Wednesday, 28 August 2013

From my bookshelf

Letters from prison-Captive Imaginations-Varavara Rao

Page number 12: 

Wait for me,, and I’ll come back,
Wait and I’ll come.
Wait through autumn’s yellow rains
And its tedium
Steel your heart and do not grieve,
Wait through winter’s haze,
Wait through wind and the raging strom,
Wait through summer’s blaze.
Wait when other’s wait no more,
When my letter stop,
Wait with hope that never wanes,
Wait and don’t give up.

Wait for me and I’ll come back;
Patience, dear one, learn.
Turn away from those who say
That I’ll not return.
Let my son and mother weep
Tears of sorrow,
Let friends insist that it’s time,
That you must forget.
Do not listen to their kind
Words of sympathy,
Do not join them if they drink
To my memory.
Wait for me! Let those who don’t-
Once I’m back with you-
Let them say that it was luck
That had seen us through.
You and I alone will know
That I safely came
Spitting every kind of death,
Through that lethal flame,
Just because you learned to wait
Staunchly, stubbornly,
And like no one else on earth,
Waited,love, for me.

Page number 20: 

When children play for long under trees, one often hears mothers affectionately reprimanding them: ‘what treasure have you buried under the tree? Often, it is said out of irritation if the girls are not helping with household chores. In the case of boys, it is because they are not on time for their meals. As for me, call it a fond illusion, but I seem to sense my mother’s living presence in the trees outside my window, watching me from the open sky, the mango trees, her outstretched arms.

Providing new tastes again and again
My mother’s hands are like honey.
Tiding me her story time and again
My mother’s voice is a melody.
Drawing me close
Those hands turn into the vision of spring-
The koel’s song
The rasa’s taste
The cool shade

Page number 21: 

In the years of 1986 and ’87 in summer, I used to read mostly under the shade of those trees. The mango tree outside my windows fell during the gale of 21 February 1988. Then I truly felt as if mother earth had lost one of her arms. Such a big tree uprooted so easily! As the hailstones pelted down, as the strong wind blew and the rain fell, the slender jamun plant bound to a bamboo moved restlessly, but the string did not snap. The guava tree rocked back and forth wildly, as if possessed. Only the stalk was left of the rose bud that would have bloomed in a few days. The petals fell scattered around the plant.

As I said, not all the trees in this courtyard were planted by human beings. Some of them were planted by birds. What was strange was, that beside each tree that grew thus because of birds, another kind of tree grew alongside. In jasmine bed there was an almond growing, in another, a sopanut tree, a kaumaga, not to speak of the rela. And in the rubbish heap in one corner, there grew a neem, a jasmine, a tamarind and a rela.

Page number 22: 

During three summers that blazed down on us, tending the trees we had planted was like caring for infants. With joy, I watched the green tip of the jackfruit grow inch by inch, picked off the worm eaten leaves of the jamun, and looked at the days of my imprisonment against them. Watering the plants on summer evenings, talking to the birds that fearlessly join me and gracefully drink the water I pour, a thought flashes through my mind brining a feeling of shyness in its train: this love of plants I have learnt so late is one I must cherish privately. A love which must never be shown in public except as the proverbial three flowers  that bear six fruits.

Page number 24:

One morning a rose bush puts forth a bud. Remember when you planted that cutting, wiping desire for a new life to take root? And whenever a heart is wounded and stitched together again, a new dawn seems to be twittering to life.
As I write of that experience it is if the pollen of those wounds bursts forth from my fingertips. Whether in humiliation, or amidst felicitations, in suffering of in joy, the spirit of these trees as I have understood it in these last three years has infused my tastes and values.

Page number 26: 

From bare stalks haunted by
Memories of fallen flowers
Fresh shoots appear.
Hidden in the leaves of the present
 The invisible future
Koel-like, ours forth
The pain-drenched sweetness
Off the past.

