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  Opinion   Oped  16 Sep 2019  Now is an apt time to spread the message of non-violence

Now is an apt time to spread the message of non-violence

Kishwar Desai, is the chair of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust, which is setting up the Partition Museum at Town Hall, Amritsar.
Published : Sep 16, 2019, 2:22 am IST
Updated : Sep 16, 2019, 2:22 am IST

In the midst of all this, the former Prime Minister, David Cameron, has come up with his autobiography, For The Record.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Photo: AFP)
 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Photo: AFP)

The divisiveness of Brexit still prevails as the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, tries to find a solution. The House of Commons has also gone against Mr Johnson by voting that the UK will not be allowed to leave the EU without an agreement.

But does that bother BoJo? Not at all. He still thinks the UK will exit come October 31. No one is clear how he will manage that — but perhaps he is trying to channel some superhuman powers. He has compared the UK with the “Incredible Hulk”, a character popular with readers of comic books. Many are now trying to analyse the cartoon superhero to understand what the Prime Minister meant; as the chief characteristic of the “Hulk” is that he is transformed from a mild-mannered scientist (who invented him) called Bruce Banner into a huge green monster when he is angered. But maybe somewhere the PM is worried. He, of course, claims that he remains stress-free by taking early morning walks with his new pet dog, and reading poetry at night to put him soundly to sleep.


With less than one-and-a-half months left to go, we are wondering what could possibly change. There are also claims that there is a secret plan which will enable UK to Brexit.

In the midst of all this, the former Prime Minister, David Cameron, has come up with his autobiography, For The Record. There are a few bombshells for the present government, as he does say that Boris Johnson may have gone in for Brexit thanks to his “personal ambition”. He has also said that during the EU referendum campaign, Mr Johnson and Michael Gove effectively worked against the government of which they were very much a part.

All of this still does not answer why he ran such an ineffective campaign which led ultimately to a close win for the Brexiteers. It is something which will haunt the UK for a long time.


Mr Cameron wrote the book at the bottom of his garden in a specially constructed “hut” — which possibly allowed him the privacy to write without being disturbed. He was paid £800,000 for the book, and spent a small portion of it to construct this “hut”. However, he does admit that he was miserable at having to leave Number 10, Downing Street, and to quit as Prime Minister. Obviously, to retire voluntarily, when he had just turned 50, from one of the most powerful positions in the world could not have been easy. He felt he had to do it — but he has no regrets over the referendum either as there was always a demand for it, especially from within his own party.


My question for some time has been: How many Prime Ministers will it take to Brexit? After all, even the “Incredible Hulk” may not be able to save the UK, as it continues to go through uncertain times.

What better way to cheer up from the Brexit blues than to buy a Meghan Markle outfit? Yes the Duchess of Sussex has finally won praise for her designing of a “capsule clothing collection” comprising of five pieces, sold at the high street last week. The dresses are for a charity — Smart Works, which helps women join the workforce.

This effort has also left some designers confused — as the pieces themselves are nice but mundane. The prices of some left many, including me, wondering. Who exactly were these five pieces meant for? These include a shift dress, a tote bag, a jacket, a pair of trousers and, you will not believe this, a white shirt. The price tag on the white shirt makes it even more unreal: £125! (and we all know that in India, in Sarojini Nagar, these shirts would cost less than £10, and in the UK too, if one looks around). But these are clothes touched by a Royal, and are more of a PR exercise, it appears than really reaching out to women and helping them dress better in work situations. But criticism may be superfluous as the tote bag has already sold out! And it is also over £100.


Speaking of David Cameron, he had been extremely helpful when the Mahatma Gandhi statue had been set up just on Westminster Square, outside Parliament. He had attended the inauguration along with the late finance minister of India, Arun Jaitley (who is being missed deeply by all who knew him). Mr Cameron also paid his homage at the statue when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the UK. As this year is the 150th birth anniversary of the Mahatma, it is only befitting that some commemoration is done by the trust that set up the statue. Lord Meghnad Desai, the chair of the trust, recently announced the Mahatma Gandhi scholarships for deserving Indian students at the London School of Economics (LSE), through an endowment. This would be the seed money which would be added to by other donors. The director of the LSE, Minouche Shafik, has movingly pointed out the strong connection the LSE has with India, which should be built upon. The GSMT will do a few more other activities in London this year, as for some part of his youth, Mahatma Gandhi was a Londoner. And this is an apt time to spread the message of non-violence, everywhere.


Tags: boris johnson, brexit