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.
Thursday, 31 March 2016
Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
Temples are probably the best examples to see how deeply ingrained is the VIP culture in our society in India, something that a rational and logical mind instantly disapproves.
Monday, 28 March 2016
Going by the poem, and going by the proverbial wisdom, Congress is now facing the brunt of defeats, first electorally, and now in the name of the Constitution, and we should rightly expect that it will do all to taste the sweet 'taste' of victory once it regains the power in Delhi - either in 2019 or some other time.
But first about the erstwhile losers - or the parties that have had very little say in running the affairs of India - and except BJP, the only party that has had so far only any full-term government (in fact, only single full-term government) - will certainly be feeling more 'justified' in exercising this Constitutional provision while running the country with their government installed in Delhi.
Because, when it was its term, even Congress was always Constitutionally right - irrespective of what the common sense' political wisdom said - irrespective of what the experts said - and irrespective of what the Constitutional custodians, the courts, said.
Sunday, 27 March 2016
Saturday, 26 March 2016
On one side, an emboldened dictator-cum-mercenary-cum-warlord-cum-butcher, after the Russian support (courtesy another dictator), is slaying his own countrymen in flocks, using even the chemical weapons.
Then there are terror outfits like the Islamic State or the Al Qaeda affiliates or even the Syrian rebel factions.
They have sandwiched the common Syrians – killing them, forcing them to live under siege or forcing them to flee the country – to a place where they can see the dawn of next day.
And this ongoing horror has given us another event that once again raises questions on us being the members of a globalized world run by a globalized code with a unifying organization like the United Nations. Almost the whole globe is member of the UN.
Events like Syria say the UN is failing; the world community is failing – because the Syrian crisis/civil war is now in its sixth year while the major police nations of the world, who invade an Afghanistan, an Iraq or a Libya, have let that happen.
As a result, in this globalized world, Syria has become the only war-torn/civil-war-hit country to see a decline in its population – with hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced. Syrians are the biggest migrants group in Europe – those who have got asylum – those who are still waiting in ‘nowhere’ zone – and those who lost their lives while trying to reach those elusive borders of the European continent.
According to the reports, since the crisis began in 2011, Syria has seen some 11.5% decline in its population. From this assessment, if the pre-conflict Syrian population, in 2010, was 21.5 million, it should be around 19 million now. According to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, the five years of Syrian civil war has killed some 470,000 Syrians while some 480,000 are forced to live under siege.
But when we count in the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe or the Syrian refugee crisis in totality, the inland Syrian population looks even thinner. Some 5 to 6 million Syrians are in different refugee camps – in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan and in many European countries.
This – the population decline – has not been seen even in the war-torn nations and the crisis hotbeds like Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died. Hundreds of thousands are in danger zones, facing imminent threat to their lives. Hundreds of thousands are starving to death. Millions in refugee camps are stuck with their lives. Majority of schools and hospitals in Syria are gone, ruined or annihilated in the ongoing war.
And we, in the larger world community, are to blame for it. We are letting the Syrian Holocaust happen.
Friday, 25 March 2016
Thursday, 24 March 2016
Wednesday, 23 March 2016
That yellow of permanence
That I won like some truffle
Tuesday, 22 March 2016
Monday, 21 March 2016
Sunday, 20 March 2016
Saturday, 19 March 2016
Friday, 18 March 2016
Thursday, 17 March 2016
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Today, the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to suspend AIMIM MLA from Mumbai, Waris Pathan, from the House for the remaining days of the Budget session after he reiterated what his party chief Asaduddin Owaisi had said three days ago - that he will never say 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'.
It is true that the Indian Constitution doesn't ask anyone to chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' to prove his/her patriotism/nationality - something rightly pointed out - first by Asaduddin Owaisi - and then by his party MLAs.
But the row begins here.
