Lord Ram’s anger behind BJP defeat in UP: Shiv Sena MP

On Wednesday, Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut declared that the BJP’s defeat in Uttar Pradesh’s two important Parliamentary byelections was “because of Lord Rama’s anger”. Asked why the mythological king of Ayodhya was angry, Raut replied, “Former Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha member Naresh Agrawal is the culprit for this fiasco.” “Agrawal had used foul language for Hindu Gods in the Rajya Sabha last year and the BJP has now taken him in its fold,” Raut told The Sunday Guardian. “This has displeased Lord Ram.”

The election to the two prestigious constituencies, Gorakhpur and Phulpur, was held on 11 March. A day later, Agrawal quit the SP to join the BJP after he lost out to actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan in the race for re-nomination to the Upper House.

In July 2017, Agrawal had linked Hindu Gods with different brands of alcohol. Agrawal apologized reluctantly after protests from BJP. Raut said, “Now, the same Agrawal has joined the BJP. I don’t consider that the SP-BSP tie-up worked in defeating the BJP in Gorakhpur and Phulpur… I believe that Lord Ram was angry with the BJP.”

Himachal man wants to build Gandhi temple

In Himachal Pradesh, Moti Ram (100), of Mandi district, has lived a happy life. Now, he is keen to fulfil his last wish, to build India’s first temple to Mahatma Gandhi. Ram has offered his sizeable land in his village Khamrada in the Seraj Assembly segment, which is represented by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, for this purpose. He travelled 70 km to the district headquarters to meet the Deputy Commissioner, Rugved Thakur and submitted to him his proposal for the Mahatma Gandhi shrine. 

Ram told The Sunday Guardian over telephone that “India is forgetting the sacrifices of freedom fighters and this is the prime reason I want to build a temple of Gandhiji… It was only because of Gandhiji we got independence.”

Confused about Hawking and Hawkins

In India, many rising young politicians take to Twitter and Facebook to “advertise” their social media skills. While some of them are good communicators, there are many who do not have any worldly knowledge. One such man on Wednesday made a mistake about Stephen Hawking, the renowned British physicist. He was paying tribute to Hawking, who died this week and wrote, “…India will always fondly remember him for giving beautiful Hawkins Pressure Cooker many decades ago, which revolutionized cooking in our kitchens…” After several hours, he deleted his post, when a friend told him that the British scientist had nothing to do with the pressure cooker.

‘Gora Sikh’ enthrals Punjab

Norway’s ambassador Nils Ragnar Kamsvag loves moving around India to understand people. He instantly clicked with villagers when he visited two villages, Panwa and Bhattiwal, in Sangrur (Punjab) along with local Congress MLA Vijay Inder Singla some days ago. The envoy wore a pink turban. The villagers lovingly dubbed him as “Gora Clean Shaven Sikh.”

Kamsvag discussed with farmers their problems and offered to explore the investment possibilities in Punjab. He told The Sunday Guardian that Punjab farmers were very hard-working. “If guided properly, they can do wonders.” The farmers talked about rising number of suicides, shortage of money to purchase new agriculture equipment, over use of pesticides and their ill-effects, over-exploitation of groundwater for farming, and air pollution caused by stubble burning. Singla acted as a translator.

After visiting other parts of Punjab, Kamsvag met Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Chandigarh. He discussed investment opportunities in food processing, fishing, renewable energy and oil and gas. The envoy was accompanied by his Second Secretary Erlend Draget and Advisor Undis V. Singh. 

When Nehru got a fruit bill from CAG

We came across an interesting story in the Delhi Gymkhana Club’s February newsletter. A young Indian Audit and Accounts Service probationer officer, under the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, in the 1960s, was assigned to carry out the audit of the accounts of Teen Murti House, the official residence of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The PM House staff offered the probationer and his colleagues a tour of the beautifully manicured gardens of Teen Murti House, where the probationer suddenly spotted trees laden with a variety of fruit. He tactfully enquired about the disposal of the fruit grown in a public property. The superintendent informed him that Nehru was fond of fruits and relished them for breakfast. The probationer asked who paid for them. Aghast, the superintendent told him sternly that “there can be no question of the PM paying for consuming fruit grown in his own garden”. The probationer carefully counted the number of fruit laden trees, estimated the quantity of fruits grown on each and calculated the loss sustained by the exchequer owing to non-payment of the cost of fruit served for the PM’s breakfast. When he prepared the report, he recommended that the dues for the fruit consumed be recovered from the staff responsible for this lapse at the PM’s House. His stunned superior sent the report to the Deputy CAG, with the words that “the young officer is inexperienced and would be suitably advised to be more careful in future”. The Deputy CAG, equally irritated, endorsed the report to the big boss, the CAG. But the CAG simply noted: “I agree with the probationer’s findings.” The file was forwarded to the PM’s Secretary, an ICS officer then, who sent it to the PM. The file came back from the PM’s desk after a day or two. Nehru had pinned his personal cheque for Rs 5,000 for the fruit consumed by him. At the end of this episode written by a senior Gymkhana Club member R.K. Puri, there is a note: “This is a true story shared with the author by late Ravi Kathpalia, a former Comptroller General of Civil Accounts and a member of the Delhi Gymkhana Club.”

Man Mohan can be contacted at rovingeditor@gmail.com


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