Gandhi & Gandhi

Gandhi, Gandhi, Gandhi,… Congress Party sirs–it is your turn to appropriate Veer Savarkar—it seems an age of political swaps— my problem in believing this present Gandhi mania is….15 years in Gujarat why was he forgotten? Only to be remembered at Madison Square and Election Speeches? I would really like this Decade to be renamed the Gandhi Decade and officially the Nation adopts the Precepts of the Mahatma starting with Co–Existence and Respect to all Cultures along with Safai Abhiyaan. “Let a hundred, nay thousands of flowers bloom.”

Gandhi is becoming a popular catchword for reasons other than what he stood for, but more for the “votes” he will help garner, a false inclusiveness, to wean hardcore Gandhians away from the Congress, or what’s left of it–


Flawed arguments On Jawaharlal Nehru found on “Niti Central”

“Let’s start with the first piece of grandstanding by the Congress agitprop machine – the fatuously pompous pronouncement that JLN was called “Panditji” or “generally known” as such. This, again, is a huge assumption. When and how the Jawaharlal Nehru began to be addressed as “Panditji” is, indeed, a matter for research. If ever a serious study is done on this subject, I am sure the research findings will be most uncomfortable for 10 Janpath and the rank and file. Research will show that it was the Congress, the party faithful and the family retainers that first bestowed this appellation on JLN, and it stuck, or JLN and his factotums made sure it stuck.’

The author’s claim about why JLNehru  was called Pandit ji is flawed. Pandit was a style of address that was granted to the Kashmiri Brahmins who migrated in earlier centuries by the late Mughal rulers, i forget whether it was Shah Alam or someone else. So whatever the author’s rant against JLN, this one is flawed. As for his failings–no one can deny them, but does that detract from his strengths and vision–9 years in prison was not a small sacrifice to achieve India’s Freedom. So an unbiased evaluation is fine–but here we have a crazy rant that says everything about JLN was Black and blacker. C’Mon–

Bilawal’s Bark has no Bite

Kashmir–Bilawal Bhutto’s Bark lacks Bite. When Kashmir is deluged by one of the greatest floods ever and disaster looks upon every Kashmiri’s face is this all a pedigreed Pakistani politician’s son has to offer? No medical aid, blankets, food, housing—instead, bilious rhetoric that can only inflict more wound in each Kashmiri heart,  whose worldly goods are lost,  in each Kashmiri mother who has lost a child.

Yes, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari ‘s comment on Kashmir comes across like a puppy dog with a loud bark and no bite. Media –and I noticed Mail Today’s photograph, will do great disservice to all Kashmiris by giving his statement more visibility than he deserves. He is a kid who has run away from the political field even after witnessing the brutal murder of his mother. Benazir, despite her Anglo Saxon high educational pedigree never did that. She showed guts and commitment when her father ex PM Bhutto was imprisoned and hanged. Pakistan is a brutal nation–founded in blood it has not yet outgrown its need to bleed again and again. But in its desire to bleed, and bleed all Pakistanis as well, it appears to be on a hara–kiri mission–as if its suicidal need has overpowered its raison d ‘etre to live. 

Kashmir has conjured all kinds of mixed feelings amongst Indians. To many its a sore that won’t be healed. And yet, from the time of world Buddhist Conferences of Kanishka, School of Gandhara Art, Kalidas’s poems, Kalhan’s Rajtarangini, and Lal Ded’s mystic poems, it has had much to offer Indian civilizational thought.

In modern times, a sore, yes, for which  Nehru is often blamed for his romantic and sentimental approach towards Kashmir and for the barbaric Pakistani invasion of 1948–let’s not gloss over history. But it was Nehru’s egalitarian figure that towered over the Indian political scene so that people and princely kingdoms of all faiths and sensibilities felt they could bond together to create the India/Bharat we now see and believe in and which the BJP proudly tout. Were it not for that towering statesmanship and personality–how would Patel have done his job–it is like saying that Amit Shah could have won his victory in UP during the 2014 Parliamentary Elections without the face of Modi?

BJP fans themselves would balk at the thought and call it sacrilegious. This is not to denigrate or lessen Sardar Patel–but to say–it was a team, fractious, democratic in its bickering, but foremost a team dedicated to a Cause. Also in BJP’s belated saluting of the Mahatma–let us not forget the monetary contribution of the likes of Motilal Nehru and  without doubt the Birlas that kept his movement going.

