Double-riding in the era of helicopter joy rides

While his obscenely large colleagues prefer obscenely large SUVs, Suresh Kumar (right)—just about the only minister in the disgraceful Yediyurappa team with whom the word “clean” could have been used without inviting defamation charges—rides pillion on a scooter in Bangalore on Sunday, to reach the residence of the new chief minister, D.V. Sadananda Gowda.

During their heyday of shameless consumption, the Reddy brothers were rumoured to hop into a helicopter for coffee, lunch and/or dinner. Suresh Kumar, whose wife is a journalist, was briefly mentioned in the media as a potential chief ministerial candidate, but his caste is said to have gone against him.

That, and maybe his mode of transport, too.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: No helmets please, they are for the aam janata

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32 Responses to “Double-riding in the era of helicopter joy rides”

  1. shemej Says:

    This is the worst thing a media can do.

    Either you support certain things or you oppose them. But unfortunately media want to please readers from all parties and groups.

    What is the context of this article? Why this is significant? Did this individual take any stand which is relevant to the people of this country? Did this individual raise his/her eyebrow against any corruption? Did this individual did anything against slowdown in economy?

    There are many hundreds of honest people in this society. In all parties. Why people dont respect them? Simply because these so called honest individuals wait outside the party-hall, for their share of Kesari-bath, rasagulla and gulabJamun. This individual may be honest. But how is it relevant here. If Mani Shankar Iyer oppose corruption and lose his minister’s post for his opposition to corruption, then that is relevant — that is a brave act and that needs to be praised. If Mani Shankar Iyer, silently waited outside the party hall, waiting for somebody coming with “thali” full of dishes, he should not be appreciated, but be condemned. (Or we should conclude that, he was just a useless dumb guy. ), Though, I am not an admirer of Manishankar I would not have a problem Churumuri praising a political leader if he/she do something for public, like raising his/her voice against injustice or corruption.

    Let us assume I am running a media and an editor. Just because media editors have friends whose husbands are political leaders (who are dumb and incapable of even opening mouth against the Himalayan Corruption – not referring to any individual), and if media want to write facilitation poems, they have every right to do so. But kindly enlighten the public, what positive act (even if it worth 25 paise), this individual did during the recent past, which prompted me/you/any other editor to write essays about him.

    In the comments columns of Churumuri I have praised L.K Advani, simply because he stood for some principles, (in the context of Karnataka corruption) at a time these massive robbery was talking place. Ironically, your friend’s husband was either dumb and deaf, or mentally retarded, or lost memory or was just a plain opportunist waiting for his chance.

    This doesnt mean that individual’s honesty is not important. The public is capable of understanding who is honest and who is not. But that is not relevant here. Even if this person is not corrupt, he is a beneficiary of all corruption. All these acts are taken collectively by cabinet. Churumuri is now taking up the case of one member of a team, that is responsible for one of the biggest scams in this country. Please dont forget the basic principles of law. StampPaper Telgi’s employ who was paid a paltry monthly salary was sent to jail. Just because this individual’s wife is a journalist friend, if you want the law to exclude him from crimes, please state that. Or please dont accuse BJP govt as corrupt. Please upload another news saying BJP’s was an honest administration. But if you think this individual was also a member of the same cabinet then please explain this individual fail to notice massive corruption taking place around him and below his seat.

    But if you believe, BJP Karnataka Govt was corrupt, and if you believe this gang member did not oppose the corruption, then please write your felicitation certificate privately and not publicly.

    When this person drive on a scooter, he/she is very well aware that, people or media will definitely talk about this. That is a very calculated move. That is a “brand building exercise” if I can use a business term. And normally political party leaders use their connections in the media to promote their brand image.

    We all know Churumuri doesnt have any bad intention here. However, please also give the readers the right to judge you based on your articles.

