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.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


With Putin in full swing, political activists in Russia are left with nothing but three options:

  1. Leave Russia – flee to the safe havens from where they could launch consistent scathing attacks on Putin, verbal duels that hardly affect this former KGB strongman
  1. Leave political aspirations if they cannot leave the homeland  
  1. To stay back in Russia with political aspirations - be ready to remain incarcerated with no clear timeframe in sight - the nearest date of liberty could arrive in 2018 when the next Russian presidential polls are due but given the history of Putin’s manipulations and the way he got the recent parliamentary and presidential elections rigged, the likelihood is he is going to retain the office many years beyond 2018.
Also, there lies another possibility. He can amend the constitution the way he feels comfortable with amply evident by the amendment in the Russian constitution to extend the presidential term in office to six years.

These are tough times for being an activist in Russia and almost a blasphemy for one to act like a political activist. With major institutions like the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Judiciary hand-in-glove with Putin, the current spate of Putin crackdown on opponents was only waiting to happen.

Protests began around September last year with Putin announcing to run for the 3rd term of the Russian presidency. Allegations of rigged parliamentary elections intensified the protests which are still continued.

Now with official sanctity of the presidential office firmly in his name, he is out there to settle scores.

Putin has consistently seen his popularity coming down. From enjoying as high as 81 per cent of popular support to the 60 per cent approval he got in the March 4 presidential election, it has been a downward spiral.

While the dissent is getting louder consistently.

But Putin has always harboured dictatorial ambitions. The billionaire activist and prominent opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky saw himself incarcerated and his empire taken over by the Russian government after he challenged and criticised Putin for corruption and other shoddy issues in a live television debate in 2003. Prolific blogger and the main opposition figure in the recent polls, Alexei Navalny is being charged with theft after the dirt was dug in from an old case.

The seed of the dictator in Putin is already germinated and it is bound to sprout with increasing opposition to him, on political and social issues, from different quarters of the Russian society. He is going to do all to crush voices to continue his iron-grip rule.

The crackdown that began with Putin claiming victory on March 4 is getting more and more brutal. Protesters are being thrashed, dragged down by hair, beaten and put behind bars. To supplement it, the government spokespersons are terming the police response as soft demanding tougher action.

Clearly, Putin now wants to make it loud and clear – that it is Putin’s Russia and being a Russian needs to follow how Putin likes it to go.

But the turbulence of the protests show it is not going to die down soon. Armed with social media tools and having seen good days of the oil economy, the Russian populace is now globally connected and the technological sophistication allows the activists to evade the consistent filtering and monitoring of the Russian state to let them be aware of and relay internally the global happenings like the Arab Spring or advancing rebels in Syria.

Indeed, its tougher times ahead for the Russian democratic dream.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -