Jost Zetzsche Tool Kit

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The present Miss France is future interpereter!!!!!!!!

This good news has come from this post of not just another translation blog from our French colleague Laurent.

For our francophone colleagues no problem, go and read directly in French that post. For others, I give below the English translation.

Your kind attention please, exclusive information! Yours truly has sacrificed his Saturday evening for a highly cultural transmission. He is now giving you this hot news in advance: the new Miss France is an upcoming interpreter!

The news arrived just now: Malika Menard, a girl from Normandie, who is anything but a cow, was elected as  Miss France 2010. The 22 year old lady is studying in the third year of the licence course in Applied Foreign Languages (Licence L.E.A.), English-Italian (
well, I am reminded of my young days) at Caen, with the idea of becoming conference interpreter.

With such talents, no marks for guessing that whispered interpreting will have a bright future!

Now back to Dondu N. Raghavan. The allusion to a cow may be incomprehensible to the non-francophones. Actually it is word play in the original French blog post. The sentence in original reads, "Malika Menard, une Normande qui n'a rien d'une vache, a été élue Miss France 2010". I was a little foxed by the reference to a vache in this context. Then I took recourse to my colleagues in the word reference forum. 

The query raised therein along with the responses can be seen here. Here I was informed that the word Normande refers to a lady from Normandie as well as a cow of the breed Normande.

Hence my allusion to the cow in my translation. Now I went to the original French blog post and gave a comment referring to the word reference forum in question.

Laurent was kind enough in coming to the concerned word reference forum and clarifying as follows.

"I am the author of the original blog post. I was contacted by Raghavan to give some explanation about my sentence. I never meant to make fun about that young lady : I simply made an allusion to the fact that she's from Normandy, but looks nothing like a Normandy cow (Nicomon perfectly understood this).

But anyway, I'm gonna have to correct my blog post: it is not the new Miss France who wants to be interpreter, but Miss Côte d'Azur, who came 6th".

Well, well, even the Miss Côte d'Azur will make a nice whisper interpreter, says Dondu N. Raghavan. :)))

Dondu N. Raghavan


Thursday, November 05, 2009

OCR available in MS Office 2003 itself

Many thanks to Jill Sommer for her posting on the above subject. This post is solely with a view to bookmark the details. Lest this post should be lost in future further reference is given to this post in German by Textlation.

Thanks a lot folks.

Dondu N. Raghavan

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Men become fools while speaking to pretty women

Don't we all know it? Yet, there are people out to prove it by means of a study.

My friend Chandrasekhar brought my attention to this article by Pat Hagan in Telegraph, UK.

I have seen too often that a pretty but dumb blonde finds it easy almost always to make a very wise man dance to her tune. This is the general consensus. How about making a scientific study on the subject? That is what has been achieved in the research study as mentioned in this post.

Here it has been seen that men who spend even a few minutes in the company of an attractive woman perform less well in tests designed to measure brain function than those who chat to someone they do not find attractive. Shall we then say, "Chat with not so pretty ladies before attempting some brain teasing tasks"? The answer seems to be in the affirmative.

Researchers who carried out the study, published in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, think the reason may be that men use up so much of their brain function or 'cognitive resources' trying to impress beautiful women, they have little left for other tasks.

The findings have implications for the performance of men who flirt with women in the workplace, or even exam results in mixed-sex schools.

Women, however, were not affected by chatting to a handsome man.

This may be simply because men are programmed by evolution to think more about mating opportunities. And a woman has it easier to find a man and make him interested in having sex with her. A coquettish glance, with occasional brushing of her breasts and other attractive parts against the man's body works wonders. It is quite another matter that a sane woman will not attempt this lightly, lest the man should become too much aroused and is not ready to withdraw if the woman has second thoughts. Hence her usual reticences. We should also remember that it is only the woman who becomes pregnant in the end and not the man!

The study goes on to say that one of the male subjects was so struck on impressing an attractive woman he had never met before, that he could not remember his address when she asked him where he lived.

It was as if he used up all his cognitive resources in trying hard to make an impression on the lady he was reacting with.

To see if other men were affected in the same way, they recruited 40 male heterosexual students.

Each one performed a standard memory test where they had to observe a stream of letters and say, as fast as possible, if each one was the same as the one before last.

The volunteers then spent seven minutes chatting to male or female members of the research team before repeating the test.

The results showed men were slower and less accurate after trying to impress the women. The more they fancied them, the worse their score.

But when the task was repeated with a group of female volunteers, they did not get the same results. Memory scores stayed the same, whether they had chatted to a man or a woman.

In a report on their findings the researchers said: 'We conclude men's cognitive functioning may temporarily decline after an interaction with an attractive woman.'

Psychologist Dr George Fieldman, a member of the British Psychological Society, said the findings reflect the fact that men are programmed to think about ways to pass on their genes.

'When a man meets a pretty woman, he is what we call 'reproductively focused'.

'But a woman also looks for signs of other attributes, such as wealth, youth and kindness. Just the look of the man would be unlikely to have the same effect.'

In other words, a woman has her head screwed correctly on her head and does not lose it easily, unlike the man who does.

Dondu N. Raghavan

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fun with machine translation party

This is my latest post in the translators' portal,

There is a lot of (horror) stories about machine translation. My favorite story for the last thirty years goes like this.

The sentence "Out of sight, out of mind" is well known. If you do not see a person for a long time, you tend to forget him. This is true of really famous stars, who suddenly stop acting and fade away from the public gaze. Within a short span of time people just forget them and new people who come on to the scene, have not even heard of them. You got the picture? More about this later.

Let us come back to the sentence, "Out of sight, out of mind". It seems that this sentence was fed into a computer for translation into Russian. The resulting sentence was fed into another computer for translating back into English. The sentence that came out was "Invisible idiot".

You will have to keep in mind that this story has been circulating for more than 30 years and at that time machine translation was not that much known.

Have things become better? I was reading this post about machine translation by google translate and was introduced to this hilarious game.

One sentence in English is to be typed in a box for the purpose of back and forth translation. The moment you click for finding the equilibrium, the machine translation program goes on translating from English into Japanese and back to English and so on, till two successive English sentences are the same. Then you get the message saying that the equilibrium is found.

I give below the result I found. The original sentence describes a beautiful maiden coming to a garden along with her playmates and gets separated from them. She meets a handsome man and falls in love with him. A typical start to a love story.

