Friday, 19 September 2014

Why I help Kashmiris
Some persons said to me that since I am a Kashmiri Pandit, why do I want to help the Kashmiri Muslims in the recent calamity, although they had committed terrible atrocities on the Kashmiri Pandits, who were only a tiny minority and not harming anyone, and driven them out of Kashmir.
 I replied, firstly, two wrongs do not make one right.
Secondly, all Kashmiri Muslims did not commit atrocities on Kashmiri Pandits, though some of them definitely did.
Thirdly, all Kashmiris are one by blood, and our DNA is the same, whether we are Hindu or Muslims. Kashmir is the land of my ancestors, and its tie to me can never be broken.
 And fourthly, as an Indian it is my duty to help fellow Indians.
 No doubt some Kashmiris do not regard Kashmir as part of India, and demand separation from India. However, in my opinion such persons are totally deluded and  misguided by some vested interests who have their own selfish agenda. Instead of asking for separation, which should and will never be granted, all Kashmiris should reconsider the issue, and now demand that not only Kashmir should remain a part of India, but even Pakistan should once again become a part of India.
 Pakistan is a fake, artificial country created by the British to keep Hindus and Muslims fighting each other. It will definitely be one day reunited with India under a strong secular modern minded government which will not tolerate religious extremism of any kind and crush it with an iron hand.
  The people of Kashmir have suffered terribly due to the recent floods, and are still suffering. At this moment all that is relevant is ways of helping them in their hour of crisis. All other considerations are in my opinion irrelevant.
Omar Abdullah and Churchill
When the floods came to J&K the Chief Minister. Omar Abdullah reportedly pleaded his helplessness in this calamity. In today's  'Indian Express ' ( page 11 of the issue of 19.9. 2014 ) it is reported that   when his neighbours needed help they found the gates of his house shut. Many of his Ministers reportedly fled with their families to Jammu, leaving the people of Kashmir in the lurch. Some were said to have flown out to Delhi.
Contrast this with the behaviour of the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the Second World War
 When Nazi Germany was about to attack and invade England in 1940, and when England's fortune seemed to be at a very low ebb considering the mighty German war machine, Churchill said ( on 4.6. 1940 ) in a famous speech : " We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and the streets, we shall fight on the hills, we shall never surrender. "
 Churchill was often seen walking on the streets of London and mingling with the crowds even at the height of the London Blitz by the Luftwaffe. Omar refuses even to meet his neighbours in distress, as reported.
 But I suppose Omar is no Churchill.
Pakistan is a fake, artificial entity
I read on page 12 of today's The Hindu newspaper that a liberal Professor in Karachi University, Prof. Mohammed Shakil Auj, was gunned down in his car by some persons.
 I have repeatedly said that Pakistan is no country, it is a fake artificial entity created by the British to keep Hindus and Muslims fighting each other, so that India does not emerge as a modern, powerful highly industrialized state ( for which it has all the potential ). The solution is reunification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh under a secular, modern minded state which will not tolerate religious extremism of any kind and crushes it with an iron hand.
 What is Pakistan ? It is Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and NWFP. These were all part of India in the time of Ashoka ( his edicts are still there ), Akbar, and the British.
  Moreover, a state created on the basis of religion in a sub continent with such diversity as ours is simply not viable, and it would certainly be torn apart, as is happening. Pakistan has become a Jurassic Park, with pre-historic monsters roaming around everywhere killing people and making peoples' lives hell.
 My answer to those people who say that Pakistan was created 67 years ago, and we cannot turn the wheel of history back, is that Taiwan was created 69 years back, but China has still refused to recognize it. And since the very purpose of creating Pakistan was to keep Hindus and Muslims fighting each other, should we keep on fighting ?  Are we fools ?
Since I am going to Nepal someone commented on my facebook post that I should go to casinos. I replied that I never bet.
Once a relative of mine ( who is very fond of me ) took me to Las Vegas in U.S.A. He took me to The Strip, and into a casino ( if I recollect correctly, it was Caesar's Palace ). He offered me some money to bet. I refused. He told me that I would not have to pay him back even if I lost. I said that it was not a question of having to pay him back or not, it was  a matter of principle. The Mahabharata teaches that one should never bet. The Pandavas even lost their wife, Draupadi, for indulging in betting. So I never bet.
 This reference to the Mahabharata totally floored him ! He never asked me to bet thereafter.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Jai Ho !
While the people of Karnataka are suffering from the floods, some Karnataka M.L.A.s are touring Europe, lunching in Paris, dining in Rome. Jai Ho !

