Showing posts from 2014

The Tragedy of Being Rahul Gandhi

Just when you think Rahul Gandhi cannot outdo himself, he comes out with another gem. On December 5, amidst one of the several Parliament gridlocks over the use of abusive language by a minister (as if it has happened for the first time ever), Rahul Gandhi stood next to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi placed outside the Parliament House, and sported a black band over his mouth, accusing the government of muzzling the voice of the Opposition, a charge that he has been repeating for a while now, as exemplified by his rushing into the well of the house on August 6, 2014. This protest was over the issue of Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, who was caught using the word haraamzaada (illegitimate child) in a public rally in Delhi. Of course, he seems to have forgotten how his own henchman from Uttar Pradesh, Imran Masood, threatened to chop Narendra Modi to pieces among other many gems that dot the internet.   Not just that, Rahul Gandhi had also found the time and gall to dare the

धन्य है नानक

जिन समझ जुग बीत गया इक पल में यूँ समझाया भक्ति का इक नया स्वाद जिह्वा पे ऐसा चढ़ाया प्रेम भावना मन में राखी करुणा करना सिखाया धन्य है नानक महापुरुष के तू हम सब में आया पढ़न गया था अक्खर को पाठी को पाठ दिखाया राह चलन की सीख दियो मौलवी को राह दिखाइया जात पात के भेदभाव को अंकुश ऐसा लाया धन्य है नानक महापुरुष के तू हम सब में आया छोड़ घर बार चला फ़क़ीर संग चला दोस्त मरदाना ज्ञान की धुनी रमते निशदिन काबा भी धाम बनाया वाहेगुरु चहुँ ओर बसे ये चमत्कार है दिखाया धन्य है नानक महापुरुष के तू हम सब में आया जा हरिद्वार जो देखियो तो खेतों को पानी चढ़ाया दिव्य ज्ञान के अन्तर्रहस्य को सूरज यूँ है दिखाया शेषनाग को कहे के जा अब अमर हो तेरी माया धन्य है नानक महापुरुष के तू हम सब में आया बैठ जहां वहाँ नित स्थान धरम का पथ बनाया हिन्दू मुस्लिम नर नारी छूत अछूत मिटाया मात पिता जहाँ अपने पूत को गुरु का स्थान निवाया अकाल पुरख के नाम से करतारपुर धाम वसाइया अन्तकाल अंगद जी को गद्दी सौंप गुरु बनाइया करतारपुर धाम वसाइया काल के द्वार खड़े जब नानक लोगन करी लड़ाइयाँ हिन्दू के

Is Child Labour Really a Problem?

There was a lot of introspection and self criticism yesterday with the joint awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Kailash Satyarthi. “Child labour is a curse”, “robbing childhood from the children”, “slavery”, “feudal mindset” - these and a thousand other charges have been flying around.  Grim stories of rescue missions were recounted by the dozen, and the State was held culpable for the crime of not taking care of its citizens. However, a large number of these arguments to my understanding are very lopsided, and typically amount to the welfare state paradigm that the economic right finds highly problematic for a host of reasons. Please do not for a minute think that I am promoting child labour as it is understood and depicted often in popular culture as an exploitative system. Often however we tend to drag children belonging to the teenage group into this whole cycle of ‘giving their lives a fair chance’. On the contrary, a careful assessment of what is happening in today’

Musings on Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong and Implications for Greater China

Protests Inspire Creativity, and Ever More So in Hong Kong (courtesy BBC ) The recent upheaval with the Occupy Central movement, becoming more popular internationally by the name Umbrella Movement, has taken nearly everyone by surprise. This has happened because the silent majority decidedto stand up for what it believes in, sacrificing nearly everything that provided semblance to their lives in a mad, chaotic city state like Hong Kong (HK). Life is hard in Hong Kong, so the people standing up for greater democratic rights becomes even more appreciable in my personal opinion. There are a few trends that can be seen on the surface emerging from this movement so far, and a lot of them, far from being very pessimistic (as some Facebook posts being shared by HK-ers) are encouraging. The people of Hong Kong have been exemplary in the discipline and peaceful nature that has been maintained so far during these protests. It is Gandhian in nature, thus making many neutral observers like

The India China Powwow - Will It Ever End?

