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Shankracharya Jayendra Saraswati and KN RaoThe news of the death of Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati did not surprise me as for six years at least, as I personally know, his health had been bad, his diabetes was not under control. The three women who had conspired against him, Sonia Gandhi, Jayalalitha and Shashikala each suffered in her own way. Jayalalitha won elections after being defeated for one term, became the Chief minister but suffered from bad health and died a mysterious death. Shashikala is in jail and her claims of leadership is not accepted in AIADMK. It makes her a weak politician. Sonia Gandhi, now suffering from some disease has retired from active politics, has handed over the presidentship of the Congress Party to her son, in the usual familiar Nehru way---dynastic succession. Sonia’s role in the sinister plot to arrest Shankaracharya Kanchi has been mentioned by the former president of India Sri Pranab Mukherjee (See appendix I).
Mouni Baba ( 3rd March came the news of the death of Mouni Baba, three days after the mahasamadhi of Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati on the last day of February. Jayendra Saraswati, born in 1935, was 82 years when he took samadhi. In the case of Mouni Baba we never knew his age as no one knew it and it was guessed that he was ninety three years old when he took samadhi though some newspapers said that he was 108 years old then.

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Open the Hindi News Channels and the news is Sanjay Dutt. It was so day before, yesterday and today and will continue intermittently for many months. Then there are astrologers and numerologists and fortune tellers stealing limelight predicting when he would be released. The tricks of trade are well known to them. The English channels which have not distorted the definition of news yet, cover it in the passing.

We belong to a generation that is totally out of tune with modern trend like loving a celebrity who is a great courageous celluloid hero but pussilanimous in actual life, says an anchor in a Hindi channel.

I am generally not out of tune with modern generation of young me and women who come to consult men and give me a good idea of changing socio-economic-sexual trends and preferences and stories of broken marriages and remarriages with no tragic feeling or contrition.

No wonder Sanjay Dutt is a hero for them or is so manufactured by the television that he becomes one and I feel frustrated which of course is my fault.

My frustration is because hard news as we know of, is totally missing. Vulgarity of the worst type has come to rule through the television. The governmental reaction it will be seen in that yet to be framed and passed laws of censorship by the goverment as told repeatedly by Das Munshi, the Information and Broadcasting Minister.

The television world has been bitter about it. To say that a half naked woman is not news and raping is not a national industry is what the private television channels cannot reconcile themselves to. It is the high source of their TRP.

Yet, there is one dissenting voice.

Nobody is above the law, Mr Sanjay Dutt

T V R Shenoy  August 02, 2007  Oil has hit 78 dollars a barrel in the global market. .... So, what does the Indian media choose to honour with headlines?

Sanjay Dutt of course! Does the beleaguered actor deserve the outpouring of sympathy? Is Judge P D Kode's decision to hand down a sentence of six years of rigorous imprisonment too harsh? Is Union Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi right in saying that he feels that Dutt has 'suffered enough?' My answer to all three questions is the same: No!

A common joke doing the SMS rounds goes that Sanjay Dutt is a 'Munna' but is certainly not a 'Bhai.' A stranger reading this would be left with the impression that the actor is an innocent little lamb among the big bad wolves of the Hindi film industry. This is simply rubbish.

Sanjay Dutt was born in 1959. That means he was well into his thirty-fourth year when he was arrested in 1993. A man that hasn't gained a modicum of common sense by that age is certainly not a man that can be trusted with any kind of firearms, leave alone an AK-56.

...I would like to point out that the actor has already got a huge break by being charged under the Arms Act rather than under TADA's draconian provisions. (Not that the Arms Act, in any case, permits a private citizen to own an assault rifle such as the AK-56!)

...Small wonder then that Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam confesses that the sentencing felt like freedom for him since he could finally lay down the burden of the case with a clear conscience. Incidentally, did you hear anybody express any sympathy for Nikam, who has been receiving threats for the better part of the past  decade? ...

Finally, what does the media brouhaha say about us reporters? Did we really have to tell the world that Sanjay Dutt slept in his own clothes during his first night in jail, or that he had a banana and a cup of tea for breakfast the next morning?

T V R Shenoy


If you ask me what is the news today, my straight answer is the completion of the sixtieth year of Indian Independence, the story of India’s economic prosperity, the growing gap between the rich growing richer and the poor becoming poorer.

There is a headline in a newspaper Time brings out special cover on booming India

PTI | New Delhi

Time magazine has come out with a special cover to mark the 60th anniversary of India’s independence, noting that the world’s largest democracy is “living up to the dreams of 1947” when it got freedom. I opened turn by turn many television channels noted the following:

1) One was showing the “court of ghosts”, another how a dangerous monkey has been caught, a third giving daily predictions for nine crore Indians each on the basis of their Moon sign, the fourth Sanjay Dutt, the fifth the rape of an innocent girl.

2) Only one channel was showing the sensational story of huge corruption involving Congress politicians which can shake up the Delhi government unless protected by the central governent which is what happens in India. No politician shows any social responsibility. He believes in plundering so long as he is in power and in the coalition era no single party can be singled out and asked to stop. If they do that the coalition government will collapse. In the sixtieth year, we call ourselves world’s largest democracy, which we are, and among the most corrupt nations of the world.

3) Then from 11 pm they all concentrate on crime.

4) One channel thinks that a sting operation about wife swapping should be the biggest news of the day. These illiterate television anchors do not know that before the western imperialists stepped on the Indian soil, India produced 22 percent wealth of the world compared to one percent of Engand and many times more than any European nation. And India is getting back into that position and will reach a higher percentage. That is an unromantic story of cold statistics which does not interest television channels.

These television ignoramuses do not know that democracy is of Indian origin and it existed in India during the times of Lichchavi kingdom.

But Sanjay Dutt will return tomorrow, dominate television news and not glorious achievements of India in these six decades of Indian independence. The ignorant television channels do not know the astrological story of Indian Independence which I have written about and taught to my students many times.That is jyotisha of Indian legacy. More about it later.

Do you know the astrological story of Indian Independence ?

( Written 3 August 2007)

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