Reports say Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar may be inducted as the next Defence Minister of India.

If that indeed happens, as the Narendra Modi Cabinet expansion is due and is expected to take place during July 9-11, that would indeed by a heartening news.

Though Manohar Parrikar denied it just now and even said that it was a dead news after he came out of the meeting with the prime minister, there are grounds to think so.

The five most important ministries, Home, Defence, External Affairs, Finance and Railways, need five men of highest integrity and credibility in a country like India where much of the social fabric depends on how these ministries function or how the prime minister gets these ministries to task.

Obviously, all the prime minister’s men including the prime minister himself are supposed to following the values reflecting utmost integrity and honesty while running the government. But, we know, practically, that is not possible.

Now, to be frank, we cannot rely on the absolute degrees of these two modes of functioning – how these ministries function – and – how the prime minister gets these ministries to task. For the best case scenario on functional parameters, it has to be the best possible mix of these two.

And induction of a man of personal integrity and honesty like Manohar Parrikar would help Modi in delivering better. This we can say on assessing Modi as the taskmaster, the administrator while discharging his governance related duties. Politics aside, he has established his reputation as a development oriented politician who has delivered.

And Manohar Parrikar is a person like him. If assessed on the overall parameters, he is even better than him. And he can deliver efficiently and effectively, in a ministry that has been riddled with mammoth corruption. The deals have been so murky and controversial that India’s defence preparedness has been effectively pushed back by years. High level officials including at ‘chief level’ are facing probe.

A person like Manohar Parrikar can certainly be the answer to the questions that would be in Narendra Modi’s mind while he would be thinking of reducing Arun Jaitley’s workload who is currently holding the additional charge of the Defence Ministry.

Let’s see how valid this sources based news comes out to be – on Sunday – or on any day during July 9-11. Narendra Modi is in Varanasi November 7-8 and he is leaving for Myanmar on November 12 for a long foreign trip. So, November 9-11 are the ideal days to zero on and the ‘sources’ say it’s going to happen on Sunday.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –



**Collage prepared from the photographs sourced from the Internet

It’s the Guy Fawkes Night today (it’s the Guy Fawkes Day as well/also the Bonfire Night – the India time – by the British time, it is few hours away while writing this). Names apart, it is basically in the message. And the name Guy Fawkes in the contemporary times reiterates it.

The over four centuries old name, associated with a failed treason plot (or the rebellion depending on which side one was – the Gunpowder Treason Plot) to remove the British king and install a Catholic monarch, on November 5, 1605, has come to be associated with a symbol that has fast become the protest mark to raise the voice against establishments and against policies.

The Guy Fawkes Masks are fast becoming the protest symbol of modern-age political activists, protesters and anarchists, from Middle East protests to Occupy Wall Street, from India to the US.

Over the centuries, the day has had changing perceptions in Britain about celebrating it with bonfire and masked effigies but history is history and it is for Britain, rooted in a Monarchy.

For the world of now, it is basically about ‘it is in the message’. Irrespective of the associated history, the contemporary world knows Guy Fawkes Masks as popularized by the film version of the graphic novel ‘V for Vendetta’ released in 2006.

The 10 issues of ‘V for Vendetta’ had their run-time from 1982 to 1989 where the Guy Fawkes Mask of the day found its origin but the mass appeal it needed to become a growing worldwide phenomenon came with its film adaptation.

The film popularized the Mask the world over and the themes the novel and the film dealt with attached with the Mask the elements of activism against oppression. V, the mysterious central character of the novel in a Guy Fawkes Mask designed by David Lloyd, fought to liberate his country from a Fascist regime in a dystopian future. He raised voice against the wrongs and he gave voice to the others.

And the world has never been bereft of issues crying for attention and voices, in developed nations, in developing countries, in the third-world block, in democracies, and in tyrannies. The issues always look for symbolisms to tell the world of their presence. And many such issues have found their symbolism in the Guy Fawkes Masks after the movie was released.

It also reiterates why cinema is such a powerful communication tool to propagate ideas, to spread thoughts, and to popularize symbols.


 **Collage prepared from the photographs sourced from the Internet


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –