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The Selfish Gene

July 31, 2012

Our country is vibrant: it reverberates with rhyming slogans created by political parties and others. More so my native land of the coconut.

So also with that land of the bhadralok, lately of a banshee-like Chief Minister. The revolt at Naxalbari took place in my youth, and they had rhymes that exhorted that everyone’s bawdy was Nokshalbawdy, everyone’s naam was Phietnaam. I am told they also went around streets playing “train” like children, chanting

Mao Tse Tung-er (yeah, from old English transliteration) chinta dhara
Jug jug jiyo, jug jug jiyo. Long live the Chairman’s thoughts.

I don’t know how many people really made common cause with the biplobis with all this.

Come the elections after the Emergency, called by a Prime Minister who according to Kuldip Nayar did not listen to her son’s advice to rule for eternity without elections. There was the example of a life-time President in the Philippines, poster-boy of Americans; there would tens of years later follow a Chief Minister in the land of movie fans down south who was given the sobriquet of nirantara mudal amaichar – perennial chief minister – well, a little bit of Sanskrit is okay in sobriquets.

The son had several palanquin bearers. One was the Chief Minister of  a state that now has a bright Governor. There is at least one late ex-chief minister of that state, pure and white as the driven snow, but his son seems to amass hundreds of crores of rupees by foul means within months of the poor father’s death. But I digress.

Well, there was this Chief Minister named Anjaiah. He, in a Mahabali-like crouch enabled the scion to alight from an aircraft, stepping on his head and shoulders. But the slogan celebrating the status of being a vahana was coined not for him, but for the redoubtable priestly-class-er from up north:

Na nar hoon main, na nari,    I am neither man nor woman
Hoon Indira ka Pujari,             I am Indira’s worshipper
Sanjay ki Savari,                         And Sanjay’s ride,
Mera naam hain Narayan Dutt Tiwari.    My name is…

Khushwant Singh quotes a slightly different version here: http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/KhushwantSingh/ND-Tiwari-an-able-and-subservient-Congress-neta/Article1-873571.aspx

Nearing his centenary, Khushwant Singh still cannot hide his glee when the jibe at Tiwari (no, not the ones about being the savari or the pujari)  is being challenged .

But the Law, quite often as has been emphasized, is an ass. Rohit Sharma made a bold statement soon after the DNA test result, confirming he had common genes with the Tiwari, was announced. That he was not an illegitimate son, but that Tiwari was an illegitimate father. I do not know whether there is law in India dealing with illegitimate fathers.

And there seems to be further complications on legitimacy. It seems (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-07-30/india/32941763_1_rohit-shekhar-n-d-tiwari-dna-test) the Indian Evidence Act says that it would be “conclusive proof” that a person is the legitimate offspring of the mother’s husband provided he or she is born even after the dissolution of the marriage, within 280 days of it, unless it can be proved that the mother and the husband or ex-husband “had no access to each other at any time when he could have been begotten”. The “he” in this sentence of course includes a “she”. And the Evidence Act knows no DNA tests.

I do not know whether the governor still sports with nubile women, three at a time, in the gubernatorial palace, as suggested by Khushwant Singh. If at all he does, and others like him go all over the world sowing as it were their wild and domesicated oats, the fault can only be of the selfish gene.

Thank Professor Dawkins for the knowledge!

Tailpiece: In addition to the bovine animal, the word ‘bull’ means various things such as an edict by the Roman Catholic Pope in olden days, or more recently, sheer nonsense. Papal bulls seem to be very rare now.

But there is this bull in Deori, Madhya Pradesh, who tolerates no ‘bull’. Quite unlike the elephant who died in Guruvayur recently, two months after its mahout injured it viciously. Though they say it is elephants that remember a slight for a long time.

The said bull, which was beaten with a stick by a man, and later had hot water poured on it by the same man for no more fault than lying down in front of his house, probably to chew its cud, put its foot down. Rather, its head.

He then proceeded to gore his tormentor. They took him (the tormentor) to a hospital and the bull followed. He died, and the bull followed the body to the cremation grounds, probably to make sure…

Read all about it: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Vengeful-bulls-deadly-pursuit/articleshow/15285958.cms

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