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Sunday, March 29, 2009

How My Water Supply Was Disconnected Since April 5,2002

Kanti Rajan,
109, Mount Santoshi Apartments,
Mayuri Marg, Begumpet 500 016.

Tel: 776 15 79. April 5, 2002

The Commissioner of Police,
Hyderabad A.P.

Sub: Collusion of Inspector, Begumpet Police Station with criminal vigilante behaviour of so-called Mount Santoshi Apartments Owners Association.


I am a former teacher of the Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, who after 20 years of impeccable service, founded a pioneering Early Childhood Education Centre which is rendering sterling service to young parents of the twin cities, since the past six years.(Re:Appendices)

My father is one of the first actuaries that India produced and he retired as an Executive Director of the Life Insurance Corporation. He is also a holder of the Tamra Patra since was arrested during our country”s freedom struggle. I am proud to state I come from a family has rendered excellent service to society in areas as varied as classical Indian music, to Himalayan mountaineering.

I have lived in apartments for a large portion of my life in Bombay, where several Bharat Ratnas and other eminent personalities have visited our home and where we were also neighbours and friends to the illustrious Mangeshkars, especially our beloved Lataji.

My son Shri Divakar S Natarajan, is an eminent film maker whose documentary “Hyderabad. August 1948” has been nationally acknowledged as succeeding in creating a feeling of “revulsion against waste caused by violence and irrationality”. His film is credited with having revivified the national memory of the heroism of Shoebullah Khan and other brave Muslims who risked their lives and reputations to stand up to the mob hysteria and pathological conformism of those times in order to lead people on a constructive path.

Shri Divakar’s work and his effective contribution for the cause of cyclone relief has also been warmly acknowledged by our Hon’ble Chief Minister.

Several other eminent personalities, including former Home Minister Shri Indrajit Gupta and Padma Vibhushan Kaloji Narayana Rao have also testified to Shri Divakar’s decade long,individual, non political satyagraha against corruption.(Re: Appendices)

Sir, I have had to provide you with the above lengthy introduction, not with a view to gain any special consideration – the criminality of our neighbours’ vigilante action is clearly evidenced by their own “notice” - in reality, a threat and defamation - but to provide a compelling context to the utter irrationality, violence and the ultimate self-destructive nature of their actions – this seen in the larger context of a great, traumatized nation, struggling to fulfill its potential.

This larger context is necessary, for in the unabating, irrational, unprovoked venality and hatred of a few of our “well educated” neighbours, their raging power lust even in as trivial and personal a matter as the running of a apartment maintenance society, in the dumb acquiescence of others, in their practiced penchant for using the law without any respect for its tenets and in the aggressive collusion of officers of the law in this mob criminality, I see in microcosm, the pathologies of, what I would call the “old ways” that have horrified, shamed, stunted and leeched our self perception and self confidence from the times of Partition to now in burning Gujarat.

My family and I have always conducted ourselves in the “new way”. We have invested our creative energies, and unfortunately suffered some pain, loss and humiliation, because of our limitless faith in the tenets and values of a democracy – respect for the dignity and autonomy of the individual, checks and balances, rule of law and due process. Because despite all the dismal and horrifying evidence, we believe, this is the only way , the only discipline, through we will achieve and develop our full human potential as citizens and emerge as a great and productive nation.

The Case.

Around 12.30pm yesterday,fourth April, my grand daughter, who is very busy studying for her crucial 12th standars examinations and a few Common Entrance Tests, heards the sound of somebody hammering against the kitchen wall. She found the Shri G Anandam ,President of the society in the company of Shri Chawla another resident , directing a plumber to break our water line. She alerted my son, who warned them of the criminality of their assault and requested them to take recourse to the proper judicial process to make their case. Since, they did not stop, my son appealed to the plumber, asking him , “If somebody pays you money to hit somebody, will you do it ?”

The plumber realized he seriousness of the situation and stopped. But he was being hectored and threatened by the others. My son now called the Begumpet police station , but was advised to wait till 4pm, since there was nobody at the station. Apparently most of the men had been called for bandobust for the visiting Indonesian President.

Undeterred my son called your office, and was given a polite hearing, immediately thereafter a jeep load of policemen, headed by the sub inspector, came to the house, conducting themselves with exquisite and inspiring courtesy, they surveyed the damage read the incriminating notice, agreed that there was no justification for anybody to take the law into their own hands and finally advised my son to give a written complaint at the police station, which my son agreed to do.

Seeing the police arriving in strength, both Shri Anandam and Shri Chawla made themselves scarce. My son decided not to press the issue at that point.

However, in the evening my son noticed that the water supply to the flat that commences at 5.30 pm was not commencing.

