26 August, 2009

The VIP syndrome

There is a big outrage in the Indian media against detaining and frisking of Shah Rukh Khan at Newark airport. When you look at the occurrence in right perspective we will see the appropriateness of the action.

We don’t realize that there is a perceptible difference in the Indian and American way of doing things. It stems from the fact that in India we have a category, especially politicians, their kith and kin, celebrities and those in the Ambani league, who think that they are privileged to bypass the simple rules followed by the commons. This is where Dr. Kalam stands apart and that is what makes him truly great!

The other day in an interview by Larry King Gen. Colin Powell ex Secretary of state said, that every time he flew he was frisked and checked thoroughly. He said that as a senior dignitary he expected them to do it and since he was one, they did it or they may have got into big trouble with him noticing their laxity. Larry asked him, do they not know who you are? And he said, yes, “Of course and that is why they ensure I am frisked thoroughly”.

If Sonia Gandhi is subjected to frisking and checking we can do the same to Hillary Clinton as well. (Forgive me, I am a self confessed Gandhi loyalist)

10 August, 2009

Controversy on (Hon.) Lt. Col. Mohanlal's Royal Salute

Sitting Left to Right:-
Lt.Col. Padmasree Bharat Mohanlal.

His Highness Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma the Maharaja of Travancore.

Gowri & Prabha the twin daughters of Avittom Thirunal Aditya Varma, younger son of the Junior Princess of Travancore

Pooyam Thirunal Gowri Parvathy Bayi,The Senior Princess of Travancore .

Mohanlal's mother.

Standing Left to Right:-

Avittom Thirunal Aditya Varma, younger son of the Junior Princess of Travancore, Aswathy Thirunal Gouri Lakshmy Bayi.

Manya Rajya RajyaSree Chathayam Naal Raja Raja Varma Valiyal Koil Thampuran Avergal of Chemprol Kottaram, Consort of the Senior Princess of Travancore Pooyam Thirunal Gowri Parvathy Bayi.

his younger son Aswathy Thirunal Rama Varma, well known singer.

Sree Padmanabhan Thampi, son of His Highness the Maharaja Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma.

On 1st August 2009 a letter to the Editor, written by a Professor of History was published in the 'Deepika' the oldest Malayalam daily (Estd. in1887) criticising Mohanlal for visiting Kaudiar palace in full uniform of Lt. Col Territorial Army, Madras Regiment and saluting HH. The Maharaja of Travancore terming it as undemocratic, unconstitutional and born out of colonial hangover. The letter is reproduced below. Click on it to enlarge and read.

On reading the above I wrote a reply letter to the Editor which was published on Sunday 9th August 2009. It is reproduced below. There is nothing neither undemocratic nor unconstitutional in Lt. Col. Mohanlal paying respects to a higher ranking officer of his regiment as His Highness Sree Uthradom Tirunal Marthanda Varma the present head of the Travancore Royal family is a Honorary Colonel in the Madras regiment. In fact the FOC-in-C Southern Naval command and Southern Air command as well as the Police DGP customarily drop in at Kaudiar Palace when paying a visit to the city for the first time. Click on the picture to enlarge and read.

It is a historic fact that two Travancore infantry battalions were integrated into Madras regiment after the states merged with the Indian union and were called 9th (Travancore) and 16th (Travancore) battalions of the Madras regiment.