Saturday, March 28, 2009

Individuals going astray

By Sunny Kulathakal

A priest, a doctor and a social worker were interacting on the subject, “Youth and narcotic drugs” with a packed crowd at a church in London. When the question & answer session came, the youths one by one without any hesitation stood up and started shooting questions. What is the proof for the contention that pep pills meant for stimulation is harmful to health? How much heroin can be consumed safely without the fear of addition? What can happen to us if we smoked dry plantain stem after burning it? The questions were interestingly vivid and strange at times.

On the back row of the audience there were a few reputed middle aged persons. Being residents of city suburbs they didn’t have much idea about these issues. How could that older generation know about the intricacies of drug abuse? According to one youngster in the gathering, what could be done in the issue of drugs was just to make it available in sufficient quantities to the needy. The problem of another was that his weight had come down a little due to usage of drugs and he has some anxiety about the same. A young lady claimed that she had taken 23 tablets that evening.

Youngsters who attended had only unsatisfactory remarks about the meeting. They complained that only the opinions of the elders were discussed and they were not allowed to come to the stage for presenting their arguments. “The old men could not understand all these. When we argue in favour of drugs they naturally adopt a negative attitude to it” they were saying.

There is at least some substance in this criticism. Narcotics are a subject on which the youngsters don’t have the right knowledge while the old generation has a strong prejudice. We could hear the clamour on the one side for counter measures by those who just brand “drug abuse as the bane of the youngsters” and despise the same. On the other side there is an undue hue and cry about drug abuse. But no one is really bothered about the dangerous side of drugs. Between these, the lack of communication and generation gap are creating more widespread problems.

There are at least a few among the older generation and younger generation who could think in a matter of fact manner. It is desirable if they could find answers for the questions cited below.

  • What are the explanations of the medical science about narcotic drugs?
  • Why some are self-experimenting with such drugs?
  • What are the social and personal factors that make some get addicted to drugs and its consequences?
  • What the society needs to do for solving the issues arising out of drug abuse?

There are people who think that intoxicating drugs are only those which are being used illegally. This is not correct. There are many other drugs being abused other than those which are illegal. Drugs which transform human mind and the sensible planes of man are catching the attention of the world of late. Each drug has its own harmful effects and lead to dangerous consequences. One common characteristic of drugs is that they create a kind of psychedelic dependence. “The mental temptation to use drugs from time to time or regularly as a means to get relief from discomfort or as a time-pass (Psychic drive)” this is how WHO has described such kind of psychedelic dependence. Heroin and sleeping pills contain in itself the power to create such kind of dependency. This is present in a minimal measure even in nicotine contained in cigarette and caffeine contained in coffee.

As already mentioned, some drugs can lead to psychedelic dependence. Since they cause some chemical change in the body, there will be serious physical problems when one discontinues using the same. Heroin, arrack, morphine and sleeping pills belong to this category. These also can be listed as some of the strongest narcotics. Once it was thought that only severe drugs can cause addiction while soft drugs are not that dangerous. What is caused by the former is described as addiction while that caused by the latter is known as habituation. There is a possibility of people depending to the maximum on drugs like cannabis which does not cause physical addiction. That’s why WHO is inclined to use the word “dependence” instead of “addiction”. The variance of this kind of dependence will be in accordance with the psychological characteristics of the individual users. Hence the categorization as heavy intoxication and lighter intoxication might not always be correct.

Apart from physical and mental dependence, narcotic drugs can also cause drug tolerance. This leads to progressive hiking the dose of the drugs to get the satisfaction, the users initially used to have. In the book “Confessions of an opium eater”, the author, De Quincy, an Englishman has described his own experience. He confesses that he had to increase the dose of opium manifold over the course of time to get the satisfaction he got when he used it initially. Those who are tolerant to a particular drug are likely to develop drug tolerance towards substances similar to that particular one. This is known as cross tolerance. For example are the tolerance to heroin and pethadine by users of opium.

