The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.
Sunday, 31 October 2010
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Monday, 11 October 2010
Sunday, 10 October 2010
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
In July 1992, LK Advani reportedly told the house, "You must recognize the fact that from two seats in 1985, we have come to 117 seats in 1991. This happened primarily because we took up this (Ayodhya) issue." Incidentally, the riots in the aftermath of the Babri Mosque demolition had a wider spread. On September 30, after the Ayodhya verdict, in the media glare, Ravishankar Prasad, who appeared on behalf of defendant Ram Chandra Paramhans, was quick to appeal to Muslims to accept the verdict and move for a settlement.
Representatives including the political classes have used religion as a polarization tool to serve their purposes and hidden agendas meet.
The Marxian cliché 'religion is the opium of the people' has been so religiously followed by the representatives since the very beginning of the concept of 'the followers' and 'the followed' when political science as a discipline was no where in existence. A need for a leadership to move on for the followers and a need to justify every deed and control the mob mentality of the masses in case of dissatisfaction gave rise to the different levels of concocted supernatural powers that culminated in a psychological fear of god irrespective of the spiritual underpinnings of seeking questions and getting answers. 'Administrative Theory' to run the system was much in existence much before it got its modern day terminology. The representative class needed it to thwart any attempt to question its legitimacy. But on the other hand, 'Critical Theory' questioning the system was there, too, through the concepts of reformists who gave rise to different faiths and communities like Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Jainism, and many more, away from the fold of their parent system. And, growth of civilization, intrinsically as well as extrinsically, has seen battles between these two in all the formations.
Historically, if we don't count the natural or spontaneous deaths, this 'civilized' planet Earth has lost maximum of its inhabitants to the hands of religious expeditions, in the name of imperialist expansion or purely for spreading the ideology. 'Crusades' are really the black pages of History chronicles, for they represent how easily masses could be manipulated in the name of religion; masses that didn't care even for their lives. Masses are still being manipulated. The scale, the method, and the degree have become contemporary.
India, like any other civilization, has seen invasions, assimilation and cultural transformations. But a system that works on absolute centrality, though in patches (many princely states), like that in India before the Britishers took sweeping control, doesn't need polarization on religious lines to promote vested interests. Britain used communal polarization as a tool to rule India, dividing the society. They brought acts like the 'Act of 1909' that gave Muslims reserved seats in legislature and a separate electorate. Though an affirmative action, it was a separatist feeling nurtured by the then ruling class that ultimately resulted in division of the country. An act on the religious lines, that saw millions killed and millions displaced. What Britishers had started, was picked up by the radical elements from the Hindu majority. 'Hindutva' was sloganeered in 1923. Apart from small outfits, 'Hindu Mahasabha' (1915) and RSS (1925) came into existence. And the colonized India had the curse of Hindu and Muslim polarization along the communal lines through radical outfits from both the communities. And, that platform has stabilized and is still giving hands to the radical elements of the society, from all the sections.
But this political perception of radical polarization has failed their proponents at time.
Historically, from time to time, we have seen how the human psyche has rebelled to denounce such practices. Gradual rise of democracies out of the concept of the 'nation state' is a perfect case in point.
India before 1947 had Hindu-Muslim polarization but both communities fought together to gain the independence. There were differences but there were millions in India (even some in Pakistan too) who could not be polarized and decided to remain at their birthplace. Evolution of 'Hindustani' culture is another case in point. Ayodhya remained a trivial issue in 1949, fresh in the aftermath of 1947 riots, indicates this only.
And it is a good global mix. Part of the world that is growing and holistically developing is more or less a peace loving world. We cannot find polarization on issues to the extent of religious hatred here. Otherwise there are nation states being run with absolute centrality or countries in transition, trying to become democracies, or democracies like India. The interplay of psyche, religion and mass polarization is problem with countries falling in these last two categories, wherever there is multi-ethnicity.
