Air Travel, J&K Elections, Modi's Tribe, Aap Party & Glimmers of Revolt
(From here, there and elsewhere)
24 December Jet Airways Flight to Jodhpur and My First ever air flight to Cairo, December 1962.
Fifth Day; Jaisalmer of Golden Castle, carved stone mansions and camel ride
The early morning golden sun, which has inspired poets and laid the foundation of religions through millennia, was just bathing the ramparts of 99 bastion massive sandstone castle founded by Rawal Jaisal in 1156 AD, with many additions of later date, making it aglitter like a giant gold jewel. Coming out of the POW we looked at it, photographed it and continued to gaze at it from the dining car while savoring the special Indian breakfast of puris and curry. Inspite of reading and seeing prints the sight was awesome in grandeur. We were given a very a warm reception, as Jaisalmer located on trade routes in ancient and medieval times has little going for it now except tourists , with tens of thousands coming here every year and charmed by its castle and Havelis and doing word by mouth publicity. It enchanted Indira Gandhi when she visited it. It gets attention being near the Pakistani border ; the other reason for its fame is nearby Pokharan, where India conducts its nuclear explosions.
But we first went to Gadi Sagar Lake, into which a rain fed desert river empties, which sustains the citizens and animals year round .Lack or failure of rainfall can be catastrophic. Around the lake are places of worship and pleasure with their myths and legends, of rich courtesan and recalcitrant Rajah. The musicians serenading the guests welcomed us with local tribal women hawking silver trinkets. We had another magnificent view of the castle looking like a barnacled Noah's Ark .But first we went to the Havelis ( mansions) of rich traders and Viziers, who using local golden yellow sandstone and abundant local artisan talent have constructed beautiful buildings with carved balconies, latticed windows called Jharokas and designer facades.They were just magnificent and open to public viewing. The bazaars were just like my birthplace Bhiwani on the edge of the desert. I had a cold so I bought cough syrup to keep it at bay for a few more days .I was tempted to eat juicy sweets, but was afraid of getting infection. We then went to the giant castle, built on a triangular hillock on the advice of an oracle.
My own ancestors although originating from another state Karauli belonged to the same clan of Jadon Rajputs. We went up passing by the gates , listening to myths and legends of chivalry and romance .At some spots young turbaned kids (as also near the Havelis) on the approach of tourists broke into singing and dancing .Cute little boys they were ,joyous and colorfully dressed .We listened to the history of Jaisalmer and passed by living quarters, some still being used .At the end we reached a cluster of Jain temples, a pacific vegetarian sect of Buddha days vintage but popular among traders of West India , particularly in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Exquisite and intricate carvings of various incarnations of its founder Mahavira Jain could be seen along with his life story depicted in beautiful stone carvings. We had lunch in a new hotel and some rest in POW.
We then drove out to Sam Sand Dunes 80 km into the desert for the piece de resistance; a camel ride. It was fantastic for first timers; the undulating ride, rows of colorful camels riding on pure Sahara like sand. For real enthusiasts there are camel safaris all over Rajasthan. Midway there were musicians singing and playing on harmonium, Indian version of accordion. Far away from everywhere, tourists feeling liberated, high spirited and happy spontaneously broke out into a celebration of dancing. A pure expression of joy and abandon. Many were taken up and danced with gusto. Private enterprise provided hiked up cola and water, even for your camel .By the time we returned to the starting point, a welcome cup of steaming tea was waiting and across miles of sheer desert sand horizon the Sun was about to set in. So we sat down to relax and watch it go down slowly with the sky slowly becoming orange red and crim-son. Only a desert sunset is like that. So different from sunsets of mountain tops, hills, lakes and seas. We returned to POW to wash up and change .Most ladies dressed to kill and even men were all dolled up for an evening fare of local folk music and dances in the serene surroundings of Moomal Tourist Bungalow under a clear desert sky. We were in a partying mood; out to enjoy and dance. First some ladies joined in with the local dancers and then almost everyone did and what an enjoyable evening it turned out to be .In the end it was disclosed that one of the sinuous dancers was infect a boy. It had been a long and exhilarating but a tiring day. We were awed ,satiated, amused and entertained and returned to POW to go on to Jodhpur of Mehrangarh fort, one of the most picturesque forts to be seen anywhere in the world.
Summary from Turkish Daily News, Ankara
My son-in-law of Dr Thomas Breuer had advance booked on Jet airways Jodhpur flight for 24th December leaving at 11:00 hours then on ward journey by road to Jaisalmer for my daughter Aparajita, two grandsons and a granddaughter and me. We were supposed to leave at 1100 hrs..I had to make a special effort to get up before six hours to be ready to be at the airport along with my grandson Tobias who specially came down from Mumbai to escort me in the morning. It was foggy but not that bad .We all checked in and went up before 1000 hrs with our boarding passes to await the departure of Jet Airways flight. We waited and waited patiently but at around 330 PM the flight was suddenly cancelled without assigning any real reason, so was a flight earlier to Udaipur, but I espied two flights to Ahmedabad, leaving on time. Ahmedabad is the city of our new feisty ruler Narendra Modi.
Let us not go into our caste and class system privileges in India. But the airway should be held responsible for delays, inconvenience caused and extra spend and harassment. There may be technical problems, engine trouble, weather and what not. To compensate the unfortunate travelers the airlines may be forced to buy insurance for such eventuality in order to compensate an unfortunate traveler. The insurance premium should be distributed equally to those also who travel in comfort without any problem. This is a point for serious consideration by the international organization for civil aviation (ICAO) in Ottawa, an organization for fat cats who have travelled all their lives in first class comfort, then, a good pension and when retired, continue to have the same facilities without bothering about the difficulties of ordinary travelers all around the world.
My first ever Air India Flight in 1962
My first flight with my wife and daughter Aparajita then almost two years was made by Air India in December 1962. In those days Indian diplomats leisurely travelled to their postings in first-class on luxury boats , allowing them to relax and have a real holiday at public expense, stopping on the way , changing the boat to sail from Marseille to Argentina or Brazil. It was in end 1962, after the short war with China, being in emergency and urgently needed to reach our duty post, it was considered to be a special privilege; to travel by air. It might have been so but after travelling from Cairo/Alexandria to Algiers via Marseille and then later returning to India from Algiers to Marseille and two weeks excellent relaxed holiday on a French boat SS Cambodge to Bombay, it was one special concession ie travel by air, Indian diplomats would have happily done without. But external finance stopped this relaxed holiday between posts abroad and at home
Delhi's airport compared to now was nothing but a huge old-style ugly warehouse where for international flights government officials and diplomats took an almost unguarded open gate besides it to go to a VVIP room and then go over to aero plane, ambassadors by car but others mostly walked over the place , just parked a few hundred meters away.
For the first air journey and the others during a career of 35 years as a diplomat and later as an Indian citizen without a diplomatic passport, which was a gift of the government of India which punished me instead of recognizing my efforts to send from Amman by over 500 air flights 140,000 Indian nationals who had come from Kuwait in 1990-91.
For those journeys my readers will have to wait
Calvin does not believe in God.
In the cartoon strip Calvin and Klein, when Calvin believes that in his opinion something has gone against his fair beliefs then it become difficult for him to believe in God, who should have sent a bolt of lightning to wrong doers . For example ,in the world opinion ,against US oligopoly of criminal leadership and their death and destruction brought almost everywhere even according to over 13% Americans in recent polls .In most countries it is over 60- 70% .
In USA, the land occupied by racist whites from Europe, who for centuries, committed genocide and after that they treated like animals Africans brought over to serve in plantations and as domestics. The same can be said about Australia, and almost all white occupied land whose aboriginal inhabitants have been almost decimated.
Nobody is striking the rulers in America, UK, Europe, Australia Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait. No wonder Calvin does not believe in God.
I have written enough on this subject .More later like hostage taking in Australia, black revolts all over USA and support elsewhere .And even protests against ruling Metropolitan callous elites in UK, Spain and elsewhere.
Situation India post Jammu and Kashmir elections
A Leo , by nature I am optimistic, but having been at the receiving end of Brahmins, neo- Brahmins, pseudo-Brahmins and others and suffering for honesty and frankness, I remain very pessimistic about the world situation in general and Indian situation in particular.
Prime Minister Modi with 31% of votes cast for his party has a very good majority, but the kind of obscurantist, divisive ideas, words and utterances which have floated up when you stir India's frozen polity, barring some ripples from end Moghul era polity, have been brought to the top, the worst kind of representatives as members of Parliament .Some have been made even Cabinet ministers and in Council of ministers. India does not have a representative democracy as in India's largest state Uttar Pradesh, with 170 million populations with 29% of votes, Mulayam Singh Yadav rules with a comfortable majority. He and others, elsewhere in India too, live in luxury as in feudal times.
Do not expect any change any time soon. Without a drastic change in the political and electoral structure and arithmetic ,where in tradition bound blind people who believe that Mahabharata and Geeta was written 30,000 years ago or 10,000, when the earliest remains of horses in the subcontinent ,are not earlier than 1500 BC and that too in the Frontier province of Pakistan. Let that pass.
We have ministers in responsible position, saying that if you are not Ramzade then you are Haramzade . This is utter baloney and nonsense . I am Yaduvanshi Rajput of Lord Krishana lineage but would not like to be called something .I am a human being. Unfortunately powers of the Rajputs have declined .They have become Dalits in the current political system. And those who come from Haryana dominated by Jats have literally become Maha Dalits. Rajput political leaders fawn and obey orders and have become like Hanumans and Sugrivs of ruling dispensation which are always controlled and manipulated by Brahmins, first under the Congress up to the mid-1960s and then in the beginning of 21st century under Bharatiya Janata Party .But the Brahmins from Nagpur still pull the strings.
The Jammu and Kashmir elections must teach a lesson to BJP, specially its tarnished and scheming misguided and bigot president Amit Shah. While the overall increase of percent of votes cast in Jammu and Kashmir is a good step forward in a flawed representative Indian democracy in the troubled State. But the results clearly show a divided polity, between Hindus and Muslims. The Muslims have not and will not accept Bharatiya Janata party. Its fringe and extremist organisations and even Cabinet ministers must stop making the most obscurantist, outlandish and polity shattering statements.
Brahminical domination and Hindutva would fail in India
Aap between BJP and a bloody uprising in India
The top leadership of Aap, led by a very unusual leader Arvind Kejriwal is the only hope on how important it is to change the political, social, legal system in this country. The man has charisma, unusual patience and personal honesty and self dignity. He is a very unusual budding leader in this country. He has around some very honest and dedicated persons. But he needs more like them. Many socialite and opportunistic types have left the party .All the god for the party.
I have been saying since long that if Aap after giving a good performance as ruling party or in the opposition in Delhi is not able to replicate itself in the rest of India .Then India and Indians must be. prepared for a bloody revolution.
You see people driving the latest models imported cars, who acquired wealth by jiggery-pokery, lying, political and other connections without any effort. There are hungry people ferrying people in cycle rickshaws from one place to another for a pittance, mostly from Bihar, East UP, Orissa and even Bangladesh .In cold and heat.
I had thought we had reached the point when there were protests against corruption, led by symbolic leader Anna Hazare who like a symbolic military leader when the colonels carry out a coup thought that he was the substance and not a nominal leader .There were occasions when at the behest of Kejriwal hundreds of people went to do peaceful protest in front of ministers 'residences in Lutyens Delhi. You remember the anger and agitation all over India. If some of these volunteers had gate-crashed into the residence of a Minister and if one of the CRPF police constable had shot dead a couple of demonstrators, it could have started an Arab Spring as it happened in Tunisia. Gandhi stopped a peoples' revolution in Chora Chori killings as admitted by a British top official in Attenborough's Gandhi.
Revolutions are organised and carried out by educated middle class sensitive , patriotic and driven leaders .It is very difficult and almost impossible to predict which way a bloody revolution once erupted would go , unhindered , eating its own children on the way . Example being France, Russia, Turkey, China, Cuba, Iran et al.
K.Gajendra Singh .26 December, 2014 .Delhi.