|Akhlaq and the ninety-year-old Dalit man have paid the price for thinking they were of greater value than an animal and an idol. They misunderstood the import of official slogans regarding "vikas" (development); vikas has no further reference than to the class interests of the upper castes whose shrine is in Silicon Valley where the honourable Modi went for propitiation among the howling of beefed-up devotees. A crucial component of the RSS idea of vikas is social regression to the times of the Manusmriti. Development is to be restricted to technology and profit-maximisation; its social component must necessarily be a medieval revivalism which is far too sunk in prejudice and unreason to challenge the economic content of predatory development.
A quickly assembled loud speaker atop a ma...|
|Dadri murder will haunt India for years|
|Modi soft on BJP's communal engineering|
|PM's days of silence could have many reasons. But it has one fallout; it allowed full play to the voice of the bigots within, who can no more be described as the fringe, and who seek to cast the victim as the culprit and use the lynching to inflame the BJP base in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere.
Writer Nayantara Sehgal and poet Ashok Vajpeyi have returned their Sahitya Akademi Awards in protest against lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq Ahmed in Dadri (U.P) by a mob driven by a rumour that he had stored or consumed beef. It has now turned out that the meat was not of cow but of goat's. In another bizarre incident the Shiv Sena forced the cancellation of a concert by noted Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali who was scheduled to perform in Mumbai as a tribute to Jagjit Singh on his fourth death ...|
|What comes out..!|
|In any crisis or panic situation, what's in you is what comes out, which means that it is important to feed yourself with the right ingredients of courage and character, for such to stand steadfast during a time when you are up against the wall!
Here's a few lines from a motivational speaker, which I have used to emphasize this point:
"I was preparing to speak at a conference and I decided to bring an orange on stage with me as a prop for my lecture. I opened a conversation with a bright young fellow of about twelve who was sitting in the front row.
"If I were to squeeze this orange as hard as I could, what would come out?" I asked him.
He looked at me like I was a little crazy and said, "Juice, of course."
"Do you think apple juice could come out of it?"
"No!" he laughed.
|Learning to hang around in the newsroom|
|I walk in carrying my coffee in one hand and several newspapers in the other. I take one look around and I know instantaneously that it's going to be another 10 hours of industrial strength garbage that I have to peddle as "breaking news". Not only do I have to "present" the pre packaged product in a manner that is believable and appears ahem... ahem…"credible" but I also have to suffer my worst nightmare intellectually. Ah… the nightmare. It started when I was in just getting out of college. It would scare me back then to even think about trying to dumb myself down to try and fit in. The year was 2005. During the decade that followed my vague nightmare took a far too real shape.
I know almost immediately that I will have to ask questions that are not only generic as hell but also make s...|
|Holy Cow and the Unmaking of India|
|The greatest threat to India and the Idea of India is from within|
|Modi may have been elected on the much touted promise of development by an aspirational, predominantly young India. However, he appears to be driven by only one agenda - the same agenda that has driven the Parivar for nearly a century. That of turning India into the supremacist Hindu Rashtra, in which the majority has all the rights and minorities are reduced to the status of second class citizens, sans their rights, dignity and freedom, as Jews had been under the Fuhrer.
Amid all this song and dance about Hindutva's love for the Holy Cow and promising death and damnation to all those who dare to see it as just another animal, few seem to notice the fact that under Modi, India has been crowned as the world's biggest exporter of beef. If this isn't hypocrisy of highest order, Dea...|
|We need a purpose..!|
|Some time back I had unusual visitors, a chief engineer of a ship and his wife. The chief; slim, tall, bearded and on his way for a vigorous night walk to keep fit; they had dropped by to say hello. Strange hello it was.
The chief cribbed about the weather, about his neighbour's son, his daughter and would have even included wife had she not been sitting next to him.
I asked him about shipping and he talked about the slump, I asked about his seafarer's life, he told me what a bore it was, and how with all the sacrifice of being away at sea, he came home to find children and wife did not deserve his handsome wages.
He came by to say hello, ah t'was a bitter hello.
And as he talked his bitter I closed my eyes and walked with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn along the banks of the River M...|
|Modi's coercive politics and vikaswad|
|Language of permanent incitement|
|Nothing could underline the decline of the political institution and to what extent the political discourse has lost its relevance in the country than the morally despicable and repulsive words and phrases being used by our revered leaders during the campaigning for Bihar assembly. The leaders in their wisdom use base language for enticing the audience, entertaining their supporters and cadres. Nevertheless the question arises why the politicians resort to such language? Do they think the people appreciate such remarks and barbs?
Politicians using barbs and harsh language have not been unknown to the people. They always maintained the façade of sobriety and used the veneer of civilization as cover. On October 3, addressing a public rally in Banka, while the Prime Minister Narendra Modi,...|
|Kurtas or T-Shirts ..!|
|"He looked awful!" said the wife returning from the hospital where she works.
