(May 21/22, 2016, No. 21/2016)*
Weekend Lighter is posted every Saturday @mgwarrier.blogspot.in
Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to mgwarrier@gmail.com
*Posted on May 21, 2016 from Thiruvananthapuram.
Opening Remarks
A page from history*
“Even if we could suppose that it were practicable without the aid of a single native to conduct the whole affairs of the country both in the higher and in all the subordinate offices, by means of Europeans, it ought not to be done, because it would be both politically and morally wrong. The great number of public offices in which the natives are employed is one of the strongest causes of their attachment to our Government. In proportion as we exclude them from these, we lose our hold on them, and were the exclusion entire, we should have their hatred in place of their attachment, their feelings would be communicated to the whole population, and to the native troops, and would excite a spirit of discontent too powerful for us to subdue or resist. But were it possible that they could submit silently and without opposition, the case would be worse, they would sink in character, they would lose the hope of public office and distinction all laudable ambition, and would degenerate into an indolent and abject race, incapable of any higher pursuit than the mere gratification of their appetites. It would certainly be more desirable that we should be expelled from the country altogether, than that the result of our system of government should be such a debasement of a whole people.”
-Sir Thomas Munro, December 31, 1824 (Excerpt from East India Papers, Vol iii, London,1826, quoted in Economic History of India, Romesh Dutt, C.I.E)
*Will be back with more on this in future editions of WL
New Kerala CM-designate Pinarayi Vijayan
Vijayan was born on March 21, 1944 to Mundayil Koran and Kalyani in Pinarayi in Kannur district, the place where the Communist movement in Kerala began.
He became the Kannur district secretary of the Kerala Students Federation while studying for BA (Economics) in BrennenCollege in Thalassery and also worked as a handloom weaver after his schooling for a year before being able to continue his higher studies.
He went on to become its state secretary and, later, state president of the KSF. In 1968, at the age of 24, Vijayan even found a place in the Kannur district committee of the CPI-M.
Two years later, the party gifted Vijayan a sure ticket at Koothuparambu and he became MLA at the age of 26. Vijayan was elected to the state legislative assembly three times later in 1977, 1991 and 1996.
He rose to prominence when he won in 1977 and again in 1991 from the same constituency. With better grip on the party, he became the CPI-M district secretary in Kannur in 1978.
Vijayan, who took part in various agitations, was subjected to torture during the Emergency and during earlier agitations. He once recalled that six policemen continuously beat him on the night of September 28, 1975 till he fainted in the lockup.
After his release, he came to the assembly and made a powerful speech holding up the blood–stained shirt he wore during the assault on him in the police lock-up.
His speech attacking then Home minister and senior Congress leader late K Karunakaran was considered to be a glorious chapter in the legislative papers.
Recent responses
May 16, 2016
Rude analogy
This refers to the excerpts from the interview given to Manojit Saha by RBI deputy governor S S Mundra (The Hindu, Banks need to change their lifestyle, May 16). I wish, Indian Banks Association (IBA) and Indian Medical Association (IMA) seriously study the context and content of the rude comparison made and the terms used by Shri Mundra to make his point that the health of Indian Banking System is in bad shape.
Asset Quality Review as the three words indicate can at best be termed a diagnostic tool. The deputy governor says, ‘RBI termed the AQR a required surgery’. Words like ICU, patient, surgery, operation table, sick and doctor are used in the answers given by the deputy governor with ease. The Indian Banking System, thanks to the care with which GOI and the predecessors of Mundra nurtured it, is not yet in the precarious state of health as is now being made out by the critiques and media. Still, observations like those made in this interview by the top executive can impair the banking system, as the institution of banking is built on trust and if the trust of the depositors is not easy to recoup, once shaken.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram
May 16, 2016
Out of court*
This refers to your editorial ‘Mediate,” (The Hindu Business Line, May 16). This is a timely suggestion at a time courts in India are burdened with over 30 million pending cases across the country with inadequate infrastructure and manpower to handle even a fraction of them during the current decade.
Recently, while referring to unfilled vacancies in courts and helplessness due to shortage of hands to handle pending cases at various levels, the Chief Justice of India became emotional on a dais where Prime Minister Modi was also present. For a moment even the Prime Minister must have been shocked which made him search for words and make a guarded official statement that ‘if constitutional barriers do not create any problems, then top ministers and senior Supreme Court judges can sit together to find a solution to the issue’. Knowing the ‘Modi’ way of looking at issues, one would have expected a promise to ensure quick action to fill up existing vacancies in the judiciary at all levels and an assurance to resolve other issues flagged by CJI in a time-bound manner.
The wake-up call from CJI on April 24 is more than a warning and nation can ill-afford to ignore the message demanding prompt remedial action. The immediate measures could include:
i)                   Segregating cases which need to be decided within a year and taking them on a priority basis by the courts now in position.
ii)                Leaving the remaining cases to new Special Courts to be put in place at all levels depending on the number of pending cases.
iii)              Ensuring vacancies of judges at all levels are filled quickly.
iv)              Making it compulsory for government and public sector organizations to expedite procedures where they are on either side of the matters before courts. This is necessary as there is laxity on their side as cost and delay seldom affects the individuals who handle cases in government and public sector. This position is slowly creeping into big corporates also, where individuals do not feel the burden of cash outflow for fighting court cases.
v)                Making necessary legislative changes to reduce procedural delays.
vi)              Simultaneous efforts to encourage concerned parties to settle issues out of court. This method would bear fruit where party on one side of the dispute is government or quasi-government organizations.
vii)           Advocates can play a proactive role by sharing the responsibility for procedural delays by charging less for appearing for cases depending on the category of clients and their capacity to pay.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram
*Submitted version.



