Monday, October 6, 2014

The Blog of Reflections

Hello Friends,

I've shifted to a new blog on Wordpress.  You can check it at

Thanks a lot for dropping by,


Sunday, June 5, 2011

I am a common Indian man and I do not support Ramdev Baba

While the world is pretty much busy is supporting or opposing the fast by the yoga guru Ramdev Baba and a pretty small section of people creating hype over it on the net and social media, I can find the voice of the common Indian man almost neglected in all this chaos. Supporting Ramdev Baba, or for that matter, Anna Hazare has been a craze in the tech-geeky, and often misleaded, youth. Though no one is expecting a magical change in situations, everyone is expecting something to change, without knowing exactly what. The supporters of Ramdev Baba, though a very small fraction of the huge Indian population, are succeeding to make their voice loud enough to seem true, and the majority of Indian population is left as a dumb spectator of all the events passing.

When I see the over-enthusiastic youth to propose support for these protests, have they ever thought about the consequences of it? These protests are nothing but the means for creating an anti-government sentiment in the country. The UPA has been in power for the last seven years. For the first-term, the BJP-lead NDA could not even find an agenda for the polls and lost the elections even without fighting wholeheartedly. This time they cannot afford to do so. The extreme right-wing Hindutva ideology cannot be successful each and every time. They needed something as an adjunctive to the Hindutva ideology.

Baba Ramdev and Sangha Pariwar:
BJP (or for that matter RSS) has a very small, but every strong and loyal, core support group. In the democracy of “one vote per head”, they can never ascend to power depending only on this core support group and they know it well. To overcome this factor, the Sangh Parivar always tries to spread its wings as wide as possible to cover a second-line support from the society which would increase the headcount. Organizations like Bharatiya Janata Party, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajarang Dal, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, and so on are just the spread wings of the Sangha Pariwar where the top leadership comes from the core group and the headcount come from the second-line supporters.

Where does Ramdev Baba come to the scene? He is just a bonus that the Sangha Parivar can have. He is not in any way officially affiliated to the RSS (though the support and think-tank support is apparent). Rather, he has kept himself aloof only to say people that “Look, I am not attached to any political party.” He has already gained much follower support from his yoga activities and now he is trying to turn this follower group to the third-line support group of the Sangha Parivar. Sangha needs as much as support from their core circle as they can gather and that’s why they are supporting Ramdev Baba.

Why not Saffron?
People may ask why am I being a saffron-phobic? The congress has ruled over this country for most of the time? What if we ask for a change now? Before going to the answer, I want to make a disclaimer that I am a common India man, I happened to be a Hindu, my father used to go to daily shakha of the Sangha (in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the Ram Mandir issue was on hype), and I am not attached to any political party in any slightest way. I am no more involved in politics more than casting my vote when election comes. My interests are far nonpolitical – reading, music, films, etc. – then why should I bother who is there ruling on top?

I am a common Indian young man, 27 years old. I hold the Constitution of India to the top. I cannot segregate people (as the saffron group tends to do) based on their cast, creed, or religion. I am a firm believer of “We, The People of India.” I cannot think myself as a Hindu, Maharastrian, or anything for that matter. Nothing can come between me and my Indian-ness.

We live in a secular democracy. We know it is the best type of state for the varied culture of India. The ideology of Saffron Pariwar is exactly opposite to this. They cannot gain power with what limited support they have from their core group. All their efforts are to increase their outer circles using fascist means: Vociferous propaganda, continuous advertising, favorable use of media, and now effective use of social media. Baba Ramdev and other are just puppets to create a headcount in outer circles. They will promise everything and even implement on it. But isn’t it what Hitler did to achieve powers. We can certainly give him credit for blowing new life in the then Germany, which was going through serious economic crisis and post-war depression. He promised people of good governance, and he worked for it, but then he also used his hatred policy against Jews as the means to polarize the vote bank and he succeeded. Can India afford to let the saffron parties succeed? Can India afford oligarchy, if not dictatorship? Think once again, think thousand times, you may not have the freedom to think and express in that regime.

