I am most eager to know how the Pakistani media and the aam Pakistani are reacting to the confessions being made by Headley and Rana before a judge in Chicago. Although Kasab had willingly confessed what he and his co-criminals had done in Mumbai a couple of years earlier — they killed over 160 innocent people belonging to all communities — Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs — as well as foreign tourists, including Americans.
Pakistanis shrugged off any sense of guilt because Kasab was in our custody and illiterate. The trial judge very wisely went ahead with the case and recorded the testimony of eye-witnesses and others who captured Kasab before sentencing him to death.
Confessions of Headley and Rana were made on neutral territory and by educated men fully aware of what the consequences of mounting an attack on Mumbai would be. It would bring the two countries on the brink of full-scale war which would wipe out whatever they had achieved in the way of making themselves prosperous.
Both Headley and Rana have described the involvement of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI and military personnel. Pakistan’s rulers owe it to their own people and to the neighbouring countries, particularly India, to make a full confession of its inability to control subversive elements in their country.
I know from my several visits to Pakistan and from meeting Pakistanis that the average Pakistani has no ill-will against us, but there are Mullahs who preach hatred towards non-Muslims. The Taliban, Al Qaeda and innumerable small organisations who regard hostility towards India as jihad, will not let us live in peace.
Davidar and me
Most publishers will agree that David Davidar knows more about publishing than anyone else. He set up Penguin India and in three years made it the largest, the most sought-after by authors and the most profitable publishing enterprise. He was transferred to Canada, where he was on the way to be recognised as the best manuscript editor.
But he was forced to resign after being blackmailed by a Canadian woman on his staff.
A few months back, his wife Rachna and he returned to Delhi. Now he is writing a novel on publishing which Harper Collins is bringing out soon and he is setting up his publishing house in collaboration with Rupa.
I have pleasant memories of collaborating with him when Penguin Viking was first set up in a two-room flat. When he decided to accept a manuscript, he befriended the author and suggested changes that would enhance readability. He did that to Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, and to my Delhi-A Novel. On his suggestion, I added a fresh chapter.
I have little doubt David will be able to locate budding authors and re-establish his reputation.
Sorry, dear Kanimozhi
A smiling lady, sweet and pretty
A lady whose first love was poetry
And who entered politics most reluctantly,
My heart goes out naturally for Kanimozhi.
And the credit for this will go to K Karunanidhi,
Who was keen to see
That every member of his multi-branched family
Would serve the state or the country
That every member down to the eighth generation
Would be used for wealth creation
By occupying a position of power in the nation,
Of course, Karunanidhi had nothing to do with 2G
Or Kalaignar TV
So in the Tamil Nadu elections he could distribute no money
Or give the voters anything free.
He was never a part of the 2G fraud
Oh God, until their fingers they have burnt
Have the old men ever anything learnt
(courtesy : Kuldip Salil, Delhi)
(The views expressed by the author are personal)