Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

House for Zohra Sehgal

The Indian Express on 10/2/2014 reported – The government does not have a house for Zohra Sehgal. Headlines Today reported her case and asked “Is this how we treat our legends?” As per reports Zohra Sehgal is 101 years old, lives in a second floor house with her daughter Kiran. As per Kiran “She can hardly hear or see. She cries in pain whenever she has to be taken to the dentist or for some work outside the house in a wheelchair. It’s difficult for her to even take the six steps to the area where she can sit in the sun.”

Zohra Sehgal had applied to the Ministry of Culture for ground floor government accommodation. The ministry did not give her house in artiste quota as she did not meet the criteria of being in age limit of 40-60 years, earn less than Rs.20,000/- p.m. and should not have property in the National Capital Region. Ministry of Culture forwarded her application to Ministry of Urban Development which did not allot her house.

It is not for the government to provide houses for present or former artistes and journalists. Sometime back there was a report that government has 20 bungalows for new journalists who come to Delhi which are occupied by senior journalists who refuse to vacate them. People who acted in films got paid for their work. Being a legend is not a favour to others and in India many people are considered legends. In a democracy all are equal. In India many people do not have a house. Zohra Sehgal has a house. Even if she had a ground floor house she would have needed someone to take her out of house.

Why is there no RTI application about artistes and journalists who live in government houses? The names of such artistes and journalists should be made public.

If The Indian Express feels so bad for Zohra Sehgal it should provide a ground floor house to Zohra Sehgal. If Headlines Today feels so bad for Zohra Sehgal it should provide a ground floor house to Zohra Sehgal. It is easy to be charitable at taxpayers’ expense.

Let Telangana be

When Arvind Kejriwal sat on a dharna some Congress members said he was creating anarchy. What they have to say about chief minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, tourism minister of India Chiranjeevi, HRD minister of India Pallam Raju, and many ministers and MPs sitting on dharna in Delhi? What about disruption caused by MPs in Parliament? What about bandhs enforced in Andhra Pradesh? Telugu politicians have come to blows outside Andhra Pradesh Bhavan. Battle for and against Telangana is fought in Delhi.
Congress had promised formation of Telangana in its manifesto. Those who oppose it knew it. They did not object it then. Some Telangana members like Keshava Rao waited for a long time for Congress to fulfil its promise and left it when they lost hope.
There would not have been Andhra Pradesh if it had not been separated from Madras in 1953. Telangana was added to Andhra Pradesh in 1956. Since then people of Telangana had wanted separation. Sometimes the movement was strong. Sometimes it was dormant. Since 2009 the movement has been unrelenting.
MPs who disrupt Parliament should be suspended. Congress together with its allies has majority in Lok Sabha and does not need BJP support to suspend disrupting MPs.
As one American diplomat wrote in a message Sonia Gandhi never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. She had many opportunities to act decisively once the announcement for formation of Telangana was made in December 2009 and opposition erupted. Resignations of Andhra MLAs who resigned in protest should have been accepted. Instead the decision to form Telangana was put on hold. When CWC decided in favour of Telangana, resignations of union ministers should have been accepted. That did not happen. The problem got worse.
The solution is to form Telangana, declare President’s Rule in Andhra Pradesh, suspend MPs who disrupt Parliament, and accept resignations of ministers. Kurnool or Vishakhapatnam or Vijayawada can be capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Narendra Modi and Adolf Hitler

Those who compare Narendra Modi to Adolf Hitler are unfair to Hitler for two reasons. First, Hitler was a friend of India. He helped Subhash Chandra Bose to fight against the British. Second, Hitler was a very capable man and a great leader. He died at 56. Modi is 63. If Modi had been half as capable of Hitler, he would have become Prime Minister of India long back and within five years annexed Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka and Maldives to India.
It took a long time for Modi to become BJP’s PM candidate. Overcoming opposition of Lal Krishna Advani and other leaders was not easy for him. Hitler took over Nazi Party within two years.
Many have spoken against Modi. We have to wait and see whether he will become PM in May. In 2009 Arun Shourie said Modi will be the next PM after Advani. Advani did not become PM. Not many thought Modi will be PM candidate in 2014. Ratan Tata shifting Nano plant from Singur to Sanand was a turning point for Modi. CNN-IBN poll shows BJP is likely to get around 200 seats and NDA up to 231 seats. Journalists like Barkha Dutt, Nidhi Razdan, Rajdeep Sardesai and channels like NDTV 24×7, representatives of NGOs who fought cases against Modi and who signed a petition for investigation in snooping on a woman, will be in trouble if Modi becomes PM. BJP leaders who opposed Modi will be out of favour.
In 1923 Hitler had tried Beer Hall Putsch. It failed. Hitler spent about a year in prison. Modi has not done anything like that. From 1925 Nazi Party grew in strength. When Hitler became Chancellor Paul von Hindenburg was President. Once Hindenburg died there was no President. Modi has not been able to tackle Governor Kamla Beniwal, a Congress appointee.
There are people who hope Modi will not become PM. They hope BJP will not get enough seats and coalition partners will oppose Modi and agree to some other leader of BJP as PM. Some hope AAP will cut BJP vote and win enough seats to keep Modi out of power.
Hitler was a vegetarian. Modi seems to be a vegetarian. He spoke against Pink Revolution and export of beef. He spoke of putting beef-eaters in jails. That may cost him votes. If he speaks against eating pork, chicken, mutton, fish and eggs he will lose more votes.
Hitler had Eva Braun as mistress. Modi is not known to have a mistress. There was a report that he was married and sent away his wife.

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