reply-to divakar snatarajan
date Thu, May 12, 2005 at 12:12 PM
subject Clear Message From The Mystic Microscope
Dr Sanjaya Baru
Media Adviser to
the Prime Minister of India
New Delhi May 12th 2005.
Sub: Clear message from the mystic microscope.
With the benefit of the insight provided by the passage of one and a half decades, it would be safe for me to say that "Hyderabad. August 1948" the documentary that I conceived, researched, scripted, edited, presented in Urdu and produced in 1990, had hit a rare "sweet spot" in our national consciousness.
As I have never tired of telling you, the vibrant and insightful review that you wrote in the Economic Times has been a pillar of my strength and sanity.
But while your response was articulated with a refreshingly incandescent conviction and vitality, you know it was not unique. Freedom fighters, distinguished historians and the reviewing fraternity within the press, they all welcomed "Hyderabad. August 1948".
In all these years, I doubt that any other Doordarshan/Prasar Bharathi commissioned work has received the kind of response that "Hyderabad. August 1948"enjoyed.
Neither the "legendary Allah Baksh" ("Allah Baksh versus Savarkar", Anil Nauriya, The Hindu) nor the Goa liberation struggle ("Dangerous Currents" Maria Aurora Couto, The Hindu, 6th Jan '04) appear to have received the kind of treatment they merit.
Clinching proof of a monstrous witch-hunt.
Now your appointment by our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, as his hand picked media adviser is clinching proof that over 14 long years, successive Doordarshan managements have made a mockery of their duties of care and reasonableness.
That they have abused their power to denigrate my work, nefariously withhold and thus steal the recognition, rewards and maim the opportunities that are due to me.
By their conspicuously incongruous response, they have not only cast aspersions on my competence and character but most unconscionably on the legacy of the brave Shoebullah Khan. ("Why has Mandi House Murdered Shoebullah Khan Again?" V H Desai, The Deccan Chronicle, Jan 17 ,1993)
They have repudiated and denigrated appeals for consideration from freedom fighters and some of the nation's most eminent luminaries on my behalf.
By their bureaucratic autism they have wreaked a black hole where the light of reason has never been allowed to penetrate.
They have harassed and defamed me with a preposterous litigation (value Rs 25,000/-) since 1998, on precisely the same matters on which a year earlier (1997) the then Chief Minister of my state had requested the attention of the then MIB Shri Jaipal Reddy.
There is no escaping the conclusion that the successive managements of Doordarshan have monstrously abused their immense power by demeaning my distinguished offering, crippling my career, and terrorising me and my family by pursuing a most perverse and predatory witch-hunt over fourteen long years.
Ringing endorsement of an ultra-peaceful, non-partisan, individual sathyagraha against corruption
Considering Dr Manmohan Singh's extraordinary reputation for fairness and integrity, your appointment is a ringing endorsement of the petition submitted by some of our finest and most creative minds to the former Prime Minister, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee.
Endorsing Shri Chandrababu Naidu's representation that Prasar Bharathi commission me as a "filmmaker of acknowledged eminence" to make films to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our Independence, Sarvashri Soumitra Chatterji, Shyam Benegal, Derek Malcolm, Jean Claude Carriere, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Siddhartha Kak, Om Puri and others observed,
"Given that his Doordarshan commissioned documentary, "Hyderabad.August 1948" has been nationally acclaimed for celebrating our nation's core values and given the abundance of open support that he has received, it appears credible to us that he is being severely punished for his resistance to corruption in Doordarshan".
Abetting the witch-hunt
It is another depressing fact that despite the glittering words that he had written as
Leader of Opposition (Rajya Sabha) and despite the phenomenal support that he had received from Shri Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh and Convenor of the "secular" United Front and Shri Indrajit Gupta, Minister of Home Affairs in the United Front government, Shri Jaipal Reddy did nothing to stop the witch-hunt.
In a representation to the former Prime Minister, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, endorsing the Shri Chandrababu Naidu's recommendation that I be commissioned as "a film maker of acknowledged eminence" to make films to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Independence and forwarding similar representations from Hon'ble Ch Vidyasagar Rao, then Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hon'ble Shri R Kumaramangalam, then Minister for Power, Hon'ble Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, then Minister of State for Urban Affairs and Employment, Hon'ble Shri Bangaru Laxman, then Minister of State for Railways, Hon'ble Shri Ram Jethmalani, then Minister of State for Law Justice and Company Affairs, Prof M L Sondhi, then Chairman, ICSSR, Hon'ble Shri G M C Balayogi, then Speaker , Lok Sabha, Hon'ble Shri K Yerranaidu, MP and Hon'ble Shri Prafulla Goradia, then MP (RS), Shri Indrajit Gupta, former Minister of Home Affairs observed,
"… the recommendations have also noted the extreme mistreatment that Shri Divakar has received at the hands of previous administrations of Doordarshan /Prasar Bharati.