He has added another contentious point to the already intensified 'nationalism Vs anti-nationalism' debate - as if the beef politics, the sedition row or the 'award-wapsi' over the tolerance Vs intolerance debate or the ' religious conversion or Ghar-wapsi' episodes were not enough. The row has taken over the airwaves and has become the main news agenda of the day. And as the polls have been announced in five state assemblies, the polarization politics would do all to keep the row alive.
What Asaduddin Owaisi and others are saying is technically correct and they are rightly entitled to have their views.
But being a political person, and being a member of the Parliament and above all, being a people's representative, he has to be socially and politically correct here.
And he is socially and politically incorrect - literally (and not pejoratively as the phrase 'politically correct' has been a subject of linguistic discourse)!
We have the Constitutional guarantee on our fundamental rights including the right to free speech but while exploiting this right, we must also keep in mind that our Constitution also expects us to use our discretion in performing fundamental duties it lays down.
Yes, the fundamental duties are discretionary, voluntary in nature but that doesn't mean we should blatantly disregard them.
Something that Mr. Owaisi and his partymen have done.
If Mr. Owaisi and some others don't want to say 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', it is their prerogative - but only in private - or as private members - not when you are in public life - and certainly not the way Mr. Owaisi has chosen to express his rant - while addressing a public gathering.
When communication goes on mass level, no one sees the intent but the words you speak - the words that have stirred a hornet's nest here. In order to score political advantage, he has given avenues to others engage in some votebank politics that ultimately disrupts social balance.
If the Constitution gives us the fundamental right to speak our mind, it also expects us to respect others' feelings and other thoughts - as it says - " to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities".
Mr. Owaisi and his party's tirades on 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' belie the spirit of this notion.
It is not about RSS or some other outfit asking us to swear by 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' , it is about our right to feel so and say so as Javed Akhtar very emphatically expressed it yesterday in the Parliament putting Asaduddin Owaisis in the doc.
Asaduddin Owaisi may try to score some political mileage by uttering a cheap political expression that would certainly hurt Indians across the communities. But if Mr. Owaisi thinks he will score some brownie points politically by using such inflammable words, it is really a dangerous precedent, a new low in political discourse in the country - something that has been mostly been crass or 'politically incorrect' for social harmony.
Tuesday, 15 March 2016
And much of it has to do with the rapid climbdown the 'Kanhaiya Kumar hopes' saw - after his bail on March 3.
March 3 and 4 were crucial - for Kanhaiya Kumar to understand and act that he was not a fulltime politician but mere a student activist who had got people's sympathy and support because people felt he was being wronged, because people felt that he and others in JNU were being victimized.
Newsrooms and the nation saw a surcharged atmosphere even during the breaking developments centred on Umar Khalid and Aniraban Bhattacharya disappearance, reappearance and surrender.
Being students was the significant brand equity every JNU student had when police, politicians and administration started making mess of a university matter. Their activism, ideological affiliation and sense of fighting it out only amplified the appeal. It worked well with the popular sentiment that tends to be with the people who are perceived as being victimized.
Kanhaiya Kumar and other JNU students lost these advantages after Kanhaiya Kumar started doing rounds of personal interviews and started making unnecessary verbal attacks that didn't spare even the defence establishment including the Indian Army.
When communication goes on mass level, no one sees the intent but the words you ejaculate. The 'Kanhaiya Kumar fined for obscene behaviour against a woman' episode further added to it. Then there were additionals like talks of Kanhaiya Kumar slated to campaign for the Left-wing parties in the upcoming assembly polls.
So, a mess that had given a window, an opportunity to revive student politics and activism in India was being reduced to a mere political opportunity that could conveniently be labelled anti-BJP and thus could be dismissed.
Everyone saw through it - including those who had rushed to support JNU students. Certainly there has been a disenchantment and it reflected today when no national news channel made it a point to beam Kanhaiya Kumar and others while they were organizing the protest march.
