Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Mubarak!

It has been an overwhelming Easter weekend at our farm house in Alibag. These pics say it all.... or... wait a minute.... do they? Getting my half-a-dozen children together under the same roof was challenge number one. But it happened! Making sure my grand daughter made the most of the pool and beach was a cake walk! She is a natural water baby.
 The sea was rough and choppy. But the moon, Orion and Great Bear in the clear night sky made me forget the rough ride.... it goes without saying, the champagne helped! I hope all my Blogdosts had a good weekend, too!
This appeared in Sunday Times today.....

                                     If I were Zaibunissa Kazi…
 Question:What is the one thing Zaibunissa Kazi seems to have done right in her 70-plus years? Answer: She has produced one hell of a smart daughter! Listening to Shagufta Kazi arguing her mother’s case across countless television channels,it  became abundantly clear that here was a young woman who knew how the media game is played. Tutored or not, her presentation was faultless. She stuck to her script and refused to budge from her “My mother is not guilty,” position. Shagufta’s timing was impeccable as well. And her emotional pitch must have touched countless soft hearts – including Markandey Katju’s. Suddenly, the focus shifted from Sanjay Dutt and his Bollywood buddies, to an ailing old lady’s tragic condition. She was sick… she was dying… she had suffered for a crime she had not confessed to…twenty years later, she was being sent back to jail… prison life would definitely kill her… besides, she was innocent! It was a brilliant strategy – and it worked! Sorry for the cynicism. But the way this entire saga is going right now ( one sob story after another), makes one wonder whether we need a Supreme Court in India at all! If verdicts are there to be questioned and challenged by any and everybody, why bother with the long drawn out judicial process in the first place? What we are witnessing today, is nothing but staged high drama involving high profile public figures, playing on the country’s emotions. Certainly, asking for pardon is the prerogative of  every citizen.And one must hand it Sanjay Dutt ( it’s really pretty obscene to keep referring to a 54- year- old man as ‘Sanju Baba’ ) for making his position clear on the issue (“No thank you,” he says). But this particular case is not an ordinary one. The horrific terror attacks on Mumbai, left 257 dead, and 713 injured, making this one of the best planned and most devastating terror attacks in the world. Those implicated have had 20 years to think about their involvement… and express remorse. One hasn’t come across an apology so far. It seems incredible that the accused expected fellow citizens to forgive and forget what took place in 1993, considering it was fellow citizens who were under attack in the first place
Markandey Katju is an enigma. Or maybe, he is just another retired Judge seeking political office like several others before him. He insists he has examined the case thoroughly before offering support and intervention. Most citizens would have problems with the learned former Judge’s stand. It is hard to find ‘sympathy’ for those who were willing to endorse the killing of innocents in cold blood. It is harder still to accept the argument that a man in his thirties at the time ( Sanjay Dutt), thought it fit to keep an AK-56 for  “self-protection”! One assumes he would have used the deadly weapon against fellow Indians, had such a need arisen? Dutt has an entire army of supporters working for him right now – and good luck to the actor. It is hard not to like this affable  man mountain . But hello! A verdict is a verdict, no matter how adorable the accused and regardless of  how much money is riding on him. Dutt has taken it on the chin and is being a man about it. That leaves Zaibunissa and her smart daughter. If I were in Zaibunissa’s place, I would leave it to Shagufta to fight my battle. Shagufta is far more savvy than a battery of  lawyers. She can also teach the cleverest P.R. professionals a thing or two about pitching a story that tugs  at millions of heart strings. All that remains for this duo to do is to hire a high profile celebrity – and fire the rest of their advisers ( assuming they exist). Celebrities these days rent by the hour and can be easily convinced to come on board, when the case is this media-driven. Zaibunissa’s projection as a seriously ill, tormented victim with a failed kidney condition, has already worked in her favour. And Shagufta has shrewdly taken the ‘Trial by public opinion’ route.As for  the bleeding heart Judge Katju, one can see where he’s coming from, and more importantly, where he is going.
That leaves the families of the dead and injured. Aaah – them! Well… ummm… yes. Poor things. Something must be done for them soon.But before that – how about pardoning Sanjay Dutt and Zaibunissa Kazi?