Page number 29: 

Surely it can’t be pleasant thing for birds, as symbols of freedom, to be in jail? And yet how can I claim that they are not cheerful and contended? Whenever I see pigeons inside the jail I wonder. .. And the sight of the these pigeons reminds me , not of the people forgotten, but of bonds that must be forgotten; not of past lives but of the past trapped in the present.

Page number 30:

But then, I don’t quite understand how these surroundings have grown so congenial ovr the last two and a half years and why there are pigeons everywhere now. In the trees, in courtyard in front of my cell, on the barrack ventilators, before the staff kitchen, near the water, above the ledges of the barracks behind my cell- they are everywhere, like blue-grey clouds that have come down from the sky. The sounds- their rustling against the tin windows shades, pecking at each other, the fluttering of wings-from a background to the silence of my solitary existence. They have grown so familiar that I have stopped going to the back of my cell fearing that I may disturb them when I walk briskly in the evening. Sometimes I go there stepping softly, barefoot, to watch them. Even at night, as I place inside my cell, I do so in perfect silence, for fear of disturbing the pair of pigeons nesting in the ventilator.
My days and night slip by, spent in these lovely pigeonholes, and as I drift into sleep.

Page number 33:

In a culture of inequality, the value called love is always the first casualty. You don’t change the system merely by shedding tears of sympathy. Nor do you change it by patronizing, reacting or commenting. Isn’t that why Marx said that you cannot change society unless you become part of the change?

Page number 36:

I have no great fondness for cats, nor do I dislike them. But, as the curds in our mess grew continuously less, I suspected that it must be because someone was adding more water to the milk, or a smaller amount of milk was being set aside for curds, or someone was drinking it up. We could not discover the exact cause and carried out all kinds of inquiries. At last we discovered that one of the detainees, out of sheer love for his adopted child, was keeping the cupboard unbolted and allowing the cat to have its fill of curds. The man himself was not particularly used to eating curds.

Page number 44:

Everything that I read is absorbed instantly like water by dry earth. Throughout the day I read newspapers and journals-front to back, without missing a single link. But then, there is no one with whom I can share my opinions or discuss what I have read. A full three years have passed since I have glanced through any magazine of revolutionary nature. Magazines with such writing must have blossomed in hundreds. What is the use of having eyes if one is not able to read them?
In the newspapers I read, I find nothing about class struggle, or struggles for democratic rights or civil liberties; nothing about tribal revolts, dalit and women’s liberation movements or environmental movements. There is no word in these newspapers of revolutionary organizations, their journals, and how these organizations are reacting to caste and communal clashes, and a host of other issues. Not a single ray of light penetrates the pervasive gloom.

Page number 57:

Censorship of letters is not an inconvenience that is associated only with jails. I have lived with it for the last 23 years. The heated debates about the postal bill and the tapping of telephones, and the mutual recriminations between the Congress and other parties, are amusing to a communist who has been used to this from the very birth of his party. This discussion of an open secret seems to me like Brahminical sophistry.

The difference between letters being censored while in jail and while outside is that, out there, you cannot claim they are being censored although you know the truth. Besides, outside jail, we seal our letters and then post them. They are delivered sealed (unless the one who reads then is too lazy to seal them again). In jail, the letters are handed over without the pretence of sealing them. Letters that arrive are torn open, censored, stamped with the jail seal and signed by the concerned official, before being delivered to the addressee.

Our loves, friendships, bonds, tenderness, ideas, innermost feelings, passions, dreams, truths – the most private and secret chambers of our hearts are laid mercilessly open by the surgeon’s knife. The gaze of strangers and aliens falls on them and they are returned to us, unstitched. What stubborn hearts these, that even in such conditions they continue to throb with feeling!

When I was first arrested in 1973, the mere thought  that someone would read my letter would paralyse my pen.

Page number 62:

The people to whom I write and who write back to me are all immersed either in public service or in literary and cultural movements. I tend to forget what a bad correspondent I used to be when I was outside, similarly preoccupied. Now that I sit ready with my pen poised on paper, I am quick to fall victim to impatience, misunderstanding or anxieties because those whom I write to don’t write back. Even those whom I write to don’t write back. Even those who are not busy expect letters from me, don’t reply. When they try to write, their hearts but do not reply. When they try to write, their hearts weigh heavily on their pens! And so they expect me to continue to write without hoping for a reply!

Page number 63: 

Although in my political activity I never compromised or bowed before anyone, for these letters, from the minute I expect them to arrive, I seem to turn into beggar-hands stretched. 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

 முதியவர்கள் தங்களின்  உரிமைகளுக்காக போராடத் தயார் 

இன்று விருதுநகரில் முதியவர்களுக்கான முதியவர்களின் கூட்டமைப்பு சார்பில் ஏற்பாடு செய்திருந்த கூட்டத்தில் கலந்து கொண்டேன். மிக நெகிழ்ச்சியான சந்திப்பு. ஒரு 20 தலைவர்கள் முதியவர்களின் முக்கியமான பிரச்சனைகளைப் பற்றி பேசினார்கள். முதலாவதாக, அவர்கள் எதிர்பார்ப்பது, அன்பு, மரியாதை, அவர்களையும் குடும்பம் மற்றும் சமுதாயத்தில் அவர்களின் பங்கேற்பு என சொன்னார்கள். 
ராமசாமி தாத்தா ஒரு MGR பாடல் பாடினார்.

முதியவர்களுடன் ஒரு group photo
2010ல், தலைகூத்தல் என்ற பெயரில் நிறைய வயதானவர்கள் அவர்களின் குடும்பதினர்களால் கொல்லப்பட்டனர். அது பற்றிய நான் செய்தி வெளியிட, அது பலதரப்பில் விவாதங்களை ஏற்படுத்தியது. இரண்டு வருடங்களுக்குப் பிறகு, நான் பார்க்கும் முதியவர்களின் சிந்தனை என்னை வியக்கவைத்தது. அவர்கள் அவர்களுக்க்கப் போராட முன்வந்துள்ளனர். அவர்கள் மாவட்ட கலெக்டரை சந்தித்து அவர்களின் கோரிக்கைகளை வைப்பதாக கூறினர். இந்த முதியவர்களிடம் தன்நம்பிகை  இருந்தது. இவர்கள் பயணிக்கத் தயாராகி விட்டனர். தற்போது 109 குழுக்களில் 1,500க்கும் மேற்பட்ட முதியவர்கள் இந்த அமைப்பின் கீழ் ஒன்று சேர்ந்துள்ளனர்.  

Friday, 23 August 2013


                            வெள்ளிக் கிழமை புன்னகை

திருபோரூ ர் மற்றும் கேளம்பாக்கம் அரசுப் பள்ளிக்கு சென்றேன். நிறைய குழைந்தைகள் ABL அட்டைகளை வைத்து படித்துக்கொன்று இருந்தனர். அவர்களின் முகங்களில் புன்னகை, தன்நம்பிக்கை இருந்தது. அவர்கள் டீச்சர் இல்லாவிட்டாலும், இருந்தாலும் அவரவர் கற்றலில் இடுபட்டு இருந்தனர்.  ஒரு மாணவி சொன்னால்: இது நானே செய்த ஆடு பொம்மை." உடனே அடுத்து இருந்தவர்களும் தங்கள் செய்து வைத்திருந்த பொம்மைகளை எடுத்துவந்தனர்.

நான் ஸ்கூலில் படித்தபோது, டீச்சர் இரண்டு நிமிடம் லேட்டாக வந்தால் சந்தோஷம்தான்.அதே போல வெள்ளிக் கிழமை இன்னும் சந்தோஷம். பெல் அடிக்கும் தருணம் அளவிட முடியாத புன்னகை இருக்கும். இந்த குழந்தைகளிடம் அந்த வெள்ளிக் கிழமை புன்னகை இருந்ததாக உணர்ந்தேன்.

Friday, 16 August 2013

People who fight for other's rights are abused?

மனிதர், மாமனிதர்: 

கிருஷ்ணம்மாள் ஜெகநாதன்

அவரது வார்த்தைகளில் :

நிலம் இல்லாதவனுக்கு நிலம் வாங்கி தரனும் என்ற எண்ணம் பேய் புடிச்ச மாதிரி மனசுக்குள்ள. வீடு, காடு இதை தவிர வேற எண்ணம் எதுவுமே இல்லை.

நாகபட்டினத்தில் நிலசுவந்தார் ஒருவர் சபதம் போட்டார். ஒரே நாளில் ரெஜிஸ்டர் பண்ணுவதாக  இருந்தால் உடனடியாக கேட்ட நிலத்தை தரேன் என்றார். முழு பணத்தையும் தர வேண்டும் என்றார். என்னிடம் பணம் கிடையாது. நம்பிக்கை மட்டும், துணிவு மட்டும், நான் பிராத்திக்கின்ற வள்ளலாரின் பக்தி மட்டும் துணையாக...உடனடியாக சரி என்றான்.

அவரிடம் 1,040 எக்கர் நிலம் இருந்தது. அதை வாங்க வேண்டும். தாட்கோ நிதி மட்டும் கிடைத்தால் போதும், வருவாய் துறையில் தலித்துகளுக்கு பத்திரபதிவு செய்வதற்கு உள்ள கழிவுத் தொகை இருப்பதால் வேறு செலவு கிடையாது.

கலெக்டர் ஜவஹரிடம் சென்றேன் . 1,040 ஏக்கர் நிலம் ரெடியாக இருக்கிறது, நிலசுன்வந்தர் குறைந்த விலைக்கு கொடுக்க முன்வந்துள்ளார். அனால் நிலசுவந்தார் ஒரே நாளில் ரெஜிஸ்டர் பண்ண வேண்டும் என்கிறார்  என்றேன். உங்கள் உதவி கிடைத்தால் ஏழை மக்களுக்கு வீடு கிடைக்கும் என்றேன்.பயனாளிகள் தயாராக உள்ளனர் என்றேன்.

கலெக்டர் உடனடியாக ஒரு ஆர்டர் போட்டார் . எல்லா VAO, தாசில்தார் மற்ற அதிகாரிகளைவரச் சொன்னார். அடுத்த நாள் காலை எல்லோரும்வந்துவிட்டனர் .நானும் பயனளிகளுடன் வர,உடனடியாக ரேஜிஸ்டரேசன் துவங்கியது.கலை 10 மணி ஆரம்பித்தது அடுத்த நாள் கலை 3 மணிக்குத்தான் முடிந்தது. கலெக்டர் கூடவே இருந்தார்.அவரை ஓய்வு எடுக்கசொன்னபோது சிரித்துவிட்டு என்னுடனே இருந்தார். எல்லா பயனளிகளுகும் நிலப்பத்திரம் ரெடி ஆனது.

அடுத்த நாள் மெட்ராஸ்ல் வருவாய் துறை அதிகாரியைச் சந்தித்து பத்திர பதிவு தொகையில் கழிவு இருப்பதைச் சொல்லி, பதிவிற்கு அனுமதி கேட்டேன். அதிர்ந்துபோனார். "அரசாங்கத்திற்கு இது பெரிய நஷ்டம்"என்றார். மேலும் இதுபற்றி விவதிதுவிட்டு சொல்வதாக சொன்னார்.

ஒரு வேலை ஆரம்பித்தால்எனக்கு  அதை உடனடியாக முடித்தாக வேண்டும். பஸ் பிடித்து முதலமைச்சர் கலைஞர் வீட்டுக்குப் போனேன்.செக்யூரிட்டி போலீஸ் என்னை விசாரித்துவிட்டு நான் ஏன் தனியாக வந்தேன் என்று
கேட்டனர். "நீங்கள் எல்லாம்என்னுடைய நண்பர்கள் தான் என்றான்." சிரித்துவிட்டு என்னை கலைஞரை சந்திக்க அனுப்பினர். விவரத்தை சொன்னவுடன் கலைஞர் யோசிக்கவில்லை. வருவாய் துறை அதிகாரிக்கு உத்தரவு போட்டார். என்னை திருப்பி அனுப்பிய வருவாய் அதிகாரி வரவேற்றார். எல்லா பத்திரங்களுக்கும் கழிவு உறுதி ஆனது. 

அடுத்ததாக தாட்கோ அலுவலகம் சென்றேன். நிலையை விலக்கி மிக அவசரமாக நிதி வேண்டும் என்றேன். தாட்கோ அதிகாரிகள் நிலைமை உணர்ந்து சீக்கிரமாக நிதி கொடுத்தனர். மிகுந்த சந்தோசத்துடன் நாகப்பட்டினம் வந்தேன். தாட்கோ நிதி மற்றும் வருவாய்த் துறை பதிவு தொகை கழிவு என எல்லாம் கை கூடியது. சொன்னபடி நிலசுவந்தரிடம் பணத்தை கொடுத்து 1,040 பத்திரங்களும் ஒரே நாளில் பதிவாகியது.

(இன்று கிருஷ்ணம்மாள் ஜெகநாதன் வீட்டில், அவருடன் ஒரு நாள் கழித்தேன் . நெகிழ்ச்சியான நாள்.)  

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Khan academy teaches in Tamil

Pramila Krishnan

Chennai, August 13: Khan academy, one of the largest e-schools in the world, has uploaded video lessons in Tamil now. Tough maths problems are explained with visual figures in the videos. Several school children who do not have access to good quality education could use these videos to learn.

Khan academy is a non-profit education site started in 2006 by Salman Khan, an Indian origin Harvard business school graduate. He aims to provide free school education to underprivileged children across the globe by uploading free videos on various subjects. Starting from  history, maths, medicine, chemistry, biology and many other special subjects, lessons are available for free on the website These lessons are translated into several languages and recently Tamil language videos have been made available on the site and YouTube.

When you Google Khan academy Tamil videos, you get a list of maths videos teaching basic maths problems in addition, subtraction and others in two different forms. The video lesson tells listeners on how to work out problems with easy steps without any rough work on a paper. Uncomplicated mental calculation methods are taught through colourful animation.

For many schoolteachers like K. Srividya of Vyasarpadi, Khan academy video lessons in Tamil is a boon. “Instead of boring the children by asking them to mug up tables for multiplication and count numbers for addition, children are very much interested to work out sums when we show these interactive videos. They are excited as they see the numbers fly and the voice tutoring them about the sums,” she said. She added that her students are inquisitive in the maths classes these days.
Love is natural. Three year old Gowri(left) and one year old cow(right), yet to be named, at a farm in Krishnagiri.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

From my book shelf

பூவுலகின் நண்பர்கள் -
மாற்றத்துக்கான பெண்கள்-

வங்கரி மாத்தாய்

ஒரு குழிதோண்டி , அதில் மரக்கன்று ஒன்றை நட்டு, தண்ணீர் ஊற்றி வளர்க்காவிட்டால், நீங்கள் எதையுமே செய்யவில்லை என்று பொருள் . நீங்கள் வாய்சொல் வீரர்தான் . 'நீங்கள் உங்கள் குரலை உரக்க ஒலிக்கவிட்டால் உங்களது சுற்றுச்சுழல் ஆர்வத்தால் எந்த பயனும் கிடையாது. அது வெறும் சந்தர்பவாதமாகவோ ஒப்புக்கு ஒட்டிக்  கொண்டதாகவோதான் இருக்கும்.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Scientific study on thoppukaranam started in Chennai

