Noel Ellis's Official Blog

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

Category: UP ELECTIONS

TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT

On hearing the ban on butcheries in UP I was reminded of a friend of mine who used to strictly follow “Mar jana par daliya nahi khana”. I used to love this phrase which means I shall die but not eat porridge. Well, it is simple, such guys are pure non-vegetarians. I fall in the same category too. Now my vegetarian friends can cry hoarse about everything available in ghaas-phoos and paneer category, it is going to fall on deaf ears. They can scare me with the cholesterol, BP and affiliated diseases but they can forget it. I have tried eating everything on earth so I shall stick to what I love to eat.

I was brought up in a “Shikari” family and it used to be mutton, chicken, fish, rabbit, pork and shikar sometimes. If nothing else then it used to be Anda-Curry, as eggs were abundantly available due to the small little poultry we had at home. The best used to be any rooster doing “cock-a-doodle-do” at any odd time of the day especially disturbing dad during his afternoon siesta was in the pot in the evening. The freezer of the fridge was always stocked with fish. Big sized fish used to be pickled by mom. How can I ever forget that mouth watering taste?

By the way I was a vegetarian throughout NDA. In NDA someone briefed us wrong, that one gets to eat more on the vegetarian table. Someone said that ragging is less on the vegetarian side. Well, my senior Cheetah’s Prithpal, Munish, Sardana, Navneet, Katoch hey guys, thank you for teaching us table manners. Thank you for teaching us as to how to cut the butter piece into half. Thank you for teaching us how to eat a square meal. Thank you for teaching us how to eat soup with a fork, elbows off the table, hands on your lap, keep mum while you chew, swallow whatever you have in your mouth and then answer, how to drink water without that glug-glug-glug sound, how dishes were excused (means you could not eat them even if they were served), how to break bread and chapatti, how to split a toast, which hand, spoon and fork to use for which item. Thank you for giving us privileges for breaking a few slices of bread in the porridge. They also taught us how to chew 32 times (buggers used to count) and the list is endless. The only concession we used to get was exchanging our veg cutlets for eggs. Well, it was only in sixth term I ever had lunch in the mess on Sundays as they served fish. Most of NDA never turned up for lunch.

Mom used to be very particular when I used to get back from NDA on holidays. Bhindi and Aloo were the only things vegetarian I used to tolerate. One morning she gave me the left over non veg gravy of previous night’s dinner and a few fried eggs. I must have chepoed four solid lachhedaar parathas with it and asked for more. She said beta should I make more eggs, I said no give me the vegetable in the pot. She said you won’t eat, I said who says, and told her to make a few more parathas. NDA taught me the value of food. I could eat anything which moved or didn’t move. My mom said beta in the last 17 years this is the first time you have ever eaten karela. I didn’t have a heart to tell her that my appetite is so much that even if she adds poison to this karela I will eat it.

Unit was fun, one could eat whatever, but on non-veg days, I used to be twenty second down the line on the table. So the poor chicken either had only broken wings or mashed necks. Mutton used to be just bones. How hard our waiters Jagjit, Laalu & Gabbar used to try but could never manage a leg for us. In a couple of years I had many juniors so the fight used to be for roti’s then. I remained a vegetarian after getting married as far as fauji rations were concerned. In peace stations meat on hoof and chicken on paws supplied were never up to my liking.

In high altitude eating tinned tuna or dal-tarka made no difference as the smell of your farts and the shrillness in its noise never changed. I got on to catching trout in the Lukung River which falls into Pangang Tso. Lovely times we spent up stream, fresh trout, fresh yak, love and fresh air was the only way to survive. The pinjas made lovely thuppa, a meaty clear soup with noodles. In case they were in the mood then one could get freshly made sausages. Otherwise tinned milk, tinned veges, and tinned fruit soaked in that surgery sticky syrup used to be ultimate. The huge pooris called “phu-amcho” which actually meant and resembled “donkey’s ears” were a substitute for pooris in the morning. I considered them non-veg for obvious reasons. Come evening the fresh catch of the day was my meal.

While in the deserts, I have had 17 meals continuous, breakfast, lunch and dinner of partridges. Dry in the morning, gravy in the afternoon and as snacks with chota-chota in the evening. My .22 & fishing net were standard accessories on my numerous reconnaissance missions. All the lakes, canals and ponds were GPS fixes. Navigation to these places could be done blind folded. Early morning partridge shoots were ultimate. Jonga’s front wind shield down for better visibility, even in coldest of winters and thick fog. Spotters on the lookout, driver trained to halt the vehicle with the right angle to fire. By the time the sun used to be up, we used to have enough in our kitty and on the way back the shoot used to be for the officers of the Unit. Injured animals of the Gujjars and Bakarwals in Srinagar made us dependent on leopard’s daily kill. Most of my boys were from hill tribes, so cooking up a non-veg dish was like making anda bhujia at short notice. Good old days, guys you can’t think of it now.

Now I am in a coastal area, if yogiji will come here and see then he may ban the vegetables also, leave alone the illegal unlicensed butcheries. Here one will find a goat hanging in a straw hut, with a huge tree trunk on stilts with flies humming nosily drowning the sound of chop-chop. The only thing you can ask for here is “pure meat”. Well that doesn’t mean hygienically pure or the rest of the meat is impure but is without much bones and fat.

The only vegetarian thing I enjoy most is “Bhains ka doodh” with the finger thick malai. I am happy I am not is UP and yet to taste Tunde kebabas, so let me keep enjoying varieties of fish which are available here besides all forms of pure and impure meat. I have no dilemma whatsoever that I shall continue to stick to “Mar jana but dalia nahi khana” Any one joining me? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A YOGI COMES TO POWER

It is nice to see people from the religious communities now reaching esteemed posts for the governance of India. We have had sadhvis and sadhus in the parliament besides Muslim clerics, now I find yogis have started becoming CM of states also. Will it be good or not so good? Will it be bad or worse, that time will tell? One thing is definite that these are winds of change. These changes will have to be accepted because it is the will of the people. Is this the manipulated or real will of the people of the state? Is it the will of certain senior leaders of a political party in question, which has been forced down the gullet of the people of this huge state, or is it really a genuine case of hard work and rising from the grass roots to the top, slowly learning the tricks of the trade? That will be answered in due course of time. Should it be the norm hence forth? It is a little premature for me to say as of now. But my view is religion and politics should never be mixed. If they have to mix then either the person should quit his religious avatar, or quit politics.

In this light I would like to share my views on the newly elected CM of UP and people who are associated with religious kind of work. I shall not talk of religion perse here, as I feel religion, faith and belief in the divine is very personal. I am of the opinion that such things should not be discussed and displayed in public. What is my personal connect with my God or what I believe in, the other person will never understand but when I get on to loud speakers, sense of dressing, moral policing and forcing people to do what my belief says is right is where the problem arises. I am not in favour of that either and I do not want such a thing to happen in m country. It will be the darkest time for India.

I tried to find out who is a yogi from different sources including Wikipedia and would like to share what is written there. The first one said one who practices yoga. It also says a practitioner of meditation or a sanyasi. A practitioner of tantra may also be termed as a yogi. According to Karel Werner (1977), “Yoga and the Ṛig Veda” which uses words of admiration for the Yogis who carry within oneself fire and poison, heaven and earth, ranging from enthusiasm and creativity to depression and agony, from the heights of spiritual bliss to the heaviness of earth-bound labour. A man who has mastered and transformed these contrary forces and is a visible embodiment of accomplished spirituality. He is said to be light and enlightenment itself. He does not live a normal life of convention. His hair and beard grow longer, he spends long periods of time in absorption, musing and meditating and therefore he is called “sage” (muni). They wear clothes made of yellow rags fluttering in the wind, or perhaps more likely, they go naked, clad only in the yellow dust of the Indian soil, they follow the path of the mysterious wind when the gods enter them. He is someone lost in thoughts: he is miles away. They practice celibacy if single or non-cheating if with a partner.

