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.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

ONCE, THERE WAS A PERCEPTION CALLED MANMOHAN SINGH

Manmohan Singh’s biography on the official website of the prime minister of India says about him: India’s fourteenth Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh is rightly acclaimed as a thinker and a scholar. He is well regarded for his diligence and his academic approach to work, as well as his accessibility and his unassuming demeanour.

There is nothing much to decipher about Manmohan Singh. There is nothing left to decipher about Manmohan Singh after his absolute fall from the ‘high of the apolitical and honest brand name of 2004’, during his second term as the prime minister of India.

Still, let’s see him and his integrity in the context of today’s developments; an integrity that is more fragmented than ever before.

A television news channel broke the news at around 1:55 PM that Manmohan Singh was studying the Supreme Court’s observations against his government on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) affidavit on sharing the Coalgate probe status report with the government and would later come up with his response.

THE GANGA IN MOONLIGHT (II)

PHOTOGRAPHY


THE GANGA IN MOONLIGHT

(Reflection of Moonlight on the Ganga on an evening with the Mother River in Varanasi)

Get interactive with Banaras Calling’s Facebook extension at: 
Email at: interact@banarascalling.com 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/

THE GANGA IN MOONLIGHT (I)

PHOTOGRAPHY


THE GANGA IN MOONLIGHT

(Reflection of Moonlight on the Ganga on an evening with the Mother River in Varanasi)

Get interactive with Banaras Calling’s Facebook extension at: 
Email at: interact@banarascalling.com 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/

Monday, 29 April 2013

MAIHAR DEVI – GODDESS SHARDA TEMPLE (I)

PHOTOGRAPHY





























MAIHAR DEVI – GODDESS SHARDA TEMPLE

(Outer view of the main building on Trikuta Hill in the Satna District of Madhya Pradesh) 

Get interactive with Banaras Calling’s Facebook extension at: 
Email at: interact@banarascalling.com 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 28 April 2013

MANMOHAN SINGH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAS BECOME OF MANMOHAN SINGH

Though many large scale scams had their origin in the first term of Manmohan Singh as prime-minister of India, more or less, he delivered a good five years to the country till 2009.

Not on ground, but at least in perception, it was there.

It can be rendered safely so given the aftermath his second term in the prime-ministerial has created where nothing genuine seems to get its run, have its due. Instead, his machinery is put to crush or manipulate event and activities whenever any dissenting voice raises its pitch.

Since 2009, it has been a shocking downfall that washes whatever good that was there in his first term.

Once, he was used to be known as the man of integrity.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

NEVER TRY TO MAKE RELATIONS

My reflections on life – in quotes (XLVII) 

“Never try to make relations. 
You cannot. 
Let them develop and come to life naturally. 
Bad patches will inevitably be there. 
Try to read and see through the events. 
A relation needs to survive these. 
A relation needs to build itself on these elemental values.”




















©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

THAT MUSAHAR FAMILY ON THE SIDE OF THAT RAILWAY PLATFORM

LIFE - COLORES INFINITUM (34)


That was a family of many. They had no identity. What their names were no one knew. No one called them by their names. And they never complained. They would smile. They would laugh. But it was never felt by the outsiders.

They were a small family of many. They had no other family from their community in their near vicinity, a neighbourhood that was never their. In fact, they never had a neighbourhood because they were not accepted in the society they were part of.

That family of Musahars had more that ten family members. It was almost impossible to tell their age by their appearance, be a kid or a teen or an adult or an elderly. It would be more apt to say that the family somehow bypassed the adulthood and entered the old age directly.

They had their small hut at the side of the abandoned corner of the railway platform. It would not be more than 10 feet by 10 feet. Once, their hut caught fire and was completely charred. He is not sure now whether it caused any casualty, but within a week, they found some raw material to start rebuilding their hut. After all, they had to put just four small walls of straw. The roof came weeks later. Smeared with ashes and draped in smoke, it compelled him to think how they could live in it?

Monday, 22 April 2013

YET ANOTHER GANGRAPE, SENTIMENTS BOIL, BUT SUSHIL KUMAR SHINDE AND NEERAJ KUMAR SHIRK THE RESPONSIBILITY, YET AGAIN!

AND THEY ARE SYMPTOMATIC OF THE INSENSITIVE POLITICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY

People had to take to the streets again. The public sphere is evolving spontaneously. People are reacting spontaneously against atrocities, again and again, post the anti-corruption movement of Anna Hazare.

A 5-year old minor was raped and brutalized in Delhi, again. While protests were raging, more cases of rape were reported. Statistics say rape is the fastest growing crime in India.

True, it’s a mindset problem. But, than cannot absolve the police and government of their own follies, of not being honest with their responsibility, of not being sincere with their commitment, of not being human enough to understand the pain of the fellow human who is being victimized.

A gangrape last year, on December 16, that took life of a 23-year old girl, named Nirbhaya by us, who fought with the rapists and struggled with death for many days, stirred the humanity. Her fight, her plight, crime against Indian women and the larger issue of women rights in India made the whole world participate in the process of discussion.

But that was for the humanity, not for the Indian politicians it seems. Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde, responsible for internal security of the country and directly overseeing the administration of the Delhi Police, and the administrative machinery like the Delhi Police run by the politicians like Shinde, compel us to think so, again and again.

Criticised for comparing young protesters with Maoists in the aftermath of the December Delhi 2012 gangrape, the home minister of India let his lieutenant at the helms of the Delhi Police affairs have a free run despite glaring lapses by the Delhi Police during and after the crime was perpetrated.

A police security lapse let the bus ply on the road when it had previously robbed someone on the same stretch of the road on the same day, in the same time-band. A police functionality lapse delayed the access to the speedy treatment to the victim. A police functionality lapse denied the victim the best possible treatment that was her right. These two lapses coupled with Union and Delhi governments’ delayed decision-making in shifting the victim to a renowned hospital later proved fatal for her.

Shinde was as much responsible for it as was Mr. Neeraj Kumar. But both remained unaffected and unmoved as if nothing had happened when both needed to take moral and functional responsibilities for the lapses. They both needed to have stepped down. Okay, proposing this might sound unusual in the Indian political and bureaucratic set-up of the day but is this not the way the healthy and progressive democracies are supposed to function?

What Shinde and Neeraj Kumar had done during the December 2012 gangrape and protests, they are doing it again.

Administration is slapping protesters, is shutting Delhi Metro stations and is imposing Section 144 like it had one in December 2012. Neeraj Kumar, who had compared human lives as collateral damage then, is lauding his police force, a police force that tries to discourage the complainants, a police force that slaps innocent protesters, a police force that frames innocent youngsters for murder, a police force that offers bribe to the victim to suppress the issue even if his daughter is raped and mortally wounded.

Even after all this, Mr. Kumar doesn’t bother to face the nation and when he does so, after four days of the incident, he speaks in his ‘human lives as collateral damage’ style saying it is impossible to prevent all the rape cases.

And Mr. Neeraj Kumar cannot say and do all this without approval of his boss, Mr. Shinde.

And Mr. Shinde cannot allow all this to happen without approval of his bosses, the power-centre duo of the United Progressive Alliance government.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

YET ANOTHER RAPE SHAME IN DELHI AND YET ANOTHER SUHSIL KUMAR SHINDE MOMENT

Any democracy needs to perform the tasks that will make it a just and fair society. But an overpopulated country, burdened with poverty, illiteracy and medieval social thinking prevalent in larger swathes, that India is, finds it in a deadlock in the political and bureaucratic class lording over it; overloading over it.

Again, a Sushil Kumar Shinde development, who had compared the young protesters of Delhi with Maoists and had justified the brutal police crackdown during the human surge of December 2013 protesting the gangrape of the 23-year old brave-heart, puts it in legible and understandable terms.

After this recent Delhi rape where a 5-year old girl was abducted, raped and was left to die by her neighbour and where Shinde’s Delhi Police tried to cover-up the case as it had tried to do in the December 2013 gangrape case, reports say that Neeraj Kumar, the Delhi Police Commissioner, might face the heat finally.

On questions of the Delhi Police Commissioner’s removal, Shinde replied, “I have ordered an inquiry into the two recent incidents- what happened to Mamata Banerjee at the Planning Commission and the case of some people entering my house. Action will be taken against those found responsible for it.”

How pathetic is that statement in the context of the larger issue – police failure in providing security, police cover-ups in rape cases like this!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

BRIDE OF THE CITY: FROM THE COURTESAN CULTURE TO THE ‘MANDI’ VULTURES

They enchanted generations. They enticed through the ages. They were the centre of attraction, pulling the high and mighty of the society. They made and destroyed powerful people, princes and kings by keeping alive their voyeurism.

Until they met their nemesis!

They are the courtesans. They have had their presence in every civilization. They have had their presence in India. In history and literature pertaining to the northern and eastern Indian parts, they were known as the brides of the cities (नगर वधुएँ). With emergence of the princely states in the last chaotic days of the Mughal Empire, also called as golden period of the courtesans, they came to be known as Tawaifs (तवायफें), much in the line of their South Asian identity.

They had a history to tell. They have had a history to tell. It is the paradox in their lives, in every generation of their presence, which haunts. And this paradox became their nemesis once the British rule was officially and firmly established across the India after the 1857 Mutiny that declared their work illegal. The notion that it sent to posterity was that every courtesan was indulged in prostitution and it was doing great harm to the Indian culture and needed tough legal recourse to handle. The underlying reason for the British to do so was their belief that these ‘kothas’ played a part in the 1857 uprising by giving leaders of the mutiny places to meet and strategise as some historians put it.

Friday, 19 April 2013

THEY HAVE A STORY TO TELL BUT!!

LIFE - COLORES INFINITUM (33)

They have a story to tell the outside world. They do want to tell it to the outside world. But they do not know if they want to tell it to the outside world anymore as they do not want to tell it to any and every passerby now.

Once, sometime in the past, they used to do so.

They were always aware of the ‘disconnect’ that the outside world consciously thought to build and maintain. Changing times have not been able to change it.

At some point of time in their past, they realized it, they realized about it, that they were being subjected to and subjugated by the false notions of the human civilization’s social order and were being wrongly put out of the socialization process.

They realized they needed to raise voice; they needed to collect the voices.

They discussed it among themselves, in the community and began to tell their story to their immediate surroundings to begin the process of dialogue.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

THE UNSKILLED AND SEMI-SKILLED INTERNAL MIGRANTS HEADED TO THE BIG CITIES: JOURNEY ON AN UNPREDICTABLE NOTE IN THE ‘GENERAL CLASS’ INDIAN RAILWAYS COMPARTMENTS

INTERNAL MIGRANT WORKERS IN INDIA

Unskilled and semi-skilled migrants are the largest chunk of the internal migrants in India who migrate in search of livelihood options.

Unskilled and semi-skilled internal migrants in India, leaving their homes in desperate search of the elusive earning option that they could not get at their homes, begin their journey on an unpredictable note, without any planning, much like their journey.

Some of them take to the roads but for most, the Indian Railways is the only option.

Indian trains have an unreserved class, also called the ‘general class’, offering cheapest fairs, and almost no amenities. Anyone who is even slightly capable of meeting some ends would never want to board these ‘general class compartments’ of any train.

Most of the Indian trains are notorious but the general class compartments can effectively be put in the ‘horrible journey experience’ category when they chug from and to the poorer or poorly governed states; states providing the rest of the India with unskilled or semi-skilled manpower. Most of them are daily wage earners. Unorganized occupation units like construction, private transportation and small time vending employ almost of the lot.


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

PERSONIFICATION OF SPEECH

My reflections on life – in quotes (XLVI) 

“Personification of speech is an art,
distilled to the finesse of characterization
and intended to establish a bond with the listeners.
It is mastered not just by the masterly use of written words.
 It needs the emotional connect with the subject as well.
The words need to perform.
The words need to get their person in time.
The words need to push the thoughts to act honestly.”


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/

 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

IT WAS AN EARTHQUAKE HE REALIZED

LIFE - COLORES INFINITUM (32)

It was an earthquake he realized after few seconds, and so the others. The building was shaking. But he didn’t panic. He was not shocked. Before this, he had fleeting experiences of experiencing an earthquake. This one was full blown. For the whole period of 18-20 seconds, it was there, completely in sight. Every frame in sight was shaking. Some chairs fell down.

Then there was this sudden rush to go out of the building. But at the same time, there was no uncalled-for hurry. Everyone took to the stairs in a civilized way. Slowly, the building was almost empty with very few remaining inside. The moving out was more of a precautionary measure than a panic response.

After spending sometime in open, by the time the jolt was gone, the chores took back to the stairs. Meanwhile, calls were made to the near and dear ones asking for their well being. Once inside, the spontaneous earthquake responsiveness gave way to the spontaneous reaction to contribute to the information flow.

Monday, 15 April 2013

‘FORCED-BY-CIRCUMSTANCES’ MIGRATION OF MILLIONS

INTERNAL MIGRANT WORKERS IN INDIA

Migrants face denial of basic entitlements including access to subsidized food, housing, drinking water, sanitation and public health facilities, education and banking services and often work in poor conditions devoid of social security and legal protection. Positive impacts of migration remain unrecognized.
-- Overview of Internal Migration in India, UNICEF, 2012

The 2001 Census said the internal migrants were 30 per cent of the Indian population (309 million). According to the (National Sample Survey Office) NSSO 2007-08 findings, the proportion came down to 28.5 per cent. But 17 million more left their homes for varied reasons taking the count to 326 million. The estimates are for every type of migration – rural to rural, rural to urban and urban to urban. Another significant sociological indicator comes from the Census 2011 data. For the first time in 90 years, since the Census 1921, the Urban India added more to its numbers than the rural India. And the rural to urban migration has a significant stake. P Sainath equated this with ‘distress migration’ in one of his articles.


Sunday, 14 April 2013

RAHUL GANDHI’S KALAWATI AND RAHUL GANDHI’S GIRISH

Personification of speeches – it’s an art, distilled to the finesse of characterization and intended to establish a bond with the audience. In politics, and the sort of politics Rahul Gandhi talks of practicing, this art needs to go beyond the realms of art.

The words need to perform here. The words need to get their person in time. The words need to push the act to the action.

It is mastered not just by the masterly use of the written words, but also needs the emotional connect with the subjects

Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly tried to sound pro-people by using real life examples and anecdotes. But the ground reality of the real life metaphors that Rahul tries to convey and symbolize through his speeches fails the very intent.

SECOND GENERATION POLITICIANS OF INDIA: THE SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS

WHERE IS WALK-THE-TALK ACT?

Midst all the talks of Bharat Mata, youth power and ideas and the beehive diligence, India remains a dark reminder of a story that took on to the wrong path before it could see the right one when it began in 1947.

And there is no need to go back in the history to analyse it. Almost all of the second generation politicians today are the products of the political dynasties. Having grown up and seen affluent lives, a clear disconnect from the ground reality of India can easily be seen in their attitudes. They talk big. They talk insensitive. They talk meaningless. Rarely, we find them walking the talk. A look at the recent political scene is self-explanatory.

Among the high-talking points these days is the Maharashtra drought. The industrialized state of the western India is facing the worst drought in 40 years.

Yet, Deputy Chief Minister of the state, Ajit Pawar, a product of the dynasty politics in India (being from the powerful Pawar family), breaches every level of insensitivity with his ‘urinate in the dams’ remark while commenting the drought situation. According to a Times of India report, during a rally in Pune, the politician, while trying to slight the fast of a farmer, Prabhakar Deshmukh from the drought hit Solapur district, said, “He has been fasting for the last 55 days. If there is no water in the dam, how can we release it? Should we urinate into it? If there is no water to drink, even urination is not possible”.

By saying so, he has slighted the humanity, he has slighted his own existence, and he has slighted an already debased Indian political scene even more. It was unethical. It was audacious when procedures were mocked to reinstate Pawar as the Deputy CM after he was forced to resign for his role in the alleged 70,000 irrigation scam of Maharashtra. Even at this moment of human crisis, Pawar has been alleged to divert water in dams (supposed to go to the people) to the industries when people in drought-hit areas are reeling under the water scarcity.

Even, the other prominent second generation politicians in Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray and Raj Thackeray, are the products of the dynasty politics. Okay, being from a political dynasty is not a crime but what about the brand of divisive politics they are practicing?

Let’s come to the national scene.

The youth power of India is in vogue – not in terms of productivity but in speechmaking of the politicians like Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. It is so because they form the largest chunk of the votebank and can swing the all important ‘who wins or who loses’ outcome in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

Rahul Gandhi has been very specific about promoting youth though there are very few grassroots leaders in his youth brigade who are without any political inheritance or who are not from the affluent background. And almost none of that kind (the grassroots) has reached to the level of the policymaking bodies like the Union Cabinet. Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora, Deepender Hooda and Rahul himself, all are products of the dynasty politics. Unfortunately (for India), the list is long and is getting longer.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

BUT MY SOUL REMAINS WITH YOU

You are the one I cannot say

But I was drawn to your words

And it has been that way

Surviving the odds of living

Keeping the words in thoughts


I know I haven’t lived up to

But my soul remains with you

Erred I did, but never did I fail

Even if I felt jaded, I did sail through

With me, with you, afresh, anew 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/

Friday, 12 April 2013

SECOND GENERATION POLITICIANS OF INDIA: SO MANY OF THEM, YET SO FEW OF THEM!

Continued from:
SECOND GENERATION POLITICIANS OF INDIA: THE DIRECT ACCESS BUT..

BSP rule is no better than the SP governance the country has seen it. Besides, Mayawati is facing mammoth corruption charges and like the case with Mulayam, the probe is on.

All the high hopes that Mamata Banarjee had generated, when the people of West Bengal had chosen her over the 35 years of the Left Front rule in the state, are decimated and crushed. Mamata’s rule and her party workers have become ‘just the other anarchy’ in the state. The goons of the CPM (Communist Party of India-Marxist) have been replaced by the goons of the AITC.

JD(U) and BJD are doing good. The rule of these parties is relatively less corruption-tainted.

AIADMK is again a big question mark when it comes to corruption. Tamil Nadu chief minister and party chief J Jayalalitha is facing court cases on disproportionate assets charges.

We all have seen what the Left Front parties made of West Bengal, once a driver of Indian politics, economy and intellectual growth, into an utter chaos of lawlessness, corruption, poverty and intellectual starvation.

So, more of the kingmakers on the table, in case of a fragmented electoral verdict, have or have had a poor record when it comes to the politics of probity, integrity and reform.

They will squeeze and extract the maximum possible mileage bending the rules and manipulating the System to continue delaying the proceedings and diluting the charges if they come to play the kingmakers in the national politics. And emboldened, as is the case, the wheels of corruption shall keep on getting the lubrication unabashed.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

SECOND GENERATION POLITICIANS OF INDIA: THE DIRECT ACCESS BUT..

Continued from:
SECOND GENERATION POLITICIANS OF INDIA: WHERE IS WALK-THE-TALK ACT?
http://severallyalone.blogspot.in/2013/04/second-generation-politicians-of-india.html 

They have become central figures of the regional politics by virtue of being sons or daughters of the political heavyweights. They got the political chair in inheritance.  

Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh is a dynasty politics product. Taking the office with clear majority, when the Samajwadi Party won the assembly election last year, could have only one direct implication – people of the state, one of the most backward in India, needed change because they had refused another clear-majority government, of Mayawati’s, elected in the previous rule. Mayawati’s government was a miserable failure but, unfortunately, Akhilesh’s government too, is heading to the similar territory.

His one year of rule is a sorry picture of increasing lawlessness and governance failure in the state. The worrying sign is the future looks grim and there looks no roadmap to take the curative measures. Also, Akhilesh belongs to a political family with its head (Mulayam Singh Yadav) embroiled in disproportionate assets case. Also, Akhilesh belongs to a party that has become synonymous with political opportunism and political hooliganism.

M K Stalin, younger son and heir of the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) patriarch M Karunanidhi is, too, a product of the dynasty politics. Given the history of regular government changes in Tamil Nadu, Stalin is slated to become the chief minister of the state in the future.

Stalin has been named in a flyover scam. He has been booked for land grab charges. Karunanidhi’s family is facing serious corruption allegations. There are corruption charges against Kanimozhi and M K Alagiri. Kanimozhi was arrested in the multi-billion dollar 2G spectrum scam. A Raja, the alleged central face of the 2G spectrum scam, has been and is being brazenly defended by the DMK.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

SECOND GENERATION POLITICIANS OF INDIA: WHERE IS WALK-THE-TALK ACT?

Midst all the talks of Bharat Mata, youth power and ideas and the beehive diligence, India remains a dark reminder of a story that took on to the wrong path before it could see the right one when it began in 1947.

And there is no need to go back in the history to analyse it. Almost all of the second generation politicians today are the products of the political dynasties. Having grown up and seen affluent lives, a clear disconnect from the ground reality of India can easily be seen in their attitudes. They talk big. They talk insensitive. They talk meaningless. Rarely, we find them walking the talk. A look at the recent political scene is self-explanatory.

Among the high-talking points these days is the Maharashtra drought. The industrialized state of the western India is facing the worst drought in 40 years.

Yet, Deputy Chief Minister of the state, Ajit Pawar, a product of the dynasty politics in India (being from the powerful Pawar family), breaches every level of insensitivity with his ‘urinate in the dams’ remark while commenting the drought situation. According to a Times of India report, during a rally in Pune, the politician, while trying to slight the fast of a farmer, Prabhakar Deshmukh from the drought hit Solapur district, said, “He has been fasting for the last 55 days. If there is no water in the dam, how can we release it? Should we urinate into it? If there is no water to drink, even urination is not possible”.

By saying so, he has slighted the humanity, he has slighted his own existence, and he has slighted an already debased Indian political scene even more. It was unethical. It was audacious when procedures were mocked to reinstate Pawar as the Deputy CM after he was forced to resign for his role in the alleged 70,000 irrigation scam of Maharashtra. Even at this moment of human crisis, Pawar has been alleged to divert water in dams (supposed to go to the people) to the industries when people in drought-hit areas are reeling under the water scarcity.

Even, the other prominent second generation politicians in Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray and Raj Thackeray, are the products of the dynasty politics. Okay, being from a political dynasty is not a crime but what about the brand of divisive politics they are practicing?

Let’s come to the national scene.