Pramila Krishnan
Chennai, August 9: What you do in front of Pillayar as thoppukarnam is nothing but super brain yoga. The Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College (GNYMC) in Chennai on Thursday launched a ‘detailed study’ involving 120 student-volunteers to record the effect of thoppukarnam in improving the functioning of brain, especially enhancement of memory. The participants will perform thoppukarnams for 30 days and the changes in their breathing, blood pressure, memory and other parameters would be recorded, said the doctors involved in the project.

Speaking to me, Dr K.K.Kanimozhi said that the students were asked to perform the thoppukarnam sit-ups on empty stomach every morning for a month. “Though it is generally known that thoppukarnam improves physical and mental health, we wanted to map those positive changes in scientific manner through this one-month study. This will help us standardise this yoga exercise for treating certain types of patients”, she said.

She explained that sit-ups would activate the mooladhara chakra and raise the energy levels in the body. “The blood circulation improves and consecutively the energy levels go up when you do the sit-ups holding the ear lobes. You must inhale as you get up and exhale completely while sitting”, the yoga doctor explained.

The student-volunteers participating in the study are a very excited lot. “My mom broke into loud laughter when I told her about this. She recalled that I would cry when she asked me to do thoppukarnams holding my earlobes before Pillayar every morning”, said Thangavel Venkatesh, II-year student at GNYMC.

Los Angeles urologist and surgeon Eric B Robins, who has done extensive work on ‘super brain yoga’, told me in an e-interview that he prescribed sit-ups to “kids with hyperactivity and older adults with cognitive issues, memory loss”. His videos on super brain yoga for use by older patients and in schools for special children are viral on YouTube.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Regular workshops needed for journos

Participated in the DW Akademie workshop on environmental journalism

 This is my fifth year in Deccan Chronicle newspaper in Chennai. I argue with myself about the kind of stories I did earlier and what I am thinking now. I am happy because the paper gave me enough opportunity to travel to remote places and report stories which were unheard of. At the same time, I could get opportunities to attend workshops. The recent workshop I attended was organised by the DW Akademi in the month of June. The workshop was useful in terms of sharing and learning about environmental issues from journos from countries like Bangladesh and Nepal. 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

From my book shelf

J.Krishnamurthi on education
If one is living in terms of the immediate, responding to the immediate challenge, the immediate is constantly repeated in different ways. In one year it will be war, the next year it may be revolution, in the third year industrial unrest; if one is living in terms of the immediate, life becomes very superficial. But you may say that that is enough because that is all we need to care about. That is one way of taking life.
If you live that way it is an empty life. You can fill it with cars , books, sex, drink and more clothes, but shallow and empty. A man living an empty life, a shallow life, is always trying to escape; and escape means delusion, more gods, more beliefs, more dogmas, more authoritarian attitudes, or more football, more sex, more television. The immediate responses of those who live in the immediate are extraordinarily empty, futile, miserable. 
This is not my feeling or prejudice; you may say that is not good enough. So there must be the long vision, though I must of course act in the immediate, do something about it when the house is burning, but that is not the end of action. There must be something else and how can one pursues the other; this immediacy will be answered in a greater and more vital way. So, what do you, as a human being and also as an educator, a teacher, what do you feel about it?

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A flex banner has been put up by SBI Theni branch
 has ill-treated students by publishing their photos 

SBI puts up student loan defaulters on notice board, students to agitate

Pramila Krishnan
Chennai, August 2:  State Bank of India, it appears,  has incurred the wrath of the student community in Tamil Nadu after its branch in Bodinayakanur (Theni district) down south chose to put up on a large notice board the photographs and family details of about a dozen young men and women who had defaulted on their student loans. The picture of the ‘offensive’ banner outside the branch manager’s cabin has been shared by many students on the Facebook and a campaign is on to question SBI on the “ethics of putting up those pictures of such poor defaulters when millionaires are allowed to go scot free and their loans are written off”, according to state president S Kanakaraj of the Students Federation of India (SFI). 