The features observed in persons who attempt to discontinue using certain drugs are known as withdrawal symptoms. These are likely to create serious problems. It is safer to have such a withdrawal process take place under expert medical supervision. These withdrawal complications are because of the loss of equilibrium which, the user had attained due to regular usage of some particular drugs and his acclimatization with the same. The initial symptoms will be lethargy and weakness followed by restlessness and panic. Stomach ache and omitting also may occur. Sleeplessness and disruption in speech are also likely to happen. In short it will be a virtually pathetic condition. Withdrawal symptoms are most agonizing among the users of morphine, opium and heroin. To know the severity of physical dependence, the best thing is to stop the supply of opium to a regular user.

Manamanath Guptha, during his jail days happened to directly witness the experience of a political prisoner addicted to opium failed to get it. He describes the incident like this: “When opium was not available in the jail he was totally broken. By next morning he had almost become a dead man. He could not even move his body. Just like a deflated balloon, all his laughter and enthusiasm had departed from him. He was totally disinclined to move and talk. Even his responses to anxious and sympathetic enquiries were in an extremely feeble and tired tone. He lied down covering himself in a blanket. The fellow prisoners could not discern what his ailment was. When the barracks closed in the evening what we heard was that he had managed to get out after submitting a letter seeking pardon. Had he got opium according to his need, I am sure that he would not have written for pardon”.

Have a look into what is described in a Malayalam novel about the peculiar condition of the people who are regular users of opium. Kunjonachan, the central character of “Arnazhikaneram” the novel of Parappurathu is asking the doctor “is there any harm in eating opium?” The doctor’s reply was like this “opium is of course harmful, but stopping at this stage will do only more harm. Even if it is poison, if one takes it in a fixed measure over a long period, it will become a necessity for the body”.

One thing is clear from all these. Whatever is the drug it will have its adverse impact on the human body. In short, the physical and mental problems will be manifiold for those who take drugs for some temporary relief and pleasure.

Views on the occurrence of addiction of drugs are varied. At what stage it turns into addiction varies from individual to individual. The evaluation of the intensity of addiction varies depending on the difference in perspectives like medical, psychological or social. A doctor’s interest comes only when the health of the person who uses drugs is in danger. The social workers intervene when the productivity of the society gets affected. Psychologists turn their attention when the problem assumes psychic dimensions in individuals. It is also worth noting that not all the drugs create the same kind of addiction.

What contained in narcotic drugs are substances-either natural or synthetic- that create the temptation to enter an unusual state of deep sleep or hallucination. These drugs are generally called as narcotic drugs. Even a minor dose can affect mental sharpness. It helps to conduct painless surgeries and cause deep sleep. But overdose of these drugs might lead to unconsciousness, over sleep, emotional outburst, total collapse and even death. The best examples of narcotic drugs are opium and its extracts like heroin and morphine. Those who depend on them on a regular basis used to become slaves of the same and their life will be in doldrums. Apart from mental and moral degeneration it will also lead to physical ruin.

Drug dependence and drug abuse are two different things. Abuse of drugs tells on the value judgment of the society. While talking about the abuse of drugs in general, nobody thinks much about its medicinal values. Use of drugs other than for medicinal purposes can also be listed as abuse of drugs. Excessive and unnecessary administration drugs other than narcotic ones can also be categorized as drug abuse. The word abuse is generally used to highlight the harmful consequences of developing drug use as a habit and getting over- intoxicated with drugs.

There are many who ask the following questions: why should the society bothered about the harm occurring to an individual due to usage of drugs? If the behaviour of such an individual does not directly affect the society is there any need for the society to intervene? Those who ask such questions have not studied exactly what narcotic drugs are. They are also the ones who have not thought the least about its harmful impact. They are also not realising the fact that it is the totality of the individual activity of each person in the society that controls the pulse of the society as a whole. In this context an analytical study of the realities of drugs in the light of medical science is of great relevance.

Translation: Saj mathews

The grief of the red

By Sunny Kulathakal

This is not an attempt to either criticize or shed tears for the women who have fallen into immoral tracks. Here, attention of the readers is being invited to the historical background of prostitution which is one of the oldest professions in the world, its basic reasons and some of the social problems created by prostitution. Who are prostitutes? How do they live? How the society views them? A Humble attempt has also been made in this book to find answers to these questions. My aim is not to achieve the satisfaction of conducting an in-depth study on the subject.