The young charming heroine out on a game in a garden with her friends gets separated from the latter and wanders around.

into Japanese

back into English
The heroine in the game in a small attractive garden with her friend, separated from the parade around the latter.

back into Japanese

back into English
Her friend, a charming garden, separated by a small parade around the latter, the heroine of the game.

back into Japanese

back into English
Her friend, an attractive garden, separated by a small parade around the latter, the hero of the game.

back into Japanese

back into English
Her friend, an attractive garden, separated by a small parade around the latter, the hero of the game.

Equilibrium found! That's deep, man.

I am curious. Let us now try the sentence "Out of sight, out of mind" and see what we get. Here goes:

Out of sight, out of mind

into Japanese

back into English
Heart out of sight

back into Japanese

back into English

Eye heart

back into Japanese

back into English

back into Japanese

back into English

back into Japanese

back into English

Equilibrium found!

There you are. Have a nice day.

Dondu N. Raghavan

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Modi interview Part - 2

'The agricultural growth in my Gujarat is 14%, but no one looks at it'

In the first part of his interview, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi toldSaisuresh Sivaswamy and Nikhil Lakshman that he planned to stay on to Gujarat if the National Democratic Alliance formed the next government in New Delhi.

In the second part of the interview, Modi discusses the flavour of the ongoing Lok Sabha election campaign, and his prime ministerial ambitions.

Do you think the development debate in this country has turned pro-business? And that ordinary people are feeling left behind?
You've asked a very good question, and I will be pleased to answer this one.

In my Gujarat I hold the Vibrant Gujarat global investor summit once in two years, on January 13-14. Some 700-800 government officers of mine are involved in it, and I invite industrialists and businessmen to come for the summit and invest in the state.

Also in my state, for one month every year, we hold an agricultural festival in which about a lakh government servants go to the villages in May-June, braving the 44 degree temperatures, sit down with the farmers and work towards agricultural development. You remember what we do for two days out of two years, but where the government travels to the countryside for a month every year and promotes agriculture, you are not interested.

The result of such attitude is that the Manmohan Singh government's targeted agricultural growth of four per cent is stuck at 2.5%. The agricultural growth in my Gujarat is 14%, but no one looks at it.

I have given priority to the girl child's education. Every year on June 13, 14 and 15 my entire government goes to the villages -- and you are also invited to come along -- the chief minister, minister, chief secretary, secretary, IAS officers, all of us go from home to home and get the girl child admitted in schools. And today my state has 100 per cent girl-child enrollment. You don't think this is work?

For news traders only the two-day Vibrant Gujarat is useful which is why they talk about it.

In Gujarat we have the Chiranjeevi scheme -- in this nation everyone from the poor man to the President is against maternal and infant mortality. My government has formulated the Chiranjeevi Yojana under which every below poverty line mother will have her childbirth in hospital, I have started this as a movement, and done partnerships with private doctors. From 40%, today we have 80% to 85% of the deliveries happening in hospitals, thus we have saved the lives of many poor mothers and children. But you are not interested in this.

There is a saying 'justice delayed is justice denied'. Everyone knows of it, you do too. I have done three major things in Gujarat. I have increased court hours by 30 minutes every day; reduced court vacations by seven days; started evening courts with the same infrastructure.

We had 45 lakh cases pending from 2003-2004, to which 65 lakh new cases were added, making it more than one crore pending cases. After our initiatives, there are only 20 lakh pending court cases. Now my target is that by 2010, when Gujarat will complete 50 years, we will make it no-pendency. Cases will be disposed of in the very year they are filed.

You tell me, since Independence, in the field of justice delivery, has so much work been accomplished anywhere?

But, for news traders, these things perhaps are not saleable. Now you tell me if these things are pro-poor or not.

No, we weren't talking only about Gujarat but that in India generally development is seen as benefiting business.
Seen by who? Who are these people? Maybe something is the problem with their eyes. I have given you examples. My Gujarat has the maximum employment.

There are an estimated 80 million people who live on Rs 20 a day. How can their lives be improved?

They should be given employment opportunities. The people of India are willing to work. In Gujarat we have started a movement to provide opportunities, be it in the agriculture sector, infrastructure sector or service sector. We have created a big movement.

Do you think the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is a failure?
No, I have not said anything about it.

They are providing work...
Good, but the maximum poverty in India has moved to the cities, rural poverty has declined. Whereas it has gone up in the cities.

Is it because of rural migration to the cities?
Not because of rural migration. In my Gujarat we have the Jyoti Gram Yojana thanks to which rural migration to cities has ended, all arrangements have been made. Very few of our villagers go to cities, which is a very interesting development about Gujarat.

If you provide urban amenities in villages, they will not go to the cities.

Just see, the UPA has released its manifesto, which you have also published on, in which they say they will provide wheat at Rs 3 a kilo to the poor. I was astonished on reading this, that the government in Delhi has no knowledge of what various states are doing for the poor!

In Gujarat we have been providing wheat for the last seven years to those who live below the poverty line at Rs 2 a kg, I have been giving a subsidy of Rs 750 crore from the state treasury. Now I will ask the people, do you want wheat at Rs 2 a kg or Rs 3 a kg? I am giving it cheaper.

This is the state of the Congress party. The Congress had promised that it will provide broadband connectivity across the nation. We are the only state in the world which has broadband connectivity in every village. Thanks to this, today, in my Gujarat, youngsters in the remote areas have enrolled for long-distance education with the best teachers. And the UPA government now talks of providing broadband connectivity! Such a difference!

You don't think the Manmohan Singh government has even one achievement after five years?
I didn't say that. I am saying he did not fulfill his promises to the people. They said they will provide jobs to 1.5 crore people. Did they? They said they will reduce prices. Did they? They said they will repair international relations. Did they? What happened in Nepal? Why don't you ask these questions of them? They will have to answer, in a democracy.

Isn't the nuclear deal an achievement?
The issue is, India has uranium. Earlier the government would make budgetary allocation for uranium exploration. What was the reason for Dr Manmohan Singh, as finance minister, to make it zero budgeting for uranium exploration?

What was the reason when he became PM to halt research into uranium? And what is the reason for him enter into a restrictive agreement with foreign nations for the same uranium? Now the question arises.

After the nuclear deal the whole world accepts India as a nuclear power.
I am saying the world is accepting you as a nuclear power not because of the deal but because Atal Bihari Vajpayee dared America and went ahead with the nuclear tests. If we had not done it, who would have accepted us as a nuclear power?

If Vajpayeeji had succumbed to American pressure we would have been left high and dry and not become a nuclear power. This happened when India's leadership showed steel. Not because of some deal.

