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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has become one of the most reviewed books since and even before its publication in June 2017. The antici...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Congress compares Narendra Modi with Dawood Ibrahim


Hell no congress has got down to the level where they are now insulting Dawood Ibrahim. Narender Modi is a criminal with a veneer of politician. Whereas Dawood Ibrahim never claimed himself anything but an underworld gangster. Debate on Modi is another indicator the overall decadence that has wrought society in totality. Industrials and film stars bend in all direction to curry favor of the person whose regime presided over worst killings and made minorities look hapless in their own homes. Some people might draw parallel with exodus of minorities from Kashmir. One wrong cannot be corrected with another wrong. Government of the day failed in Kashmir but the government in Gujrat under Modi brazenly perperated and participated in crime against humanity, for which not only he but entire the then NDA regime functionaries including Vajpayee are guilty. It doesn't take too long to remember infamous speech in Goa where Vajpayee defended Modi and thus effectively declaring himself complicit in criminality of Modi. One does not need not to even dwell on the role lesser lights of that infamous NDA regime like Advani and others, who never had any qualms about anything they did or spoke.    

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Self righteousness and salvation

Self-righteous people thinking of salvation universally resolve to stay away from politics otherwise their attainment of whatever will be impeded no matter the dubious ways they might have tread in reaching that momentous point of becoming pure in life. Those cherishment and desires are extreme and utter examples of self-inflicted naivety and represent an extreme simplistic view point that do not take into account the basic fallibility and intrinsic inbuilt complexities of human character. It is hard to define and delineate a human being as pure. Though one can strive for achieving a perfect harmony but then one is again talking of self and that would be helpful if everybody would be living in a bubble but that definitely is not the case. At some level betterment of society has to come into fore for realization of a livable world. Actually now I am coming the main point. What surprises me is the equation of political leadership with criminality and opportunism. It didn't have to be like that nevertheless it did happen. The reason is not the criminals manning the politics but because the noble souls tried not to muddle themselves in a thankless profession and they rather tried to attain 'nirvana' for themselves. Imagine if Franklin Delano Roosevelt had judged against a career in politics, probably the world would be under Nazi domination. One doesn't need to imagine deep what it would been like if Churchill had thought same about politics. And what about Gandhi himself, he was not opportunist from any point of view. Unfortunately one would wish things would be simple but those are not and the reality is that there are far greater overlaps and many more colors in kaleidoscope that one could ever imagine that no political thinker or philosopher did, certainly nor did John Lennon.

Monday, March 22, 2010

US health reform and Indian emailers

It was one of the rare so called triumphs of good over bad when finally US congress voted for Obama's health reform. To say that the measure will redeem Obama presidency is an understatement. Much greater than mere redemption was at stake. The scene in the US congress or outside was anything but decent with outside protesters being instigated by soon to be losers Republican congressmen from inside. No abuse was spared to demean democrats and shamelessly racial slurs were freely used. Newt Gingrich even went to the extent of exhuming Lyndon Johnson, the last president to push through a far reaching reform. That was all in the news. I am just trying to remind the Indians who are never tired of slurring their politicians through emails, circulated from their cosy living rooms. For them enumerating criminal cases against parliamentarians seems to be a healthy sport. Did it ever occur to them that politics is a noble profession more than any other or at least it involves harder work than the corporate embezzlers can ever imagine?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Arun Shourie, the rabid ideologue

Arun Shourie represented one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated in the name of investigative and whatever journalism in India. He tried to pretend himself as a voice of down-trodden and masqueraded to champion against everything evil with the congress government of Indira Gandhi. It was a spectacle to see his mask come off so-easily and hard-cored chauvinistic features were in open display. Did Ram Nath Goenka know that his one-time protege is a literal wolf in sheep's clothing and that he would be one day a shameless defender of a criminal like Narender Modi. A slight deeper analysis would have easily revealed that given the chance Arun Shourie would be an ideologue of saffron movement par-excellence and given his way with words and his capability of distorting facts at some point he would have become more dangerous than the devil itself. Fortunately things didn't go the way Arun Shourie would have liked and after humiliation of sangh brigade in last election he even went to the extend of pleading with his RSS masters to bombard BJP head quarters. I remember in one of his holier than thou column in the Indian Express he had preached the idea of a limited democracy with an empowered chosen executive. My answer to his preachings would be that Indian nation should be thankful to the divine conjunction that people like Arun Shourie's wishes don't (always) come true. One of the biggest contributors to what some people think (including Arun Shourie) as economic boom has been the chaotic Indian parliamentary system. Even to the extent it has been this very system, with all its intrinsic flaws, that let country survive through difficult and turbulent periods when at times everything seemed to be lost. The country survived those times when prophets of gloom like Arun Shourie predicted nothing but doom. People like Arun Shourie occasionally come up with the idea of jettisoning the very system that has enabled country to survive. The sole agenda in such arguments is to assure survival of 'parallel' elitist India. So that what Arun Shourie calls an empowered executive can protect the vested elitist interests. The mere fact that a Dalit woman could become Chief Minister of the largest state in the country is by itself is an achievement, which people like Mr. Shourie treat as a threat to their agenda. In the world history examples are galore with consequences of strong executives. I am sure Mr. Shourie knows when an elected European leader in 1930s decided to do away with the parliament and rule his country directly with his henchmen. I hope Arun Shourie and his ilk don't have that kind of executive in mind. The problem in India is not its democratic system (legislative) but rather the attitude and doings of the elite class which Arun Shourie and his ilk would like to protect. Why don't elitist encourage their children to serve nation by joining politics. Certainly answer to that question is not in the removal of the system but rather in strengthening it. Experience of past decade has definitely shown with all it flaw the parliamentary system works even in the era of coalitions. One of the fundamental requisition for prevention of descent of a democracy into totalitarian system is built in grid lock that makes making any change in the constitution a herculean task. Any keen observer would draw satisfaction that finally Indian democracy might have arrived; the bill on women's reservation is an example. No government shall be able to push through any amendment without building a true consensus. That is a sign of a healthy democracy and not a sign of inefficiency as the ignorant elite may think it to be.
One of the common refrains that viciously circles elite living rooms is that everything connected to politics is unclean and every politician is a corrupt. The advent of mass media instead of spreading information has been as a matter of fact used by vested interests to spread ignorance. The emails detailing criminal cases pending against members of the parliament circulate among those who never pause even for a smallest moment to earn by any means. Is corporate corruption any lesser evil evil than political corruption or it just a difference that the latter are out in front of press and former get help from pliable accountants to cook their books and look savvy so that they can pass themselves as above any law. The last economic crisis was not caused by the corrupt politicians but by rather greedy corporates and their captains whose despite bringing down the entire world down still remain unpunished and what is even amazing they brazenly remain unfazed and given another chance they will repeat it all over again. Those are the very elites whose welfare bleeds the heart of men like Arun Shourie.

