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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...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Who rules Kashmir?

There was a small news item in one of the local newspapers (Greater Kashmir) in Kashmir reporting that some Major General, General Officer Commanding of some infantry division told newsmen that army will not allow stone pelting in Kashmir. “I am very hopeful that this year we will be able to curtail it” is the ad-verbatim statement of the commanding officer of some infantry division. I thought state of Jammu & Kashmir had a civilian, legislative and allegedly elected government in place headed by a civilian chief minister.  Could one attribute Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s statement to his vile imagination when he stated (a news item in the same newspaper) that union home ministry and army is ruling the state? Hasn’t it been a consistent feature over the years that army and its spokespersons issue pronouncements on the matters that clearly fall within the ambit of civilian authority? In a perverse sense one even starts perceiving that such a statement at this juncture might even represent a yearning on the part of certain sections within the armed forces for repeat of trouble in Kashmir. That would provide them, in connivance with civilian bureaucrats, another ruse to douse any discussion either on the reduction of number of troops deployed in the valley or on dilution of draconian laws in force to deal with insurgents, which according to Indian nationalists include all the inhabitants of the valley.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


The way people have started talking about corruption gives an impression that the menace just erupted and therefore needs to be nipped in the bud. And in came Anna Hazare and his show complete with tents and full media glare; joined in by everybody and anybody eager to hog lime-light no matter how fleeting moment be. Even if for a brief moment one gets delusional to accept that corruption didn’t exist before; even that would not justify the demand for the creation of a totally bizarre organization through bizarre insistence of bizarre duo of Hazare and so-called Baba Ramdev. So-called Baba has been making hay through naivety of his country for many years and his franchise has become bloated to the level of a complete corporation through sale of all types of superfluous and misleading health products. But here Baba is not an issue nor is Hazare, howsoever genuine he might be. The issue is corruption, and its real consequences. Corruption exists and existed without any discrimination. It never discriminates on the basis of religion, caste or color and even political affiliation. I deliberately excluded gender because men are prone to be more corrupt then women. It exists in all forms of vocations and it permeates every strata of society. And it would be an understatement to say that its effects are devastating; but not in the way Anna Hazare, Ramdev and their ignorant urban acolytes perceive. To understand the ruinous effect of that corruption one needs to come out of parochial and pseudo-nationalist tendencies and take cognizance of large multidimensional reality of the country like India, which exists beyond Jantar Mantar. Naxal movement (a generic name for multiple troubles) is a manifest of a corrupt society in denial; people in north-east are lesser citizens because of moral bankruptcy, which not less than any corruption. Does dealing of popular grievances in Kashmir through draconian force and repressive laws not constitute moral corruption? Why unjust incarceration of Dr. Binayak Sen never touched Anna Hazare and his followers? Does forced exile of Maqbool Fida Hussain not constitute corruption? And what about those filthy rich people who try every mean under the sky to evade paying taxes?     

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Banishment of corruption

Anna Hazare fasted for 90 hours and it banished corruption from India. After all it wasn’t complicated at all and one reaches the end of the wits to understand why it was being such an issue to start with. Now Anna’s selfless act has not only driven corruption away; in the process it has shown way for the future. Indians can now sleep in peace with an invaluable and timeless treasure of knowledge that they can resort to corruption any time and all they need to do is to find a forgotten Gandhian and invoke his consciousness into fasting for a few days. That should at least bring a reprieve to the politicians who always end up being façade of corruption, notwithstanding the fact of the phenomenon being a national pastime. Everybody else, be it corporate thugs or tax evading businessmen; unscrupulous beauraucrats or roughish men in uniform; they are never accused of anything. Brutalization of entire tribal population for plundering of natural resources never wrought any conscience or killing of civilian protestors throughout last summer in Kashmir didn’t provoke any heart and on the contrary all one could hear were shrieks of ultra-nationalism.