"Who?" I ask.
"Your cousin! The air-force guy!"
Now since quite a few of my cousins are in the air- force all through the example of an over zealous and patriotic uncle, many in next generation followed suit, so next question to wife was, "Which one?"
"The old one!"
"He retired twenty years ago!" I tell her, "Why'd he look awful? Was he sick?"
"He was wearing a T- Shirt!"
"Ah! I say, "He shouldn't be wearing a T shirt at his age?"
"Nothing wrong with his age," says the wife patiently, "He shouldn't be wearing a T- shirt with his potbelly!"
There's something about a T Shirt and a potbelly, the twain don't mix, and yet I see more men with bellies wearing one than those who deserve to sport such casual we...|
|Farmers suicides: Victims of traders & politicians|
|Farmers in small state like Orissa, Sikkim, Tripura, Assam and Jharkhand seldom commit suicide because those states have not witnessed mindless commercialization of agriculture. There is always food back up in the bio diversity.|
|How to prevent farmers' suicide has become the biggest challenge before the country. As per National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) between 1995 and 2012, 2.85 lakh farmers have committed suicide in the country. The suicide of such a large number of farmers in the country amid huge global and domestic demand for food questions the effectiveness as well as transparency of the global agriculture trade, various agriculture practices and the nation's ability to manage its vast agriculture potential.
Politicians and policy makers put the blame on climate change, illiteracy, backwardness of farmers and poor delivery mechanism. Though climate change torments farmers, the farmers' crisis has its root in human negligence, corruption, ignorance, mismanagement and lack of proper understanding of susta...|
|Honest Opinion Indeed..!|
|"Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friends forehead.." Chinese Proverb
How often we are approached by someone who wants an honest opinion about his short story, a poem, maybe a decision he has made or even what you think of the interior of his house he has just done: And you look at him with eyes of a quarter back out to get a goal and smash with foot, head and arms!
"You asked for it!" you glibly tell yourself as you destroy the person completely.
Listen to this little poem:
I watched them tearing a building down: A gang of men in a busy town.
With a ho-heave-ho and lusty yell, they swung a beam and a sidewall fell.
I asked the foreman, "Are these men skilled, As the men you'd hire if you had to build?"
He gave me a laugh saying, "No indeed! Just common labor is all I...|
|Preparing for that make-over? - II|
|Things are therefore going well beyond the mere matter of appointments to various institutional headships etc., with one exception: the gathering assault upon Nehru and the Museum dedicated to his life and work and concomitantly to the history of the freedom struggle needs to be seen as an attempted demolition complementary to that of the Babri mosque in 1992.
A third plank that has been let loose to the same purpose -of consolidating the notion of an undifferentiated Hindu India-is the suggestion made by the RSS chief that it is perhaps time to rethink the affirmative policy of reservations. Such affirmative policies that set caste apart from caste have never found favour with the Hindutva Rightwing for the simple reason that such a policy framework forever separates Hindu from Hindu,...|
|Wrong cannot become right..!|
|And as India tries to justify the murder of Mohammed Iqlakh who was lynched for eating what the majority in the country don't eat I see a trend happening which if not stopped can lead to a disaster with the Prime Minister telling the world to invest in India, because wrong cannot become right even if the majority think so.
The law of the land judges what is right and what is wrong and not a bunch of people who feel they can force their views on the rest.
In a housing society in Andheri where a former chairman and secretary seeing the illegal extensions taking place in the society and also seeing their own committee members doing the same got it passed in the AGM to put a stop to these encroachments. Legal notices were sent through a reputable lawyer to the encroachers who also inclu...|
|Preparing for that Make-over? - I|
|The Hindu (September 23, 2015) reports that at an RSS meeting, the hitherto routine discourse about true secularism and pseudo-secularism (alleged "minority appeasement') has come to be superseded by a bolder formulation. Noting that the stipulation about "secularism" was clandestinely inserted into the Preamble of the Constitution by Indira Gandhi during the Emergency period, as per the above report, Manmohan Vaidyaji has given voice to what one always knew to be the real position of the Hindutva Rightwing: he is reported to have said that secularism is "irrelevant" to India.
This new enunciation requires to be read alongwith a concatenation of cultural moves that have been in evidence lately.
The advice sent to the Nepalese political power-structure that the new Nepalese Constitution ...|
|As we grow old..!|
|Noticed a few days ago, that I was paying more attention to the pavement I was getting on to then looking up at the display in the shop windows. I pondered for a moment and realized I was so scared of slipping on the uneven tiles I didn't dare look up, "You're growing old Bob," I muttered to myself and was dismayed by that not too happy thought till I chanced to read this article by Douglas Mac Arthur:
'Youth is not entirely a time of life; it is a state of mind. It is not wholly a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips, or supple knees. It is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigour of the emotions, a freshness of the deep springs of life. It means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of an appetite for adventure over love of ease.'
'Nobody grows old by ...|