Disintegration on National Integration Desideratum The conclve was packed with ripe officers and veterans. I was one among Sixteen management trainees (MTs) at the fag end of our training programme. While they were seemingly stiff and worried about their delivery and results, I was enjoying the beauty of the landscape of the city through the large glass-window on the eighth floor and the picturesque canopy of tall gulmohar trees that lined up the Parliament Street. Each one of the MTs, selected from non-Hindi speaking belts of the Nation, had to speak in Hindi at least for five minutes, on a given topic. Hindi was Chinese to all the participating MTs. For preparation and practice, some of them had jotted down a few lines with help from their cronies. A few others had copied verbatim from selected texts read out by somebody, in their Tamil or and English alphabet. Later, they mugged up this speech to deliver at the chosen hour. Hours before commencement of the event, the MTs were rehearsing their speech, criss-crossing the lobbied-hall. I, however, sat in a corner, immersed in the last chapter of Future Shock, a fictional work authored by Alwin Toffler who had prophesied in the 1970s that the next war would be fought over oil. As I did not seem to be ready, my bosom - batchmates wondered as to what was in store for me; some sincerely believed I would get adverse remarks and or my training or probation period as they would call it - would be extended. Finally, it was reckoning time. Our trainee officer stood erect holding the mike and was softly calling the trainees one by one to the podium and introducing them to the audience, briefly mentioning his/her bio-data and they gave their five - minutes - speech. Before my turn, Mr ML Ramkrishna from Tamil Nadu had delivered IN STRONG Tamil accented chaste-Hindi, speech about the necessity of integration in maths as well as in the Nation. When he concluded the speech, deafening applause from the audience followed. After thanking MLR, our trainee officer Banerjee devoid of energy however spoke energetically commending former’s sincere effort and then softly announced my name into the mike, gesturing me to come on to the stage. From aside room, donning the Khadi cap, clad in an immaculate divided dhoti over my trousers and silk saffron kurta , I climbed up the dais and walked up to the podium with a regal gait. As I approached the stage, my training officer and others welcomed me Joining their hands with peals of laughter. Holding the mike, My trainee officer smilingly yet crisply stated my bio data and about previous stints I had, he rang the calling bell, gesturing me to commence “the speech”. Keeping in view the minimum time limit of five minutes, I began my speech in baritone thus, mimicking Amitabh, in apt articulation and long in dragging voice inflection: “n-a-m-a-s-t-h-e. bahilog and behanji, hamara bada Bharat desh may ithna rajya hotha hai; aaur har ek rajya may har ek basha hotha hai. Jammu Kashmir may Kashmiri, Delhi may Hindi, Bihar may Bihari, Bengal may Bengali, Orissa may Oriya, Maharashtra may Marathi, Andhra may Telugu, Tamil Nadu may Tamil, Kerala may Malayalam, Karnataka may Kannada ...” Spectators and including my pals - MTs, couldn’t arrest their rib-tickling laughter; few were laughing loudly in instalments and even wiping rivulets of tears running on their cheeks; my rest of speech got drowned in the chaotic comedy. Yet, I continued almost mentioning all the then 26/27 states and was about to state “Dieu - Daman - Andaman - Nicobar” the union territories. By this time, the trainee officer rang the bell, disrupting my speech and I then had to conclude in a tearing hurry. In whispering tone I uttered : “this is my anektha may ektha, aur ektha may anektha (this is my unity in diversity).Sathya meva jeyathe. Bharat Matha ki Jai and Jai Hind!” The trainee officer hopped on to the stage and summed up my speech thus: “He came like a thunder and went like a drizzle.” Later, after being posted in Bombay in 1978, I had a couple of enjoyable promotions and hospitable local deputations and an innings that lasted almost three decades. Now, I am happily superannuated.