“When I look over at Miley Cyrus when she’s biting into a steak sandwich and there is some steak sauce dripping down her chin, there is nothing sexier than that.” –Liam Hemsworth, Who Magazine.
Who is Liam Hemsworth? He is an Australian actor. He played the role of ‘Josh Taylor’ in the soap opera ‘Neighbours’. In 2010, he starred in the American film ‘The Last Song’ and in 2012. He had also starred as ‘Gale Hawthrone’ in ‘The Hunger Games.’
And who is Miley Ray Cyrus? She was born as Destiny Hope Cyrus, She is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Cyrus became a teen idol for her portrayal of the starring character ‘Miley Stewart’ in the Disney Channel television series ‘Hannah Montana’ in 2006.
They both are minor celebrities and what Liam said is neither funny nor intelligent. It is just a figment of imagination and personal choice of words.
As appeared in national press, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal the “Nelson Mandela of India”. “Badal Sahab is sitting here,he is the Nelson Mandela of India. The only crime of people like Badal Sahib was that they had political views different from those in power.” Reciprocating the compliment, Badal described Modi as a leader who would “fulfil aspirations of national heroes like Jayaprakash Narayan”. “Congress rule had done the country no good. But now, the country has brought a big change by bringing a government at the Centre under the leadership of Mr Modi. This government is working tirelessly to restore the pristine glory of the country, thereby fulfilling the dreams of great national heroes like JP.” The two leaders were attending a programme in Delhi to mark the 113th birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan.
Speaking on how the SAD fought for democracy and press freedom at the time, Badal claimed he had turned down an offer from then PM Indira Gandhi to “rule Punjab forever”.
And Twitter, with the hashtag #YoBadalSoMandela had a field’s day.
There is a famous Farsi proverb – “Man tora Haji bigoyam, to mara Haji be go.” It simply means – You scratch my back. I scratch your back. And the former Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh came with the wittiest retort,“Who says PM has no sense of humour? Either it is a tongue in cheek comment or the PM does not know what he is talking about. It is an insult to Nelson Mandela to compare someone like Badal with him”.
I never accept any statement as fact until I find reasons to do that. My own study of documents reveal that Parkash Singh Badal was first detained in the Karnal jail in connection with Civil Liberties Agitation, later under the ‘Maintenance of Internal Security Act’ MISA during the Indian Emergency. He had gone to jail several times for the cause of Punjab, Punjabis and Punjabiat including Dharm oudh Morcha and spent about 17 years in jail. Also Parkash Singh Badal along with his wife Surinder Kaur, son Sukhbir Singh and seven others were booked under various provisions of the ‘Prevention of Corruption Act’ PCA in 2003. After a seven-year-long case all accused were acquitted by a local court in Mohali in 2010 due to the lack of incriminating evidence. In 2007, 11 key witnesses retracted their statements before the Special Court set up in Ropar district.
According to an article in ‘The Wall Street Journal” by Niharika Mandhana dated May 12, 2014, the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal runs the northern Indian state of Punjab from his office in the secretariat building. His son, a wealthy businessman, works next door as deputy chief minister. A few floors away, the deputy’s two brothers-in-law run key ministerial offices. Together, the four men sit atop half of Punjab’s governmental departments, including home affairs, justice, taxation and food supply.
Mr. Badal’s relatives have benefited financially during his administration, with government decisions on transportation and electric power favorable to family enterprises. Badal family connections in regional TV news broadcasting, meanwhile, have had the effect of squelching voices critical of the arrangement, according to political opponents.
A spokesman for Mr. Badal, Harcharan Bains, said, “there is no unwritten convention or written law” in India that people in public life can’t have business interests. “This family system runs because of credibility,” said deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, age 51. “Why do people want to buy a Mercedes car? Or a BMW car? Because they know the credibility of that car. You come out with a new car that nobody knows, nobody will buy it.”
Badal family fortunes turned up in the months after Mr. Badal’s re-election to chief minister in 2007. The state cabinet, which he heads, overhauled Punjab’s transportation policy, making it less expensive to operate luxury buses. Air-conditioned buses had always been taxed at higher rates than ordinary buses. But a new transportation policy slashed levies on air-conditioned buses and set taxes—charged per kilometer—for a new category of luxury buses that was lower than the tax paid by ordinary buses.
A bus company owned by Sukhbir Singh Badal, the deputy chief minister, saw profits grow to more than 105 million rupees, or $1.7 million, in 2013 from 2.5 million rupees, or $41,000, in 2007, according to the company’s financial statements. He said his company, Dabwali Transport, grew by acquiring other bus companies, and acknowledged the lower tax rate helped his business.
We are used to listen the lectures of RSS / BJP wallas, including PM Modi about the evils of dynastic politics and its condemnation in loudest and harshest terms. Mr. Narendra Modi, a strongest critic of dynastic politics who said he had given up his family life for public service, finds no scruples in the Badal Family Darbars.
According to The Guardian, Some observers have suggested that, having lived without it for 27 years in prison, he was naive in money matters after his release. There have been claims of donations from wealthy businessmen. But Mandela also showed a laudable aversion to greed. He cut his presidential salary when he came to power in 1994, and handed over a further third of it as a regular donation to a children’s fund. His homes in Johannesburg and his ancestral village of Qunu are grand by local standards but hardly palatial. It emerged that in 2005 Mandela gave Jacob Zuma, the current South African president, a cheque for 1 m rand, then worth about £80,000. This followed an earlier gift of 2m rand. It is unlikely to have been the only time he bailed out a struggling comrade.
George Bizos, Mandela’s longtime friend and lawyer, said: “If anyone suggests he’s a multi-millionaire, they’re wrong. He’s not a rich man. He has a couple of trusts for his children and grandchildren. His earnings are technically nil, other than the goodwill of people inside and outside South Africa who helped with the education of the children. He has always insisted that money donated should be used for building schools and hospitals.”
Was Nelson Mandela ever accused of any crime or tricks of amassing illegal wealth? No, never.
To make comparisons is the easiest fun but if it comes from the elevated quarters it becomes an issue of discussion and discretion.
By Naim Naqvi