You know that India has the world's largest population of youth. This could be a demographic bonus or a demographic time bomb, depending on how they are harnessed.
There was a time when it was believed that population was a problem, but the way the world's economic environment has since changed, India's population is considered an asset. The same advantage is with China also.

But if these young people don't get jobs, it could lead to major social unrest.
I don't accept this theory. The youth have talent -- they don't want a job, they want work. They want to develop their skills. China has begun work on some 80,000 skill development projects, whereas the Indian government has started only 600.

I told the PM at a meeting, 'What are we doing? By itself my state is running 2,000 skill development projects and I want to increase this number by the hundreds, have public-private partnerships.'

Our youth need value-addition, they are capable of doing it and they are doing it. They should be given an opportunity.

Similarly, if an opportunity is given, will you lead the nation?

I believe that the chief ministers of even the smallest Indian states are major instruments of powering the nation. And I, as a chief minister, am part of running the nation.

Will you deny that you have no ambition whatsoever to become the prime minister?

I have a mission, not ambition. I was not born to become something, I was born to do something.

I did not have a desire to become somebody when I was a child, I don't have it now, nor will I have it in the future.

I have a dream, to do something. I want to do something for the nation. I am part of the mission, not ambition.

Ambition doesn't inspire me, mission does.

What are the other things that drive Narendra Modi?
Only devotion to Bharat Mata. That is enough for me.

What are the challenges that face India today?
We have a 100 crore population, which presents us with an opportunity to make the 21st century ours, to unleash the energy in the common man and take the nation forward. This is a big opportunity, and we should grab it.

Do you see any trends in the current general election, or do think it is just like any other election, full of personal attacks on each other?
Every election has its own character. The 1952 elections were different, 1957, 1962 were different, etc. The issues are different. Some elections were personality-centric, in some others the media was at the centre, etc, when the focus is on current events. In such a big nation, it is natural for the focus to change every time.

If you had the choice, what would you wish this election to be about?
I want there to be a strong government, a decisive government, with an experienced and strong leader at the helm. There should be a government that solves problems. And I see such a capability, drive to do something for the nation, in the NDA led by Advaniji.

You said every election has its own complexion. In the present election, your party's young leader Varun Gandhi has suddenly changed its complexion.
You please wait till the election results are out.

Do you agree with what Varun Gandhi said about Muslims?
You have seen the Uttar Pradesh elections, what result was thrown up there. You can well analyse the situation yourself.

No, we are asking your opinion.
The nation doesn't run on my opinion. I request you to analyse the situation on the basis of track record and draw your conclusions. That will be best.

But Varun Gandhi does not have a track record, this is his maiden election.
Arre, analyse from where it all began.

Is there a leader in India who you admire, who you feel have something in them?
Lal Krishna Advani.

Anyone else?
You asked for a leader, I gave you one.

Anyone else?
For anyone else, you meet me in June.

I will tell you in June.

How do you feel when in a party like the BJP which is considered disciplined, there is unhappiness at the top, where someone like Arun Jaitley feels miffed?

I am involved in Gujarat's affairs, I don't get involved in what is going on outside Gujarat.

You haven't answered the question.
Of course, I have answered your question, it's a different matter if you don't like my answer.

Who is your leadership model? Who are you inspired by?
From my childhood I have been influenced by Swami Vivekanandji's life. I have studied his life, and live by it. I don't cross the limit.

If L K Advani were to become prime minister, what will be your advice to him?
There's no reason for him to seek my advice, because it is I who seeks his advice.

You are being very modest.
No, no, this is the reality of my life.

Considering your experience in running the state, your voice should be heard in Delhi...
Advaniji is more experienced than I am, he was in Morarjibhai's (Morarji Desai, the first non-Congress prime minister of India) government, he was in Atalji's government, he has been a deputy prime minister, Delhi Metropolitan Council chief executive? He has the maximum experience in administration.

Isn't this the problem with Indian politics? Too much credit is given to age and experience while someone who is younger and more dynamic, more efficient is ignored...
Let me share my experience with you. Please don't take this in any other way, and don't give a political colour to it, it's of no use.

I am saying this as a student. We should compare any two prime ministers, and here I will take the names of two Congress prime ministers. Rajiv Gandhi and P V Narasimha Rao.

Rajiv Gandhi was young and dynamic, had foreign exposure, he had everything, was good-looking, charismatic. Narasimha Rao had retired completely from public life, but had to suddenly return to active politics. Healthwise, and looks-wise, he was different.

But who ran the government better for five years? Who provided India a better leadership? If you think about it, Narasimha Rao's government was connected to the masses, and the nation benefited.

One simple reason: India is such a large nation, with so many languages, and only someone who has been around for a long time can solve its problems. So in this case, he was successful.

If you look at India's political history, too, only such people have succeeded.

But Narasimha Rao's government was accused of corruption.
Look, it was less compared to the Bofors scandal. I am not calling him great. I am merely saying, in comparison, who was plus and who was minus, I am only saying that. I am not giving Narasimha Rao any certificate. Bofors was no less. I am saying, compare the two and see who comes off better.

Both had pluses and minuses.
But the ultimate plus, was more with him though I agree no one has only negative aspects. And that is because for years he was involved with the situation, with the problems, any issues in Nagaland he could sit here and discern if this was the case, then that would be the outcome. Because he had experience, vision. He wielded a lot of power in such a large country.

In October it will be eight years since you became chief minister. What are the remarkable changes have you seen in India and Indian politics in this time?

First thing: In Vajpayeeji's time the nation got the most peaceable experience of a coalition government. He ran one for six years! There was a time when there various demands, for Dravidstan, Khalistan etc. He removed all these negative aspirations before us, and converted them into a positive one and took the road to development. I believe Vajpayeeji made immense contribution to the nation.

Second, terrorism would not be discussed on the international level but only the Kashmir issue will be debated. The world did not listen to us, and we were the losers. It was Atalji's strength that he converted the Kashmir issue into a debate on terrorism and set the agenda for the future. He brought the world to his side on terrorism. He parlayed the nation's might in international forums.

You praise Mr Vajpayee so highly, but why do you think his government's India Shining campaign backfired in 2004?
This issue was debated abundantly at that time. What had to be said, has been said. So I think we should discuss the present election, and the situation surrounding it.

How much time do you spend on politics?
In a way, if I say it myself it will seem immodest, but the reality is I am an apolitical chief minister. I leave for office at 9 am, and am there till 11 pm. Only during the elections, for those 30, 40 days, I spend my time on party work, otherwise the rest of my time I spend as an apolitical chief minister. I am not interested in this type of political activity..