Manakkal Nambi**

Rama Misra was the disciple of Uyyakondar, who in turn was a disciple of the great Vaishnavite preceptor Nathamuni. There is an incident in the life of Rama Misra which shows his devotion to his Acharya and also shows us the best gift one can have, said Akkarakkani Srinidhi in a discourse.
Uyyakondar’s wife departed from this world at a young age, leaving behind her two young daughters. On the last day of the funeral rites, the girls had to be taken to the river for a bath and escorted back home.
Rama Misra was put in charge of the girls. But the path to the river was slushy and if the girls went back the way they had come their legs and clothes would get dirty. So Rama Misra came up with an idea.
He lay prone on the muddy track and asked the girls to step on him and make it across to the dry ground. The little girls did accordingly. Rama Misra then hurried to Uyyakondar’s house with the girls. Because he had allowed the little girls to walk on his back and because their feet had left sandy imprints on his back, he was given the name Manakkal (sandy footprints) Nambi.
His Acharya was moved by his disciple’s devotion and whispered the dvaya mantra* in his ears. This is a great gift from an Acharya to his disciple. Ramanujacharya has stated that while kings chewed edible camphor to while away their time, Sri Vaishnavas spent their time reciting the dvaya mantra.
Vedanta Desika has observed that nothing is superior to the dvaya mantra. It ensures our welfare and that is why it is called mantra ratna — the gem among mantras. So Manakkal Nambi could not have been blessed with a greater gift than this by his Acharya.

** The Hindu, May 16, 2016


I loved the following dhyaanashlokam quoted in the Sahasranaama stotra bhaashyam (Sanskrit) written by ‘Aryavaidyan’ S R Iyer, Special Officer, Aryavaidyasala, Kottakkal (Kerala) published in 1982. Thought I should share with you. The English meaning has been accessed from website(Google search!)

bhUH pAdau yasya nAbhir-viyada-suranila-candra-sUryau cha netre
karNa-vASaH Siro-DyauH mukhamapi dahano yasya vAsteyam abdhiH
antas-stham yasya viSvam sura-nara-khaga-go-bhogi-gandharva-daityaiH
chitram ramramyate tam tribhuvana-vapusham vishNum Isam namAmi.

[   I bow to Lord vishNu who has the three worlds as His body. The Earth is His feet, and the sky His navel. Wind is His breath and the Sun and the Moon are His eyes.  Directions are His ears, and the Heaven is His head. Fire is His face and ocean His abdomen. In Him is situated the universe with diverse kinds of Gods, men, birds, cattle, serpents, gandharvas and daityas  (demons)- all sporting in a charming way.  ]


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