Coming back to India, probably the shock of 1947 was so deep that it took 45 years of gradual developments in the Ayodhya issue to polarize radical elements of the Hindus to the extent that they led India to a black day, a day of eternal national shame, December 6, 1992. And again, representatives (RSS, BJP and associates) were at the helm to polarize a mob mentality in this case. Given the incidents in the aftermath of the demolition, further polarizations resulted in communal riots, Mumbai blast and Godhra riots.
But, there has been no such thing like an aftermath after the September 30 verdict on land ownership in the Ayodhya issue. Another option at the Supreme Court, stand of different parties involved and instant attempts to gain political mileage (targeting both the communities); nothing seems to be behind this polarization towards peace. This is an unlikely polarization of the human psyche for the representatives from all the political outfits with hidden agendas.
The human psyche and polarization theory doesn't apply to the BJP the way it claimed. It didn't catapult BJP to the power with majority as it had expected (in the light of LK Advani's 1992 claim). It had a disastrous power debut in 1996 and what it could get ultimately in 1998 was a coalition government that forced it to adopt reformist tone. The BJP got a good patron in AB Vajpayee and the party seemed to widen its wing to become a political outfit with liberal view on all the issues of concern. Its loss in 2004 owes more to governance and development issues.
And what Mr. Ravishankar Prasad says now. (Let's see it in the light of the fact that BJP seems to have lost its ground in Uttar Pradesh, the Ayodhay battleground, where it has consistency lost seats with every passing election after 1992)
There seems to be something more subtle about human psyche, religion and day-to-day life of a common man in a more demanding time; something that these representatives have failed to notice.
Monday, 4 October 2010
"Please come with abbu."
This one is part of conversation between a kid and an elderly, both from the Muslim community, from the movie Firaaq. The scene in point is about a kid who runs away from the relief camp for riot affected people to find his father as he didn't see the father to be killed while witnessing brutal killing, rape and burning of bodies of his family members. The film ends with the kid back in the camp.
Now to the euphoric debates and analyses on the Ayodhya verdict. Much has been said, much is being said, and much will be said. But who all is talking about the issue. You, me, the person next door or a kid like that in the movie or that elderly person! Nah!
These are so-called representatives. Representatives of the people, representatives of advocacy, representatives of liberation of masses, representatives of equality, and representative of voices!
Riots have taken thousands of lives, from all communities, irrespective of religious preferences. But one thing has been uniform. They all were people like me or you or the person next door, irrespective of the religious priorities. Can we go back and find a single incident when any of the so-called representatives faced demise as brutal as killing at the hand of rioters? The answer is a uniform no, indeed. Compare this to the toll estimates of thousands of killings in just two of the riots, in 1992 and in 2002.
Manipulation of the human psyche at mass level has been the most potent tool and root cause of emergence of such a class of representatives. But, at times, limitation of human brain comes to its rescue when it gets frustrated to think any further and gets out of bounds to be manipulated anymore. And this manifested psychological limit saved us this time. We may name it a maturing society. Though nothing can be said with firmness, we have intuition to believe in this.
Unprecedented security measures, high decibel claims and counterclaims, high-octane appeals to maintain peace and calm, implicit designs to gain the political mileage, and the intense media activity, in the run-up to the Ayodhya verdict, and for what? We, as a society, were more sincere with diligent representatives than what we have today. Put some hard work in finding the contemporary media coverage of the 1949 incident related to the Ayodhya conflict. One will hardly come across any significant coverage. If we talk in terms of religious hostility (as we see it today), the events in 1949 were probably on the same scale when a perceived sanctity of some religious place was breached. It was rightly left on the horizon to remain a local issue as it had been since early 1880’s.
Excess of anything is bad and it applies to the flow of information as well. When it meets the psyche that sensationalization is the lubricant of news flow, it becomes a trend to be followed, irrespective of the outcomes. Ayodhya, perceivably, became a national issue and much can be attributed to the excess flow of information. India has seen spread of Ayodhya issue and media on parallel tracks. There has always been a fine line to observe restraint in issues like Ayodhya but commercialization has blurred it over the years. And media is just one group of representatives. There are representatives and their entourage. They were there, continued with verbal exercises for over two weeks. They came in all shades, moderate and adamant, demanding and compromising. But did they represent us?
