It seems the UPA government is determined that any institutions it touches, it will besmirch the image and bring down its prestige by a few notches. The chief reason for this is the choice of persons it makes for heading the institutions. The latest is the controversy regarding an extended term for Leela Samson as Director, Kalakshetra. She has been heading it since 2005.
Since then she has a go at least two other major government appointments – Chairman of Sangeet Natak Academy and the Chairman Central Board for Film Certification, popularly known as Censor Board. Other than these, she is a full time artist, performs and teaches Bharatnatyam and runs a school of dance. In fact, following her appointment to the SNA, while she was Director Kalakshetra, the vice chairman, renowned theatre personality resigned protesting the violation of the one-man one-post rule espoused by the Centre. There is no dearth of artists in this country to appoint to these institutions, whether it is SNA or Kalakshetra.
What is most disturbing is the reason why persons are being chosen by the UPA government. It searches for people with non-Hindu credentials. Leela Samson has the added qualification in her CV. She taught Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Bharatnatyam!
And what does Leela Samson do when she takes over Kalakshetra? She sets about meticulously erasing all Hindu symbols and rituals from the campus, from the certificates, invitations and all possible other expressions. The tone and tenor of teaching changes. Emphasis shifts from the core strength of Kalakshetra – classical dance and music – to a bit of theatre, films, book launches and entertainment events. The accompanying two images show the change. This is what they are doing with all cultural institutions De-Hinduise. The image of Lord Ganesha has been replaced with a more ‘secular’ image. To begin with, Kalakshetra was not a Hindu set up, given Rukminidevi Arundale’s Theosophical leanings. But she was definitely not non-Hindu or anti-Hindu in her approach. She accepted and respected the rituals and practices in the larger matrix of Hindu culture. But Leela Samson, who never tires of boasting about learning from Rukminidevi, goes about demolishing all that.
Leela Samson is only one in the long list of hand-picked minority appointments the UPA government has been making under the combine of Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi. Let us do a head-count. The Prime Minister of India, the Vice President of India, the Chief Election Commissioner of India, the Chairman Planning Commission, the incoming Army Chief, the incumbent Navy Chief, the foreign secretary, NHRC Chairman, the Attorney General of India, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister are all minorities. It is not possible that these were mere coincidences and not deliberate. So many crypto-Christians, like late Rajasekhara Reddy, Jagan Reddy, Ambika Soni, we cannot identify at first glance and the list is endless. Most of these people named have been nominated by a single source, sometime, in preference to other equally, if not more, qualified persons. Even in the case of Hindus appointed, there is Christian connection in their personal relations like Anand Sharma, Satish Sharma, Navin Chawla, Manmohan Singh, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Prithviraj Chavan, Amrinder Singh etc. This aspect seems to have been all important qualification. So much so that now it has become public talk.
Under Sonia’s Congress, in the past seven years three committees were appointed to study and find remedy for Uttar Pradesh. And all of them were headed by AK Antony, a man who is not fluent in any tongue other than his native Malayalam. That is the level of trust quotient Sonia places on her co-religionists.
Sam Pitroda is in as many crucial committees as one can imagine. Ahmed Patel is Sonia's political adviser. Sonia's core team consists of AK Antony, Oscar Fernandes, V George, Salman Khurshid, Margret Alva, KV Thomas, Vyalar Ravi, Tom Vadakkan and PJ Kurian.
The entire debate on the names for the next President of India is revolving around the ‘right’ to have a minority as President. The political parties have made it some kind of unwritten code that one Hindu (even if only in name) President should be followed by a minority. Given the population proportion, the turn of one minority president would come only after four majority Presidents. Political parties of all hues are frantically searching only among minority names. The credential, the credibility, dignity and capability of the head of the state of over a billion people are all issues secondary to the religion of the nominee. What a travesty! And the media that sings paeans and panders to the ‘secular’ tune played by the politicians has not kicked up a serious debate on the issue.
Minority pandering and pleasing has become such a political compulsion that Baba Ramdev is talking about religion-based reservation to Muslims! That is a rather mean stab coming from a person who was hitherto seen as a nationalist Indian.