Tag Archives: Chief Minister

The Elderly Hindi Typist of Lucknow and His Typewriter


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Ashutosh Tripathi
Ashutosh Tripathi, Journalist.

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Young Ashutosh Tripathi wanted to join the army, but his parents would not allow it. So, in 2011, he opted for journalism. Soon he realized that he was in the worst profession as some people who had taken to journalism as a career were earning as low as ₹ 2000 per month. However, some seniors encouraged him and said that someday he will feel glad that he chose the media, the fourth pillar of democracy, as his vocation.

Saturday, October 10, 2015, proved to be the lucky day for the news hungry Ashutosh. In the morning, while having breakfast at an eatery near the General Post Office (GPO) in Lucknow, he saw police sub-inspector Pradeep Kumar violating traffic rules by riding a motorbike on the bicycle track. He then saw the police officer kick a milk container of a vendor selling tea on the pavement. The budding journalist thought the action of the policeman was newsworthy.

When the sub-inspector started threatening the vendors and others plying their trade on the pavement outside the GPO and ordered them to leave, Ashutosh started clicking his camera for he wanted to expose the  brutality of the Lucknow Police.

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Sub-InspectorPradeep Kumar kicking the typewriter (Photo: Ashutosh Tripathi)
Sub-InspectorPradeep Kumar kicking the typewriter (Photo: Ashutosh Tripathi)

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While everyone left, the 65-year-old Kishan Kumar, a frail typist who has been doing Hindi typing outside the General Post Office for the past 35 years was slow to leave. The irate police officer kicked the old man’s typewriter.

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Sub-InspectorPradeep Kumar smashing the typewriter into the ground (Photo: Ashutosh Tripathi)
Sub-InspectorPradeep Kumar smashing the typewriter into the ground (Photo: Ashutosh Tripathi)

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With tears flowing down his cheeks, the elderly man collected the parts of his typewriter and tried to put them together. The sub-inspector then snatched the typewriter from the poor man who then with folded hands besieged the officer to spare his machine. But the arrogant policeman threw it on the road smashing it.

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Kishan Kumar picking up the parts of the damaged typewriter (Photo - Ashutosh Tripathi)
Kishan Kumar picking up the parts of the damaged typewriter (Photo – Ashutosh Tripathi).

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Sobbing, with tears hiding his sight, the old typist started collecting the pieces of his mangled typewriter.

When the sub-inspector saw Ashutosh taking photos of the incident he objected and ordered him to delete them. Ashutosh was bold and interjected. He asked the police officer how he could do this to an elderly citizen. The sub-inspector told him not to teach him but to do his job.

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Pradeep Kumar, the Police Officer who damaged Kishan Kumar's typewriter (Photo - Ashutosh Tripathi)

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As Ashutosh continued taking photos, the stubborn sub-inspector told Ashutosh that he could show the photos to anyone and even posed for him.

Ashutosh comforted the sobbing elderly typist who told him the machine was completely damaged and it was the source of his income.

Ashutosh Tripathi wrote the story for the newspaper Dainik Bhaskar where he worked. He also shared the story on Facebook hoping someone might take note of the incident and get the typewriter of the old man repaired.

After a while when Ashutosh logged into Facebook he saw his story had gone viral. Ashutosh’s brother tweeted the photos on Twitter which many celebrities retweeted.

Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state, took note of this incident and ordered the suspension of the sub-inspector. He offered financial help for Kishan Kumar and gave orders to replace the damaged typewriter.

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Mr. Rajesh Pandey, SSP and Mr. Raj Shekhar, the District Magistrate of Lucknow presenting a new typewriter to Kishan Kumar
Mr. Rajesh Pandey, SSP and Mr. Raj Shekhar, the District Magistrate of Lucknow presenting a new typewriter to Kishan Kumar.

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Mr. Rajesh Pandey, SSP and Mr. Raj Shekhar, the District Magistrate of Lucknow met Kishan in person and tendered an apology for the police officer’s misbehaviour. They also presented him a new typewriter.

On Monday, two days after the incident, Kishan Kumar was threatened over the phone. The caller said that he had done a “bad thing”. After the threat call, the police have provided the necessary security to Kishan Kumar and are probing the threat call.

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Who Is the Most Honest Chief Minister in India?


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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India is a country where most Chief Ministers of states and politicians amass wealth and assets during their tenure of office. Would you believe that there is one among them who has no house or a car in his name, or a bank balance worth the mention? Surprising isn’t it? Yes, we are proud to have such a person since March 1998 as the Chief Minister of one of the States in India.

Manik Sarkar, Chief Minister of Tripura, India
Manik Sarkar, Chief Minister of Tripura, India

Manik Sarkar, the tall, gentle person, wearing white kurta, is currently the Chief Minister of Tripura. In the assembly elections held in 2013, he was sworn in as the chief minister of Tripura for the fourth consecutive period.

