Thursday, March 28, 2019

On the growing intolerance

Obviously, my facebook feed is nuts with intolerance, bigoted Modi, so on and so forth.

I am not a Modi fan. In fact, at last check, i was still a human being with an operational brain.
So no one's fan, AC, or cooler.

Yesterday, a friend posted something that, yet again, presented Modi as the communal disharmony villain.

Now, you have to understand this about me - this communal disharmony thing, its BIG for me. It led to me being born in Delhi and not in Shekhupura. It also meant that the population of our family, and the size of our wealth was suddenly significantly lower.

So, in growing years, I have spent a LOT of time reading up on the Partition, and what the hell happened. I have read everything from Chamanlal Nahal's Azaadi to The Hindu Code Bill of B R Ambedkar. I have read the newspapers of that time. And "May it please Your Honour" by Nathuram Godse. And have heard my grandparents' accounts until I could recreate them from memory.

With that background, reproduced below are the exact comments on her post:
Just do this for me - pick up the papers from 1936 to 1945 and read them. Before you say anything else, read them. The result of that 9 year toxic campaign was this:
1. Patel was sidelined for being a Hindu nationalist.
2. A man who had not done
anything except sycophancy in life became the PM.
3. Within 6 months of his becoming PM, Godse succeeded. Godse had had 3 failed attempts on Gandhi earlier. As soon as Nehru became PM, where did he succeed? In the super safe Birla House.
4. As soon as Nehru became PM, the Hindu threat evaporated, the riots stopped.

Here is why i know about this :
My history book just said: Jinnah was a member of the Congress in 1936.

And i got thinking. It was in trying to understand Jinnah that i realised what had been done to my country.

BUT, pls don't believe one word of what I say. Read the papers from 1936 to 1945. Just do this. You care for your country, you can do this much.


Her response: 
And thats why we should now believe in a man who is bought over by industrialists and rides on the wave of communal hatred ? We should let him project his revengeful ideas and drive the country towards a religion based state!!! With absolutely no plans of growth for all.... I know power is always sized the way nehru did and now the current pm did but strong oppositions are essential to keep them in check.

My answer: 
Good that you brought this up. Now, pls think back to why you think Modi is communal. Think of every stimulus that firmed this belief in your head. Then mark the ones which are actual things said or done by Modi and which ones are collaterals created by private, public, and media organisations. Do this segregation yourself. Don't depend on anyone else or take any inputs.

You have to remember that the putrid, relentless campaign of 1936 -1945 was not just political. It led to people like you and me losing our homes and families. So i have a LOT of personal interest in understanding what the hell happened. 

Mueller Report and Capitalism 2.0

I usually like to share positive news. But Capitalism 2.0 is a theme in the head right now, and here's some other people who feel the same way. That the sovereignty of nations is no longer what we knew it to be. The Mueller report verifies that Russia intervened, but not in collusion with Trump. Here is the really important thing - IF it was Russia and not facebook, the weapon was social media. It is time to rethink sovereignty, as we know it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Cognitive and Affective Bias

I see far too many people saying that a Hindu rashtra is a threat to the secular fabric of the country.
To all such armchair activists, I am about to give a small lesson in history.

Vijayanagara was, at that time, the only Hindu kingdom in the South. At that moment in history, every single Muslim kingdom, left, right, center and Delhi, was converting people to Islam. What was Vijayangara doing? Conducting a Hindu nation - no conversions were carried out. The king of Vijayanagara gave donations to mosques and to Hindu religious places.

Punjab had Sikh rule. But the army was multicultural. There were no conversions. No discriminatory tax (read: Jaziya) , even though the Delhi sultanate was using Jaziya to convert forcibly and to get richer. Even though the Mughals were responsible for the deaths of the Sikh gurus. Muslims in Punjab thrived and grew. They held important positions because they deserved them. A record of the grants by Maharaja Ranjit Singh shows that the grants were given to all places of worship.

SO, when an urban illiterate thinks of a Hindu state, s/he perceives the Hindu version of an Islamic state or a Christian state. But the Hindu state is, by definition, a secular state. Even Nepal, which is the world's only Hindu nation, has non Hindu populations and they are never discriminated against.

The reason the Islamists and the Christians fear the idea of a Hindu state, is that they know what an Islamic or Christian state looks like. But that is NOT what a Hindu state looks like.

The reason the Hindu is baffled by their resistance, is that, even in their dreams, a Hindu state cannot disallow worship of any other kind. The religion is based on multi-culturalism and it is soo deeply ingrained that it is not possible to suddenly create a sense of exclusion.

This inherent ignorance of how these religions work, and the arrogance to not even understand the concept of Ram Rajya, is what is creating a lot of unrest today.

What is my personal view?
India, as a society, is tolerant and inclusive. It is my belief that no man who goes to feed his family from morning to night will ever pick up a stone to create unrest.

The people who are generating this unrest, they have no religion - truly. Whether they are liberandus or Hinduta vadis or Congressis trying to undermine a leader of the opposite party - they have no religion, and no humanity.

They are terrorists of the worst type, because they poison our drinking water - our collective consciousness. I live with my Muslim friends, Christian friends, and Hindu friends, and they don't have any religions. Suddenly, the cover on my head is more important than what is in my head? People who made that happen are the worst snakes ever.

I have seen the exact same propaganda in 1936 - 47, and i have seen how that story ends. So really, my view is, anyone who is not happy with India - get the hell out. (And i have said this before)

I have deep, deep faith in the inherent multiculturalism of India. And 70 years after partition, I can tell you that that faith is well founded.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Meditation talk

You request me to share with you the spiritual knowledge.

Tell me,  my dear,  can you open my eyes from the outside? 

Perhaps you can lift the eyelids,  but you cannot make me see.  

What is true of the physical eye is also true of the spiritual one.  

One day, your eyes will open,  and you will see all there is to see - clear as day. 

There are designated teachers in the world.  I'm not one of them.  My job is something else.  

Monday, March 25, 2019

How to get rid of useless people on social media

This has been an interesting week. On Facebook, which is my primary social medium, i have unfriended one person and unfollowed i don't know how many.

As the election fever grips the nation and India can't make sense of Bharat bcs it is wearing the niqab of 1936 and imagined aggrievement, I have set some personal rules for unfollowing and unfriending:
1. If you post a Pappu joke or a Namo meme, or a joke that is on the person and not on the policy, i will unfollow you. Irrespective of where politics stoops, if you, as an educated voter, make personal jokes about a politician, you really should pay the country that subsidy back on your education. OR, if you are that cheap anyway, join politics.

2. If you present one side of a story, any story, and use that to prove a point, I will unfollow you. This is called Jingoism and i don't care whether the person doing it is an MBA or a farmer from Timbucktoo. If your conduct does not behove your position in life, the respect you get should not either. When presenting a news piece, investigate both sides of the story, read up enough, and then, if you think you know enough, only then, open your mouth. Tez lehar se baadh to ik johad mein bhi aa sakti hai. If you want to be respected for your education and awareness, earn that respect.

3. If I find you selectively enraged - like enraged for the minority girls in Pakistan but not for the family that was attacked as Pakistani near Gurgaon, like enraged for not being allowed to vote in Gurgaon, but accepting that for Mewat as "normal", I will unfollow you. Either people matter, or they don't. Only one kind of people cannot matter. What happened in Pakistan has also happened in India - with both communities. Find out the truth about your own country. What happened to that Muslim family was not even a fraction of what happens to Hindu families in Mewat, AMU and other areas. Have the emotional maturity to understand all the facts, absorb, and then open your mouth. The enemy is not one religion over another. The enemy is the idea that power can, and should be abused and people can get away with it. I don't care who is doing the abusing.

4. All armchair activists - OUT. Enough said. I am soooo done with people shouting platitudes or slogans or universal truths in life. SO, SO DONE WITH THAT BUNCH whose ignorance is exceeded only by their arrogance, or maybe its the other way round.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

अवश्यंभाविता / Inevitability

आओ, जैसे आती है 
छुट्टी का खात्मा 

अवश्यंभाविता का होता है 
अपना ही अधिकार प्रिय
उस अधिकार
 से आओ
ਆ ,
ਜਿਦਾਂ ਆਉਂਦੇ ਨੇ

ਐਦਾਂ ਆ
ਆ ਵੜਦਾ ਹੈ
ਨਵਾਂ ਵਰ੍ਹਾ

ਮੇਰੀ ਕਲਮ ਦਾ
ਅਗਲਾ ਹਰਫ਼ਾਂ

ਬਦੋਬਦੀ .

jidaan aunde ne
adiaan aa
jidaan aa vaDda hai
nava vara
meri kalam da
agla harfa

as the Sun comes
or the moon
or the seasons.

with unlimited rights.
that way,
My Love
Unlimited Rights.

Jahaan main kaam karta hoon..

मैं उसके बारे में सब जानता था 

कैसे, अपना मनपसंद गाना बजते ही,
वो बाल खोल कर 
इत्मीनान से खिड़की से बाहर देखने लगती है.

लम्बी सी बातचीत पर 
प्यार से सर हिला हिला कर जवाब देगी 
और फ़ोन रखते ही माथा पीट कर कहेगी 
"लोग कितनी बातें करते हैं! "

माँ से बात करते हुए उसकी आवाज़ बदल जाती है 
कोमल सी  हो जाती है 
जैसी दफ्तर के फ़ोन पर 
कभी नहीं हो सकती। 

कुर्बत से,
आशनाई हो ही जाती है। 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Holi par baal kavita

अ से अबीर, 
ग से गुलाल 
देखो मेरा मुंह 
रंग गया लाल 

ख से खोया 
ग से गुझिया 
खा गयी सारी 
गुझिया मुनिया 

प से पिचकारी 
र से रंग 
दे दो माँ, 
ले जाऊं संग 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Paheli aur hum

वो जो पहेली बचपन में होती थी न - बन्दर एक कुंए  में, रोज़ ३ फुट की छलांग लगाता है और २ फुट नीचे फिसल जाता है. उसे कुंए में से निकलने में कितने दिन लगेंगे? 
- ये पहेली मुझे हमेशा बड़ी हास्यास्पद लगती थी. भला ऐसा  कहीं होता है? बन्दर रोज़ छलांग लगाये, रोज़  फिसले? बन्दर भला कुंए में गिरेगा कैसे? 

आज मुझे समझ आया - ये पहेली सच है. और हम सब, कुंए के बन्दर हैं. सबका कुंआ अलग अलग है - किसी का कुंआ ये भवसागर, किसी का कुंआ १० किलो वज़न. 

रोज़ छलांग लगाने से, २ फुट फिसल कर भी, पिछले दिन से १ फुट ऊपर ही होंगे. और छलांग न लगाने से, २ फुट की फिसलन तो अपने आप हो ही जाएगी। इस कुंवे का कोई तला नहीं होता। १० किलो वज़न ३० किलो बन सकता है, और भवसागर पाप का डेरा। 

हर रोज़, वो ३ फुट की छलांग लगाते रहने से, एक दिन, कुंवे से निकलना निश्चित है - चाहे वो भवसागर हो, या १० किलो वज़न. 

Empowering wihtout education

Empowering people without educating them is creating a Frankenstein. This is true of all human systems - families, organisations, countries. 
I was wondering why democracy became the harbinger of Capitalism 2.0, and realised that it was simply this - it was in the interest of leaders to create voters who are not educated - so they can be easily swayed. And now, the exact same thing is coming back to bite them. Swaying works both ways.

If Facebook is deciding who the next leader should be, it is because you created people who would rather trust and spread propaganda than ask questions. You brainwashed intelligent people into releasing content that presents only one side of the story - to further your end.

Now, you may want your people to not trust propaganda, but you really can't spend decades creating sheep and then complain when the sheepdog is changed.

Congratulations, people of the world! You and your leaders are both responsible. You voted for a bottle of hooch and 500 rs. And they will pay with their electoral loss, vendetta politics, and innumerable court cases.

While we're at it, the name calling has to stop, really. Let there be some dignity left in the profession of politics. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

On being a circle and a square..

Circles rarely come together to form a pattern.

Squares, they join together to form a larger pattern, merging into it. Rectangles? They come together to join perfectly with another rectangle, or square. Or a lot of rectangles, and squares.

And people who are chipped from here and protruding from there? They fit other people like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle!

But circles? They can never come together to form a larger circle. They are whole unto themselves. They have no sharp corners, no rough edges, nothing to smooth further.

To be a circle, is to be condemned to a life of loneliness.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Capitalism 2.0 Series - Google shows Australia who's boss

In my last post:

I had mentioned that Capitalism 2.0, just like Capitalism 1.0, will start with companies. I am not sure yet, just how it will pass to countries.

The step after appeasement, is assertion. I believe that assertion started with Twitter CEO refusing to present himself to the Indian parliamentary committee.

And now, in continuation, Google tells the Australian government that it does not have a monopoly (It has a 90 percent share of the Australian search) and therefore will not present itself for scrutiny.

Hello, World!

Aa jaao

तू मेरी तरफ आती हुई 
रुक जाती है 
हर बार देखा है 
तेरा एक कदम 
मेरी तरफ 
और एक 
दुनिया की तरफ 
पड़ जाता है. 

आज तुम्हे 
एक राज़ बताता हूँ - 
दुनिया का 
हो चुका है 
अपने घर जा चुके हैं
देव और दैत्य 
लौट चुके 
अपने अपने संसार को।  
अब वह 
केवल सागर है. 
किसी बूँद का 
कोई नाम नहीं है. 
किसी गुमशुदा बूँद का 
हिसाब नहीं है. 

पकड़ी नहीं जाओगी। 

आ जाओ. 

Tuesday, March 05, 2019


आने के आदाब हुआ करते हैं. 
जाने के भी. 
आजकल सिखाते नहीं ये सब?
उठ के जाना हो,
तब भी,
कह कर जाते हैं.

ये चोरों की तरह जाना -
क्यों आती है शर्म,
जो हो, वो होने में?
तेरे मेरे होने पर 
दस सवाल उठा करते थे 
तेरे मेरे न होने पर 
सौ सवाल उठ रहे हैं अब.
दुनिया का सबसे मुश्किल काम है 
जाते हुए,
किसी से ये कहना,
"मैं वापिस आऊंगा।"
ਔਖਾ ਜਾਣਾ ਨਹੀਂ
ਔਖਾ ਹੈ
ਕੌਲ ਕਰਨਾ,
"ਮੈਂ ਮੁੜ ਆਣਾ!"

Aukha jaana nahi
Aukha hai
Kaul karna
"Main mud aana…"
मुझे हमेशा लगता है
कि शोक की 
सीमा होनी चाहिए।
जैसे चोट की होती है.

ਮੈਨੂੰ ਜਾਪਦਾ 
ਪੀੜ ਦਾ ਵੀ  
ਸਿਰਾ ਹੋਣਾ ਚਾਹੀਦਾ,
ਸੱਟ ਦਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਐ। 

Mainu jaapda
peed daa vi
sira hona chahida
satt da hunda hai