People say this time you got your way with the selection of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls.
We have a collective leadership, a democratic system. We heard the opinions of 10,000 party workers, the state team went to every district, and after listening to everyone we debated the findings from which we zoomed in on the plus points and minus points of various potential candidates.

The state's 17-member team met them and gave their opinion. Then the decision from the grass-roots was conveyed to Delhi, and not to the chief minister.

In Delhi the 21-member team discussed the choice for hours and after this exercise whatever the Delhi team decided, I accepted it. This was the entire process.

But the focus is on four tainted candidates.
Like who?

Mr Rathod, for one.
You know Indian law states that no criminal can contest elections. If these people are criminals, how can they contest? Second, he was a Congress MLA. Was anything published about him for the last one-and-a-half years, so why has this issue been raked up now? You are in the dock for your question, not my party.

It's simple, if the matter was so serious, if you are really concerned for democracy, why didn't you highlight this issue the last time when Rathod was the candidate too?

It was not my question, but yours. It is your job to find out the truth from the constituency. Leave aside the common man, what would you have done? If the question is being asked today, it means it is a politically motivated campaign, and not the reality.

He was a sitting Congress MLA. He is not fighting elections after joining the BJP. Last year he conducted the marriage of below 3,000 poverty line couples.

But we wrote about all that as well.
I don't know. If you did, it's good. Sure, if there's a case against him, please highlight it. I am responsible for it. But if the court has acquitted him and if you still insist I am responsible, it's unfair to me.

Don't miss the concluding part of the interview with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi next week, in which he finally talks about the 2002 riots, terrorism, and the connection between the two.

Now back to Dondu N. Raghavan. The interviewer is trying his level best to make Modi shoot his mouth about things that are not to be talked about as felt by Modi. But Modi shows himself to be a more than adequate match to the questioner. I was reminded of Rajdeep Sardesai, who, unable to digest Modi's victory in the state polls in the year 2007, tried to stir up things with provocative questions about Modi now having ambitions about the PM's chair and was unceremoneously silenced by the BJP spokesperson Mr. Ravishankar Prasad. I am gratified even now to think of the abahed look of Rajdip Sardesai.

Let us await the concluding part of the interview.

Dondu N. Raghavan

Friday, April 10, 2009

The nation is waiting for a strong, experienced leader - Will Modi oblige?

My dear friend Chandrasekhar has kindly forwarded me this interview given by our irrepressible Narendra Modi. My sincere thanks for the same. Let us go to the interview given below, with the questions in bold italics. Then I will get back to you as usual.

How long will Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi stay on in the state? Does he harbour prime ministerial ambition? Does he see a greater role for himself at the Centre if a Bharatiya Janata Party-led dispensation were to assume power after the election? Does he see a connection between the anti-Muslims riots that rocked his state in 2002 and terrorism?'s Saisuresh Sivaswamy and Nikhil Lakshman met Modi at the chief minister's home in Gandhinagar to find out the answers. The first part of a 70-minute exclusive interview:

Why do you believe that L K Advani is a better leader than Manmohan Singh?
It's very simple, Dr Manmohan Singhji in reality is not a leader, and he has himself said that he is not a leader. The nation cannot be ruled by an academician, it can be run only by a leader. What was Indiraji (Indira Gandhi)'s education was never an issue, but she was a leader. (P V) Narasimha Rao was a leader. Only those who know the pulse of the nation can run it.
Lal Bahadur Shastri knew the pulse of the nation very well, which is why he was able to leave his imprint on the nation in such a short time. Atal Bihari Vajpayee knew the pulse of the nation, Morarjibhai (Morarji Desai) knew the pulse of the nation, Chandra Shekharji was a mass leader. We also had (H D) Deve Gowdaji who had never left Karnataka, Indra Kumar Gujralji thankfully never made any claims. Manmohan Singhji is like that.
That is why I say the nation needs a leader. Dr Manmohan Singh has not even visited all the states in the five years of his prime ministership, while Advaniji is a leader who has, at some point in time, spent a night in our 400 districts.
He knows the entire land, there is not a stain on him, he is blemishless, has vast administrative experience having served in various Cabinets, and fulfilled his responsibilities to everyone's satisfaction, whether it was as the chief executive of the Delhi metropolitan council or as information and broadcasting minister or deputy prime minister. Advaniji rose from the ranks to become a mass leader, there's a world of difference between the two.

It is said that in a nation where some 540 million people are under the age of 30, Advani seems out of sync with them, and the nation needs a leader like Narendra Modi?
If you are using age as the basis, how are you differentiating between Advaniji and Manmohan Singh? I am thankful to the Congress for at least announcing that Manmohan Singh is their prime ministerial candidate, it will help the people decide in whose hand to hand over the reins of power. The nation will now choose between Manmohan Singh and Advaniji. There is no third option before us, so there is no need to get into that debate and waste our time. Now see the age factor for both, there's no problem.

How do you feel when people talk about you as a potential prime minister?
But no one has said that to me!

Industrialists have endorsed your leadership and said...
You please read their statement carefully, none of them has used the words 'prime minister', none. You check it, no one has said it.

If you were to look at the postings on rediff message boards, in any story about Indian politics at least 50 per cent of the readers say we need Narendra Modi as prime minister.
But have they stated any timeframe? (laughs) Please ask them about the time, too.

Time is in your hands, obviously.
Time is in the hands of the people.
Anyway, I have no idea of this, because wherever I go, when I announce that Advaniji will be the next prime minister the people are happy and cheer wildly. This is what I hear.

If the NDA were to win the election what will be your role?
I am the chief minister of Gujarat, and I believe no one will remove me as the chief minister of Gujarat.

But how long will you stay in Gujarat, after all you came here from Delhi...
I don't even worry about what is going to happen this evening, so what you ask is not on Narendra Modi's agenda.

You are seen as the poster boy of development in the country.
I don't understand, what is poster boy? I work like a labourer, not like a model. I am a man who works 24 hours a day. In eight years have not taken even a 15-minute vacation.

What is your vision for India?
Given the present situation in the world, India has a great chance to become a powerful nation. The 21st century can become India's if only all of us strove together with all our energies.

Another thing I believe is that development must be a mass movement. The 100 crore citizens should feel motivated to take the nation forward -- we must create such an atmosphere. Media must be a part of development. (Then President A P J ) Abdul Kalam used to say the media's role in development is very important.

What is your mantra for management?
Actually, I am not a manager, I am simply an organiser. And since my childhood I had training in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, so I know the human wealth, what is the value of human wealth and how to use human resources, how to form teamwork. This is my training and because I got exposure as a CM, I tasted success.