In 2008, Manik Sarkar’s cash in hand and bank deposits totalled Rs.16,120. According to his affidavit for the 2013 Tripura Assembly election this amount has come down to Rs.10,800. It shows that Manik Sarkar was the only Chief Minister in India to have the lowest personal monetary resources.

Born on January 22, 1949, Manik Sarkar is a Politburo Member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). In March 2008, he was sworn in as leader of Left Front of the coalition government in Tripura.

The official sources list Manik Sarkar’s monthly salary as the lowest received by any Chief Minister in India. Even then, he donates to his party his entire salary of ₹12,500, and the allowances, paid to him as the Chief Minister. The party in turn pays him ₹5000 (US$81) as subsistence allowances. When reporters asked him how he runs his household on the paltry sum, he said:

“My wife’s pension can sustain us both. My expenses are small enough for a packet of snuff and a Charminar cigarette a day. About a home, we’ll see.”

Manik Sarkar is married to Panchali Bhattacharya, a former employee of the Central Social Welfare Board. She retired in 2011. The couple lives a very simple life. They do not own a car, and the wife never uses any official vehicle which are out of bounds for her even though she is the Chief Minister’s wife. She travels by rickshaw in Agartala with no personal security guards accompanying her.

In 2009, after the death of his mother, Manik Sarkar, inherited a small house in Agartala which he donated to a relative.

Manik Sarkar is an honest person keen on developing his home state of Tripura. He aims for better connectivity and development of IT sector in his state. But he has his own detractors.

His chief antagonist is 48-year-old Sudip Roy Barman. He was the President of Tripura Congress Committee. Sudip said that Manik Sarkar’s honesty is a carefully cultivated legend. Once he asked:

“Where does he get money to buy the hundreds of white kurta-pyjama sets he owns? Ora spectacle frame that is worth Rs.60,000? How can he afford sandals worth Rs.6,000? Why doesn’t he act against the corrupt ministers? It’s all a ploy. First, he encourages them to indulge in corruption, then blackmails them with the threat of legal action, thus pre-empting any challenge to his leadership.”

A professor of Tripura University who did not want to be named said:

“He [Manik Sarkar] may be an honest person, but Sarkar is a ruthless politician. If he feels threatened by anyone, their wings are clipped. Yet, the Congress has little chance to dethrone him, thanks to its internal rivalries.”

Manik Sarkar defended himself: “Where is the power? It’s with the Centre. Small states like Tripura suffer. We have to fight for everything that is rightfully ours.” He added, “My spectacles cost Rs.1,800. My sandals are also cheap. I love to look neat, but that doesn’t mean I buy expensive stuff.”

When compared with other chief ministers in India, this simple gentleman is often cited as the “cleanest and the poorest Chief Minister in India”.

Yes. Manik Sarkar is poor, but a flawless diamond!

Map of Tripura state, showing its eight districts
Map of Tripura state, showing its eight districts

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The Interview – Reel to Real !!!


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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This is Indian politics

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The Tamil movie titled “Muthalvan” (Tamil: முதல்வன், English: The Chief) a political thriller produced, co-written and directed by S. Shankar features Arjun Sarja, and V. Raghuvaran in the lead roles. This film was Shankar’s production debut. The film features an award-winning soundtrack composed by maestro A. R. Rahman.

Pughazhendi, an ambitious TV journalist (played by Arjun Sarja) working for “Q TV,” interviews Aranganathan, the Chief Minister of the state (played by Raghuvaran) after a spate of communal riots. The questions posed by the journalist are tough, and the flabbergasted Chief Minister challenges the journalist to occupy his seat and be the Chief Minister for a day to understand the enormity of the office. After a slight  hesitation, Pugazhendi agrees to be the Chief Minister of the state for a day.

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The young journalist Pugazhendi after taking over the mantle of the Chief Minister for a day does a great job, and subsequently orders the arrest of the unscrupulous Chief Minister Aranganathan.

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This high-budget film released on November 7, 1999, won positive reviews and was successful at the box office.

The film was dubbed and released in Telugu titled “Oke Okkadu.

Two years later, in 2001, it was remade in Hindi as “Nayak: The Real Hero” (Hindi: नायक, Nāyak) starring Anil Kapoor as the journalist Shivaji Rao and Amrish Puri as the Chief Minister Balraj Chauhan and once again directed by S. Shankar.

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After viewing the films “Muthalvan” and “Nayak” most Indians, including me, lauded the superb characterization of the Chief Minister enacted by the veteran actors Raghuvaran in Tamil, and Amrish Puri in Hindi; after that, we never gave them a second thought for the next six years.

On Friday, October 19, 2007, Karan Thapar interviewed Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat on CNN-IBN’s “Devil’s Advocate” program. Thapar questioned Modi about the Godhra Train Burning incident that occurred in the morning of February 27, 2002. In this incident, 58 passengers were burnt to death due to a fire inside the Sabarmati Express train near the Godhra railway station in Gujarat. Sensing that the question cornered him, the Chief Minister abruptly walked out of the interview.

Director Shankar is indeed a prophet of the modern Indian cinema proving that incidents depicted on films could become real.

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