According to Akshaya Banerjea as per philosophy of gorakhnath, yogi advances in the path of self discipline (practice) and aspires to spiritually realize truth. A yogi lives by voluntary ethical precepts to include the following

  • Ahimsa: non violence, non-harming other living beings
  • Satya: truthfulness, non-falsehood
  • Asteya: not stealing
  • Daya : kindness, compassion
  • Arjava: non-hypocrisy, sincerity
  • Kshama: forgiveness
  • Dhriti: fortitude
  • Mitahara: moderation in diet both in terms of quantity and quality
  • Swach: purity, cleanliness
  • Tapas: austerity, persistence and perseverance in one’s purpose
  • Santosha: contentment, acceptance of others and of one’s circumstances as they are, optimism for self
  • Daan: generosity, charity, sharing with others

My only hope is that let it be any yogi or sadhvi, maulvi or padri who gets elected to the state or national assemblies, if they conduct themselves in line with what has been stated in the religious scriptures, I have no issues at all, but moment I find things moving towards communal disharmony, religious ill feelings, fanaticism, forcing your beliefs on someone, inciting communal violence, polarising the public and so forth then for them there should be no place in politics as such. India is a free country and free speech, if such things have to be done should be done outside the realms of parliament and its proceedings.

What I want the yogi to bring in a new thrust and josh in terms of a clean image, being impartial to all. An honest government which is unbiased and unprejudiced, fair, just and open minded, without deceit, balanced, without favour or favouritism, practical and focussed, forthright and cooperative, dedicated and approachable to everyone because it is the peoples mandate given by the people of UP. At least the results say so, isn’t it?

I wish people of UP and Yogi Aditya Nath luck for the challenging times ahead. I hope that all the dreams and promises he carries with him and of his party he can fulfil. I also pray that people of UP allow him to function and bring in the change and development he wants to rather than starting on a wrong note of blaming him to be the religious minded hot headed kind. Let this yogi work with all the qualities of a yogi within his beloved state so that all the dalits, shoshits peeriths, vanchits, pichhray eat the fruits of progress that are going to come with this new government along with the general category of the common man. Will this thought of mine come true? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!

 

DEFENCE MINISTRY OF INDIA IS HEADLESS

The lotus has bloomed at many places this Holi, the hand shook hands with some, the broom failed to sweep, the cycle was damaged beyond repair and the rest is history. What has been gained and what has been lost in these elections that time will tell. I wish the parties all the best now to fulfil their dreams and desires to take the states to new horizons. This was obvious in pre poll bhashans, now I would like to see that whatever you were unhappy about improves drastically. I know it will need time, but I am an impatient voter. I have brought you in for a change. I voted for you for purely selfish reasons. I look forward to see Achhe din, from all the parties which will make governments. If you guys fail me, I will have no choice but to bear with you for the next five years otherwise I shan’t give you another chance.

My issue today is how can national priorities be less significant than the party priorities? How can the nation be left into a lurch in guise of peoples need, for whatever reasons. Well let me put it point blank, because I am from a defence community which bears the brunt by losing lives in line of duty every day. Yes friends, I am not happy with the decision of moving the defence minister. Imagine, in one day a man who was responsible for everything related to defence will suddenly now go back from where he came. All the hard work which he might have put in, all the policies which he would have evolved, all the decisions he would have taken, the style of functioning which he would have brought in for the working of the defence ministry would change overnight.

The people of Goa have decided that he should be the Chief Minister. What were the people of Goa doing till now? Let all of us from the armed forces also send a petition to the PM that the country’s defence is more important than one state. I cannot list out what Mr Parrikar has done for the forces since taking over which the Chiefs can answer better. In fact they should be the ones who should be consulted whether it would be prudent to move him immediately.  On the other hand it was quite surprising that India did not have an exclusive Defence Minister till Mr Jaitley shifted to pure finance. I am upset, how can we be so casual and callous about a post which is involved in real battle day in and day out with both the internal and external enemies. We have deals in the pipe line which no one else but the defence minister would have lined up. There would be policies which would have been worked out in great details which the new incumbent would take at least a year to understand especially OROP and details of 7th pay commission (selfish me). There would be Secrets which would only be known to the defence minister and now it would be known to another minister and in case he too changes then one can understand how many ears would know and how many mouths will speak. Official secrets act is good for just signing on the first on Jan every year that’s all. Defence deals can be done by bureaucrats, minister saab was just a stamp it appears.