J&K Media delegation meets Union I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar

The J&K Media delegation led by Mr. G H Kaloo, President, J&K Press Association accompanied by me met the Hon'ble Union Minister for I&B, and Environment Mr. Prakash Javadekar this evening at his office. The delegation informed the Minister about the situation in Kashmir and the urgent requirements there. The Minister promised that the Government of India will do everything to help the people of J&K.

The Minister has also fixed up a meeting between the DAVP and the delegation tomorrow at 11 am.

I am leaving for Nepal tomorrow and shall be returning on the 23rd evening. I am the Chief Guest at the Nepal Press Day on the 22nd September.

If possible, I will continue posting on Facebook from Nepal.

On 23rd evening at 6 pm there is a function in the German Embassy at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi at 6 pm in support of the people of J&K.

Media Interaction at the National Media Centre

A delegation of the J&K media held a press conference at the National Media centre at New Delhi today. Mr. Ram Jethmalani, Senior Advocate and MP presided. Among the prominent persons present were Mr. Majeed Memon, MP, Mr. Vinod Mehta, Senior Journalist and others.

I conducted the proceedings.

Mr. G H Kaloo the head of the delegation, Mr. Rehmatullah and Mr. Nasir Ahmad Khora, members of the delegation spoke first and described the situation in Kashmir and the help required to deal with it. Mr. Majeed Memon said that he would send a team of doctors from Mumbai. Mr. Vinod Mehta said that it was sad that Mr. Omar Abdullah the Chief Minister instead of dealing with the crisis pleaded his helplessness.  Mr. Ram Jethmalani said that he had visited Kashmir in August and a Sindhi Hindu girl there predicted this calamity. She was rescued by some Muslim Kashmiri boys. At the end of the function a resolution was passed calling for the people of India to help people of J&K in every way in their hour of crisis.

In the end, I appealed  to all people in India and abroad to help the people of J&K in whichever way they wanted.

In the evening at 7 pm, the delegation accompanied by me will meet Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Minister of I&B and Environment.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

J&K delegation meets Union Home Minister

Just came back with the delegation of J&K media persons who had come from J&K, after meeting the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh at his office. The meeting lasted about 45 minutes. Mr. G H Kaloo, President, J&K Press Association, who led the delegation presented a Memorandum to the Home Minister mentioning the situation in J&K and the urgent as well as the long term requirements of the people there. Several members of the delegation expressed their views. The Home Minister assured them that all help would be given by the Central Govt, and described in some detail about the measures being taken for rescue and relief work.

The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere, and at the end the delegates all thanked the Home Minister for giving so much of its valuable time.

Tomorrow, i.e. Thursday, 18th September, 2014 the delegation will hold a Press Conference at National Media Centre at 11 A.M., to inform the media and the public about the situation in J&K and the requirements there.

The Media and the general public are invited to this Press Conference, in which at first the members of the delegation of the J&K will inform the situation and the needs, and thereafter respond to the questions put to them.

I will preside over the conference.

Everyone is cordially invited.

Invitation for the Press Conference at National Media Centre on 18/09/2014 at 11 A.M.

A delegation of Media persons from J&K has arrived in New Delhi. Tomorrow, i.e. Thursday, 18th September, 2014 they will hold a Press Conference at National Media Centre at 11 A.M., to inform the media and the public about the situation in J&K and the requirements there.