Indeed even the thoughtful recommendations made by your kind self, in your capacity as Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha, has not yet been implemented.
Crucial correspondence from the Hon'ble Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh and Hon'ble Ch Vidya Sagar Rao, had been misplaced and had hence not been considered at an earlier date.
Despite the enormous personal costs that he has had to pay, over a period of more than eight years, Shri Divakar has stayed the course. He has not sought to 'buy' his peace. Nor has he accepted defeat. Instead he has tolerantly but tirelessly pursued his case through our legitimate, democratic processes.
In his courageous resistance to the "patronage paradigm – the paradigm of irresponsibility, shoddiness, cronyism and corruption that is crushing the spirit of our grand nation and making pygmies out of us all," Shri Divakar has rendered an exemplary service to the cause of the values of a civil society and sane polity.
It is my deep regret, that despite my best efforts, the UF government was not able to make the best use of this young man's potentialities. We failed to give him the justice he deserved."
Herd behaviour? Shri Chandrababu Naidu's insouciant ingratitude.
I have detailed the well-documented negligence of the Andhra Pradesh government and specifically the negligence of the former Chief Minister in my email to you.
Kindly take a moment to respond to it.
Startling vindication of a fourteen year old "experiment with truth"
Given how almost everybody who has spoken out for me has been inquisitorially denigrated into ineffectualness, there is this mystical "untouched – by – human - hands" quality to your appointment that marks what is clearly and irrefutably my vindication.
It is like some wrathful and impatient God of Truth and Justice dropped this steaming, trumpeting challenge for Justice bang in the most powerful office in the land.
How rare is it that the one person respected for his unimpeachable character, picks as his advisor for the most challenging and powerful job of his life, a man who has written the most affirming review of the work of another who has spent the best part of his adult life battling against "the waste caused by violence and irrationality"?
And even if one is not given to peering through mystical microscopes*, there is a powerful message here.
India – a productive economy, not a predatory society
That the task of apologising and officially vindicating and restoring me and possibly others like me, who have demonstrated the power to rise above prejudice and to persuade and who have stuck to our faith in achieving positive purposes through benign means and who have been loyal to the monumental sacrifices of our freedom fighters and their dreams for India and who have held our ground against tsunami like odds and humiliations, mostly inflicted by rogues in Government, is not one that is peripheral to your administration.
There must be no doubt that the task of rehabilitating with an exemplary indulgence persons like me, who have been gouged and maimed by successive governments, and to restore to us our full justice, honour and dignity and to take responsibility for our vitality and vigorous performance in society is a rare honour, opportunity, central political strategy and responsibility of your unique and extraordinarily special government.
To acknowledge this existential mission is to be ambitious about curing our wounded society of the "colonial hangover".
To conspicuously honour the idea of the dignity of the rule of law, the principles of equity and fairness in relationships between citizens and to relentlessly pursue accountability in order to help India develop as a productive economy, not just proliferate as a predatory society.
Better Things To Do?
Consider this. The very first act of the new AP government was to free many prisoners serving life sentences. Among them was an alleged Lashkar E Toiba activist who had shot and killed a Superintendent of Police.
This release was described as "inadvertent".
In my case, a whole year has gone by without any substantial response from you or the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
I am baffled by your defensiveness. Your silence is disturbing.
Time to Kill?
This is a perilous circumstance where some of the most powerful, unscrupulous and evil people appear to have ranged themselves against me.
But like Shoebullah Khan and Sathyendra Dubey, I am a proud citizen but a Non Privileged Indian. A non-scion. A common man.
I have already been made to serve a life sentence and if you don't step on it there is nothing that prevents anybody from doing a Sathyendra Dubey on me.
Dr Manmohan Singh's special obligation?
It is during Shri P V Narasimha Rao's time that the good folks at Doordarshan took it upon themselves to reward a young man's "powerful debut" (your words, Sanjaya) with a despicable witch-hunt.
As a path breaking Finance Minister during Shri Rao's time and now the Prime Minister, Dr Singh may feel a singular outrage at my violation and a special obligation to ensure full justice.
A Proud, Young Indian's 14 Year Sathyagraha Urgently Invites The Honour of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's edifying touch
As a proud Indian who feels himself to be second to none in this world, I feel uniquely privileged that an intellectual and person of the calibre, reputation and experience of Dr Manmohan Singh is my Prime Minister. I am thrilled to consider the extraordinary opportunities that his leadership represents.
As I have never tired of telling you, I am proud of you.
And I now urgently look forward to being instructed and restored by a fitting and productive "healing touch" administered by your august mentor.
Divakar S Natarajan