Politics and especially this kind of politics increases my dislike for the people who do it. I am convinced now that the arrogance of winning is getting to the head. I have to be prepared for such decisions which now will be taken more often. Who am I to even think of questioning it? Had BJP not got the desired number of seats which they got today in Goa, could they have dared to think of making a government? Mr Parrikar would have continued to be defence minister. Today, the defence ministry is headless. Had the PM been so much in love with his desh and desh wasis he should have first announced that who will be the replacement of the defence minister. Goa is not running away to the Portuguese again but every second delayed in terms of a defence decision will surely lead to some enemy taking advantage of the situation. I wish this contingency should have been thought out well in advance. Before firing India’s defence minister to Goa, a successor should have been geared up. I hope now someone with a defence background is put in that chair, enough of tomfoolery.

Politics if compared to Holi proves by the end of the day one cannot make out the real face of a person. That is what I see happening at the highest political level. People are changing colours so fast in the name of party and politics that the real intention of the face and person is getting blurred. This nation cannot progress if we do not grow above party politics. India is being harmed like hell in the name of what people want.  Politicians in power are being too self-centred. What the neta’s want; it is my party, my win, my man, my ideas which are being plastered on the common man forgetting why we became national leaders. I conjecture the aim was to get in more members to the Rajya Sabha and votes for the presidential Electoral College so as to bring in your man as President of this country. For this the PM and his cabinet camped away from the real place of work for days. Aim achieved, bills will now be passed faster, our men will be in the highest positions, colour of the mask does matter, colour of the scarf does matter, the man behind the mask need not matter.

All these are my apprehensions folks; I am seeing a change in the Indian polity, which is definitely required. I know to take tough decisions; the colour of the party dress has to be the same. I also agree that some decisions may not be palatable to everyone like this one of side stepping the Defence Minister for selfish reasons as I see it. I would only request the PM, that sir; defence is no joke, nor child’s play. Kindly be serious and let us not leave the defence ministry headless. Such appointments should never be touched even if party pressures force you to do it, otherwise comedians can also fit the bill of the defence minister. Will you get the deeper meaning of what I plead Mr PM? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

THE RACE ONLY TO WIN

What will change after the change of parties in various states? May be some priorities of work will change, may be pace of work may change. If it increases, it may be for the betterment but if it is otherwise then heavens help us. May be the style of working will change, may be nothing may change also. What is the difference between people of any state? Is it their mental levels? Is it their intellectual levels? Is it their educational levels? Is it their working capacity levels? What is different if one is from one party or the other? Isn’t our basic Indian mentality the same? When the aim is clear that it is development of a state, then how does the political inclination or ideology matter? Will roads be built faster? Will jobs be created faster? Will education become uniform and world class? Will poverty be alleviated with a snap of a finger? What will it be? I am not sure, nor do I want to conjecture, but this much is sure that it all will be kind of new brooms, only thing is that time will tell whether they sweep better or otherwise.

Let me hypothetically imagine that BJP has won in a state and makes a new government. Firstly, will they be able to change the projects which have already been budgeted and passed for the financial year? Will it happen that all the projects in hand started by the previous government be scrapped? Will the same happen with the welfare schemes for the needy and poor? Or will a fresh set of needy and poor be created to justify new expenditure of funds, I don’t know. Will the old names of schemes be changed for the heck of it to bring a fresh lease of life to the existing ones? This will of course cost time and money. For their implemetation there will be long hours spent debating in state assemblies. Will it be that new lotus ponds will come up at every nook and corner replacing the elephants and other animals? Will the cycles be now hung from every pillar and post to say time for them to go?

I still can’t understand that except for pulling in more central funds as the colour of the flag is same, can there be any drastic changes in the states which have decided to exchange the baton with a fresh set of athletes. The goal is the same, the track is the same, time elapsed will be a shade plus minus, but will one party or one man change the destiny of the complete state. I have my doubts.

I am of the opinion; everyone who comes to power actually plays with the lives of the people by experimenting. They bring in schemes and procedures which according to them are considered best. They try to implement them at the cost of the tax payers’ money. The bureaucracy is told the idea and ordered to work out the scheme, keeping loop holes for the obvious, “draining the exchequer”. If I have to bring in some change in my house, I think 10 times, consult 20 people, see 30 shops, reject 40 designs and then finalise something. Say, to change the education system, can it be different from the national education system, or should it be different from the national education system. To prove a point these politicians will induce certain changes just to appease their clientele.

I also want to question the very selection of candidates. Do we have a picture in mind that if so and so candidate wins, he will be the best fit for this job? Or is it that we shall field in the most popular candidate for a particular constituency, who has chances of winning, if he wins we shall fit him in for this job. The uncertainty of winning or losing is till the last moment, then once a person wins thereafter heads get together in “parliamentary committees” that who shall get what, irrespective of their areas of specialisation in case they have any. Well, I am expecting too much, actually I have yet to see ministers being employed and deployed as per their “qualifications” and “proficiencies”. It is who is close to the party president, or who has requested for a certain portfolio well before the elections results. I don’t know if a price tag is put on certain ministers both at the centre and states that for position ‘A’ the candidate may have to deposit or spend X amount for party purposes in return. You never know, what I say might be true and if it is true nothing will change this nation.

I have yet to understand that if your road is potholed and broken, changing your old car with a Ferrari racing car will be disastrous in real terms. In the same light, if we see, the racing track is the same, the hazardous are the same, the pit stops are the same, the support staff is the same, the length of the arena is the same then the difference between the first car and the last car will only be of a few seconds. The only thing is that the cost of tickets which I call taxes for the common man may keep increasing. The spectators who can’t afford to see the race will hang on to trees and buildings to watch the race. They may not get the preferential treatment that accrues while sitting in the race track to buy drinks and snacks because they will never be able to afford them anyhow. The common man will never understand the nitty-gritty’s of “racing” by which I mean by politics, they will never know the tactics employed to win the race, they may never know what unfair means which were used to win, but yes by virtue of so many people attending the race, they too might make a fast buck.

The driver of a racing car has to be an expert, same for the political contest, but the support team has to be the best. The racing teams do not change their staff for ages, as every man has a specialised expertise and here I see them as the bureaucrats. You may send them to different race tracks, but the basic domain remains the same. The cars might change, the company might change, the cheer leaders might change, but the race does not change, the race track does not change, the goal to perform does not change, the will to win does not change, the thrill to win also does not change.

Well friends, whether it is BJP, Congress, SP winning or losing or AAP making headway makes no difference to me. It is the team which matter to me, their motivation to work for the masses which matters, their coordinated efforts for one goal which will matter. Above all, what matters is their character, their integrity and their loyalty to the nation and their state. I find all this lacking in most of our politicians. If they rise above petty party politics once elected and address issues of the country, I shall let it pass, but I am not willing to accept a team which may stall the progress of my country for personal, political, or party’s ideological reasons? Will we have India as a winner, I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!

IT IS ELECTION TIME IN UTTAR PRADESH

It is confusing to see the PM of this country trying to become the CM of UP. I heard a few of his fenku kind of bhashans, pardon me my saying so sir, that’s what you actually did. Thereafter, I lost interest in BJP and all the “KASABS” as said amit bhai. I am amazed the way complete BJP is anchored in UP. Is this country running on remote? Or is this country running on auto pilot? Well, I would request the PM that this team you have taken to UP should reach Kashmir moment a terrorist encounter takes place. From the home minister to the finance minister to all and sundry and their staff should straight away move to the site and take control of operations first hand. I say so because in common parlance it is said that every election is a jung, aar paar ki larai of sorts, candidates fight against each other, each party puts its poora jor to “fight” elections, right. Then why doesn’t the PM along with his cabinet fight terrorism with the same josh and gusto. If law and order is a state subject, then in the same light the state elections should be left to the state leaders, yes once in a while the PM may visit to review the situation but he cannot squat there with his complete cabinet till cows come home. Will it be correct in case there is a terrorist encounter anywhere, the COAS along with all the Army commanders and Corps commanders reach the site leaving their primary areas of responsibilities in the lurch? It would be foolish the least I can say.