Ambika said...

I was 11, when I was in Mumbai, a day after the blasts. I remember I was unable to shake off that feeling of being gazed with suspicion by just about everyone. It wasn't "them". I too was wary of everyone around. I don't know why Sanjay Dutt and several others like him should be pardoned for planting the seeds of poison and hatred in our minds. We are still living their legacy. And, we can only say "thank you" by seeing them behind the bars.
The pics are lovely! Happy!

Pooja Rathore said...

FAb pics De loved them all....Great family...happy family...makes a capricorn complete and blissful.
I agree a verdict is a verdict, yeah with regard to sanjay dutt heart does go for the leo man but he should face the verdict....its a message mess with the law at your own peril....nobody is above the law.

Ravi Patel said...

Fo a change, I cannot agree more with you Shobhaben! What else can one expect from a country so largely infected with the morals of the sewer where anything goes and the selective morality of the vermin's who infest our public life and who set the agenda for the rest of the country. Nothing reflects this crassness and depravement of our society more than the conduct of our largely venal and crooked media, a media which alas, has largely become the refuge of criminals and parasites!

Another Kiran In NYC said...

The pictures of your lovely family together under one roof is testament to your warm embrace is as a mother and as party planner. It looks like a relaxed, fun time was had by all, despite a rough sea crossing. I can only imagine that Alibag is something like goa? Is it?

Sanjay Dutt needs to learn to "deal" with the fact that he is basically a putz who has never had to grow up and smell the coffee and needs to be punished with 3 years hard labor for being the stupidest man to have become monetarily successful, and for having no regard for the law and believing in his own hype.

Suffering for 20 years is a load of hogwash. 20 years reprieve (not suffering) is what he got because of having influential and cynical family and friends. If he had any sense of what he has been punished for, his previous 18 months in Arthur Road jail, would have made sure he cleaned up his act. His proven continued links with criminals and criminality, his disregard for the legal system regarding even simple everyday matters like getting the proper license to get married, and a host of things that are not public yet are testament to this.

Katju, Jaya Pradha, Jaya Bacchan and other sundry bleeding hearts are either as supremely stupid as Sanjay Dutt or even worse...terribly cynical. The others are protecting their own money and careers.

No one expects him to really "get it" so he may as well atleast pay his debt to the legal system. Mark my words, this man is going to get into trouble again when he comes back home after his jail term. This moron will continue to be rich and full of false machismo despite everything. Can't uncurl a pig's tail!

This Zaibunissa person needs to go to Jail too. Old and infirm or not.

None of these people will really understand or care or feel remorseful about how their actions destroyed (or helped others destroy) the lives of others, so let them at least make wooden furniture and license plates and stitch jute bags until their fingers bleed. Chakki peesing and chakki peesing, (like Dharmendra mentioned in Sholay) is poor or no atonement for destroyed lives, but it is something atleast.

Anant Nanda said...

Time passed is a point, not to be lost sight of. We hear sometimes old wizened people are caught for their war crimes they committed in the hoary past. And they're punished with rigorous sentences of astronomical lengths of time. One has to bring the video clips from archives to allow the grievousness of crime to sink in at the first place and then judge if the wizened old man caught from a spider hole has been punished for the correct reason and in the correct proportion.

Now my question to myself is whether we should have caught the perpetrators of the British era and punished them just after India got independent.

Anyway, after such a long time I have to read the case files to form an opinion on what has happened. Or else the easy option is that I'd buy one of those opinions readily available in the market...and save myself the pain of researching afresh on the topic. I think there may be many like me in India? The fence-sitters.

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Nice Pictures
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