March 26, 2010 Fri 6 : 53 AM
Oh dear, o dear o dear !! What on earth have I done ! Sent off an incomplete post !! My apologies dearest extended family, sincerely … I have dozed off in bed and not realized what I was doing … have just awakened with the lap top by my side and am certain that if it had had a pair of movable hands would have slapped me as I awoke !!
I hasten now to complete what was incomplete last night and to add afresh what I feel needs to be added today … and again … my sincerest regrets and apologies for this horrible lapse !! ....xxxxxx
xxxxxx.... I am constrained in putting across a legible response, on why, when so much good is done by us, that there is effort to only find fault, ostracize, bring down, attach ridiculous portents to a simple innocent act, executed purely with the intent of promoting a national, a social, a moral cause ??!! For the benefit of nation, country, community, fellow citizens, humanity, fraternity, fellow brothers and sisters, is there going to be restriction, in a free democratic independent nation, to be involved in them ?? Despite my innumerable proclamations to the contrary, why the deliberate and futile political insinuations ? My deeds and acts are not that important to be subjected to such scrutiny and frivolous implication.
Yes, I have been invited through formal government procedure by the Chief Minister of Gujarat to promote tourism in the State of Gujarat. Yes I have accepted it. And yes I shall go ahead and do it. I am promoting tourism for Gujarat. I am not promoting the politics or the governance of Mr Narendra Modi the Chief Minister, or Mr Narendra Modi the individual. Gujarat does not belong to Mr Modi. It belongs to India and I as a proud citizen of my country have every constitutional right to promote a part of my country. Mr Modi is a democratically elected and constitutionally appointed head of the State, if people have a problem with him, why did you elect him ? If he has done some wrong conduct a legal enquiry and let the law of the land take its normal course. We will honor and have faith in the law of the land. But if you are going to abuse and attack me for associating myself with Gujarat because you find fault in Mr Modi its Chief Minister, then please also abuse and attack all others that associate themselves with Gujarat. If you question the appointment of Mr Modi as the democratically elected constitutional head of a State, then please question every democratically elected honorable member of the legislative Assembly and Parliament.
I am an apolitical person. I was in politics but resigned from it, and have accepted my failure. Ever since leaving politics I have never partaken in any political activity, never made any political statement or shown public allegiance to any political outfit. As a citizen of this country I have a confidential right in not divulging publically my political allegiance, that is if I have any.
Gujarat was there before Mr Modi and shall remain even after him. The divine temple of Somnath in Gujarat was not built personally by Mr Modi, nor did he construct the ancient civilizations of Haraapa, nor did he have a hand in the existence of the lost city of Dwarka, or the beauteous white soils of the Rann of Kutch, and neither did he order the construction of the largest number of heritage sites in the State. These are all vital important and exquisite jewels in the crown of the majestic State of Gujarat, in the most beautiful country of the World, India, and I want to see ..
who is going to stop me from glorifying them !!
ATTACK ME, ABUSE ME, CRUCIFY ME … DO WHAT YOU CAN AND WILL … I SHALL NOT STOP. I AM GOING TO DO IT !!
Yes, I was appointed by the UP Development Council to promote through the medium of visual films the benefits of investing in the State. And yes, I defended the wrong assumption, that UP was a State with the largest crimes. I studied personally the Central Government, repeat Central Government, ( a government not run by the Samajwadi Party the ruling party in UP ) report that stated that UP was not the state with the largest number of crimes. The text of my words were … “ anya pranto ke mukable may, UP may jurm kam hai ..” which when broadly translated in English means “ compared to other states, crime in UP is lesser “. No where was it accepted that there is no crime in the state. As a member of the Council consisting of the biggest icons of Industry in the country – Anil Ambani, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Nandan Nilankeni of Infosis, prominent educationists, pioneers in the medical world, Adi Gogrej and several others – it was my task to prepare content which would assist and invite investment into Uttar Pradesh to enhance development and progress. I was told later that some of these visuals were used to propagate the governance of the state, then held by the Samajwadi Party in their election campaigning. And because Mr Amar Singh, the Chairman of this Council, was a close family friend, it was insinuated that I was working politically for the Party. No I was not. Yes, at the end of the visual film, the name of the party and its colors did appear, but that was to inform that the product was made by the party through party funds and not government public funds, for, that would have attracted another unwanted controversy. That was all ..
Stop distorting the meaning of the word ‘Brand Ambassador'. It is an ambiguous English language word that does not carry the sentiment with which I commit myself. It has been used in formal communication for ease of reference. I do not give any value to the title or to its meaning. I give value to the job and work that has been assigned to me. Every single citizen of this country is its Brand Ambassador and those that challenge this claim are the disgustful reprehensive traitors of the nation, not those that are ‘mischievously and callously insinuated'. If I do wrong, if my conduct is not within legal dictat, punish me. But, if you shall pass extra constitutional judgment on me, I am not prepared to respect it or give it ear. As an individual of a free nation you will have the right to express it, but I will not be obliged to accept it. I shall follow what my individual right as a human describes for me. I shall follow the law of the land and I shall conduct myself within those constitutional boundaries. I shall follow my conscience and my conscience says that I am doing no wrong !!
I do not do any wrong in accepting a formal government invitation from the concerned minister of the State of Kerala, to become a spokesperson for the enhancement of tourism in ‘god's own country'. I shall talk and make promotional films for the State enumerating the beauty of this wonderful destination. Just as I will for the State of Gujarat. If the political governance of the State feels, albeit wrongly, that by my doing this it is tantamount to associating with Mr Modi's personal acts or his political allegiances, then that is a very immature and myopic assumption. Even so, if this is what the Government of Kerala or its ruling political party feels, I shall respect their decision. I have given my acceptance without any personal consideration in return. There are no financial dealings that I demand. I do all these acts for love of country and state. It is the same for Gujarat and all the other states that I have worked for.
I was invited formally by the Maharashtra Government Minister in charge of the public works department to attend a function for the inauguration of the balance 4 lanes opening on the Bandra–Worli Sea Link. The Minister wrote to me on his formal letter head and when I went there, was greeted with grace and honor and respect, not just by the Minister, but by the honorable Chief Minister, deputy Chief Minister and all other distinguished guests and dignitaries. They graciously included me in all the formalities of the event. I thanked them for it. Never during my entire stay at the event was I ever made to feel that I was unwanted or that my presence was a hindrance. A few insidious, desperate to seek titillate content, electronic media, did harp on my presence their, but I did not find there query worthy of response. All else that has followed is really something that those that invited me need to answer, not me. I had no grudges, nor did I feel humiliated at any time, and nor do I have any regrets. Media attempts to insinuate that the Congress Party is responsible for this and that it is a deliberate attempt to deface me is a lot of hogwash. The Congress Party is a large outfit that has governed this land, for the largest tenure in the political history of our nation and continues to do so. It has many important and more valuable issues to attend to than be interested in puny little me. These assumptions and accusations being made by the media are completely wrong and have no bearing. They certainly do not have my acceptance or my belief in them.
Building stories is the work of an artist. It is a highly valuable creative process and there are many in our media that dwell and excel in them. May they thrive and prosper in their acts of profession. The media has respect and it has the power of penetration and belief. They are an important element in our free world. They change and form opinion for the country. I would wish that they be more and greatly balanced in accentuating the good more than the bad. To highlight achievement, than go about deliberately looking, at how a subject could be distorted and presented to exhibit negativity against an individual or a set of individuals. They have the ability to change the way this nation thinks. We have become a nation that continuously sides cynicism. It is not good for our health. It pains me to read within our own distinguished FmXt, the opinions expressed towards the press by some of them, even though I may be the one that could have instigated them. But what does one do when all that one comes across from the 4th estate is uncalled for negativity and incorrect representation.
When and if I have ever erred I shall not and indeed have not, failed to apologize and there are several examples of these. But when others err is it asking for much for them to reciprocate ? Mumbai Mirror has been sent a legal notice from us after many persuasive efforts to play fair. They respond with legal jargon on their stand. They apologize too, but in personal letter and not entirely. We seek a public ‘sorry' in print, that is all. If you can do it personally, then why does it stop you from doing it publically. Your accusation towards us was public was it not ??
It is not my job to inform the public what I do or do not do for the State of Maharashtra or for the city of Mumbai. If others are unaware of it, they must improve their homework. Charity needs to be done not talked about. However, if there are issues raised which in the eyes of the others, have been seen as derogatory in any manner, I have not hesitated to apologize and seek forgiveness. I or any member of my family has never been responsible for such act, deliberately or with ulterior intent. If some think that we have, point it out to me, I shall study merit and make amends willfully. But if you are going out to fish for such deeds, read more than what is expressed, there will be a hundred incidents that could be exploited and reacted to. Give me any act of any one, and I shall find fault in it. It is the easiest weapon that language and act impinges upon us humans.
I am a civil person and will expect civility. I am a decorated Indian both nationally and internationally. In just within a spate of 2 weeks lately, my wife my son and I myself have received decoration and reward from 3 different countries of the world – the United Kingdom, Oman and Hong Kong, China - among the several other national and international rewards over several years. I have on each and every one of these forums made just one submission …
“ By honoring me, you honor my fraternity, the Film Industry of India, you honor my country.. “
Individual acclaim comes to me from my audiences, from my fans, from my Extended Family on this blog, but its recognition has always been for fraternity and country. Am I doing some wrong ??
Treat me with respect. I do not interfere in other's businesses and expect that they do not with mine.
This has been unusually long and perhaps tedious and repetitive. But if I do not express what goes through me then there is no need for this forum to continue.
Long live the Extended Family and this perfumed bed of love and joy …