Archive for May, 2012

Maddening Corridors of Intrigues Chapter 17

The chief of the state police Nirbhaya was surprised to find two of his deputies drinking tea in the sitting room of his residence. They had been waiting for him during such early hours of the morning. He had gone for a morning jog to the police grounds. It was his routine activity from the days when he underwent the police training at the police academy to go for the morning run. This habit of the chief of the state police Nirbhaya was well known amongst all people working in police circles all over the state. They knew that the chief could be contacted at the police grounds in the morning. It would so happen that many of the young police officers would deliberately come in their tracksuits and joggers to run with him in the morning. The chief was always amused knowing that the person is there to ask for a favor of him. He also however knew that within a few days of running his request will be granted. The gentleman thereafter will obviously get busy either with his new routine; or the interest in jogging will wane away within a month or so. Yet the chief welcomed such attempts from his juniors; as it gave him a chance to know them intimately in an informal atmosphere. It encouraged free and frank communication too.
It was obvious these two gentlemen officers were not there to ask for some kind of favor nor had he asked them to come to his residence such an early morning. He could feel there has been a major fiasco somewhere. Both the deputies stood up simultaneously and saluted him in the true regimental style. He saw that Dammi his wife had already served them tea and snacks. He told the servant to get him a glass of fresh lime and water. He mopped his face and hands with the towel handed over to him by servant and looked skeptically at the two officers of his police force.
Meena spoke first “We have had a massacre of bus passengers early in the morning. The bus passengers were shot at point blank range near Baikunthpur. The details are still coming in but I spoke to the Superintendent of Police and the Station In charge, who have reached the spot already. The first bus that had originated from Baikunthpur in the early hours of the morning was hijacked to the dense forest. Some of the passengers were obviously let off by the marauders. They were able to reach the near by forest check post and that is where there they were able to give first information on telephone about the killings of bus passengers to the nearest police station”.
The Chief of the state police though was disturbed for a while, had composed him self, “is it possible that this could be a revenge of a personal feud? It is common in that part of the state to avenge and settle the personal scores. Have you sounded the border posts of the district? He shot so many questions all at once, “ has someone been able to point out the killers’ identity?” realizing his own anxiety in the matter he cut his questioning short and issued fresh directions, “ I want to speak to the district Superintendent of police immediately and if possible ; the police Station In Charge too should be present with him. I want you to issue my orders to seal all roads going out of state. You should instruct security forces to remain absolutely on the alert on the border roads leading to the neighboring country. The killers will try moving out.
How far is this place where murders have been committed? We shall personally visit this place. I shall see the Chief Minister for a while, on my way. He must be informed of this before the members of the press report it. You must censor all outward press notes from the department. No comments will be made by any of our officers till we actually find out motive behind such ghastly killings. Is that clear?” He wanted confirmation from his deputies in affirmation.
Meena looked imploringly at his colleague Tanwar as if expecting him to speak up. The chief of the state police Nirbhaya had hand picked these officers from the best of the lot. Their commitment to duty and loyalty to the force was unflinching and unquestionable. DIG Tanwar was obviously disturbed by whatever he wanted to present to his chief. He also wanted a go ahead from his boss. “Come Tanwar can we have your report now”? “Boss I am distressed by this report from the shrine areas. The great priest Rajamantran has called a meeting of the village populace from the nearby vicinity. We have information that he is on the rebelliousness. We have been keeping an eye on him and his boys, so far we have not been able to nab him. But this meeting that he has called for with his followers can prove to be the crucial one. Our detectives are deployed at the shrine. Some of our sleuths have also been able to infiltrate his ranks. His proximity however to the erstwhile chief minister has prevented us from picking him up or any of his boys. Now that the protection accorded to him by his mentor is no more available to him, since the erstwhile chief minister is gone out of our state, we want to hold him up for questioning”.
“I am sure Tanwar you will have to have a solid reason to do so. You are well aware of his immense following. There can be bloodshed in the villages. Let us not do anything in a hurry. Keep your ears to the ground. Get a report on every single word uttered by him in meeting. I am sure soon he will give you the opportunity”. The Chief of the state police got up “Gentlemen if you do not mind, I need half an hour and then we will move to the place of the incident. In the interim please ring up residence of the chief minister and ensure that no news reaches him until I have met him. Tanwar I believe that your rapport with the personal staff of the chief minister should come handy. You can of course inform them that I shall see him on the way out”.
The Telephone call made by Tanwar to the residence of the chief minister came a little too late, a journalist from the town of Baikunthpur had already been in touch with the chief minister. “We are trying to locate the Police Chief. The meeting with the Home Minster and the Home secretary is already in progress’’; he was informed from the residence, “They want him in the meeting immediately”.
The chief of the state police Nirbhaya found the rush of the morning office goers’ was delaying the movement of his entourage. The traffic was getting onto his nerves. He did not want to declare his urgency to General public, but was helpless today.” You can play the hooter’ he told his driver. The wailing sound of the siren cleared the way in no time. He made it to the chief Minister’s house in less than three minutes.
He found the meeting in progress at the ground floor convention room. The state minister for home affairs looked up at him, “You are behaving in the typical police style. You are turning up at spot after all criminals have fled. The Intelligence wing of your outfit should have known what was coming in advance”. He thought it prudent to ignore the remarks of the politician and saluted the Chief Minister. Pratap looked pail and pained. Possibly he could sense what was in the offing in future times for the people of the state he was heading. “I believe you must have been to your regular morning jog. The news had already come in direct from Baikunthpur. We want to visit the place and possibly meet some of the people who were lucky to be let off”.
“I do not think the time is right for you to visit the place. I am going there along with my deputy inspectors’ generals of police. The Station In charge and the district Superintendent of Police of Baikunthpur have already been there on the spot. The extra force has also been dispatched. The anger of the public can build up any moment and we do not want to jeopardize your personal security. It appears to be the handiwork of sheer madness. Some group sooner or later will speak out if it is intended otherwise. You will get the report by the afternoon positively. In the meanwhile I will request you to holdback all statements to the press, till we find out the reason or the motive behind the killings. It can be due to personal vendetta too”. The chief of the state police wanted to tell him, “probably the guns brought in by others were being used for the purpose”, and however he could not have said anything in presence of other functionaries sitting in the meeting.
It took him three hours to reach the place of killings. The farmers carrying their produce of sugarcane to the mill in tractors, and bullock driven carts had been blocking the rood to one side and even the blaring siren of the police vehicle failed to get the necessary speed on the road.
The corpse of the bus driver was found a few miles ahead of the other dead bodies. The policeman guarding the dead body saluted the pageant of the chief. A sub inspector of his department came forward to escort him from the car.
He noticed that gun bullets had hit the rear side of the driver’s head and came out from the front of the face. It was quite a macabre sight to see a dead man lying like this. The dog squad and the finger print experts were doing their job. Tanwar checked up with the sub inspector “has any one passing by had seen what happened at the site or inside the bus”. “Nothing has been traced so far but we are searching through the forest and not an inch will be spared. I am sure the killers will still be hiding in the woods”.
“That does not seem plausible to me, looking at the traffic plying on the road”, DIG Tanwar pointed out towards the main road on which long queues of trucks and tractors were still plying on a snail’s pace. “By now they must have crossed even the state boundary”.
The traffic movement was getting hampered when the drivers of the vehicles were slowing down to look at what was happening. The chief of the state police Nirbhaya directed the police inspector to speed up. He advised them to remove the corpse of the dead driver of the bus from road to ease out traffic. He saw two constables searching vehicles on both sides of road and he pointed to Tanwar, ‘Stop that nonsense, the killers will not be sitting in there waiting for our guys to come and grab them. Let the traffic flow normally and we must move”. DIG TANWAR addressed the cops on duty, “Find out from the road side eateries, tea stalls and other nick knack shops if they noticed any suspicious movement or strange people. You will submit your report to the station in charge”.
The scene at the place of the mass killings was too grave. There were Women wailing. Children had also been crying. When the people found the senior police officers coming towards them, a few of the women from amongst them started running towards the car of the police chief, “We have lost everything. Look how they killed our men, husbands and sons. Why did they not take us with them? You can finish the rest of us. Please kill all of us now”. One of the old women had caught both his hands. DIG Tanwar and Superintendent of Police Sunny detached her from there and told the constables to console her and take her away.
The chief of the state police Nirbhaya folded his hands towards the grieving women, “We shall soon catch the criminals who have committed this heinous crime. I assure you justice will be met. We will not spare any one of the criminals. They can not get away from the law”. He moved towards the dead bodies. The bullets had pierced all the bodies like the sieves. He could make out the automatic weapons used for killings. The Deputy Commissioner of the area came forward to meet him, “Sir! The Chief Minister has announced the ex gratis payment of rupees one hundred thousand each to the family of the victims, if you deem fit we can announce that here and now”.
“The atmosphere is too charged right now. I do not think now is the right time to do it. People may react violently to any half hearted attempt to cover up the let up on the part of government agencies. However please you and your colleagues must take care of the women and children. Some how take them away from this place so that the investigation team can work without interruption. You must cordon off the area”.
The Deputy Commissioner made the announcement on the mike requesting the crowd to move away so that the police could do their job.
A team of press correspondents had reached the spot. They were questioning the chief of the state police Nirbhaya “Sir Do you believe this is job of communal forces. Is our state falling pray to their ghastly plans?” He looked at the lady journalist who had raised the question.
“I mean people from a specific community have been victimized”.
Another press representative, “Who will you attribute this to? There has been no looting”. He controlled his irritation” We are in no position to answer any of the queries. As you are aware we have just reached the scene. We are investigating. Hopefully we will not spare any one behind this dastardly act. Whosoever is behind these killings is definitely an enemy of mankind. It is the most brutal offence against humanity”.
A lady scribe asked “there have been reports of armed bandits’ crossing over from across the border. Could this be the handiwork of our neighboring country; to disturb the peace?”
‘Any thing is possible,” the Chief of the state police Nirbhaya replied “now if you will allow us to do our job”.
He moved forward leaving the group of the journalists, behind, to speak to the bus conductor who was totally incoherent and shivering with fear. The chief told the police doctor “You need to examine this man first. I do not find him capable of answering any of my queries in this condition. How many people were there in the bus?’ He asked the man to test the almost swooning bus conductor. Instead of answering his queries, the bus conductor had fallen on his feet, “I have not done any thing sir! They had guns. They were four of them. They shot. They could have shot all of us. Look I do not have any weapon”, he brought forward his bag for inspection by the police officer.
“I suggest you take this man and the swooning ladies to the hospital. You can arrange a bus for transporting dead bodies. You can get their post mortem also conducted. The earlier you manage to remove the bodies from here, the better it will be for public peace”. He looked away from the dead bodies. It was quite a grisly and poignant scene to look at all those dead ones staring back at you through their blank eyes. All of them were shot at from such a close range that their faces had been completely disfigured. The forensic experts will be required to establish their identity. He had expected such a heinous act but not so soon. He had forewarned the chief minister about the possibility of such a desperate action from the harbingers of death on some of the administrative representatives. It was beyond his imagination that they would be firing their guns on the common travelers. Even chief minister Pratap could not anticipate guns being brought in will be aimed against innocent citizens of state. The chief of the state police Nirbhaya knew that whosoever was behind it, he fully well understands it is well neigh impossible for any level of state intelligence to prevent attacks on softer targets.
That reminded him how desperately chief minister Pratap will be waiting for a call and a detailed report from this end.
The wireless connection was established in no time, through the network of forest department. Pratap sounded quite firm and in complete control of himself, “Has there been any agitation from the common people”.
“No sir, not so far because the killings took place very far away from the main town. There is no any habitation around. We do however expect strong adverse reaction at the time of cremation of the dead bodies. We will have to tackle any such retort with firmness. Yet we will have to respond to the public outcry very sympathetically. Though the passengers who have been killed belong to only one community we do not foresee any kind of communal backlash. It is simply not expected in this part of the state. Some one is trying to wedge the divide. The killers will be nabbed soon is all I can tell you at this moment”.
“You better do that”, the chief minister Pratap advised him. “You will have to come back immediately I have called the meeting of the crisis management group to discuss the security plans for the entire state. Your presence will be necessary at this meeting”.
The chief of the state police Nirbhaya nodded on the wireless speaker set and confirmed he will be starting back soon. He asked Tanwar to stay back for the handing over the dead bodies to the next of the kin and arrange for the funeral as early as possible.
“You may call for the extra force if needed,” he had told him. “Thank God the electronic media is still controlled by the government. The news will be released as and the way they want it to”.
His journey while returning to the capital town was absolutely back breaking. He saw people already out on the streets in Baikunthpur town. They were raising slogans against the government headed by Pratap. Some one was preparing a massive showdown. He thought of imposing section 144 immediately, but decided otherwise. “Sometimes it is better the emotions of the masses are allowed to flow freely, containing them can prove explosive like the bottle of aerated water. It can cause more damage”.
He spoke to his wife Dammi, “I am on my way to the secretariat. I will not be back till late night. You can finish your supper and go to sleep”.
“On the contrary I suggest that you come home, freshen up for a while and then you can go to the meeting” his wife had pleaded, “Do not forget your juniors and subordinates too need rest for a while. You have been through the tremendous strain since morning. A wash otherwise will also be essential. You must have been amongst the dead bodies all through the day”.
“These women will never change “; he told DIG Meena who was travelling with him in his car.
“In our profession handling of a corpse is like a doctor touching and dissecting one for investigation. It does not leave any ghost with us. Yet she feels we need a wash. I feel it is a ridiculous idea. I suggest you can also take rest for a while before getting back to work. I want you to find out if any major land dispute had resulted into mass killings earlier. Even though I am sure the community killings are no way connected to the land disputes. You can ask your boys to verify the records of the police stations in the nearby villages too. Tanwar’s men must be back from the shrine. If you two can piece together today’s happenings at the shrine please have a report sent to me,” The chief of the state police tipped the driver of his car on the shoulder and directed him to stop the car.
He told Meena “you can move back to your vehicle. It is not necessary that you come with me till my residence to see me off. The escort will take care”.
“Right boss”, Meena saluted him and moved over to the jeep coming behind the car of the police chief. His car took the right turn towards the residence. He saw Meena’s jeep whizzing down the road going straight.
The crisis management team was gathered at the office of the chief minister. It consisted of the state minister of home affairs, the home secretary, the chief secretary, and the secretary administration along with the secretary law department. A strong sense of resentment could be read on the faces of all the bureaucrats gathered there as they have been called for the meeting at a short notice. Some of them had to change their plans for the rendezvous elsewhere for the evening.
The chief secretary addressing state Minister of home affairs had remarked, “It appears to be a pure and simple case of some kind of personal vendetta. There has been no looting of the passengers. Why will someone kill so many innocents unless he is insane or blind with a personal revenge’?
The half agreeing with his statement added “it appears to me a failure on the part of our police administration. We will have to tighten the vigilance for any such madness as a repercussion of these killings. I believe the other party can definitely retaliate”.
Chief Minister Pratap who watched the reaction of his cabinet colleague had to intervene. He said, “We do not know which other party you are referring to. It is certainly not the case of personal vendetta. The hidden agenda behind these killings should be visible by now to all of you. All of those who boarded the bus had their full trust and confidence in law and administrative machinery of the state. All of them who got killed did not belong to one family or one village but to one particular community. The killers whosoever they are want to ‘A’ Create the sense of fear amongst the common people. ‘B’ they want to sow the seeds of communal discord between two communities by hitting at one and letting go the members of the other community. you have all the liberty to correct me if I am wrong,” he looked up at the chief of the state police enquiringly, “ In fact I have been wanting to discuss with all of you all the recent events that have taken place in the border zones of the state. There has been sudden spurt in the Trans border crossings. The inflow of the illegal arms into our state has suddenly been stepped up and so have been the distribution of drugs around the villages at the line of the control. We have had such evils prevailing earlier also but not to the extent that we see now. In spite of the best efforts and round the clock vigilance by the security forces at the frontiers our neighbors have been able to push in the insurgents. The training camps of the terrorists can be seen just across the line of control. We have information that our young men in large numbers have moved across to get trained in the subversive activities in these camps. These boys are not from the eastern part of the country where unrest has been going on for long. But these boys are from our very own state. The profession of mercenaries has never been part of our society so it is wrong to assume that these are mercenary camps. We do not see any other war around in this neighborhood. We are apprehensive that these guns are being trained for use against us. The enemies of peace are not happy with the progress our state has witnessed. They want to erect the barriers of destruction in the path of our growth. The common general public must be scared out of their wits to be deprived of the enjoyment of fruits the new dawn brought about by our winning the elections. Our enemies want to take them back to the darkness of the medieval times and the dirty politics of the earlier party. That is the sole purpose behind the murders of ordinary people. Though some of the people present here may not agree to what I am saying (His oblique reference hinted at the bureaucrats) who still owed their allegiance to their earlier masters. They should not forget that we all remain in our jobs only if peace survives. If need be I am willing to step down from the chair of the chief minister. But the mandate given by the people is stronger than my thinking or the wishes of our enemies. My government has firmly decided to deal with this menace with a strong hand .we will not permit any communal backlash. I am going to attend the funerals of the departed. We have also decided that the arrangement for all funerals will be paid for and managed by my government. I will address the public at the sight of funeral once the ceremonies are over”.
“Do you want us to impose prohibitory orders so that the agitation can be kept under control” this was the Home Secretary.
“I do not think that will be necessary,” the chief minister Pratap mentioned “We will deploy big force to prevent any untoward situation. Any kind of control at this stage will prove counter productive. People must be allowed to participate in the mourning. After this I shall be visiting the highest seat of our faith, where the Timeless will of the God prevails continuously, to pay my respects to the ALMIGHTY .He may forgive us for the sins committed by the evildoers. We shall also be praying for the souls of those killed so that their souls may rest in peace. That I believe is the least we owe to the common man. We must as governments of the state give him a sense of protection he looks forward from my office”.
The private secretary to the chief minister walked in into the room where the crisis meeting was on, “I would beg to be excused sir. I would not have disturbed your meeting. But I believe there must be an emergency”.
They both looked apprehensively at the man coming in with such an urgent message. The private secretary however addressed the Chief of the state police Nirbhaya, “It is DIG Tanwar on the other line. He must speak to you urgently”.
“You can take the call in my rest room”, the Chief Minister had told the cop.
The rest room was adjoining to the office of the chief minister. It had been converted into an absolute soundproof section by the earlier occupant. Once he went into the room no one not even the personal secretary was permitted inside the room. The scene however with the current occupant of the office was different. The new incumbent believed in a policy that was more open and trustworthy. It was apparent he did not need any private chambers to cater to his carnal or intriguing desires.
“Yes Tanwar tell me what is it? It must be urgent”? The chief of the state police Nirbhaya came straight to the point.
“It is boss! Otherwise I would not have called you from the meeting. Did you see the afternoon news papers today? It is mentioned all over the papers. The press is screaming hoarse about our man from the shrine. He has declared a war on the state. It is nothing short of sedition. He has given a call for independence and separation from the union. A videocassette of the address delivered by him to a religious congregation at the shrine has been sent through my men; who already have reached the chief minister’s office. I request you that the cassette must be viewed by you immediately. If you permit we will like to move immediately. We would like to nab him before he goes underground like the professor. I am at the collector’s office and awaiting your clearance”.
The chief cop looked at the private secretary enquiringly “There are two guys waiting in my room to meet you urgently”, he said.
‘Listen Tanwar the crisis management group meeting is on. I assure you we will view the contents forthwith. You will stall any action till we get the directives from the chief minister. I repeat all action stalled till we get the permission from the chief minister”. He heard Tanwar swearing “I told you so “on the other side. There was no time to counsel his junior. He rushed to the secretary’s room personally. The members of the Crisis Management Group looked at him bewildered, watching him rush out of the room in such a hurry. Two policemen saluted him and handed over the videocassette and the afternoon tabloids. He read the main news in a glance while moving back to the meeting. His one glance was enough to read the explosive skills exhibited by the great Priest. This time he has really crossed limits thought the police chief “I wonder if he had discussed this kind of public speech with his political mentors in the central government. If so then the centre itself must begin to disintegrate”. He was reminded of a poem of S.T. Coleridge he had read in his college “things are falling apart, the centre can not hold”. He spoke a few words into the ears of chief minister Pratap. He handed over the tape and the newspapers reports to him.


A list of the elite leaders and innovators included in Who’s Who in the World 2012 and my name figured there too. Indeed a very proud moment :

Dear Ramneek Kapoor,

Who’s Who in the World 2012 (29th Edition) has just been published and I’d like to share with you some of the fascinating people whose biographies will appear in the book – alongside your own – for the very first time.

Each year our staff researches people from around the globe who merit inclusion in Who’s Who in the World. Beginning with the first edition of Who’s Who in America in 1899, which featured such luminaries as Thomas Edison and Mark Twain, Marquis Who’s Who publications have represented the most comprehensive sources available for information on human achievement.

Here are just a few of the latest leaders and innovators to be included in Who’s Who in the World:

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (née Kate Middleton), named one of The 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2011 by Time magazine.

Women’s rights activists Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman, co-recipients of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, along with longtime listee Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Didier Faivre, recently appointed Director of the Galileo program and navigation-related activities for the European Space Agency.

Professional cyclist Cadel Evans, winner of the 2011 Tour de France.

Dilma Rousseff, inaugurated in 2011 as the first female President of Brazil.

Architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, known for such works as the Paula Rego Museum and recipient of the 2011 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Activist artist Ai Weiwei, topped ArtReview magazine’s 2011 Power 100 and runner-up for Time’s 2011 Person of the Year.

