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Monday, May 30, 2016

Who Stole My MIlk ? - Facebook Style !

I am totally indebted to the face book philosophers for this post. The name of the game is "who stole my milk ?"

 To begin with , you pick up a photo of a hungry looking child like the one on the left. I picked up the first image answering to the search 'hungry child'; Just avoid African and Whites as the game involves some serious 'India bashing'.
The next step is to find  the villain who could have stolen the milk from the Child. If not stolen , you can always argue that 'so and so ' is so well off that it would be a sin if he /they do not provide milk to the Child.

The villain could be anyone who is involved in  expending some milk. It could also be symbolically expressed by just show of wealth. A lot depends on who is your target. If you think the govt is to blame ... then show a Govt partying... Add a caption ,

they have laddoos to celebrate but no milk for a hungry child

In case  you are anti-corporate , bring in Vijay Mallaya.

The banks have 9000 crores for Mallya and none for the hungry child

Peaceniks  can always go after the Hawks crying for a higher defence budget. They can  come up with “Cost of one Fighter aircraft can feed all the hungry children in the country !” Even The OROP bill for 8000 crores can be attacked !

Of course the easiest target is  religion . Get a picture of an idol being offered milk ... or cash being counted at a religious place. Imagine,   the amount of money  people spend on God; If only this money is spent on the poor , there would be no child going to bed hungry. (It's a different matter , that had there been no temples, this money would most likely be used to make Vijay Mallya and the like richer)

 You can even blame  the farmers . There was a news report from Odisha about three weeks back, that the farmers emptied a milk tanker letting 14000 litres of milk flowing on to  the street. No use crying over spilt milk; they were just protesting against a company not accepting the quality of milk they supplied.  news report

The scope is tremendous; you can do IPL bashing or F-1 Race bashing if you don't like sports. With some imagination you can make even children feel guilty. How ? throw some statistics like "70% of the milk produce is used for making Ice Cream and Confectionery " So any ice cream eating or chocolate eating child is literally eating into the minimum protein requirement of a poor , hungry child; isn't it ? One photo does it all; depends on where you place it.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Other Train Journey in SA

       Anyone with a nodding acquaintance with the life of mahatma Gandhi would be familiar with the story of Gandhiji being unceremoniously thrown out from a First Class Compartment in South Africa. 

To quote  Louis Fischer,

.............The incident occurred at At Maritzburg, the capital of Natal, in 1893.Gandhi could have returned to the train and found a place in the third class car. But he chose to remain in the station waiting room. It was cold in the mountains. His overcoat was in his luggage which the railway people were holding; afraid to be insulted again, he did not ask for it. All night long, he sat and shivered, and brooded. ..... That bitter night at Maritzburg the germ of social protest was born in Gandhi. ................

From an ordinary lawyer, the transformation to an extraordinary world leader had started.

What is lesser known is the other journey that transformed Gandhi's life and indirectly India's destiny was another rail journey Gandhiji undertook in 1904.

       During the period from 1893 to 1904, Gandhiji continued to practice as a lawyer at Johannesburg. He took up all kinds of issues affecting the Indian Community in South Africa , through every available forum,  for redressal, but he was essentially a successful Indian lawyer.

      In 1903, Gandhi had helped to start a weekly magazine called Indian Opinion. The paper was in difficulties, and to cope with them at first hand Gandhi took a trip to Durban where the magazine was published.  By then he had found a close friend in Henry S. L. Polak, a London born Jew who totally involved himself in the Indians' cause in Transvaal. Polak saw him off at the station and gave him a book to read for the long journey. It was John Ruskin's Unto This Last.

      As Gandhiji himself says in 'My Experiments with Truth" 
"It gripped me. Johannesburg to Durban was a twenty-four hours' journey. The train reached there in the evening. I could not get any sleep that night. I determined to change my life in accordance with the ideals of the book," Gandhi wrote.
"I believe that I discovered some of my deepest convictions in this great book," he wrote, adding the work "captured me and made me transform my life."

Again to quote Louis Fischer,

 ........Those books appealed to him most which were closest to his concept of life and, where they deviated, he brought them closer by interpreting them. 'It was a habit with me'. Gandhi once wrote, 'to forget what I did not like and to carry out in practice whatever I liked.'........

        At the end of the journey , he was fully convinced of the course of action he should take. He wrote a long letter to his elder brother  to be relieved of the financial commitments to his family. It was his brother who had sent him to London to study law. He bought a piece of land to establish an Ashram. It was called Phoenix farm. The rail journey took place in Oct 1904 and in Nov 1904, Phoenix farm was born.
      It took him another year to completely close down his establishment at Johannesburg , but thereafter , he never looked back. In South Africa it was Phoenix Farm and later Tolstoy Farm. Back in India it was  Sabarmati Ashram and later Warda Ashram that  became the hub of Indian freedom Struggle.

       Gandhiji had a wonderful faculty of translating into practice anything that appealed to his intellect. Some of the changes he had made in his life were as prompt as they were radical.

       He did not preach but just practiced what appealed to him . When asked by a someone as to what was his message to the world , he could simply say,          
                             My life is my message