Posted in Mylapore Musings

Sandy beach and soaring flight.

Its eons since we have lounged on sandy beach. We do go to the souqs but today, got to unwind on Wakra souq beach. No thenga manga pattani sundal here. Only the absolute stillness. The beauty of the arab countries is their elusive silence without the street ruckus that is common in India or elsewhere. We just sat back by the backwaters wherefrom some mounds of salt pans showed belly up. I saw flights leave and flights home in. One flight was losing altitude steadily in the same spot. No I don’t think this one was landing. I guess, this is one of the crossover flights to yet another gulf airport flying through the airspace. As a frequent air traveler I always pay specific attention when flights lose height in one spot or climb up gradually in the same spot or arch their wing, tilt up and take a turn. I don’t have to watch out through my cabin window. I just know how it feels like. I guess I know every sensation that is carried with every single motion of an aircraft. In silence, I unwound my legs in the sand with my hands pushed back behind me watching the spectacular show of the planes every few minutes.. A couple of camels rested afar. Children were playing noiselessly in the distance. Even the sidewalk cafes with their guests dining on club chairs on cobblestoned paths stood quiet. This kind of silence is golden, something again unthinkable in India. The unpolluted clean environs can do something to your heart that it may want to sing. To savour such an unspoilt moment, I have to get out of Chennai city limits, to ECR.

Beach sands and airplanes brought once more memories of growing up in Mylapore. Our house was the tallest in the street when I was in the primary school. I guess I have blogged on this, but we always went to bed after a darshan of Kapali temple tower from our kitchen window and Kesava Perumal temple tower (near Chitrakulam) from the balcony. We enjoyed this special privilege until my mom’s time – that is 1982. Buildings that later came up robbed us of our glorious daily darshan on dawn.

Our terrace on second floor carried with it loads of awesome memories.

From here, I have watched once the Kapaleeshwara temple Kumbabishegam with binoculars. Even the temple Car could be seen moving – it so happens that we are having the Panguni festival now. Two spires vied with each other for our views in the open ‘mottaimadi.’ One was of course Kapali temple tower, 1 km afar. The other magnificent one at a distance was the Santhome church steeple itself.

The crowning glory would be the rotating lighthouse beam that would pass through our terrace – at a distance of over 3 km at least, every few minutes. This light would be visible only when it would be completely dark. For me, the act of catching the light beam on my arm or face for a micro fraction of a second from the light house was like winning a gold medal in Olympics. I and my friends used to count the number of times we could catch the light beam that would pass within a moment like mirage before you knew it.

How many flights we used to count. Rare sightings were the jet. Kok kok paalaadai every single evening. Walk to the Santhome beach almost every single day in summer vacations. (Mornings were always reserved for Kapali & His Missus). The beach was still accessible with radio playing from the small circular structure situated in the middle of the sands.

Slowpaced life with all its goodness. I miss that kind of heaven terribly now. The small happiness of Panneer soda and Rose milk from Kalathi kadai. Mottaimadi. Everything.

Did I ever dream that some day in future I would be flying in and out so much. And I am the CEO of my Home Corporation hahaha!

Once upon a time in my life, I looked up at the airplane wide-eyed. Now flights tire me.

I am stepping back to take a close look at the little girl who would try to catch as many light beams as possible within her outstretched palms. It must have felt like ‘oru koodai sunlight oru koodai moonlight’ totally!

Posted in Political

The Right To Sit.

How many of us were not moved by the Tamil flick ‘Angadi Theru’ that was a candid picturization from the floors of certain departmental stores and showrooms in Chennai that employed high school dropouts from backward districts, in hoards. Paid meagre wages, bunched together in pigeonhole living places and fed substandard rations with no privacy for showering or even a square inch of personal space , the young girls and boys in their teens and twenties had to stand for hours upto twelve or fifteen day after day, for years, with their paychecks directly mailed to their BPL families back home. Tragedy is, there is an endless crowd willing and waiting to slip into their shoes if they quit, even today in the real world. I couldn’t help wondering how the business owners did not slap the producers of the picture with a libel suit. There is a character in the film of a middle aged man with swollen legs due to gangrene owing to years of living on foot working for these multistoried cavernous shopping malls with not even adequate or well placed safety exits in case of an emergency. The critically acclaimed film went on to win quite a few awards for the year. In one of my previous blog posts years back, I have highlighted their never ending trauma. At the end of the day, they retire in their thirties, having paid with their health for short term gains, frustrated and unfit for employment elsewhere.

Tamil Nadu passes the landmark Right to Sit Bill

But long before the movie happened, I understood from teachers on supervision posted for board examinations about the hardship they faced, even if for a very brief duration such as the length of the exam hours. Three hours on foot without a seating for the lady teachers in their forties and fifties was no easy task. While they were supervising candidates sitting for examination, they were overseen by an official on rounds checking whether the teachers rested their backs on the one single table provided in the exam hall! Personally I had experienced this difficulty when I opted to supervise a batch of exams in my early twenties for a correspondence course graduate degree exam. There were plenty of electives and therefore I had a fifteen day serving duty. Even in such an young and fit age, walking the hall without a single moment of respite was difficult for me. I could understand the board exam supervising teachers’ predicament. Like general election duties (or juror duties), in India, no teacher serving a state/central board school can refuse supervision duties for board exams (or even paper evaluation duties) that are mandatory (although on rotation basis picked by management/government). It is the middle aged women teachers who are hit most by the rule. There has to be a concession to their age. Oral advice can be given to supervisors to remain on foot as much as possible. However, I am not certain about the current scene.

Finally we have an ordinance that is coming to the rescue of these hapless showroom workers who have to be on their feet for more than twelve hours a day, six days a week. What a boon this is to women workers especially. These young girls are in their most fertile age. I always wondered how the girls would manage their cycles standing whole day long without a minute to sit down. Imagine the harm they could be doing to themselves, their internal organs like kidneys and uterus. I am not sure whether the gangrene character in Angadi Theru was based on a real life victim. But I am somehow inclined to believe him.

Providing seating to your serving staff is such a basic requirement. Work ethic. Employers are obligated to extend such a provision for their workers who mint profit for them, at least on humanitarian grounds. Denial of these rudimentary comforts are in gross violation of human rights. Finally such a sensitive issue has found a solution with the Tamil Nadu government introducing a bill that bestows the right to sit on store employees. There would be no necessity for enforcing such a law, if only the showroom owners had had an ounce of basic decency. What kind of ruthless money making machines do we have in our midst. Profiteering at any cost, with not a bother for staff welfare. Grotesque capitalism for you here.

I don’t expect our desi news channels to report the news just as they never reported the introduction of OBC Archakas and female Oduvar in our Agama temples. Good Gandhi and EVR Periyar did not have to face these hypocritic brigades as well to fight for equality among fellow humans.

Posted in Political

History Sculpted In Tamil Nadu Temples Today

There is not a single Shastra Sampradhaya or dharmika the Hindu by race has not flouted as yet, on record and off the record. Why kicking up this new fuss now?!

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Every forward step a society takes has been historically met with stiff resistance only. Nothing has come easy for some of us.

Whether it was blacks fighting for their equal rights against apartheid or women suffrages claiming adult franchise, no single victory for the oppressed came without struggle or sacrifice even in the world’s largest democracy America.

In India, we have been for reforms since the times of Abolition of Sati (when Hindu women were forced to jump into the funeral pyres of their husbands and end their lives). The Independence movement in India was also coupled with achieving social justice for the reserved categories which materialized as an Act to the effect in 1947. The year truly marks freedom of many a kind.

With the temple doors flung open for the Harijan or Dalit however we may call them, a new social order began to emerge in India, much to the chagrin of those who flourished at the expense of the marginalized communities for centuries.. From then on to now, the communities who lived on the fringes have been subject to countless harassments and ridicule, belittling and discouraging them from taking bold steps forward. Mental cruelty continues to be the general methodology adopted to snuff out the self-esteem of the deprived who are finally emerging out of their shadows.

It is never easy to leave behind the slave mentality. Or what we may call the ‘the Stockholm syndrome.’ Do we Indians consider ourselves above that or are we still having a little residual Raj hangover. Just to tell someone that, ‘yes i am good, and as good as you, and may be even better than you!’ in the eye takes some courage and confidence.

Another milestone in modern Indian history was marked with women winning equal share of entitlement to family estate-property in Undivided Hindu Families (HUF). Very recently the triple talak for Indian muslim women was also squashed by law.

Which legal enactment did not make the Indian men frown? Our society reacted to every move for advancement with a convoluted response only. Very recently, we were fighting for women’s entry to Sabarimala. Without a court battle, with the emancipation and accomplishment of the Indian Nari in general, this would be a reality in under twenty to thirty years.

Forever an admirer of EVR who led the social reforms from the forefront in the state from during the times of Gandhi, today when channel surfing I came across the news that a woman Odhuvar has been appointed and a handful of OBC Archakas were also sworn in to serve as priests in the Agama temples, of course on graduating from Vedic schools.

Kudos to the government of Tamil Nadu. Normally I have reservation against Dravidian politics. But I also happen to strongly believe that a just and equitable society is the only way we can move forward. If we are to stop the nation from lapsing into civil war or chaos in future, it is imperative that we establish an order of social justice in the society in the present times.

I don’t watch tv news these days so i am not sure how much coverage this great leap to my state Tamils was reported in national media. Where credit is due, it has to be given. The southern states of India are faring well because, the political leaders from here (corrupt or otherwise) still stuck to their guns and pushed for social reforms that left leave ripple effect in the society.

The current move to introduce woman odhuvar and OBC archakas in our places of worship, can have potential to arrest conversions. If not for EVR, the entire SC/ST bunch could be converted lot today. By throwing open the temple doors and ushering them in, Periyar promised them equality and justice.

Those who work for or live in foreign countries must know: how we have to work double harder to prove that we are equally good or even better probably. Forever having lived my life in hostile territory, I can understand what it takes to arrive even at this point of a ‘test.’

May the woman odhuvar and the newly appointed OBC archakas prove their detractors wrong, with their meticulous service at the temples. This is just a beginning.

When Hindu women in India are free to divorce and marry twice, when we allow our sons to butcher and skin goats and buffalos for a livelihood at posh five star hotels and our daughters fly airplanes, we can stop short of nothing in future, when it comes to embracing all humanity as one. The Hindu hypocrisy tests our patience. Hindus cite the Mogul era for barbarity and bloodshed, but forget that the passive aggression that we had had put in practice was far more heinous. For generations some of us prospered stamping on the self-respect and dignity of a section of humanity.

To those who are since taking a shaking baby step forward, let us lend a helping hand to reach out and steady their course first.

Churchill gave Indian Union maximum five years life before we could collapse, when the British left India in 1947. Here we are today, 75 years and alive and kicking. May be the British would go bonkers but India will survive to eternity. Let us not make a similar mistake of underestimating fellow humanity. Underutilized/unearthed potential can work like a powerful fertilizer on fresh soil.

We have been wanting to free the Tamil Nadu temples’ administration from the government clutches for a while now, which is thoroughly justified in every sense. The state has no ethical or legal rights to spend the revenues from the Hindu places of worship on governance. At the same time, I can’t stop wondering whether such a temple reform as of today would have been made possible otherwise. After all, we needed a statute to open the temples to a section of humanity even in 1947. We needn’t have waited for law to enforce equal rights for one and all.

Posted in Political

Pay off the PTC women passengers with TASMAC revenue.

I don’t always agree with him but here’s something for Tamil Nadu from Kerala. As a woman I resent and reject concessions and seek/demand equal footing with men anywhere and everywhere…

Social media is abuzz with the infectious glee and chatter of women passengers of city’s PTC buses grateful to the newly sworn-in chief minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, for the free bus ride. Once upon a time the coveted transport of middle class Madras, now the metropolitan buses mostly ply working class as we have been sighting a profusion of four wheelers and two wheelers in the city in last 10-20 years leaving no space to pedestrians. From vegetable vendor and flower seller to factory worker and house maid, women who rely on bus services are overwhelmingly from our lowest strata who cannot afford pricey modes of transport to ferry them across the quagmire of our city traffic.

PTC has been heaping monumental losses for years on row now. When was the last time we had surplus over deficit when it came to running our transport department. The present fleet of vehicles on road is in no good condition which can do with replacement or effective repair . How many Diwali eves we have had in the past when the annual festival bonus payable to the PTC staff (especially the drivers and conductors) would be held back by ruling government for want of funds, forcing the crew to blackmail both govt and public with an indefinite strike. The buses remain the lifeline of the lower middle class commuters, so the government would buckle down with no other choice, giving in to their demands. The threat had the potential to bring the city to a standstill, not to leave out the political overtones it can take.

From my school/college days, concession in bus fare has been available to students of educational institutions using the PTC services. Only concessions, not total waiver. And even this small rebate would be applicable only in regular routes/buses never in specials (and specials outnumber regulars any day).