Carolyn S. Miles, newly appointed President and CEO of Save the Children.

We are proud to have you as a member of the Marquis Who’s Who family and to welcome you into the 2012 Edition of Who’s Who in the World. On behalf of our entire team, congratulations and I wish you the best of luck for your continued success.



Maddening Corridors of Intrigues – chapter 16



The great priest Rajamantran had finished his practicing of the last asana of yoga. He opened the small window opening of his room and looked outside into the large compound spread into many acres. He noticed the mammoth crowds were beginning to gather outside in the big lawns. The disciples and other volunteers from the shrine were making sitting arrangements for people. They had been requesting people to take their seats in the separate queues meant for men and women. The people attending the ritual of annual worship were coming into the enclosure. They will bow in front of the Holy Scripture. They will also pay their respects to others present in the audience. And finally they were proceeding to take their respective seats in the arena meant for them.

The office of the great priest Rajamantran had sent invitation to all and sundry through the public address systems fitted in all the shrines located in the area. The shrines in surrounding villages too had made public announcements on their public address systems in very loud tones, “Dear brothers and sisters, the great priest Rajamantran of our parish will be addressing all of us on the important religious, social and political issues that concern all of us. The congregation will take place on the Holy day. You must reach the shrine one and all and make the religious gathering a grand success. The right time has arrived to contribute your might to the protection of your religious, cultural and ethnic heritage. The sect needs your services. Please, do make all efforts to come one and all. You must come to listen to the preaching of the great preacher and great Priest. You must imbibe his golden saying in your life, and adopt them to lead a better life. Teach it to your young ones. Bring them along to the grand occasion; so that they can be baptized in the great traditions every single one of us have followed all our life. Remember ultimately it is the religion commemorated by our great Priest that will outlast all of living beings. We owe it to our future generations to perpetuate the greatness of our mighty faith, so that they live with their heads held high in the times to come”.

The villagers came; the ladies and women came with the kids in their arms and toe. The townsmen arrived in groups. They came in Lorries, trucks, tractors and animal driven vehicles. Some came on foot walking many miles overnight in groups, singing their prayers and hymns on the way. After all this occasion comes once and twice a year and such ostentatious festivity should be shown to the children too. Their caravans were coming in from all directions dressed in their festive best.

The great priest Rajamantran looked through the small opening in the door and saw faces all around. He saw human frames everywhere, waiting patiently yet expectantly to listen to his sermon. “Now is the time to make my imposing entrance”, he thought to himself.

He beckoned to the first contingent of armed guards to lead him, two of the armed guards will walk in the front, two on the side on to his left and the other two on his right, six of them will follow him in the rear. They will walk with their guns pointed towards the sky and no sooner he reaches the Dais, the guns numbering eleven will fire their guns salute to him.

The speaker on the public address system using numbers of loud speaker fitted into the congregation premises on the poles erected all over was making the ostentatious announcement. He began the minute he saw the great priest Rajamantran coming out of his room. “The savior of the mankind, the reincarnation of all gods, the Almighty personified, the leader of all the leaders, the brave of the braves, and the greatest Priest of the great Priests is here to give you his blessings. Bow before him the big and the mighty, bow before him the young and the elders, bow before him the rich and not so rich He is here to lift you all from your daily grinds of life. Make sure no one turns his back towards him; one momentary look of the great will charge your entire existence. Savor his Presence and get the heavenly bliss showered upon your near and dear ones”.

The entire assembly like the regimented march past of the soldiers of a well-disciplined army turned their faces towards the door from where the great pontiff made his entry. They all bowed before him, some were lying prostrate on the floor to seek his blessings. He raised both his hands in sanction to bless all of them. Contingent of the gunmen prevented people from going near him; the entire public was overawed by his majestic presence. He walked on to the left of the crowd. People turned their heads in the direction in which he moved; like the shadow of the Sundial. He reached the end of the congregation; crowd had also turned half circle by then. People had gone hysterical and they were raising slogans “Long live the great Priest, long live the god”.  They were chanting the hymns composed by him. By now he had reached the right side of the pandal, the worshippers moved their faces in the same direction. He picked up a bunch of flowers from the baskets being carried by the devotees, and threw them back at the crowd, who had become delirious by now “God bless our soul. We are lucky to have witnessed his holy presence”, some of the old ladies were singing. He stopped midway, lifted a small child from a woman’s arms and kissed him on the forehead “Have you given a   name to this child of god?”

