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  • Featured Image The Independence Day Column

    Ok sir we could talk about some future plans that we have for the country. The premier looks amazed and pleased. But then he gets frustrated and complains-You have some plans, you did not tell me, no one tells me anything and now even you ! The secretary replies-No sir its not my plan it will be  your plan this time.  People of the country themselves don’t know what they want. They still get sectored based on religion, region, caste and several other ‘isms’. They want everything to be in order but when it comes to their own interest they breach everything. You need to show ‘em  the way around tell them how to get over these isms.  You are the elected leader of the country and you can work it out. The boss gets enthusiastic. The secretary continues- tell people to stop thinking in terms ‘isms’ and get over short term personal interests. Ask your fellow politicians to stop this kind of politics just using it in public speech won’t work. Get strict with corrupt politicians and officers, show them the way out. You are the most powerful person in the country, if you don’t take initiative then who will?

  • The New Year Column

    Hi folks, wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR…!!!

    All those who can read this story, survived the Mayan Apocalypse, those who cannot read are trying to survive the hangover from last night. Some of you stayed up last night to witness the arrival of 2013 and some to make sure that 2012 leaves. Last night I found an old lamp, you remember the lamp from the movie ‘Aladdin’, I was happy to have it and started thinking what my three wishes should be. Decided to head back home with the lamp and was excited to imagine how a giant genie magically appears in a cloud of smoke and say ‘Yes my master what can I do for you?, I give you three wishes.’ I was anxious for the moment, will it sound like Robin Williams look like Barbara Eden? I reached home and rubbed the lamp with expectations.  I rubbed it once, nothing happened rubbed again no smoke no genie. Tried over again and again but no ‘out come’. In frustration and annoyance I threw the lamp against the wall I was disappointed. 

    Then the cap on the lamp opened, a short and slim humanoid creature coming out of it. “What the hell is this”, I exclaimed and the genie replied “not ‘what’ say who the hell is this? I am the genie of the lamp, you are the one who disturbed my sleep.” You cannot be a genie, I hammered back, no smoky clouds, you are a slim creature. The genie looked at me as if I am a zoo animals and answered, You humans, do you understand anything about pollution, you have already spoiled the planet a lot with smoke we don’t want to add to it’s woes, thats why we avoid smoke now a days.  Regarding my slimness it seems my diet plan is working, I am avoiding all the junk fast food. After a pause I said, so I will get my three wishes. On this the genie said the union of genies has decided to reduce their number of wishes from three to two. This has to blamed onto the staggering economy, inflation and cut fiscal deficit. The unoriginality and repetitive nature of the wishes also prompts us for such steps. Now I had fewer options, I thought of seeking the genies advice on what should I ask for? The genie smiled and said I don’t know its you choice, everyone asks for some variation wealth, or power as the first wish,  some kind of sex appeal, beautiful men or women; depending on the gender and sexual orientation of the wisher, is the most asked second wish. Although this second wish is a waste; as wealth or power generally gets you the sex you want.” I don’t talk about the third wish as that option is not there anymore. And don’t try to act over smart by asking me for extra wishes as the second one. This will nullify your last wish of having wealth, turning you into a beneficiary of social security system.   Since you have asked my advice you have only one wish left, he added.

    I started pondering about my wish. What should I ask the genie: a fortune of wealth, peace of mind, trouble for enemies, a sexy  babe in my side or good health. The clock ticked midnight and the shout and cheer for new year emerged all around. I woke up to the reality, there are no genies, no wishes out of blues. If you want something strive for it, A better world and life comes with your efforts not with genies. Eat drink and be merry,

    cheers for the new year, happy new year  

  • Stupid or Super Smart Government…

    Most of our childhood bedtime stories started with “Once upon a time, there was a king…” That is the tagline seems to be inspiring our politicians. They don’t want the future kids to listen to the stories that go like – “Once upon a time, there was a democracy, with elected representatives who were answerable to the people through the electoral process, the courts and the Lokpal.” They just want to insert a big and bold “….not answerable…” in the story. 

    In our civics lecture during school we learnt India is a Democracy. Well, they taught many other things but so what? A lot of it was myth. You know education ruins. Politicians want us to enjoy our confusion about India and do all sorts of hoodwink tricks. The latest salvo from it is that MPs and the PM should be kept out of the bill’s purview, which in turn renders the bill impotent and pointless even before it is enacted. The issue is not the bill or the government. It is simply what you can do in democracy or what are you allowed to do in a democracy. 

