I have always used this test to decide whether I should join a debate.
A few monks stayed in a very strict monastery. Only one Monk was allowed to speak a sentence at the end of the year. The first Monk said at the end of the year, “ I Don’t like the spinach they give us every day to eat.” At the end of the next year the second Monk added, “I like the spinach very much.” The third Monk added after an year, “All you got was 1 sentence and you wasted it on spinach.”
The story generally stops here. But I would like to add this. A fourth monk says, “See, I won’t waste my line talking about the spinach.”
This is the second time, I am deliberately breaking this rule of mine. The previous time was here. I am repeating this story only to make it easier for the reader.
Nearly 10 years ago (Feb 27th, 2002) a compartment of a train was burnt. I don’t know why. I wrote to Hindu by e-mail the same day that “Hindus would be blamed for it.” The riots had not happened when I wrote it. But the later events made me avoid the topic till some semblance of truth comes out. After 10 years there has been no improvement. Otherwise sensible Journalists openly call Modi a Mass Murderer. Modi would be well within his rights to take them to court. Others have done it for much lesser slander. Sensibly he has not done it.
But as I see analysts talk of closure and when I see the water being muddied day after day I realize we will never have closure for this simple reason. This is a story a Kashmiri Pundit told me about how Kashmiris haggle. It is equally true in Modi’s case.
A Kashmiri goes to an Apple shop early in the morning. The Shop keeper knowing his customer’s penchant for haggling keeps reducing the price after reasonable discussions. But suspicious that the seller was cheating him the buyer always went back on his words whenever the seller agreed to his price. The bargaining would start all over again.
Tired of the haggling the shop keeper told the buyer that he could have the fruit free. This made the buyer all the more suspicious. He now started bargaining – Can you give me two apples free.
Unfortunately my second spinach moment. Hope there isn’t a third one.