Though there were several speakers at the meet convened to discuss the Sachar Committee report the other day, it was Lok Satta leader Jayaprakash Narayan who stole the show. He made a touching speech switching from Telugu to English and Hindi. At the outset, he said he would speak from the heart and not mind. He did some plain talking about the condition of Muslims in the country.

After Minister for Minorities Welfare Mohd Fareeduddin left, speaking about scholarships being given to minorities, Mr. Narayan wondered if these could be obtained without greasing the palms. "Why don't you try," he goaded the audience.

Continuing from where he left, Siasat editor Zahid Ali Khan recited Alamma Iqbal's couplet to say how things spoken from heart carried weight.

Dil se jo baat nikalti hai asar rakhti hai Par nahin taqate parwaz magar rakhti hai

Speaker K.R. Suresh Reddy never loses an opportunity to remind others of the predicament he faces while in the Chair on the floor of the Assembly. The other day, while addressing students of SRR College in Karimnagar, he appreciated the audience for patiently listening through the speeches of more than a dozen persons on the dais.

For being patient in listening to speeches, Mr. Reddy made an interesting offer to the students. He invited them to witness the Assembly proceedings. "You can witness the proceedings." The students, who were clapping and encouraging the speakers periodically were, however, silent when the Speaker invited them. It left many puzzled as to whether the students were cold to the invitation because they knew how discussions took place in the House everyday?

If Union Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju has his way, the illegal flow of liquor from Armed Forces' canteens to civilians could stop. No, his plan is not to crackdown on illegal sellers.

A few changes and adjustments in the value-added tax (VAT) system can level the prices of liquor and other commodities in canteens and outside. And that's what he says his "personal" view is, that these commodities should be available for both, the armed forces and civilians, at the same rate.

Now, if the highly unlikely but still "desired" changes happen, it remains to be seen whether the prices for civilians will go down to be on par with CSD rates, or will the CSD rates shoot up to match the rates in our omnipresent wine shops. Bacchus-lovers would obviously say cheers to the first.

K. Srinivas Reddy & Dennis Marcus Mathew