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, 31 March 2015



Don’t go too deep into a future that cannot be assessed. Don’t try to read too much into the calculations of a then that is not now.

True, keeping thoughts of future away is difficult. Not looking beyond tomorrow is a psychological perseverance that needs practicing.

But, slowly, it dawns on you that it is not worth - staking your today for some distant tomorrows.

Try to focus on three days – yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Hinge yourself literally by your today. Every of possibility of your existence lies in the moment you breathe your life for the next immediate one, trying to stay a healthy course.

Yesterday is a reflection that aligns with your thought process or you find a way to deal with.

With your today and yesterday, you deal with the real time.

A tomorrow that is within your perceivable thinking based on your today and yesterday is needed to make better out of your today.

But beyond this perceivable tomorrow lies a realm of calculations, assessments, aspirations and thoughts that are not hinged even on your immediate future that you can easily see based on your today.

While the routine of thoughts continue with its routine of going beyond even death, we are what we feel about us today and what we want to feel us about our perceivable tomorrow - based on what we felt about us yesterday.

You may have a goal for your life. You may set different sub-goals to reach to that supreme goal of your life, that you try to preserve at any cost. But the goalposts keep on changing. You keep on your moving goalposts based on your today.

An interference in this process of a tomorrow that you cannot perceive devoids you of this liberty of moving your goalposts – a must to remain on the path to your supreme goal.

Don’t go too deep into a tomorrow that you cannot read. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Monday, 30 March 2015


The mood was of celebration. The air was split with aroma. The body language was swaying with a subtle joy of achievement.

First phase of the transition was complete.

And it was achieved on a lightning fast scale.

Something unprecedented, totally unmatched, a never heard of feat, never before seen in the history of contemporary Indian politics!

It took decades for the two main national political parties of India to achieve that scale.

The Congress politically led the country in the freedom struggle for some six decades before it got the governing benches. The Bhartiya Janata Party had decades of wok by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bhartiya Jana Sangh and over a decade of its own before it could realize the power flowing in the legislative corridors.

Similar is the case of other political parties and politicians, be it Mayawati and Bahujan Samaj Party or Mulayam Singh Yadav and Samajwadi Party or Nitish Kumar-Sharad Yadav and Janata Dal (United) or Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal or many other offshoots of Janata Dal and their leaders or personality driven parties of South India.

Though some of them had relatively swift ascendance to the eminence of power corridors and the realization of the life thus the way the folklore goes, none of them could match the level of efficacy and energy shown by the newest one of their league.

And he has done it in just two years - two years eight months to be exact - since he first spoke going 'political' in August 2012 - and two years four months - since he formally inaugurated politically!

Obviously, there would be some hurt-burn and it is very well there. After all, they are like human beings, even if they have a separate, higher class.

The primeval feelings do exist and act like the sub-conscious flings.  

But, overall, the peers are looking up at them. In fact, they have held sessions in their respective quarters to analyse the ways and means of their latest colleague.

And now, as the first phase of the transition is over, the next phase is beginning - to build on the weekend drama that the nation saw with bated breath.

After all, when the premise that is going to lead to the dramatics of the next stage unveiling on coming day has been so interesting that even the housewives stuck to the television sets ignoring the regular sob-and-blob family dramas, the theatrics when it emerges on the full canvas of its next act, will be a 'mush watch' series.

And like us, they would also be watching - with increasing level of comfort drawn from an increasingly familiar set of observations.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Sunday, 29 March 2015


With the drama that culminated in yesterday's events at the Aam Aadmi Party's National Council meet where Arvind Kejriwal was officially crowned as the larger than life king of the party, the thought, if there was any behind the move to transition to a political alternative from an activism background, was also officially buried.

And it can be traced back to the core elements that led to failure of the anti-corruption movement of 2011. The movement was led by Anna Hazare. He was the face of it.  Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Shanti Bhushan, Kiran Bedi, Yogendra Yadav, Santosh Hegde, Medha Patkar and many others were its active soldiers.