The Media and the general public are invited to this Press Conference, in which at first the members of the delegation of the J&K   will inform the situation and the needs, and thereafter respond to the questions put to them.

I will preside over the conference.

You all are cordially invited.

For any queries, contact Mr. SK Sharma on 9899001684.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Shantiparva of Mahabharata
When I became a Judge in the Allahabad High Court in 1991 I was new to the job. So I thought of getting some guidance as to how to function as a Judge, and for that I turned to  the Shantiparva of the Mahabharata.
  When the Mahabharat war was over, Bheeshma Pitamah, the eldest among the Kaurav warriors, was lying on a bed of arrows. Lord Krishna told Yudhishthir that soon he was to become the King, as the Kauravas had been defeated. So he must learn statecraft ( raj dharma), and the best person to teach him this was Bheeshma Pitamah, who was shortly going to give up his body, and therefore this was the best opportunity to learn from him.
 On Lord Krishna's suggestion, Yudhishthir went to Bheeshma Pitamah, and after paying obeisance to him, started asking him questions as to how a king should conduct himself. Yudhishthir would ask him one question, and Bheeshma Pitamah would reply. Then Yudhishthir would ask another question, and received the reply to that too. In this way almost the whole of Shantiparva consists of questions and answers.
 Among the things which Bheeshma Pitamah said to Yudhishthir was contained in this shloka :
 " Mridur hi raja satatam langhyo bhavati sarvashah
   Teekshrnyaat cha udvijate lokah, tasmaat ubhayam aashraya "
  " If the King is always lenient, nobody pays heed to his orders
    And if he is always harsh the people become terrorized
   Therefore a King should sometimes be lenient and sometimes harsh ( depending on the circumstances ) "
 Bheeshma Pitamah said the same thing in another shloka of the Shantiparva :
" Tasmaat naiva mridur nityam teekshno naiva bhavet nripah
   Vaasantarka iva shriman na sheeto na cha dharmadah "
 " Just as in the springtime ( vasant ritu ) the Sun makes the weather neither too cold nor too hot, so also the King should neither be too harsh nor too lenient "
 Bheeshma Pitamah goes on to say :
" The King should not always forgive, for then the wicked people shall regard him as weak and ignore him.
The King should take care of people who cannot take care of themselves, e.g. the old and the infirm. and punish the wicked.
 O Yudhishthir, I know that by nature you are forgiving and merciful, but the state cannot be governed in this manner. By always forgiving and being merciful, you will be regarded as a coward by the people and not given  respect.
 O Yudhishthir. you must never oppress the weak or the poor, for then their anger will one day become like a raging fire and devour you. "
 There were many other such marvellous shlokas in the Shantiparva.
  I was totally absorbed in reading and thinking about all this for a long time. How could our ancestors think out such detailed and sagacious features of statecraft thousands of years ago ? What kind of people were they ? What sublime, lofty, and exalted ideas !
 The judicial function is a sovereign function, and used to be performed in earlier times by the King himself. Later, when the King acquired many other functions, he delegated the judicial function to his delegates, who became known as Judges. So the advice of Bheeshma Pitamah applies not only to Kings, but also to Judges.
  I followed this advice throughout my 20 year judicial career, from 1991 when I was appointed Judge of Allahabad High Court, to 2011 when I retired as a Supreme Court Judge.
  If a case came before me of a hardened criminal, or a big time financial crook, or of 'honour killing ', ' encounter killing ', dowry death,  harrassment of the poor by the rich and powerful, etc I was very harsh and gave harsh punishment.
 But if the case was of a handicapped person, a widow, a person in distress for no fault of his, an orphan, an oppressed or poor person, etc I was very tender and compassionate, and tried to bend the law as much as I could in his favour to give him relief.
 I recommend everyone to read the Shantiparva of the Mahabharata