    The action happened last night; government’s use of force on peaceful protesters, while they were asleep was stunning. No matter how outlandish Baba was, he was within his rights. Teargassing and assaulting at 1am is not what democracies do. No government takes such a ridiculous decision. What inspired them ? If they are not using this strategy properly for their political mileage I see them in deep trouble. They might have to pay a hefty price for their ‘karma’. It can lead to many such protests and then it will aggravate the problem.  Opposition just getting another opportunity to get under government’s nerves. A sense of displeasure that it has created among people may lead to bigger threats to the government. That’s about democracy, you cannot escape people, you have to at least keep deceiving them. I know everyone involved here in the issue has something to do with politics making it hard to comment on. They are perhaps the smartest people on earth tricking billions all around the globe. But, over smartness kills.

    Anyway, baba says he is continuing his fast with many more joining them, even the British didn’t leave us after one protest and  demonstration, sounds good. And before my blog gets teargassed and traumatized by Delhi Police, love to all and off-course Peace. There was always a happy ending to all these bedtime stories. 

    Ref: Few sentences in the Blog were taken from Chetan Bhagat’s latest TOI column

  • Featured Image I, Raavan

    Here I lie, waiting for death on the land that belongs to the Kingdom, The kingdom; I won with my power, expanded and glorified with the my efforts. I know the history will always consider me as an antagonist. The future generation will call me a devil, an anti-god. No one will ever look at the positives, no one will appreciate how I struggled to be a king and found a great empire, how bravely I fought all my enemies and how I died, fighting my combatants, my kingdom’s foes. History will commemorate this as moment of victory of good over evil. 

    Born to a brahmin father (A class of people responsible for religious and scholarly works), I had opportunity to learn different domains ranging from art of fighting, music, medicine and politics. I proved myself with all these. I grabbed this opportunity with both the hands. Yes, I was ambitious and was ready to fulfill them with my efforts. My father’s background did not provide me with such opportunity but, my grand father set the right background for this. Is it really so wrong if I want to use my knowledge and skills to establish a kingdom. People say I snatched the kingdom from my brother, but didn’t I do better as the king . How much was Lanka’s glory in Kuber’s time. I asked and challenged Kuber for the kingdom as I could do better and did it, in time. Every child takes qualities from its parent so did I and did the best in what I was taught by my parents. 

    I worshiped Shiva, I devoted myself to Brahma to get their blessings and powers. I was a normal man not a God or their reincarnation unlike Rama. Why should the history present me as an Apollyon? Who at my time was a more devoted worshiper of these gods? People call me polygamist and blame me for exploitation of women, king Dashrath “The father of Ram” was also one. But he is the father of their hero Ram. Leave alone Dashrath who was a human, just think of the so called Gods. Shiva himself had had clandestine coitus with Madhura in absence of Parvati. Why is he a God and I am a demon?

    I was a good king I know that. Its glory speaks of it. There was only one golden empire and it was Lanka not Ayodhya. A small island kingdom had surpassed the hero’s kingdom in terms of glory. Lanka although a small island but was a greater kingdom.

    Source: daniel.oblak.dk

    My people were happy, my city was more prosperous, I had more victories under my belt, but, history to be written in future will  present it in another way. 

    I faced wars and faced them with full courage, valor and bravery.  I lost wars as well but never cheated my enemy. I lost to the king of Kiskindha; Vali but never attacked at his back. Ram killed him while hiding behind him. If these are the traits of the gallantry, I happily admit I am not the one. If the so called Gods like Ram wins and kills in this way, he should not be called as a God.   If I would have taken Sita as my lady forcibly what Ram could have done. I had enough time and opportunity to do that. I didn’t do that. Sugriv accuses his brother Vali of being partial and for taking his wife after exiling him from the kingdom. But what did Sugriv himself did after killing his brother, took the kingdom and his wife. Today even I am dying because of my dear brother Vibhishan. I would have never been killed or defeated, if my dear brother had not been a traitor. He perhaps did for the kingdom, making another Sugreeva out of him. Oh my Brother Vibhishan, I would have sacrificed the kinghood if you would have asked for it once. Betrayal and god gelled together to bring me to death. Should I really call him a God?, Anyway I will be declared a demon by history in the future, I am happy dying like a warrior while defending my land, from the hands of Rama or more appropriately my brother, because Rama could never kill me.  I was never defeated by the so called God.

  • PM And The Speech-Writer…

    On August 14, 2010, inside a quiet, leafy, guarded bungalow on Race Course Road, a stressed old man shifted uncomfortably on his sofa. A young man next to him offered solace. 

    “You’ll be fine. You’ve done it before. It’s only the Independence Day,” the young man said as he stacked sheets of paper. 

    “Do i have to give a speech?” the old man said, “I hate to talk.” 

    “But you are the prime minister,” the young man said, “And I am here, your speech-writer. Why worry?” 