Although you had no real experience in running a state before this, your style of running a state has become a model for other chief ministers. Everyone wants to become another Modi.
I don't claim so. As far as Narendra Modi is concerned I think it's my responsibility, I have to deliver the goods as it is my commitment to the people of Gujarat. And if anything new is there, I try to learn. Even I am a student.

I believe you get up very early in the morning, and look at the Internet and read all newspapers on the Net and check what's going on, so you continuously invent yourself as a politician...
Actually I am a student of political science, so it's my natural habit. The second thing is, I was in Delhi for a long time so I used to read newspapers on the Internet, particularly Gujarati newspapers. When I left Delhi and came to Gujarat I was habituated to read the Delhi newspapers, so I was using the Internet.

I do believe that one must have information channels. If a person is well informed, he can take better decisions, he can guide the people, he can make a proper judgement of the situation. So for me the Net is a source of information, the mobile phone is a source of information, it connects me with the people. I can reach out to everyone through this. That information helps me take decisions.

As a student of political science, how do you see the coming elections?
There are three camps in this election. One is the BJP-led NDA, the second is the Congress-led UPA, and the third is those who left the UPA, those who have not accepted anyone, those who want their own, they have their own problems. They are working as a Third Front.
On one side we have the family-oriented ideology of the Congress, another side we have money power, and then we have the nationalist ideology of the BJP. This is inevitable.
As the election nears, polarisation will happen, towards the BJP-led camp or the Congress-led camp. The rest are inconsequential, nothing much will happen.
And I am seeing it clearly that the nation wants a strong government, the nation is waiting for an experienced, strong leader.
For all these reasons... on the other hand, the failures of the government, price rise, unemployment, and their many false promises.
I can understand if the nation's expectations are not fulfilled, but when the government's promises are not fulfilled -- I am unable to swallow it.
They first said we will provide employment to 1.5 crore people, but are now saying that five lakh people will lose jobs. This is a major contradiction! They say -- we are the government of the aam-aadmi (common man), but they have been unable to halt price rise. In Atalji's time, when his government demitted office, onions were sold at Rs 8 a kg, today it costs Rs 16 a kg. Cooking gas cylinder was available for Rs 270, today it costs Rs 370. Their failures are linked to the aam-aadmi.
Security is an important issue, how do you propose to deal with security when the Taliban is poised to take over over all of Pakistan, they have reached Karachi. Naturally, the common man is perturbed.
Bhai, who do we trust to safeguard us? Like this there are many reasons why they are rejecting the UPA or Manmohan Singh.

Do you think the era of coalition governments in India will soon come to an end?
The era of coalitions will continue, but it will be good if the national party is strong and the regional parties add to that strength. That will be the best model.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee had given us such a model for governance -- first you arrive at a consensus in the Cabinet and then you take decisions. That was the best model.

How do you explain the fact that both Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh have opted for a stable one-party government while the country itself chooses coalitions?
The two are different. If you start comparing the states versus the Centre, the point is regional aspirations are growing, and I think national parties will have to address it and carry everyone along. They will have to keep in mind the development-related issues of the smaller states.

What are the deficiencies in our democracy, in your opinion, and how can it be rectified?
I think after independence we have laid greater emphasis on right, and less emphasis on duty. It would be better if we give more emphasis to duty.
In Gujarat, for instance, I have laid emphasis on a public-private partnership, like with rainwater harvesting, I involve the public. Because crores are helping, my rainwater harvesting is doing well. I have aroused the sense of duty in them, and if the same can be done nationwide it will be good.
For us democracy has become a vote-giving exercise, and we give out five-year contracts to run the government. We ask for accountability after five years. But I think this way we have extracted only the least from democracy. I believe that in everything we do, the people's involvement should be there.
After voting the people and government go their different ways -- this is not acceptable. Gujarat has developed the model where the public has a stake in everything, the people are carried along in everything.

Back to Dondu N. Raghavan. A really candid interview given by Modi. The nation requires persons of the caliber of Modi and Advaniji. I hope that the people give a clear verdict in favor of NDA. The nation is in need of a Government, whose existence is not at the mercy of the whims and likes and dislikes of a vocal minority group. A leader of caliber like Modi and Advani is the need of the hour.

Dondu N. Raghavan

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

'Why shouldn't Brahmin community get reservation?

My friend Chandrasekhar forwarded this news to me. My thanks to him for this. First the concerned news item given below in bold italics. It will be followed as usual by my remarks.

Sattanathapuram Venkataraman Shekher is a popular playwright, producer and director in the Tamil film industry. He is also the sitting All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam member of the legislative assembly from Mylapore, Chennai.

Popularly known as S Ve Shekher, he shares his mobile number with all the residents of his constituency and is always accessible to them.

He recently created a flutter when he announced his decision to resign from the AIADMK. He also submitted a memorandum to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on March 30, asking for seven per cent reservation for the Brahmin community.

He explains his reasons behind leaving the AIADMK to's Shobha Warrier.

With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, you have announced your decision to quit the AIADMK. Why did you make this announcement now?

I didn't think of the time when I made the announcement. Local party members have been avoiding me for quite some time. I felt that enough is enough. There is no support from party supremo J Jayalalithaa also. The AIADMK is one party where if Jayalalithaa is affectionate towards you, the entire party cadre will support you. Otherwise, the party will throw you out.

You are liked by the people of your constituency because of your accessibility. Is your party chief not happy with your work?

Those things don't count at all. Nobody is bothered about your work. The only thing that works is loyalty. Yes, I accepted Jayalalitha as the chief of the party.

Did any particular incident trigger off your decision to quit the party?

No particular incident prompted my decision; there have been so many continuous incidents. When I joined the AIADMK, the party offered me the ticket to contest without me asking for it, and the party funded my election expenses. But I am basically a strong supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party [Images].

Why didn't you join the BJP then?

The ideology of both the parties is the same. I knew Jayalalitha and she also knew me but (BJP leaders) Atal Bihari Vajpayee or L K Advani [Images] didn't know me. I know only the BJP leaders from Tamil Nadu.

Though the AIADMK was a good party, I think I was not suitable for the party mentality. I thought they would utilise my popularity for the party's benefit. But the party wanted me to put on the mask of the party. It is not possible for me.

Did anyone ask you to put on the AIADMK mask?

