Myths are important to society. What would life be if it were just full of facts and nothing but facts? Facts count for a lot in courtrooms. In the movie ‘Philadelphia’ the judge tells Denzel Washington, defending an Aids-infected Tom Hanks sacked from his job: “In this courtroom, Mr.Miller, justice is blind to matters of race, creed, color, religion, and sexual orientation”. That’s a nice line and could be true. Washington responds: “With all due respect, your honor, we don't live in this courtroom, do we”? Courtrooms can claim to be blind but society isn’t. Lies, prejudices, propaganda, myths count for a lot in society! Without these our lives would be incomplete. Perhaps even boring! Take a look at the man in the pic. Would you leave a child in the care of this man? There are times when he was “Wanted” as a terrorist. He is reputed to have unleashed some terrible acts of violence as head of a terrorist group. These are written about him. Well, I will leave you to wonder who he is and what happened to him.
There are other myths that are even funny. For instance it’s a myth that Hindi is our only National language. It’s not; it’s just one of many. Now, hold your breath this next one will shock you. We don’t have a National game even. Most of us were brought up thinking Hockey is our national game. It took a young girl to establish the fact and destroy the myth, and probably the happiness of some. This same girl had previously established that the title of ‘Father of nation’ wasn’t conferred on MKGandhi by anyone (See report). That seems alright though. Titles like “Mahatma” or “Father of nation” can’t really be official govt titles. But having created the myth of the “Father” nobody dare question it for fear of rebuke or censure. It does sound, though, as if all others who fought and made sacrifices for the nation were toddlers. It can even be argued that it would be more realistic to call Sardar Patel, who is credited with uniting India as we know it, the real “father of the nation”. Historians often lie, media sells propaganda and school text books are manipulated to create many myths. One of the modern day myths perpetrated in India is about Sonia Gandhi. Umm.. she’s the equivalent of Mother Teresa as some would have us believe.
Don’t laugh, this is serious. I got to know recently that Sonia Gandhi was recommended for the Nobel Peace prize this year. That’s not all. This is the 9th time in a row that she has been recommended for that prize. The organisation consistently recommending her is called ‘International Awakening Centre’. Oops! Another IAC! So I tried to find out what this particular IAC is and didn’t get very far. All I could learn is that they have an office somewhere in Delhi and do all kinds of social work. Ah! I guess one of those nice NGOs. Now hold your breath! In the latest letter recommending SoniaG for the Nobel this IAC’s head Majaz Mungeri equated her with MotherTeresa for her global work for peace. Global work? For peace? Mother Teresa? Suddenly I feel like a poorly informed citizen. SoniaG presides over the most corrupt govt India or any modern democracy in the world has ever seen. There have been various incidents of police brutalities. A Nobel Peace Prize would be quite a political coup, wouldn't it?
In over 100 years since its inception only one Indian has won the Nobel Peace Prize: Mother Teresa (MT) in 1979. Even she is considered an Albanian and not an original Indian. Despite my best efforts I have never found anything that in anyway constitutes MT’s work as contributing to peace. Not relevant though. MT herself is surrounded by a lot of myths. Not all agree on her “saintly” deeds. In one particular instance her staunch critic, the late Christopher Hitchens, recalls:
Mother Teresa “has checked into some of the finest and costliest clinics and hospitals in the West during her bouts with heart trouble and old age.” The author mentions her visit to Haiti and her endorsement of the Duvaliers, the source of much deprivation of the poor in Haiti. Also, her acceptance of stolen money from Charles Keating, “now serving a ten-year sentence for his part in the savings and loan scandal.” Keating, a “Catholic fundamentalist”, gave Mother Teresa one and a quarter million dollars and “the use of his private jet.” During the course of Keating’s trial, Mother Teresa wrote Judge Ito asking clemency and asked Ito “to do what Jesus would do.” One of the prosecutors in the trial wrote her telling her “of 17,000 individuals from whom Mr. Keating stole $252,000,000.” He added, “You urge Judge Ito to look into his heart–as he sentences Charles Keating–and do what Jesus would do. I submit the same challenge to you. Ask yourself what Jesus would do if he were given the fruits of a crime; what Jesus would do if he were in possession of money that had been stolen; what Jesus would do if he were being exploited by a thief to ease his conscience.” The prosecutor asked her to return the money, and offered to put her “in direct contact with the rightful owners of the property now in your possession.” This supposed paragon of virtue never replied to his letter. (Also read articles here and here).
Chartered flights. Not recognising corruption or responding to it. Treatment in costly hospitals in the west. Aha.. I can see where the comparison of Sonia Gandhi to MT comes from. MKGandhi was nominated 13 times and rejected (read full details here). Even Jawaharlal Nehru was nominated 11 times and rejected (read here). That must have been tiring. I’m not sure if Indira Gandhi was nominated but the Congress govt went one better in 1986. They just created the ‘Indira Gandhi Peace Prize’. Well, if Nehru-Gandhis can’t win a Nobel Peace Prize (NPP) what stops us from creating one in their name, eh? Isn’t it an irony that a national peace prize is named after the lady who imposed Emergency, throttled freedoms and jailed thousands of dissenters? There are many Mungeris in our society who like to create myths.
The NPP has been mostly awarded to Europeans and Americans with stray exceptions from the other parts of the world. Without ascribing any motives it does appear that Europe matters most to the NPP. So no surprise that this year, 2012, they awarded the prize to the European Union. Why? Oh.. it seems they hung on to their ‘economy’ or saved it or something like that. So either this NPP committee is blind or Norway doesn’t like us. (Remember that child custody thing?) How in hell did these folks forget Sonia Gandhi’s contribution to saving the European economy? Time to remind those folks. Let’s catch up with respected journalist M.D. Nalapat (Sonia’s $12B gift to Europe):
“The latest gift to Europe is a cash transfer of $10 billion, evidently on top of the $2 billion already committed to the IMF. That the euro is in a terminal state is obvious. There is no way that Italy and even France can escape monetary and economic disaster.... Rather than throw money away by giving funds to an IMF controlled by Christine Lagarde for the sole purpose of getting the rest of the world to hand over their surpluses to the profligate in Europe, it would have been better to invest in gold or in assets, including assets abroad. Instead, PM Manmohan Singh, who knows the mind of his political boss well and has therefore been able to continue in office without interruption, has handed over a further $10 billion to the IMF. This at a time when the fiscal deficit of his recklessly extravagant government is reaching crisis levels. The Indian economy cannot afford to gift - for that is what any loan to certain European countries is - even $10 million. The economy is just two to three years away from bankruptcy. The decision of the Sonia-led ruling coalition to throw taxpayer money away is in line with other policies that favour Europe at the expense of India”.
The man whose pic you saw in the first para is none other than Menachem Begin, former PM of Israel (on the right in this pic). He played an important hand in the liberation and creation of Israel. In 1981 he bombed Iraq’s nuclear facilities in a pre-emptive attack. It’s the 50th anniversary of 1962 Indo-China war. Peace cannot be achieved and maintained without the willingness to fight for it. Mahatma Gandhi wasn’t too keen on the idea of having an Army, Navy or Air-force for the country. A former army man tweeted Nehru stated police are enough to take care of the defence of our country. In the face of most violent terrorist attacks from Pakistan on Indian soil the SoniaG led UPA is busy making peace without any justice for the victims. Some crazy folks even want to play cricket with Pakistan. Some in the media don’t tire of telling us about people-to-people contact and their love for “Aman Ki Asha”. Even if one overlooks all that, SoniaG is responsible for the attack on a peaceful, sleeping crowd at Ramlila grounds on the midnight of June 4, 2011. One woman, Rajbala, died. But hey, we like myths and some will keep nominating her for the NPP. You just have to wonder who these people are.
Menachem Begin was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 jointly with Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat. This was after a peace accord signed at Camp David, USA and after Egypt finally recognised Israel. Begin died in peace in 1983 and was buried in Israel. Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981 for making peace with Israel. Back home one will see more myths of SoniaG’s global work for peace.