And Arvind Kejriwal was its main strategist. His strategy worked very well when it got the mass appeal of Anna Hazare. But after the brilliant success of April and August legs of the movement in 2011, the slide began.  

The December 2011 fast by Anna Hazare in Mumbai was a debacle. Similar was the fate of others that followed.

That leads us to think that the movement was poorly strategized (or was deliberately done so) as when it came to build further on the mass appeal and the localized initial spurt, there were no serious headways. The basic need was the faces beyond the localized pockets in several regions of the country.

But faces didn't come. Instead, those who had built it, started leaving the movement due to internal differences and ideological rifts. Those who were there tried to maintain their eminence.

The movement ultimately failed due to its structural flaws.

It can be seen in social media response. The traditional media came subsequently. There were many flip-flops on the commitment to the core issue of ‘corruption’. Add to it the personal bickering among the group members and display of personal agenda in the public and we had a perfect recipe for disaster. That too, reflected in the social media trends.

Anna Hazare, the old Team Anna, the new Team Anna and the members of Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘Aam Aadmi Party’, all were in the news throughout 2012  for different reasons. The common thread among them was they were consistently talking about ‘change’ and the ‘politics of change’. Yet, they didn’t stir the imagination of the youth. The social media was almost not talking about them (except the routine stuff and the existing support base).

Anna Hazare was the major factor that led the youth to trust and accept the call. But once it was clear that the movement was hijacked by the vested interests, they simply moved away from it. The vigourous activity on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media platforms that was there during the April 2011 and September 2011 fasts had flattened later on.

The goodwill eroded - The Team Anna that gave us the AAP had much of the blame to share. Consistent flurry of controversies after August 28, 2011 especially with members like Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Bhushan duo corroded much of the goodwill.

Dislocated functionality - Good names like Rajinder Singh, PV Rajagopal left. Others aired their displeasure about functioning of the ‘core committee’. ‘India Against Corruption’ happened to be a 21-member effort but we were listening to and hearing none but these four-five faces. No replacements came. No fresh faced joined the movement. It had been an area of utter failure that Team Anna created itself.

Empty words – Sometimes impregnated with political overtures like expanding the ‘core committee’ with multilayered structure giving representation to all sections of society like Dalits, Muslims - such promises were made multiple times but nothing happened except confrontation and war of words with the government and its representatives as well as the intensifying internal differences of Team Anna.

Ethically wrong – Campaigning in Hisar was a historical mistake for this anti-corruption movement. When the movement was all about anti-corruption, taking partisan steps even remotely linked to helping someone with questioned credentials win should not have been practiced. Kiran Bedi’s defence of her inflated bills controversy was just absurd. In yet another disappointing move, Anna, more or less, justified his ‘Pawar’s just one-slap’ statement when he blogged about it. Here a Gandhian said that he, apart from Gandhi, believed in Chhatrapati Shivaji, too. So slapping Pawar, according to him, was akin to following values propagated by Shivaji. Smelt of Thackerays! Flatly, just not acceptable!

Unfocused - The much-hyped but left into the oblivion Uttar Pradesh tour was a classical example of resource spoilage. Not much was heard when it came to the summative evaluation of the tour. Days were wasted. Public money was wasted (the tour was funded by money donated by likes of ‘you and me’ during the anti-corruption agitation in Delhi). The anti-corruption movement was not restructured or reoriented for the next step to add more people with it. Instead, big ticket empty announcements like electoral reforms, education reforms, group expansion, anti-government campaigning in the upcoming elections were made again and again.

And similar trajectory can be traced in beginning and the journey so far of the AAP.

To continue.. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Saturday, 28 March 2015


The metamorphosis to a ‘full-time mainstream politician’ – the mainstream that was bashed left, right and centre by Arvind Kejriwal when he had announced to take political plunge on August 3, 2012, before ending his fast – is complete now.

How fast Kejriwal has graduated to it, how efficiently he has donned the different manipulating colours of Indian politics of the day, is self evident when we align his speech that he had delivered while announcing his political foray in August 2012 to the text of the purported tape that emerged yesterday where he is heard hurling abuses on Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, the two senior-most founding members of the Aam Aadmi Party and the anti-corruption platform that Kejriwal so ‘politically’ used to become a ‘full-time politician’.

Here are the key excerpts from his August 3, 2012 speech: (NDTV)

“We have no great love for entering politics. Our aim is not to grab power, but to end the Delhi-centric government and take governance to the villages and the people. Ours will not be a party, but a movement. Ours will have the structure of an andolan, and be what the people want.”

“There will be no party high command and the people will select the candidates. We will go among the farmers and the people and ask them about their problems. They will tell us about their problems and their solutions. We will also go among the youth and ask them about their problems and ask for solutions. Likewise, we will go around the entire country and meet people. They will form the ghoshna patra (manifesto).”

"Our aim is not just to win the polls, it is to challenge all the political parties. I have a vision that in three years, India will change," he added. General elections will be held in India in 2014.”

Cut to March 2015.

Kejriwal is ‘loudly’ among them now, sitting comfortably in the lot that happened to be the ‘main spark’ for his political plunge.

The excerpts from the latest AAP sting, on Kejriwal, makes it self-evident. Here are the disturbing echoes from the tape: (The Times of India)

Umesh: But I feel that there are problems because you have been kept away. Sir, please get involved.

Arvind: I didn't come for this kind of fighting. I have no interest in it. You work with Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. My best wishes are with you. I have not come to fight. If the need arises, then I am thinking of leaving Aam Aadmi Party and forming another party. You manage Aam Aadmi Party. It is a very good team, Prof Anand Kumar...In the past four days, Prof Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha have done kaminapanti, they are so kamina. They said implement RTI, we said alright, we are ready. A dialogue was still on between the two groups then. They said volunteer participation...we agreed to all the demands. And now yesterday they said they were just bargaining. 'We don't have any interest'...are you so kamina! What bargaining are you doing? Are you such cheap people? What you call my less capable team is made of pure men. We might be less capable but we have a clean heart. You have a malicious heart and are kameene log. So best wishes to you Umesh.

Umesh: Sir, don't think like this.

Arvind: No, listen, listen, listen. I don't want to have any further discussion on this which is why I have kept myself away from this. Now let's see what they are doing, otherwise I will take my 66 MLAs and break away. You run Aam Aadmi Party. I will have nothing to do with Aam Aadmi Party.

Umesh: Sir please understand, this is not about you or me, this is about the country.

Arvind (shouting): What drama is this that we should all work together? Go speak to them. Un saalon ne harane mein...what you are calling a good team left no stone unturned to ensure that we lost the Delhi election. Now we should take them along? If they were in any other party, they (un saalon ko) would have been kicked out by now. Kameene log hein woh ek number ke. I don't know what they are.

Umesh: Sir I am not able to see things from that close or understand.

Arvind: Then don't speak if you can't see, alright.

From - ‘not a party but a movement’- from - ‘no party high command’ – from - ‘aim is not to grab power’ – from – ‘only about people’ –- to – ‘kaminapanti, they are so kamina’ (bastards) – to – ‘a party synonymous with just one person’ – to – ‘not about people but about Kejriwal’ – to – ‘a high command that is as opaque and dictatorial as any other one person/one family political party – a big letdown – in just two years and eight months.

Kejriwal claimed in 2015 that he had a vision that India will change in three years. Now, it is not even three years and his polity says it is he who has changed his ways to align himself to the political mainstream.

It is not that Arvind Kejriwal has failed the ‘common man’, the ‘aam aadmi’, for the first time. He did it in December 2013 when he formed an ‘opportunistic government’ in Delhi with Congress’s support. Next he did so by deserting Delhi to try his political luck in the parliamentary polls.

With a loss of face there, he again came to the questionable ways of mainstream politics by trying poaching MLAs from other parties to form the government (as yet another sting with his voice purportedly revealed).

All this while he had a benefit of doubt that these were the honest mistakes of an activist-turned politician who was learning ways to make inroads in Indian politics. Coupled with the BJP’s lackluster show on running Delhi during the Central rule in the National Capital Territory of India, he made a blockbuster comeback in the February 2015 Delhi assembly polls.

Arvind Kejriwal and his party projected it as the triumph of the ‘aam aadmi’.

But the developments since then clearly tell us that Mr. Kejriwal has failed the common man once again.

It was not that all was well in the AAP. There were reports of internal rift during the Lok Sabha polls and in the period before and during the the campaigning phase of the Delhi assembly polls.

It is not that Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan were beyond doubt but what Kejriwal did, what followed in the AAP meeting today, clearly let the common man down.

By orchestrating all that happened today, killing internal democracy and crushing voices anti- to him in his party, Kejriwal has betrayed the common man finally.

Because, at any cost, what he is heard speaking on the tape and the drama that he curated today, cannot be accepted, when his political base begins with opposing the mainstream of Indian politics, when he seeks political entry on a 'promise of politics of change'.

If the AAP was at all a politcal movement as Kejriwal had claimed in August 2012, it is effectively dead now.

The politician Arvind Kejriwal, who abuses his colleagues and crushes political dissent in his party with iron grip, has lost the benefit of doubt that he enjoyed till the Delhi assembly polls.

And it is bound to reflect on upcoming electoral events.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Friday, 27 March 2015



Life is always slogged with alter-egos - the personality and its other aspects – and the underlying philosophy that is assorted, assimilated and reflected as we move on with time.

This experiential philosophy is a way to look at things with a leverage to look at in your own way, giving you, in turn, the leverage to scale the scope.

That is a vital way to look at life as it keeps you in company - the way that has been famously philosophical about philosophy – its inherent roots in you and its subsequent emergence and sustenance based on how efficiently you understand, communicate with and befriend your alter-egos.

And the existentialism of this philosophy is - it also allows you to develop your own paradigm (and paradoxes as well) including your own ways and definitions to look at life events, attachments and detachments, pain and peace, and what may be behind our feelings to feel so or what may follow our feelings.

Life is always sum total of events that are never sum total in entirety – shaping, fragmenting, reshaping and inventing on its way – from a day to the next – from an aspect of life to the other.

The life experiences are varied. Life lives them in vivid ways. Within a life, you are your one aspect today – you are your other aspect tomorrow.

A life lived is about an efficient and naturalized circumnavigation of the varied aspects of your life - the alter-egos that take you to the extremes of life events – the experiences that let you philosophize about the lives you internalize to become one with your question to become you. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


This conversation with my seven year old nephew turned out to be quite interesting. Randomly thought to share this joyful random experience. 


7-year old: Uncle, tomorrow is a big day. India will play Australia in the Cricket World Cup final. We are so much excited here and just can’t wait to watch the match next morning. You would also be waiting for it.

I: No son, I can’t watch it. I have office tomorrow.

7-year old: Baba, can’t you take a day off tomorrow? You must.

I: No son, I can’t.

7-year old: Then you can do one thing.

I: What?

7-year old: You can get updates on your mobile phone.  After all, you have 3G in your mobile.  You can get updates on who is batting, who is bowling, what is score and all others.

I: Ok son.

7-year old: Also, you should download some world cup app.  They are very good.

I: How is that son?

7-year old: Some of them are very fast.  They give updates like we see on television.

I: How do you know that son?

7-year old: I use it on uncle’s mobile phone.  Then there are advertisements of cricket apps on television.   Also, my friends talk a lot about it.  

I: But you should not use mobile phone. That is wrong. Didn’t I tell you?

7-year old: Arre uncle, I do it with permission – and in situations when we cannot watch a match due to power outage. Also, I have grown up now and I handle the cellphone with care.

I: Even then. You should keep away from mobile phone and excessive television viewing. Internet should only be used for academic assignments and study purposes.

7-year old: Oooo Uncle. Ok, after this world cup. And yes, please download the ‘Cricbuzz’ app. It is really fast.

I: Son, but I don’t know how to use it?

7-year old: Uncle, it’s so simple. Simply, type India and Australia there in the app to get the updates as we would be watching the same on television.

I: Ok son I will try.

7-year old: Bye uncle. My friends have come. I am going to play. Do download the app. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -  

Tuesday, 24 March 2015


Section 66A is draconian and is not needed, the Supreme Court of India says.

And therefore, the logics like ‘Section 66A is draconian but needed’ have been put to an effective rest…..until the policymakers come with yet another on the similar lines.

After all, policymaking is their prerogative and they follow it religiously.

And like with this provision that came when the Information Technology (IT) Act of 2000 was amended in December 2008, the next law will take another fight then.

Because it is basically about playing around with words. The word formation of the scrapped down Section 66A says this.

“Any person who sends by any means of a computer resource any information that is grossly offensive or has a menacing character; or any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.”

Mind the terms ‘grossly offensive’, ‘menacing character’, ‘annoyance’ and ‘inconvenience’. These four elements from the ‘defining character of 66A’ are menacing enough to unwind any rational thinking.

How to define what is grossly offensive and who should define it?

Okay, if the consensus is reached that ‘something posted’ is grossly offensive then how to scale the ‘level of offensiveness’ and how even courts can deliberate objectively on something so subjective?

There are laws on treason and public harmony to take care of something that intends to do so. Similar is the case for defamation and slander. Section 66A is not needed for all that.

So what else is of ‘menacing character’ false in the same shadow of ambiguity as the ‘perilous sanctity of something grossly offensive according to Section 66A’.

Add to it – ‘annoyance’ and ‘inconvenience’ were ‘menacing’ enough elements mentioned capping the anomalies of 66A taking it to the extreme levels of ridiculousness.

How can we define if some expression is causing ‘annoyance’ or ‘inconvenience’ beyond personal perceptions to work as objectively as the ‘upkeep’ of legal sanctity requires?

Also, how can we equip our legal jurisprudence to ‘define, scale and level’ – ‘annoyance’ and ‘inconvenience’ – in countless expressions that flood the social media sites and other internet platforms – expressions that are about personal airs than being the acts of ‘treason, public unrest, defamation or slander. Like said above, if so, all such expressions can, absolutely logically, be tried in every Indian court with backing of well-laid laws.

It is well established (and self-evident time and again) that our policymakers feel equipped enough when they make such laws but certainly (and rightly), our best legal minds don’t correlate with what their legislative counterparts think on the ‘legal relevance of human intellect’ in such matters.

And they expressed it again today, loud and clear – telling them Section 66A is legally draconian now – terming it unconstitutional and striking it down.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -  

Monday, 23 March 2015


Okay, Putinism was always on the roll, though with some rough patches intermittently.

But, it seems the 10 days of break from public life has recharged the world's most powerful dictator to take on the world again, the world efficiently pressed under his boots and the world that he so eagerly wants to dominate, but is incapable of.

The time after his another stage managed coup to continue on top of everything in Russia has not been good, particularly with his deepening adventures in Ukraine.

Though his bravado, enveloped by his machismo, did earn Russia Crimea and pushed Ukraine to a sustained internal war with rebels, it cost Russia heavily as well.

The meekness of the western world, the European countries and the United States of America, allowed Ukraine to be torn apart, and to save their faces, they resorted to the routine of imposing sanctions.

But even this routine step is proving effective and Russia is reeling under its after-effects.

Russian economy is in bad shape and this derailment may prove out a worse nightmare for Putin than the bad days of 'toned down economic blitzkrieg owing to the low energy prices'.

The world knows the Russian tiger was running fast fuelled by the oil money and Putinism's genius had no role to play in it.

Oil prices continue to remain low. And with the Ukraine (mis)adventure, the Russian tiger is increasingly find itself in a quagmire with its pace nailed to a ground that is positioned to remain unstable.

Latest figures show the world a 'rapid economic contraction' in Russia, a Reuters report says. Rouble has taken a massive hit and domestic consumption is feeling the heat.

Though the Russian leaders say the 'worst is over', the same is not shared by the outside world.  

The 'Crimea Act' had earned Putin and Putinism brownie points in Russia under the garb of patriotism and nationalism. It was after a long time that Putin enjoyed high popularity ratings and it was in the 'aftermath' of his Ukraine calculations.

But the continued downward economic spiral, adding to the bad days of the low oil prices, was a potential trigger to darken the prospects of this 'patriotic' Putin. To remain larger than life, Putin needs to push his 'ultra-patriot macho' image because this only can give him the leverage to blunt the edge of any potential voice against him in Russia.

Now, since he has crushed the political opposition in Russia, he would like to downplay any development that can give voice to the voiceless political opposition in the country.

But, the developments that can voice another round of political opposition as we saw during 2011-12, during his bid on re-election as the next Russian President (for the third term), are beyond his control - the oil prices and the economic sanctions.

The Russian economy is in shambles and Putin cannot do anything about it. But he can do to make it look normalizing. He needs to create the mirrors of diversions and his experience tells the 'nationalism of a macho' can handle it better.

So, after the break that gave rise to colourful conspiracy theories like from fathering a love child to ' being ousted in a silent coup by a group of powerful anti-Putinism generals', he got back with a bang charging the world with his nuclear tongue.

After his 'surfacing up' act, he 'warned' the world that Russia was all set for a 'nuclear war' putting its nuclear forces on alert during Crimea annexation. For the first time, in a voice that would sound 'heroic' to the Russians, he admitted that Russian soldiers were in Crimea to take care of referendum and annexation.

Next, his 'machismo' found friends in many leaders (read autocrats and dictators, including Kim Jong-Un) to celebrate the 70th anniversary of World War II victory (to be celebrated next month, so time to build up further on the propaganda).

And yesterday, after reappearing act of March 16, Putin threatened Denmark. He threatened Denmark to nuke the 'warships of the Danes' if they joined the 'missile defence shield' of NATO.


Putinism's nuclear tongue is on a roll and expect more of his 'ultra-patriotic-nationalistic-machismo' speak to colour the pages of geopolitics as Putin's Russia moves ahead with time trying to address it economic woes.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -  

Sunday, 22 March 2015


“History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
― Mark Twain

The resonance of the assonance the time weaves is an imperative that inevitably comes. That is the history of history.

So history may be subjected to subjective subjugations, manipulating it to the extent to sound its alter-ego. But, in the contemporary history where history records itself, as the time moves ahead, by having enough of the 'types' being its eyes and ears, that they preserve its objectivity for everyone who cares for.

So, people, even in the archetypal dictatorships, take on to the streets, to revisit their history, to correct their history, to make premises for a history that would be recorded 'as it goes'.

Like everywhere else, in the contemporary history, it is true with the contemporary Indian history as well, including its Independence Movement.

Most of us (who are willing) have access to what happened during the pre-Independence era and what followed.

And it tells us India owes its Independence in 1947 to the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. No rational mind would debate it.

And it is equally true that no rational mind would debate the contributions of those who differed with the Mahatma on the issue of ideology - the league of revolutionaries including Subhash Chandra Bose, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh and many more.

They all inspired the ordinary Indians to go beyond their personal perceptions to raise a collective call for full independence.

But the way the post-Independence India followed its history skewed the facts of its Independence struggle giving space to few while ignoring others. It left it poorly expressed. It left it incompletely done, a verse with no rhyming.

So, while most of us, who bother to read, know about Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, or even Bal Gangadhar Tilak or Gopal Krishna Gokhale or Lala Lajpat Rai or Madan Mohan Malaviya or many more like them - but don't know when they were born, when they died, the place of their final journies, where their descendents are - because the politics of post-Independence India never bothered about them beyond lip-service.

But as Mark Twain says, history does find ways to find elements to rhyme itself.

March 23 is the Martyrdom Day of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru who were hanged by the colonial British rulers in a Lahore prison in 1931.

March 23 comes every year and goes. Apart from routine mentions and some social media activity (in recent times), it doesn't generate much buzz.

But with a changed political dispensation with a different ideology, Indian politics is searching for different symbols, to add to the existing ones or to replace them - to rework the ideological symbolism of Indian politics.  

And March 23 has rightly found a prominent place in this search, and through it, the contemporary Indian history has found the elements to find a way to rhyme its tales on Indian freedom struggle.

The Martyrdom Day of the great revolutionaries this year is going to create front page headlines and round the clock coverage and thus a greater public exposure.

A very handful of Indians would be aware of 'Hussainwala' or 'Khatkar Kalan' but tomorrow most of them would be reading or googling about them.

The colonial cowardice of the then British government pushed for a secretive, hastened hanging of the revolutionary trio and their bodies were cremated at Hussainiwala in Punjab's Ferozepur district. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going there tomorrow to pay his tributes. A PM is going there after 30 years when it had to be a regular affair.

Khatkar Kalan is the ancestral village of Bhagat Singh. It is Punjab's Nawanshahr district that is now known as Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. Anna Hazare is going there tomorrow to pay homage.

Let's see if we see similar moves followed with native places of Sukhdev and Rajguru.

The Aam Aadmi Party is going to launch a state-wide agitation in Uttar Pradesh against the Land Acquisition Bill. Congress is going to do that in Tamil Nadu.

Include many other planned and unplanned incidents on the similar lines and expect social media trends generating high volumes.

So, there are by-the-government- and anti- government moves planned for tomorrow, but the good thing for Indian history is that March 23 is the central theme, the common cord of all.

Hope, the rhyming will be lyrically balanced this time.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Thursday, 19 March 2015


In 2013, the latest year for which the figures for crime in Indian Railways are available say of some over 1400 incidents of heinous crime including murders, dacoity, rape and robbery.

Going by the annual tally for some years, we can safely assume the figures to be hovering around on similar scale as nothing earth-shattering has happened in the intervening period. Overall safety and security continues to be a big issue and a worrying aspect for the Indian Railways, the lifeline of public commuting in India.

And we seldom hear of these odd 1400-1500 incidents of heinous crimes, even murders the figure for which for 2013 was 270, leave alone the cases of dacoity and robbery, over 1100 in 2013.

Because they mostly happen with the 'aam aadmi', the common man. Most of them cannot afford even the higher class (read AC First Class and AC Second Class) travel by the trains. Taking a calculated ride of comfort has the AC Three Tier as the first preference because it is the cheapest one. Even if they can afford or somehow afford, most of them are not certainly the VVIPs.

Also, the AC class passengers, with most of them still being the common men, though with inflated pockets, form a minor fraction of the overall train passengers in India with sleeper class and second class accounting for over 90% of the volume.

The 'khaas aadmi', the VVIP personalities, are inhabitants of the AC First Class and in extreme circumstances, they opt to go with the AC Second Class. But the overall Indian Railways is secondary option for the 'khaas aadmi', including even the free-loader VVIPs. Train becomes an option only when there is non-availability of air carriers (due to varied reasons).

And even if VVIPs do travel by trains, we seldom hear voices (or clamoured voices) on heinous crimes in Indian Railways.

One of the natural reasons behind it is - most of the victims are from different classes of 'aam aadmi', even if inhabiting the AC classes.

And who cares for them in a country deeply indebted with the ethos of a VVIP culture where elected politician are seen as above the rest, the privileged class having the first and foremost access to the country's system.

So, it takes a VVIP crime incident on moving tracks to make us raise voices on the deteriorating scenario, a scenario that was in pathetic shape perennially.

A state finance minister (Madhya Pradesh) was travelling from Jabalpur to Delhi with his wife in AC First Class. They were robbed today at gunpoint near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.

Now, in 2013, 1096 robberies were recorded on moving trains but we did not hear about even single of them, at least not regionally or nationally. We did not hear what happened to the probes or if any action was taken against the policemen for showing laxity in duty.

Because the victims were the 'aam aadmi'.

Today, it was a 'khaas aadmi' and therefore, three policemen were immediately suspended and a high-level enquiry was ordered.

And the victims were there, all around, to tell their story, with plenty of ears to hear them.

In a country, where a young and honest IAS officer dies a suspicious death and a state government adamantly declines the demands of the grieving family members of an independent, impartial probe the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Because the honest folk was not from some VVIP family and so no connections. Besides, he had taken on many corrupt VVIPs.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


Tunisian hostage crisis, leaving 21 dead in the capital Tunis, was contained within four hours but its aftershocks significantly add to the worries post the emergence of the Islamic State as the most lethal terror outfit and its potential as the most rogue terror export hub in the days to come, if left unchecked.

Because, Tunisia is the only country where Arab Spring remained Arab Spring, surviving an orderly transition from a 24-year old autocracy of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to a parliamentary democracy.

The Arab Spring erupted from Tunisia in December 2010 with self-immolation of a street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, after sustained harassment from the authorities.

The movement was to soon engulf the whole Arab World, the major dots of tyrannies and autocracies on the world map.

And it did happen.

Sustained protest movements brought down dictators in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen.

But apart from Tunisia, the other three countries got entangled in bloody faction wars and terror attacks. They are staring at dark future. Syria's civil uprising is still one of the bloodiest war being waged. Bahrain's was brutally crushed. Other countries including Algeria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have effectively defanged the protests.

Except Tunisia, it is indeed an Arab Winter in all other Arab Spring countries.

And a terror strike in that Tunisia - on a building of international importance - adjacent to its national parliament - killing 21 including 17 foreign nationals (all Europeans) - within six months of elections completing the process of transition to a parliamentary republic - is indicative of how sinister the terror footprints are going to be.

The network extends - from Asia to Africa to Europe - from crisis hotbeds and terror infested countries to the advanced ones like the European nations.

With the Tunisia strike, the worrying aspect gets even more disturbing. It's like identifying targets and waging the war on all continents.

Terrorism in the name of Islam, in the era of the Islamic State, is still not able to touch the American soil post 9/11. That makes Europe the natural choice. After all, any attack on a European country, like the January attack at Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, or terror strikes in other European countries, is an event of global outreach that gives the terror outfits a wider publicity, an increased outreach to recruit more, to claim the world.

Of all European countries, France has been the most involved one in strikes on Muslim terror outfits in the recent history.

Tunisia, being a French colony prior to its independence, coupled with its successful democratic transition through a civil uprising, is an antithesis to what all the terror outfits like the Islamic State espouse.  

It's not that all is well in Tunisia. There are real threats - of increasing radicalization of youth -  and of persisting presence of an Al Qaeda offshoot (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb).

But there lies the point.

The Arab Spring has succeeded in Tunisia, an Islamic country, in spite of these threats, fighting them while building up a free society, a democratic country.

Something that could not happen in other Arab countries, a fertile ground for the terror groups operating in the name of Islam.

Tunisia is an example for democratic spirits across the Arab nations - a consistent reminder for the dictators - and a slap in the face of the terror warlords.

And the sinister minds would like to make an example of this example.

Today's terror strike in Tunis may be a well intended message to both Tunisia and to France and to the larger, free democratic world. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -

Tuesday, 17 March 2015


They are forced to kill themselves after they find they find they cannot take it anymore.

And it has been happening for long, giving rise to studies, claims, counterclaims, lines of thoughts and the rampant politicking (obviously, with the inherent political apathy).

And the triggers are many.

No monsoon, erratic rains, ill-timed rains, low yield, high output (and low prices), state policies, social evils, and the cost of existing in the society!

They are killed by the nature.

They are killed by the man.

Like the spate of farm suicides now, adding to the toll of the year gone by!

In an economy, that has been famously agrarian, with agriculture witnessing a consistent downward slip in its contribution to the Indian GDP!

From some 60%, agriculture's share in Indian economy has come down to some 15%, but not the haunting ghosts of farm suicide.

The discourse over farm suicides has  got deeper, with sensitivities on the flow, trying to counter and sensitize the apathy.

Farmers continued to commit suicide in this economy that is projected to surpass the economies of Japan and Germany taken together.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -