When Sagarika Ghose gave Dr. Kalam a lecture on “tolerance”

Quick question : If you had a chance to meet Dr. Kalam, what would you do?

I would try to learn something from him. Even if I don’t understand the details of technology, I would try to learn from his life, his zeal, his hard work and dedication. I like to believe that most of the country would say pretty much the same. There are a million things we can learn from him.

But then, there is Lutyens’ Delhi and there is the rest of the country. No sir, the denizens of Lutyens’ Delhi have nothing to learn from Dr. Kalam. Instead, they arrogantly offer to teach him stuff.

What would the denizens of Lutyens’ Delhi teach Dr. Kalam? About “tolerance” of course.

Enter elite journalist Sagarika Ghose. With the Presidential election around the corner, this seems like the right time to read again her epoch making 2002 article in the Hindustan Times. Well, to be fair, Rajdeep and Sagarika produced several gems of journalism during and about 2002, but if there is one that should win Sagarika Ghose a perch of immortality, this one should be it.

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Again, let me ask you this : if you met Dr. Kalam, how would you address the great man? Probably with a  humble “Sir” or maybe even “Respected Sir”. But as Sagarika Ghose mocks us, we are just members of the “Great Indian Public”, with all our silly reverence for knowledge. She is not one of us and I am sure she sees it as a great honor. So, she calls him “Bomb Daddy”.

Why should the Great Indian Public be thrilled about Bomb Daddy? Elite journos on the other hand, only get excited about truly worthy people (tweet compilation by Mediacrooks)

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Ms. Sagarika Ghose then proceeds to give Dr. Kalam a real scolding about the supposedly VIP treatment that she thinks atomic scientists receive. In doing so, she also makes some truly puzzling allegations against Indians in general for …. umm, er … loving science! Apparently, it has something to do with all of the following : (1) Casteism (2) Sexism (3) Hindu fundamentalism.

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????

Don’t tell me to make sense of this extract. I didn’t write that article. She did.

But I guess she has some kind of problem with atomic scientists leading “pampered lives” where they are ferried back and forth to spotless labs. Supposedly, it makes them “loftily distant from the dirty masses”.

On the other hand, in this picture below you can see an elite journalist toiling at the grassroots, far from the lofty lifestyle of atomic scientists.

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Perhaps she wants the government to stop “pampering” atomic scientists. The government could use the money  to ferry elite journalists back and forth in the Prime Minister’s official aircraft.

Next come a bunch of sentences that I never thought any rational person would write in his/her lifetime.

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Science is compatible.. even “particularly compatible” with religious fundamentalism? Science creates an “orthodox and extremist mentality”?

What? If you really love your “humanities” subjects so much, at least read them. Throughout history, science has not created orthodoxy, science has always demolished it! Read history or at least use some common sense.

And then, a reminder to all science enthusiasts out there that Osama bin Laden studied engineering. I guess terror finally has a religion to which it can be successfully linked. It’s not called Islam, but science and engineering…

The article comes to an end with a stern warning to Dr. Kalam about the importance of “tolerance”. I guess she is saying that Lutyens is ready to make peace with Dr. Kalam as long as Bomb Daddy promises to be a good boy and not turn into another Osama bin Laden!

Folks, the reason for reading this old article is not the comic value. Nor the embarrassment that it would cause today to elite journalists. It is to remind the Great Indian Public what your brain looks like on liberalism. Don’t do liberalism or you will become intoxicated like “Udta Lutyens”. Liberalism di maa di … 

 

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12 thoughts on “When Sagarika Ghose gave Dr. Kalam a lecture on “tolerance”

  1. I had not read this piece. CW, thanks for posting it here. It was 15 years ago. So much hatred then itself!! I am dumbfounded at the abysmal low levels she has gone in this piece. A real shit piece of an article from a shit piece. What a disrespecting name to refer to Dr.Kalam….! I felt very uneasy and sad for Dr.Kalam by reading her article. It is eternal justice that the person who wrote such a piece is on her way to obscurity and the one about whom she wrote, is already immortalized in our memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to admit that I was gravely mistaken that it was the elevation of Modi as PM that really brought the Sardesais, Dutts, and Sagarikas to stoop to gutter levels. I am a Gujju so trust me, am well aware of their shenanigans about 2002 but outside of their hatred for Modi, my general feeling was that with all their corruption and sucking up, they mean well for India at some level (kinda like our bureaucracy). This article proves how wrong I was. These guys simply hate India and Hindus with a passion – their intense vitriol comes through in an article written 15 years ago!!

    How will we uproot this institutional ecosystem? This is a generational change we will have to bring, not something even a Modi can do in 2, even 3 terms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Dallas,

      The changes are visible on the ground already. Yesterday and today Republic TV ran an expose on the Church agent Udayakumar who was leading the protests against the Kudankulam nuclear plant, and *explicitly mentioned the negative role played by the Church*, probably the first time on Indian media. Not to be left behind, Times Now is running an expose on how the UPA compromised national security in its “investigation” of the Samhjhauta Express blast, by letting go the two prime suspects who were Pakistani nationals, and instead concentrating on creating the bogey of “saffron terror.” I guess that the Jains who run the Times Group have realised that the dynasty isn’t coming back anytime soon. Even the judges have become rather quiet of late. The presstitutes and supreme court lawyers like Prashant Bhushan will carry on but they are now irrelevant. Once the BJP has the President and VP of its choice, Parliament, especially the Rajya Sabha, will start to function again. Hameed Ansari was a total disgrace. So I don’t think it will take 3 terms. Two terms should see a massive shift in the ground realities.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I think Indians give far too much importance to the opinions of the likes of Sagarika Ghose. She airs those opinions precisely because she knows that people will get annoyed. And what is she precisely ? Just another spoilt JNU journalist who has wasted her life and not done a SINGLE days useful work.

    The contributions of Dr. Kalam have been recognized with a Bharat Ratna. The culture he set at ISRO is visible in its successes today. Dr. Kalam never needed a certificate from a journalist with a foul mouth.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I had read Pagalika’s article when it first came out and was incensed by it. There was also another article by Rafiq Zakaria (father of Fareed) in which he said that he did not consider Dr. Kalam a Muslim! Back then these pea-brains were still ruling the roost, thanks in no small measure to Vajpayee’s totally misguided strategy of trying to impress people who would never have voted for him anyway, and in the process alienating his core base. I don’t think the likes of Pagalika are capable of feeling any shame. But it is certainly true that “liberalism” is a terminal disease without any known cure.

    This may be a good time to re-plug the article I wrote on Dr. Kalam when he was nominated for President, back in June 2002, and the tribute I wrote after he passed away suddenly.

    http://www.utdallas.edu/~m.vidyasagar/kalam1.html

    https://swarajyamag.com/magazine/avul-pakir-jainulabdeen-a-p-j-abdul-kalam-1931-2015

    I hope people read them and get to know what a great man he was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Prof. Vidyasagar. Reading your articles on Dr. Kalam brought me many smiles (“10 ‘o clock, understood, no?” made me almost picturise the scene, and I haven’t even seen the great man!)

      Usually all praise on people, no matter how good, somehow seems to become faded over time, and we start wondering what’s so great about them, sooner or later. Blame it on the fickle mind that forever is looking for something new, something better. Not so with Dr. Kalam though. The more I read about him, the more I find him an exceptional person that we were fortunate to have had as our President.

      (sorry CW, your post was good, but it also made me angry to see the way Dr. Kalam was ridiculed by the dimwit SG; Prof’s articles on Dr. Kalam were a pleasant mood changer so I used up this reply space to thank the Prof.)

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      1. Very true. I have read Prof Vidyasagar’s articles previously but still read them again. What a commanding personality and great man! I often wonder what it would be like if Dr Kalam was President today or if NaMo was PM back when Dr Kalam was President. Now that would be some 1-2 punch. 🙂

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  5. Apparently, in the eyes of Presstitute media reporters like Ms. Ghose anybody who supports or belongs to BJP cannot be a secular and hence cannot be “Tolerant”. Did she even know or cared to know that Dr. Kalam was a regular visitor of Swaminarayan Temple? And he even wrote a very admiring book about Swaminarayan and its leader Pramukh Swami?

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  6. I imagine there is a chaiwallah channel and we invite Sagarika along with a Mullah, who recently argued that there is no permission in Indian constitution to wear bikini. That was a great entertainment more than any comedy channel. I think, Sagarika can beat that Mullah. This mother of all presstitute crooks linked science to terrorism and dared to described a future President as bomb dadday?

    Liked by 1 person

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