An exemplary story from an impeccable political career of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee

The word "politician” immediately brings certain adjectives to the minds of people- corrupt, ruthless, untrustworthy etc.- but cooperative, patriotic, and selfless are some very few would pick. Here is an exemplary story from the impeccable political life of the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee or Atalji- probably the best prime minster India has ever had, and sometimes would ever have. This is a story of a conspiracy by the top leaders of opposing political parties, “conspiring" to cover up a controversy for the cause of national insterest- a cause very rare to be heard of in these days of filthy political blame games.

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In 1996, when Narasimha Rao government was approaching the final days, a probable defence scam was brought to surface through a story by the Indian Express. It was the Sukhoi fighter jet deal with the Russians. As with any large scale defence deals, much like the Rafael jet controversy doing its rounds now, the opposition- BJP- was quick to take up the controversy and protests started errupting. The deal was perceived as a probable fund-raiser for the upcoming election campaign of Narasimha Rao. Else why was there a hurry to sign such a significant deal, which otherwise would have taken a sweet amount of time?

Make a difference by contributing towards the CM’s disaster relief fund for the ongoing disaster relief operations in Kerala

Dear Friends,

As some of you may already be aware of, Kerala is currently facing a major disaster owing to the heavy rains and the resultant unprecedent floods. The havoc has already caused immesurable devastation, causing a loss of 186 lives so far and rendering thousands homeless. For the first time in the history of Kerala, 27 dams in Kerala had to be opened, worsening the calamity even further.

The current estimate of the damages is as follows:
  • 164 lives lost
  • 33 of 39 dams opened
  • 12 of 14 districts severly affected and facing Red Alert (Alapuzha, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod).
  • 2 districts facing orange alert (Thiruvananathapuram and Kollam)
  • Kochi Airport (Nedumbassery) closed for 4 days till 18 Aug 2018
  • 211 landslides
  • 10000 kilometers of roads destroyed
  • 20000 houses damaged or destroyed
  • Estimated loss of 8316 crores (preliminary estimate)
  • 15 bridges collapsed

The unsung legend of Vaikom Padmanabhan Pillai

There are many heroes, their stories unsung, their legends forgotten. Neither do they hold place in text books, nor much in the popular culture. One such true legend was Vaikom Padmanabhan Pillai, an elite soldier of Tranvancore empire (parts of current state of Kerala and Kanyakumari) who is credited with defeating the extravagant army of Tipu Sultan twice in battle, and later attained martyrdom in fight against the British.

By Techsreekanth - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Vaikom Padmanabhan Pillai was the kochasan (similar to a teacher or a trainer) in the Nandyat Kalari of the Vadakkumkoor state of the Travancore empire. Kalaries are local training centres wherein warriors were trained in the legendary martial art of Kalari. The kingdom of Travancore maintained an army modest in number, and in case of any confrontation, an army of fighters are summoned from such Kalaries merging together with the standing army to form the glorious Travancore army. It was one such instance that kick-started the legend of Vaikom Padmanabhan Pillai- when he and others from local Kalaries were summoned to fight against an invading Mysore army, led by the Mysore Tiger - Tipu Sultan.