Citizens' Issues
A tale told by an idiot

There may be more things that are not dreamt of in our philosophy, but none as true as Satyameva Jayate, words spoken through the ages, resonating today. But until we imbibe these words, we can careen along to evermore, creating Lokpals till monuments crumble to dust, and nothing will change

Let me start by saying that no one referred to or alluded to directly or indirectly or even by oblique association in the hereinafter musing is an idiot.

We are all, to paraphrase Marcus Antonius, intelligent men.

So hark, you keepers of public sensitivity, let not loose the dogs of war.
(As a child I was bitten by an Alsatian, and I can assure you I do not wish to relive that experience)

So here we all are, citizens of the republic, gathered to witness the coming of the Lokpal bill. We await this with some impatience now, if the reports are to be believed. And we want this to be enacted into constitutional law with pressing haste, for we all are quite weary, not of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, for we are a forbearing people, of equanimous and karmic disposition, but we are so tired of corruption, of the venal parasites who worse than vampiric bats suck the life force itself out of the body politic. We want to eradicate this with the same sense of purpose and determination that we used for smallpox and now for polio.

But do we?

The people who will not just pass the enacted laws need also to implement them. And they in all likely probability, though sounds of high dudgeon will be heard at such allusion to their probity and honour, are at the root of the rot.
It will behoove them not to pass such a law which may just come back to be their nemesis.

Or will it?

Even if the laws themselves held the “public servant” to account, who will take up arms against them?

The very system of jurisprudence in this country allows for presumed innocent even if proved guilty. And if you are of the political nobility, the chances of punishment befitting what should be a crime equivalent to treason itself are about as good as a snowflake in Rajasthan in mid-summer.

But we hope that as it was with the discovery of vaccines for many illnesses, in time, even if it takes years, we will be inoculated.

So when I read this piece below which I have reproduced verbatim from Plato’s republic, I was struck by the poignancy of the absurdity of our beliefs. We hope to engineer change by modifying the content of what we do. Change always happens only when the very context alters, a systemic revolution, a paradigm shift, to use the much abused term.
Read the wisdom:

That any kind of mixture that does not in some way or other possess measure of the nature of proportion will necessarily corrupt its ingredients and most of all itself. For there would be no blending in such a case at all but really an unconnected medley, the ruin of whatever happens to be contained in it.

PROTARCHUS: Very true.

SOCRATES: But now we notice that the force of the good has taken up refuge in an alliance with the nature of the beautiful. For measure and proportion manifest themselves in all areas of beauty and virtue.

PROTARCUS: Undeniably.

SOCRATES: But we said that truth is also inclined along with them in our mixture?


SOCRATES: Well, then, if we cannot capture the good in one form, we will have to take hold of it in a conjunction of three: beauty, proportion and truth. Let us affirm that these should by right be treated as a unity and be held responsible for what is in the mixture, for goodness is what makes the mixture good in itself.

(Phlb. 64d-65a)
In the Laws, Plato applies this principle to electing a government in the ideal state: "Conducted in this way, the election will strike a mean between monarchy and democracy”

So here we are almost three millennia later, looking at what should be the context of government. Which is supposed to be about the substance of and the practice of, as Socrates says, Good and Goodness. Good for all, Goodness in all.
How will a bill create this, how will we ensure this?
We do not think about this.

And here is the ultimate irony:
In the seal of the country, the Mission Statement as it were of the Republic Of India, there are these words.
Satyameva Jayate.

 Truth Alone Triumphs.

There may be more things that are not dreamt of in our philosophy, but none as true as these words, words spoken through the ages, resonating today.

But until we imbibe these words, we can careen along to evermore, creating Lokpals till monuments crumble to dust, and nothing will change.

Until then, all of this will just be a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

(V Shantakumar is the former chairman & CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi in India and now the managing partner of Doing Think)




6 years ago

I am in total agreement that the Lokpal bill is going to be a whitewash but will hardly result in any convictions. The only way to eradicate corruption is to march not to parliament or fast unto death but to march around a corrupt person and gherao them till they are suffocated with the will of the people. Our voices need to get to the corrupt in a way they can understand. Challenge their near and dear and keep asking them what they believe in. Leave no space for the corrupt in our society. Boycott them and give them no ear. Shame them by their own deeds. It is rightly said that when the gods wish to destroy they first make the opponent angry. Let us use this principle and success will not be far away.

Prakash Bhate

6 years ago

A fitting response to the present MPs will be if only 10-20% are re-elected. There is no point wringing our hands and saying that is not possible. The least we can do is try. Get registered and when the time comes, get out of the living room and vote. Convince at least one more person in your neighbourhood to do the same.


nagesh kini

In Reply to Prakash Bhate 6 years ago

The extremely low voter turnout - only 42% in Mumbai - is the bane of our democracy. Even out of this quite a few at the end of the day can be bogus too.
If any of the present lot of MPs choose to recontest the reply should be vote "None of the above" and campaign for amending the Representation of Peoples Act to include the Rights to Reject and Recall.


6 years ago



6 years ago

The way Lalu was given a chance to lead the house, it all looked orchestrated.The sense of the house resolution in August appeared to be contrived to cheat the civil society leaders.What was conceded , was more than offset by emasculating the Lokpal , by keeping the CBI ,under the thumb of the Govt.


nagesh kini

In Reply to Samar 6 years ago

Team Lalu backed by the desk thumping Congressis is doing in side the House what Team Anna is doing in public ,all sound and fury, theatrics. Nothing positive whatsoever! Nothing to choose between the two set of clowns in a Circus called India!


6 years ago

What I am unable to understand that if Anna is not considered to be a true rep of the civil society, let him be and do things within his own democratic rights. Why is the Govt so worried about his actions ?
They should do what they need to do as their duty to bring a strong lokpal bill.
As for RTI, are there any statistics that show the prosecution and conviction of corrupt and errant officers based on information acquired under RTI Act ?

S Suchindranath Aiyer

6 years ago

The Prathamo Upanishad given by Prajapathi to the Saptha Rishis on the purpose of "Manushya": To create a paradise on Earth on the three pillars of truth (Sathya) , virtue (Shiva) and beauty (Sundara) and within the ambit of the divine law (dharma) of dana (charity), daya (mercy) and damyatha (moderation). Every step Manushya (the immortal spirit) takes towards this brings untold joy. Every step away brings untold misery. This is the very double helix of Aryan Brahmanism: Dharma and Karma.


6 years ago

The national Emblem carries the words "Sathyameva Jayathe".. Where do the words "sathyam Shivam Sundram" appear? May be author would like to correct it. It does not take any value away from the article.

Nagesh Kini FCA

6 years ago

Well said, Mr. Shantakumar.
What is going in the name of Lok Pal to some to Joke Pal to others is nothing but an absolute fraud played by both sides. A case of tale told by not one, two or three, but numerous idiots on the people of India who are now fed up with the empty rhetoric, all sound and fury. The logjam is a sheer waste of precious resources.

We got a well drafted Right to Information Act not drafted by Team Anna or a bevy of neta-babus after seven years of fine tuning.

Now we have a rushed through the parliament, Lok Pal Bill with every one agreeing to disagree with the others and some clauses like inclusion of NGOs just to spite Team Anna,. the flip flop of including the PM and later dropping and now at the last minute again including him, the Quota not demanded by any one, incl. the Committee but thrown in by the government as a red herring . They are all playing to the gallery making no valid sense.
It is best to put the Bill it up to sustained public debate de novo by consensus and then to a reconstituted Parliamentary Standing Committee where the public from across the country are invited to express their views and suggestions - in the present Committee 2 never attended even a single meeting, 17 gave notes of dissent and a minority of 11 submits a Report that in the first place is not at all representative of the people.
The MPs thumping and shouting, disrupting the proceedings can not debate a well drafted Bill.
Having waited for 42 long years a few months to get a finely tuned Bill is worth the while. Not one rushed through just to satisfy certain egos or to remove the gun pointed to the head on a basis of I'm always right and you are not. Not that the Supreme MPs above board.
We first need amendments to the Representation of Peoples Act to usher in the Rights to Reject and Recall and bolster the Prevention of Corruption Act by giving it more teeth so also to all the Constitutional authorities like the CAG, CVC, CIC and Regulators like the SEBI, RBI, IRDA, TRAI with sweeping powers to jail the guilty.The Lok Pal can wait.

Need to monitor the assest quality of power sector says RBI

SEBs witnessed losses due to lack of periodic tariff revision and high T&D losses which are in excess of 30%. The rising losses and debt level in SEBs are biggest risk  to banks credit exposure, the central bank said

With incremental credit to the power and telecom sector outpacing the aggregate growth of the banking sector credit, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has called for “careful monitoring of assets quality of these segments.” It also remains cautious of the deteriorating assest quality of the banking sector.
The apex bank, in its Financial Stability Report (FSR), said that, “The risk that banks face on account of their exposure to power sector is due to two reasons:  rising losses and debt levels in SEBs (State Electricity Boards) and shortage of fuel availability for power sector.”

SEBs witnessed losses due to lack of periodic tariff revision and high T&D losses which are in excess of 30%. Despite the SEBs being bifurcated into three entities, their ownership, maintenance, financial well being and cash flow continue to remain dependent on each other.

Even the Shunglu Committee, constituted in July 2010 to look into the financial problems of SEBs, has recommended setting up of a special purpose vehicle (SPV), in which RBI will hold 76% while Power Finance Corp (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corp Ltd (REC) will own the balance in equal proportion, to restructure the debt of SEBs.

Power sector, the report says is also facing shortage of coal supply. It adds that, “Against this backdrop, there is anecdotal evidence of many lenders being cautious in extending loan to the sector.

The report revealed that out of the total impaired and restructured accounts in the banking sector, power and telecom sector, together, rose to 8.5% for June 2011, from 5% in March 2011. In terms of infrastructure credit, these sectors accounted for 77%.
According to the FSR, sectors like retail, real estate and infrastructure together contributed to 85% of the gross non-performing assets (NPA) at the end of September 2011. Overall, the growth of NPAs stood at 30.5% and slippages at 92.8% for the same period, outnumbering the 19.2% credit growth.

The report says that, “Higher provisioning requirements, consequent to higher non-performing assets and higher interest expenses have put pressure on banks’ profitability.”

Commenting on the banking sector, RBI said, “With further slowdown in credit cycle expected on the back of higher interest rate environment and slowing economy, deteriorating assest quality will emerge as a challenge for the banking sector.”  However, despite the rising NPAs the report sounded positive the outlook of the banking sector compared to other developed countries.
“The turmoil in the euro zone has fanned fears of deleveraging by the European banks. Though Indian banks are not expected to have any direct impact on account of their negligible exposure to the troubled zone, indirect impact on account of funding pressure could be seen,”  the FSR added.


Salman, Kareena and Katrina triumph at the box office in 2011

During 2011, five movies crossed the Rs100 crore collection mark and also established Salman Khan and Kareen Kapoor as toppers in Bollywood

For Bollywood, 2011 proved to be a beneficial year, after having witnessed a large number of flops in 2010. Unlike other years, where we see only a couple of big hits and some cult successes, 2011 saw five movies that crossed the Rs100 crore collection mark; and even saw a path breaking niche film become one of the top grosser of the year. But on top of it all, 2011 marked the revival of the small screen.

Till 2010, filmmakers counted on the multiplexes. Lot of experiments happened, but apart for Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots, none of them paid off. However, taking a cue from the success of Dabaang, some decided to return to the ‘masala’ roots and emerged with flying colours.

The first was Singham, which saw Ajay Devgan back in his action avatar, the genre which had launched and sustained him during the early 1990s before he made a fabulous U-turn with Zakhm. With Singham, he revived his career and that of Reliance Entertainment, which had suffered a massive blow with big-budget flops like Kites and Raavan in 2010. Apart from a huge box office collection of Rs139 crore, Singham’s national television premier was one of the most successful ones, with a TRP of 8.4. It also marked a grand entry of typical ‘south-Indian’ masala blockbusters in Bollywood.
Ajay Devgan in Singham

Next came Ready, which marked the beginning of Salman Khan’s triumph in 2011. Riding high on the success of Wanted and Dabaang, Salman’s movies like Ready and Bodyguard broke all records at the box office. Especially, Bodyguard, which was produced on a budget of Rs60 crore, became the biggest opening day grosser, then highest opening week grosser and with a collection of Rs229 crore, so far became the biggest Hindi box office hit in India. It also beat Singham’s TVR ratings with a TRP of 10.0 to become the most watched over film on Indian television.
Salman Khan with Asin in Ready
Salman Khan became the highest paid actor in Bollywood, rumoured to be now naming Rs50 crore as fees. Bodyguard belle Kareena Kapoor too, became the highest paid actress. She also replaced Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Madhur Bhandarkar’s upcoming movie Heroine for which she will get a share in its profits, a first for an actress in the Hindi film industry.

Post-Bodyguard, Kareena went on to taste more success with Ra.One, the home production of Shahrukh Khan, which was produced at a cost of over Rs125 crore. The film was released in multiple languages and in 3D and all its formats collected Rs240 crore worldwide. Shahrukh also called as ‘King Khan’ in the industry is now looking forward to Christmas release of his Don2 to reclaim the top spot.

Shahrukh Khan and Kareen Kapoor in Ra.One

The other big winners during 2011, include Farhan Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Rockstar through and through multiplex fares. But it was Aamir Khan’s production Delhi Belly that broke down the barrier between cult and ‘junta’ cinema with a Rs92 crore haul against the production cost of Rs24 crore including filmmaking, distribution and publicity. Delhi Belly was the 7th top grosser of 2011. Apart from that, niche movies like Dhobi Ghat, Shor in the City, The Dirty Picture and Shaitaan also made a mark.
Hritik Roshan and Katrina Kaif in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

However, 2011 also saw several unexpected flop movies even from acclaimed filmmakers like Vishal Bhardwaj and Prakash Jha. Veteran actor Pankaj Kapoor’s directorial debut Mausam sank without a trace. Sanjay Dutt starrers like Chatur Singh 2 Stars and Rascals were both critical and commercial embarrassments. Sharukh Khan’s other home production, Always Kabhi Kabhi also made it to the list of flops in 2011.

Sanjay Dutt in Chatur Singh two star
Yet there seems to be one actor who remains unfazed by flops. Akshay Kumar added more to his list of duds with Thank You and Patiala House in 2011, but he has paid an advance income tax of Rs6 crore, the highest in Bollywood for 2012. Katrina Kaif, who starred in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan apart from her item numbers, has paid Rs3 crore as advance tax, beating the leading lady Kareena, who paid Rs2 crore.

In coming year there are some big releases lined up.  The most talked about film Agneepath, will mark the return of Hritik Roshan and Sanjay Dutt. Salman Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger, Aamir’s Dhoom3 and tentatively titled The Act of Murder, Priyanka Chopra-Ranbir Kapoor starrer Barfee and sequels to Krrish, Housefull and Ready are slated for release in 2012.




5 years ago

all the fake reports after his movies are not going to save flop super over actor shahrukh khan now! he is the worst over actor india has ever seen and the audience knows it already! her last 10 movies have been super flops ... ignore the fasle reports by trade pundits like taran adarsh who takes money to declare a movie hit before it runs evn 1 week! sharrukh spends 50 crore to on advertisement to make her movie a hit....... u can make any movie hit for 2 weeks with that advertising budget! but actually they are real flops! LOOK AT 3 IDIOTS,DABANG,DIRTY PICTURE,,,THEY ARE SUPER DUPER BLOCKBUSTER WITH AVERGE BUDGET AND ONLY THRIUGH WORD OF MOUTH PUBLICTY ,,,AS THEY WERE QULITY CINEMA!


6 years ago

Srk is known as king khan by the world and not just by the industry. This article is outdated.


6 years ago

3 Idiots is most watched movie of all time on TV. It had rating of 10.9. Bodyguard is behind it in terms of TVR!

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