Dedicated to Swantantraveer Savarkar

June 1975

India was stunned by imposition of Emergency and imprisonment of the entire opposition leadership by Mrs. Gandhi, who had now assumed the Avatar of a Dictator. Nonetheless people seemed to welcome a return to order from what seemed a state of anarchy. Any form of protest was banned. Trains began to run on time. The prices of essential commodities were under check. A prominent Gandhian – Vinoba Bhave, welcomed Emergency as an Era of Discipline.

Even as a teenager, I loathed the Emergency but truth be told, it had a welcome effect on my personal life. I had secured admission to the most prestigious Engineering College of Madhya Pradesh – Shri G.S. Institute of Science and Technology, Indore. Freshers dreaded their first days, since the college had a reputation for fearsome ragging. But we were the batch of Emergency. No one dared rag us at least till the Emergency lasted. In 1977, as the country celebrated return to Democracy, we had to endure ragging we had missed as Freshers.

The admission also meant moving from the home of my parents in Gwalior, to the home built by my Grandfather in Sikh Mohalla, Indore. From the perspective of today’s world of glittering Malls and Multiplexes – Sikh Mohalla was a downmarket, lower middle class locality but to me – it remains, to date; my roots

The name of the locality derived from the Gurudwara at one corner was actually a misnomer. It was home to a close knit socially and culturally active Maharashtrian community, which maintained its own identity but at the same time blended well with others. The few Sikh families in the locality were some of our close family friends.

“It was the Best of Times. It was the Worst of Times...
Bliss was it to be young in that dawn”.

For me, it was all too true. For next five years, my social, cultural and political life was a roller coaster ride of fun and never ending excitement. Blood donation camps, Ganesh Festivals, cycle tour lasting 2,000 kms, picnics, election campaigns, Industrial Fairs kept me busy on a 24 by 7 basis. Fortunately, somewhere in between, I also found the time to pass my Mechanical Engineering degree with a first class. It was now time to see the world.

For next nine years, I settled down in the routine of a regular job, progressed from being the grim and grease of a Shopfloor trainee to the air conditioned cabin of a Deputy Manager of a Public Sector organization. In between, I got married to a beautiful girl, who gave me two wonderful daughters.

I was then bitten by the ‘MBA’ bug. I took, what in those days of License Raj was an irrational decision – that of investing my savings of nine years to do a Masters in Management at the Asian Institute of Management, Manila. At Manila, I was spending my money and not my father’s, as during the Engineering days. With the result, in next one year, I studied more than I had done in five years of Engineering.

I was rewarded by being in the Dean’s List throughout the programme, though I had no social life to speak of.

I returned to India and managed to persuade a German Multinational to employ me despite the career break of the stint at AIM. In next six years, I progressed to being a General Manager. This entitled me to move from the suburbs of Mumbai to the Island city. The house that I happened to rent was that where Vinayak Damodar Savarkar once lived – Savarakar Sadan. I did not yet know this but this seemingly innocuous house shift was to change my life in a way that I could not comprehend.

I moved to this house in May 1997. By January 2006, I found myself standing before a three member Division Bench of the Supreme Court of India, headed by the Chief Justice of India arguing passionately that August 15 could not be called Independence Day. Strangely, Bench seemed to have no answer but nonetheless was not inclined to interfere with a “No Order” passed by the High Court.

A lot had happened in between from 1997 to 2005. From heading Corporate Planning, Business Development, Information Technology. International Projects in the German Multinational, I moved to working as a Group Vice President in a large Indian Industrial house working directly with one of the most respected business leaders of the country.

I had also written and published a book – “Freedom Struggle: The Unfinished Story”, formed a Trust, Abhinav Bharat, fought a Public Interest Litigation, filed a Representation before Union of India following a High Court order – all with the help of my dearest wife - Manjiri and our dear friend - Meena. In between, I had also to fight and overcome a life threatening cardiac problem with the help of my sister, Dr. Jyotsna.

Let me now take you to the Representation that has been filed before Union of India following an order of the Honourable High Court of Mumbai dated December 23, 2004 in WP 2947 (Lodg) of 2004. The Union of India was directed by the Court to dispose it off by a reasoned order within six weeks. The Honourable Court repeated its order on April 20, 2005 in WP (PIL) 682 of 2005. Yet the Representation has not been disposed off by any order – reasoned or otherwise. A fact that has been brought to the attention of the Hon’ble High Court, Hon’ble Supreme Court of India as also the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.

What is in this Representation that prevents the Indian State – which accords the Pride of Place to “Satya Meva Jayate” – May the Truth Always Prevail, from obeying the Court order to dispose it by a reasoned order? Indeed, so much so that the Court itself, even when after having been pointed out the non –compliance of its own orders, has done no more than pass a “No Order”!!

This is the shocking story that I now present for your consideration.