Gandhi ji needed them all, and never pretended otherwise. He chose his successors wisely–and I repeat CHOSE. He a Gujarati chose a Kashmiri Brahmin over his fellow compatriot Patel. It was a communion of Ideas not regional parochial interests, which is where he scores again and again over Narendra bhai Modi. So while the climate is to speak about Gujarat and all Gujaratis and therefore by DEFAULT the Mahatma, it would be an uninformed mind that could exclude the Mahatma from his team of stalwarts, albeit Jawaharlal Nehru. 

But I am digressing from Kashmir and Bilawal. As an aside–Bila wajey–means without a reason–and Bilawal speaking out of turn and the manner which he adopted did seem like a Bila Wajeh bark. Just like a puppy, as I earlier said, asking passers by to notice him–See I exist, I matter, I am a politician. Words alone don’t make one a politician. Its what you do on the ground, and you cannot stray from it to the foreign climes of Switzerland, Monaco or Nice to play with your rich friends from University or privileged schools, the other scions of the rich, famous or infamous. Here I applaud Mulayam Singh in sending his son Akhilesh to home grown Sainik School to groom him, a homegrown product emerged as a result. Amongst the many things that as a resident of Noida, I find abhorrent about the Samajwadi Government–its patronage to goons, allowing them unbridled parking of trucks and buses for one –is this commonsense approach to fathering a cub politician–Home grown. 

Bilawal is not home grown enough to follow up on such a statement on Kashmir, except try and derail current PM Shah Nawaz. It is destructive, negative politics.  Neither has he matured in his political philosophy after this political hiatus to come out with something to make his PPP relevant. Its the age old, revenge, aggression,  machiscimo, talk on which a fragile Pakistan was founded, which has shown no other reason to exist except adhere to a feaudal economy and mindset. Based on such barks Bhutto cannot become a relevant grass–root politician. The banner of War, Jehad, Religion, Honour, area raised as  answers to Clean Drinking Water, Roads, Electricity, Jobs, Work Ethic, Education are increasingly missing in Pakistan.

Bilawal, scion of Benazir, your song is dated. Change it to Roti Kapda aur Makaan–or in this fast moving century it will quickly be relegated to  Golden Oldies. 

Shiv Sena Worker

Do we need a 24/7 Media?

Today’s incident at Maharashtra Sadan, with the Shiv Sena MP thrusting a roti down a worker’s throat who happened to be fasting for Ramzan was played over and over again adding a communal commentary to the footage. It was rude, un mannerly, intolerant and displayed brute power, but no one could establish for sure that it was a communal act. So the question is do we need a 24/7 media?

So why did media give it that twist? For the sake of the nation, or as Shekhar Gupta puts it — in National Interest? Surely not! I am no votary of the Shiv Sena nor do I subscribe to their brand of politics, but needlessly stoking the nation’s secular fabric for political tinder is not a patriotic act and Media, especially some anchors who pride themselves in being the nation’s conscience keepers, should certainly be wary of falling into that trap. i. e. using any footage to stir communal discontent merely to notch up ratings.

Shame, which brings me to the moot point. Do we really need such footage displayed on our screens 24/7–maybe it is time to give this 24/7 television news a hiatus, maybe frame a law to limit viewing hours.

Is anyone listening?

Writing in the Time of Vanities

Writers are obsessed with eternity–or rather–what will last, what will outlive them. They think their life will have more meaning if it is remembered. So they write their thoughts down, each contour and crevice, and they hope that in doing so, they have contributed more, for they claim, it is their writing that makes men think. And what are our actions but shadows which are cast by our thoughts.

So indirectly a writer lays claim to our actions–for though they are writing in a shady corner of their room, no sweat or dust, yet because of what they made us think, made us act, they are amidst us when we defy injustice, applaud courage etc.

In that multiplicity they become multiplied manifold, an invisible statue in our midst.

That becomes the justification of their lives and what they do.  In the times we live in–ungracious times–what is  a writer’s worth and a writer’s role?

And how does it measure against the “Bak bak Talkies” by which I mean television media? I cannot say?

Chalo UP—voh writers jo samajhte hain ki andolan la sakte hain. Chalo UP jo apna hissa mangna chate hain. Sudharo yeh Krishna Bhagwan aur Ram ka desh, yeh peer ki duniya, yeh Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb.