Tuesday, September 5, 2017

India - the World's Largest Democracy?

India, the world's largest democracy? Is this what we do to the voices of dissent?


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Proud to be an Indian? Really?

How can one feel proud when scores of children, the future of India, have been dying in a hospital for want of oxygen? 
What a freedom - What a progress is that!?

How can one feel proud when the very principles of our Independence are being trampled by the day, by forces within? Do we still call ourselves a secular, democratic country?

How can one feel proud when each day you wake up to the gruelling statistics of deaths, murder, rape and all things unfair?

How do we feel proud when our spiritual ethos of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – all the world is one family – is shaken by narrow constructs of religion and politics - to think of your’s vis-√†-vis your friends’ and your neighbours', within and without, from dawn to dusk day after day?

What is it that makes you still proud of your country, at this time?
Proud to be alive, when children die? – No!
There is nothing I feel proud of...sadly.
Just this vain freedom that makes me think a few times before I breathe the air I breathe. Yes, not a Muslim, but I share the unease that Hamid Ansari recently said.

Is this the India of our dreams?
Is it time to give up the India – the idea of India – we cherish in ourselves?
Hope not ~
But, as India prepares to celebrate its 70th year of Independence, the way seems dark and long – more than ever before.

Yet, Independence is Independence. Freedom is the very oxygen of the soul – the very breath of life. Let that be not lost to the fascist forces ruling the country today.

Commemorating a great day from 70 years ago and the struggles of our great men and women to reach there ~

Proud or not, may peace and freedom prevail!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Merci beaucoup et félicitations, France!

Merci beaucoup et felicitations, France!

Thank you very much for showing the world that the larger, deeper humanity is more important than the narrow domestic walls of nationalism.
Yes, despite all that you have gone through ~


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

To what strange darkness. . .

"Return your sword to its place, for all who will take up the sword, will die by the sword."

a stark darkness
has befallen upon the land,
as the men of honour, 
were looking the other way. . .

blinded by might,
blinded by faith
accursed swords slicing lives,
lives of men like you, like me,
beaten to death at the break of dawn
yet, not a word from the one
at the helm. . .
or his blind henchmen

to what strange darkness
has the men of this land fallen to,
at the break of the day?

Uttar Pradesh: Man beaten to death in Bulandshahr             http://indianexpress.com/article/india/uttar-pradesh-man-beaten-to-death-in-bulandshahr 4637915/

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Pace Down & Enjoy Nature’s Free Lunch

Climate change is top on the agenda in many a forum. It seemingly would remain there for years to come!

As governments continue to fight the climate change agenda over emission-control and industrialists and politicians come up with techno-economical solutions like hybrid cars, carbon trading, I begin to doubt the credibility of singling out climate change as the most dangerous environmental issue of our times.

It all could well be a politico-economic ploy, as Russian scientists claim-- Kyoto Protocol could well be a scheme by European nations against the US and emerging economies, as the US pushed through the Montreal Protocol of 1987. And if so, it is to burst soon as any other hype by the west!

If nature is behaving in extraordinary ways, rising temperature is only a part of the problem. And irresponsible human action could be a more potent environmental hazard than the generally harmless greenhouse gases.

Climate perhaps is the most perceivable of Mother Earth’s response to reckless human action driven by over consumption.

Won’t SHE be affected by the tonnes of concrete dumped on her in the name of development? Will not excessive mining of ecologically sensitive areas distress her? Won’t she react in her own painful ways to submerging hectares of her land by huge dams? Not to raise the myriad questions of the effect of depleting her forest reserves and destroying the natural habitats she holds close to her heart…

If natural calamities are a serious threat to life on earth, it’s high time we, humans, rethink our place on the planet. We may need to pace down both as individuals, and society. Cut down on consumption judging our actions with a deep sense of moral responsibility. Why do we need so much, after all?

William Ruckelshaus has said ‘Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.’

Let’s control our appetites and enjoy Nature’s free lunch, in these times when corporations mumble, ‘There’s nothing called a free lunch.’


I Pay Tribute

'Russians pay tribute to Solzhenitsyn,' so said The Guardian in a report.

The report was about the death and the orthodox funeral for Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel prize-winning Russian author, who held his Fatherland tight to his chest even as the Russian political system abandoned him, banished him to take refuge in the enemy’s abode.

Incarcerated in the gulags under Stalin, Solzhenitsyn was stripped of his Soviet citizenship and expelled from the USSR in 1974 for writing about his experiences under the brutal Stalinist Soviet system. He lived in the US until his return to Russia in 1994 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

While my interest and awe remains on Solzhenitsyn, the author of A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago, for his courage and will to expose the crimes of the Stalinist era and to continue criticising Russia's post-Communist leaders even after his return, it is his unswerving patriotism that captivates me, the socio-politically inclined self.

Throughout his exile in America, Solzhenitsyn had reportedly rejected the west (the US) and continued to set his watch to Moscow time!

As I digest the American political interests that accommodated Solzhenitsyn's adamancy, the refugee’s resolve, his unbridled love for his native land continues to haunt me, intrigue me –-living in a land where the young ones faithfully submit themselves to the clocks that are set to the US times in their call centre gulags!

I join the thousands of Russians who pay tribute to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, described by fellow Nobel laureate and South Arican writer JM Coetzee as ‘a colossus of our times’ and ‘a great Russian patriot’.

And, I submit myself to the memories of my father, a communist of the old genre, who had directed me to his book shelf that had The Gulag Archipelago and The Mother among them, as I blindly took to communism at a young age.