At this time he called the Inspector at the Begumpet police station, who rudely told him to “co operate “ with the Association, he mentioned that he had received a complaint from the Association three days earlier, and advised my son to pay up the spurious “dues” allegedly owed by me.

My son now called the ACP , Begumpet and was given a polite hearing. The ACP asked him to speak to the Inspector after a delay of a few minutes.

However, my son was not optimistic of a better response, given the earlier definite and prejudiced reaction of the inspector, and so called your office for help. Given the urgency of the situation , he was advised to meet the ACP personally. However, the ACPs tone had changed. The ACP was rude and provocative, confirmed that the Inspector had received a prior notice of intended criminal activity from the Association. He too advised my son to “cooperate”. He refused to give my son a proper hearing.

He also threatened that if we did not heed the ACPs advice, we would no longer be able to live in our apartment. I must mention that this is my own flat purchased from my own savings and income.

Also till the time of writing this complaint, 10.30 am of 5th April, there is no water supply to our flat.


Sir, I am deeply saddened, this so called “notice’ issued by the Association, is the first irrefutable evidence their ten year long campaign of hatred against me and my family.

This is because in my own interest as a flat owner and also in accordance to my beliefs, I have attempted to take an active part in the Association and have strenuously objected to the uncouth ways of some of its members. I have also sought to to discuss, some of the several malfeasances of the Association.

Since my participation was proving counterproductive, I have had no option but to dissociate myself from its activities however, I continued to pay the maintenance fees. Since even this was raised to an exorbitant amount, I stopped doing so. I had no choice.

In the meanwhile , a coterie has formed, that has sought to, ostracize us and has used every opportunity to vilify , defame and humiliate us. Some of the members have even threatened my son’s life.

However, since we have had little irrefutable evidence, and it was our word against some other ethically confused neighbours, we have had no choice but to put up with this humiliation.


* The Association’s contempt and lack of confidence in the due process of the law is clearly evidenced by its circular and its threatened action. Lacking any legal sanction , the Association’s action can only be characterized as uncivil,’mob’ action.

* By his own admission, the Inspector, Begumpet police station , had received notice of the Association’s intentions. It is unclear why the Inspector took cognizance of a civil matter.

* Even afterwards he did not make any attempt to ascertain my side of the matter. He even appears to have accepted the spurious claim of Rs 26,150/- made by the Association and has urged my son to pay up or face the consequences.

* Unfortunately, the ACP also, contradicted himself and merely mirrored his subordinate’ s illegal position and threatened my son .

Sir, given the dismal and horrifying news that appears in the press day after day, and given our own active and constructive lives , I am constrained to view the incidents narrated above with the utmost gravity.

As such I urge you to take forceful action under the law, so as to nip any unfortunate consequences in the bud.

Immediately, I would like my water supply restored, and Association educated about following the due process of the law.


Kanti Rajan, MA B Ed.

The Value Of "Hyderabad, August 1948." - a disinterested, historical view.

Allah Baksh versus Savarkar

By Anil Nauriya

Since many of the contrary voices, like those of Allah Baksh, represented the unifying tendency within India, their muffling has fed Hindutva.

SOON AFTER the assassination of the legendary Allah Baksh on May 14, 1943, a young Sikh in Lahore wrote an elementary biography of the murdered leader. The first part of the title of the book by Jagat Singh Bright was "India's Nationalist No 1". Today, 60 years after the killing, India barely remembers Allah Baksh and his resounding challenge to Muslim separatism through the Independent (or Azad) Muslims Conference that this Sind Premier organized in Delhi in April 1940, a month after the Muslim League passed its Partition resolution at Lahore. The Conference, presided over by Allah Baksh, shook up the British establishment.

Azad wrote: "The session was so impressive that even the British and the Anglo-Indian press, which normally tried to belittle the importance of nationalist Muslims, could not ignore it. They were compelled to acknowledge that this Conference proved that nationalist Muslims were not a negligible factor". This all-India Conference, which Nehru described in his `The Discovery of India' as "very representative and very successful" is today a forgotten event. The man who organised it may not even have existed so far as most of our historians are concerned. Instead, the portrait of V.D. Savarkar, who denied Indian nationalism in order to assert Hindu nationalism, hangs in the Central Hall of Parliament. Serious questions arise about contemporary political parties, including the Congress. What makes it possible for persons essentially opposed to its ideals to make a home in and flourish in the Congress, especially in the post-1969 years? There are both political and intellectual roots to this crisis. There was a time when it was the Congress which influenced its allies. Allah Baksh was not in the Congress. But his Ittehad or United Party in Sind was a close ally sympathetic to Congress programmes. His letter to the Viceroy after the Quit India Movement of 1942, protesting against Churchill's speech in the British Parliament, and returning his titles, was remembered even till the 1960s as one of the classic documents of Indian freedom. Gandhi and Nehru were in prison at the time. Subhas Bose went on radio to compliment Allah Baksh. As a result of Allah Baksh's letter he was dismissed from the Premiership of Sind even though he still had a majority in the Assembly. Ultimately, he lost his life upholding the concept of Indian nationalism.

