Monday, January 28, 2013


Indrayanikaathi, IK in brief, was, as we wrote a while back, a product of times when we felt the life- fluid ebb away from our frame, and Gopal painted the last leaf. It was christened in a philosophical vein, after the Banks of  Indrayani, consecrated by ज्ञानेश्वर माउली , whose presence there is forever vibrant and abiding, so we believe.  Senior  had then just graduated from an Institution right on the Banks of Indrayani. We harboured a superstition that the stay at the hallowed Alandi, will somehow rub off on him. We are happy to report that though the magic did not get reflected in his grades, the belief has not been belied at all, reinforced, if anything... To be more accurate, the desired result emerged, and the cause is a matter of belief, conjecture if you like, and to make an important Disclosure, Alandikars don’t share this enthusiasm about the exalted status accorded to their own town. It’s a universal phenomenon, not to worry. Mumbaikars will recall the running battles neighbours of our beloved Siddhivinayak have with the Lord’s abode.

The nature and contents of IK were not premeditated. To quote Lewis Carroll, " if you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there". That's derived from an exchange between the Cheshire Cat and Alice. So IK took on a wayward nature, usually gravitating to Hindustani Classical, taking a Worm’s Eye View of Artistes, taals and notes...........
So the first Post was the antai-establishment 'Where are the sleuths?' (and the Last Post is played on the bugle, he, he, he...)  'Where are the Sleuths', dwelled upon the methods of the Indian Police, namely their motto 'Conviction by Confession', the narco-test being nothing but third degree interrogation in a pseudo-scientific and a smug,respectable garb. We pointed out that this tendency was manifest  even to our      erstwhile British rulers, and the 150 year old Madras Torture Commission takes this observation on record. 

Which brings us to another dimension of bare-foot justice that activists demand on various occasions. Guaranteed Conviction in 7 days, I sayyyy... Just look how astonishingly close the trial in ‘Hunting of the Snark’ is, to the trial of Goswami and Friends’ dreams! 

We just saw the good Samar Khan movie Shaurya, modelled as it is on 'A few Good Men' and that's what impelled us in the first place  to write this post.
Enough literature   exists  to  disabuse anybody being taken in by the myths of the greatness and nobility of the armed forces, mince, if you care...........It’s all built into the system Sirrr!. The Forces represent a cloistered and opaque arena where the Principles of Natural Justice are in perpetual coma, and  the Generals' egos have a free run, be it India or the US or Timbuktu. The only thing one may learn from the chaps is punctuality!

The Textbook of this contrarian belief is the book Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, pronounced the best book to come out of WW II. What an irony! The Best Text to come of the Great War is not a ballad or a tale of gallantry, but a dossier on the sliminess of the men donning shining brass! ....Hhhaa..(Sholay’s Asrani style). You'll recall how Chaplain A.T.Tappman was persecuted for his critique of General Cathcart's condolence letters. Accused of stealing a plum tomato and cashiered! And if you think bah...! it's fiction! read on....

The centre-piece of today's post, happens (happen?) to be the travails of someone derisively called  the  'ketchup Colonel'. This  happened  in  2003  AD,  and  we allow one of our most reliable publications to elaborate, verbatim:

CNN IBN dated 8th July 2010:

A  CNN-IBN investigation in 2006 had shown that Col. Kohli did not follow his superiors’ orders to kill militants apprehended in an encounter in south Assam. He instead handed them over to civil authorities. While Kohli stood his ground here, he could not resist the pressure from the top. Then GoC Maj Gen Ravinder Singh was clear these men had to be (at least) shown as killed. So a photo of men just lying around smeared with ketchup was passed off for militants killed in an operation. Letters and taped conversation, all evidence with the court,  points  to  the  same. Listen in to the conversation between Maj Gen Ravinder Singh and his junior Brigadier Suresh Rao.

Brig S Rao: Hello Gen Ravinder Singh sir?
Ravinder Singh: Hello?
SR: Sir good evening. Suresh...
SR: So I said, I will just inform you ki kya hua hai (what has happened).
SR: You know that I had given him assurances on your behalf.
SR: Ki Bhai, don't worry about bodies. Kuch nahi hoga (Don't worry about bodies, nothing will happen).
RS: On your?
SR: On your behalf na sir, when you told me that.
RS: About what?
SR: Sir you know, that as far as the bodies are concerned. We'll not ask you.
RS: Haan Haan
SR: So after this what happened was... but this was done only when he was there. There was no other witness.
RS: Haan haan (ok)
SR: So I have... I have denied it.
RS: Good. Haan
While the Army and the Ministry of Defence initially agreed that Kohli could not take all the blame and should be reinstated with five years loss of service, they later changed their mind.

 Well, Colonel Kohli did do something illegal, agreed, but we know how one navigates under compelling circumstances, and The Colonel is not the sole custodian and bearer of the Cross of Morality of Mera Bharat Mahaan. Given the circumstances, the Colonel has performed to the dot, the duty of protecting life and liberty and has upheld the ideals of humanity preached by Guru Nanak and every other saint. He is a Hero of our times, and we suppose the Constitution envisaged protection of this sputtering flame!  This is indeed a rare episode of its kind and given the glory bestowed by the hoi polloi on encounter specialists, one assumes that most officers in placed like the good Colonel would have killed the quarry in cold blood, and justified,... rationalised it, you know how.....The most tragic part of the episode is that, leave alone restoring his rightful place in the Army, even otherwise decent papers will preface his rank with the ugly sobriquet 'ketchup' Funny eh....? Sister Jacobs of St. Xavier's used to say...we divested him of everything, at least leave him with a proper name maan...the good name...ভালো নাম  given to him by his parents beginning from the letter the Book ordained...leave him with a shred of dignity yaar.., in his dignity lives ours too. We as a    community, (for which read ‘ when the other fellow is watching’), will always try to be  politically correct, using polite substitutes for terms like 'deaf' or 'mute' or 'black'. We don't watch our own word when the fellow is down, don't mind making him an object of our mirth! What    hypocrisy! Hullowww....Any Emile Zola around for this Dreyfus?

Today let’s  cross  our  hearts and  take  an  oath  to   make   amends   for    what   they did to the Brave-heart – mince  no  candle-wandle,  not  to  worry:  just...let’s  refrain from using the honorific, and  call him  just ‘Col. H.S.Kohli (retd.)’...इति .....

And remember friend, there is no short-cut through the forest of the ‘Due Process of Law’...!

Pardon us from again reproducing something prophetic from Alice in Wonderland: this is an amusing ploy from the original book:

Poem #600) The Mouse's Tale

            Fury said to a mouse,
                 That he met in the
                        house, 'Let us
                           both go to law:
                            I will prosecute
                          you.-- Come, I'll
                         take no denial;
                       We must have
                     a trial: For
                   really this
                 morning I've
               nothing to do.'
                   Said the mouse
                         to the cur,
                           'Such a trial,
                              dear Sir, With
                                  no jury or
                                judge, would
                               be wasting
                           our breath.'
                        'I'll be
                   judge, I'll
                 be jury,'
               Said cunning
             old Fury:
                'I'll try
                  the whole
                    cause, and

A Clarification

A reader asks us about the context of the following passage from the Asmita post:

ज्यांच्या करता हि उपजीविके  चे साधन आहे, त्यांना जावू द्या ना! ते फार मोठे लोक! Johnny, Johnny , pudding  and  pie, he , he , he , kissed the girls and made them cry, when Abu came out to play, little Johnny ran away!

The full verse as you'll recall is 'Johnny, Johnny, pudding and pie, Kissed the girls and made them cry.  When the boys came out to play, Little Johnny ran away!' It refers to the vanishing trick Raj Thackeray does when invited to Azamgarh by Abu Azmi!


Brave Maratha warrior (left)

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