Noel Ellis's Official Blog

I wield the pen to explore the vastness of the human mind

Category: MAHARASHTRA

JAI KISAAN

185 odd kilometres, one week, 35,000 + farmers, blistered and battered walked all the way to ask the State Government to grant them a right to live with dignity. Crops got destroyed, mounting interest on loans, drought like conditions and still farmers not being looked after by their elected representatives. The irony is that there is a ministry dedicated to the agricultural sector in every state. Issue is not lack of funds but ensuring that those funds reach the last man tilling the farm.

It was terrific to see the spirit of Mumbai, irrespective of the religion, caste or creed; groups came out in great numbers to provide water and food to these men and women. I was shaken to see the condition of their feet. No slipper can last 180 kms in this heat. These people could walk this far without causalities and dehydration because they are the sons of the soil. They toil day in and day out in their parched farms. These guys put in their heart and soul to grow food but due to unfortunate circumstances and nature’s fury are forced to come on the roads. The man must have prayed to his God to stop the hail at one place and ask for water at another. What else could he have done?

The ladies too accompanying them were brave hearts of kinds. It was very sad to hear that when asked by a reporter one of them said if I have to die, it must be for the cause of farmers. Death is as it is written all over when there will be famine and nothing to eat. I salute that lady, may her physical and mental wounds heal fast and may she have respite from the torture she has gone through.

I remember my Commando training, where blisters on blisters on blisters on feet were a common thing. To reduce the pain we used to puncture them so that blood and water accumulated in them could ooze out and give us that temporary relief. I was just about 21 when I did that course. All these people were well past 50. If I had to walk it today, I would probably walk a maximum one day that too with Reebok shoes, nice t-shirt with a slogan written, a cap to shade me from the heat, my ray-bans which I can never part with and a water point every five kilometres, sun tan cream, energy bars for strength, ambulances in tow and medics on call et al.

Ask the marathoners, they go through a physical & medical check before participating. Companies sponsor the event. Doctors, paramedics, ambulances are standby. Police are deployed for traffic bandobast throughout. Cheering parties, celebrities and ministers present in large numbers at the venue. Security is tight lest any untoward incident takes place. Photo ops, flags being waved and news headlines made, media standing at every nook and corner. Medals and money is given to the participants for a 32 odd kilometres event.

Were any of these farmers a known face? Were they looking for publicity? Where were all the “VIPs” during this time? Many stars claim that they order from big basket that moves food straight from the farm to your kitchen. Well, production of food doesn’t matter to them, eating it is what matters.

Did you find any of these people breaking any rules or cause indiscipline? Did you hear any loud speakers and see huge shamiyanas? They were told that children have exams the next day so they moved late at night to their destination, so that a common mumbaikar may not be inconvenienced. That’s the spirit of our Kisaan. What they got in return after so much of struggle is only a hope and a promise. Just imagine in circumstances prevailing he has agreed to still stay hungry and in debt for six more months for his mai-baap the sarkar has promised to look into his issues.

As per reports about 4500 agitations were done by the farmers across India in the last one year. How many were covered by the media? I have seen agriculture specialists coming on channels and giving out nuts and bolts of what is right and what is wrong with the agricultural sector. They also lay down solutions for the short term, medium term and long term. Does any Government bother to listen?

It is not that only the farmers of Maharashtra who are suffering, this calamity is across India. We eat but we don’t care for the real producer of food. We pray to God to keep our plates full. Will we the people ever understand what it really takes to produce that one roti ka atta. Had our “ann data” not been working in the heat, rain and dust, what would we be feeding on? Will just saying JAI KISAAN suffice? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

 Noel Ellis

MATTER OF AN INCH

These days I avoid commenting on the state of political affairs. However, when people get loggerheads with national security, I can’t resist keying a few words. Today, I would like to deal with a politician who rubbed the Indian Navy on the wrong side for not granting permission for a floating jetty to be constructed in the Malabar hills of Mumbai. Well Sir, the least I can say is little knowledge is dangerous. If another 26/11 happens, the same politicians will not only run to the Navy but also provide a mile of land to establish a security hub where they refuse to give an inch today.

Be that as it may, you call Colaba area posh. Rightly so, it is the inhabitants and the culture of the citizens staying in that area that make it posh and Navy is definitely one of them. Real estate prices are not the only indicator for the poshness of a place. It is the environment, the facilities and national assets that make it so. Don’t you see smart men and women in white who add to the definition of posh?

If I have to suggest, why do we have all Mantralay’s including yours in Delhi? Let the Maharashtra Mantralaya shift to Deonar dumping ground and our Parliament to the Gazipur land fill. Two things would happen, one, the habit of opening their mouths too much by the politicians will stop due to the stench. Second, that area will become posh.

The Navy should be patrolling the Pakistan border as you say. Rightly so, you should be patrolling the Indian roads then. Why do you politicians chicken out while giving orders to sort Pak out? Navy would be more than happy to shift their Headquarters to Karachi or Gwadar as the case may be. You want to be in the arms of your darling every evening, what has the navy chap done to deserve a life buoy around his neck at the end of each day.

Once Pakistan is taken care of, thereafter, you won’t have any requirement of the Western fleet. Army too will be able to concentrate on the direction which is getting hotter by the day and so will the Air Force. Kindly minister sahib, visit those forward areas. I request you give us a few feet, where roads and other infrastructure can be built for sustaining the troops. The forces will be more than happy to find their colleagues being evacuated in time and saved. We want living legends and not dead jetties.

Let us be clear that minister ship lasts as long as the government lasts. How long will this one last, next election will tell? Once the Navy is sent off to patrol, they definitely won’t be able to vote, as they would be guarding the high seas for this nation. This should not give you a wrong notion that their vote won’t count. If need be, the armed forces will make it count one day. We are protectors of this nation and not people who lower their morale by ridiculous statements. We serve every government irrespective of who is the minister of which ever ministry.

The joke going around is that, if you can’t give an inch of ground, we definitely can give the government a nine inch boot in next elections. The men in uniform owe their allegiance to the tricolour & the constitution; politicians we know owe their allegiance to whom, for what and why.

One more thing I want to ask Minister Saab. You keep every inch with you but please ensure that servicemen and ex servicemen do not have to beg for their rights. Their families are looked after while they are at the borders. Their children get admissions in schools, their properties are not taken away by thugs, their aging parents are treated with dignity and their documents are made without greasing any palm. Too much of rum has been spilled in the corridors of civil authorities without relief to this man guarding the frontiers. The beauty is that even when you don’t give him his due, he still doesn’t let the country down.

I wish you become the Defence Minister one day, maybe just temporarily and understand why they denied that facility. The person whose baby it is knows, isn’t it? I know you can’t think beyond business, profits and commerce but National Security should never be compromised at any cost, ever.

Well, Indian Armed Forces have a different business to deal with. So kindly take back your words and give us that inch which you have decided not to give. We have been taught and believe in that Chetwode Motto which says “The Safety, Honour and Welfare of your country comes first always and every time”. Construction of a jetty for commercial purposes comes last always and every time. Does it make any sense to you Mr Minister? I wonder!!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

FROM 2018 TO 1818

I find the divisive politics taking India on a path of self destruction. Feelings are hurt at the drop of a hat and violent protests erupt on the drop of the second hat. This inciter of such protests is a rudderless, aimless person with no sense of nationalism. He derives his strengths from bandhs, blockades, arson, loot, stoppages and causing inconvenience to the public at large for a narrow minded thought process. The blame is put on public sentiment. My foot!

What does it take to stop a train? Call ten people to stand in front of the engine. I don’t know where the GRP evaporates during such times. Peaceful or not peaceful, no citizen has got any business to stop a train and putting commuters in a perilous situation. Daily wagers will have to go hungry. Some corporate will mark you late and some will deduct pay. What goes of this protestor, nothing!

Is it justified to smash busses and burn them? Do burning cars and vehicles douse the feelings of the agitated mob? Is it justified to bring traffic to a grinding halt? I am sure most of these people, ladies included when spoken to individually will have no reason to leave their homes and hearth. I can assure you had the situation got out of hand the Army would have been called in? The police wait for people to ransack and burn assets. Then declare things out of control. Why can’t they issue warnings that thus far and no further? Catch hold of the leader and put him in the clink. Lay down a boundary, you step beyond that or else bear the consequences. Instead, everyone is in offices watching the tamasha on CCTV or mobile and reporting to their higher ups.

CM speaks to the media that there was adequate police protection, my second foot! Had there been protection how someone dare destruct any asset. Can’t he be picked up and given two solid dandas on his bums then and there? When there were intelligence inputs about such agitations, why the centre can’t be roped in to provide additional forces ab-initio? All goondas identified should be brought to the police station for interrogation, especially those involved in looting and arson. Announcement of Judicial enquiries solve no purpose.

A joke going around on social media is that the world entered 2018 and Maharashtra entered 1818. What has been achieved out of this mockery? Yes the ego of a certain community must have been satisfied that see we could bring a state to a standstill.  The case would be fought in courts till the cows come home. The investigations and judicial probes will be in such a detailed manner that lakhs of pages would be submitted, with conclusions, suggestions but in the end it would be biting dust. People will be deceived by judicial and political jargon. Outcome will be zero. Only the bus driver will be happy to drive a new replaced bus as his complaint about the faulty gear box got addressed by burning the bus. Life will go on.

Why can’t there be a rule that all protests will be in a particular area, you deviate and you shall be behind bars especially citizens stopping trains, jamming roads, burning private and government assets and property? Such people should be made to do community service for the rest of their lives. Any political party or any political leader agitating in this manner who aggravates, motivates, leads, instigates, starts, triggers and does anything to hamper normal life should be out of the political arena for life. If they can be rowdy’s so should the law ensuring force be ruthless.

Do we need Pakistan to disrupt peace and harmony of this country? I don’t think so. We Indians can do it.  Such bandhs are a shame, it is narrow mindedness, it is appeasement politics, it is dividing our society, it is challenging our law and its enforcing agencies, and it is a waste of time, resources and my taxes. It is shift of focus from improvement to deterioration; it is depriving ourselves from assets made for us. Such bandhs are fodder for the media to run their channels & lame excuses to stall parliament. People, who actually had to commute, catch trains and flights, go to hospitals etc became victims of this hooliganism for no fault of theirs.

Be that as it may, any violence, arson and loot should be nipped in the bud. Our Police force need to be effective. Danda on the bums to start with, if need be fire below the knees, if need be fire for effect, if need be call in forces from the centre, remove troublemakers without remorse or pity.

Till a clear cut and strong message does not go down to such protesters that no nonsense shall be tolerated, till then things will not fall into place. We are not in the freedom struggle days; instead we are putting our independence at stake in 2018. Too much has been allowed in the name of democracy, time now has come to discipline us Indians. Will it make sense to any government? I wonder!!!!!!!!

JAI HIND

© Noel Ellis

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