Today Narendra Modi, India’s PM elect is all set to be appointed India’s 15th Prime Minister (15th if you combine the two terms of Indira Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh). That makes this the perfect time to take a look at all those leaders who preceded him. What they did after they became Prime Ministers has been recorded many times over in the nation’s history books. What I found interesting was their background before they became the supreme leader of India. Sure they were all members of their respective political parties, but you will note that some were ‘born into’ the top echelons of the party and therefore ‘inherited’ the top positions, while others soldiered on as foot soldiers before reaching the top position.
(He was the acting Prime Minister after the deaths of Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri)
(Incidentally, Desai resigned as deputy collector of Godhra in May 1930 after being found guilty of going soft on Hindus during the riots of 1927-28 there! You draw the parallels… however I don’t see Mr Modi having to resign as he has a majority.)
(Not much information available about his beginnings except that he was born in the Rajput Zamindar family ruling the Kingdom of Manda. If you have some information about his background other than his zamindar beginnings please drop me a note. I will update this information.)
(Random fact – PV could speak in Telugu, Hindi, Urdu, Oriya, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil, English, French, Arabic, Spanish, German and Persian!)
(Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister for two consecutive terms.)
(He is the first Indian PM born after India gained independence. On a lighter note… in a nation of chai drinkers his beginnings counts for something. )
If you have any other interesting facts to add about these stalwarts please do drop me a note and I will add the information to the post.
A road trip in the Himalayan foothills involves many things – adventure, fun, great views and most uniquely to India – road signs from our BRO. That is the Border Roads Organization and not Big Brother. So what is so special about these signs you may well ask? Is it the Indian penchant for misspelling or malapropism on our signage? Well… the BRO signs are relatively free from misspellings (though there are a few exceptions)… but what makes them unique is the humorous and appealing manner in which drivers on the mountainous roads are reminded about road safety rules and principles. Take a gander at a few… (Images courtesy http://www.peeppeepdon’tsleep.com, http://www.fabsn.com and http://www.myvisionmyway.com). There are a few that warn one against drunk driving and try their hand at rhyming while they are at it…
Then there are the ones about daydreaming that will appeal to the creative ones amid us..
My favourites are the ones devoted to curves… of the roads and not the sort that you may occassionally find walking on the roads… the adventurous spellings just adds to their charm!
Then there are those which don’t make any bones about the dangers ahead. The warning is loud and clear. Proceed but beware …
This was obviously written by a male chauvinist at the BRO. But then… on second thought, maybe he is addressing it to the second man sitting in the car and not to the driver’s wife who is quietly fuming cause the men are refusing to ask for directions.
Then these ones which keep your family in mind even if you are willing to forget about them or more specifically, are up in the mountains in order to forget about them. Well, tough luck, the BRO is not going to let you forget your loved ones back home.
Then there are the random ones! Like an apologetic BRO –
The mysterious and profound ones that can cause you to drive off the road in to a ravine, while you try to decipher them –
The ones that touch on luuurrvve –
The ones boasting the ubiquitous ‘cheeky’ misspelling –
The ones with good advice that can be kept in mind even if you are not driving on a mountain road –