TN MPs Tamaraiselvan (DMK) and Thol. Thirumavalavan (VCK chief) have said they would meet Finance Minister P Chidambaram to protest against the “ill-treatment meted out to the students by the SBI branch”. Customers at the SBI branch, according to a local, were shocked to find the large flex board with the pictures and family details of the defaulting student borrowers and tried to plead with the bank officials that such proclaiming could mar the careers of the young graduates. Among the ‘defaulters’ on display were four girls, one of them with an outstanding of just Rs.57,147 plus interest. A boy’s name and picture got onto that board for owing a mere Rs.47,813. 

“The banks have selectively written off millions of rupees borrowed by big business houses but this SBI branch has chosen to humiliate poor students for defaulting on paltry loans borrowed just to better their careers. The bank’s action could jeopardise the future of these young people. Worse still, the girls could face problem getting married”, said K. Srinivasan, convener of the Education Loan Task Force (ELTF), a voluntary forum based in Chennai guiding students to get bank loans. "It is legally wrong as per the banking regulation act," added Mr Srinivasan, a former senior bank officer.

When contacted, a senior SBI officer in charge of the southern branches told me that the Bodi branch resorted to publicizing the defaulters of student loans “only because they did not repay loans for a long time”. How else could the bank recover its loans, asked the officer, requesting anonymity. “If beneficiaries of student loans do
not repay on time, we will not be able to disburse loans to other deserving students. We are asking them for repayment after many years, so please support us”, he said.

Asked about the big borrowers defaulting on much larger loans, he said, “But we must extend credit to such business houses as they contribute to improving national economy and giving employment to many”. He preferred silence when pointed out that Finance Minister P Chidambaram had announced easy loans to the student community only to raise the education levels and the overall economic health of the nation.

Krishnagiri consumer court fined 'activist' for frivolous petition 

Pramila Krishnan
Chennai, August1: A star hotel charging extra for liquor served in air-conditioned comfort bar doesn’t amount to unfair trade practice, a consumer court had held. The court also slapped a fine of Rs.10, 000
for the ‘activist’ for filing a frivolous complaint against a star hotel seeking hefty damages for the ‘mental agony’ it caused him by charging Rs.199 more for liquor and water served to him in its bar. Hotelier Subbaraj told me that the activist tried to extort money and made him attend the court 16 times by seeking repeated adjournments.

The Krishnagiri consumer court ordered N.Shiva of Hosur consumer rights protection sangam to pay a fine of Rs.10, 000 to the star hotel for filing a frivolous complaint without applying its mind. Shiva moved the court complaining that a Hosur resident K.Mathavan had liquor in star hotel named VS hotel. The hotel collected Rs. 199 extra after providing three bottles of beer and a bottle of water. "Mathavan suffered mental agony as the hotelier charged Rs.199 extra and there was a deficiency in the service," Shiva said in the complaint filed on behalf of Mathvan.

K.R.Pandiyan, counsel for hotelier said, “When Mathavan questioned the extra charge, hotelier explained that service tax and charges for using the air-conditioned facility were added in the bill. But he complained that hotelier charged more than Maximum Retail Price for beer and water. In reality, hotelier collected extra money for rendering the service and not for the product."

Hearing both sides consumer court judge M.Nandan said that collecting excess money by the star hotelier for the supply of beer and brandy with water to the complainant is not an unfair trade practice. “The hotelier has not committed deficiency of service or resorted unfair trade practice in selling the beer and brandy and water bottle providing extra food stuffs and A/C room facilities.  The complainant is not entitled to claim any compensation,” he said. In the judgement he mentioned that Shiva had to pay Rs.10,000 to the hotelier for
filing a frivolous complaint.