“I am here at your feet your lordship to seek a blessed name for him, me poor human being can not decide. Please bless him and baptize him”.

“In that case let him be known as the unvanquished. I name him Ajay”. The woman took the child back from him and lay face down on his feet. The gunman picked her up and moved her to aside “Let the great priest Rajamantran move, make way for him” they told parishioners.

The great priest Rajamantran took the left turn again reaching near the podium.  The people in the audience had taken three hundred sixty degree turn by now, as they considered it sacrilegious to show their back to the messenger of god. He climbed three steps to reach the stage. The entire gathering of people present there had put their foreheads on the floor. They were worshipping him. They lay down there completely prostrate on the ground with both their hands folded in the form of greetings while they were paying their deference to him.  The great priest Rajamantran enjoyed the sight. He absorbed the entire scene of people lying on the ground to worship him (for a few seconds) and thus he began their discourse “Rise my children, rise from the depths of   abyss. You all must rise to the new awakening, grow to the new dawn. The novel Sun of spiritual knowledge beckons you to keep the blindfolds of ignorance away that you have been wearing for centuries”. The multitude rose from the floor and stood in reverence. He mentioned them to sit.

A few musicians on the stage started playing their musical instruments of harmonium and tabla.  The young girls who accompanied these choirs sang the ode to the Goddess of Power, “Oh mother, and Dear mother! Bless us; bless us to face the good deeds of life. Bless us to lay down our lives for the resurgence of our great nation. Empower us to sacrifice our life for the good of our religion. Bless us to give up our all worldly possessions for the common cause of society. Oh Mother! We are but the mortal souls.  We beseech you to bless us with immortality so that we depart this life for the greater cause and live a pious living for ages thereafter. Bless us to drink the nectar of your eternal power to make us become fearless, courageous and truthful”. The group recited the hymn resonantly.  All the people present at the congregation joined in and sang. The great priest Rajamantran lent his voice in between to lead the chorus.

He asked the microphone to be brought to him once all the singing groups had paid their ode to the goddess.

“ Bang”,  the first gun fired the salute,’ Bang’, ‘Bang’; ‘Bang’ the third, the fourth, the fifth and finally the eleventh gun fired the salute from their guns  towards the skies . Having emptied their cartridges the gunmen moved behind the stage to take their positions. The participants of this serious gathering looked at their great priest very reverentially. There was an apprehensive   pin drop silence in the jamboree of men, women and children.

The cleric cleared his throat and started speaking, “Dear Children of God! The Society of the wisest, May the wiser counsel prevail amongst this noble audience? We all are gathered here today to commit to our memory the sacrifices made by our great forefathers to perpetuate the faith that we live with today. This faith has been the bane of our lives through many ages. This faith has kept the bonds of our society strong. This faith that has seen the survival of our religion through the atrocities the Mughal and the British committed on our people. The strong bonds of our community kept our trust alive in the tenets of our religion during the worst of trying times. I pay my tributes to the tenacity and faithfulness of a great nation of braves”, the great priest Rajamantran bent downwards and rubbed his forehead against the floor of the platform, as if he was paying homage to the unknown and unsung braves of the faith. People echoed in a single chorus, “You are the greatest of all, may you live long to lead us to the glory of our religion always”.

The great priest Rajamantran raised him to the level of the microphone again and continued his sermon,” However we find a weakening of the centuries old faith today amongst our younger age group. Our youngsters are being misled by the flawed social norms of modern society. Our very organism of heritage and culture of century’s old richness is getting vitiated by the misleading propaganda propagated by the enemies of our faith. There are many instances that have of late been the main cause of consternation to our mental peace.

The education policy adopted by the governments successively both in the state and the centers have been the cause of our children getting astray. They have today been moved away from us by this ill equipped education system. Those nincompoops and frauds who devised the new and modern education syllabi and study schemes have a scant knowledge of our rich traditions and culture, or our vast inheritance. We are being herded like the sheep of the same flock with other communities. Some of our brethren were wise enough to ask for and insist on a separate native soil for themselves after moving away from the British. They fought for a place of their own; they stood their ground and won it. Their leaders had the foresight to see that if they do not get a separate homeland, there community may not retain their distinct political identity and will get submerged into the vast ocean of other cultures. They maintain their independent nation today based on their religion, their scriptures, their faith and their way of living.

