1st May Happenings

Necessarily, a newspaper is supposed to oppose the ruling party. If not, at least criticize.

It is no more so. They have forgotten their role is analogous to that of the opposition party. Today the ruling party leaders are invited to write editorials! It’s no less than handing over your rights to the authority whom you’ve vowed, may be virtually, to take to task. What if he writes against the policy of your newspaper? From the behaviour, pouncing stance and ferocious aggressiveness of the ruling party in Delhi caught in an invisible strait situation may do it. Would it be published?

The purpose can be served by an interview for the occasion.

Loksatta did invite chief minister to write an editorial on the occasion of the golden jubilee celebration of the state while the clouds of massive corruption, suspension of ex-chief minister, overall antagonism, and decisional hiccups over environmental disasters are looming over head.

The chief minister on the occasion wrote what he spoke and did nothing for last three months. Intentions carried over from the tip of the tongue to the tips of the fingers. Buss.

However, the tradition of ruling party in Maharashtra and also in Delhi is to transgress and elongate mostly anything and everything as long as possible till it stretches and ultimately breaks.

Any astute scholar is expected to become glorious faster than anyone ordinary person. However, the new chief minister of Maharashtra has fallen under this spell of lethargy is quite obvious with double brunt as he was in Delhi and Maharashtra now.

He has mentioned from Kelkar policy to Antyodaya Yojana and talked about many points including RTI and like.

This is nothing but wishful thinking and I’m sure now, that government wants to continue playing the game of hide-and-seek till 2014 when the next elections are due, provided it doesn’t get crushed under its own inertia of corruption.

It is obvious that their friendship of yesteryears when they were yet to achieve their current day positions of the executive editor and the chief minister facilitated this guest editorship melodrama. The exe-editor has quoted about this private relationship in one of his earlier writings.

Consciously or otherwise it is a carried over effect. Rajiv Gandhi, a novice in politics, when took over as a Prime Minister, had no option but to invite his pilot and other friends to take over political positions. And the havoc they are playing in Indian political scenario is evident in front of eyes till date. I don’t think this duo would be able to do like that anytime.

However, the example is before our eyes and is fresh, though of a different nature, but tied in a twine of politics.

So as the CM did, the public in our wadi in Mumbai did. They have been doing it before the rise of the CM in politics. Presently, both do nothing solid. Our wadi people in Mumbai banged with loud speakers, dot at the sunrise, as they have been doing since decades, untiringly. Then they played and sang songs of Shahir Sable; now they sing Marathi-Hindi bhel songs of Avadhoot Gupte romanticizing image of Maharashtra!

On the day it rained cats and dogs (the most taught and popular English phrase in Maharashtra) in Bengaluru. The trees collapsed and many got bent. Drainages were choked up. The temperature fell to give a winter feel.

A mason with Herculean arms working on the terrace of an upcoming building opposite ours, tried to continue as usual on the day. Rain didn’t allow him though, deciding as if to offer him a Kamgar Divas holiday. He got down and started working inside the partially completed building.

He looked the like of Philip, the Blacksmith of Maupassant’s world famous character in Simon’s Papa and then as a Hemingway’s untiring and never giving up old man of the sea blended together.

I have developed a special relationship with this mason since last year and a half when he started working in our area. He stays in a village about six to seven kilometers away. He rides his old and sturdy bicycle early morning. Anyhow he has noted my choice of vegetable and fruits that we buy on the doorsteps. I like ladyfingers and the brinjals the most and water melon as a fruit.

So, many times he brings a bagful of badane kayi and bende kayi produced without using endosulfan or any other agrochemical. The shy Hercules of ours however flatly refuses when called for a lunch. After repeated requests he agreed to accept rice and red chilly curry with fried pattice kind eatables. He prefers boiled rice over the usual polished white rice preferred by us. But he took the eatables to eat in his tile-less dining area of the partly constructed building.

Other day he shocked us by presenting a kalangadhannu (water melon) as heavy as a gas cylinder that was difficult to carry on the third floor. He could have easily brought it on his shoulders it up. But he did innovate by keeping the king size water melon on the vertical lift used for construction and then rolling the big ball to our balcony on tightly held two parallel pipes!

The man is studied up to 12th standard. After failing he never tried to attend the junior college and is now a skilled mason for six years earning good wages. He doesn’t have complaints and grudges about life.

On the backdrop of musical cacophony slipshod dancers’ jerks were relayed throughout the day on Marathi channels.

The hallagulla in my wadi seen on the web through camera live, the pitiable positioning of Aamir Khan holding a book to project himself in the stadium (Reader in the Stadium!) at the mercy of the cameraman, Rahul Gandhi’s zero expressions as to the understanding of cricket, Maharashtra CM’s unsure efforts to mend image by accepting guest editorship, Loksatta’s gimmicks against the conventions laid by the great editors cum social reformers and true freedom fighters from Lokmanya Tilak onwards, make the mod marketers look nothing but Lilliputians.

Samna, on the next day published the story of CM napping among the thunderous noises of firework arranged to celebrate Maharashtra Day. May be the effect of late night writing of edit. They also were shown dozing when Dr. Narlikar spoke in the house earlier. What kind of syndrome is this? Accept thoughts of Mr. Narlikar on Jaitapur or sleep over them?

Thank Nidradevi, Devegowda kind of PM is not there to forward an excuse saying we follow the PM!

The mason still kept working.

I extremely felt, had I been an editor of a Kannada newspaper, I would have invited him as the guest editor of the workers’ day edition.

And as I was not on the cool afternoon when the sleep was trying its level best to pounce over me and take my possession like those few of the above mentioned people, I kept on resisting her coming near me. What else is possible for me to keep the honour of the International Workers’ Day that has gone in oblivion from the millions of minds of white collar workers than to salute those who worked sincerely on the day without knowing there was one?

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