The year 2017 started in Bihar on a good note. The cities of Patna and Gaya were hosts to the Sikh and the Buddhist festivities. The Sikh pilgrims representing all over the world congregated at the Gandhi Maidan to celebrate the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Govind Singh; the Buddhists had their Kalachakra (Time-Cycle) celebration in the august presence of the world class religious leader, the Dalai Lama.
Towards the concluding weeks of the year 2016, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was seen lending his full spirited support to two events hosted by the state of Bihar: First, the 350th birth anniversary celebration of Guru Govind Singh, the 10th leader in succession of the Sikhs, and second, the 10-day long Kalchakra Buddhist puja graced by the holy Dalai Lama.
Death of a nonagenarian former Member of the Lok Sabha from Vaishali, Mrs. Kishori Sinha, occurred in Patna on 19 December 2016. As all Biharis are bound to be touched by the biography of this illustrious widow of a past Chief Minister of Bihar, Satyendra Narain Sinha, it should afford us an opportunity to be introspective about the status of women, and the prospect of leadership among them in Bihar.
On December 9, 2016, five new additional judges of the Patna High Court were administered the oath of office. With their induction the number of judges goes up from 27 to 32.
As Bihar was counting the victims in its usual widespread lawlessness or bracing for demonetization of certain currencies on November the 8th, the Americans were electing their new president, Donald John Trump.
The decision to demonetize the big denomination notes has shown the mirror to our society and the sooner we accept the fact that the hideous face staring ominously at us is US, the better would it be. The mirror does not lie, so we cannot seek comfort in denial which has been the standard mode of coping with uncomfortable truths. At heart we are a deeply, incorrigibly corrupt society made doubly worse by our ingrained hypocrisy. The predisposition to be corrupt is fixed like an attribute fixed in our genes. This masked trait unfolds given a favourable environment.
It has been almost a decade since it happened, but the horrors of the Bush presidency seem like they happened yesterday. It was a dark age in the history of America. War profiteers turned a terrorist attack into a global crisis which resulted in severe damage to humanity – both within and without the United States.
More than two weeks days down the radical decision to demonetize the high value currency notes, it is now transparently clear that the government had not thought deeply enough. The myriads of problems that this move would throw up and the commensurate logistical response to it had not been visualized in all their multifariousness.
Media has changed substantially over the last several decades. Sadly, despite the incorporation of new and advanced technologies that changed media for the better, the noble mission of media – especially its role in a democracy, appears to have gotten lost somewhere along the way.
Mr. Modi’s decision to demonetize big denomination currencies has cast a spell of black magic on the entire political opposition, and even the high-minded and hypocritical parties, have been forced into a stance they would not have taken in normal times.
The decision to demonetize the high denomination currency notes has sharply divided the national opinion which is not quite unexpected. Such is the political climate today that if someone takes a stand against cannibalism, there are bound to be people in support of human beings eating other human beings. Obviously, no one has quite lamented, "Oh! My precious hoard of treasured currency notes, the result of years of dishonest toil."
When it comes to cars, I have been experimenting. Initially I was an avid fan of Maruti. We had both the Maruti car, a status symbols among the Ambassadors and Fiats of that era, and the Maruti van, a truly multipurpose vehicle. While moving on my Maruti I noticed a very beautiful car with large lights. The vehicle was new to Indian roads. I craned my neck to read the make and model of the vehicle. It was the Tata Indigo. I landed in the showroom and purchased a blue Tata Indigo, mainly for its looks. That was the beginning of my romance with Tata vehicles.
November is the cruelest month for Delhi and you may survive, if you lock yourself indoors, denying yourself the much needed fresh air (such as it is, polluted several times over beyond permissible limits!) and sunlight (whatever miraculously seeps through the blanket of haze, smoke and dust which must now be declared Delhi’s official dress).