Ram Jethmalani’s records

The  late Ram Bulchand Jethmalani was born on Sep 14, 1923 and thus passed away a few days short of what would have been his 96th birthday. While formerly a Rajya Sabha member of the BJP in 2010-16, he was now representing Bihar on an RJD ticket. He was the oldest Rajya Sabha member at this time, and may well have been the oldest ever Rajya Sabha member.

Here is the “seniority list” of current RS members:

https://rajyasabha.nic.in/rsnew/member_site/memage.aspx

The oldest member now is Motilal Vora at 90, followed by Manmohan Singh a little short of 87.

In the present Lok Sabha, the oldest member now is Shafiqur Rahman Barq representing the SP, from Sambhal (UP). He is 89.

http://loksabhaph.nic.in/Members/MemberBioprofile.aspx?mpsno=3657

While HD Deve Gowda did not get elected to this Lok Sabha, he is younger than Mr Barq as he is now 86.

In the previous Lok Sabha, the oldest member appears to have been LK Advani, born in Nov 1927 and was thus 91+ at the time his term was completed in May 2019.

Coming back to the Rajya Sabha, older references mention the oldest member to have been Rishang Keishing of Manipur, who was 93 when he left the Rajya Sabha in 2014. He had earlier been the Chief Minister of Manipur.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rishang_Keishing

So it appears that Ram Jethmalani was the oldest ever member of the Rajya Sabha, and perhaps the oldest from both houses of parliament.

His daughter Rani was also a lawyer of some repute, but had passed away in 2012.

There would be several parliamentarians who lived to a greater age, such as Morarji Desai and Gulzarilal Nanda who both crossed 99.

If Kafka was Indian….

Many of us have heard the word “Kafkaesque”. It is generally associated with his work “The Trial” which was published in the 1920s. If you have forgotten the story you can refer to Wikipedia or elsewhere. It can be summed up on the blurb on one of the cheap editions:

What is your crime?               Nothing.

Who is the judge?                    I don’t know.

What is the punishment?       Death.

If Kafka had lived in India, he would have found much inspiration for similar works over the past century or so. One such story is that of Manmohan Singh, not the former PM but a farmer in a remote part of Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh.

Read his Kafkaesque story:

http://www.firstpost.com/business/vijay-mallyas-loan-bank-of-baroda-mistook-up-farmer-for-kingfisher-director-2819718.html

and an update:

http://www.firstpost.com/india/mallyas-guarantor-farmer-manmohan-singh-charges-bank-of-baroda-for-defamation-2828488.html

There are, of course, many interesting questions which can be asked about the way banks function in India-particularly the supposedly people-friendly public sector banks.

Tail piece: Not sure why this restaurant in Jaipur chose to name itself after the same writer:

https://www.facebook.com/kafkajaipur/