Patna: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday released a postal stamp on emperor Ashoka while announcing that stamps would also be released soon to honour former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Bihar’s mountain man Dashrath Manjhi. “This postal stamp in honour of Ashoka would be available for sale in the post offices,” he said while releasing the Rs.5 stamp. Prasad said Kalam, a Bharat Ratna who died last month, was an icon and Manjhi, who single-handed cut through a hill to make a road for his village in Bihar’s Gaya district died in 2007 in his early 80s.
Last week a biopic based on Manjhi’s life, Manjhi-the ‘Mountain Man’, was released in cinemas across the country. Prasad said he would also propose to senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders to install a big statue of Ashoka in Patna and Delhi. In May, Prasad had announced to release the postal stamp during a BJP function here to celebrate the birth anniversary of Ashoka. Some BJP leaders claimed that Ashoka belonged to the present-day agrarian caste Kushwaha but historians and experts have refuted the claim. The Kushwahas, an Other Backward Class community, account for nearly 9 percent of Bihar’s 10.5 crore population.
It is too disgusting that Shiv Sena is aiming for something which was nothing but an act of betrayal. Here the principles and ethos of the party are just sacrificed. The “chair” of Chief Minister is what the individual parties in Maharashtra are wanting so badly. And for this only Shiv Sena has severed its ties with its all-time ally BJP which emerged with the largest number of MLAs. Is it not the BJP with which Sena made the alliance before the election? Why so much bitter feelings after the poll result? Many past elections were fought on this mutual understanding. Sena had always taken pride and bragged about its power and clout as because the BJP was behind it. But now very contrary equation and chemistry are on display. NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena are sharing the ideas as opposed to the expectation of the whole electorate.
One believes it’s Congress and its High common which Shiv Sena Supremo Late Bal Thackeray always disliked and ruthlessly held them up to ridicule. It was because they hold the opposing ideologies. But now his son Uddhav Thackeray kneeled down and sought the helping hand of those rival camps to walk the party through for the chair of Chief Minister. Going by the flood of comments on the social media, this party has ostensibly fallen from the grace. BJP is not a holy cow either. It is equally good at flexes its muscles for the power.
While Maharashtra is already under the president rule, the NCP and Congress now exploring all possible means to back Shiv Sena. Uddhav Thackeray only wants to see his son Aditya Thackeray being the Chief Minister of one of the riches states in the country. The trend is not at all healthy. Here everything is utterly clear that the cherished values of democracy in India are fast eroding. Majority of the states in the country, only the “particularly families” are always standing up to rule the roost. This is a bigger threat to the fundamental values of the country.The NATION is no more controlled by the government of the people, nor is it for the people. It is the government of the particular families which is formed for the fulfillment of the low greed and narrow aspiration of those particular families. Lastly, it is the common people who are always at the receiving end of the leaders’ whims and tantrums. Phew, the country is not at all in the safe hands.
Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali