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 31 October 2012


That may not be the case, but at times, you tend to think like this when you really visit an India away from the metro India. And you don’t need to chart out the hinterlands to be witness to the fragility of the concept called India envisioned 65 years ago.

Just travel some kilometers from the outskirts of any sprawling metro city, be it Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore or any metro city of your choice, you can see the tentacles of lawlessness getting wider.

You’ll see police stations where you would find it is almost impossible to be heard sanely; where you would try hard and weigh all before entering its premises.

You’ll find government offices where senior and high-level bureaucrats would behave like they are the kings, the elite brass appointed to rule over you. Accessibility to them becomes like a prized commodity and you end up paying the convenience fee to the minions of the kings to have the access; to have your voice heard; all in exchange of some empty words and not even hollow promises.

You’ll encounter masses of lower-wrung functionaries in the government offices and would get frustrated (irritated) to find people looking just like you and me behaving like lesser crooks ready to make larger than life holes in your pocket.

You’ll see more students out of schools than in the campus in the government run educational institutions. You’ll encounter more or less similar situation in many private higher education institutions. Exceptions are a realized rarity.

You will find hospitals equaling the dirt and pollution of a busy station of the Indian Railways. You would need to sweat it out to find a patient coming there with a reason other than financial compulsions. You would easily find scores of them there being castigated by the doctors and the hospital staff who are supposed to heal them.

You’ll become witness to the breach of law in the courts that are supposed to preserve and perpetuate the rule of law.

Yes, you’ll see some bright spots out of all this gloom and looming doom. Yes, it is like gloom and the looming doom. Writing this is not pessimism. It is looking at the India of the day with an objective perspective when what you see and witness most of the time is the stories of ultimate human rot of the system where the people supposed to steer a developing nation out of poverty and underdevelopment, at every level of its administration, polity and policy, are soaked in corruption and shameless denial.

Where the country’s prime minister, in his response to the charges of corruption and financial bungling, promotes a corruption tainted minister and demotes an honest minister whose integrity confronted India’s biggest business house.

Where the country’s most powerful political family, that uses the surname of the father of the nation and has tried to rule the country since the independence is facing the charges that would shame the Mahatma.

Where the corruption taint is having the same hue on every political creature, be it at the Union level or in the states; be it the government or the opposition. The bureaucracy and the administrative coterie either follow them or add to their corrupt practices.

Where the activists of the country fight more among themselves than with the system; where the activists fight more for their selfish agendas than their concern for the main subject of the democracy, the voter like you and me.

This is my world view of the country India, based on my travels, travails and observations to the parts of the country I have been and I can claim it’s been pretty wide and I can claim I am a keen observer.

I felt heavy while writing this and would certainly like to see it change during more of my travels and observations.

I wrote of bright spots above and that is based on the observations that told me of the people like you and me, who, though not speaking, are observing all this; they are worried for their future, for security of their families, for days of their generations to come, and they are coming to know the rot-points in the system.

Yes, they are not speaking yet but burdened masses have spoken always, the history tells us.

Yes, it is the matter of time when it happens and the matter of swing over the issues of obstinacy of the people running the system now and the obduracy of the subjects of the system being governed by it.

That is what made me put a question mark to the title and deliberating over it and coming to it was really a soothing thread in the overall thought process.

Yes, India of the day looks beyond redemption but the redemption is bound to come. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Tuesday 30 October 2012



A human emotions painting by Ragini 

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©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Monday 29 October 2012



At some point of time in the recent past of my life, it was just in passing during a fine day of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF)*. I was sitting in the media lobby though I was there purely on a personal visit. I had thought to observe things in the silence that an active profile would not have permitted.

Though I had no personal favourites there scheduled to hold the session that day, it was good to sit in the lobby and have small chit-chats with the authors coming over there for small breaks.

The lobby was almost in front of the main pavilion of the JLF at the Diggi Palace hotel, so it gave a good view of the sessions going on in there as well. An added advantage!

That session in progress during the day was sounding something off the guard and so I was in my thoughts driven away from the fake hullabaloo of the surrounding crowd.

Due to the certain proximate events in life, my thoughts were centered on value propositions in life. Circumstances had played with me strangely (and negatively) but I had successfully tried to remain straight forward and the similar thoughts prevail to this day.

Sunday 28 October 2012



A painting by Ragini 

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©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Saturday 27 October 2012



A man goes out on the beach and sees that it is covered with starfish that have washed up in the tide. A little boy is walking along, picking them up and throwing them back into the water. ‘What are you doing, son?’ the man asks. ‘You see how many starfish there are? You’ll never make a difference.’

The boy paused thoughtfully, and picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean. ‘It sure made a difference to that one,’ he said.

This is a Hawaiian parable that I have taken here from Half The Sky: How To Change The World, (Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn), a thought provoking work on women slavery and stories of those who stood up to set examples.

The parable with its simple yet stunningly powerful words tells us what most of us lack in the life – lack of attention, a deficient attachment and the lack of understanding – in living the joy of the ‘small’ to make the thing that you see as ‘the’ big goal in your life, that again may be very mundane for other.

But remember, it is your life and it has to be basically about you.  

I am not going to write about the book here that quotes many stories that dumbfound us before showing the possibility to crack the code to a solution. Read it and form your own opinion.

Life is in smaller moments; smaller moments that has the potential to make the person of ‘you’. You don’t launch on the final stretch of the journey directly and life is certainly not a sprint race.

It is basically not about making grand plans and researching and restructuring your life to make sense of it.

It is always before your, within you, waiting to be looked at, longing to be taken care of.

It is basically about how you perceive your presence here; how you perceive the every moment that passes.

It is basically about whether you follow the escapist in you or the fighter in you.

It is basically about the cliché that goes saying whether you see the glass half-filled or half-empty.

It is basically about whether you follow your voice or buy more of others.

It is basically about whether you express your thoughts genuinely, be it joy or anger or sorrow or pain or humiliation, and not paint them up or down under any pressure or compromise.

It is basically about whether you see the other person, who so every he may be, as equal to you.

It is basically about whether you treat the others the way you expect them to treat you.

It is basically about doing your bit honestly for the life given to you and making it a natural part of your existence, like the boy in this parable reacted to the question of the man.

It is basically about giving respect to the life in its entirety for giving you the chance to make your living felt by the others.

It is basically about realizing this feeling and living your life in a straight forward way not compromising with your ideals that you set for yourself.

Living a life on your terms is experiencing the life in the smaller moments that give us the moments of self-satisfaction and echoing memories of self-reflection.

The sum total of the experiences that you live in the smaller moments make the larger picture of your life making you ready for the next. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Friday 26 October 2012


Everybody is trying to say something, shouting, yelling, adopting every measure that is in reach, but nothing is being told about ‘them’.

Now who is this everybody?
Who are they yelling at?
Who is not being talked about in all this?

Basically, this ‘who’ is the media vehicles and some of the activist groups who are digging in for truth creating sensational stories that directly implicate the people in high corridors of power under corruption allegations, at least, that is what they think, based on the TRPs or the television rating points generated, or the media coverage cornered (in case of certain activists) that lead one to believe, that it is creating some sort of public perception. How strong that public perception becomes is a highly debatable issue in the current opera where a silent majority of over a billion plays the role of extras, sitting in the background, taking orders and obeying without questioning.

They are yelling at the objects of their digging, the likes of Salman Khurshids, Robert Vadras, Nitin Gadkaris or Naveen Jindals in the ongoing episode, the likes of A Rajas, Suresh Kalmadis and many more in the recent past, the countless others in the past, and the countless others in the days yet to come.

These are really high voltage stories as they are getting their ‘viewers’ hooked up. Whatever be the intent, it is good to see that their acts is giving some embarrassing moments to the shameless creatures though they’re continued with their rants and outright denial to the probe for probity. They believe probity is not a trait made for them.

But who is being ignored in all this? It is the Indian on the street who, in theory, is empowered enough to write the fate of the people who are supposed to serves him, but practically, lord over him.

No one is talking about the real subjects, the physically challenged, who were duped by the likes of Salman Khurshid, the man who is supposed to manage the legal affairs of the country. Some faces were flashed in the media as they served as fillers at some points of the developing story. I don’t remember any case study of the local media acting serious on the plight of the marginalized groups like the physically challenged.

No one is talking about the subjects who are affected by the land-grabbers like Robert Vadra or Nitin Gadkari or the DLF or many other politicians in collusion with other politicians and the real estate companies.

The public land meant for community purposes or the land allotted to the poor is a soft target for the land sharks who tread it for peanuts or get the it by manipulating the system.

It is not happening just in metros and their satellite areas. It is an India endemic. No one is talking about how badly the acts of the likes of Robert Vadras, Gadkaris and DLFs affect the lives of millions of the homeless in a country where over 65 per cent of the population survives on less than $2 a day.

Everyone is talking about ‘Purti’ and Nitin Gadkari’s wrongdoings here but no one is talking about the subjects whose interests have been compromised by the this sham cooperative.  

No one is talking about the fact that India has gone back to the hunger level of 1996 (65th out of the 79 nations ranked) in the latest Global Hunger Development Index in spite of all the talks of economic prowess and increasing GDP since 1991.

No one is talking about the fact that despite all the economic growth talks since 1991, India is still home to the largest number of sick people. Bangladesh has been able to perform better than India in bringing down the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) with its limited resources.

There are many other burning issues on social parameters, where India continues to perform badly despite the economic growth that began over two decades ago, that write on and off lives of the countless Indians daily but no one is talking about that.

If we ever have a mention, it is either one shot act or a fleeting reference during the main course of a story. We need consistent approach and regular thrust on the issues pertaining to the ‘real subjects’ in the same way the organs are shouting at now on the ‘subjects of their interest’. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Thursday 25 October 2012


Why Uncle Sam is still dear to almost every free-thinking and development loving soul in the world - we got a symbolic answer for it today.

The favourite global Indian kid on the block, ex Goldman Sachs, ex Proctor & Gamble, ex McKinsey, top honcho, Mr. Rajat Gupta, was sentenced by a district US court today (yesterday, US timeline), on insider trading charges.

Now around 400 luminaries including Bill Gates and Kofi Annan had written letters requesting leniency for Mr. Gupta citing his luminous career and philanthropic acts.  

The US government in a prosecution led by an Indian Preet Bharara had asked for 8-10 years of prison term adjusting it to the mathematical computation of the loss that Mr. Gupta’s insider revelations caused. The judge in this case (Jed Rakoff) has had a reputation of going lenient in such cases and that was a point of hope for Mr. Gupta’s side.

But a prison sentence of two years and a fine of $5 million tell us he is not lenient at all but a balanced mind sitting at a responsible chair that decides swing of many lives by writing about a single one.

Rajat Gupta has been an out and out achiever before this and this sentence is enough to dent that lifelong achievement. Therefore, it is certainly not about length of prison term in such cases.

And it could happen only in a country like the US. There are some other countries as well but India doesn’t figure there, not at all. At least this I can say while sitting in India writing this write-up.

We have plenty to write about the lawlessness of the elite in India, right from the very first Independency Day, but even a glance at the present scenario is more than enough to validate this fact.

We saw three high-profile revelations and corruption allegations in the past one month involving the law minister of the country, Salman Khurshid, son-in-law of India’s most powerful political family, Robert Vadra and president of India’s main opposition party, Nitin Gadkari of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

Final conviction and sentencing of people sitting at high positions has been a rarity in India and I, like every other Indian on the street (as some politicians like to call it), was not expecting even a probe sort of thing.

And lo! Exactly same has happened, exacting the debased political fluid once again on the dilapidated democratic texture of India. Politicians, direct representative of the Indians, have weakened our democratic institution to such great lengths that we have come to accept that a Rajat Gupta like conviction is an anomaly or an impossible event.

Sample this! There has been no probe except the routine probe by the Uttar Pradesh government in Khurshid’s case. The ministry that raised the issue of fund misuse is now solidly supporting Khurshid like his government and the Congress party. The IAS officer who cancelled a controversial Vadra-DLF land deal has been transferred and his orders are being probed in place of the controversial land deal.

In both the cases, their have been more than enough evidence on record to lodge criminal complaint and start a probe. But how can that be when these both names come from the ruling party?

In the other case mentioned above, the Income Tax Department probe ordered in Nitin Gadkari’s case is nothing more but a political move as the BJP was constantly getting upper hand due to one-after-the-other corruption allegations on the Congress party and now it would work to dampen that noise a bit when the important Gujarat election is just around the corner.

But, even then, expecting a conviction and final sentencing of Nitin Gadkari would be a foolhardy proposition and we Indians know it very well.

Now, Mr. Gupta, if you can try and request if your big friends could write about shifting your case to India under the Indian system for the next appeal, you certainly stand a chance. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Wednesday 24 October 2012


While sitting to do some thinking
The flow that came was charming
I usually don’t follow the swing
But I felt it could be distinct

I saw the flashback moving live
Memories rushed on a drive
I felt you looking into my eyes
I spoke to you, there were no whys

Living the oddities, life’s absurdities
I don’t buy the dreams, their realities
I know the line, its existential me
I know what is, what wasn’t to be

While sitting, talking to me unspoken
I knew I had to be left heartbroken
When I crossed the line, let you come in
But unlike the flow, you stayed within

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Tuesday 23 October 2012


Why almost every politician is associated with some non-governmental organization (NGO) or voluntary organization (VO) or should I say how many politicians run or are associated with some NGO/VO?

These are high times when such questions are to be asked and answers have to be sought for this ‘why’.

The one obvious answer reflects in the Khurshid and Nitin Gadkari episodes. Though the Khurshids have filed for defamation, and are shamelessly denying the documentary evidence, their act has embarrassed many of their lot. While Khurshids are shielding behind verbal manipulation and sham of a probe by the Uttar Pradesh government, Gadkari, too, is ready to face the probe. Politicians monitoring probe or probing politicians – what else likes of Khurshids and Gadkari can ask especially after the political wisdom of the ‘mutual trust’ that Digvijay Singh illuminated us with.

These two keenly watched corruption episodes, of Khurshids and Gadkari, prominently figure NGOs as a route to divert funds or gain assets.

And there are multiple NGOs created and run for this purpose only.

The developments throw many points that tell us why politicians run or get associated with NGOs.

It’s about that easy money. Funds copiously flow. Government of India under its NGO Partnership System invites NGOs to register on a website ( and has enlisted 11 of its ministries and departments (in the first phase? – so there might be more coming). These are Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Department of Higher Education, Department of School Education & Literacy, National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB) and Department of Youth Affairs.

A look at even the nomenclature of these entities tells us all these areas entail ample opportunities to design projects for social empowerment. India’s social indicators are really bad and it has more to do here with the project design than its implementation. Monitoring is either absent or manipulated.

Almost every ministry earmarks funds running into millions every year that are allocated to the NGOs for projects ranging from vaccination drives to awareness campaigns. Sometimes the vitals can be measured; sometimes it is not possible when the parameters are vague like ‘awareness’.

The government accepts and highlights the need of non-governmental organizations in extending the social welfare work recognizing that it cannot reach everywhere. And here politicians see the opportunity. 

Politicians either form the legislature and so are able to manipulate the executive or are close to the legislature to get their ways in to have their ends meet.

There are some set criteria as to which NGO can claim funds like having completed three years post the registration and necessary tax and revenue documentations. But like everything else these, too, can be managed and are managed.

Politicians and bureaucrats siphoning off the government funds in collusion with other NGOs or through their own outfits has been an open fact that everyone knew but no one cared to talk about.

Expecting an irresponsible response, as has been the case in the two developments mentioned in the opening lines, is one of the reasons that make us not to talk about political and bureaucratic corruption through NGOs in India. But that doesn’t mean we ignore it.

Though there are more than enough documents at the initial stage to implicate Khurshids’ NGO, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, the funding ministry that asked for the fund-use irregularities to be probed, flatly said they were not going to stop funding Khurshids’ NGO.

The accepted practice is commission or ‘cut’. Depending on the negotiation and the scale of the project, it may range from 15 to 40 per cent the commission agents who hop the sanctioning authorities say. I don’t know how much of it is true but the suspicion in such cases is never unfounded. They go even to the extent saying almost every project that is routed through NGOs/VOs is sold.

What has Khurshids’ prestigious NGO done is just the tip of the iceberg. But with all going and expected to go hand-in-glove, the ice may not melt in the near future.

Reports say as high as 98 per cent of NGOs/VOs in India are nothing but money churning machines and it does compare well with the public perception that barring few (like few honest NGOs and activists), almost of the politicians can be ‘classified’ as corrupt. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Monday 22 October 2012



He had decided he would take the Combined Admission Test (CAT) organized jointly by the Indian Institutes of Management. The admission brochure was available from the State Bank of India branches.

His father had a friend in city’s main branch of the bank. Given the rush to get the admission form, he asked his son to get it from that branch though it was not the nearest one from his place.

Way back in the history of his life, it was a summer month. He rode his bike at leisurely pace as he was aware that he would get the form easily and even would be offered a cup of tea while the uncle, his father’s friend, would send some office boy to bring the brochure.

It was so relieving for him for he would not have to toil hard in that scorching sun. So he was there, enjoying the bike ride on a stretch of road that he had already mapped countless number of times.

But this was different. What was the reason he couldn’t understand. Life tries to find breathers in small moments and such reflexes are natural. Probably it was due to the thought that he would get something easily others would spend a hell lot of time for. News reports had told him that there was great rush and it was taking three-fours hours in the queue to get a single admission form, as if, the country’s whole younger lot was determined to be managers of a changing India.

Though he was not sure if he wanted to be one of the lot, he had taken in the caring advice and thought to give it a chance. So he was there, on the way, to procure the CAT brochure when India was into second decade of its reform phase and things were quite on and off.

The bank branch was in front of the city’s court premises. On left to the main entrance was the place where he had to park his vehicle. Some 100 meters away from the parking lot was the main doorway to the main block of the bank housing the section selling the CAT admission brochure and he could clearly see the queue trudging out of that doorway and was expected to get longer with time as more and more aspirants were still downloading their bodies onto the brick and mortar pathway connecting the main entrance of the bank premises to the main door of the concerned building block.

He felt a different kind of calm he did not know why. Probably it was due to reason that he knew he had not to be part of that long column of faces waiting for their number to come.

After parking the vehicle, he headed to the section where his father’s friend was. The uncle was already informed. While passing through the different sections, he could see the column was at least three hundred faces strong. If one face took even 30 seconds to register, it was going to take 150 minutes. That would the ideal situation. Practically, it was not going to be less than three hours of wait in the line.

Thinking and calculating all this, he reached to the chamber of the uncle. He got a fatherly welcome there. After the customary salutations, there came the round of some this and that chit-chat. All this while his eyes were glued on the queue of the young faces waiting for their turn. He could see through the glass window shields of the chamber he was sitting in. They were talking, crooning, making body movements; one normally does in such long hours of wait. Obviously, cellphones were much less in number then. Some of them were complaining of the long hours of wait but overall the situation there told him they were quite okay while waiting.

Something else just had initiated in his thoughts. What, he was not sure of. Meanwhile, he had handed over the cash to his father’s friend. Soon, an office boy came and was asked to bring the CAT form from the section. But before that he was sent to bring tea and snacks. All this while, thoughts were doing some good trekking in his mind.

What was it he didn’t know but he was certain of one thing – that the natural reflex that had put him in a state of ease owing to the fact that he would get the admission brochure in just five minutes was not there.

Instead, he was feeling a growing unease about it. He could see the faces in the column, lined up, but disciplined, waiting for their turn, to get the booklet, like the column of soldiers during a battle. He could feel they were laughing at him. He could see they were making satirical gestures about him. He could listen to their jibes on him getting the form out of the queue.  

Okay, it was not any battle sort of thing. After all, it was just a long queue for a CAT form. In India, hundreds of thousands apply for an examination like CAT while just few select could make it to the final tally.

But it seemed to him telling something. Suddenly, he felt he was deceiving his own ‘self’ and not them in the queue. After he was done with the tea and biscuit, something from his inside said he needed to be part of that queue. Lost in thoughts, he slowly stood up and started walking towards the section selling the form.

He was brought back by the voice of his father’s friend. He found the uncle staring at him with a puzzled face but he could not explain it to him. He simply requested that he thought he should try to get the admission packet the way others were trying. After some denials, the uncle surrendered to his this sudden change of thought.

And suddenly, all the growing unease vanished as took his position in the queue.

He could feel he was able to roam across in his thoughts freely as he was doing while coming to the place and parking the bike. Yes, the context of the thoughts had totally changed by then.

While reflecting later on, he didn’t feel that bad about what he was thinking while en-route to the bank branch, but he did feel good about those three hours or so waiting in column, quiet and disciplined, like millions of Indians do every day, for their turn to come. It is the one of the routine events of their day-to-day lives.

Why did it happen? How did it happen? He is still not sure of. It doesn’t matter even.

But he tries to follow earnestly what happened to his thoughts then, during a routine day, way back, in the history of life.  

Sometime, the mundane holds the vital keys to the life and its existential questions.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Sunday 21 October 2012



God fearing or god loving!

Though I haven’t seen the movie ‘OMG, Oh My God’ with Paresh Rawal in the lead role, I could come to believe it should be an interesting watch. Its synopsis was enough for me to reach at this conclusion as raising such a sensitive subject in a religiously orthodox society like India asks for courage. And the way the plot goes on to deliberate on the subject with related issues tells of some good grey-matter invested in researching for the script and the language.

One of it was about what kind of devotees we are.

One of the characters (a typical Baba or religious guru of the day) says in the closing scene (based on the synopsis I read) that the people (read devotees) who were turning away from him would come back to him one day as they fear god and not loved him.

The film tries to tell us about the rational side and methods of the god-worship and how our own fundamental flaws about the concept of god’s existence and rule add to our miseries that we never realize. 

True, most of us are like this only. When there is acute shortage of healthcare infrastructure, when there is almost dead educational infrastructure at the beginners’ level, the growing number of multi-million dollar temples and an evergreen multi-billion dollar business thriving on religion tells us this only.

What is this with god and man?
Isn’t yet another relation that we live?

We all need to develop a relation with god and it should come not only if someone else was doing so; not only if others do so blindly. It should develop the way our most intimate relations grow.

We need to question him, fight him, and come to believe in him, the way we do with family members and friends.

But for most of us, god has always been a forced proposition, positioned within us with an imagery that is all sacrosanct, powerful, all giving, all punishing, all caring. This indoctrination begins at an age when we cannot even speak. And this imagery has not even a single human-like element.

As time passes and we grow up, this imagery of the god becomes stronger, making him totally different from us.

We can understand this from the basic ‘spiritual tenet’ of a god-driven world where it is said we don’t need to run anywhere to find god; he is within of us.

Rarely do we feel like it when realizing and practicing it can practically kill all our miseries.

Most of us, we never see that human element of god in us; we never see the human element that is there in the god.

Most of us, we always look at god as someone all powerful who would end all our miseries. Most of us, we always see in god an all powerful giver. Most of us, we live in the circumstances, where we fall short of good happenings, face bad events, and overcoming the resultant chaos goes beyond our capacity.

We look to god then, to give strength to us, to help us in reconciling with whatever that happened; reconciling with something that should never have happened according to our conscious thinking. We all have these moments in our lives.

When we are able to overcome (irrespective of how), we say god came to help us. When we are not and have to reconcile somehow, we say god punished us for something that might even go the previous life (even though we never fully know about this present and real life), if we are not able to dig any possible reason in this life.

Most of us, we stereotype god in this fashion, either giver or punisher. We are told to see him like this generation after generation.

And most of us come to nurture a selfish relation with god thus, making us more and more dependent on him, expecting more and more. Naturally, most of the time, our calls are not heard and we somehow reconcile that it was god’s will or it was in destiny. This dependency, over a period of time, replaces natural devotion with devotion impregnated with expectations, taking in the element of fear.

It drags us to the ways where we become more and more ritualistic, trying to do all to please the deity of our conscious; trying to do all to avoid wrath of the deity. We seldom do the soul searching that may refine our thought process. The spiritual quotient is buried deep somewhere then.

If we follow him blindly without questioning him for the events that our conscious cannot reconcile with, we don’t love him. We follow him then fearing that not doing so would invite his wrath.

True love is free of such inhibitions, be it in any relation. God has to be loved in the same fashion the way we love our closed ones.

Majority of the human population has followed the same process of human evolution over the ages. This basic tenet has remained the same.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Saturday 20 October 2012



Like many other days of his life, thoughts again came to him, not questioning but to stay with him in his intimate moments. There happened to be a time when he would feel depressed the way he had been seen by the life in his recent past. He would be haunted by those thoughts.

Not anymore. But it is not any reconciliation sort of deal with life or its existential beliefs and disbeliefs. He never believed in making deals. Going srtraight was all that he had learnt.

He had always believed in his existence. Yes, he had deviated but there was no one else to blame but him. But now he doesn’t see any reason to blame his ‘self’ for that deviation. He now believes in his existence even more deeply.

But for it, he had to wage a battle deep within, something that made him look at the brighter side of the things he was totally unaware of in life, something that gave him an experience set of events and relations he had never thought of taking even a dip in.

Yes, it was not a reconciliation but a recognition to the realization of his own views of life and whether he could accommodate the same with this thinking nature. Yes, the journey back within had made him see the points of his mistakes and prepared to appreciate and learn from them.

Thoughts, their rush, they come to him, and he always finds moments for them, irrespective of the interrogative ‘Ws’. He is still not sure of the certainty on how he saw the light from those haunting memories but he looks well settled now with the echo of the thoughts of those memories that come so often to sit with him.

If it was an unbearable pain yesterday, it is still painful today, but the sides have changed. Now this pain soothes him while that pain was mercilessly treading.

This all owes to his belief in himself that he has been able to win back. He knows he was always seen as a weaker form of being, someone who embodied more wrong than right or possibly wrongs only, someone who was not was his words were, and to make things worse for him, he came to feel all those about him.

But there was something left in him, something that let him not to deviate from the basic texture that he had weaved for him in the very beginning.

He might not have known anything then but he knew he was on a journey where he had to be committed and honest, not for others, but for his own self. Yes, he never knew the ways of that life, but equally aware he was of his own ways of life even when the gloom was killing him. That is how he could fight and win back, that element of his sense of trust in him, that, though suppressed, kept on calling him.

And a day came, when he listened to it again.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Friday 19 October 2012


Yesterday, during a debate on NDTV, the senior lawyer Majid Memon thrashed the activist crusaders like Arvind Kejriwal and Y P Singh saying they were creating an atmosphere as if everything about India was going wrong painting an absolutely negative picture of a nation where there was much good to talk about.

It is true there isn’t an absolute gloom like situation in India as of now and one living example to that is the one-after-the-other expose happening these days putting in the dock even the powerful politicians like Salman Khurshid or the members of Gandhi or Pawar families.

But the acidic truths is we, as a country, are in real and present danger of sliding into an absolute gloom if the corruption that started growing faster than the Indian economy since the 1991 economic liberalization becomes precursor to an anarchy.

What looks like an anarchy on the surface at the moment with consistent scam-based headlines in the media and an audaciously insensitive breed of politicians and policy-drafters might well become anarchy of lethal dimensions if what is happening keeps on happening.

The country is generating wealth is a well established truth. But when most of it is going into creating big-ticket scams running into billions of dollars, not reaching to the ‘aam aadmi’, the disparity and the dissatisfaction are bound to go up.

The irony of the India of the day is the people who are supposed to make India a developed nation are involved in the shameless act of looting the resources meant for it. The proportion of corrupt politicians and officials has already reached to the tipping point of tolerance.

Even more ironical is the fact that the people who were thought to be the crusaders to rip into the rotten kingdom of such ‘politicians + officials’ nexus are themselves embroiled in controversies of intent and probity as their acts, too, are looking to follow a chart of vested interests.

We never saw the demeanor of a committed and impartial social activist in Arvind Kejriwal, one of the most-in-news these days. The way he used Anna Hazare, the way he used media, the way he is using media, the way the anti-corruption movement people like Prashant Bhushan, Mayank Gandhi, Anjali Damania and many others are facing questions of probity in their deeds, it all gives the politicians and officials a favoured pitch to run amok as their only vocal opposition is fast losing ground.

This all is making the disorder go wider where whoever is at the helm of the affairs, be in politics or in administration, gains the power to manipulate the system in order to continue with the unabashed loot. The ‘political code of trust’ as elaborated by Digvijay Singh recently only adds to the whammy of the Indian who was thought to be the main focus of the world’s largest written Constitution.

As a natural consequence to all this, the insensitivity of all the types who are supposed to lead the nation and who are in the fray presently, is bound to grow and perpetuate.

A natural consequence to such a situation would be the masses getting up in protests. We saw a glimpse of it the last year but that just proved a flicker.

That tells we have not yet reached the tipping point.

Given the way things are happening, we are bound to reach that. Small town and rural India is still destitute. Hunger, illiteracy and malnourishment are still the realities of the modern India. Reds are back in action. Andhra Pradesh is witnessing resurgence of child marriages almost after two decades.

This all says we are moving but the orientation is not directed yet.

Disorder has an inherent tendency to push the Order from the periphery to the centre. That is how the wheels of civilizations and revolutions move. We need to believe that the Elements of the Order are moving towards the centre.

Multiplying affluence of the class ruling us and the diminishing prospects of the class being ruled is bound to speed up the movement of the Elements of Order. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Thursday 18 October 2012


They survive by the Ganga. Ganga's flow sustains them. 
They begin their day here. They achieve the moment of their days here.



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©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Wednesday 17 October 2012


Some days ago, the accidentally non-accidental prime-minister Manmohan Singh, the second-timer, again reminded the nation called India about the adverse effects of the negative publicity generated due to corruption allegations. He preached us that the ‘mindlessly’ created atmosphere on corruption is doing harm to the country.

In an anti-graft conference he said, “The mindless atmosphere of negativity and pessimism that is sought to be created over the issue of corruption can do us no good. It can only damage our nation's image and hit at the morale of the executive”.

That sounds so phoney now, especially after the endless United Progressive Alliance (UPA) corruption saga and the corruption-wheel that has reached to the most elite powerful political family of the country.

He talked of the morale of the executive but who would care for the morale of the majority of the Indians that his own government is bringing down?

And to rub salt to the wounds, he even proposed to bring the bribe-giver under the ambit of the prosecution by amending the existing anti-graft laws in the country. Now it is the same Manmohan Singh who was equal party in killing the movement to create an effective Lokpal. Given the way corruption has gone so deep in the day-to-day life, such utopian and Kejriwal-like propositions are bound to do more harm than good.

In our society, majority of the bribe-givers are the ‘aam aadmi’ type, compelled to part with that hard-earned money as under-the-table convenience fee, which makes part of his always insufficient monthly income. He never does it voluntarily and above that, Manmohan thinks he should be tried as a criminal under the law of the land.

Manmohan’s lame-duck and trite remarks at the fag-end of his lame-duck prime-ministerial season-II were nothing but belittling him even more especially as they came on a day when his government’s law minister was labeled with corruption and forgery allegations.

A news channel’s sting operation and investigation found that the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, an NGO run by Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise Khurshid, forged documents to manipulate funds (Rs. 71.5 Lakh) of a project of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment aimed at helping physically challenged people in many districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Law minister facing serious corruption allegations- now, Mr. Manmohan Singh, the honourable prime minister of India, tell us - doesn’t it bring the image of the nation down and hurt the morale of Manmohan’s ‘aam aadmi’?

Though, there have been denials but they are like defenses made for Robert Vadra - not at all satisfactory. Some said Khurshids are a prestigious family and why would they do any such thing for such a small sum (Rs. 71.5 Lakh). Now, probably, such fellows are not aware that over 65 per cent of the Indians survive on Rs. 3500 a month and could never earn Rs. 71.5 Lakh in their lifetime. Also, this might be just one revelation. Khurshids’ NGO works on different projects in many states of India. Who knows we might come across similar stories if a proper probe is carried out.

The way Salman Khurshid lost his cool in the press conference to clear his name implicated him even more. The kind of evidence he presented was so weak and was not at all expected from a lawyer who was also the law minister of the country. Those who had implicated him came out with more evidence in his own style implicating him even more. But instead of taking any sincere note, Mr. Manmohan, your men came out shouting with silly and sillier statements. What else can we say on Beni Prasad Verma’s defense of Khurshid where he said a minister like Khurshid could never have done so for such a small scam?

A probe is unlikely like the probe of allegations on Robert Vadra in spite of continued revelations in both the cases. A shameless move by the Haryana government transferred an honest IAS officer Ashok Khemka who had crossed the line to initiate probe into the suspicious Vadra-DLF Manesar and deal.

And Mr. Manmohan, your government has already denied any probe possibility. And even if a probe is launched, no one should expect anything groundbreaking. After all, its Manmohan’s CBI; its Manmohan’s ED; its Manmohan’s CVC; its Manmohan’s police; and so it is of Sonia; and so it is of Salman Khurshid. Haryana’s two-timer chief minister B S Hooda is yet another member of the corrupt coterie.

Mr. Manmohan Singh, do you realize your fundamentals have started stinking now?

And so, when Manmohan’s dull rhetoric, every time, comes midst the image-tarnishing projectiles like Robert Vadra, Beni Prasad Verma, B S Hooda and Salman Khurshid, this unsolicited advice makes him look even more pathetic, not even ruin of the personal integrity he was known for during his first stint as the prime minister.

It just affirms once more that he is a man of ‘doublespeak’ now.

In the context, what makes Manmohan sound even more ridiculous are the three developments on the economic front that talk of policy paralysis and corruption in India while lowering the country’s growth forecast.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have lowered India’s 2012 growth projections significantly and S&P has warned again of credit-rating downgrade in the next 24 months if the situation is not handled properly.

On October 9, 2012, the IMF lowered India’s growth rate to 4.9 per cent from the earlier projected 6.2 per cent. IMF’s “unusually uncertain” outlook about India in the World Economic Outlook report stems from many factors including corruption and policy paralysis. Not believing in the recent reform moves, IMF even reduced the 2013 outlook to 6 per cent from the earlier projected 6.6 per cent. The report quoted an IMF advisor saying, “For the last few years, the Indian economy had a dream run. It is in the past three years, investments have stalled. In many other ways, in terms of macroeconomic policies, things have not improved. The challenge is to build on the reforms started in the 1990s”.

In the next development, Standard & Poor (S&P) warned India still faced a credit-rating downgrade, again taking a cautious approach on the reform measures. India’s current rating of BBB- is just one notch above the Junk rating. The S&P report released on October 10, 2012 read, “A downgrade is likely if the country's economic growth prospects dim, its external position deteriorates, its political climate worsens, or fiscal reforms slow”.

By the evening of October 10, another damning economic report came. World Bank too, lowered India’s growth forecast to 6 per cent from the earlier projected 6.6 per cent. A Reuters report on the World Bank’s India Economic Report said, “The Bank said the slowdown is at least partly caused by structural problems--power shortages, partly caused by the financial difficulties facing the electricity sector, the corruption scandals that have hit the mining and telecom sectors, investor uncertainty because of pending changes in legislation (mining, taxes, land acquisition), and the tightening constraints of land and infrastructure”.

Things might not be as grim as these three reports put. Also, these reports talk of ‘return to good days’ provided the government acts in time. But above all, they talk of corruption and policy paralysis in India that directly implicates Manmohan. That makes prospects really grim at the moment.

The way corruption is spreading its tentacles and the way politicians are behaving more and more insensitively, my dear Mr. Prime Minister, it is fatal enough to obstruct the India growth story, that we, the ‘aam aadmi’ Indians are looking to get back to.

The IMF report emphasized the economic gloom of the last three years while the World Bank report directly named corruption as an important contributor to the ‘India Obstructed’ story.

And these last three years have done all to undo the honest imagery of Manmohan Singh. Corruption was brewing in through the UPA ranks. Talk of the town scams, coal, Commonwealth Games and spectrum allocation, were in making years before the first signs of chronic revelations.

It was mostly doing of Manmohan’s men. The only way Manmohan could have kept his integrity intact was to make every member of his government face probe and come out clean on the charges. Instead, he chose first to remain silent, claiming silence his ‘right’, then big mouthing the achievements that were hard to appreciate, and further on, defending his men (including Vadra), with words of no substance but dissonance of an arrogant-but-frustrated ruler.

Yes, Mr. Manmohan, India’s wealth is growing and the economic indicators have increased many times, but still, you define the poverty limit or around Rs. 900 a month for your ‘aam aadmi’.

Mr. Prime Minister, can your family survive in that much?
Mr. Prime Minister, didn’t your lavish party to celebrate three years in the office (the three years that have you undone) serve dinner costing the public exchequer over Rs. 7000 a plate?
Mr. Prime Minister, haven’t assets of so many politicians shot up so many times in so few a years?

Manmohan’s cognitive dissonance has become so insolent that he finds it hard to define even what constitutes corruption. That is something even his destitute and dejected ‘aam aadmi’ is very efficient at. But Manmohan is not.

In the conference of CBI and State Anti-Corruption Bureaux, he said, “A clear and unambiguous definition for the term 'corruption', covering both the supply and demand sides, is being sought to be provided”.

It is understandable when he talks of such sincerity in terms of protecting the interests of the honest officers but when the same person decides to remain silent, or ignore or refute the ‘clearly visible and irrefutable’ evidence of corrupt activities of his men, it perplexes and leaves us in a bad taste, shattering all the positive imagery of the man.

Mr. Prime Minister, when would you realize that your knowhow of ensuring “probity, transparency and accountability in the work-culture of public authorities” is already sucking your ‘aam aadmi’ dry?

October 10, 2012 was just yet another example of Manmohan’s lifeless job on preaching us without setting any precedent.

Reading tales of ‘Panchtantra’ should be made a must for the politicians of the day before they are allowed to contest elections. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -