Letter to Anna Hazare


Dear Anna,

Hope this letter finds you in the best of health and spirit!!

I have been wanting to write to you since a long time now, but the recent appointment of your colleague and fellow traveler to the post of Lt. Governor of Puducherry made me finally take this call.

I first heard about you while in college in Mumbai as we had a chapter dedicated to the great work you had been doing in Ralegoan Siddhi, then a sleepy hamlet in the interiors of Maharashtra and the next time I heard when you ignited and lit up the nation with your call for a Corruption Free India and Jan Lok Pal Bill.

Candle Light March in Udaipur. (Me in Striped Blue Shirt)

Like the millions across the nation, I too was sold out on this idea and leaving aside my political ideology had marched in your support in Udaipur. Patriotic Emotions welled up in my heart every time you went on a Hunger Strike and reached the crescendo after the famous run to the Rajghat after being released from the Tihar Prison (http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/anna-runs-surrounded-by-cops-at-rajghat-464895 ) .But how short lived was this dream run??? Like the saying goes “Road to hell is paved with good intentions” this one too didn’t live up to the expectations.

downloadOne by one the nation saw your core team of India Against Corruption go their separate ways and milk each drop of fame and mileage they got from this Andolan.
• Arvind Kejriwal became the Delhi CM and is now nursing National Ambitions.
• Kumar Vishwas jacked up his rates for कवि सम्मलेन as the agitation gave him national recognition.
• Kiran Bedi is now the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
• Shazia Ilmi, Ashish Khetan, Ashutosh have became नेता from पत्रकार.
• Anupam Kher has now become the most loyal voice of His Master besides being a Padma Awardees.

The only people that have lost out is you and the calm Composed Yogendra Yadav. You are a man of small needs so I am presuming going back to Ralegoan Siddhi wasn’t difficult but for Yogendra Yadav he has lost his moral voice of being a psephologist and have to bide his time playing a supporting role to the acerbic Prashant Bhushan.

Anna, where is the promised utopian Jan Lokpal Bill?? Arvind Kejriwal isn’t talking about it nor is the current political dispensation at the Center and now is it factor for the Aam Aadmi. For the Indian Voters have voted in Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD with the maximum seats in Bihar Assembly, Jayalitha whose conviction has been stayed by the courts creates history and gets a second consecutive term as the Tamil Nadu CM.

Corruption is a malice that the country suffers from but as we have seen in the past it is not the main issue. There are far greater issues that demand immediate solutions then the one you remained hungry for.

Please don’t stay away from the limelight, because all governments need your moral compass for course correction.

Deepak Sukhadia

Festival of Colors : Holi


Like the zillion Indian Facebook users across the world, I too posted my pictures of playing Holi with friends and family. Hardly recognizable with the color all over our faces in a tub that was too small to fit 6 adults and 5 kids, we all managed nevertheless.

I did manage to get some sizeable likes and counting on the post which made me glad, after all what use is a post not liked by your FB friends!! I was happy till a dear friend reprimanded me of the futility of putting ones pictures that aren’t graceful and complained about his timeline being filled with such pictures and how he despised posting these horrendous pictures.

Holi is the only Hindu Festival when one is not supposed to dress up to be in a festive mood, old faded clothes add much more happiness and fun at least for me and I love celebrating this festival. We have always been a family that loved celebrating Holi, with friends and family visiting each other to celebrate and one acquaintance always ensured a steady supply of Bhang ki Mithai and Pakodi for years together. Those were the days when the young ones would hop on to our open Willis Jeep and go on singing Hindi songs and visiting relatives and friends. The color refused to go for a week and body itched with the incessant and failed attempt to remove colors.

The way this festival has been now projected I wouldn’t be surprised that the future generations stop celebrating it all together. People stay in and refuse to get out or they leave town, going to any extent to avoid playing with colors. I sometimes wonder whether they are truly allergic to the colors or this is just plain disdain for Holi.

My Grandfather Late Mohan Lal ji Sukhadia then the Governor of Tamil Nadu celebrating Holi at the Chennai Raj Bhawan in the 1970’s

An incident that is part of our family lore is about that one year my Grandfather who was then the Governor of Tamil Nadu had celebrated Holi in the Raj Bhawan there with the Rajasthani’s settled in Chennai. The entire staff was flabbergasted to see the Governor applying colors and enjoying the festival with one and sundry. For most of the local Tamil population this was something they had never seen or experienced.

Having lived in hostels for more than decade, I have played Holi with eggs, color, shoe polish !! Its only now I have been trying to convince my friends to shift to Gulal from Pucca Colors and have mostly failed at this endeavor except this year. And no Holi is ever complete without the mandatory dipping in a pool or tub to bring an end to the festivities.
Sorry but No Tilak Holi for me at least for the time being, like a recent line from a commercial says :“होली है भाई, चुटकी भर से क्या होगा ??”

I know it is not environmentally friendly and we end up wasting a precious resource i.e. water but again in our everyday life how conscious are we that all the activism and awareness get fixed onto the celebration of Holi. I know i am wrong and there are millions thirsty souls across the globe but ……..

Go out and get urself dirty and make our children enjoy this festival, be208907_10151305455566717_1431969527_ncause it gives an opportunity to add color to our otherwise mundane lives, like a beautiful sms doing the rounds says about the Holi :
लो ख़तम हुई रंग ऐ गुलाल की शोखियाँ
चलो यारों फिर बेरंग दुनिया में लौट चलें …