GETTING THE IDIOM WRONG



I am quite beginning to feel sorry for Narendra Modi – and beginning to suspect the motives of his adivsors and campaign managers. As though making great “historical’’ blunders were not enough I now wonder that no one tells him that all that he comes across as even today is just a sectarian/regional leader when he should really have something more substantial to talk about as a prime ministerial candidate than just his Gujarat experience.

If Modi would have been paying closer attention to fellow ideologue Raj Thackeray he would have known that no one outside Gujarat is enamored of the Gujarat model, perhaps increasingly now not even the Gujaratis themselves.

Raj ha been the first leader to tell Modi off very publicly when during his Bombay rally Modi lauded Gujarat to Maharashtrians. Did he not remember that just five years ago when he promised to turn Maharashtra into another Gujarat, he was driven off the campaign trail by even his own BJP men after Sharad Pawar and other Congress leaders took him on saying they would rather have (Mahatma) Gandhi’s Gujarat than Modi’s Gujarat?

But even if one did not bring the saffron-secular divide into that comparison, someone should have told Modi before his Bombay rally that Maharashtrians, particularly those in the state capital, hate Gujaratis – they have not yet forgotten the sacrifice of 106 martyrs who died fighting for a state liberated from Gujarati domination.

I thought he had lost the plot at least in Maharashtra when he went on and om like just the chief minister that he is during the Bombay rally but then he should have learnt better before doing the same in West Bengal — if any one os prouder than Maharashtrians of thei state culture, it can only be the Bengalis and the hackneyed promise to turn Bengal into another Gujarat might not be quite flattering to any of the bhadraloks in that state either.

Simultaneously blaming Biharis for bringing the poverty ratios lower in Gujarat is another no-no just before the elections and why ever did the Gujarat government spokesperson feel the need to justify the Gujarat government figures in that fashion?

Then, again, lauding Pranab Mukherjee in anticipation of having to butter up the president for a favorable verdict post election results is one thing but did Modi quite forget that the Congress did not offer half the insult to Mukherjee as the BJP did to L K Advani? Ultimately they did make Mukherjee the president while Modi quite clearly put his own party senior out to pasture didn’t he?

Moreover, when he spoke of the good work of building a war memorial left to his resources, did he not know of the half dozen war memorials in India but particularly the one commissioned in Bangalore very recently by his own party man B S Yedyurappa when he was chief minister of Karnataka?

Clearly, while his supporters label Rahul Gandhi a pappu, Modi increasingly seems no less a blunderer but while Rahul might get away with his errors on grounds of inexperience, Modi clearly has no excuse for a lack of history geography and even the culture and ethos of the different kinds of people in this country.

Do I want someone like Rahul Gandhi as my prime minister? Perhaps no. But even less do I wish for someone with such low thresholds as Modi to become one. In addition to everything that might be wrong with him, it is disquieting to read a recent report in a leading magazine about how Gujarat was used as the experimental bowl for a certain kind of saffron violence and persecution of people who did not fit into the majoritarian mould promoted by the RSS.

Modi is mentioned only in the passing in that Caravan story but the little mention he finds is very disquieting. I do t want to see India turn into another Gujarat and I would direct the readers here to my recent column in the Bombay edition of the newspaper `Gujarat is a chemical state’ that appeared on Febraruy 5, 2014. If young students can so quickly grasp what is wrong about Gujarat I wonder the reasons why others who may not be his hard core supporters should be ostriches with their heads permanently buried in the sand,

I am convinced even more that Modi is not a good influence on Gujarat and he will be even less of a good thing for India. We are capable of a lot better than just Modi or Rahul Gandhi. I await the third option whatever that might be.

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  • RS

    Rafi’s was a divine voice. He commanded an unbelievable range of singing. Merely listening to the bhajans sung by him will transform you.

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  • anandarao

    Bharat Ratna for Rafi? why now? He is a rare gem and does not need official recognition. The survey says it all.

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  • Rohit

    Well I also consider Rafi as the biggest singer ever, but don’t agree with you on Bharat Ratna award deservance more than any one. If anyone from entertainment and art deserves it, no name can prop above Amitabh Bachchan, who has been here like a Phoenix, generations after generations, whom the world knows and associated with India, and who has been the driving force for Indian film industry. In fact screen has become synonymous with Bachchan. Can any one imagine a screen without the original Bachchan face of Don Deewar Kala Paththar Silsila Agneepath…indian cinema would look bonsai thereafter!

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    Sarita Hegde Reply:

    “Driving force for Indian film industry ….” – did the Hindi film industry not have any status / achievements before the arrival of Amitabh Bachchan?

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  • Sarita Hegde

    You are right. Kishore, Lata, Asha and Mukesh each have their own fan following .. and so do Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar, Geeta Dutt and Talat Mahmood, but no one creates the kind of intense loyalty among his fans as Mohammad Rafi. His has been called a divine voice. What struck me most was that his singing seemed so effortless – belying the rehearsals and re-recordings which must have happened. Rafi was so ubiquitous that apart from maybe Shammi Kapoor, his voice was not associated with any single hero, like Kishore Kumar’s was with Rajesh Khanna and Dev Anand (notwithstanding the fact that a larger proportion of Dev Anand’s hit songs were actually sung by Rafi). Perhaps partly because of Rafi’s all-pervading presence in Hindi cinema music, and partly because his best came in the 50s and 60s, I think he does not get his due among the younger generation today (except among real fans of Hindi film music from the so-called Golden Era). All I can say is that we are lucky that Mohammad Rafi has left behind such a treasure trove of songs which will continue to be a source of great pleasure.

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  • Pratyush Ranjan

    Test

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  • Ramesh Narain Kurpad

    the most baffling reality is – how is lata mangeshkar better qualified than rafi saaheb in having been awarded the bharat ratna so many years back.

    a rafi award is greater than the bharat ratna.

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  • sanjay kumar

    let me thank you sir for you comments and article first.
    Rafi saab died 33 years ago and since then a generation has changed but not one day has gone by without listening to his songs. what an immortal voice we are lucky to have this voice amongst us.
    Rafi saab had always been considered as the best we ever had not by me but by Manna Dey Saab ,By Six times National award winner S P Balasubramaiam sahab and By & times national award winner Yesu Das ji.
    All of them have said this. All three of them worship Rafi saab.
    In 2001 he won Best singer of the Millennium Title By securing 70% of the votes polled in the contest you can imagine the plight of other singers.
    In 2010 when top 10 songs were selected by the leading singers and composers of the Film Industry the top 3 songs were sung by him.
    In 2013 when 100 years of Indian cinema completed 100 years top singer were selected by voting again Rafi saab stood at the top above even Lata Mangheshkar and Now 15th August Independence day poll says it all.
    All this when whole media and commercial FM channels never play RAfi saab songs and have clear Bias for a particular singer and composer.
    Those who do not know this let it be known to all music lovers That RAfi saab is treated like God in Music lovers circle and those who try to push him down by using media and want to change the history for next generation people by not playing his songs will never succeed because u can never remove God from the heart of a Bhakt.
    When I spoke to a channel regarding this bias he admitted that there is a pressure from Mumbai as all songs we play have to be get vetted from Mumbai Office. who is censoring Rafi songs who is afrraid of him come out in open why r u afraid to come in open we know who r u but let the whole world see your real face. Truth can never be changed by such antics.
    Jai ho Rafi sahab .

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    Pankaj Vohra Reply:

    You will be surprised that even Kishore Kumar was a great Rafi fan. At least this is what he claimed in a letter to the Filmfare’s Editor many many years ago…much before he became a super star himself. Brgds.

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  • shiladitya

    Dear Sir please state facts as they are, do not misquote to prove your point. Kishore polled in 33.62% while Rafi garnered 35.32%.The difference is @ 1.50% and not 5%.
    Secondly it seems a lot of great people you mentioned whispered their opininon in your ears regarding Rafi Sab’ s greatness. No doubt he was great, but do not compare unnecessarily. Kishore is as much if not more popular than Rafi. Winning a poll by punching multiple votes proves nothing. Kishore has won many such polls . The nubmers you state about functions and god knows what are hilarious. Do not mock yourself. Be assured that Rafi saab was too great to need your efforts to prove it to others.
    He was also a great human being, who had a lot of respect for other singers.
    The admiration between Rafi and Kishore was mutual. Popularity is a very important parameter for greatness. Both these legends passed away close to or more than 30 years ago and the fact that we are still rooting for one or the other is testimony to their greatness.
    Do not waste your time forcing people whose preferences differ from yours to react and start acrimonius debates, that often become distasteful to great legends like Rafi & Kishore.

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  • Pankaj Vohra

    I have not read Raju Bharatan’s write ups for a long time. There is therefore no question of anything being lifted from anywhere. The facts about Rafi saheb are well known throughout the film industry. He was a great human being and a super singer. He deserves the Bharat Ratna more than anybody else in the hindi film industry. This is my view. Brgds.

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  • NZ

    Kishore’s 5 out of 8 filmfare awards came 1980 when rafi had passed away. Rafi’s 4 out of 6 came when there was only one category for both male and female. If you other state awards like National Awards , Padma awards et al Rafi was even more celebrated in his lifetime that Kishore as a singer was. Although Rafi was the complete kishore sure was a rare and a complete artist but is not in same as Rafi in singing.