    The PM remained uncomfortable. He looked at his phone. No calls or messages from high command. Without direction, life was extra hard. 

    The writer continued, “It’s mostly school kids who attend. There is no Q&A at the end. Unfurl the flag, stand for the national anthem, take the gun salute, read the speech it is standard stuff.” 

    “Everyone gets a holiday on Independence Day,” the PM said, “why can’t I?” 

    The speech-writer was speechless. He changed the topic. 

    “Should we talk about the content?” the writer said, “what do you want to focus on?” 

    “I don’t know. What do you suggest?” the PM said. “Is there anything worth talking about?” 

    The speech-writer paused to look at the PM in disbelief before he spoke again: “So much has happened. Just in the past months.” 

    “Like what?” the PM said. 

    “Like the Bhopal verdict no real punishment.” 

    “Yes, but i don’t have to talk about that,” the PM said, “that story has died.” 

    “Along with the thousands,” the writer mumbled. 

    “What?” the PM said. 

    “Nothing. How about the crazy inflation? People are truly sick of it,” the writer said. 

    “Really?” the PM said. 

    “Really what? That there is inflation or people are sick of it?” the writer said. 

    “Both i guess. I never buy anything. People do it for me. And i can’t talk about inflation. It’s too sensitive an issue.” 

    “But it affects your people,” the writer said. 

    “Next,” the PM said. 

    “Corruption? Look at the Commonwealth Games full of murkiness. Why don’t you resolve to put the criminals to book.” 

    “Criminals who?” the PM said. 

    “The politicians and officials who did it,” the writer said. 

    “But they are important people,” the PM said. 

    “They’ve broken the law. Isn’t the law the same for everyone?” the writer said. 

    “It is?” the PM said. 

    The writer could only raise his eyebrows in response. 

    “It can’t be the same law. Have you ever seen any high-profile official in jail for corruption?” the PM said. “Any?” 

    The writer shook his head. 

    “I don’t like to make false promises,” the PM said. 

    “Of course,” the writer said and cleared his throat, “how about Kashmir? Violence has flared up there. Or maybe we can combine it with the Naxalite disturbance and talk about internal strife?” 

    “Talk what?” the PM said, “why do people like to talk? Why?” 

    “Talk to show you care,” the writer said, “and talk about solving the issues, of course.” 

    “Is that my job?” the PM said. 

    “You are the prime minister. The most powerful person in the country. You can make things happen,” the writer said. 

    “Stop making fun of me,” the PM said, “other topics?” 

    “India-Pakistan relations,” the writer said. 

    “I am not allowed to talk about that,” the PM said. 

    “Not allowed?” the writer said, confused on who could disallow the PM. The PM raised one eyebrow to the framed pictures on the wall above. The writer saw the person the PM was referring to. Both exchanged half smiles. 

    “It’s OK. I am used to it now,” the PM said. 

    The writer stretched his arms out. “I’m out of ideas. You guide me, sir. We don’t have that much time.” 

    ” General topics,” the PM said, “just make it broad enough that there is no controversy. But not so boring that the guards and kids go to sleep,” the PM said.

    The writer bit his upper lip to mull over the PM’s suggestion. 

    “Like i’ll tell you,” the PM explained, “talk about poverty reducing it, of course. And education. And stuff like we won’t tolerate injustice and inequality. Oh, and use the word superpower a couple of times just don’t mention a specific issue or put a real opinion.” 

    The writer nodded slowly as he absorbed the instructions. 

    “OK, sir, in that case, all i have to do is look at last few years’ speeches and cut-and-paste to make a new one.” 

    The PM’s eyes opened wide as he shook his head. “Don’t!” he said, using his rare loud voice, “don’t do that. The TV channels catch on to the cut-and-paste. Who’s that feisty TV anchor?” 

    “Barkha Dutt?” the writer said. 

    “Yeah, her. She’ll rip it apart. Not to mention that Rajdeep Sardesai and Arnab Goswami and Deepak Chaurasia. They track all the copy-paste stuff, they’ll talk non-stop about it,” the PM said. 

    “OK, OK, won’t refer to the past speeches,” the writer said. 

    “No you can. Just make sure it is from speeches at least 20 years ago, before these anchors started work.” 

    “Oh, OK,” the writer said, “the content is the same anyway. Fine sir, you’ll have it in two hours.” 

    The writer stood up to leave. The PM escorted him to the door. 

    “You are a quick learner, i wish you all the success in life,” the PM said. 

    “Thank you sir. I wish you…well, what can i wish you? You have everything.” 

    “Wish me freedom, real freedom,” the PM said, looking at the writer in his eyes as the door shut between them. 

  • Assassinating the Mahatma

    30th January 1948 evening, Birla Bhavan, Delhi saw an irony being realized. The apostle of peace and non-violence was brought down by violence. 22 months after the assassination pens were broken for two of the convicts while third of them got life imprisonment. But, all this must have preceded by a series of events that brought the outcome. 

    The worst thing with history is that very often, it is biased to one or the other side and this case is no exception.  Peeping into the controversial part of the history is a although a daunting task but becomes obligatory for an illumination.

    The incident on the penultimate evening of that January was not the first attempt on Mahatma Gandhi’s life. The period between 1934 and 1948 saw 5 such attempts, last of which was a success. More socking is the fact that the last three involved the same person. 

    The reasons speculated by the people, politicians, convicts and historian amass from all the  possible corners. Some call the assassinators religious fanatics (Who was an intellectual and scholar), they call themselves patriots or revolutionaries and so on. Was it just about these handful convicts or some multidimensional conspiracy? Why did the trial of the convicts were kept secret for a long time?   Did the over stature of Mahatma Gandhi in subcontinent politics, play a role? Hard to reach a conclusion, different opinions- different theory.  

    The reasons that come up from different sources are the partition of the country, the 550 million episode and so on. Is there something more that all this. If its about 550 million what about at least two of the early attempts. If it is about partition of India, how far was Mahatma gandhi responsible for it?  

    Politics behaves like a blackbox model; no one knows how it worked, only the outcome pops up. The partition, as known, was always opposed by Mahatma gandhi (“My whole soul rebels against the idea that Hinduism and Islam represent two antagonistic cultures and doctrines. To assent to such a doctrine is for me a denial of God.”).  It will not be so obvious to deny a third tussle in progress among the men in power at that time, fueled by their personal ambitions. Mahatma Gandhi had to accept it when it became inevitable. 

    Thinking about the 550 million issue might have created anger in Godse’s mind, but here Pandit Nehru’s point  of view was Pakistan may use the money against India whereas, Mahatma Gandhi’s logic might have considered a less harmful Pakistan when it is financially stable. And even if this was a reason, what about the earlier attempts? 

    Accusing Mahatma Gandhi for misuse of his repute and stature is although hard to accept, but if true, can anyone consider it fair for a nationalist assuming himself to be above the nation? I wish I could hear the complete trial using a time machine, to get closer to the truth.

    As of now I am not in a position to draw some acceptable conclusion. As I said History is biased, politics is blackbox and finally we love to live in ignorance and illusions created by it around us which, sometimes brings peace and stability.

    Paurush Praveen Sinha

  • IPL auction row

    Its great to see IPL season 3 kicking off, but the start has been in news because  of controversies (Which are usually a part of iconic events).  The role of Indian media has been good (even if it is biased) as they are presenting the Pakistani side as well (Which is not so often expected from their counterparts in Pakistan). When the talk about the government involvement, it becomes hard to believe. In India government hardly involves itself with these issues, as the event is dominated by privately governed bodies. Pakistan really has awesome talent in the sports (I personally, will miss the heroics of Sahid Afridi and Akhtar (if they click)) and particularly in this version of the game; an IPL not featuring them will miss some entertainment no doubts.

    From the point of view of the franchise, its not very wise to put millions on someone critical in the your plans but not sure if he will really join your plans. Keeping my fingers crossed, what if a terrorist strike occurs again (which even Pakistan does not guarantee [http://news.in.msn.com/international/article.aspx?page=3&cp-documentid=3564580]). A 2009 will be repeated and none of these million dollar players will feature in the event. Its not just the money but also plans and strategies are at stake. Next big thing, a business is a business, its up to the holding person to decide where to invest and where not, so if they decide not to put the buck at someone, no one has the rights to interfere.

    Now lets take up the snubbing issue from another point of view. Assume some one has interfered in the issue (be it government or the governing board, which is too imaginative), the reasons will probably be the security issues or at the zenith; politics. But, if it is as such, better we look at the reasons behind these concerns. Is anyone there who gives his word and keeps them for no anti India activity in Pakistan, bring the perpetrators of the previous terrorist strikes to sentences if no extradition is possible. You cant and should not expect any good return if you are creating problems for them. Trust will always play as the missing element in such situations.

    Now finally we look from the other side of LOC. Its really a frustrating for a champion side to have no representation in the most cash piling event. 66 players for 11 positions; tough competition, but 55 had to fail, and unfortunately no one from current champions. Taking it as personal insult or in the worst case national insult can be an emotional decision, and we know how emotional are people in the subcontinent when it comes to India-Pakistan relations or cricket.

    Anyway, no further comments, hope to see Pakistan players in next edition of IPL