    I sure, will welcome Churumuri praising honest politicians. However, please chose the right opportunity to do so. Let this individual do something against corruption. (At least ask your journalist friends to advice dumb and deaf husbands to open their mouth either in Kannada or in Reddys’ own Telugu or Advaniji’s Hindi and utter something against corruption. Please take that opportunity to praise friends’ politician husbands)

    (Note: Remarks like “helping journalist friend” etc may not be taken seriously. Just want to point out, that people have the right to misunderstand you some times. No offence intended. I also admit Suresh Kumar’s relative integrity privately.)

  2. Deepak Says:

    It was not his caste, but his clean image that hurt him. He took a principled stand by not aligning with any of the factions and now looks like neither of the factions would take him as a minister. This is the irony of today’s politics – the cleaner you are, the less chance of growing!!!

  3. Nanu Nane Says:

    It could have been his caste to an extent, but the fact that he is clean would have damaged his prospects even more than his caste. Which MLA wants a CM who can’t pay for their resorts jaunts. Which party wants a CM who won’t/can’t contribute to the party coffers? Kali Yuga swami, ella hege nadiyodu.

  4. Pradeep Rao Says:

    Suresh Kumar may be clean, but I don’t see any evidence he is a good administrator. It is sad that he has not been able to move beyond corporation level politics.

    Visiting house of his constituents (with media in toe of course) to address water problem, riding scooter may give him brownie points with middle class for a Corporation election but as a minister his performance has been totally lackluster. As Urban Development and Law minister there is no visible achievement (of course his website shows him proudly inauguration water fountains and planting plants) and he has never been able to grow beyond Bangalore.

    Perhaps because of his wife’s journalist credo he has consistently received a positive “Mr Clean” image in media. This even after it came out that Suresh Kumar allotted out of turn site in Mysore to a columnist in Vijaya Karnataka. This when Suresh Kumar used to have a column in that newspaper. Conflict of interest anyone? It’s a different matter said columnist was fired by management once it came out that he got MUDA site in not-so-clean manner.

    Just pointing out that Suresh Kumar is not beyond your usual “dole gifts to journos to get +ve coverage”.

    And I am willing to bet that Suresh Kumar called his media friends in advance about his bike ride!

  5. kris Says:

    Does Churumuri belong to Suresh Kumar’s caste? Somehow he feels ‘nammavanu’ should become CM, irrespective of his credentials (double-riding being one of them) or his wife is a journalist like him?

    We are a society of intensely corrupt people. We use politicians and politicians use us. The root of corruption can be traced to our caste system, created and propagated by a particular caste. Unless this caste is system rooted out starting from that particular caste, we are in trouble. Grow up Churumuri.

  6. Lobo Says:

    @Pradeep Rao

    I am wondering who are you?

    • Yeddyurappa, Raghavendra, Vijayendra and family’s colleague in the innumerable scams, real estate and ill-gotten obscene wealth?
    • HD Kuamaswamy or Gowda clan’s helper in looting the state?
    • Fan of Cong-I crooks like Dharam Singh, Krishna, Kharge, Oscar, Krishnappa, Jaffer Sharief, Moily and team?
    • Flunky of ‘hardworking’ saffron party workers like Renukacharya, Sommanna, Anantkumar, Reddy trio, Dhananjay, Eshwarappa, Nirani, Katta Subramanya Naidu, Ashoka, Shoba and gang?
    • Vokkaliga well-wisher of Kartik Gowda, the real estate businessman son of Sadananda Gowda?
    • Another new age Swayamsevak working for trader Gadkari, Dharmendra Pradan and Venkaiah Naidu..etc?
    • If none of the above, then most probably the Lingayat car driver and personal aide of Yeddi, who gets slapped all the time?

    It is indeed a tragedy of our state that we have people pulling down a rare and honest politician while the most crooked continue to prosper, manipulate, escape the clutches of justice and also have the last laugh!

  7. nilesh Says:

    What is suresh kumars achievement as MLA, a half finished Badminton court?? considered to be right hand of CM, he is a wastebody. I noticed he gets good coverage in Deccan Chronicle, maybe because of his wif. May be his greed is limited to kesaribath.

    Having canvassed for him in the past, I will not vote for him again.

  8. Pradeep Rao Says:

    Lobo – it is odd that you are trying to find ulterior motive in my post when motive of Suresh Kumar to appear “holier than thou” by riding a bike is lost on you.

    I gave specific examples before saying why Suresh Kumar may not be what media and his fan bois in blogosphere make him to be.

    Suresh Kumar gave G category site to a then columnist in Vijaya Karnakata in Mysore (Suresh Kumar was then in-charge of Mysore District and MUDA) who in turn gave him column space in Vijaya Karnataka – you see nothing wrong with it? *above G category site was then converted and issued under handicapped quota to said journalist’s handicapped wife

    What about his absolute inability to bring any semblance of law in Bellary when Reddy brothers were looting Bellary? What use in being honest when you can’t make any positive contribution with all that power he had as Law minister?

    And as Urban development minister he could not even enforce manual scavenging laws as media came up examples of manual scavenging still widely practiced in many parts of Karnataka.

    And now to score points with media Suresh Kumar selectively leaks that he protested secret ballot in BJP legislature meet. What does this say? He would rather agree with name in an envelope received from Delhi or RSS office? Is this Suresh Kumar’s version of democracy? Is this why he fought Emergency – to accept sealed envelope from Delhi instead of participating in healthy internal democracy?

    Suresh Kumar may be a good honest man. So were at least couple of other ministers in Yeddy’s cabinet who silently put 20 hours days. But all these drama by Suresh Kumar to prove he is different from other “those corrupt BJP ministers in Karnataka” is bit over the top self promotion and is nothing but brand building exercise.

  9. neel kanth Says:

    democracy is live and moving forward because of such people.

  10. DailyBread Says:

    >is bit over the top self promotion and is nothing but brand building exercise.

    Whats wrong in this? After all he is a politician……

    >who in turn gave him column space in Vijaya Karnataka

    This is a laughable QPQ. “A cabinet minister as a columnist in your news paper”, is a crowning glory for any editor.

  11. Ramesh Gowda Says:

    @ Pradeep rao

    Not sure why you have such a possessed grudge against this honest loser!

    While you are sadly completely oblivious to the most crooked, shameless and absolutely corrupt in the state, one may not be surprised if you have the same attitude towards Santosh Hedge too.

    Are you from Jharkhand or Bihar or Bellary or Shikaripura?

  12. Simple Says:

    Pradeep Rao

    Brilliantly analysed.

  13. A Journalist Says:

    The most honest and unassuming minister in the BJP government is Revu Nayak Belamagi. He is a four time MLA from Gulbarga district. A Dalit and a wrestler.

  14. dmanair Says:

    This man might have been minding his own business and hitched a ride on a bike. The omnipresent presswallahs snapped it and put it up.

    Now the scores of conspiracy theorists spring to action and start tearing him apart! By the way, heard on some CNN-IBN poll that Rahul baba is the most preferred for the PM’s role. Wonder how useful or resourceful that fellow is!

  15. Madhusudan Says:

    “….may be a good honest man. So were at least couple of other ministers in Yeddy’s cabinet who silently put 20 hours days”

    Wow…. this ‘brilliant Pradeep Rao’ definitely sounds more like Excise Renukacharya with a ‘plastic pouch’ in hand!

  16. harkol Says:

    @Kris

    >The root of corruption can be traced to our caste system,created and propagated by a particular caste

    That’s an ingenious argument – any foundational basis? And which particular caste might that be? Brahmins?

    Corruption is basically breaking of law to corner scarce resource for oneself. Root of mass corruption in India is traced to end of Mughal era and beginning of British era (Robert Clive). That’s when the economic scarcity started. Castes had been around for far longer than that, and they didn’t start ‘corruption’.

    Also check history – India was rarely ruled by Brahmins. They never had the power to ‘propagate’ anything. Chola, Chera, Pandya, Chalukya, Hoysala, Satavahana, Rastrakuta, Vijayanagara, Mourya etc. etc. were all non-brahmins. In fact, most of them weren’t even Kshatriyas! In fact, Bilhana (12th century) has written that Chalukyas were of Shudra caste. The only Brahmin family to have ruled in past 2000 years is Kadambas.

    People are easily fooled by the wrong description & prescriptions for social ills. The reality is Brahmins are equal victims of the caste system, which proscribed professions like Engineering (Carpentry, masonry, metal smiths), Surgical Medicine (needing physical contact) or Business. The only religious education was the preserve of Brahmins. Sushruta the best known surgen of Ayurveda belonged to low caste (potter).

    Besides, Honest folks are in all castes, and corruption is no one caste’s preseve. So, to deny Suresh Kumar (or VS Acharya, Ananth Kumar etc.) leadership on account of their caste ridiculous. We badly need honest folks in leadership position.

  17. Pagan Says:

    Kris = Anonymous Guy?

  18. Syed Hussein Says:

    @Pradeep Rao

    I live two streets away from Suresh Kumar’s home. He has not changed a bit in the last 25 years and everyone and anyone in the middle class neighborhood will confirm his integrity, simple lifestyle, neutrality and always friendly nature.

    It is true that his style of working for the common man and our state’s benefit will not be appreciated or recognized by Yeddi, Sadananda Gowda, Gadkari or Darmendra Pradan and team, after all: he will never ever offer any roll-call or monthly kick-backs to anyone above. Instead had it not been for the regrettable caste factor and communal mentality in the state BJP’s hierarchy, he would have rocked the boat long ago.

    Well, he hardly has any enemies except shameless, completely greedy colleagues and pseudo swayamsevaks who always ridicule his honesty and principles.

    So it is indeed intriguing as to who are you?

    Are you a rival party affiliated journo with a personal mission?

    Or are you one of the key assistants a.k.a political secretary working (making hay when the sun shines, 20 hrs a day) who do all the ground work behind the scenes for the most corrupt and powerful politicians that we now have in our state?

  19. kris Says:

    @harkol,

    Who said Suresh Kumar, Acharya and Ananth Kumar should be denied leadership position?

    Your replies and narrations are repetitive as in previous discussions with a common thread – just to defend Brahmins and to quote from sources that justify your bias. You refuse to have a open mind and learn. What is the point in having a discussion when you refuse to listen to others.

    Have you read anything about the history of the Buddha and Buddhism, social revolution of Basavanna (Veerashaiva movement) here in Karnataka, Dravida movement by Periyar and the reasons behind all those movements? Why are we wary of RK Hegde, UR Ananta Murthy? Why we think of them as manipulative, exploitive back stabbers who should never be trusted? What made Periyar (a Kannadiga, father of Dravidian movement) say “if you encountered a Brahmin and a snake on the road you should kill the Brahmin first”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periyar_E._V._Ramasamy

    In a message to the Brahmin community, Periyar stated, “in the name of god, religion, and sastras you have duped us. We were the ruling people. Stop this life of cheating us from this year. Give room for rationalism and humanism”. He further explained that “any opposition not based on rationalism, science, or experience will one day or another, reveal the fraud, selfishness, lies and conspiracies.

    That day, hopefully, is very near.

  20. HONNUR Says:

    MR SURESH KUMAR IS A CLASSIC ‘GOOD FOR NOTHING’ CASE!

  21. Harkol Says:

    @kris

    all you are sighting are opinions of individuals. Goto facts and show me when was india ruled by brahmins for them to have ‘propagated’ caste system?

    There are many low caste and muslim kings. Moderate number pf kshatriya kings very few brahmin kings. And there remains the fact.

  22. sanjeeva Says:

    “His caste is said to have gone against him”. I am sure, we should feel proud to be Indian, secular, democratic etc.

    If Kris is Anonymous, are Harkol and others well known people?

    It is surprising to see that we are used to corruption, wrong-doing, bad things, nasty people around us so much that even if we chance upon something which appears to be good or clean, we immediately start suspecting about it!

  23. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    Periyar, a kannadiga? Prove it!

  24. shemej Says:

    Responses
    1) –Periyar was born to Kannada parents. In that sense he is Kannadiga. If Dr. RajKumar is Kannadiga, Periyar is Kannadiga

    — Periyar was born in Tamil Nadu, In that sense he is Tamil. Many consider Dr. Rajkumar is from Gajanur. If that is true, Dr. Rajkumar may be considered Tamil.
    — The point is Dr. Rajkumar’s main field of activity is Karnataka. Hence he is true Kannadiga. In that sense, Periyar’s main activities were in the Tamil landscape, in that sense he may be considered Tamil. Well, it is how you look into it.

    Are they not Indians?

    2) If Brahmins ruled directly is not a big issue. Brahmins were able to control the ruling class was a fact. Secondly, there were three level of control over society. 1) Caste and Culture- There was a caste hierarchy, and the Brahmins were at top. 2) Landlordism– Brahmins were landlords in most cases. But there were other landlord castes as well. 3) Political power- The chieftains or ruling class.

    I am not eligible to interfere in the debate when the corruption started. Though I dont say Brahmins are responsible for anything, this hierarchical system sure, helped corruption to increase. You dont need to look around for evidence. Please stay in Karnataka rural belt. Those who own hundreds of acres of land automatically become plitical leaders (or they control political leaders). The whole money alloted through Panchayat is being eaten by them and public very rarely complain. For centuries, the people from lower rung never learnt to question. But when the political activists from lower rungs of castes become Panchayat members, MLAs etc, the loot more. This is hardly surprising. A landlord has certain responsibility, though he was sucking the life-blood of a lower-caste agricultural labourer. But when the lower-caste agricultural labourer, who was never given any opportunity to take up responsbilities in Village Production or other activities, naturally become irresponsbile when come to power. This is why most leaders from landlord families are more corrupt, but do something for people. Leaders from lower-caste do relatively less corrupt, but they do it openly and they simply lack any responsibility.

    I really do not want to offend any section. Just an observation. I admit I may be wrong.

  25. harkol Says:

    Shemej:

    I agree with some of your points.
    It seems right that Brahmin’s exercised influence over Kings, by virtue of being the clergy. Just as in medieval europe/Asia the Vetican & clergy exercised high degree of influence over Kings. However, they weren’t the direct rulers and laws were made by the respective kings who had considerable other advisors too.

    And the historic fact is – Either Shudra (OBC), Kshatriya or Muslim kings ruled India for most of last 2000 years. You can Look this up.

    Power flows through the blade and the reality is Brahmins rarely wielded it. So, it is naive to blame Brahmins alone for all ills in India. If Lower castes could raise up to rule large portions of this country for over 1000 years, it is strange to argue they never had any opportunity.

    Coming to land holding, it is an interesting observation that Brahmins were landlords. I can’t find any easy reading on this, and I suspect the land in India was distributed largely with the ruling class (Kshatriya and OBCs). But, it is quite possible that Brahmins owned a disproportional share of the land, because Agriculture was a profession they could indulge in as per varnashrama system (it proscribed them other professions like engineering, business etc.).

    However, here is something interesting I found. This study shows land while SC/STs indeed seem to have smaller landholding, OBCs (Shudras) seem to dominate in land holding – http://bundelkhandinfo.org/economy/land/caste_pattern.html

    I don’t think there is any offense to be taken while arguing on fact.

    Periyar belonged to a sub-caste of Kapu called Balija, which was Militaristic-Landholding, Business caste, that pretty much ruled most of South India through Vijayanagar Empire!! The great Krishnadevaraya belonged to Kapu (OBC) caste.

    Now, Isn’t it ironical to blame Brahmins for ills and call them snakes, on the basis of words of Periyar, a flawed & bigoted reformer who was born in a powerful landholding, Business caste, preached violence against Brahmins, bias against Muslims and Dalits in order to uplift OBCs (Shudras) with his Dravidian Movement.

    Look up his comments on Muslims and Dalits, you’d know. He didn’t work to remove caste system, he just wanted a new hierarchy – http://bit.ly/na7FcQ

  26. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Shemej,

    I am sure have offended many people on Churumuri. See poor kris being suspected of being a known villian on Churumuri ;)

    Bring up the root cause of problems in India and people get very defensive. People want corruption to disappear, but wont admit where it comes from. If a forum with educated readers is so sensitive when caste issues are brought up, what can we expect from normal folks who live and die by the caste system.