Do they represent us when it comes to sentiments while thrown in issues like Ayodhya?
Sunday, 3 October 2010
It was a day when a conscious Indian is necessitated again to think there is something wrong, a fundamental flaw that is continued unabashed. Something she/he often finds herself/himself mired in. But an ordinary man has become more or less a blend of a common man, a consumer and a citizen. It creates confusion because the first and the foremost work to be undertaken is how to survive and that too, in a society still impregnated with sound family ethos. And so, he gets in a mode of thinking that gels well with her/his primary responsibility. And that is innocent. And this very innocence preserves some thoughts for a day like this when the feeling is more about indignation and a desire for a miraculous improvement. It is true the prevailing chaos of the day-to-day survival takes over the very next day but hope is there as long as the feeling comes back to haunt, to jolt the fundamental notions of the system that we are living in. And it is free of socialist or capitalist notions. It is just human.
If we have reasons to believe India is progressing, we have even more reasons to believe an India is stagnating somewhere too. It is a day when soul of the father of the nation would be having exacerbated feeling of unrest with the rock bottom performance of growth and development indicators of its human wealth. The prime minister very rightly said India is on the path of glory. His vision, political compulsions and his position tells him to be positivist at most, to be realist at last, at least, in the public scrutiny. A poor monsoon, just for one year, shows what we are capable of achieving as a rapidly developing country. In 60 years since the ‘post-independence day-1’, we have not been able to fine tune the answerability of our parliamentary system. Any chance of implementing the answerability of the representatives of the common man the way that great visionary had designed! He is almost as forgotten as his teachings.
And he is not alone. Almost all of them are in the similar predicament, waiting to see, if, at all, their vision would form the fundamentals of a nation with its people in the foreground. October 2, a declared public holiday and a dry day, just passed. Some paid advertisements by the government agencies, some television channels showing biographical movies, some customary announcements!! A last weekday, it was Bhagat Singh's birthday but Ranbir Kapoor's birthday was the prominent thing on air. Expect even greater frenzy with upcoming birthday of Amitabh Bachchan.
70,000 crore could have given crores of Indians genuine reasons to look up and survive, lifting them above the threshold of mere survival. Had the visionary been there in our conscious, we would never have allowed the spectacle to be so denting. And it is the case when we continue to drag on the earlier work started.
This is ‘Bharat’. That is ‘India’. A theme much discussed and debated on. Both have their stories to tell. But will their protagonists ever meet? It was a day when this debate gets a new lease of life until the next such occasion comes.
Saturday, 2 October 2010
Trying to read the familiar simile
Hunting down the smiling guile
None to regain, nothing to reclaim
The wilt of that wuthering rain
Heading up the tilting cross
That eerie feeling of symbolic loss
One that life keeps in store
That could, once again,
Send me for a toss,
Was there again, set to regain
Lost in the alley of loss and gain
When the life is thrown in mayhem
Just to regain, but nothing to reclaim
The undercurrent of that,
When the fugitive turns-in
To the beaten, blotted, hunted pain
Desperate in the throws of,
Linking the life, again,
To the rejuvenating rose
Believing in the words,
In their prose
The desert sand creeps-in
Peeping-in through a hole
Making even larger moles
In the process,
The running scroll
Walking down the known aisle
Trying to read the familiar simile
Waiting to know all this while
Will this be a different mile?
Friday, 1 October 2010
गुम होती धुंधली राहों में
मन, न जाने क्यूँ,
ख्यालों के अर्श पर
राहें कभी पास तो,
कभी दूर होती रहीं
राही तो पर,
बेगाने ही रहे
खुद को बताते अनजाने ही रहे
जाना या न आना
सोचना फिर बेपरवाह हो जाना
खोना या पाना,
न मैंने जाना,
न तुमने पहचाना
न जाने क्यूँ,
हम, फिर भी तो चलते ही रहे
कभी तुमने कहा,
कभी मैंने सुना
टूटे हुए हैं जिंदगी से तो क्या
सोचा है तो जाना है
जुड़ पाएंगी ये टूटी कड़ियाँ
जिंदगी तेरे आगोश में