Commotion at the Jain Temple

Posted: May 25, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,


Anna Hazare on fast unto death

Baba Ramdev on fast unto death

Medha Patkar on fast unto death


Four cars with beacon lights on the top, and driven at high speeds, screeched to a noisy halt outside the Jain temple.

The peace and the quiet of the temple was broken. There was concern inside. So much noise and commotion had not been seen or felt here, for a long time.

The meditation and prayers of many devotees were broken, and their minds diverted to the gate. Some of the people rushed towards the gate to figure out what was going on. Finally, the main trustees of the temple walked ahead to enquire the details.

Just then, first a couple of security guards, and then some assistants, and finally the opposition MLA walked out of the car, and into the temple.

At the gate, the temple security stopped the gun wielding security guards from going inside. There were glances exchanged between the MLA’s security persons, the MLA’s PA and the MLA himself. And it was decided that the gun totting security men, could stay outside.

And the MLA and his PA proceeded inside. Meanwhile the trustees had come out, and started enquiring, “How can we help you? What is the matter?”

And the PA responded, “Yes indeed, we need your help. MLA-saab would like to discuss with you. Can we sit somewhere?”

And some chairs were laid out there. Sensing some seriousness, the trustees asked the public that had gathered around (the devotees at the temple) to go away. They went away a small distance, but still had their eyes and ears on this meeting and the discussion.

Finally, after the MLA, the PA and the trustees had sat down, the MLA spoke.

“Bhai-saab, the country needs your help at this time. You know how pathetic the conditions in our state and our country are, right? This is the time when all citizens have to do their bit, and this is the time, when you can do something for your state and the country.”

The peace loving Jain temple trustees were bewildered. What can we do for the country, they were wondering. And then one of them spoke, “Sir, you are right. There are many of our regular devotees who are quite well to do, and they can certainly give donations to your party. But we do not have any such process from the temple. These are all personal decisions which all devotees can take at an individual level. Our rules do not permit us to promote political donations via the temple.”

The MLA replied, “No, no. We are not talking of money. That of course, I have many Jain friends, who are contributing to our opposition party funds.” And glancing at the PA, he added, “they are also giving to ruling party funds – I am not sure who is getting more!”

The MLA continued “What we are looking for is something different, and which you have a lot to offer”.

Now the trustees were very curious, and asked “Sir, we don’t know what you are referring to?”

The MLA clarified, “You must have heard of Anna Hazare and his fast. How effective it was to get the government on its knees!”

The trustees nodded away.

MLA: “Well, indeed, the fasts unto death are the rage of the day. They are the master political moves, based on which a lot can be accomplished. Now Baba Ramdev and Medha Patkar are also going for the same.”

The trustees, still not clear about their role, continued to listen intently.

MLA-ji: “The situation has become very bad for us. As opposition party, we want to take credit of pulling down the government. But these Anna Hazares and Baba Ramdevs and Medha Patkars will walk away with all the credit. So we had a meeting of our party, and we came up with a brilliant idea. And which is what brings me here today.”

The trustee asked, “Ok, so what is the idea?”

MLA-saab: “Well, in our party, and even in our youth wing, we did not find too many people who could stay without food for more than 1-2 days. And then someone pointed out that, in your Jain community, you have many people who fast for many days together. So what we want is to recruit your fasting people, for our causes!”

Trustees in unison: “WHAT??”

MLA: “Please listen to me. The plan is full proof. See, you have at least 50-100 people who are fasting for long periods? We will make them our ‘fasting army’. We will use them one at a time, and pick up one cause of corruption, one scam at a time. We will put your person ahead, for the cause, and our team, will prepare all the banners, posters, and also bring the 100s of volunteers outside Mantralaya. We will arrange for air conditioned mandap outside the Mantralaya, and we can also arrange for newspapers, TV etc. whatever it is that your person requires. All he needs to do is to sit quietly, very peacefully, as the media comes and reports the goings on. All media interviews will be done by our people.”

Trustees are aghast at the idea. Then one of them asks, “But our people are NOT on fast unto death. They are fasting for few days only.”

MLA: “Don’t worry about that. We only write fast unto death. Death does not happen. The government has to give in before death happens. Our media pressure and public pressure will ensure that.”

The MLA is excited in his own plans. He continues, “In fact, our plan is so perfect. One cause after another, one of your persons after another, and we keep pegging away at the government. Lets look at an average of max 1 week for each cause. Then with 50 of your people, used 1 at a time, we are through for 50 weeks of andolan.”

Almost jumping out of his seat, he continues enthusiastically, “And if we have got them to bend down on 50 items in a year, can they ever return to power in the next elections?? No way! Government will be ours.. ha ha ha.. ”

The trustees are staring at him unbelievingly. They ask another crucial question, “What if on some occasions, the government does not bend down and the fast goes on for many days? What if it hurts our fasting person?”

The MLA is stumped by that question. He pauses. Does not have an answer to that. But being the astute politician, he recovers quickly, “Nahi, nahi. Aisa ho hi nahi sakta. Don’t worry. We are there for you. We will never allow that to happen. Not even one of your persons will have to die!”

And then in a whisper, he tells his PA, “But if one had to die, then the government will fall immediately, and we will be in power the next day.. ” and smiles wickedly..

And just so that they have the proposition well covered, the trustees ask this final question, “But why should we do this?”

And the MLA quickly responds, “Ah, now you  are talking. I knew you Gujaratis understand the language of negotiation. So I am going to make it very interesting for you. When we get into government, we will institute a Ministry for Minority Affairs at the Cabinet level, and your person can be a minister there. AND we will also have a special committee for Jain affairs, with a budget of Rs. 100 crores, and of course, you can have your people there.”

MLA: “So should I consider this a DONE DEAL??”

  1. neena says:

    Anna …..What a precedent!!

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