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About RR

Richie Rego; Associate Professor Director, PG & Research Director; Dept of Communication; P.B. No. 27094; St Joseph's College, Bangalore. 560027. Reach out to me: richiersj [at] yahoo [dot] com

It’s fake all over; our PM happy following such fakies

Fake: Photo of Rahul Gandhi checking out images of scantily clad women on his phone

फोटो कभी झूट नहीं बोलती… देख लो राहुल गाँधी क्या कर रहा है (Photographs never lie…look at what Rahul Gandhi is doing- translated). With these words, a photograph of Congress President Rahul Gandhi checking out an images of a bikini clad woman on his mobile phone has been circulating on social media. A Facebook page, Yogi Sarkar which has more than 400,000 followers posted this photograph on July 30, 2018. It has been shared more than 7000 times since then. It has also been shared in the Facebook group Modi Mission 2019 which has over 130,000 members.

…. …. …

https://www.altnews.in/fake-photo-of-rahul-gandhi-checking-out-images-of-scantily-clad-women-on-his-phone/

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The dreaded calf-muscle injury!

It has been two months since I returned from Shimla, and with a bad back, thanks to the hilly region and the structure of the Institute: our guest house was somewhere slightly down – about 60-70 giant-size steps below the top of the hill. On top are situated all the essential services like the library, mess, canteens, shops, all the offices, and anything you can think of. And to climb up and down these 60-70 giant steps everyday, at least 4-5 times!

Will power can work miracles; and that is what  it did to me till I was there – it didn’t permit me collapse, though I  could feel the strain. But the moment I landed in Bengaluru, I collapsed! My back gave up. I was confined to be for at least three days; and then visited a doctor, who saw that there was some strain, and advised some physiotherapy. The therapy did some good; but it was just about four or five days, and it could not wipe out all the pain/ strain.

But in spite of all this, I engaged classes, lest at the end of the semester, I should fall short of the number of prescribed holy hours! (I don’t need to worry about content, by God’s grace, I have deep faith in my students: with slightest hints, they are capable of learning from wherever you suggest). And then, again, met another neurologist and an MRI, which suggested some growth in the spinal cord, which pressed a major nerve going down to legs, and generated pain. Since I didn’t want a surgery, decided to manage with some exercises for my back (thanks to YouTube!)

As I was recovering, slowly I tried to get into the mood of games – shuttle badminton – a change from my regular walks. On the first day, it was a controlled game; it was ok. The second day brought some body pain, hence only a walk. On the third day, I went for another game of badminton. There were two lay teachers and two Jesuits playing (the second lay person joined after I exited). And then there was that injury: my calf muscle game me such a pain, that it sent shivers down my spine, remembering the accident I suffered six years ago and how I tore my ankle ligament, whose niggle I still carry! Just could not move.

I came out of the court, asking the second lay person to join. The game went on. I came out and lay down trying to wonder what was happening. When the game got over, struggled to come out. Fortunately, one of the laymen sensed my agony, felt  pity for me, and helped me climb down the stairs. The other layman offered to drop me by his vehicle; since he had to bring his vehicle from another campus to fetch me, I politely declined, and started crawling home (which is about 100 meters away), with a fond hope of finding someone who would offer me a shoulder home. None!

Finally, I reached my room all by myself, literally crawling. Since then, it has been bed and only bed! They say, when troubles come, they come in companies! I tried calling at least five Jesuits, and the kitchen staff, and not even could be accessed   Fortunately, after I reached the Rector and spoke, he and the Jesuit community tried meeting me. Thanks to Br. Thomas Rama, he has a tender heart; besides attending himself, he has also instructed our kitchen staff to take care. And not forget some other Jesuit companions – Leoraj and Mukti.

Rest has done me tremendous good; there is so much of improvement, now I am sure the injury is not a dreaded sprain! Just a muscle catch. That also gives me the much desired rest and avenue to read!

In praise of humility and simplicity

The more humble you become the greater you seem to your audience. This has been my experience in the last few years. One of the striking examples His Holiness Pope Francis, the supreme leader of the Catholic world. Who can refute his greatness, and humility and simplicity simultaneously?

We have a new Archbishop in Bangalore Catholic Archdiocese. His Grace Rev. Dr Peter Machado. He has been transferred from Belgaum (in North Karnataka) to Bengaluru. He took charge of the Archdiocese in May. And he has, already, won hearts of many!

He requests people to address him ‘Father’ and not other highfalutin titles like ‘His Grace’, ‘Lordship’, and the like. Second, he lives, moves, and speaks so simple, that no one feels daunted in his presence. Just like one of us! I love that simplicity! It’s fascinating. Third, he doesn’t like any formality: be it making fuss over him or changing programmes for his sake! A down-to-earth man! That is what I call a ‘man untouched by power!’

The last one is a very rare quality among leaders – be they political or religious or any institutional. Power is such a luring and blinding thing, that people thrust into chairs, become completely become blind. I am reminded of Lord Acton: power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I have found many a leader to be thinking no ends of him/herself. Before they are elevated, they are charming and “pleasing”. But once they take over the charge, they expose their tyrant selves. They manipulate every rule to suit their selfish designs, use the very people who made them leaders, and pay for having them. These leaders refuse to work (their own mandate, or their very duties which define them), and lord it over them. And to keep their chairs, they are quick to find a victim, condemn the helpless without trial, using rules and gods. Poor citizens are left high and dry.

This is where the likes of Pope Francis and Archbishop Peter Machado are beacons of light, and are a welcome change in the world of the corrupt and greedy leaders. While I can easily cite the examples of religious/ spiritual leaders, I apologise that I am at a loss to cite an example from our politics!

To take a break or not to…

Getting tied down to a work or an institution can be self-fettering. Sometimes, I get so involved in the works I do that I forget myself – my rest, my social/ academic/ intellectual replenishments.  And being far from a family, you have none to bother about these essentials.

Institutions are happy to milch whatever they can from you; institutions and people sitting in chairs benefit. But at the end of the day, there is no one to bother about what you have gone through. What more, not even to value what you stand for. You have to preach the ideal, but not live that ideal. That is the contradiction; not even speak of this heresy. Well, can you at least replenish yourself in the very field you have contributed to the institution! Who will understand that need, as long as ‘things keep going’, never mind how!

That’s when you take a break; may not be a long one. At least one or two days. May not be to sleep it out, but at least to read a few lines; write a few lines. At the end of it, you may not benefit much; but someone else must, something else must!

The FIFA Worldcup final woes

It’s rare that I watch a football match. I enjoy football; but don’t spend much time on watching. I have hardly spent time on FIFA  Worldcups.

This time, in the context of FIFA Worldcup 2018, I kept myself more or less updated on the progress of the Cup, but without spending much time; sometimes, I watch about 10-15 minutes on a match. But with underdogs Belgium and Croatia in semi-finals, I watched a good deal of loser’s semi-finals. That match between Belgium and England was a cracker! The forceful England floored by the artistic Belgians. I could not but grow in admiration for this Belgian team! Loved their every pass and every save! That was football at its best.

So, obvioulsy then, I decided to watch the entire final between France and Croatia. But except for the initial few minutes, the Croatians seemed to be completely out of depth. The final scoreline looked like a shoot-out scoreine: 4-2. Not at all an exciting match as was anticipated. Sad! Nevertheless, there were quite a few comical moments in the match; my one favourite is the Croatian scoring a goal from the goalkie’s hands!

HECI – the New education regulator to replace University Grants Commission

The Central Govt headed by Narendra Modi is now off to destroy higher education. After interfering primary and secondary education, it has set it eyes firm on higher education, where ideas are generated. Amazing how he and his minister who heads the Human Resources Development ministry, under which the University Grants Commission or UGC comes, are determined to interfere and politicise the UGC and the entire landscape of higher education. It is to be noted the most of the ministers in the present government are neither qualified to hold such high profile portfolios nor have the calibre to; but they have been tinkering with higher education ever since they assumed office in 2014.

After announcing that the ruling BJP would do away with all the higher educational bodies like UGC, AICTE, MCI and others, and getting bombarded by the public, finally the Union Government gave up their plans to interfere with all the streams; instead they have now focused only on fomal higher  education.

Can you believe, of the 12 members in the Higher Education Councion of India’s governance structure, a maximum of two academicians are to be had? A majority of them are bureacrats, and a few whom the government wants. It means, most of them could be from the Right Wing, who think cloning and grafting and satellites and internet started thousands of years ago in India.

When the draft of the Act was announced Deccan Chronicle contacted me for my comments. Here is the feature on it:

https://deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/280618/new-education-regulator-to-replace-university-grants-commission.html

Technology and the menace of fake news

This is about WhatsApp gossips – unfounded things spread around as ‘news’ on the social media App. It is not just communal overtones, but also conspiracies against strangers. But all of it looks like well-choreographed fiendish designs with political- communal overtones. It is unfortunate that dozens of people should be lynched in Indian streets! That is the land of contradictions, of Mahatma Gandhi, the Apostle of Peace and non-violence!

https://www.news18.com/news/immersive/death-by-whatsapp.html

Of beautiful place and people – Shimla

For the first time in my life, I visited Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh, bordering Jammu & Kashmir, in India. I spent a month in Shimla over there. The month was a great time for me, though the incompetence of some incapable fellows spoiled half of my month, -in all that futility-, I managed to spend the other half in useful work that

[the mothe & child – visitors to Hatu Peak. The mother and her husband were kind to pose for a picture by me. All pictures in this blog are with the permission of the human subjects. Kindly, don’t copy or use them without my express permission]

means much to me, and will help my College in some good way.

[The Himachali women at a Mela – socio-cultural get together]

At the fag end of the month, we, the entire group of ten teaching researchers, decided to let loose our hair (not that all had long hair!). We hired a vehicle, and went first to Hatu Peak – about 70 km away from Shimla, and 3400 meters ASL. That’s quite a bit. The place is stunningly beautiful, besides the religious aura of a Hindu shrine. The shrine is frequented by hundreds of people.

[The same Mela – musical instruments]

On our way back, we visited Kufri. Another pretty place. Nature speaks! Additionally, the dynamic elements of nature add to the beauty of nature.

[The beauty of these women is immense. Sad, I missed clicking another bevy of pretty women, who requested me to click them. I did not have my laptop to shift pictures and give them; they wanted their pictures. How could I, at a picnic spot?]

This was special for another reason: after many years, I used my camera freely (though not to the extent I would have loved to). And captured those beautiful places, faces, and elements – all part of that one lovely place called Shimla. Here, I present another set of those (after the last set of monkeys!) And that is the point of this point.

[Two kids, miles apart. Different expressions]

By the way, did I share with you of my fascination for this wonderful place Shimla? It is probably the cleanest and the most beautiful city I have ever visited in India. Why! Probably one of the very few such clean and palpitatingly beautiful cities of the world! In spite of its acute water shortage (thanks to the inept government) I loved the pleasant weather – temperatures varying from 7-8 degrees Celsius in the early part of May nights and about 15-18 degrees during days, going up to scorching 25-27 degrees in late May days (which necessarily brings rains to Shimla!) All – part of this city!

[Another Himachali woman in typical tribal attire. She was very gracious to pose for the camera. After the picture, she asked, ‘I am dancing at the Mela; will you please come!?’ We visited and spent some time. Beside her are two researchers. And the last image is of Apple orchards of Shimla – from a moving Traveler]

Shimla: Land of Langoors & Monkeys

Shimla is famous for many things: pleasat weather, Shimla apples, Shimla Cherries, clean city, beautiful sites to see, and good people.  And then the Tibetan parallel government in Dharamshala.

Langur Mom & baby

It was very nice being here. But what I specially was fascinated by were its monkeys and langoors.

Langur 2

The black-faced langoors are vegetarian, to the extent I know. And are in plenty in Shimla, though elsewhere they are endangered species.

Langur 1

They represent the biodiversity of our environment.

Cheap, disgusting political crimes in Karnataka

This is the aftermath of elections to the Karnataka Assembly in May 2018. What a disgusting drama!
BJP secures 104 seats of the 224, Congress 78, JDS 38, and independents 2. The minimum required to form a government is 111 (of the 222 voted for). Unfortunately, voters in Karantaka failed to deliver a decisive mandate. Where Congress’ incumbent Chief Minister Siddaramaiah deserved to win for all the good work he had done, the electorate failed to appreciate it, and fell for hate speech of PM Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and their liar band, led by state level fox B.S. Yeddyurappa.
But how could a Governor, who is expected to be non-political, invite Yeddyurappa when he did not have the majority to form the government? But Congress-JDS alliance, which secured 118 seats, were not invited. Here, the Governor of Karnataka, who is an appointee of the BJP government, behaved like party agent, and not like a governor. That is unfortunate.
For good luck, our Supreme Court gave a historic verdict, first (on Friday) by reducing the time from 15 days given by the Governor to just a day prove Yeddyurappa’s majority, and the next day (Saturday), and then asking the Assembly Secretary to live broadcast the House Procedings.
But that did not deter the shameless BJP from horse-trading with our elected MLAs, offering as much as Rs 100 crore and plum portfolios in the new government, besides withdrawing their many court cases. Our elected representatives stooping to such cheap level! Unthinkable.  This focused the entire country’s attention on this state of Karnataka.
While I am traveling in the distant North, everybody I meet is asking me about and mocking me for the cheap, dirty, & disgusting politics of Kar-Nataka in my beloved state. Our elected representatives have brought on this humiliation on the Kannadiga pride (for their own lack of decisive mandate). Yeddurappa with his gang of Sriramulu, Somasekhara Reddy, Janardhana Reddy, and his arrogant, power-greedy bosses Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, and all these power-mongers have brought in shame on my state. How would Yeddurappa concot a majority on Saturday? BJP’s Ram Madhav had said, “We have Amit Shah”!
The shameless power-hungry Congress & JDS MLAs who have fallen for Rs. 100 crores are abettors in this crime. They don’t deserve to be elected; the people of their constituencies should teach them an unforgettable lesson.
Any MLA/ MP who either defects or betrays the party s/he is voted from -for any reason & at any time after the election- should be barred from contesting for life. That is the only way to stop making a mockery of voters and wasting hundreds of crores of rupees from the tax-payers’ money.
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