Tragedy of Indian democracy:
This is just an update to what I have written above. All the day, as I was keeping an eye on the events, I could see BJP people openly in support of Baba Ramdev. I cannot understand the logic behind this. BJP is the largest party in the opposition. The people of India have elected them to ask question to the government. The constitution of India has given them the platform of parliament to ask questions. The government is responsible to them for any of their action; and what the opposition does, walks out of the parliament during the sessions and sets up and joins the protests on road! And people go behind them, what else can be the tragedy of India democracy?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ekla chalo re…

Ekla chalo re... Picture by Bilal Mirza/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons CC-BY 
Sometimes He leaves you all alone.  You never know His plans.  May be He does all this to test us, just to check whether we are fit for His tests or not.  For whatever reasons, but sometimes He lives you all alone, and you just feel helpless without His glimpse, with lot of questions in your mind, with some unknown fear in your heart, all alone in this infinite world… and He whispers in your soul: Jodi tor daak shune keu naa aashe, tobe … If they answer not to your call, walk alone, walk alone, walk alone…
May be I have been talking a lot about Tagore lately, but he never leaves me alone.  I was alone, like in a trance, when I started writing this, sitting in front of a blank screen.  I took three days to write this little post.  I had a lot to write and I had no one to share.  And He whispered in my soul:  Jodi tor daak shune keu naa aashe, tobe ekla chalo re… and these words and this tune became the tune of my heart…

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Sunday Morning

It’s Sunday morning; 5:20 a.m.  I am not on a morning walk as I would usually be at this time because it was agreed upon.  The alarm buzzed up at 4:58 with “Mora saiyyan mo se bole naa..” I just switched it off and tried to lie asleep, but could not do so even for 15 minutes and got up.  I cannot stay on bed even for a second after I get up.  There was no question of going on a walk.  It was against what was agreed upon and again it would have created a new turmoil in the teacup.  So, as there is no better option left to me and as the surplus of thoughts would not get such peaceful time in the day ahead, I am here on my PC writing something (that is really not what I wanted to write) for Ghalibana…

The week that passed was a wonderful one as usual.  As it is said – yeh aasmaan, yeh baadal, yeh raaste, ye hawaa (this sky, these clouds, these roads, this air) – everything was on its correct place and I had no real complaint against the world (or I had the biggest ever complaint against it).  After a long time, I read a few blogs which I had been following for a long time but could not visit them in a while – Gladys, the Kenyan undergraduate, is exceptional.  She really writes wonderful and I was so much happy to see her happy; I wrote a long comment on her latest post Just Because :).  I had also been on Olive Oyl’s blog after a long while.  Oh God, she is getting more and more philosophical.  I had last read her on her 20th birthday when she wrote “Now that I am getting out of the so called formative ages, I am supposed to take stuff around the world very seriously” I think she has really taken this thought seriously and has gotten a new pair of specs, philosophers’ specs.. :)

And a lot many things happened, but as I wrote on Facebook on last last Saturday night - we are human beings, civilized ones as they call us... We cannot go naked out in the world... And last night, I noted a poem by Meena Kumari “Naaz” on FB – This night, this loneliness, the ticking of heartbeats, this silence… Everything is calling you, come for a moment… Give a new dream to my closing eyes… I don’t know why I go such bizarre on Saturday nights, or may be I know it, just cannot go naked out in the world.

Again, I wrote a quote from The Dialogues of Plato on Facebook as my status (Oh, how quickly I forget that I have no one there to understand what I mean).  I wrote:

Now the only difference, Socrates, between you and Marsyas is that you can get just the same effect without any instrument at all; with nothing but a few simple words, not even poetry.

And as expected, I got a comment:  Please elaborate…

So, this was the last week, or say this was a part of it that I can tell without going naked – otherwise, the earthquake in Japan, the tsunamis, the ICC world cup going on, the match against South Africa yesterday in this very town, the defeat in it… These are like the things of some other world… Or like I am an alien from some other world who gasps for air on the Earth.  And why I am talking about the past week when it’s a Sunday morning and I should wake up with a “bismillah ir-rahman ir-rahim” thinking of the wonders yet to come… I don’t know… I know nothing… Who I am, why I am, who are you, why are you, and what you are doing here on my blog…?  It’s Sunday morning and now it’s 6:06 a.m.  Now, I should get up from my computer and buzz like an alarm to wake everyone up… We were to go on a walk at 6 a.m. this morning…

A Hairy Chihuahua which made me laugh a lot yesterday.  Photo By: Bonnie van den Born at CC-BY-SA 3.0


P.S. Hey, sorry, I asked you what are you doing here on my blog dear… You know, everything… You are Omniscient… You know what and why I am writing… You know even what is between the lines… you know we are civilized and still I don’t need to hide my nakedness in front of you…  It’s is Sunday morning and cannot stop missing the Chihuahua…

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Khol do by Saadat Hasan Manto: A Shocking Experience

Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-1955) was a prolific writer of Urdu short story.  He was a journalist, literary critic, screenplay writer, play writer, and a keen observer of the society in which he lived.  He is inarguably one of the most read authors in Urdu prose literature even today.  Manto’s stories are often criticized for sexuality in them, but as Manto himself had said “if you find my stories dirty, the society you are living is dirty.  With my stories, I expose only truth.”

“Khol Do” is one of the most famous and controversial stories of Manto.  It is one of the masterpiece depicting the effects of violence during the partition of India on the people of the land.  But unlike many others, Manto does not see the perpetrators as Hindu or Muslim, Hindustanis or Pakistanis, he just sees and depicts them as human beings with all their wilderness and barbarity.

“Khol Do” is basically a story of a father ‘Sirajuddin’ who had to left India during the partition days.  Story starts with Sirajuddin finding himself on the railway platform of Mughalpura, Lahore.  After the dreadful journey from Amritsar to Lahore in which hundreds were killed and injured and lost and raped, he just lay down for hours on the platform of Mughalpura.  He wakes up from his unconsciousness only to find that his wife and daughter are not with him.  As he is still in daze, the image of his wife, about to die, with ripped open stomach comes in front of his eyes, just telling him to leave her alone and run away with Sakina, his daughter.  And then suddenly he realizes that Sakina is not with him, nowhere.

Sakina, his daughter, the daughter whom he cared for too much, that he could not even leave her dupattta there in all that chaos when it slipped off her shoulders.  He still finds the dupatta in his pocket, but where is Sakina…???  He tries to find her everywhere, still couldn’t find her and finally thinks he should ask someone for help.

After a few days, he finds that some young boys are doing a great job of bringing back the daughters and women remained on that side of the border.  With a new ray of hope to see his daughter, he gives her description to those boys.  “She is fair, very pretty. No, she doesn’t look like me, but her mother. About seventeen. Big eyes,black hair, a mole on the left cheek. Find my daughter. May God bless you.”  Sirajuddin prays daily for their success and after a few days they find out Sakina…

Here we can see the vision and capability of Manto to see the naked truth.  Those boys were out to find out Sakina and they have now found her… She was the daughter of their land, from their side of border.  She had already gone through a lot.  The boys behave very kindly to her and make her feel at ease but they tell nothing about her to her father even when he asks about it.  Manto tells nothing about what is done to her, what the boys do… Only when Sirajuddin asks them about her, they just say “we will find her soon, we will!” and Sirajuddin just pray for their success…

And a few days later, people find a female body, half dead, near the railway track.  In hopes of finding Sakina, Sirajuddin goes behind them to the hospital.  The last portion of the story is worth to read in original.  It is the most shocking part of the story and perhaps the most shocking piece of prose ever written.  I have never read such thing in my life and even now when I read it, for Nth number of time, I find it similarly shocking.  I am going to end this post with that part as I won’t be able to write anything after it.  The end goes like:

He stood outside the hospital for some time, then went in. In one of the rooms, he found a stretcher with some-one lying on it.

A light was switched on. It was a young woman with a mole on her left cheek. “Sakina,” Sirajuddin screamed.

The doctor, who had switched on the light, stared at Sirajuddin.

“I am her father,” he stammered.The doctor looked at the prostrate body and felt for the pulse. Then he said to the old man: “Open the window.”

The young woman on the stretcher moved slightly. Her hands groped for the cord which kept her salwar tied around her waist. With painful slowness, she unfastened it, pulled the garment down and opened her thighs.

“She is alive. My daughter is alive,” Sirajuddin shouted with joy.

The doctor broke into a cold sweat.

Shocked… to think of what would have happened to a girl of 17, who just hearing “Khol do” opens down her salwar in spontaneous reflex… shocked with the the capacity of Manto to see, perceive, and depict the truth as naked as it is… Shocked with the courage of a writer to write such a self-critical thing (those boys were on his side of the border)… And the government charged Saadat Hasan Manto for the charges of pornography…

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