Modi and Jinping relaxing on the traditional Sankheda swing (picture courtesy Firstpost) The coverage being given to the visit of President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is apt for the political leader of a country with the kind of economic stature it poses today. However, the battle of cultural perceptions has been scored by India hands down, especially when one reads the jokes pertaining to Gujarati cuisine and the fabled 'Gujju accent'. That apart, there have been a lot of symbols on the first day itself that can give you a fair idea of how a Narendra Modi-led Government of India wishes to position itself with respect to China. Be it the exhibition of Buddhist artifacts or the vegetarian dinner menu, the signs are that we wish to maintain peace at an equal footing. That is not such a bad option, as the PRC leadership takes only those countries seriously that will not be subservient. To this end, an incident about Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime

एक शमा कहीं जली है

एक शमा कही जली है हुस्न-ए-मग़रिब पे एक दाग़ आज लगा है एक शमा कहीं जली है एक आतिश कहीं लगी थी इन्सां को आज फ़िर से कोई बुत बना गया है एक शमा कहीं जली है एक आतिश कहीं लगी थी नुजूम के तारे कोई ग़र्दिश में लपेट गया है एक शमा कहीं जली है एक आतिश कहीं लगी थी वक्त की भट्टी में उन्हें तपिश में छोड़ गया है एक शमा कहीं जली है एक आतिश कहीं लगी थी चिलचिलाती धुप में यूँ नंगे पाँव चलता देख रहा है एक शमा कहीं जली है एक आतिश कहीं लगी थी ख़ाक छानते हुए कोई ग़ुरबत में  रो रहा है एक शमा कहीं जली है एक आतिश कहीं लगी थी काँटों की सेज पर बैठा कोई हमको छोड़ गया है एक शमा कहीं जली है एक आतिश कहीं लगी थी नाकामियों का सेहरा कोई सिरे बाँध गया है एक शमा कहीं जली है एक आतिश कहीं लगी थी इंसानियत का जनाज़ा आज फ़िर से उठ रह है एक शमा कहीं जली है एक आतिश कहीं लगी थी यादों की शमाएं हमने आतिश-ए-हस्सास से जलाई थी उम्मीदों के दरीचे हमने इन्ही शमाओं से जलाये थे पर ये ज़मीन में कुछ बात है के अनकहे अनसुने किस्सों से ये ज़मीं आज भी रोशन है खुश्वार है, उम्मीद से है आज फ़िर एक शमा कही

Fighting Depression

The recent news of the demise of Robin Williams left a void in me that I do not think will be filled up soon. An actor whose work taught us as much about life as it rendered entertainment, and that too from a rare genius, is hard to replace. The world will surely miss him, but yes, there is an important thing to realize, one that we often overlook due to our own personal discomfort, little knowledge about issues of mental health and general disapproval of such people and ideas that leaves much to be discussed. Depression is a deeply personal fight for me. People who may know me are aware of my fight with depression on more than one plane. My mother has been fighting this problem for over a decade now, and though it started off due to hormonal imbalances, the clinical depression has set into an ever-constant fear, that she shall be left behind all alone in this world. That triggered off a host of other health issues, including bacterial antral gastritis. Fighting this disease for so


It was one of those humid sunny days that the season always brought in. Sweat drips down not just your brows but streaks across your back, making every effort to discomfit you. More often than not, the attempts are successful, if you go by the number of people making irritable faces, attempting to reach out to their backs, as if their contorted hands will help improve their position; after all, even if one such streaker were to be successfully thwarted, another would come racing. I was amongst the countless many, as I stood there. The sun decided to come out today, making the afternoon an unbearable affair. Nothing monumental about it. As is always the case, I stood at a bus stand along the R..... Road, hoping to catch a bus that leads me to my destiny. The bus could hopefully give me a temporary reprieve. Air conditioned buses had been introduced recently, and the heightened fares seem to have had little impact on the enthusiasm of one and all in boarding it. And who can be blamed fo

India's Big Budget - What Should It Be?

"I know I have a Tough Task" - Arun Jaitley and Narendra Modi in a Pose for cameras (courtesy Dainik Jagran ) It is ironic that every budget is labelled historic in India, completely sidestepping the incovenient facts. Any country that has raised itself in our geographical vicinity has shown policy stability. An annual general budget is a moronic idea to promote economic stability, and I believe it should be replaced with an economic charter at the beginning of the government with no changes through an amendment to the Constitution. Alternatively, governments should focus on one budget and pass votes on account in subsequent years that uphold the policy framework laid out in the budget earlier. Unlike February, the General Budget is being presented in the middle of a truant monsoon this year. A change of government with a mandate not seen since 1984 has meant that Narendra Modi has a tide of hope carrying him. This tide can also leave him high and dry if he fails