I was just inferring from all this drama that what is at stake. Well, it is crystal clear to me that elections have to be won at any cost, the implications of which I shall not discuss. I would rather put it that the gravy trail directly or indirectly runs through this biggest state as such. For that hook & crook are used. Hook to trap the gullible innocent janta, and crook to brainwash the same janta. The bait on the hook is money which would have flown behind the scenes and under the carpets. The clean image which is portrayed, it isn’t clean at all. The pandal arrangements for PMs one rally would eat up funds of many candidates, if the election commission norms are to be followed in letter and spirit.

The other day one central minister landed in a helipad close by for a private visit. The police bandobast and the political bandobast had at least 70 vehicles lined up. Police, Intelligence staff, traffic police etc came from 130 kms from the state capital. His bullet proof vehicle and the black cats he is authorised also came from there.  The chopper was a twin engine helicopter which if hired would cost about 3.5-4 Lakhs an hour and it has to be hired for minimum two hours. I am sure that would have been covered in guise for him to check ground realities of the ministry he holds. So his private visit to a dharma guru is also covered and paid through my taxes. I can imagine when the PM who with his whole cabinet goes picnicking. My imagination stops imagining at how things would be exploited in garb of officialdom. Babu’s must be flying up and down to get acknowledgements’ signed, may be business class as its an official TD. The TA DA claims which shall follow, five star hotel stays would also be included I suppose. My God, unimaginable!

I am convinced that politics is a dirty game. Here everything appears to be murky. I just saw a video of a candidate of UP, who doesn’t know the full form of the acronym MLA when asked by the media. He doesn’t know how the President is elected. He doesn’t know the difference between the national anthem and the national song. He doesn’t know what is a cashless transaction and PM Sahib he says he will fulfil your dreams after studying your dreams once he is elected, my foot!

Uttar Pradesh, with the BJP flag will surely turn around the state with such jokers in the state assembly who disgrace their very candidature. Please sack him, whichever party he belongs to. He is a disgrace to my nation. This man if he wins I shall have to salute him, the very thought of which sends shivers down my spine. I know for sure, you would not even know half of your candidates and their achievements. Even if you know, then you have no choice at this late a stage to change them. The damage which would be done to my country, if people of such calibre are going to be in the state assemblies and count towards electing my President would be unfathomable. It’s high time I stop thinking of politics. The impression such politicians leave on me is disgusting.

The beauty of these elections is that all are claiming outright majority, well, I would take the final figures only after the votes have been counted rather than getting into any kind of speculations. I also know moment the results are declared, parties will start accusing each other for rigging, using unfair means, money etc, and when party spokespersons will sit on news debates then the losing ones will congratulate the winners and blame it on the mandate the people have given, as if the janta has done something wrong. Half the candidates who win would be jumping around not knowing actually that from today starts their responsibility to the nation, and not the other way around that the nation now will be responsible for their existence. Unfortunately the later is true.

I find it quite amusing when the winners blow away Lakhs on crackers, and throw tons of colours. I hope that too would have been catered for in the election funds. What about the losing candidates? What about their fire crackers and colours? I am also kind of amazed that from where do so many “Dholi’s” appear? I kind of get charmed the way ladies start dancing in a “begani shadi”. Are they paid to dance form party funds? Or are they genuinely dancing for their candidate? Are they really happy “dil se” or are they kind of cheerleaders? What have they got to dance about for? Will the mantri ji give a place in his matralay to them? Men I know are “vellas”, and have nothing better to do. Half of them will drink and make merry irrespective of which party wins till they get booze and snacks. They will dance anywhere for that. Jokes apart, if PM Sahib has so much time to spare for this election, then imagine how much of the national time he and his cabinet may waste for all other elections. My hard earned money which is snatched away by the government as taxes will go down the drain for people who do not matter to me at all.

What an irony of sorts it is! I feel; let us stop this wasteful expenditure on “drame baazi”. Let party funds be utilised for a better India by the respective parties. I do not mind at all if your party feeds the poor for your complete tenure. However, the elections I feel are a waste of time and have been confined to negative politics. Desh ki janta is as it is aloof of the magic concoction which is being brewed in various pots. People like me will keep dancing for a peg and a leg, but will these elections bring prosperity to the state and in turn India? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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