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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...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

That dark night in Ayodhaya

It was on 22nd December 1949 when thugs of Hindu Mahasabha, following a conceited plan succeeded in planting an idol in the Babri Masjid in Ayodhaya. Through thoroughly duplicitous mechanics in connivance with a partisan district magistrate and an ambivalent congress government led by Gobind Ballabh Pant, they created a semblance of a dispute, when there was none. The structure had a been a mosque for centuries and it never was a temple; it was never disputed. The temple was located outside the mosque and both existed in complete harmony for centuries, though the lunatics of hinduvta always made attempts to take over the structure at different times. But on that night they sent Abhiram Das into the mosque with an idol when guarded by a compliant policeman and next morning they created a mass frenzy by pretending a miracle. They executed their nefarious act after hatching that plan for years. Then they waited another forty years  before thugs led by Advani and company launched a final assault on that historical monument and brought it down along with it the social fabric of the society. India must feel safe now, as those who planned that deceit in 1949 and created mayhem in 1992 are now ruling the country.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Poisonous chalice and fragmented mandate

Who could have ever predicted the surreality of our times where an ultra rabid Hindu party became a leading force in the state of Jammu and Kashmir? Formation of any government seems all but improbable without BJP being part of it. Though, it singularly failed to win a single constituency in Kashmir, nevertheless it did find find enough people to fight election in the valley under its banner. Though not many will remember, the party had tried in earlier times to get a foothold in Kashmir.

Back in an earlier era, elections in Kashmir would mostly be decided, without votes being cast, in the offices of district deputy commissioners. The elections for the central parliament and the state assemblies would be announced with all fanfare matched by declaration of candidacies by various political outfits and independent aspirants. The ruling party, democratic national conference (DNC) that later turned itself into a franchise of Indian National Congress, of course, would anoint its own list of candidates to become members of the state legislature. The due process of elections would begin with filings of nominations and would in most cases end on the day of scrutiny. Barring a miracle, most of the candidates not belonging to the ruling dispensation would find their nominations rejected. The reasons for rejections could range from outright bizarre to utter absurd. For a few days there would be protests and outrages that eventually petered out with time and newly elected members of the state assembly assume their due places of power.

Under those circumstances, it was around late 1966 or 1967, the Jan Sangh, an earlier and equally rabid avatar of BJP made a foray in Kashmir. It opened its offices in dingy houses,  recruited workers, mainly Pandits. In the election of spring 1967, it did announce its candidates for some constituencies but its bid ended on the day of scrutiny along with all other opposition candidates. Back then even at an all India level party was consider no more than a motley crowd of rabble rousers with following confined to urban centers. But its rabid agenda was as obscurantist as it remains now. But perhaps lack of dissemination of information allowed the party to function in Kashmir for a few months, until one of its bigoted leaders, Balraj Madhok, decided to visit the place to raise its fortunes by asking, at a public rally, Muslims to migrate to Pakistan. That was the last time anybody in Kashmir saw a Jan Sangh office until now.

The irony is that in that era when elections were decided in favor of the ruling party by returning officers, Mufti Sayeed used to be beneficiary of the system. Now as a head of PDP, he has been handed a poisonous chalice in the form of a fractured mandate. Should he join the party of Madhok's descendants or not? But then every chess game has its moment of checkmate.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

March of dementedness

When Modi and his brigade took power in May last year, all I thought was that they will use cowardice to propagate their agenda of divisiveness and thuggery. They, while paying homage to Gandhi, will revere Godse; while talking development, they will start imposing their obscurantist world view on the country. As it turned out as a matter of fact they have done all that until now and one can easily perceive that they have just started and any  prophecy about shape of things at the fruition of their retrograde diligence can be anything but dreadful. What I never foresaw was level of their utter dementedness, which would end up embarrassing the entire country.

Hard it may be, but it is inconceivable that Modi didn't believe his utterances about  plastic surgery and genetics in ancient India. He was talking to surgeons and physicians. The inclusion of a session on Vedic science in Indian Science Congress where right wing leaning pseudo scientists pronounced prevalence of interplanetary airplanes in ancient India that too seven thousands years ago. That must have been hard for those scientists and academics of Indian origin who not so long ago were admiring every word that Modi rambled in Madison Square. Foolish utterances of those in the Modi government and his party have attained a comically predictable certainty.

Those developments might have come as a shock bordering on disgust to those who believed in that humbug of promised growth and progress. Had they predicated their government agenda on those premises, the education of the country would not have been put in the hands of a semi-literate person who would be appointing appointing directors and ordering vice-chancellors of premier institutes of education. Nations that value education never confuse mythology with history or even pertinently with science. If they really believed in religion they would be humble and not full of ignorant certitude. Alas, all they have in their agenda is implementation of their narrow demented ideas. Theirs is a march of dementedness with which they are hell bent on deluging the entire country.