It was third in a series of solidarity marches to raise voice for democratization of academic institutions in the country and was about JNUSU's and JNUTA's demand of releasing Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya. And sane, neutral voices want them released though their judicial custody was extended for another 14 days today. Hope, they get bail tomorrow when their bail plea hearing is expected.
But as the overall issue is important - that how some students of a particular institution were targeted and are still being targeted - beyond what should have been a justified punishment/disciplinary action meted out to them - so was the attention given to the issue today. Almost every news carrier carried the developments on the JNU protest march later in the day - with relevant pointers from Kanhaiya Kumar's speech today.
Student politics and activism are imperatives for any democratic society but within the confines of academic environment. Yes, universities must be the first places for voices of dissent but it is the responsibility of everyone to keep the culture of debate healthy and democratic. And they must be within the Constitutional norms that run a democracy. You have to practice the fact that only your ideology cannot be sacrosanct - be it Leftist - or the Centrist - or the Rightist.
If you have to get engaged in fulltime activism or politics, pass the confines of the academic institutions first. While still being a student, it is not your job to raise voices, indulge in sloganeering and organize events to rid the country of this or that ideology. Keep your leanings intact for the time when you will be out in the open to take on what you believed was wrong and unjustified when you were building the activist in you during your days in your academic institution.
Monday, 14 March 2016
It has already begun and tomorrow, when there is a big agitation march planned by the JNU Students Union (JNUSU) - Parliament Chalo, it is going to figure prominently. The findings of this probe committee will certainly reflect on how stormy the day is going to be tomorrow.
JNUSU is demanding removal of sedition charges and other cases slapped on Kanhaiya Kumar and others. The Left-wing students unions are backing the move. JNUSU has appealed to the students in Delhi's different colleges and universities to join the protest tomorrow.
And given the response that Kanhaiya Kumar and other students got after the administration and police made the mess of a simple university issue, the protestors will try to mobilize more support for Kanhaiya Kumar and other students when they take to roads tomorrow.
Kanhaiya Kumar is out on 'interim bail' with some tough words by the presiding Delhi High Court judge who delivered the order. Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya are still in jail after they failed to secure bail.
So, even after the blitzkrieg that Kanhaiya tried to unleash after his bail on March 3, they, from JNUSU and those under scanner including Kanhaiya, are not going to say anything acidic or hostile to the law of the land - that will further affect their case. Yes, a sort of speech delivered earlier in JNU is expected tomorrow - but it is not going to get same eyeballs - because, since March 3, Kanhaiya Kumar last lost much of his currency that made him relevant for a cause.
Some deft political manoeuvring has to be there then - that conveys what the JNUSU wants to say - and convinces people of its intent and substance. JNUSU opposed this probe committee, demanded a fresh one. Those under investigation didn't appear before it. And students had support of many faculty members as well. And it was certainly not restricted to the university campus. And that has to be sustained.
A well coordinated movement fanning across the capital city or a significant presence in the heart of Delhi to catch media attention and social media pull will serve the purpose. Yes, a speech is ok - but with the intent that reflects sincerity and commitment to a cause.
If tomorrow has to be a stormy day - it has to be within the confines of the law - like the protests of the hugely successful anti-corruption movement of 2011. And if JNUSU has learnt any lessons, it will try to follow the suit.
Hope sense will prevail tomorrow - unlike what happened on February 9 - when anti-India slogans were raised in JNU. Yes, Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and others say they did not raise them and those who shouted those slogans were outsiders and we would love to go with that but with the obvious questions that if all these JNU students were present there, when these slogans were raised, they why none of them bothered to stop such anti-nationals or behaved like responsible citizens by informing the authorities of what had happened.
If there had to be any punishment in this case, it was about this - a disciplinary action by the university administration.
And it is expected that the action taken on the recommendations of inquiry committee would be in line with this spirit - with no expulsions - but clear warnings. Police did not go on hunting for two more students named after Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya surrendered indicates that.