So how will it be possible for the newly elected DMK govt to offer free rides to women passengers?

One or only possible answer: TASMAC. The government liquor chain outlets of the state will foot the bill happily by all means, unless there is a corollary to this theory.

Who are these women grinning ear to ear with the govt freebie announcement waiving off their bus charges? Our part-time sweepers and cleaners, housemaids, cooks, factory workers, tailors etc. Dear ladies, can you assure us now that the extra pennies you save thus will not end up in TASMAC bars through your alcoholic spouses.

Don’t please blame our Bihari or Nepali bhais ever for stealing your jobs. They make our lives much more easier than your busy husbands in the TASMAC queue. They also charge a fraction while delivering quality work in time. In ten years they will vote the BJP state govt to power!

This freebee culture is killing the industriousness and productivity in Tamil population. It has done its damage to the rural sector. Now whatever is thriving in the urban centers will be challenged.

Will the DMK govt clarify on these points:

  • Will the same frequency of services of PTC buses be maintained if women passengers are not to be charged for the rides.
  • How many plying buses, how many corridors exactly. How many in sheds for repairs and refurbishments. Exact figures please.
  • How many buses need replacement.
  • Will the waiver of bus charge be applicable to air-conditioned services, special routes and special services?
  • Will the waiver of bus charge for women be applicable to additional services provided for festival times.
  • Will there by any pay-cut for PTC staff. Will the promotions due to PTC staff, increments pending etc., be on time or will they have to be postponed to pay for the expensive DMK picnic with our women population.
  • Will there be a reduction in fleet volume.
  • What will happen to modernization plans. Will everything be put on hold.
  • Data on the staff recruitment status and human resources training in PTC please. Will they have to be deferred to afford this concession to women passengers. When are the next recruitment drives and HRT due. Will they be as per schedule or will these be cancelled out.
  • Strength of the fleet that will be operational six months down the lane along with corridor picture as against the present prevailing scene. A complete and comparative list must be published in media.
  • What is the balance sheet of PTC showing. Exact magnitude of losses. How is the deficit going to be met.
  • What is the revenue from TASMAC and how is it exactly reinvested.
  • Why no TASMAC outlet is closed as yet. It was the DMK govt who protested in a big way for closure of TASMACs during JJ reign. Personally i was witness to one in Harrington road being shut forever thanks to the violence unleashed by the party. We had to turn back from our street fearing mobs instigated by the party workers.
  • Can the DMK publish a declaration in social media that none in their political party or ministry or their families has a vested interested in anything connected to TASMAC including in the breweries.
  • Are there plans to channelize any central funds into PTC women freebie.
  • What is the DMK plan outlay for PTC improvement in next 5 years. Will the transport corporation ever become debt-free in DMK governance.
  • What is the exact loan component the DMK is planning to add to the state exchequer with the women’s freebie. Is the party going to leave the state neck deep in debts.
  • Is there a proposal to raise property taxes, electricity charges and other corporation/municipality levies in next 2-3 years.

Finally, as a woman who demands equality with men on every and equal footing, I resent any concession given to women because of our gender. It is a shame and it is regressive.

Posted in Political

Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram aka Mamallapuram, mere 45 km from city, is city as well. Almost. The city expands upto  here and further. In fact, the metrorail may be plying upto the sun-kissed dusty town in near future. Still Mahabalipuram is of Kanjivaram district I suppose for administrative reasons. Situated on the ECR (East Coast Road) enroute to Pondicherry (now Puducherry), the historic seaside maritime port is millennia old, having been a trading center for Tamils for centuries. More than six rock cut Pallava period Dravidian architecture temples here have been washed out into the sea from the shore. What remains as the Shore temple is from the 7th century CE. The Pancha Pandava Rathas, Arjuna’s Tapas all in the rock carvings (the Pandav chariot and the Arjuna tapas cave carved out of single rock formation) point to the existence and flourishing of a vibrant Hindu culture and art in the southern state from over two thousand years before. The Chinese and Romans were regulars trading with this part of India which is why there are Chinese figurines carved into cave temples in Mamallapuram.

This is the reason President Xi probably chose the scenic Mamallapuram for his informal rendezvous with Indian PM Shri Narendra Modi. Xi insisted on taking road to Mamallapuram from airport, turning down aerial transport because he apparently wanted to see this part of the country with his own eyes. I won’t say Chennai is beautiful but I would any day vouch Chennai has this ‘lakshanam’ – auspiciousness about it. Chennai does not have a soaring skyline like Noida or Bangalore or Mumbai and neither is Chennai swanky like Pune or Chandigarh or even curious and classy like Hyderabad or Delhi… Chennai is like one big overgrown village that’s all. It grows on you as and when you live here, never one for making a first and fast impression.

Chennai’s art and culture scene rocks! We could be aptly called the Cultural capital of India. Tamil Nadu is littered with ancient Hindu temples of Dravidian architectural style spreading acres, thousands of them, street to street. The state is a historian/archaeologist’s delight. A month long music season for classical Carnatic is still our annual feature that draws in fans from around the world. Birth place to classical dance form ‘Bharat Natyam.’ Many may not be aware that Kung Fu etc., the martial arts of China had a Hindu-Buddhist founder who originated from Tamil Nadu and migrated to China. While the martial art form died in India, it survived in China.  The monk’s name was Bodhi Verman.

Chennai has given to the world not just the Google CEO Sundar Pichai and outgoing World Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi, but also 3 times world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand to Tennis aces Ramanathan Krishnan (world junior Wimbledon champ of his times) and Ramesh Krishnan and Vijay Amritraj and Anand Amritraj. Chennai has produced Noble laureates and eminent scientists and mathematicians and scholars who have made good at global level. Chennai still keeps a low profile ! The best part that the Tamils have played in history is, being a quiet but stable and reliable and constant rock steady part to the idea of India. And this has nothing to do with our voting preferences. Tamils may not vote for the Congress or BJP over the regional Tamil parties, yet Tamils are most nationalistic by nature, and highly underestimated.

Ancient Hindu and especially Tamil Hindu contribution to the world is amazing. Our forefathers were creators, not destroyers and terrorists. They built huge architectural marvels of temples and universities, not mausoleums. India exported the best to the world, not terror and violence. Tamil society had structured grammar by 3rd century BCE and proper built dams (over Kaveri river that stand goods today, world’s first dam) with literary courts functioning in full flow.

Mamallapuram today stands a witness to this great glorious age of our ancient Hindu Tamil Kings who ran a reign of over 1000=2000 continuous years before their lineage came to an end. Pallava kings raised the Mamallapuram structures that are classified UNESCO World Heritage today. In Tamil Nadu, every street has an ancient temple that could be a world heritage site!

I would say, Tamil Nadu has this calming effect on anyone. Not impressive at the outset. People here are less agitated. I have heard north Indians give this opinion. We don’t have a pleasant climate. We are known for our humidity levels and sweaty weather. Yet Tamil Nadu is rated a good or perhaps the best place to live in or raise your children. One reason is, my state people respect law and order and try to follow it!!! Disciplined. Hardworking. Intelligent. These are the three words I would use to describe Thamizhs.

Mamallapuram to Chennaiites is weekend escape.

The last time I was in Mahabalipuram was just a year back. We girls chose a beach resort to unwind and swim (!) in their private beach closed to public.

The ECR is dotted with entertainment places. Pubs, discotheques, beach resorts, multi-cuisine restaurants that can cater to every taste bud… A pucca party place for the party animals. Pondicherry which is less than 100 km is Union Territory where they don’t levy excise duty on liquor. Hence the weekly drive to Pondy!!!

The ECR is also a very dangerous road to drive – known for drunk driving and accidents. Hundreds of casualty every year. I am never comfortable traveling down this road. Years back, this road had the first drive-in seaside cinemas. I watched the memorable picture ‘Bombay’ here curling up in the ground under the car in a cold month. Now the cinemas is in ruins but lots more different places have become fashionable and trendy spots.

Once upon a time, an uncle of mine owned acres of seaside property here that he later sold away for a pittance. Today this stretch leading upto Pondicherry is gold. I won’t say this is a scenic road – because sea view is hidden in most places by structures that have come up in between the sea and the road. Upto 1 km range of land distance from sea level is not approved by government after the Tsunami struck, but that has not dampened the real estate development. (Real estate growth is lukewarm nevertheless happening).

My first visit to Mahabalipuram was in standard 10 in 1984. ECR was a narrow spiraling road then with just a single lane. Every school girl’s first memorable excursion! I think we did not even own a camera then. We enjoyed the day the way one ought to enjoy outings!

Many Tamil pictures were filmed in this road and in the quaint beach resorts of those days that served as lovers’ secret meeting places.

We still take friends visiting us in Chennai to Mahabalipuram. There is a sculpture school there. Good food. Ideal place to spend a weekend. Luxurious beach villas and resorts. Some theme parks are closed, otherwise even for kids the ECR used to be a great stop. Free flow of liquor. A favourite with foreign tourists. The mix with culture makes it all heady!!! Two more attractions on the road before you reach Mahabalipuram: The Crocodile Bank and Dakshina Chitra (heritage architecture showcase).

Well, never expected our PM Modi to meet the Chinese prez Xi here. Hopefully the two drank in heartily from history. Every time I step into an ancient Hindu temple that is at least 1500 or 2000 years old, I think of the Hindu king who built the magnificent structure. For instance, the Brahadeshwara temple is even earthquake proof! You have to walk through these temples to be transported by the mind’s ‘Time machine’ into virtually another world and age.The Shore temple of Mamallapuram is an abandoned structure, no more a functioning temple. It is a miracle it was not affected by the Tsunami! Whenever I visit Mamallapuram, I picture artisans working on these great sculptures in the vibrant town of the Pallavas. In Brahadeshwara temple of Tanjore, nonstop Puja to Lord Shiva is going on for over 1000 years. Most Hindu temples in India are functional for two thousand years easily minimum. North could have had more but they were razed to dust by the Moghuls who raised their bloody mausoleums over our sacred places of worship.

The Shore temple of Mamallapuram is a rare one in that, Lord Shiva is seen here with family. Nowhere else in India can you see Shiva like a family man – mostly He is represented as Shiva Linga.

In Mamallapuram time does come to a standstill – at least for me. I have been here a dozen times, no more. But every time I step in here, I am drawn to this unbelievable proud native history of ours. Pristine. I almost feel a tear drop roll down my eyes. Moving.

As for China-India tie, India is NOT in contest with anyone. India has a soul, China lacks one. India is a time-tested people’s democracy. China is yet to take the acid test that it will fail miserably. The entire future of China may be incumbent finally on this one crucial step that someday China has to dare to take. Inevitable. People in India ACTUALLY LIVE. LIVE LIFE. We are happy the way we are in India. We shall progress at our own pace. We don’t want to saturate ourselves too soon the way China is going at it. Average Indian life holds good in the present. We Indians still throng temples and cinemas and attend concerts and go on holidays. Music is not only for stage performance. Music is for caressing our soul. Sports is not just for winning the Olympic medals. Sports is for our entertainment. That way, even India’s fixation with Cricket is good. Millions soak and enjoy these games. Which is more important to most Indians than winning medals like a machine without a pleasure. India can do better, no doubt, buts India is doing fine anyway.

China is this ruthless moneylender. China has swallowed African territories and even a Sri Lankan port city when they failed to cough up principal with compounded interest. China is modern day East India Company. India will hardly be ever that. INDIA REFUSES TO PROSPER ON OTHERS’ BLOOD, AT OTHERS’ COST. Us vs. Them. When we shed every moral and ethic in the code book, we can become China in no time too. Chinese eat rat and dog for main course. Can majority vegetarian India ever do that. Eat snakes? Do Europeans, Americans do that. Trivial it may sound, trivial it is not. This is the major existential social difference between India and China. Unbridgeable gap. India: Underdeveloped for a reason. Slow with a purpose. When you can eat man’s best friend the dog, then you will stop at nothing.

We were once taken for a ride by Mao Tse Tung. Xi or no Xi, INDIA DOES  NOT AND WILL NOT TRUST CHINA. INDIA WILL NOT GIVE MORE MARKET ACCESS TO CHINA. INDIA WILL NOT BE DIRECTED OR CONTROLLED BY CHINA. INDIA REFUSES TO TOE THE CHINA LINE. INDIA DOES NOT CARE WHAT CHINESE MEDIA THINK OR HOW CHINESE MEDIA PORTRAY INDIA. INDIA WILL NOT JOIN THE SILK ROUTE. INDIA WILL NOT GIVE UP TIBET. INDIA WILL NOT GIVE UP AN INCH OF INDIAN SOIL TO CHINA. Full stop.

Prez Xi, we hosted you with respect because you were our guest. ‘Adhithi Devo Bhava’ – this is our culture. India can afford to antagonize China, India can live without China. India will.