Sunday, 31 December 2017

So, what's it about the new year?

In a few hours the current year will go into history and a new year will turn a new page with a new day!

The whole world is celebrating from the far east in the remote island of Kiritimati of Kiribati (where the new year day has already dawned as I write this) to the far western remote Baker Islands across the world - the spread of this new year moment is over almost 26 hours and 39 time-zones! So, if you wish to party into the new year like a real party animal you can hop into a new time zone and celebrate the new year 39 times over! Are you game?

You must be wondering why am I wanting to be party pooper? I am not!

I am just wondering why we celebrate this day and this moment only, why not every moment and every day? Why don't we celebrate every day like this day? I wish we learn to celebrate every day of our lives like we do on this day!

Wishing you all the joy that you get celebrating this "new year" on every day henceforth! :)

Sunday, 6 August 2017

We don't need no education!

So, what's education? 

Well, many things come to mind thinking of this word..after the parents, first amongst those things is the school where the child spends most of her time during the most impressionable times of her life - a that too a good 15 years! And our education system tunes the child to compete at every step and that too in the same subjects with other children - whether or not the child likes the subject or not, they compete with one another for 15 long years! This streak of competition only increases as the years roll by in the school and then into the cut throat rat race of competitive exams for higher studies and then on to every stage of life - competition never ceases! 

But, what does competition do? 

The competition that we witness in our eduction system whilst promoting meritocracy, the damage it does over years to our children going through this system is that it takes away from them, their innocence, their sense of camaraderie, their empathy and replaces it with a zeal to get ahead at any cost, breeding self-promotion and self-centeredness that gets well entrenched in who they are and  becomes part of who they are much into their future lives.

Whilst, we don't want our children to be self-centered or selfish - instead we want them to be sensitive, having empathy - yet we like a zombie put them through an education system that coaches them overtly or covertly to be just the opposite! 

Can there be a greater irony than this? Shouldn't this stop?

Friday, 26 February 2016

Intolerance demystified

So, we have been told that we as a nation have become intolerant! And who has told us this?

A handful of self-styled half-intellectuals, pseudo-yellow-journalists, artists posing as intellectuals and of course corrupt politicians. Now-now, have I stirred a hornet’s nest here? I guess I may have but I hold on to this view because I have full reason to say what I said. Let me explain.

I will take one or two persons each from the above groups of people who were either involved in germinating the thought that we as a nation had suddenly become intolerant and then the people who kept it alive in public discourse and finally those who helped propagating it.

One of the first murmurs of we as a nation becoming intolerant came from a nondescript writer named Nayantara Sehgal who returned her Sahitya Akademi award, which was conferred in 1986 by the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress government. Who is Nayantara Sehgal? She is Motilal Nehru’s granddaughter, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit’s daughter and Rajiv Gandhi’s aunt. She returned the award that Rajiv-led government gave her in protest to rising intolerance in the country citing killings of Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar & M.M. Kalburgi along with the Dadri lynching victim. Now, for a moment, let us set aside the fact that she’s a Congress loyalist and look at the reasons cited by her – the killings of one of the persons (Dabholkar) happened during Congress regime in Maharashtra (when UPA was in power in the center), the other (Kalburgi) happened in Karnataka (ruled by Congress) and third (Pansare) happened in Maharashtra within a few months of BJP-led government was formed in Maharashtra and last one (Dadri) happened in UP where a SP government is in place. So, why is Ms. Sahgal suddenly feeling the intolerance? Where was her intolerance in 1984 when there was Congress-led carnage of Sikhs when more than 5,000 innocent Sikhs were murdered – then, he had happily taken the award within two-years in 1986. She chose to remain silent then – was this the reason Rajiv bestowed Sahitya Akademi award to her? This clearly shows her hypocrisy. After her, many other writers followed suit – and if we were to look at them too, we would certainly see that most of them had Congress patronage (which is evident if 55 years of the 68 years of independent India was ruled by Congress and many of these people got their awards and patronage from Congress governments).

Lets now look at the pseudo-yellow-journalists – one of the big ones among them is Barkha Datt – who also wrote an open letter to the PM Modi recently – I wonder what makes us as a nation tolerate the likes of Datt – we know now with clinching evidence in form of recordings of what she was doing with Nira Raadia – Datt is not a journalist but a power broker who worked for corporate big-wigs to fix power deals in the UPA 1 & 2 regimes and is currently jobless and hence is back to trying her hand at journalism! Clearly, she’ll work for the interest of Congress and therefore try and sully the image of Modi-led BJP government using her part-time journalist job and organization i.e. NDTV, which helped keep the topic of intolerance alive in public discourse and sullied India’s image. There are many such pseudo-journalists and media-houses who did exactly like what Datt and NDTV did to help the cause of “intolerance” in this country.

Now, lets look at artists such Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan – both of these are plausibly good at their job i.e. acting albeit I think otherwise, yet I won’t take anything from them on that count. However, in acting they are directed by the director who helps mold them into the said character they have to depict. But are they intellectuals or do they qualify to comment on a topic such as intolerance? I don’t think so. Again a look at their background – it is very well known fact that Aamir is anti-Modi and the same can be traced back to his interview with another pseudo-yellow-journalist Shekhar Gupta, when he was trying to implicate Modi for 2002 riots in Gujarat. So, Aamir too has vested interests to support the intolerance plank and just as in movies he is directed by a director, here too he was perhaps being directed by a commendable director because of which Aamir also offered his wife’s to act for free along with her opinion to support the intolerance plank – the objective being that with millions of fans of Aamir and Shahrukh, the plank of intolerance shall spread far and wide and the government shall be kept busy tackling the non-issue and not be able to work for the people and for the nation.

And finally let us look at political parties who raked up the intolerance debate – most prominent among them being Congress who has been championing the cause of intolerance in the country – what has been their credentials: masters in corruption and looting of this country at an unprecedented scale for nearly six decades. It’s been a rarity to see them out of power and whenever they have had to sit away from the treasury benches, they have only raised non-issues to affect the performance of new government so that by hook or crook they can return to power and continue with their loot. Therefore, for establishing that there is “intolerance” in this country, they orchestrated the whole issue from germination by employing select so-called-intellectual loyalists such as Nayantara Sahgal, followed by brokers in media such as pseudo-journalist Barkha Datt who helped in establishing “intolerance” in public discourse and finally for propagating the same they used the actors in Bollywood with large fan-following such as Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan.

And, we as people of this country bought the story they touted and fell for it lock-stock-and-barrel.

What a pity!

Monday, 22 February 2016

So, what's going on?

It’s been nearly two years since the installation of new government led by Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Do we remember the key plank on which Modi government came to power? Am sure we do not remember it anymore because it has dropped off the radar as it too has dropped dramatically. Corruption! I am sure, some of the skeptics among you would be pursing their lips and saying that, what crap, “how do I know?” Well, in such case you are saying that Modi government has been indulging in corruption using some extremely ingenious way that they have been doing it for two years and yet they have not been noticed yet. And, this when most of so-called “main-stream” media and opposition have been baying for blood of this new government from the way go, makes it even more commendable effort. Perhaps Congress should copy this new ingenious way adopted by Modi government so that if they ever come back to power, they can employ it to save themselves some future embarrassment, which they regularly albeit shamelessly faced during the previous 10-years of MMS-led UPA regime. As you would have figured out by now that there is a loads of pun intended in all this – one that there is such ingenious way and two more serious pun is that Congress will ever come back to power on the back of Pappu!

Now that it is very apparent that corruption has reduced drastically over the last two years and it’s been confirmed by independent sources too, lets explore as to whose loss it has been, this reduction in corruption. “What a ridiculous proposition!”, some of you are already thinking with a churning in your stomach.

Nevertheless, I will explore this question, as it is very pertinent. However, before I try and answer this question, some trends that became very prominent in the last two years. One unprecedented trend was gradual unification of all opposition parties against Modi-led NDA government – strangely, we did not see such a trend when Congress-led UPA was looting the country brazenly – however, we saw it in almost all assembly elections and it became sordid in Bihar when two bitter foes Nitish-Lalu joined forces with the Congress just to tackle Modi-juggernaut as their political existence was at stake. In all this, it has clearly been established there is no ideology of all these political parties except power and they would sell their mother just to remain in power. Clearly, the opposition was rattled after successive losses in Rajasthan, MP and Maharashtra and hence would do anything. Second trend was now that there is no corruption issue to corner the NDA government, hence, what issues they could they use to try and keep bombarding Modi-government to keep it busy in the same? So, they reverted to what they tried doing to Modi in Gujarat for 12-years and failed miserably. Hence, we saw issues such as Church attack in West Bengal, Dadri, Award-return, intolerance debate, JNU-strife et al. Whilst all of these events happened in states ruled by non-BJP parties, yet the punching bag was Modi-government! Did we see anything like this happen during 10-years of UPA rule when a mishap occurred in a state ruled by non-Congress government and yet the blame was brought to the door of Congress led UPA at the center? In fact, just the contrary happened, be it in Gujarat or Karnataka that were led by BJP-NDA governments – these state governments were on the receiving end always. One clear reason was that the Congress-led UPA at the center was facing huge corruption issues then and these attacks on non-Congress state governments would help them divert public opinion and also help them in weakening the state ruled by BJP as well! Talk of killing two birds with one stone!

Coming back to the question, so, who has lost out due to reduction in corruption apart from Congress? Well it is obvious, isn’t it? There are the likes of Barkha Dutt (who now has been “absolved” of sordid wheeling-dealing she did with Nira Raadia), Rajdeep Sardesai & Sagarika Ghose and co who benefited by murky dealings within UPA 1 & 2. Further, all of these people have lost the “perks” that included free rides along with the PM to wherever he visited (this was the norm during MMS regime and since Modi came to power, this “perk” has been discontinued) and more importantly the power that they wielded during UPA days have suddenly diminished drastically. Therefore, their biased diatribe against Modi was evident in their bogus criticism when he went on overseas tours as if MMS never went anywhere! Apart from these pseudo-journalists, the so-called intellectual elites (which include politicians, artists, journalists, writers, and such leeches) were also used to active government patronage, which include plush bunglows in Lutyens Delhi, awards (that were ostensibly returned to prove their loyalties to Congress and not the nation who had bestowed the same on them), elite club membership, and unbridled power to top it all. With advent of Modi-led NDA, all these people were suddenly starved of “perks” and “power” resulting in the backlash we are witnessing over the last two years. And since, corruption isn’t something they can rake up now as there isn’t anything to show, they are raking up non-issues such as what we have seen over two years aka ‘Modi’s foreign-tours’, ‘intolerance’, ‘freedom of speech’ – were these issues not there during UPA regime? Did no Dadri take place before? Wasn’t there intolerance earlier? And is ‘freedom of speech’ an issue that is applied selectively – Kamlesh Tiwari Vs Umer Khalid – we can see how each of these episodes have been treated so differently! And all these incidents happened in non-BJP-ruled states, yet blame was heaped on Modi-led NDA. Why?

The answer is not difficult to find. It is nothing to do with intolerance or freedom of speech – it has to do only with corruption, withdrawal of “perks” and lost power! The ‘you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-your-back’ machinery stands impaired and people who profited from it are feeling the pain and reacting. Hence, they are perpetually on a look out for issues to rake up and make mountains out of molehills. Hence, there is ‘intolerance’ or lack of ‘freedom-of-speech’, or rise of ‘hindutva’, et al in the country. These guys will keep going at it and newer issues will keep cropping up again and again till somehow they are able to go back to pre-Modi times by making sure that Modi-led NDA fails. A further look at what is happening with Jat agitation in Haryana or Gujjars in Rajasthan or Patels in Gujrat – all BJP-ruled states – do we have any such unrest elsewhere? Is it coincidence? Or is it by design? We need to identify and expose these designs of the so-called intellectuals who are deciding what India is and how it should be run. 

In this context, please do read this eye-opener piece by a real intellectual who has exposed the countless pseudo-intellectuals who have been used to suck-up-to-power-to-get-their-power in Delhi. Interestingly, he in this article of December 2015, mentions JNU as one such power center in Delhi.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Dilliwalas dilemma…

How did I even get in this odd situation?
I wonder.

Now, how do I get even in the odd situation I find myself in, right now?
I wonder.

And, how many odds are stacked against me for me to even know what I need to do of them?
I wonder.

And, how many have even ignored me after finding me in this odd situation?
I wonder.

On top of that, how odd is it to even do something about the situation I find myself in, right now?
I wonder.

And, then, how do I do anything to get even with the people who put me in this odd situation?
I wonder.

Confused, are we at all these odds stacked on the evens?! ;P

Let me now try and clarify to the hapless even dilliwalas about my odd dilemma..

That is,

How do I take an even numbered car on an odd day?
I wonder.

Can I offer and odd excuse to the eager cop to wiggle out of the even numbered fine for an odd crime?
I wonder.

Why can’t they have an odd fine for an odd day and an even fine for an even day?
I wonder.

Now that they've put me in an odd situation, they are even shamelessly chuckling away at my odd plight…

And, I wonder what did I even do to deserve these odd jokers…

And, amidst all this odd-even mayhem, the poor dilliwala keeps wondering…


I searched the recently made famous word’s meaning on Google…I typed “intolerance” and without typing any further it prompted me if I meant “intolerance meaning” and I quickly accepted it. And lo behold before I could even blink an eye it came with the results in 0.24 seconds flat! It said “intolerance” means and I quote, “unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one's own.”

At the outset let me say that my views are diametrically opposite to that of Aamir Khan or those of the artists who returned the awards et al and I am just stating it. Already, I can see some of you are feeling uneasy and are gearing up to denounce me for holding this view. I ask you, based on the above definition given by Google: why are you being intolerant towards me holding this view? Just as you say Aamir has the right to say what he pleases, so do I. Or do I have any lesser right just because I am not a celebrity? So, please use the same yardstick to judge me as you are judging Aamir’s right to say as he pleases.

At this point, I am sure you will agree that both Aamir and I can’t both be right – one of us is certainly wrong – i.e. we can’t be holding diametrically opposite views and be right in doing so. Or is it so? Either his claim that India is becoming intolerant is true or is it that his saying so is actually showing his intolerance for the country he lives in? Else, some of you will not be supporting him and denouncing me already and vice versa. Or why would you be running to defend him and castigate me for my views? Or why were you running to defend and be tolerant towards Yakub who was proven guilty by the highest court of the land for killing hundreds of innocent countrymen but be intolerant in castigating the country’s Prime Minister who has been given a clean chit time and again after being hounded countless times in over a decade? Why is your tolerance selective? Or rather why is your judgment of intolerance warped? Or, is it for some ulterior motive, your tolerance meter has suddenly started malfunctioning?

It is for these reasons, I do not agree with your view that there is rising intolerance in the country and just as you are entitled to your view, so am I. Now, you can be intolerant of my assessment as you may feel, albeit rightly or wrongly, that I have been intolerant to your viewpoint.
So, to sum up, I can safely say we are as tolerant as we were in the past or are as intolerant as we have ever been. It’s been a case of much ado about nothing. ;p

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Sanskrit – language of the divine!

It's day two of the intensive course on Sanskrit I am attending and it’s already a bit of knowledge overload on me as I am a very slow learner when it comes to languages – someone, who can well and truly be called a laggard!

Our guru is very diligent and patient as he tries his best to break the monotony that some of us find ourselves in a class of thirty comprising of pupils from practically all over the world – from the Americas to Europe and of course from across the length and breadth of India.

Per guruji, most ancient languages such as Sanksrit, Tamil, Latin, Greek, etc. are derived languages from a mother of all languages and it’s very difficult to say, which is the mother of all the world languages. Further, guruji said that as per Sri Aurobindo, old Sanskrit (language that was before the classical and epic Sanskrit in which the Ved, the Bhagwad Gita, et al were written) is also known as the “Dev Bhasha” and it is this that is the mother of all world languages – nevertheless, this is still a disputed fact.

During the course of the day, guruji explained that as opposed to most other languages of the world where passive speech is not practiced, in Sanskrit, it’s normal to have passive speech – further, he said that most of activities done by one, is described in Sanskrit as those that are done through them rather than by the person doing them. Unlike this, most other world languages maintain that it’s the individual that performs all the actions undertaken by them.

This led me to explore this a bit more. If in Sanskrit, it’s normal to have majority of sentence formations to happen in passive voice, as if the action is being performed through the person rather than by the person, then the only way this can be presumed to be true is when instead of the actual doer, that is the person performing the action, it is the divine that is conducting the activity through the person. In other words, this means that Sanskrit presumes that the divine performs all activities conducted by the humans – a fact that's also revealed in the Bhagwad Gita by Lord Krishn to Arjun. Whereas, it's just the opposite that is practiced in all other world languages where passive speech is avoided actively. This also explains, albeit empirically and am sure for some of you in lesser ways the lack of acceptance of passive voice in most other languages. Perhaps, this is the evidence which further strengthens the claim that Sanskrit's old form is the “Dev Bhasha”, language of the divine and the mother of all other world languages – a language in which the divine conversed and hence it underplayed the effect of ‘aham’ or ‘individuality’ or the ‘ego’ and rather underscored the divine force that leads us all to perform a particular action. However, with the corresponding decline of divinity in humans over the ages and with the rise of ‘aham’ or ‘individuality’ or the ‘ego’, concepts that have become the cornerstone of modern living, concepts that have become the driving force leading to thriving of newer languages all around the world – these newer languages, therefore, give more importance to the physical doer than the divine force that conducts all actions through each of us. With this paradigm shift in human outlook from divinity to ‘aham’ or ‘individuality’ or the ‘ego, set-in rise of other world languages and the eventual decline of Sanskrit to it’s current state. Strangely, the steepest decline in Sanskrit's to it's current state of penury also occurred in the last  150-200 years in a more pronounced manner, a period when human growth and development – read as greed, ‘aham’ or ‘individuality’ or the ‘ego’ – took to newer heights or so it seems to us!

Therefore, it’s time we realize this and act earnestly to arrest any further decline of “Dev Bhasha”, Sanskrit by embracing it in each and every aspect of our lives and revive it to bring back to glory the divinity that’s dimming from our world with each passing day.