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   And, for one more Saturday... (September 21, 1991)

And, for one more Saturday, a few stray thoughts and a few general observations and a few points of view (all my own work):

Like the begging-bowl is full; 6.7 billion dollars from the Aid Indain Consortium, another Rs. 2,000 crore from Japan. Now I only hope the money is spent wisely, and, more important, productively.

And if the coutry has been saved from a financial disaster, because of the misdeeds of three former governments, some more than the others, there are only two people we have to thank for that. Dr. Manmohan Singh for having organised the money, and Mr. Narasimha Rao for having supported his finance minister in whatever he wanted to do.

Like I see absolutely nothing wrong in foreign leaders calling on Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. After all, during her husband's lifetime, they have been guests of these foreign leaders and the foreign leaders have been their guests. So, on the husband's death, it is only fair that when a foreign leader visits Delhi, he pays a condolence call on the widow. What is wrong is all the newspapers published photographs of Mrs. Gandhi sitting with these leaders and looking like she is discussing important international affairs with them.

Like I avoid replaying to people who ask me questions such as: do I see any future for the country. That is all cocktail party talk and means as little as the drinks that are gulped down and cheese pakodas that are eaten by the vegetarians.

Like the ONGC cannot stop functioning in Assam because of the now very threat by the ultras. What they can do is demand extra protection from the military and the para-military forces and a considerable enhancement in their field allowances (say ten times whatever they are getting at present). They can also demand tht the government start acting and either solve the crisis or contain it within a specified time.

And these stray thoughts:

Like the public's disgust with politics can be seen from this year's Ganapati idols. There are absolutely no political references in the various modelas and the theme is back to the original mythology.

Like the advent of October in the old days used to mean that the rich would go to the hills, like their foreign rulers, not it means that the middle-class go the hills and the rich go abroad.

Like one of the saddest aspects of going abroad is that for an average Indian it means going to Singapore or Dubai and buying small household articles and clothes. And for this they save and deny themselves the simple pleasure with the country and lie and cheat and smuggle out money. And when they get to Singapore or Dubai, they get humilated by the sharp shopkeeprs there who are not interested in their custom.

Like I am waiting for the day when the entire country can have a five-day week and a long weekend spreading over Saturday and Sunday, and no other holiday in-between, either for a religious festival or because of the death of some politician.

That the BJP, in anticipation of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi standing from Amethi, has started asking the local voters the question - Ram or Rome?

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