Congress ideological alliances in recent decades are merely alliances to protect its electoral, legislative and parliamentary positions. The ideological factor is missing. The doyen of the Indian socialist movement, Acharya Narendra Deva, had anticipated this when he once chided the Congress for opening its doors to former members of the RSS and the Muslim League. The Jana Sangh and then the BJP alliances have also had electoral and legislative objects. But the Hindutva organisations have taken care to protect and even strengthen their ideological position as well. The recent BJP alliance with the BSP in Uttar Pradesh is being resented by saffron cadres precisely on the ground that a blank cheque has been given to Mayawati.

Alliances are necessary and are often made in politics. But if alliances made between a tradition that led the struggle for freedom and other traditions result in erasure of vital ideological positions this cannot but have consequences for the country. When Indira Gandhi's Congress faction came together with the CPI after 1969 the Union Education Ministry presently went to Nurul Hasan. Historiography was placed largely in the hands of well-intentioned but uni-dimensional historians analytically oriented towards the pre-independence CPI. The Congress-CPI alliance was probably necessary. But its impact on the intellectual front was not well worked out by the two sides and was skewed. These historians wrote in an age when they were tempted to assume that the Congress dominance would be there forever or, if replaced, would be replaced only by a formation in which the Left would play a major role. They, therefore, concerned themselves primarily with the vindication of the pre-Independence CPI, or variations upon this theme. Congress, including socialist, history — for example, the Congress and Congress Socialist role in creating and advancing the all-India peasant movements — went by default. Political training for Indian nationalism was neglected.

The Congress as an organisation hardly took note of what was happening with its own support. Today the effects of this can be noticed in the cultural sphere as well. Urdu poets like Saghar Nizami who stood up for India in the 1940s are largely forgotten. Other poets who backed sectarian movements are considered definitionally and pre-emptively progressive by virtue of their membership of the Progressive Writers' Association. Similarly, after 1989 when the Congress justly incorporated Ambedkar also into its ideological pantheon, it so forgot itself that famous Dalit leaders such as Juglal Chaudhury and Chaudhri Beharilal who had supported the Congress since the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1920 and who had repeatedly been imprisoned in the freedom movement were largely eliminated from national historical memory. While the Congress has been willing, even if by default, to erase its ideological heritage, the BJP has throughout not only protected its own but has also sought to build up a basis for it, albeit often a synthetic one.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Hamza Alavi circulated a paper seeking to furnish an explanation of the Pakistan movement as one reflecting primarily the perceptions and interests of "Muslim professionals and the salariat" of northern India. The thesis had an appreciable circulation. If scrutinised closely, it gives rise to several questions. From the point of view of the Muslims in India, their chief concerns apart from security of life and property, remain education and employment. So if the Alavi thesis were accepted, the Pakistan movement in northern India failed to solve the very problem for which it had received support in the 1940s.

Anglocentric writings, which were tied to British foreign policy and strategic objectives and continued to exercise influence in the South Asian former colonies, suffered from a dichotomy with respect to Indian nationalism. They critiqued Indian nationalism. But they did not adequately critique the Muslim separatism which evolved into Pakistani nationalism. The result was that most dissidents or opponents of Indian nationalism were glorified, while the Muslim opponents of Muslim separatism and of Pakistani nationalism were barely mentioned. These contrary voices, like those represented by Allah Baksh, were sought to be silenced, as were the subaltern and artisan voices among the Muslims. This was although the doubts expressed through these voices stood vindicated by history so far as the interests of Muslims within post-Partition India were concerned. These voices have also acquired a renewed resonance in the context of prospects for enhanced cooperation within South Asia. Indian scholarship, however, largely failed to challenge the Anglocentric dichotomy. This was partly because the dominant scholarship in India since the 1970s, being overly self-conscious about the specific line which the CPI took on Pakistan in the 1940s, could not decide whether to challenge or to reinforce the Anglocentric dichotomy. Even when it discussed these voices it could portray them only as victims of Indian nationalism. There were outstanding exceptions. Santimoy Ray's `Freedom Movement And Indian Muslims', published by People's Publishing House in 1979, had presented the relevant facts not only on this but also on considerable subaltern involvement in the national movement since 1919. But this work was not followed up in the same spirit.

Since many of the contrary voices, like those of Allah Baksh, represented the unifying tendency within India, their muffling has fed Hindutva. Savarkar's portrait now occupies the space created partly by this Anglocentric elimination.

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The Hindu 5/14/2003