Look at yourself! Can you say that the enriching, social, and ethnic individuality of your families’’ has been preserved by you. Has it been allowed to flourish by the regime that we got for ourselves? Our learning institutes, religious shrines and so much so our means of living are all being subject to the rules and regulations adopted by the voice of vote.  That obviously will always be in favor of the majority community. They did not relish our landed assets hence they had cut the arms of our peasant community by introducing the draconian laws related to the land holdings. They cut short the size of our fields by the mandate in the name of distributing excess territory to the landless. In this process they diluted the very social and cultural milieu of our society. We have become losers today in our own homes, because the political set up have been devised to benefit the numerous. The religion has moved from our hands to the politicians of questionable allegiance. They owe their loyalty to vote banks and not to the great preaching enshrined in our holy scriptures. Do you really want to be a part of such an immoral society?  Please answer me” he exhorted the audience to build up a sense of frenzy amongst them.

“I want your feedback to the conditions and atmosphere in which our agriculturists are laboring. What do they get out of their toil? They cannot arrange proper food, shelter and clothing for their wards. The free trade is curbed by the lollypops of governmental procurement systems and crutches of support price. Our farmers’ brothers cannot decide the price of their own produce. Our brethren are forced to sell their produce from their farmlands to the government agencies and brokers patronized by these agencies.  You will all bear with me that the poor tiller was much better off during the Mughal regime, even after paying the jajia (revenue on land holdings imposed by some of the Mughal kings)   on land. What have our fate come unto?  I want you to be aware of your own worth. Self sufficiency of the economy can be attained if we have our own separate nation, our own separate laws, social traditions, and our very own religious and ethnic culture not polluted by the ills of the other communities. We are a race of the wisest; a race of the purest. Raise my children, rise from the ashes of oblivion, and throw away the curtains of slavery that are blinding you. It is your own motherland that seeks a separate state, a homeland of your own. Defy the draconian police rule; defy the laws that do not permit you to maintain an exclusive identity”.

He helped himself to a few sips of water offered to him by one of his bodyguards. He surveyed all around him. The gathering of the people were sitting with their hands folded in reverence to him, he carried on with his communication, and “In the institution of marriage ceremony too we have been clubbed with the jurisprudence of the community that enjoys their numerical majority.  We refuse to admit this kind of treatment at anyone’s behest. From today onwards our ethnic community   will devise our own laws. We will have our own social code of conduct to govern our institutions of social living.  We will have our own trading and commerce agencies that will lay down the norms for all our business activities. We will have our own jurisprudence.   We will have our own security agencies. We have always sent the highest numbers of our boys to the defense agencies of this country. What for? Does the government want them to use and direct their guns on us only? We will not provide any more hands to hold these guns”.

He looked through the corner of his eyes; three young peasants carrying the bundles of the sugarcanes on their heads were approaching towards the stage. He knew in these bundles they were carrying the guns used to eliminate and massacre innocent bus passengers. He told one of the armed guards to let the boys come in. They put their bundles of sugarcane they were carrying on their heads down on the earth.  They climbed on the dais to touch his feet and seek his blessing thereof.  He knew his boys have dug the first nail in the coffin of the ministry lead by Pratap. He blessed them by raising both his hands and continued with the delivery of his sermon “Let us declare this day as the day of an absolute freedom. I want you all to raise your fists and repeat with me ‘death to the traitors of truth and religion! Let the true values of our community rule! Let there be new awakening amongst all sections of our pious society!”  The crowd that had been enraptured by his utterances suddenly woke up like a giant. They repeated three times, “death to the traitors of truth and religion! Let the true values of our community rule! Let there be new awakening amongst all of us!”

The armed guards who had refilled the cartridges of their guns by now once again raised their guns heavenwards and fired constantly till the last bullet had been spent. The great priest Rajamantran got up from his royal throne. He came to the front of the podium and affirmed “The sound of these guns herald the onset of our freedom. We declare our own rule; the representatives of the draconian rulers can go and report to their lords.  They can come and join us. It is ultimately their choice. We will praise the God again”. He witnessed the crowd rising on their on their feet and he shouted loudly “long live the faith”; all the people echoed in one breath “long live the faith”.

The great priest Rajamantran climbed down the stairs. A surge of humanity was wailing “Long lives our great Priest, long live our savior and long live the savior of our nation.” Armed guards had moved forward to cover him from all sides. None could reach him. He moved towards the door from which he had emerged in the morning. The crowd did finish anti clock movement of their heads once again.

The young boys who had brought in the sugarcane bundles as offerings were lost in the huge assembly. The offerings of the canes along with other presents and gifts were sent inside the shrine.