Friday, June 22, 2012

A Burning Mantralaya & Socialism

By Manuwant Choudhary

Images of a burning Mantralaya in Mumbai reminded me of my days as a cub reporter with The Afternoon Despatch & Courier.

But I was never  a Mantralaya Correspondent.

I remember telling my  editor Behram Contractor that I do not want to be  a Mantralaya Correspondent and he replied emphatically that even he did not want me to be that....

A Mantralaya Correspondent meant sitting in chambers of various ministers and spending the day over tea and coffee and by evening the ministers PA would give a hand-out and the journo would return to the desk and hammer a story out of nothing...the job done...and go home.

Next day the minister would be happy and so more samosas and more chais.

But as I write this and watch TV news I think more of us have actually become Mantralaya Correspondents.

National TV covers the fire saying how important documents some related to famous scams have been destroyed.

Rest assured the Mantralaya fire hasn't destroyed anything worthwhile..maybe just handouts and worm eaten files!

I have been there a few time and actually there is nothing in the Mantralaya.

And the lunchtime fire was way off the mark...killing three innocent persons.

No politician was even hurt.

As for corruption its spread across Mumbai.

I remember once Shiela Barse a firebrand journalist of Indian Express gave me a file and told me to have a look how ordinary hardworking and honest people contribute to Black money. (Not the few whom Baba Ramdev attacks) but literally everybody.

Anyone who buys an apartment in Mumbai has to pay in black !

And its one industrialist Ratan Tata who connects Mumbai to Kolkata where the other BIG story is making NEWS.

The Kolkata High Court has over-ruled an earlier High Court order and held Mamata Banerjee's decision to hand farms back to farmers at Singur as unconstitutional.

And Ratan Tata is mighty pleased...

But lets look at the issue more closely.

Its like saying the government can take over AIR India from the Tata's but cannot return it to them.

Socialism has always been about robbing Paul to pay Peter but the current judgement shows we have completely destroyed our constitution.

Forget the Supreme Court. India now needs a new constitution one that will guarantee property rights to all Indians.


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