The Hindu Fuehrer, a prisoner of his image- Hindustan Times

The Hindu Fuehrer, a prisoner of his image- Hindustan Times

Friday, March 12, 2010

India and Afghanistan

All of a sudden Indians are dismayed at being sidelined by US in favor of Pakistan vis-à-vis Afghanistan. Surprise! Surprise! It couldn't be summed any better than when Hamid Karzai said "India is a close friend of Afghanistan but Pakistan is a twin brother of Afghanistan. We are more than twins, we are conjoined twins. There is no separation, there cannot be a separation." There shouldn't be any doubt that the approach to induce Afghan reconciliation with Pakistan is fully backed by US. Sidelining of India in the context of Afghan situation is not sudden but Indian lack of farsightedness and understanding is definitely a contributor. At the very dawn of realism in US administration that war in Afghanistan cannot be won without inclusion of pliable Taliban elements, Indians in typical display of ignorance started groaning about it. Newspaper editorials vied each other in slamming US for reproaching Taliban. To Indian brigade determining policy and press officiants it never occurred that Talibans belong to the Pashtun ethnic group, which incidentally is the most dominant and powerful. What could be termed as a blunder of gargantuan proportion was the Indian tacit support to Abdullah Abdullah over Hamid Karzai in the Presidential elections. This can only be summed by the use of phrase 'only fools tread the path that angels dread'. Afghanistan, a Muslim country, is contiguous with Pakistan and in fact the Durand line separating the north west frontier province and Afghanistan is one of the artficiliaties imposed by Britain that does nothing to remove commonalities between the communities on either side. Thus, geography, ethnicity, religion and strategic compulsion favor a greater role for Pakistan than Indians would like to see.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Independent -- Robert Fisk: Once again, a nation walks through fire to give the West its 'democracy'

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In 2005 the Iraqis walked in their tens of thousands through the thunder of suicide bombers, and voted - the Shias on the instructions of their clerics, the Sunnis sulking in a boycott - to prove Iraq was a "democracy". There followed the most blood-boltered period in Iraq's modern history....

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The Independent -- West Bengal's 'war on terror': 'Police shoot on sight - and we're all targets'

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According o the two women wearing the white clothes of mourning, Lalmohan Tudu was a well-loved husband and son, a man who only wanted to help his village. They say the farmer, a tribal rights activist, was seized near his home by police who then shot him dead in a...

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Where do I belong to?

One of the most innocuous questions frequently asked is one which I find most difficult to answer. The very benign question in question "Where do you come from?" sets me in a thinking mode to find an answer, which until now I haven't found. Having ever lived with this disability has desensitized me to the extent that I don't even feel slight awkwardness in not answering a seemingly straight forward question and don't even ever bother to reflect on misgivings in minds of people not getting answer to such a simple question. The question is whether this disability (the word is deliberately used) has affected me; that would be being downright dishonest if I answer no. In a strange way, nevertheless, at the same time I feel exalted because this state of non-belonging provided me a unique opportunity to dissect and discern any situation, any happening and more importantly to understand perpetrators of those situations and happenings and follow any event with complete detachment that precludes any prejudice. In this post I will try to deal with parallel happenings in my personal world and in the world in my immediate surroundings. I left Kashmir under circumstances that one does not necessarily merit cherishing or are better left to be forgotten. But it would be prudent to understand the chain of events that created an almost unthinkable upheaval in a place that until then had hardly known any violence. The time in question is the year 1990, when on a cold early morning in December I huddled in a taxi to leave Kashmir for the very last time.