Monday, November 2, 2015

100 years of life, 60 of them in litigation

This blog is about my maternal grand father Shri Subramaniam Acharya Akkivalli – better known as Subbannacharya. Yesterday his cremation was held in Hangal, Haveri District in Karnataka, his hometown. He was aged 99 years and 8 months. The number 99 years gives a sense of being so near yet so far, a tinge of sadness and empathy for not making some admirable milestone. While that damnation in the face of achievement has been a shadow in his life, but it would be a pity if that defines him, rather than triumph over insurmountable circumstances, through sheer will power and righteousness, of not succumbing to adverse situations.

He died on 31st October 2015, as a Freedom Fighter for India’s independence, at the ripe age of 99 years. What is also shameful for all of us as Indians is that he also died as a litigant of a civil suit filed some 60 years ago in independent India. The litigation was over a plot of land that he had bought as a Freedom Fighter, which he never got.

Articles about his death in Vijaya Karnataka, Vijayavani and Prajavaani newspapers
A childhood marred by penury had taught him a lot about will power. He was drawn to the independence movement and at the age of 12, when there was a call by Mahatma Gandhi to boycott British administration & education systems for one day as a protest against the British Raj, he answered it and skipped school to attend a public function denouncing the British. When the school master of the village, rounded up all the students next day, he was reprimanded and suspended from school. This was a blow to his bright career, as in those times education upto the Std 7th was a benchmark of Mulkhi exams and considered enough to become a schoolmaster which he had dreamt of.

Left out of school, he continued his contribution to the freedom movement in his own way creating awareness by singing paeans on roads, about the golden age that would come once we are independent and supported the activities of the Congress party by even defying curfews. He was a staunch Gandhian and truth was uncompromising for him. He told about an incident during a game of Pagade(Chaupar) when one of his elders asked him to lie- and he stopped playing the game for life, his understanding, anything that made someone as respected as that person to lie, is not good enough to pursue.

He was jailed during the Quit India Movement and booked for sedition. That period was painful for the family, of his three sons and wife he left behind. Abject poverty was the norm, but he being jailed only made matters worse. The family suffered when his eldest son was left without treatment for encephalitis as nobody would have any association with them because of his participation in the freedom movement. The boy suffered a permanent lower cognitive adaptive functioning which remained until his death.

My grand-dad said the happiest moment in his life was when India gained its independence. Indulgence in the freedom movement had taken its toll on him, yet when Acharya Vinoba Bhave asked for people to donate their lands to the cause of nation building in the Bhoodaan Movement, he responded by donating his piece of uncultivated land. He and his family worked hard and gathered some money. When the government announced a subsidy for Freedom Fighters while purchasing land to build houses in his village, he gathered Rs. 500/- and booked a plot. He had found a job in a nearby village so left for it. Meanwhile, in independent India, nepotism had made its mark. A member of the local panchayat, in grandfathers absence allotted his rightful land to one of their own relatives.

After this, began his second fight against the Brown British Raj. In late 1950’s he filed a civil suit, to gain right over his allotted plot. After innumerable counter suits, claims and counter claims in what was just a clear, open and shut case of unlawful allotment and nepotism, the land still isn’t yet declared as clear of dispute. Yes, after almost 60 years, the suit is still undecided, of a Freedom Fighter, for his allotted piece of land in the nation for which he sang paeans of ushering a golden era full of truthfulness and justice.

He witnessed the smothering corruption first hand in courts in all these years. More painful was that when he used to go to collect his pension as a Freedom fighter, the corrupt officials at the local administrations office wouldn’t give him his pension easily without a bribe and his Gandhian principles wouldn’t allow him to give in to bribing of any sort. He would sit since morning for hours together, at ripe old age of 80, for his pension and they would budge only by late evening. Later in the last decade, the medium for pensions became electronic and his harassment at the hands of those officials stopped. But respect for him to not give in the face of adversity only increased in the younger generations eyes.

Never to miss the national festivals of Republic Day and Independence Day, he would go around looking for some schools to attend flag hoisting even when visiting us, defying his age at 90 years, much to the admiration of the school staff and children.

He was extremely religious, an avid reader - who didn’t use specs even at age of 98 - and also has written several religious books on Shri Raghavendra Swamy and Shri Yadnyavalka Rishi. A compulsive learner, he would get his ‘doubts cleared’ from someone more knowledgeable, over a new book he had read, even when he was a nonagenarian.

On his death bed, at 99 years, he might have had thoughts of not getting the land he fought for all his life, he might be disgusted for not getting the ‘Golden Bharat’ that he had dreamt of, he might not have had made it to the magical figure of 100 years. Yet that can’t define his life, because he has achieved more than many could think is imaginable in one lifespan.

He had earned respect in all spheres of activities he had indulged in, with age taking a toll on his body, ushering the problems associated with age on the mind, but it still could not affect his indomitable spirit as a few days before his death, he announced, 'I'm destined to live 10 more years'.

One can only feel bad for the unnecessary suffering he and his family had to go through and such people around the country are going through daily. Lets be clear, the criminal delinquency on the part of the system that can't decide conclusively on a matter in 60 years, is unforgivable and the 60 years of litigation, doesn't define him, it defines us. May his soul attain peace.

Monday, December 17, 2012

How UPA's cash transfer will work

Story of Rural India post cash transfer scheme..

If among 10 people there are only 8 coconuts and each has Rs. 10/- to shell out, the first 8 people will get the 8 coconuts.. the last two rue being last in queue..

Then if u give Rs. 2 to each of them for free, the last two inform the coconut seller that they would have given him Rs. 11/- for the same coconut.

Next time coconut seller, increases the prices to Rs.11 to get more money for all 8 coconuts as he now knows he can make more money for same products. The first 8 people buy same coconut for Rs. 11/- Again this time, the new two left out people, tell him they would have given Rs. 12/- if he kept coconuts for them.

Next time again coconut seller, increases the prices to Rs. 12 to get more money for all 8 coconuts. The first 8 ppl who reach him, buy same coconut for Rs. 12/- 

The plantation owner who sells coconuts for Rs.7 to the seller, increases prices by Re. 1/- as seller is having more margin. Now coconut costs Rs. 8/- to the seller, he cant reduce the price now.

Farm labourer complains now coconuts cost more, so he wants increased salary. Plantation owner has to increase the selling price and cant reduce it to Rs. 7/- again now.

So more price rise, more inflation.

That's cash transfer scheme of UPA working for you..

What is lost is that prosperity meant, having more coconuts to suffice all, but that requires real solutions. 

This cash transfer is a solution through diverting the taxes paid, by the coconuts buyers & sellers & plantation owners & farm labourers, to the government to bring two more coconuts to suffice their needs.