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When telling the truth becomes a crime

india Updated: Aug 07, 2011 02:38 IST
Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

There was a time when I was a frequent diner in the Shouries' household in Vasant Vihar. I got on very well with all members of the family, particularly with Arun's father who after retiring from service had set up Common Cause which took up issues of national interest which had been ignored.

He argued every case in the Supreme Court and won every one of them. He was also a good photographer and painter. He gave me two samples of his work which adorn my flat. I thought he deserved a Bharat Ratna for his achievements and wrote about him in my columns. I was also much taken up by Arun's wife. She was not up to her husband's ability to cope with her son's disability. I dedicated one of my books to her.

The break up came after a few months. At one of the Shouries' dinner parties, among other guests was Kuldip Nayar. The conversation was largely about LK Advani's Rath Yatra from the temple of Somnath to Ayodhya. I had no doubt that the exercise was undertaken with evil intent to destroy Babri Masjid. Passing by Arun remarked: "Who says it is a mosque?" I was taken aback. Kuldip Nayar said, "Professor Sahib , did you hear what he said?" (Both he and Rajender Sachar call me professor sahib since they were students of the law College, Lahore and I was a lecturer.) I could not hold back and said to Shourie, "Arun, have you ever seen any building with three domes and a wall facing Makka which is not a mosque?" He did not reply. Since then we have been on opposite sides; he on the mosque breakers'.

I wanted them to be arrested and punished for the criminal act of vandalism. I stopped associating with Arun Shourie. I read of his rise to eminence as a Cabinet Minister and a Member of the BJP's think-tank. His book on Dr Ambedkar offended Dalits. He was roughed up by them while presiding over a meeting in Mumbai. Being hurt himself he wanted to hurt other people. He has taken every opportunity to display his disadvantaged son in his wheel chair. I feel very sorry for him but no longer admire him.

Real Estate Boom

India is emerging as a great nation

And in our fabulous wealth creation

Real Estate has a major participation A leading source of profiteering

Making its memorable contribution

To the national upsurge of bribery and corruption.

So if a Noida building under construction

Collapses due to poor quality material

Crushing under it sources of workers including a mason

And his wife, leaving behind five children,

We are indeed a proud and prosperous nation!

O, for money-making when there is no right, no wrong

Cruelty and callousness become our natural theme song.

(Courtesy: Kuldip Salil, Delhi)


Water Baptism

An Irishman is stumbling through the woods, totally drunk, when he comes upon a preacher baptising people in the river. He proceeds to walk into the water and subsequently bumps into the preacher. The preacher turns around and is almost overcome by the smell of alcohol, whereupon he asks the drunk, ‘Are you ready to find Jesus?’

The drunk shouts, ‘Yes, Oi am! So the preacher grabs him and dunks him in the water. He pulls him up and asks the drink, ‘Brother, have you found Jesus?’ The drunk replies, ‘No, Oi haven’t found Jesus.’

The preacher shocked at the answer, dunks him into the water again for a little longer. He again pulls him out of the water and asks again, ‘Have you found Jesus me brother?’ The drunk again answers, ‘No, Oi I haven’t found Jesus.’

By this time the preacher is at his wits’ end and dunks the drunk in the water again — but this time holds him down for about 30 seconds and when he begins kicking his arms and legs he pulls him up. He again asks the drunk, ‘For the love of God have you found Jesus yet?’ The drunk wipes his eyes, catches his breath and says to the preacher,’ Are ya sure ‘dis is where he fell in?’

(Contributed by Vipin Buckshey, Delhi)