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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Deepavali : Obama Wishes; Zardari hosts dinner - in Tamilnadu ???

Deepavali ‘the festival of lights’ is always enchanting – an occasion to wear new clothes, eat sweets, burst crackers, be with friends and relatives – a festivity which brings enjoyment…. – the festival was grandly celebrated all over the country.  One might hear that ‘enthusiasm towards fireworks is going down; spiralling prices have forced people to buy less of firecrackers; the pollution awareness is swaying public away from crackers and the like……….’ – at Triplicane, Sri Parthasarathi Swami purappadu in the mada veethis took 4 hours from 6 pm – ‘hundreds of 10000 walahs and beautiful fire works lit the air’ as people celebrated Deepavali.

Thousands of miles away, US President Barack Obama on Tuesday  [13th Nov 12] wished people "Happy Diwali" and "saal mubarak", as he praised the resilience of Sikhs in the aftermath of the tragedy at a Wisconsin Gurdwara this year in which six members of the community were gunned down.  "To those celebrating Diwali, I wish you, your families and loved ones Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak," Obama said, wishing everybody on the occasion of the festival of lights.

There is news from another territory too…  Nitish along with a 12-member delegation is on a  week-long goodwill visit. The visiting CM said  the two countries shared many common values and that bilateral ties could improve if dialogue was persistent, which was endorsed by the Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah.  Just in case you are asking Nitish, who ?   - Nitish Kumar heading the Janata Dal (United) party, is the CM of Bihar.  

In 1989, Nitish Kumar was the Union Minister of State for Agriculture in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh. He briefly served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Railways and Minister for Surface Transport and then as the Minister for Agriculture in 1998–99. In August 1999, he resigned following the Gaisal train disaster.  On 3 March 2000, Nitish Kumar was appointed the Chief Minister of Bihar, but he resigned seven days later because failed to prove majority. RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav enjoyed the majority. He however wrested the post in Nov 2005; In  2010, Nitish Kumar's party swept back to power along with its ally Bharatiya Janata Party.

During this visit of Nitish, President Asif Ali Zardari  went out of his way to make visiting Bihar Chief Minister feel at home by hosting a Diwali dinner for him; turning a conventional “call on” into a full-fledged meal at the eleventh hour.  As expected, news of his hosting a Diwali dinner for Mr. Kumar set off a debate on the significance of the gesture from the highest office of the land at a time when minorities are feeling particularly threatened across the country. In fact, the President this year used his traditional Diwali greetings to the Hindus to assert that these were more than just good wishes for the festival but a bid to partake in the celebrations also.

Back at home, there have been so many restrictions - bursting of firecrackers between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.  has been prohibited during Deepavali and there have been appeals to the public to celebrate the festival of lights in an environmentally-friendly manner.

DMK Supremo has been overstating that he does not wish Tamilians Happy Deepavali, for he has not been celebrating the festival but would sure greet on the occasions of Christmas, Ramdan and more…   The TVs owned by DMK family would screen new movies, religious programmes, religious serials raking in money – but would not name the festival, shy of calling it ‘Deepavali Special’; ‘Vijayadasami Special’ etc., but would keep advertising that they are ‘Holiday Special’ – rationality !!!  Now DMK is keeping the Centre in suspense, not announcing  its stand on FDI in retail but stating that the same  would be known when the Bill is brought before Parliament.  Finance Minister P Chidambaram met him and reportedly sought the DMK's support during the winter session, when a few important bills are slated to be introduced.  The DMK chief said Chidambaram met him yesterday to greet him on the occasion of Diwali festival.- don’t wonder from when Karuna started celebrating Diwali !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
14th Nov 2012.

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