    Most Indians are starved of good food, sex, nice house and money irrespective of caste. Added to it we generally lack discipline and rational thinking. What to expect in such a situation?

    Problem with your analysis is:
    Lower caste people = corrupt
    Upper caste people = corrupt

    Does caste even matter here? Corruption is a way of life in India. Lets just learn to live with it.

  27. karihaida Says:

    @AG,
    “Most Indians are starved of good food, sex, nice house and money irrespective of caste” … quite a bit over generalization, particularly the nookie part. That is one thing a population of 1.3G is not starved of.. but on the other hand the quality is …

  28. harkol Says:

    Anonymous Guy:
    >Corruption is a way of life in India. Lets just learn to live with it.

    I don’t think we should ‘learn’ to live with it. We may suffer it, but we should protest & fight it. Almost all great nations of the world were forged through anarchic, corrupt systems over long periods of time & civil struggle. USA of 1800s was not much different than the India of today – most regions of USA were lawless & robber barons practically ran the country. They changed for the better, so can we. But, if we learn to live with it, we can’t.

    You are right in pointing that in corruption has no caste. For every Yeddy, we have a Gowda , Karunanidhi and a Kalmadi.

    And no offense can be taken while discussing academic facts. I am just dismayed at blaming a single community for all ills of this nation and discriminating against it, while other communities were equally responsible for state of our nation & society.

    If we need caste-less society, then the right way forward is to make it illegal to ever ask for one’s caste or discriminate on the basis of caste (forward or backward). Not perpetuate it by just changing hierarchy.

  29. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    Kannada parents? What species is that? So he is actually Ramaswamy Nayaka instead of a Naicker?

    Who were they!?

  30. Raghavendran Says:

    Periyar 100% belongs to Kannada speaking naicker community in TN. TN has few native kannada speaking communities such as Vokkaliga Gowda’s, Kurumbars(Kuruba’s in KA), Kannada devanga chettiars, Naickers(Naik as called in KA), few shaivates families who migrated to coimbatore region from CH Nagar and Mysore and there is considerable presence of kannada speaking madhwa brahmins( Shri Raghavendra swami who is from TN) spead accross TN districts apart from these communities there are considerable population of dalits in Erode and dharmapuri districts speaks kannada as their mother tongue. During Vijaynagar kingdom expansion, these communities migrated into TN, also there is considerable migration during Western Chalukyas, Western Ganga era also. If you travel in coimbatore, salem and erode definitely you can hear people speaking corrupted kannada. Periyar and his family spoke such language and one of his very close follower acknowledges this.He even spoke kannada in a dalit conference which took place in bangalore during 1960’s.

    ***

    @ Harkol, Good analysis and rightly said about Periyar.

    It was his personal bad experience in Varanasi made him to go rampage against Brahmins. He used the so called Low caste brand and united all the lazy unemployed youth and formed Dravidar Kazhagam. Later started targeting temples and brahmins. Even though at the time when anti brahminism and atheism was at its height in TN, the Mugugan, amman, sivan temples were untouched because they were mostly worshipped by his own cadres. One can clearly analyze the inner agenda of Periyar.

    Brahmins have become the largest victim of all types of racism in India. A dalit cant target a high caste kshatriya, but they always targeted Brahmins just because this community doesn’t retaliate.

  31. sunil Says:

    I also heard that suresh kumar doesn’t use his official car for personal purpose. He always uses his Old fait car for his personal work.

    There are some people who are telling that suresh kumar has not acheived anything. But will the dishonest people in the society allow him to work honestly. They will block him in all the ways.

  32. Ravi Gowda Says:

    @Pradeep Rao

    It will be impossible for our system to change or for corruption to decrease or politicians with some integrity and an iota of morality, to accomplish anything when we have ‘disgusting specimens’ like you.

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