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    shiladitya Reply:

    Kishore was ignored for various state awards due to the issues he had with the ruling government of those days.The fact that you are not aware of it, proves your ignorance of Kishore’s career. Not a problem at all, if you are not a Kishore fan. What is confusing is the stoic opposition of you people to Kishore’s popularity. Neither Kishore himself nor his immense fan following ever claimed anything more than the proven fact that his immense popularity after 1969 ( when he transitioned to full time singing) left other singers far behind as far as numerical fan following and sheer entertainment go. At the cost of repetition let me remind you that the uncanny dislike for Kishore that Rafi Saab’s fans seem to have, is all the more proof of where actually Kishore’s talent & popularity hurts.
    You will never succeed in selling the logic that 6 is greater than 8. Why are Rafi fans so hell bent on trying to downgrade Kishore’s popularity? They give themselves up. It is a tacit confession of a very harsh reality they do not dare accept in public- KIHORE IS THE BEST.

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    dipiti Reply:

    Rafi has sung for KK too. And KK had no problem with that. KK was good, damn good, I love Mukesh more, but Rafi was a class apart. Even KK agreed on this. BTW Rafi and KK were good friends. Checkl on net.

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    Manish Reply:

    Tell him that the awards of kishore da coming after 1970s and rafi was still in picture from 1946 and sang so many songs..I don’t want to put such type of comments but if u right such things than u better be ready for the reply….They are all legends don’t compare them..

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  • sunil kumar

    An FM channel playing old songs play KISHORE Da and RDB songs only at prime time .But Rafi and other are played rarely that to during odd hours .
    I had big fight with them why are u disrespecting legends . Answer I got from one of their station incharge was that these songs we play are decided by Mumbai H.O and they don’t want rafi songs to be played.
    second thing some duets of Rafi when played have Rafi saab’s voice deleted.What is this they are doing to promote that singer and still he looses.I sat play all singers let new generation hear all of them but they are afraid. Can they do it isn’t it crime to delete the voice of a legendary singer from his songs..Who is the owner It is reliance communication and on the death anniversary of rafi saab it was playing birthday songs of kishore Da.

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  • sunil kumar

    has ant great singer ever said it that kishore was a singer of Eminence. But singer like Manna Dey, Lata Ji, S P bala JI, and Yesudas ji have openly admitted that Rafi saab was an ultimate play back singer. You have distinguish between popular and great singer.Like S P Balasubramaniam saab said kishore da sang nice songs for Rajesh khanna and Amitabh also but He could never sing like Rafi “jaane walon zara mud ke dekho mujhe” this song he says takes me near to god. Same is what Manna Dey said amd Lata ji too. qrte these legends fools. I never take credit away from kishore But these channels are afris of rafi saab because they are being owned by a Lobby. I am talking about a particular FM channel not all we will soon expose them

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    Manish Reply:

    So many trash talking was going on…Kishore is a singer par excellence. He outshined him tum bin jayoon kahan…I have so many examples but I don’t want to write..because I have respect for Rafi saahab..

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  • samad

    Dear Mr Kumar,
    Could not really figure out what you are trying to say. It appears that you are upset because radio stations play more of Kishore than Rafi. It is based entirely on popularity. Do you not think that it is strange for Channels to harm their business to spite Mohd. Rafi. When you say ” Kishore still loses” it does not really deserve a reply, because the answer is contained in your post below. Music channels do not define our tastes rather they cater to them.
    Kishore & RD are still as popular as they were in their lifetime. And for heaven’s sake please do not make a fool of yourself by saying things like deleting somebody’s voice. You are living in an age, where who ever you want to listen to is available at the press of a key/button.

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  • sunil kumar

    I don’t know whether those who r writing negative about Rafi sahab know his contribution. Here was a singer whom whole industry calls a rare Artist because you may have great artist but not great human beings. When Amitabh called him a rare artist and gave an example why he is calling him great and rare . Recently Annu Kapoor in his program gave examples of his greatness. Pyare lal ji when said Rafi saab and lata ji were the two artist who had unlimited range . His contribution to popularize classical songs like :Madhuban mein mein Radhika”, Bhajans like “Sukh ke sab saathi”, non filmi gazals ,Non filmy Bhajans. Sikh gurbanis , Maa Kaali Gaan sung in 14 different languages Amazing range. In one go sang “yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaate to kya hai for Guru Dutt and in same film sang for Johny walker “Sar joh tera Chakraye”.with completr different and Johny Bhai style. He could change his voice in just seconds to suit different characters . Great and if media and FM channel (92.7) in particular is working on the instructions of some disgusted elements we know who they r because his songs were stopped after Lata Ji’s controversial statement. who r they cab be guessed .
    and will be Exposed soon .When I was young boy my father used to take me to 26 th january parade in New Delhi and on both sides along the route patriotics songs of Rafi sahab used to be played and those songs we the young children used to sing in programs in our schools . He was instrumental in building a youth associated with the country at that time. He deserves Bharat Ratna.WHen Lata can get it you know how she got ( thanks to ( Bala sahab influence on BJP during NDA rule). .

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  • samad

    No one is writing negative things about Rafi Saab. You only are a blind fan who fails to acknowledge greatness in anybody else other than the ones who you like. Kishore and Lata do not depend on your opinions for either their huge fan following or their royalties ( as their songs sell n number of times than other singers). It is vey natural that Amitabh & Anu Kapoor may find Rafi Saab the best, but how does that affect Kishore’s fan following or Lata’s greatness. Do not write abstract things like contribution etc to pretend that you are knowledgeable. Listen to songs that u enjoy and let others enjoy what they find good, even if that does not coincide with your tastes.
    Music is meant to entertain, do not drag politics and meanness into it. We already have too much of those around us.

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  • jack

    Kishore was not a trained singer n despite being also an actor producer director writer composer n despite having started to concentrate on singing in the late sixties, overshadowed rafi since the late sixties. He has won 8 BEST Filmfare singer awards (a record) n got 27 nomination s in the same category (another record). His performance in any duo is much better than his co-singer. His song is much more popular than the same song sung by another singer. Films were super hits bcoz of his songs. He made the career of Rajesh k, Rishi, Dev, RDB,kalyanjee a, Rajesh roshan,LP,amitabh n many note.So kishore is clearly a very very great Singer if not the best. CHAMPIONS r judged by number of trophies not by polls. Rafis fans were hurt by the success of an untrained singer which explains their reaction. But be sportive n accept the facts. Kishoreda was a magician. He did wonders n the unthinkable

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  • Manish

    just hear dekho veer jawano apne khoon par ye ilzaam na aaye..show the way he sang the song…with such a zeal..
    and why the way many of us doesn’t know when such type of polls held and voted.. He lost only by 5 %.. You can imitate Rafi but u Can’t imitate kishoreda at all…You will try and find..

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  • humour

    Got your point about not comparing apples to oranges.
    But the almost one-sided nature of your comparison makes me wonder whether the apples are green.
    #justsaying

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  • sona

    Rafi Saab’s fans quote anecdotes and comments by famous people ( true or false is any body’s guess) to prove that he was incomparable and what not. In a spate of interviews published after Manna Dey’s death it was noticed that he held Md Rafi in very high esteem, but very “strangely” it is also evident that he thought equally highly of Kishore. In one particular interview he said ” Rafi’s knowledge of music was profound while Kishore’s talent was God gifted”.
    It makes little sense to quote what a person said once and conveniently forget what he might have said on numerous other occasions. Instead of wasting so much time in Kishore bashing and posing to be experts on music , Rafi Saab’s fans should spend more time listening to Rafi’s songs. Despite years of abuse by these people Kishore’s popularity is soaring. What a pity, we really have a serious scarcity of ” knowledgeable music lovers” or should we say “Kishore haters”

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  • Anshul Bhola

    All singers are good but Rafi Saab is the best. No channel can succeed in stopping the popularity of Rafi Saab. All these great singers had respect for each other. When his popularity doesn’t get dimmed in last 33 years after his death then how it can dim now. If all other singers are stars than he is the Sun. He doesn’t need any channel to promote his songs or his stardom. If any channel try to stop playing his songs than shows like Golden era with Annu Kapoor will replicate these FM Channels. Janta ji awaaz bhagwaan ki awaaz hoti hai. Ye FM channel Rafi saab ki polpularity nahi infact unke gaane play karenge to khud ko popular karenge. Rafi Saab and Kishore Kumar ek dusre ki bahut izzat krte the or Kishore Kumar ke khud ke words hai ki wo Rafi Saab ko bade Bhai maante the. To dono me koi ladai to thi hi nahi. Its all media created. I respect and love to listen all these singers. But i must say like once Dharmendra said ” Rafi Saab is my personal favourite.”

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  • pankaj#1

    And Sujata, I am feeling sorry for you.

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  • Aditya

    yes mohammed rafi is the greatest playback singer of India. No one can sing the way he did.

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  • Zubair Shaikh

    My dear Manish, do you know that RD was responsible for this song (tum bin jayoon kahan) he recorded it first with Rafisahab & then gave that recording to Kishoreda to rehearse for 7 days before he recorded his version. This discussion can never end all you have to do is leave the matter to the Grand Masters of the Indian music & the others singers of their time & also to the musicians who were present in the recording rooms. If you have read about their comments & experiences then you don’t have to argue with any one. Though I am a Rafi fan purely due to the Melody, Emotions & the Vocal range in his songs, i equally adore Kishoreda’s songs. Music has to enter your heart not necessarily through your ears.

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  • ANONYMOUS

    Come on ,why are you guys fighting? both were damn good singers they
    were beyond par ,rafi sahab and kishora da, and they were good friends
    too, then who the hell are you to disgrace any of them by showing your
    likeness towards one singer.Huh!

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