Saturday, June 2, 2012



In a personal  Blog post titled “BJP: A Hub of Hope”, Shri L.K.Advani, former Deputy Prime Minister and senior leader of the BJP, has stated as follows: “I had said at the Core Group meeting that if people are today angry with the U.P.A. Government, they are also disappointed with us. The situation, I said, calls for introspection.” ( )

2. Even as the analysts were discussing the significance of his Blog post, an article in the latest issue of “Panchajanya”, the journal of the RSS, has also expressed openly disquiet over certain recent developments in the BJP focussed on the efforts of some elements supporting the candidature of Shri Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister to force their will  on the RSS and the BJP.

3. The article states that the  BJP has several chief ministers and central leaders who are capable of being its prime ministerial candidate and hence the decision on this matter should be made after the general elections. ( )

4. While Shri Advani’s Blog post talks in general about the public perception of the state of affairs in the party without naming anyone, the “Panchajanya” article makes no secret of the fact that it has been triggered by the pressure tactics adopted by the supporters of NaMo to force the party to accept NaMo as the prime ministerial candidate even before the next elections.

5. While it would be unreasonable to expect the BJP and the RSS to be more specific in their concerns, these have come to the fore in the context of the recent stepped- up efforts of the supporters of NaMo---many of them NRIs based in the US--- to see that NaMo is accepted by the BJP and the RSS as the prime ministerial candidate.

6. Since the beginning of last year, I have been drawing attention to the Nazi Storm Trooper-like methods adopted by many followers of NaMo to impose their will on their party and then the nation. Anyone aware of the methods used by the Nazi Storm Troopers to force the German people to accept Hitler as their leader would be struck by the similarity of the rhetoric and PSYWAR methods used by these pro-NaMo elements whom I have been referring to as the NaMo Brigade.

7. They  do not call themselves the NaMo Brigade, but they make no secret of the fact that they support NaMo as the next Prime Minister of India. Their worrisome methods, reminiscent of the methods used by the Storm Troopers, consist largely of abuse, vituperation, disinformation, character assassination and psychological pressure. Whereas the Nazi Storm Troopers did not have the benefit of the computer and the Internet, the NaMo Brigade, which has established a dominance over the means of propaganda through the Net in the absence of any opposition to their methods from secular and liberal elements, has been using the social media networks in their PSYWAR.

8. Nobody can object to their campaign in favour of NaMo as the Prime Minister despite his perceived misdeeds of the past. But one has reasons to be concerned over the ways adopted by these elements in an attempt to enforce their will on the nation. If they succeed due to lack of adequate  public knowledge of the sinister implications of their strategy and the inadequate attempts to counter their methods, the nation may have to pay a heavy price.

9. India needs a strong, efficient and effective ruler, but not a Hitler. That ruler has to be chosen by the people through their free will and not imposed on them through stage-managed and orchestrated pressure.

10. It is time to sound a wake-up call about the dangerous implications of the pressure tactics and Storm Trooper methods being  used to force the BJP, the RSS and the Nation to accept NaMo who is being sought to be projected by these elements as God’s own choice to rule India at this critical juncture.

11. While it is up to the political parties to draw up their respective strategy to ensure that such methods do not find a place in our political landscape, it is important for others too to educate public opinion on the activities of these elements and the great harm that they can cause to our democracy.

12. The new strategy to be worked out should focus not on the past misdeeds of NaMo, but on the  future misdeeds that are likely to be committed by these elements if their methods succeed. ( 3-6-12)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate, Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: . Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )



I will be 76 on August 14. On October 24, it will be three years since the metastasised  cancer in my urinary tract was detected and the hormonal therapy ( total androgen blocade) started.

2. The therapy is based on the discovery that any cancer of prostate origin shrinks if it is denied the male sex hormone that acts as a fertiliser for the tumour. I had to undergo an injection once in three months and take a hormonal tablet called Calutide 50 every day. The course of injections was stopped after two years in November last. According to my doctor, if the injections are continued for more than two years, the bones tend to get brittle.

3. This was the least aggressive of the therapies available and I chose it. The other options, that were more aggressive and often more effective, were surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. They cause considerable side-effects and hence I decided not to have them.

4. By the time my cancer, which started in the prostate, was detected, it had spread to the urinary bladder, nearby bones and some lymphnodes.  Surprisingly, my PSA (Total and Free) levels, which give the first indication of the presence of the cancer in the prostate, were normal. The scans showed the cancer in the bladder, but not in the prostate. It was detected only during a diagnostic procedure. The spread of the cancer to some bones and lymphnodes was detected during a scan with radioactive isotopes.

5. It was graded as high grade cancer of prostate origin, but the cancer had no effect on my energy, weight and appetite and I had no pain anywhere in the body. The first external symptom that led to the detection was the presence of heavy blood in the urine.

6. The only two discomforts caused so far by the cancer and therapy are constipation and a slight pain in my right feet since last November. The doctors had cautioned me that the spread of the cancer to some bones could cause heavy back pain and radiating pain in the upper parts of the legs. This has not happened so far.

7. The therapy caused the cancer in the prostate to shrink totally and in the bladder partially. Since I never took a bone scan, I do not know anything about the cancer in the bones or lymphnodes. The doctor has also not insisted on a bone scan. Since I have had no pain, I have presumed that it has not spread.

8. Before the cancer was detected, I used to be a daily drinker of Scotch and Soda---taking two large pegs every day and three on Saturdays. After the detection, on the doctor’s advice, I reduced it to three or four days a month, but during my recent visits to Delhi I was drinking almost daily with friends.

9. In July last year, the Government of India sought my assistance in an advisory capacity to enable the Task Force on National Security headed by Shri Naresh Chandra, former Cabinet Secretary, complete its work. My elder brother was strongly against my accepting it since he feared that it might render me weak, but I accepted it. I used to travel to Delhi three times a month spending about 12 to 15 days every month there. In May, I spent 18 days---- 11 of them continuously.

10. During my stay in Delhi, I used to work from 10 AM to midnight---- with an one-hour break for lunch and two hours for dinner. I withstood the strain remarkably well as if I was a 40-year-old healthy person. I was amazed by my energy level despite the two discomforts mentioned above which continued.

11. Normally, human reactions to the detection of cancer vary from individual to individual. Many withdraw into a shell and avoid sharing with friends and others except close relatives the news of their cancer. Some share with relatives, but not with friends. Some share with everybody. I am told the majority of the cancer patients tend to become depressed when the disease is detected.

12.In my case, I have remained cheerful from the beginning. I share freely all details of my cancer and the treatment with whoever is interested on my own without their having to ask me questions. An American friend of mine once jocularly remarked: "Raman is the first cancer patient known to me who brags in public about his cancer as if he has achieved something great by getting cancer.”

13.My cheerfulness and my readiness to share have kept my morale sustained. Sometimes, some of  my Twitter buddies are surprised by the loud-tweeting I do about my cancer and think I must be depressed, but I am never depressed.

14. But I am bothered often by the thought  not of pain starting, but of my developing a dependence on others if the cancer spreads further. I have always been a self-reliant person. Never in my life have I been dependent on others in personal matters. The feeling (not fear) that I might one day become dependent on others bothers me.

15. My calm disposition and my habit of always looking at the brighter side of life have helped me in my fight against the cancer. I felt proud of myself when my Doctors remarked last year that I have driven the cancer out of my body through sheer will power and not through the therapy.

16. All human beings like to be praised. Cancer patients are no exception. The morale of cancer patients goes up when they are told  that they are looking normal and do not look like cancer patients. During my frequent visits to Delhi, my morale used to go up every time I was complimented on my normal  energy level. I was myself amazed by it and I used to feel very happy when others noticed it and remarked on it.

17. Please don’t tell a lie to a cancer patient. By doing so, you are not helping him or her. But if you find a cancer patient looking good and doing well, don’t hesitate to tell him as sincerely as you can.

18. Cancer patients have their good moments and bad moments. I too though I try not to show my mood changes. If you find us occasionally irritable or nasty, try to understand us. Those are passing phases.

19. There are two things I miss greatly—my daily S & S and my foreign travels. Inside India, I have been travelling as frequently and as vigorously as I used to do before the cancer was detected in October 2009. I used to travel abroad for discussions and seminars seven or eight times a year. I have stopped all my foreign travels since September 2009. My doc has been encouraging me to resume my foreign travels. But I am hesitant due to a fear that if internal bleeding or pain starts during my stay abroad, my hosts might be put to difficulty.

20. As I often say, I have learnt to peacefully co-exist with my cancer. There is a lovely song of Georges Moustaki, the French singer of Greek origin, titled “Ma Solitude”. He sings: “ I never feel alone because my Solitude always keep me company and sleeps with me in bed.”

21. I never feel depressed  because my cancer and I have learnt to live and sleep with each other. My cancer is my live-in companion. ( 2-6-12)