I am loyal to the party and its supremo but beyond that, I don't know how to act. I am not a 100 per cent politician. I joined politics because I do a lot of social service and politics gives me more power to do that. I run a public charitable trust. Every year, I spend Rs 5-6 lakh on charity. Every month, I make the arrangements for the burial of 15-20 unclaimed bodies in hospitals. I am a regular blood donor. So, politics is not a profession for me.

I have never fallen at her feet and I know she doesn't expect me to do so. I requested her to be there for my daughter's wedding and also do the puja of my son's first film but she didn't come for either. These are personal things.

My brother's wife is an officer of the Indian Administrative Service, so she had invited the Chief Minister (M Karunanidhi) for her son's wedding. As the eldest in the family, I received the chief minister with respect. That was construed as a big mistake!

How did Jayalalithaa get to know about the CM attending the wedding?

There is a team to convey such news to her! In 2006, I was the vice-chairman of the International Film Festival here. For that festival, Dayanidhi Maran was invited. Because I shared the dais with Maran, she refused to come to my 5000th show, though I had publicised her likely presence. On the same day, I changed my show's number and celebrated it as my 5007th show!

These are the kind of punishments you get in this party. I cannot surrender myself to the party. I cannot say AIADMK is my life. I have so many other important things in my life. Meeting opposition party members cannot be construed as a crime.

Were you summoned?

No, I was not summoned. All they do is ignore you. I have been ignored completely from 2006.

Do you feel that politicians of Tamil Nadu lack maturity?

You cannot say they are immature. When you say they are not mature, it comes closer to maturity! You may belong to a different party and you may have a different opinion. But that does not mean that you look at the other person as your enemy. You see Advani and (Congress chief) Sonia Gandhi standing side by side but you won't see such a thing in Tamil Nadu.

Are you planning to join the BJP now?

Which party would want S Ve Shekher? I don't want to repeat the mistake I made earlier, so I will take a decision after a lot of deliberation because I want to be part of that party forever. I don't want to be a local person; I want to go to Delhi.

Are you planning to resign from the AIADMK?

Definitely. Now, I will give a memorandum to the chief minister asking for seven per cent reservation for the Brahmin community (he submitted it on March 30). If the government appoints a committee, I will resign from the Mylapore constituency. In a by-election, it is always the ruling party that wins.

Why do you feel Brahmins need reservation in Tamil Nadu?

Why should they not get reservation? In Tamil Nadu, 69 per cent of the people get reservation and ninety five per cent of people enjoy some kind of reservation except the forward community. Where is social justice? There are over 40 lakh Brahmins in Tamil Nadu. It is the government's duty to give equal opportunities to everyone. Brahmins have been eliminated, insulted and sidelined in so many ways. You cannot punish people for what happened over 50-60 years ago.

Now that you are talking to the press about your decision to quit, what is the feedback that you are getting from your party chief?

You don't know the AIADMK. Once the party starts ignoring you, they don't bother about what you do.

Usually, people switch parties when they have some case regsistered against them. I have never been booked for anything -- not even for riding double on a bicycle. I am an MLA but I don't go in the opposite direction on a one-way street, I don't park in a no-parking zone. I am a 100 per cent law abiding citizen.

Once I decide to quit, I will send a letter to the party supremo and I will conduct a sms poll on the decision. I will hold a public meeting in my constituency as I feel I have a responsibility to the people who voted for me. At the public meeting, I will tell the people how I joined the party, why I am resigning and what I will do now.

Now back to Dondu N. Raghavan. S.V. Sekhar should have taken this step long back. Anyhow, better late than never. The only consolation is that he did not indulge the Dravidian culture of falling at the feet of worthless "leaders" such as Jayalalitha or Karunanidhi. He kept his distance. To that extent he is a far cry from the dyed-in-the-wool politician of Tamil Nadu. My best wishes to him.

I am not, however, in favor of reservation for Brahmins.

Dondu N. Raghavan

Monday, March 09, 2009

The untold story by Ronald Kitching as to how Friederich von Hayek caught inflation by the balls

My dear friend Chandrasekhar sporting the name of Hayek Order sent me an interesting email relating an anecdote about the Nobel price winning Austrian economist Hayek. Thanks. Pending its blogging in Tamil I am posting this item here too in bold italics. The 'I' in the following paras refers to Ronald Kitching of course.

The great Nobel Prize winning economist/social scientist F. A. Hayek made a month long lecture tour of Australia in October 1976. There is a bit of an inside story to this tour which so far few know about. Hayek was invited to Australia for a lecture tour by economist Mark Tier. However, Hayek, at that time, had to decline, but as circumstances changed and as he did not know anybody else in Australia, he wrote a note to Sydney Economist/Barrister Roger Randerson, whom he once tutored at The London School of Economics, saying that he could squeeze in a month before going on previously scheduled visits to new Zealand and Japan.

Roger and I were good mates so he rang me with the good news. I then suggested to Roger that he immediately write back to Hayek and ask what his fee would be. I can still quote the answer. Hayek replied saying:

Should first class return airfares be provided for my wife and myself both internationally and nationally, and first class accommodation be provided for us, and also providing that my lectures are confined to no more than two per week, there will be no fee.

Roger estimated that the total cost would be approximately $25,000. As he was well connected in the commercial world and I was well connected with the Australian Mining Industry, we thought that it would be an easy matter to get the tour underwritten. So we set off to see what we could do. After a week’s travelling and lobbying, I could not find a single executive willing to undertake part in such a ‘revolutionary’ activity. I returned to my home rather dispirited about it all. I rang Roger to see how he was doing.

He replied to my query, “My boy, nobody wants to know me. They are all running for cover.” I then went on to say that the average answer I got was, “We cannot be seen to be endorsing the right wing views of such a radical figure.” He replied that that was precisely the response he got too.

So, I said, “Bugger it all Roger, I’ll underwrite the tour myself”. He replied, “I won’t see you do that my boy, I’ll go you halves”.

So, with that settled, I suggested that we again go around the traps, and, seeing the tour was underwritten by somebody who wished to remain anonymous, try to see what could be raised for the venture. We were ably assisted in this effort by Mr. Ref Kemp, Director of The Institute For Public Affairs in Victoria, Mr. Viv Forbes in Brisbane, and Mr. R. H. (now Sir Robert), Norman OBE of Cairns. Roger published a booklet titled Social Justice Socialism and Democracy featuring three of Hayek’s most important lectures. In that small book he said,

Many publicly spirited citizens, institutions and organisations donated, (numbering no fewer than 62, in sums ranging from $50 to $2,000) towards the visit, but no list is given because some wish to be nameless. Their generosity is, however, gratefully acknowledged.

