Heart of Gold on Crossing a Golden Milestone!

It is so difficult to write a new different blog when things are just the same even today, as it was on the first day you entered into our lives. Yes. It was not just me, everything in my cosy big world was affected just by your unannounced, unplanned (for us) entry and I just have to thank the Divine who laid out a perfect plan for it.


Back to the challenge of writing something new each time, I thought the best thing to do differently was to listen to a few friends of mine who suggested to publish this blog on the actual arrival day not as per the Julian calendar but as per our Panchanga.

She was treated to a surprise Birthday celebration in her classmate’s home in Mysuru where we were holidaying on her English Calendar Birthday. What better surprise and gift can she ever get than spending it with her friend with whom she grew up, studied together and stayed in touch for years thereafter – a special friend of more than 45 years!!! Why not? She deserves every bit of adulation, since she is the cause of celebration that our lives is

So here we go for the special one on the special day (it is special more for us while you think it is just another day in the calendar – Hindu or Julian) – not a coincidence that it was Solar Eclipse in parts of the world, but it was a shining bright unadulterated sunny/rainy day for me and many around you.

As some wise man once said, “men look at themselves in the mirror and see things much better than they really are, while women look in the mirror and see things much worse than they really are”. While it is a known fact that I was not a magnificent being when she married me (and even today), when I look at her, I still see the stunning beauty both inner and outlier – Since she has made each one of us feel so beautiful and nice, it only confirms what our Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji of Art of Living says, “you can only give to the world what you have in abundance. 


Thanks my dear one for being you. I am sure our priciest possessions, Divya and Vishnu would not feel any different, nor would anyone in our extended family. In unison all would agree you are the best that happened in our lives.

Here is the surprise cake from the Children to celebrate her presence in our lives.

Happy Birthday my dear one. Let the journey continue from Gold to Diamond, Platinum and beyond.

As is customary this is the song specially chosen to celebrate this day! Rewinding to eighties

 

Thoughtless Change is Dangerous

A lot happened in just 48 hours that Minister for External Affairs Ms Sushma Swaraj returned from her tour abroad. Starting with a major goof up by avoidable intervention in respect of Issuing a Passport to a couple (wrongly called Inter-faith couple),  and punishing a honest officer who did his job diligently, pointing out to glaring discrepancies (could easily be a security issue in wrong hands). When called out by Tweeps, she resorted to playing Victim by focusing on some abusive handles (miniscule numbers) but overlooking a far larger no of tweeps raising legitimate questions in more civil manner than her response just to divert the major goof up. It was juvenile response from a Senior Minister of her standing, to say the least. Firstly, dangerously concedes that she has no clue what happens in her ministry during her absence – Leadership? And then like a Nursery School spat, “Liking”/ RTing abusive tweets along with ardent supporters civil but legitimate questions.

(Click on the picture below for original tweet, which is available at the time of writing this piece)

SushmaSwaraj-PostReturn-Tweet

She compromised publicly strong advocates of the Government and supporter clubbing them with abusive handles in her unique way – blocking some of them – unblocking known Anti-Government baiters. No one but her know what this weird approach sought to achieve. You can read experience of one of the affected tweep, Shefali Vaidya in this piece 

It was downhill ever since. To justify whatever nonsensical procedural lapses happened, she embarked on even more ridiculous exercise in the name of easing the procedures of applying for a passport. Probably not related but timing makes the whole exercise suspect. Two things were in gross violation by the said applicant and both surprisingly are the issues that finds a work-around in the new policy she announced.

A brief background (details are here and here of the case to help you place it in perspective: One Tanvi Seth (@TanviAnas on Twitter) and Shadiya Anas Siddiqui in various documents applied for passport in in PSK under Lucknow RPO. Reviewing Officer Mr Vikas Mishra upon perusal of documents sought endorsement of name as found in the documents submitted and the one she sought in the application – a legitimate requirement, in fact his job as an officer. And this lady goes ballistic trying to play minority card, female victimhood, crying so much that she choked to death almost, had to use inhaler blah blah, the Officer was abusive, asked husband to convert – All denied by the officer and the eyewitness. She took to Twitter to publicise and express her misplaced grievance – as as is her wont, things moved breakneck speed.

RPOLuknow-HandingOver.png

RPO tweets it will be enquired into, and next day with media in attendance RPO personally hands over the passport with no due processes followed and brazenly Tweets those pictures. Address was not verified which in retrospect was found wrong and in violation of the rules.

Nothing about this seem to be right. Tanvi Anas brought it upon herself with the help of a Muslim  Journalist working with ToI as per her profile (Specifying Muslim, because her timeline on twitter was nothing to do with Journalism but all about Islam and Muslim people). To top it all, the officer who did his job honestly was shunted out. Furore on Twitter forced the authorities to do a post check on the application and Police Verification of address came back with an adverse report saying applicant did not stay in the address indicated and stayed in Noida. Rule clearly specifies that if the applicant was not resident in the address for the previous year, previous address also should be indicated. Also if there are any name changes or if applicant was known by any other names the same had to be indicated.

At the time of writing this, the status of her passport application and proceedings due to violation is not known. But the minister comes out with amendment to the process. Exactly covering both the above issues. It may not even be applicable retrospectively  (but considering the cover up and damage control that is being done, we cannot rule this out) since rules that apply at the time of application applies, but hurried manner in which two of the rules were relaxed raises suspicions.

Address part is already covered by many on various forums. If the applicant has temporarily moved to a different location, application can still be submitted in a PSK or RPO closer to this temporary residence, but with actual address in the application. However, the address verification would be done in the address provided in the application (It sounds illogical, because in this scenario, the current location/address is not required at all) – Granting it is a convenience, let us discuss the next change.

PresentAddressRule

In Minister’s words : “Married men and women complained that their marriage certificates are required at passport office, we scrapped the rule. Some divorced women complained that they are required to fill the name of ex-husband and their children of their estranged father. So we changed the rule,” 

Now the risks/gaps in this process. In case of renewal/reissue currently there are documentary evidences that are called for in case of name changes or changes in entry of spouse names:

Changes to Spouse names in the new passport due to following reasons

  1. Entering Spouse name due to marriage (Addition of Spouse name)
  2. Change/Delete Spouse name in the event of:
    1. Divorce (spouse name to be deleted)
    2. Remarriage (current spouse name delete and new spouse name to be added)
    3. Death of Spouse (spouse name to be deleted)

At the time of writing this piece, documentation requirements are listed here (screenshot of the same is reproduced too)

As clear from the same, it called for producing Attested copies of Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree, Remarriage or Death Certificate as the case maybe. Now as per the changes announced in the Press conference, you can simply add, change or delete for the same without any documentary evidence and will be accepted as true in good faith? Has the legal implication of this thought through? It can end up in legal complication since parties end up in possession of a Legally acceptable Identity and relationship document. What if some applicant falsely gets a spouse name entered in the passport or legitimate spouse name deleted and claim relationship? Also, these documents provided additional assistance for law enforcement authorities to trace criminals or those on the run. If it can be allowed in this case, why seek evidences for Date of Birth or Address. Accept that in good faith too. Excerpt of the FAQ available on the Official website

DocumentRule-SpouseName

At the time of writing despite a mail and tweet sent to Passport authorities, there was no clarification received. Will update as and when it is received.

Without addressing these concerns, thoughtless changes under the guise of Reforms or easing processes is DANGEROUS!

Update-1

Honb’le EA Minister’s Private Secretary was very well in the loop and all actions taken were after Sri Vijay Dwivedi marked Dr Mulay. Did Secretary act independently without concurrence of the EAM? I am also attaching the tweet thread (where one anonymous tweep even threatens of campaign, even before the truth surfaced) He has not responded to any tweets after the truth emerged.

SushmaSwaraj-PA Communication

VijayDwivedi-SecretaryEAM

Update-2

(As expected, RPO Bengaluru – one of the best and most responsive Passport Offices in the Country clarifies). Click on the image for source tweet (if it is still available)

RPOBengaluru-Reply

As feared, this indeed is waived off. Hence anyone can claim and make changes to entry under spouse name without any documentary backup. There are lot of legal implications in this change. Succession right, Property rights etc – Even without the named person knowing someone could have declared that person as a spouse and offer these documents as evidence. It may be proven wrong in court, but imagine the grind one has to go through

Not Syria – It is About Syrious Repercussions

Since there is a huge debate on what actually transpired, My two penny take away from the episode. Thanks to a couple of my friends who summarized an Eventful day.

Red lines are my Two-penny opinion


Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji ’s approach

Souhard se dono samuday paas aye. Mandir bhi bane aur masjid bhi bane thodi door.

On why Ram Mandir should be built:

Ayodhya is not place of faith for Muslims. Islam does not allow worship at a disputed site. We cannot make Lord Rama to be born in another place. This is a golden opportunity for communities to cement their good relationship. Some people are opposing. They want this problem to be alive. We don’t want one more conflict. Sensible people agree on this. In the 10 lakh temples of the country, all the Imams could be invited and honored. Similarly they would honour the priests,

Isn’t this vision of Sri Sri, the core of Sanatana Dharma?  Isn’t Sri Sri is creating space and opportunity for both communities to celebrate.

On why Sri Sri is mediating:
Every responsible citizen should be involved in the issue which concerns the society, why should a spiritual leader like Sri Sri not be involved? He is respected as a neutral party by ppl on all sides. He has no vested interest but only the interest of nation at heart. If any one can, it is only Towering personality like Him who can.

The court said that you sit together and move the issue, which was sidelined. I am not looking for any credit, I am ok to put those who are looking for credit in the forefront. I am not here for credit or for insult. I don’t need political support in this, because i am speaking with people.
The judiciary would be the happiest if the issue is solved out of court, its a burden for them to solve this issue in court. kisi ne mujhe ye nahi kaha AOL shuru karo. Waise hi ye bhi apni prerna se kar rahe hain

On creating common buildings like hospitals

ASI has proved that this is Birth place of lord Ram. The disputed site has no religious significance for the other people. By and large The Muslim community is large hearted and they have supported Sri Sri’s initiative in large numbers. For the sake of peace and unity in the country lets work to make a win win situation for all.

On possible future scenarios

  1. Land goes to Hindus, Muslims will feel defeated and their faith in judicial system will be shaken. Bitterness will increase. (Hasn’t this been proven so many time over – Shaking of faith is the minimum, on the contrary there would be hatred and opposition to the implementation too – Shah Bano,, Triple Talaq etc are proof enough)
  2. Land goes to Muslims, there will not be any peace. Do you think they will allow Ram Lalla to be taken from the premises? Do you think such a judgement will be implemented? Quran injunction says, no Namaaz can be offered at a place of conflict. So nobody will offer prayers there. Will it not be a case where I relish denial of a facility to someone even if I don’t get it?
  3. If Allahabad Court decision is repeated, then a Hindu temple and Mosque will be built. This is continue the fear of conflict forever. After 50 and 100 years, there will still be a chance for conflict

On opposition to his mediation:
Kehne wale bohot kuch kahenge. Bohot logon ka astitva sangharsh par hai. Kuch log bhadkaav bhashan pe hi vishwas karte hain. Unpe desh nahi chal sakta. Desh aman chahta hai.
Gurudev ko kichad uchalne walon ki parva nahi karni chahiye.

Always there will be some people who would like to create disturbance in the country. There are just a few people who do not see sense, or even they see sense they are not agreeing because of their personal gains.


Here is what Pujya Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi ji says about Ayodhya Ram Temple Resolution. Out of court is the only way – Any solution from the Political Class or throught courts will end up in difficulties for both sides


For the records – Here are the Tweet clarifications from Gurudev Sri Sri (Personally I felt it is not required, because either way they would twist) Click on the screenshot to read the original tweet on Twitter.