most. Of course, they have no stake in India’s progress as their behaviour has shown. The only objective with which they work now is stalling India. That devious motive is destined to bring more failures to them.

http://www.mediacrooks.com/2015/08/stalling-india.html

THE APPALLING DEFENCE OF A CONVICTED TERRORIST

Joginder Singh

It is amazing to see how some people advocate for foreign terrorists and plead legal mercy for those who have shed the blood of Indians, and still enjoy the freedoms and privileges enshrined in the Constitution of India
In India, there are a number of people who are push for lost causes. Some do not even know that what they are pleading for is not only anti-national, but also lacks common sense. After 22 years in the legal system, a lone terrorist — Yakub Memon — whose actions along with those of others, led to the death of 257 people and injured over 1,500 people, was executed by the Indian state.

However, some worthies muddied the waters by trying to stop his execution, that was ordered after the due process of law had been followed and every legal option exhausted. Some sections of the media even quoted social media websites in support of the terrorist.

Notably, though the Governor of Tripura went against the grain. After hundreds turned out to receive Yakub Memon’s body in Mumbai, he said, “Intelligence should keep a tab on all (except relatives and close friends) who assembled for Yakub Memon’s corpse burial. Many are potential terrorists.”

There is nothing wrong in what the Governor said. Anti-nationals had made a hero out of a terrorist. In fact, one could argue that those who tried hard to save this butcher of hundreds of innocents and made loud cries even against the Supreme Court verdict, should be kept under watch. Also, the intelligence agencies should keep a tab on media funds because the Press also make Yakub Memon a hero. It is so shameful to see this.

It has been rightly said that, “anybody siding with the enemy and waging a war against the nation will henceforth be culled mercilessly, as he has forfeited, his right to live, for taking the life of others. Humanitarianism is for humans and not for animals” — be it India, France, the US or anywhere else.

Those who dare disturb the peace, should face consequences from the police. If one is a civilised Indian, one can succeed and be respected like former President APJ Abdul Kalam. However, if one tries to be Yakub Memon, he will be hanged.

What a tragedy, internal security should be vigilant, specifically for those jaydraths — the 40 people who signed the petition should be closely watched. These are the people who worry about injustice to mass murderers, but do not care about those who are murdered.

There is a competition between the print media and visual media to sensationalise news, and only a few of them have reminded the people, about the past incidents of terrorism, including the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts. There have been 13 terror attacks in Maharashtra in the last two decade, which has left 501 people dead. But barring the trial in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, no other matter has made headway as far as investigation is concerned or even in the legal system.

Beginning from the Ghatkopar blast in December 2, 2002, where two people were killed and the triple blasts in July 13, 2011, as many as 501 people were killed and more than 2,200 people were injured, as per official data. The 1993 Mumbai blasts was a series of well coordinated blasts, which was one of the deadliest in free India’s history. However, only one of the accused was hanged, on July 30 this year. Mumbai has always been on terrorist’s and gangster’s pointmap.

Many Indian and Pakistani smugglers provided funds for these attacks and India has also alleged that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence played a major role in these attacks. It was believed that the training and recruitment of the terrorists happened in Pakistan.

On September 24, 2002, the Akshardham temple was attacked in Ahmedabad. Two terrorists — Murtuza Hafiz Yasin and Ashraf Ali Mohammed Farooq — who belonged to the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and Jaish-e-Mohammed entered Akshardham temple at around 3pm with automatic weapons and hand grenades. They started firing on men women and children and killed 31 people and injured 80. Both terrorists were gunned down by National Security Guard commandos by night. As many as 31 citizens died and 80 were injured in this attack.

On September 13, 2008, a series of three bomb blasts took place in capital of India. This serial blast was conducted by a Pakistan-based terrorist organisation. Some 63 people died and 210 people were injured. On July 11, 2006, the Bombay train blast, was a series of seven blasts that took place in a Mumbai local train. This was one of the biggest terrorist attack after 1993 blast in Mumbai. All the bombs were planted in first class coaches of local trains inside a pressure cooker. After a series of investigation, it was found that the Indian Mujahideen, a banned a terrorist organisation, was responsible for these attacks.This blast took a toll of 210 people and injured around 715 people.

On May 13, 2008, a blast in Jaipur was a series of nine synchronised bomb blast that took place in a span of 15 minutes. A 10th bomb was also found and defused by the authorities. This was a shocking incident for India as Jaipur was never targeted by the terrorists. The casualties in this case was 63 and around 210 people were injured.

On October 30, 2008, the target was Assam. This time, Guwahati, the capital of Assam was on target. As much as 18 bomb blasts at different locations shook the city which resulted in fatal causalities and civilian loss. Around 81 people died and 470 were injured.

On December 13, 2001, came an attack on the Indian Parliament. Five terrorists, belonging to the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed group attacked the most secure building of India — Parliament. Though the fatalities were reduced, as all the terrorists were killed before they could reach main building, but even the fact that these terrorists succeeded in entering Parliament was in itself, a horrific truth. The terrorists used fake stickers of Parliament and the Home Ministry to breach security. As amany as six policemen and three staff members of Parliament died in this attack.

On February 14, 1998, an Islamist fundamentalist group conducted a series of 12 bomb blasts at 11 different locations in Coimbatore. The main target of this attack was BJP leader LK Advani. Most of the blasts were planted at Hindu-dominating areas due to which the majority of the victims were Hindus. More than 200 people were injured and 60 died in this incident.

It is amazing how some people support foreign terrorists and still enjoy the benefit of the Constitution and have the freedom and plead the causes of the killers of Indians.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/edit/the-appalling-defence-of-a-convicted-terrorist.html

Holding Parliament to ransom: The Alice in Wonderland politics of Rahul Gandhi and Anand Sharma

MJ Akbar

The centre of gravity in any democracy is best measured by the credibility of its Parliament, an institution that fuses a core Puritan simplicity with a Catholic electoral horizon. There is position, represented by government. There is opposition. The space in between is occupied by debate. Socrates, famously, established democracy’s philosophical principles when he replaced competition with dialogue.

After six decades of experience, Indian democracy has come to a curious pass. A government insists on discussion over an opposition demand, and opposition rejects debate. Congress, under the elbow-jerk leadership of Rahul Gandhi, wants verdict now, trial later. If you insist on judgment without discussion, what is left to discuss? The mordant joke doing the rounds is that Rahul will do anything to avoid speaking in Parliament.

Parliament proceedings are no longer a closed-door affair, reported and interpreted by a select few from print media. Television cameras have democratised debate to a spectacular degree. Members speak in front of the largest jury in history, in the court of public opinion. By sabotaging debate, Congress is denying the Indian people the opportunity to hear evidence from all sides, and then make up their minds.

Sushma Swaraj has said as many times as she has been asked that she is ready to make a statement in the house so that MPs have the liberty to respond, criticise, analyse or support her case on merits. It is Congress, for reasons unfathomable, that refuses to engage. If Congress is dissatisfied with Swaraj’s explanation, it can mount a counteroffensive in the house or elsewhere, before a watching and listening nation.

If Congress feels that it has not got satisfaction from this parliamentary process, it can consider other options. After all, the life of this Parliament is not going to end this week, or this year or next year. There is time enough. So why does Rahul hold Parliament to ransom even before a preliminary requirement of democracy is underway?

Congress is not talking of a boycott of only one debate. It wants to shut Parliament as an institution unless a cabinet minister and two chief ministers resign. This is Alice in Wonderland politics: “Off with his head!” said the Queen. Why? “Because I say so.”

Perhaps the truth is simple: You shout instead of talking only when you have nothing to say.

The argument one hears from Congress MPs has, in essence, two parts. One was articulated by Congress front-bencher Anand Sharma in the Times of India last week, that Congress cabinet ministers and a chief minister resigned despite being, at least in the Sharma morality play, “innocent”. Let us examine this proposition. Why did Congress ask its ministers to resign if they were innocent? Why should anyone who is innocent be punished? That is utterly weak governance.

The plainer fact is that no one was innocent. One cabinet minister was reprimanded by the Supreme Court for altering evidence. A second had to go when his close relative was caught making money. They did not resign because of mere allegations. They went only when proof appeared in the public domain through a competent process.

The second part is that BJP also stalled Parliament. But BJP only did so towards the end of the second term, when public anger at scams had climbed to boiling point.

If you recall massive scams like 2G or coal mines or Adarsh, it took years of investigation before guilt was established, through constitutional instruments like CAG, which established loss of revenue running into hundreds of thousands of crores.

The telecommunications rip-off occurred during the first UPA term, as the Radia tapes showed; the confrontation came only later in the second term after the CAG report, particularly when senior Congress intellectuals like Kapil Sibal insisted that there was “zero loss”.

The investigative process in the Lalit Modi case, as any check with the courts will confirm, is being intensified only now. Memory is not as short as some would wish it to be. UPA filed nothing more than a FEMA case against Modi and made little effort to get the accused back after he had disappeared to London.

UPA was in power when Modi took the flight to London, and did little to stop his departure. Today, in the Vyapam matter, the high court has been given charge of investigations, and is satisfied that both STF and SIT are doing their work with integrity.

Congress asked for CBI intervention; the government agreed very quickly. Contrast this with Rahul Gandhi’s inability to see anything wrong with the extortion of money from liquor barons, recorded on video, by an aide of Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, or the silence about Himachal Pradesh’s Applegate controversy, where Vir Bhadra Singh’s apples became pricier than those grown in the Garden of Eden.

Governments today have to respond fast, and transparently, not because any opposition party wants this to happen, but because India’s public opinion will not tolerate any cover-up. Our citizens constitute the most stringent judiciary in history. If Indian democracy is safe, it is because of the vigilance of citizens, not the outbursts of politicians.

The writer is an author, editor and national spokesperson of BJP

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/thesiegewithin/holding-parliament-to-ransom-the-alice-in-wonderland-politics-of-rahul-gandhi-and-anand-sharma/