The Hayek visit was a co-operative private enterprise. Indeed it had to be, because approaches at high levels for concessions from government owned or controlled internal and external airlines were refused.

There were complaints from high level ‘intellectuals’, that the visit was everything from a white washing of dangerous capitalist ideology, a political plot of ever devious Jews, to a ‘bankers plot’. Hayek incidentally was a non- practising Catholic. He was in great form and he appeared as Guest of Honour on the hour long Monday Conference with Robert Moore, and televised by the ABC network in all states on October 11th 1976. In addition, in total he kept no less than 60 appointments, including visits to heads of state, seminar and lecturing engagements. A very heavy schedule for anybody, but at that time Hayek was 76 years of age. He was in scintillating form.

Roger decided that in the middle of the tour he would give him four days off on the Atherton Tableland. I had a spacious home there and as half of my six children were away at boarding school, we had ample room to accommodate Roger, and Professor and Mrs. Hayek. When he arrived we had a celebratory drink of his favourite tipple, Johnny Walker black label. “When ever I drink this brand of Scotch” Hayek announced, “I get ideas beyond my station”. He was a past master at putting people at ease.

He then noticed hanging on the wall of the bar, a large picture of a magnificent Brahman Bull I owned. He asked about the Bull, so I told him he was a prize winning show bull which I had nicknamed Inflation as he would not stop growing. “He weighs 3,000 pounds in his working clothes,” I told the small gathering present.

Hayek laughed and said that he knew a bit about inflation and that he would like to meet this one. I told him that compared with the inflations he had witnessed, that this one was rather tame and that my boys jumped on to his back in the paddock. “I even jump on his back when he is in the yard and I can climb up the rails to do so,” I told him.

“Well, while I am here, I would like to meet him,” Hayek exclaimed. So I put that on the agenda.

I got this bright idea that I’d put the bull in the yard, get a step ladder put Hayek on the bull, (if he agreed), and take a picture which would carry the caption Hayek’s on Top Of Inflation. I told my wife and that was the end of it. She would not under any circumstances countenance such a move. “What if the Professor fell off and was injured,” and all of that sort of chatter. So that project was abandoned.

Nevertheless Hayek still wanted to meet the bull. Next day I took him down the paddock and took several pictures of him and the bull when another idea popped into my head and I quietly mentioned it to him. He was delighted to have a bit of fun. The caption of course was to beHayek¹s Got Inflation By The Balls.

Well the old boy was delighted. He was quite at home with animals and had palled up with the bull, which was an easy matter with this particular animal. So he posed and I took the picture. He predicted that if the Americans got hold of a copy, the picture would become famous.

I am happy to announce that not long ago, I heard from Dr. Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute in London. He told me that at a recent luncheon in London, Mrs. Thatcher, much to her delight, had a picture presented to her of her favourite Economist/Philosopher and with Inflation by the balls. Hayek’s grand daughter was present and read out the above story.

Hayek with Inflaton the bull

Ronald Kitching is a life member of the Mont Pelerin Society who made a major contribution to F.A. Hayek’s lecture tour of Australia in 1976 . He also authored the book “Understanding Personal and Economic Liberty”.

Back to Dondu N. Raghavan.

In the face of widespread discouragement to the entire idea of Hayek's tour, it is heartening to see the initiative of the author and his friend in making it possible.

Dondu N. Raghavan

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Dastardly attack on the srilankan cricket team in Pakistan

LAHORE: An official says eight members of Sri Lanka's national cricket team have been wounded after gunmen opened fire on their vehicle in Lahore, Pakistan, AP reports.

Pakistan Cricket Board security official Nadeem Iqbal says the team members were injured near the Gaddafi stadium where they were due to arrive to play in the second test against Pakistan.

Sri Lankan team manager Brendon Kruppu confirmed the incident and said the team's players, Kumar Sangakkara and Ajantha Mendis, are among the injured.

"We are assessing the situation," Pakistan cricket board chief Ejaz Butt said.

In Sri Lanka, sports minister Gamini Lokuge said two other players, Tharanga Paranavitana and Thilan Samaraweera, had been taken to hospital in Lahore, AFP reports.

Unidentified gunmen attacked the bus taking the Sri Lankan cricket squad and its police escort to a cricket stadium in Lahore, according to witnesses and cricket officials.

Five policemen have also been killed as the police van escorting Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore was fired upon, confirms the police chief in Lahore.

The Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan stands cancelled.

Security concerns have plagued Pakistan for years and some foreign sports teams have refused to play here.

What is the world coming to?

N. Raghavan

Friday, February 20, 2009

The more things change, the same they remain

It is actually coming across something that was wholly unexpected but was welcome by all means. A sort of pleasant surprise, one can say. I refer to the interview given by Cho way back in 2005. The funny thing is, it is fully relevant even today. This then explains the title of this post. A sort of déjà vu, I should say.

Cho Ramaswamy, political analyst and editor of the Tamil magazine Thuglak, was said to be the only man in Tamil Nadu who spoke openly and courageously against the Emergency. In this interview with Shobha Warrier, he recalls those dark days, most of the time satirically. It is always a pleasure talking to him and listening to him airing contrarian views.

How did you take the news of the declaration of the Emergency? Did you have a feeling that it was coming?
Mine was the only journal in the country that wrote that there could be an Emergency regime. We even published a mock cartoon, which showed JP, Kripalani, Morarji and many others in jail. In this imaginary piece, we said that all fundamental rights had been taken away. Of course, we exaggerated the prevailing situation before the Emergency.

What gave you the idea that the Emergency would be declared? We never had anything like that in India till then?
I had been interacting with many people like Chandrasekhar. The way things were going, I thought Mrs. (Indira) Gandhi might feel she was fighting a losing game mainly because of what was happening due to the JP movement. Of course, for her, the last straw was the Allahabad high court judgment.

Once the Emergency was declared, did you feel vindicated?
It's not a question of vindication. When VP Singh became the prime minister, I said the very same Devi Lal who propped him up could dump him and back Chandrasekhar quite soon. It happened.

Was it premonition?
It was not premonition. I can give you a list of things, which we had predicted. I asked Mrs. Gandhi in an interview, 'How long do you think Bangladesh will remain friendly?' I said it's going to be a problem for her. She asked, 'Why do you say so?' I said that was how I felt. She didn't agree. She said it was exaggerated.

When the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam set foot in India, I wrote it was going to be a menace as far as Tamil Nadu was concerned, and that we must sit up and take notice. I started campaigning against it. Everybody thought I was exaggerating a non-existent threat. Everybody thought I was anti-Tamil but ultimately it proved to be true.

When the Janata government came to power, I said Charan Singh was going to be a threat. When Sanjiva Reddy was elected President, I said he would be a problem to the government.

When the Emergency was declared, you were the editor of Thuglak. What were the problems you faced?
I was agitated initially and stopped the publication of Thuglak for two issues. Later, when I restarted, I published a black wrapper. In fact, two issues of Thuglak had black wrappers; one was during the Emergency and the other after Babri Masjid was pulled down.

Why did you restart after two issues?
I wanted some time to think and see how I could tackle it. I was busy writing for underground magazines, and also addressing meetings. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh mostly did these underground magazines. That is how I came into contact with them. They were very dedicated people publishing magazines against all odds.

Then, I started interacting with Ramnath Goenka. I had nothing to lose at that time but not Goenka. I used to say, I don't even have hair on my head to lose!! Goenka had an empire at stake. So also Irani. In spite of it, they spoke against the Emergency. Their courage is much greater than mine because I was a man with nothing to lose.

At any point of time, were you scared?
Somehow, my safety didn't bother me much. I am a fatalist. I strongly believe that when my time comes, nobody could do anything to make me live longer. Otherwise, even if you want to kill me, you will not be able to do so (laughs).

I restarted the magazine when I felt I could convey some messages to the people. There was an old Tamil movie called Sarvadhikari (Dictator) made in the fifties. I reviewed the movie during the Emergency. Luckily, it was showing in a theatre at the time. In the review, I condemned the dictatorship. A woman was behind it too! There were so many indirect ways to criticise the Emergency.

Didn't you have any problems with the censors?
I had problems. When I did these things, they started censoring even the advertisements. In the name of advertisement, I was sending messages. Ours was the only journal in the whole country for which even censorship of advertisement was clamped.

I was a regular visitor, with my magazine, to Sastri Bhavan, where the censors sat. I even took my salary to him telling, "This belongs to you. You are the editor!"

Were they amused?
They were embarrassed all the time. They were helpless. The governor's advisors warned me. I said I was not bothered.

Every issue was a problem. But I addressed meetings though meetings were banned. The Congress (O) was sponsoring meetings.

Please don't forget that I was not the only one who fought; there were many others. Rajmohan Gandhi fought it through Himmat. Goenka fought it. Irani did.

But all the time I knew the Emergency would be lifted sooner than later. I was saying that in all the meetings as it was becoming difficult to manage.

How was the general atmosphere in Tamil Nadu? Were there any excesses?
Karunanidhi was undecided. He went on praising Mrs. Gandhi now and then. Before he was dismissed, he supported the 20-point program, he supported Sanjay Gandhi's 5-point program. He thought he could escape by supporting her. He went to the extent of saying I am not your enemy. In fact, I am prepared to identify and give you information about people who are against you.

MGR also supported Mrs. Gandhi?
Yes, and Mrs. Gandhi preferred him to Karunanidhi. So, Karunanidhi had to be in the opposite camp. He became a reluctant opponent of the Emergency. Later on, he put on the mantle of a great fighter against the Emergency. But he was never happy with the Janata grouping because they were not prepared to withdraw the Sarakaria commission report and all that.

MGR kept warning me in his speeches that I would be arrested any time. But I was not arrested.

Why do you think they spared you even after your attacking (though indirectly) through the Thuglak?
It could have been my proximity to Kamaraj. The second reason could be that my father was a respected Congressman. Third, perhaps they thought "He is after all a satirist, let him say whatever he wants in an indirect fashion!"

Rajmohan (Gandhi) was not arrested. Goenka was not arrested. Irani was not arrested. All of them were working against the Emergency.

Were you at the receiving end of any direct or indirect threats?
Yes. People who were close to Sanjay Gandhi were asking him to do something about me. Certain industrialist friends of mine used to warn me. But nothing happened. I cannot say I went through hell and all that.

Were you getting a kind of pleasure by attacking the Emergency? A sense of adventure?
I think it must have been some kind of a thrill because I was only a five-year-old journalist then. My journal was launched in 1970. In hindsight, I feel I must have been thrilled fighting a mighty power. It could be that.

You said when the Emergency was lifted you were expecting it. Did you feel relieved when it was finally lifted?
It was no great relief or pain or anything. I took it in my stride, that's all. But I campaigned for the Janata all over India, attending meetings wherever Tamils lived.

What was the mood of the general public when the Emergency was lifted?
In Tamil Nadu, the Emergency was not unpopular. People actually welcomed it. There was no great abuse of power here. Maybe, because MGR did not oppose it. I have a feeling that the middle class throughout the country welcomed it.

To be honest with you, I attended a BJP meeting a few days ago. I said, the Emergency was then brought about by a wrong person for wrong reason at a wrong time and administered wrongly. There was no threat of war, no internal disturbance. All that happened was that there was JP's movement against corruption and the Allahabad high court unseated Mrs. Gandhi.

Now, you take the condition of the country. Naxalite groups are operating in several parts, and they are growing. The LTTE has not stopped its anti-India machinations. Khalistan movement has not been stopped totally. Infiltration of Bangladeshi refugees is going to be a big problem for the country. Look at the condition in the North-East and Kashmir.

And, workers go on strike for anything. During the Emergency, nobody even spoke of a strike. Every reform is being blocked now. So, this is the right time for an Emergency.

You are joking?
No, I am not. Today, nobody is aware of his duties in this country. Laws are there to be broken. Rules are there to be violated. Regulations are there to be ignored. That's the present mood of the country.

Why is China advancing at a more rapid rate than us? It is the discipline, which is helping them. We are the most indisciplined of all democracies in the world.

Those who were part of JP's movement against corruption are symbols of corruption now, like Laloo Prasad Yadav.

So, the time is right but the person over there is wrong again. By wrong person, I mean Sonia Gandhi, who is the real authority, the real power. So, there is a wrong person there. One can rest assured that it will be wrongly administrated. I will not welcome an Emergency if this government imposes it. But if a person like Vajpayee or Advani, real nationalists- not necessarily them but someone like them- does it at some point of time, I will welcome it. That's my present mood. I want to be honest when I give my opinion.

Back to Dondu N. Raghavan. Whether one likes or not, one cannot avoid Cho. As a person having vivid memories of things to a sufficient extent in order to warrant saying "Recently in 1975, the emergency was declared, I hasten to add that I find nothing that can be factually incorrect in Cho's statement.

Let me add however, I do not share his enthusiasm for emergency now or in foreseeable future.

Dondu N. Raghavan