The existing trend is to treat prostitutes who are portrayed as safety valves of social life as social outcasts and criminals by labeling them as “sex vendors” and “distributors of contagious venereal diseases”. It could not be denied that the society has a role in creating the conditions conducive for many to fall in the trap of prostitution. The stories of some of them who had to succumb to prostitution due to broken human relationships, molested womanhood, life of starvation and poverty, the shock and insecurity following the death of those who were the pillars and shade of the family, the destiny to follow the traditional profession and the social and economic circumstances are described here in brief. What needed is to bring a change to the situation wherein the women who had once fallen into the pit of prostitution destined to continue to reel under the agony of it till the end of life. Along with the measures for the rehabilitation of such women, attention should also be given to the principle that “prevention is better than cure” It is also important to see that the crusade against prostitution should not turn into a war against the prostitutes.

Generous help and co operation of several individuals have been received for bringing out this book. The invaluable suggestions and encouragement from personalities like Dr S D Punnekkar of the Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai, Dr Panakkal, M T Vasudevan Nair, E M J Venniyoor and T. Chandy provided me necessary guidelines. The suggestions and co operation of several people including social workers, police officials and doctors proved to be of immense help in bringing out this book.

This attempt which began in 1973 had taken me only to the tip of this serious social issue. I would like to record my gratitude for my dear wife Lissy who not only pushed and encouraged me to complete the work but also co operated by accompanying me in the red streets of Mumbai for studying the life of the fallen women.

I have no words to express my gratitude towards D C Kizhkemuri of D C books for his assurance in the very beginning to undertake publication of this book. My heartfelt gratitude also goes to Joseph Puthenthara who prepared a forward for the book and D C Books which has done the printing so beautifully.

(From the preface of the book “The world of prostitutes”)

Translation: Saj Mathews

The agony and ecstasy of intoxication

By Sunny Kulathakal

The Chowpathy beach in Mumbai. Time 12 O’ clock in the night. A few youngsters have gathered in the sand dunes. In a deserted corner they are sitting in small groups. They are of different age. Their very behaviour makes it clear that they are a bunch of people who don’t have any moral perception about their life. They consider themselves as nightingales hovering on the horizons of ecstasy.

They are inhaling the pipes filled with Ganja in turns. This continued till after midnight. Then they got up. Their steps were not steady. Somehow they bid farewell to each other. Finally only one was left. He is a Takoor who is the custodian of the Ganja pipes and other paraphernalia. Want to know who this youngster is? He is a 17 year old Maharashtra student of the Robert Money School. He is the leader of a 10 member community (that’s how their druggist group is known). They invariably assemble in the same place every day.

“It’s since many years I have started smoking this. I felt this is very good for my health (his thin physique has all the symptoms of a sick person). I will never get sleep if I abstain from this even for a day” he said. He then showed me a picture which took from the pocket and said “This is the picture of God. I could see and understand God more clearly after smoking Ganja”.

He seems to be making a vain attempt to pose as a philosopher. There was explicit wavering in his uttering. His eyes could not get fixed on anything. We could see in Mumbai and other cities many such Takoors who are so much detached to the happenings around them and leading a life similar to that of the lazy “Lotus Eaters” of the Greek epics. What appear in the media are only isolated examples of the problems being created drug addicts in their hallucinated state of mind.

Usage of narcotic drugs among the student community in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad is undoubtedly rampant. This writer happened to stay in the students’ hostel of the Mumbai University for a month. It was during those days I came to know about the long list of narcotic drugs and the methods of using them. Only when I mingled with them freely, I came to know that many of them who have become slaves of drugs like Charas, Hashish, LSD, Mandrax and Licedene could not get sleep without keeping them ready under their pillow. Parents of most of the inmates of the hostel are in foreign countries like, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, Canada and England. They are sending money generously for their educational expenses. They spend a major chunk of this for buying drugs and other unsavory purposes. Sathar is such a student. It’s his fourth year in Mumbai. He is a regular user of drugs. Since it was summer time most of them used to sleep with their windows and doors open. Sathar and others would be in deep sleep when I go out most of the days. I happened to see some of them in the same condition even when I come back by noon. One day I got an opportunity to ask him the reason for it when he was exchanging pleasantries with me in the Guest room where I was staying. For this he replied “You don’t know the secret of it? Come I shall show you”. He didn’t have any reluctance to show me his stock of drugs. “This is mandrax” he said adding “if you drink a coca cola after taking this, then there is nothing like it. There will be fire sparks emanating from the eyes. Many of us sleep very late after taking this and we will not have the strength of get up in the morning even if the sky falls down”.

Thousands come to India seeking the pleasure of narcotic drugs. Some of our youngsters consider it as a fashion to emulate them blindly. There is also genuine reason to doubt as to whether there is a concerted attempt going on to lure the youngsters of countries where drugs are not that popular, into its dangerous trap. The hippies who land in India might invite the local youngsters in whom they have confidence for a “pot session”. They know very well that once these youngsters had a little taste of it, they are certain to fall in the trap.

In the heart of Bangalore city there is a place called Ekasthan” (The only place) which is a haven of the hippies. There are facilities for food and stay. This haven located a little away from the busy arteries of the city has a lot of specialties. It is a deserted corner safely aloof from public eyes and still very close to the city. This hippies’ haven which has easy access to shops that sell drugs and public transport, and has unassuming surroundings also offers facilities to dance to the tunes of western music whatever one wants to do.

I happened to meet Yan, a 25 year old Swedish youngster for the first time near the Lal Bagh gardens. Yan was convinced that I am a free lance Malayalam writer engaged in writing a few articles on foreigners who land in India. Yan who was only scantly covered with a soiled piece of cloth led me to “Ekasthasn”. He introduced his friends to me. Among them, I became very close to Peter Mogan, an Australian. On Peter’s invitation I and one of my friends reached the place one day at around 9 o clock in the night. We had a camera with us. In Peter’s room there were Raymond Paul of Harvard and Bob hailing from Canada seated in adjacent cots. Yan who had gone to Mysore had not yet come back. Peter introduced us and discussions on various issues followed. Cleverly hiding our curiosity to know more about the drugs we prolonged the conversation. By then Bob had already invited us to a small pot session. Only after gaining full confidence in us Bob dared to ask us “why don’t you have a few puffs of ganja?” It was just like the saying- what the doctor prescribed as well as what the patient wanted was milk”. We could not afford to lose the opportunity to see the magic box of drugs opened before us. Bob opened his bundle and took out a small piece of Charas. The job of scratching it was taken over by Peter. Raymond who was sitting next asked us whether we could speculate what that small piece of Charas would cost in the US. Our silence was indicative of our lack of knowledge about the same. So he himself volunteered to tell “You may not believe. If this is available for just 60 paise here, it costs as much as 60 dollars in the US. When my friend exclaimed “unbelievable”, what Peter attempted was to prove the same with some facts and figures and explaining the smuggling activity and related things. Meanwhile he scratched out a little volume of Charas, put it in a pipe and handed over to Bob telling “it would have burned better had there been some tobacco to add”. Bob didn’t like the suggestion and decided to smoke charas as such. Bob manifested a special skill to inhale it by pressing his fingers tightly pressed together. Peter repeated the same act and handed over the same to me. By the time I made a hard attempt to closely hold it with my pressed fingers, the flame in the pipe went off. Though I pretended as if taking the smoke, Peter understood it and said “Hey, you are not smoking, isn’t it?” Raymond took it and lighted it. Meanwhile realising our dramatic attempts to take a few shots of the happenings there, Peter and his friends were frantically trying to switchover to smoking beedies so as to avoid the pipe being photographed. The emotional change in Peter’s face at that moment was something really strange. Then they were trying to reach the pinnacles of ecstasy by smoking a cigarette after coating it with a black liquid (opium). We got out of the room only around midnight. Peter was telling as if to no one “what a pleasant moonlit night!” The he explained a few things about the lifestyle of hippies.

One thing Peter said while justifying the usage of drugs was thought provoking. “Don’t think that we are just growing hair and beard, dressed in shabby cloths and moving like nuts. We have reached here after spending our hard earned money. We could not enjoy ganja at this much cheaper in the US. We never smoke this beyond a limit. What’s wrong in walking on the road wearing shabby cloths? Outside it’s only dirt and dust. Come inside and see what we wear inside (In fact they were dressed in neat white cloths). It was difficult to believe that the persons sitting there were the shabbily dressed hippies who were walking on the road along with Yan, the other day.

When I saw the Indian hippies who were dancing and kissing in the mesmerizing intoxication of Ganja in front of “The Only Place”, I felt that they could manage to see only the outside world of the foreign hippies. In cities conditions are very much conducive for the students who are mad after drugs which only help them to become unproductive and lethargic with the loss of energy of both body and mind. Students are guided by the temptation to take the flight to the moon along the space track of ecstasy. The drugs they badly need are now available not only in the colleges and hostels but even in the petty shops outside. Imagine what it is if the pocket money to buy the same and the place and facilities to use them are also available! What lures many into the mesmerizing world of narcotic drugs might be the false notion that there is nothing for them to lose by taking trip through the space track of ecstasy but on the other hand they could gain an ecstatic empire which can be brought with nothing else but drugs.

The craze for drugs is existent in alrming levels among the school children of Delhi. It was when the single child of a Kerala minister met with a premature death after experimenting drugs on the compulsion of his friends that many have realised that even the small kids of public schools are slaves of narcotic drugs. Drug traffickers resort to many methods to lure the youngsters into their trap. If drug filled cigarettes are available for a try free of cost, students are certain to fall for it. The temptation to consume the forbidden fruit is instinctive to mankind. A survey has found out that as much as 56% of the University students in Delhi are using drugs. According to a report presented in the Lok Sabha on Dec 5, 1971, in Delhi alone there are 200 students who are using stronger narcotic drugs and 5000 using drugs of lesser strength. It is shocking to know that girls are in the forefront of this. The trend to use sleeping pills to get “Kick” is also growing among youngsters. The use of drugs have increased manifold in Delhi according to official circles.

Following is an opinion which the youngsters who are putting their trust in the magical power of drugs which provide them the much wanted energy, enthusiasm and “kick” might not have bothered to take notice of: “if you have put the petrol being used in airplanes in your motor bikes it might run with the speed of a bomb. Only thing is that within a short while the engine will burn out”. In a motorcycle, only the petrol specified for that vehicle should be used. The same applies to the case of human body which is also a machine in a technical sense. It was without realising this fact, many are going after drugs. If an automobile engine burns out, a new one could be bought. But what about human machine? Its is in total ignorance of this fact, those who are running after ecstasy provided by narcotic drugs repeats the statement of their idol, Timothy Leory who stated “what are the books your are reading in this molecular era. The problem is not about the symbols you use, but what type of chemicals which have become an integral part of your growth is important.

Giving a tit for tat reply to this a social worker of the US said like this pointing out its dangerous consequences: “the psychedelic death following the excessive use of narcotics is the most orphaned one. It will be more agonizing than the death of a seriously wounded soldier at the hospital. Whatever it might be, that solider might get the mental satisfaction of remembering the faces of his dear ones at the time of death. One who has become addicted to LSD can never hope for such a blessing. None of the faces familiar to him will come to his mind.

Those who try drugs in the beginning just as a pass time may better have a glance at a portion of the book “Nerampokku” (Pass-time) written by Puthezhathu Raman Menon.

“There is nothing like liquor which can kill time beyond limits. Once it reaches inside one will not be aware of the passage of time just as he forgets many other things. Then there is really some substance in describing liquor which has the capacity to even reduce one’s life span as “pass time” and the devotee of liquor as a comedian.”

The fate of those who depend on narcotics for just as a pass time is quite clear in the above statement. With a dead mind how long they can live? Even if they live, what they can do with a brain which has lost its entire prowess? It is here an attempt to analyze the virtual pros and cons of drug usage should commence. The end of those who become slaves of drugs in their desire to become unusually creative by expanding the mind through drugs will be pathetic. Those who run after drug induced ecstasy never realize that the hypnotizing world created by drugs will prove nightmarish for creative human life.

Translation: Saj Mathews

Dharma Veera’s Dharm

By Sunny Kulathakal

Sri Dharmaveera who is known for his brilliance, hardwork, diplomatic prowess has retired from the post of Mysore Governorship. The extraordinary skill and courage he has manifested in doing away with the existing red-tapism in administration as well as corruption and nepotism is commendable.

Once news started appearing in the media about the just concluded Indo-Pak war, hoarders and smugglers started raising their heads. One morning a short person appeared in the Bangalore city market to personally assess the stock of rice and kerosene in big shops. It was nobody else but Governor Dharmaveera.

He warned that the corrupt would be mercilessly dealt with. The dynamic administrator in Dharmaveera raised his voice for the upholding and up keeping righteousness.

Dharmaveera was known as a Governor who demonstrated unusual boldness to bluntly tell anybody what he felt wrong. In this respect he did not mind even politicians, ministers or central government. Dharmaveera has also proved that Governors are not puppets and the post of Governor is as well a platform to express one’s own views. Recently a central minister has remarked that the governor who embarked on a cut throat bargain to wrest what is due to Mysore Government from the Centre. Following this Dharmaveera was summoned to Delhi to explain his stand to the President. He did not hesitate to convey to the central government the real fact that he had the additional responsibility to argue for the interest of the people apart from his role as governor especially in the absence of an elected government in the state. However he also had the humility to write a letter to the president seeking pardon if at all there had been any impropriety on his part. It was on the day when he wrote that letter, I got the opportunity to interact with him.

Dharmaveera who was recalled the memories of the past delved on his allegiance to the government, his service to the nation and the future of civil service.

He recalled the opportunity he got to take care of a sick Gandhiji at the house of Sivaprasad Gupta in Norus in the year 1918.

He said that while he was the Joint Magistrate in Almora in the year 1938 leaders like Nehru and M N Roy had been in the local jail. When he was appointed the district judge of Barila, he became the first Indian to occupy that post. It was during those days many prominent youths like Ghan Abdul Gaffer Khan known as “Athirthi Gandhi” (Border Gandhi) was jailed. This provided him the opportunity to acquaint with many of them.

When he was employed in Aligarh, the possibility of a transfer top native place arose due to the efforts of his father. Dharmaveera came to know that his father influenced the Chief Secretary due to the illness of his wife. Refusing the transfer offer he told the Chief Secretary “I don’t like to create the impression that I am being brought up by a great father. Certainly I don’t want a transfer granted on the request of my father”.

There is a secret behind the Civil Service success of Dharmaveera, who used to openly express independent opinion and decision in the above manner. Listen to the advice given to him by a senior officer. You should always do two things. Take a decision irrespective of whether it is right or wrong because the gravity of the consequences will be lesser than that of not taking any decision. Secondly is the fact that your are an executive officer. As far as possible you should keep your mouth shut. Talking is the job of the politician. You will be judged by not by what you say but b y what you do. So talk less and work more. Dharmaveera believes that this advice had a great influence in his career.

It was since his joining the Government of India service that Dharmaveera could really make his personal mark in adminstation. “Bull weevil” (the machine that can collect more wool) this was how Akbar Hydari, the Industries secretary used to describe Dharmaveera. The practice was to entrust him if there was anything important to be done urgently. Later India Government also made of him in this manner on several occasions.

After the 1962 Chinese aggression, India needed to urgently build temporary airports in at least seven important centres. The Military engineering service informed that it would take at last two years. Nehru called summoned Dharmaveera who was secretary in the central public works department, the concerned ministers and others and asked “the work on these airports has to be completed in six months. Can you do it?”. “Certain we can” replied Dharmaveera. Under his leadership the work was completed in just five months. Likewise he could complete the work on Lodhi Harlour (meant for foreign diplomats) in a very short time.

It was while he was serving as Chief Commissioner in Delhi, the then Prime Minister Nehru died. Those days the sprawling area between Raj Ghat and Railway station was the heavily waterlogged and was the breeding ground for mosquitoes. Dharamveera’s role in making it to the present level had no been small. That was a low lying area and marshy. Lakhs of people were expected to converge there and there was no place for them to either stand or sit. Leaders like Mannarayanan and congress who could not even imagine cremating Punditji in such a place were really in fix. Acting Prime Minister Nanda was nervous. He rang up the Chief Commissioner in the early hours and said “Baba there is lot of noise about this issue what can do?” Without any wavering, Dharmaveera said “Okay. You all please visit the area by this evening”.

With the help of bulldozer they reached the site near Raj Ghat. Mannarayanan pointed out that this was not the place he saw earlier. Dharmaveera asserted that it is the same place. “then it must have been changed drastically”, Manarayanan replied in a defensive tone. “Yes certainly there is change and that too significant change. Such a change was inevitable for this site. You thought that Punditiji will be created in a marshy plot”.

It was at a time when agitation led by Santhafitha Singh and his followers for Pujabhi Sabha was in its full vigour, Dharmaveera was appointed as Punjab Governor in 1966 June. Due to his brilliant interference many of the troubles could be avoided in thiose days. In a letter to the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi later he expressed his desire to have a posting other than that of the Governor so that he could do something more creative. Some excerpts: “I would like to be relieved from the post of Governor. Otherwise please provide be a posting in which I could do something substantial. The constitutional post of governorship is one of boredom and could not be carried on with composure in the long run”.

During that period, the Bengal situation was turbulent. The Prime Minister told Dharmaveera “what you have asked was for a posting in which you could do something substantial. What do you say about moving to Bengal?’ That is how he happened to accept the Bengal Governorship and do many things which were historical. He might be recalling with pride how he had faced many of the trying situations like dismissal of the Ajoy Mukherjee ministry and difficult situation in the aftermath of his refusal to read the portions which were intended to tarnish the governor in the governor’s policy address to the assembly.

Realising that the role and influence of the Governor will be limited once a stable government comes to power, Dharmaveera said “Since I feel that I still has a few moré years of active life, I would like to be relieved of Governorship once the Bengal polls are over and if possible entrust me with another job. I informed the Prime Minister that I otherwise I would like to quit on my own. But when the United Front Government demanded his recall, the Central Government did not succumb to that. This led to my continuation as Bengal Governor for some more time”.

It was after this he was posted as Mysore Governor. DharmaVeera succeeded in presenting a better rule for the progress of the state when a ministry was in existence as well as when it was not there.

It may of relevance to mention some of the incidents he recalled from the period he was working with Nehru.

Due to paucity of space the role played by Dharmaveera for the development of Bhandakarunyam and rehabilitating refuges are not being explained here. While serviing as Cabinet Secretary during Nehru’s time, he had helped Nehru for taking many an important decision. It was a time when complaints about leakage many important cabinet decisions including those related to Kashmir were widespread. Nehru who was too much worried about the same was told by Dharmaveera “Sir I regret that the leakage was not from the secretariat, but it was through your ministerial colleagues Nehru who could not believe it shouted in anger “what kind of a non sense your are talking?” A cool Dharmaveera said “Sir I am not talking non sense. In fact I could convince you about it”.

“how could you?” asked Nehru. Dharmaveera said “there is a cabinet meeting tomorrow itself. I shall keep the report of the meeting myself without giving it for typing. I shall collect all the relevant papers and keep them in the locker in my home. Let us what happens tomorrow morning” Nehru agreed. When many of the important decisions appeared in the newspapers next morning he asked Nehru whether he is convinced at least now. “How did this happen” Nehru asked with curiosity. He said that he could even name the ministers responsible but dot not want to create problems by revealing their names. But he suggested that it will be better to issue a circular pointing out that it is not right to leak out the cabinet decisions. It seemed acceptable to him. Even after the warning not to leak out cabinet decisions, many have repeated it. Nehru who came to know this through other means removed such persons from the ministry quite conveniently at appropriate time, recalled Dharmaveera.

He also narrated an incident that caused his posting in India instead of being posted in Foreign Service. After India became independent there was need for representatives in many Indian missions abroad. The dialogue following Dhrmaveera’s refusal to accept such a posting is interesting. Through the foreign secretary Nehru came to know about his refusal to go to Australia. “I want to know immediately why you don’t want to go to Australia” Nehru demanded. For this Dharmaveera replied like this:………….

Translation: saj mathjews