Monday, January 27, 2020

Understanding Rioting in India

Because of the current state of senseless rioting in India, and my earlier posts on the direct connection  between Congress losing an election and there being rioting, am reading a lot about the genesis of rioting in India.

These are some sources, to be explored later:

Hicky's Bengal Gazette:

The Hindu Archives are online and 10 free articles can be read in one month for free, after which one needs to subscribe.
This is a journal by Indian National Congress. You can see from Page 1 itself that the objective of the Congress was to divide and view the native religions in terms of their share in the population, and give them equitable representation. The idea of religion based division is inherent in the Congress. At the very first paper, and in the very first writing, they divide people, not by geography, but by religion and ONLY by religion.
It is also important to note that the Indian National Congress was NOT started by Indians. It was started by A.O. Hume and prominent Indians were inducted into the party.

This is Andhra papers:

The Calcutta Gazette:

This is a book that is dedicated to Mumbai riots and I found a lot of insight in this:

The peace between Hindus and Muslims has always been precarious in India. The Muslim rulers came from a place where the goal was universal conversion to Islam. There was nothing wrong with it - those were the precepts of Islam. However, underlying that religious zeal also, I suspect, was the political and financial angle - the Hindoos had most of the wealth and the only way to get that wealth was to subject them to the ulema.

But I think, that if we have to understand the radicalisation of India, we have to understand the radicalisation of Jinnah. With a Hindu mother and a Hindu wife, and a very English education, he was the last candidate for radicalisation. Yet, not only was he radicalised, but also that he led the radicalisation and separation initiative for ALL muslims. All pointers very welcome.

Why Rahul Gandhi will be PM in 2024

As a rule, I stay away from partition and 1984 stories. But this one crept up unawares and before realising, I had read it. And then spent a sleepless night.

In the morning, I wondered why. And here is the answer:

What strikes me is their incredulity at what is about to happen. Even as the mob is entering their house to rape and kill, the person remains incredulous and unbelieving. He simply does not believe that his neighbours are going to kill him and rape and share his daughters.

The same incredulity defines the massacre of 1990. No one thought it was going to be this bad. Or this sudden.

And 1970s terror in Punjab. No one thought things like this could happen. And 1984 - Rajiv Gandhi's riots. How were the thousands mobilised, voter lists procured, and organisation of troops, arrangement of kerosene done so fast? Within hours?

Godhra, Gujarat...

The "surprise" element that comes up again and again in rioting proves:
A. That there was asymmetry of information.
B. That one side was far more aggressive than the other.
C. That one side was also far better prepared than the other.

Let's understand one thing first, which people not into politics may not be aware of. The hardest thing to do in politics, even harder than raising funds, is getting the ground organisation right. The karyakartas, the local level connects and leaders, and their mobilisation mechanism - setting up a ground level organisation takes months, even with unlimited supply of funds. Then, this machinery needs to be kept lubricated and ready for action, because elections happen every few years.

The ground level organisation for riots is even more tricky. Because now you have to mobilise criminal elements, get ground support, and ensure no leakage. This tight sealing is what leads to information asymmetry. Then you have to ensure that the funds supply is in place and does not get delayed, else your operation can stop midway.

So, if the CAA protests have spread from JNU to AMU and from there to Osmania and then to other parts of the country, that is not a sudden thing. Ground organisation like that takes months to build. You have to radicalise people, ensure mobilisation mechanisms are in place and most importantly, ensure press coverage and a sympathetic press. This does not happen overnight.

I am more convinced every passing day that we will see a second partition in 2024. The level of mobilisation is the same.

Consider the timeline below: 
1936:   Jinnah returns from London and takes control of the Muslim League. For the first time, Nehru has a political adversary who is his equal in education, articulation, and advocacy / influence over Gandhi. What's more, Jinnah marries this ability with resolve. He is determined to make a lasting, positive change.

2014: The Congress loses an election and a leader comes to power who is capable of real change and is resolute.

1936 - 1940: Small news start appearing in the press about religion based skirmishes. These start as small things - one incident here, one skirmish there, one person dead, another injured. And slowly get more frequent and more violent. The frequency increases gradually, imperceptibly, but steadily. The narrative becomes religion based - slowly, imperceptibly, but definitely and increasingly. By 1940, the religions are polarised and the Muslims are clearly and openly aligned with the Muslim League. The slogan is for "Muslim hai to League mein aa."

The Muslims routinely and every single time, get a lot of victim press and relief - both from the League, which champions their cause from a religious standpoint, and from the Congress, which, under the leadership of Gandhi, is keen on wooing the Muslim voter for the provincial elections. (The 1936 provincial elections did not lead to a universal victory for the Congress).

The Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists are painted as villains and their abuse cases buried under indifference. The Intelligentsia writes long articles about the threat of the Hindu nationalist, who will leave no space for the Muslim brethren. The media routinely gives prominent editorial space to such content.

The Christians are completely left out of this action. Neither are they attacked, nor they attack.

2015 - 2019: Small news start appearing in the press about religion based skirmishes. These start as small things - one incident here, one skirmish there, one person dead, another injured. And slowly get more frequent and more violent. The frequency increases gradually, imperceptibly, but steadily. The narrative becomes religion based - slowly, imperceptibly, but definitely and increasingly. One 23 year old who was killed because of a Muslim girlfriend, one Muslim old man who was lynched because he was suspected of being a cattle thief. 

The Muslims routinely and every single time, get a lot of victim press and relief - both from the Muslim parties, which champion their cause from a religious standpoint, and from the Congress and Left parties.

The Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists are painted as villains and their abuse cases buried under indifference. The Intelligentsia writes long articles about the threat of the Hindutva, which will leave no space for the Muslim brethren. The media routinely gives prominent editorial space to such content.

The Christians are completely left out of this action. Neither are they attacked, nor they attack. 

1942: The country witnesses first national level religious riots. The riots leave hundreds dead - from both religions, but only the deaths of Muslims is mourned by the press and the political parties. The Hindu Mahasabha, Arya Samaj, and RSS, are isolated in trying to bring some focus on the mass rioting and raping done by the Muslims. Under the threat of the demand for Poorna Swaraj by the Krantikaris, Gandhi suddenly launches the Quit India Movement in August 1942. The riots are not mentioned anywhere and mysteriously vanish from public records. 
The next elections are due and there is a need to add the vote bank to the franchise. 

The Christians are completely left out of this action. Neither are they attacked, nor they attack. They do not take a political stand, nor offer any support, humanitarian or otherwise, to anyone. 

2020: First national level riots based on religion (started as CAA protests in Dec 2019 but are purely communal in nature). 
The press focuses sympathetically on the Muslims and the Hindu, Sikh, Jain victims are completely left out of the narrative and press coverage. The Buddhists are now a separate vote bank and are left out. The next elections are due and there is a need to add the vote bank to the franchise. This is why a citizenship registry for Indians cannot be allowed. 

The Christians take a stand only when their girls are converted in Kerala. They also take a stand against the regularisation of voter lists in India. 

1945-47: The Partition of India is finalised. The British government is still reeling under the loss in WWII and the logistics of the partition need to be worked out, but it is almost certain that India is to be divided along religious lines. 
The Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946 is first accepted and then rejected by the 2 leading parties. 

Even though there are 2 years between the decision and the action, the 3 key stakeholders: The congress, the Muslim League, and the British, take no action to: 
A. Demarcate territory that will go to the 2 respective communities. 
B. Ensure smooth and peaceful movement of people with their assets to minimise bloodshed. 

Instead, in August 1946, India again sees massive rioting on Direct Action Day. On this day, the Muslims in Kolkata basically get a free for all and kill 4,000 people, and render another 1,00,000 homeless within 3 days of rioting. Surprisingly, this, or the violence endured by the Bengalis in the partition of 1947, does not find mention in the popular narrative of the 1947 partition violence. The violence in UP, Punjab, and Delhi is highlighted in these narratives. 

The intelligentsia, in the meantime, returns to its ivory towers, taking no responsibility for the hatred that they have fanned for more than a decade. The Press takes no responsibility for its role in the Carnage. 

Only one person works at this time - Vallabhbhai Patel. He is the natural leader of the party. He works tirelessly to unite the princely states into India. He is poised to be the Prime Minister when power is transferred. 

2023-24: There will be massive religion based killing and culling. The powers that be will make no effort to save the common man. The intelligentsia will return to its ivory tower, Tut-tutting the violence and the intolerance. The media will accept no blame for lopsided reporting and incendiary writing. 
Amit Shah will work during this time to ensure that there is unification of  India. 

1947: Two things happen: 
1. One million people from both sides are dead. 
2. Nehru, who was not being taken seriously by anyone, is, in a sudden, swift movement by Gandhi, made the PM of India. 

2024: Two things will happen: 
1. More than one million people from both sides are dead. 
2. Rahul Gandhi, whom no one takes seriously as PM material, will become the Prime Minister of India. 

1948: Within 6 months of Nehru becoming PM, Gandhi is dead. This is the third attempt by Godse, but the first to succeed. He succeeds in the super secure Birla House. No enquiry is ordered into how he gained access to Gandhi in the first place. No one asks how the British could keep Gandhi safe but not Nehru. 

Power does not leave the hands of the dynasty since then. When Shastri is elected PM, he is killed in Tashkent. No post-mortem is ordered, and within 9 days, Indira, who is not even a senior leader in the party, is made the PM without an election. 1984, when Indira dies, her son, who has no political experience at all, is made the Prime Minister overnight and without elections. At that time, he was not even an elected parliamentarian nor the leader of the party. 

The only difference between 1947 and 2024 is this: 
In 2024, there is no Gandhi. I think that whoever is following that 1936-47 script is missing this very important point.

Update: This has been my theory for many months now. It was only after the recent violent protests that left many people dead, that my blood boiled enough to do some basic research and put these things down in a coherent blog post. Unfortunately, the archives I had seen to understand the partition of India (God knows when, many years ago) are no longer available, and i did not store them, bcs i honestly didn't think that we would go through this again. So I will go through whatever is still available online and present whatever is possible, by and by. 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Why rioting happens in India?

Today's GK question:

Why were only Punjab, Sindh, and Bengal partitioned in 1947? 

They were not the only high-Muslim areas of India (UP-Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra). They were not geographically together (in fact, 2 ends of the subcontinent)

So, why were they the only ones partitioned?

Think Think..

Don't know?
Here's the next thing. This is a list of major communal disturbances since independence.
What is common to all of them? 
1969: Gujarat
1979-84: Punjab
Mid 1980s: Naxal Movement in Andhra Pradesh
1992: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Hyderabad
2002: Gujarat
2014 Onwards: All over India.

If you haven't figured it out, here's a hint for you: (you can stop reading anytime)

1936: The first elections under the modern federal system are held in India. The elections are held in 11 provinces. 
These are the results:
The Congress swept the polls. It won absolute majority in 5 provinces viz. Madras, United Provinces, Central provinces, Bihar & Orissa, Bombay. In Assam and North West Frontier Province it emerged at the largest political party and formed the governments. Later Assam and NWFP also came under Congress rule.

In Bengal, Punjab, and Sind, the Congress had no majority. 

It is NOT a coincidence that these three places were the seats of the most brutal political mauling in 1947. Sindh was completely cut off, Punjab and Bengal were brutalised.
The Congress does not forget. Or Forgive.

1945/46: In the provincial elections of 1945, The Muslim League won ALL the seats reserved for Muslims. i.e., for all their appeasement, the Congress did not win even ONE seat where Muslims were in majority. These seats were in the same geographies - Sindh, Punjab, Bengal.

Even though UP/Bihar had a lot of Muslim population, the rioting happened in the places where the Congress lost its seats.

Who was blamed for the violence? The Muslim League and the Hindu Mahasabha.

Do you know what a general call for rioting and killing Hindus is called in Indian history? It is called, not The Day of the Great Massacre, or "The Day of Calcutta Riots" , but simply "Direct Action Day". The killing of 5000 people and the burning of homes for 1,00,000 people is called "Direct Action Day"

Result: In 1946, The Congress saw that there was no way to win these territories. These territories were cut out and given to Pakistan. The Congress won.

1977: The Akali Dal becomes powerful in Punjab and the Akali alliance wins 13 out of 13 seats Lok Sabha seats in Punjab.  

Out of nowhere, Bhindrawale is brought out and raised as a hero. Over the next few years, Punjab saw what even the British could manage to do - divide Hindus and Sikhs in Punjab. Once Bhindrawale was created, Pakistan used the opportunity completely.

Who was blamed: Only Bhindrawale was blamed for Bhindrawale, and Pakistan provided the money.
We needed to do Operation Bluestar and KPS Gill needed to work for years to uproot the insurgency problem. 

Result: After losing the 1977 elections badly, the Congress came back to power in the 1980 elections. Since then, the Congress and Akali Dal have been alternating power in the state.

1967: Gujarat: The Indian National Congress loses foothold to Swatantra Party , and Congress itself splits. 

The communal problems start getting bigger and bigger, until, in 1969: The famous 1969 Gujarat riots take place. 

Result: 1972: Congress returns to power with 140 out of 168 seats. 

There is communal harmony again until 1990, when Janta Dal + BJP form power and Congress loses power once again. 

Mid 1980s: Naxal Movement in Andhra Pradesh 
In 1983, the Indian National Congress lost to the Telugu Desam Party for the first time in independent India. Within 2 years, by 1985, the Naxalite movement was a major problem in Andhra Pradesh. 

Who was blamed: The Naxalites were blamed for the violence. 

Result: Congress returned to power in 1989. Now, the 2 parties alternate power in the state. The Naxawl movement was slowly and painfully curtailed. Some people are still scared to venture to those areas. 

1992: Rioting iin the wake of Babri Demolition in Dec 1992. 
In fact, 1992 saw rioting in many other states - most notably Mumbai in Maharashtra and Hyderabad in Andhra. But you don't even hear about it. Do you know why? Because in 1992-3, the Congress was in power in Andhra Pradesh and in Maharashtra. But you only hear about Gujarat.

Result: In the subsequent elections, the Congress consolidated its position. The Congress has not been able to return to power in Gujarat. Which means that the Gujarat riot cases after 1992 (including the 2002 riots) simply refuse to die from the public's memory, while the 1969 riots are never mentioned.

We see a similar pattern in 1992, when Narsimha Rao was in power at the center. As the Home Minister in 1984, he had wanted to reduce the bloodshed in the rioting. For this, he was never forgiven by the dynasty. Further, the Congress govt in 1992 was a minority govt and the Congress needed to consolidate its position.

So in 1992, there was massive rioting in the country. Instead of treating this like an organised riot, these cases were treated as spontaneous public response.

No one saw a thing. No enquiries were set up into who did these riots, no one was punished for the 1992 riots.

2014: The Congress loses power decisively and at the helm is a leader who is a serious challenge to the dynasty. What's worse, the dynasty has no pm face to show.

Start, the gradual seeding of the communal headlines. (I have a separate post on that one)

The headlines and the Hindu nation (sorry... Hindutva headlines) reach a crescendo by the 2019 elections.

But the electorate has been quiet, and very one-sided. The BJP comes back with 303 seats in the parliament. So the communal hatred stories must continue. 

So, what is the point? 
The point is NOT that every time the Congress loses, there is a communal riot. The point is that every time there is a communal attack/riot, the Congress has either just lost, or is about to lose an election.  In fact, over other instances, i figured it is actually quite specific. When the DYNASTY is out of power, there are communal riots until the dynastic order is restored.

So, if you want a communal riot, all you have to do is rout the Congress in an election. OR, threaten th power of the Congress. And there WILL be massive bloodshed and hatred. 


Friday, January 24, 2020

Main Vaari Samiye

After realising how close we are to 1947 again, I have started to wonder if I will have the courage to jump into a well and die, or endanger my son in any way.

And suddenly, the song Main Vaari jaanva Samiye, becomes all too real.

This is a good rendition:

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Humour as a profession in India

You might think that stand up comedy is a new career path in India. But that's not true. Humour has been a career path in India for a very long time. Not just that, there were categories of humourists in India.

India has a long and abiding history of humour as a profession. Here are some that I know of, and researched:

मसखरे: The maskharas were not professionals. They were people who went about cracking jokes just because it was in their nature. Some people rewarded them with food, but most rewarded them with laughter and some amount of disdain. The maskhara was not an aspirational social or economic status.
However, in Persia, they have been known to be a special group of people who danced in ecstasy and also gave the world the word "masquerade" as they dressed in animal costumes and the like. 
The Persian glory, by the time it reached India, had become a word that meant little more than a person who cracks jokes at the expense of others.

They were found all the way from Persia to UP and Bihar.

बेहरुपीये: The Behrupiyas have long been inspired awe and disdain. They used to go from village to village, performing as folk artists do in India, instinctively and sporadically, collecting whatever they could, and living on that. Like the नट, they were folk performers. The most famous narrative of a Behrupiya is in the discovery of Raja Birbal. Apparently, a Behrupiya was dressed like an ox. Everyone applauded the performance and left. When everyone had gone, a young lad picked up a small stone and hit the "ox" with it to observe its reaction. And then, the young man applauded. Intrigued, a noble approached the young boy and asked why he applauded after everyone. The young man replied, "When I threw the stone, it caught the performer unawares. But he shook his skin as a real ox would. That was splendid. So I applauded."
This young boy was Mahesh Das, and that day, he was discovered as Raja Birbal.

I found this nice writeup about Behrupiyas. 

But here is the thing abt Behrupiyas. They were also expressly used as spies. Unlike the others, who were all performers, the skill of the Behrupiyas was valuable to the espionage network.

The Behrupiyas are documented all over the country, at least upto the Vindhyas and Satpuras.

भांड:  Who doesn't know the Bhand? The custodian of all things humour, and the performer who fears none and is shy of nothing?
The Bhaand was a person who relied heavily on bawdy humour and used that to tickle the funny bones of the audience. The word भौंडा (Indecent) comes from भांड।
The Bhaands were less skilled than the Bahrupiya in the art of disguise, and did not have the folk tales to support them (except in Kashmir). They usually drew their humour from bawdy stories that they made up, or sometimes, like Maskharas, from their immediate environment.
The most famour Bhaand we know is Gopal Bhaand of Bengal.
Here is the Wiki article on Bhaands:

And here is a traditional  Bhaand performance from Punjab. 

स्वांग: Swaang literally means "Being what one is not" . As a performace art, it is famous all over North India, at least upto the Vindhyas.
Unlike the others, where the performer is important, in Swaang, the performance is important, and it requires very little training. In fact, at Punjabi weddings, teh Swaang is an essential ritual and it is usually done by a female relative during the Sangeet.

This is an academic paper on Swaang, but Swaang is essentially a people's art form with a lot of humour.

And here is Swaang in Haryana. 

जमूरा-उस्ताद: Unlike other forms, this one rarely travelled beyond the Hindoostan - the Doab region, where it was reported, and where it remained. The crowd laughs at the Jamoora, and the Ustad choreographs the humour sequence through actions, props, costumes, but most of all, through a well-modulated voice, and brief yet witty dialogues.

विदूषक: Many of you may have heard that the Vidooshak is the Court Jester. BUT the word Vidooshak comes from wisdom - Vidya. Vidooshak literally means the one who does vidya (the performer of wisdom). So the Vidooshak was not, strictly speaking, a jester. The Vidooshak was expected to be witty AND wise. Which are the two names that come to mind? Birbal and Tenalirama. Spot On.

This post is limited to the humour professionals found from the Punjab to the Doab, upto the Vindhyas. The humour professionals of the south are not included here, simply bcs i am not familiar with them. If you know of any more humour traditions from India, please mention them in the comments.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Book Reviews: Unnatural Causes and The Richest Man in Babylon

This book is a miracle worker. It brought me out of the ennui that must engulf all avid readers at some point. That search for a book that puts the passion back in reading ended with this book for me. 

The book is a forensic pathologist's professional autobiography. It traces his journey from the 1980s to the present, and in the process, also the journey of the profession, and surprisingly, of marriage as an institution. If it is possible to bring romance to the work of post-mortems, he does it successfully. A person like me, who is now averse to all things gore and violence, read with fascination about lacerations. 

It was after a really long time that one could call a book a real page-turner. Evening turned to night, night to midnight, and midnight to early morning. The next morning, the newspaper was ignored and this book finished instead. 

Probably the best thing about the book is how easy it makes a difficult (in more ways than one) subject, how well it weaves the tapestry of the professional and the personal, demonstrating how one affects the other, sometimes, irretrievably. 

The second good thing is how well the author balances the topic without giving in to the temptation of using hyperbole, gossip, or  sensationalism. In fact, to write a book about crime without giving in to sensationalism, is an achievement by itself. 

One gets to know the various aspects of being a forensic pathologist - the stakeholders, the physical and scientific challenges, the process, the political and legal processes that one must contend with, and how they have changed over a period of time. This variety of facets, I think, contributes greatly to the reading experience. 

The book is a gripping read - all 442 pages of it. 

I picked this up because it dealt with Wealth Management, and told stories. So, one thought that this might be a good book to teach wealth management to children. It is good for children. But it is absolutely essential for young adults. 

The first few episodes, that deal with how to accumulate wealth and put it to use even if one starts from nothing, are interesting. After the solutions are presented, they appear very obvious, just like a Sherlock Holmes story. But each solution is brilliant in its simplicity. 
Why every young adult (and most of us not-so-young adults) need this lesson/reminder is that most of us appear to have forgotten it. The standard savings rate of India (40%), which was also partly blamed for the Hindu rate of growth, is now completely unheard of, at least in modern metro families. In fact, in some families and for some young adults, the savings rate is negative (leading to that tragic financial cancer - the debt trap). 

RBI data tells us that the savings rate is still 37.8% in 2019, but I doubt that it is uniformly spread. In fact, my suspicion is that there is a very strong skew in savings rates. But back to the book review. 

As the book progresses, it deals with more complex issues – Is luck real? How does one deal with debt? The answers are very realistic and convincing too. 

The techniques of story telling and dialogue are as old as history itself. Both are used liberally in this book, and with good effect. 

Halfway through the book, you wonder if this is all real. As if the author has read your mind, the book ends with a description of Babylon and its riches. 

I recommend this to all young adults, and everyone else dealing with personal wealth uncertainty or illiteracy. 

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Alternative therapies for cancer

Here are 3 tried and tested alternative healing doctors who have saved lives and improved quality or extended lifetimes. Please consult well with them before you make any decision and don't forget to share all details. Most of them can be taken along with chemo therapy.
1. Kamdgenu Girivihar Trust - Valsad - 1 hour from Surat airport - tried and tested by Amit Vaidya who released a bestselling book on his cancer recovery journey - 'Holy Cow - how a cow saved my life ' . It's a 7 day treatment at the centre ( depending on your reports ) Very clean. One family member allowed to.stay with patient. They treat using cow products only. 08141880808 ( Cannot be administered with chemo ) Accepts patients with stable blood works. Please call before going.
2. Narayan Murthy - from Shimoga , Karnataka. This medicine is made from barks of trees rich in antioxidants. It's their family secret and very recently they have started couriering medicine. I am aware if many many cases who have been cured/ better life and can be taken with Chemo. They entertain chats via WhatsApp and you can share Pet scan blood reports via WhatsApp. They choose a medicine and will take paytm payment of 3000 a month. The medicine has a strict way of preparation they will share the details. I recommend them completely. At first I thought it's a hoax since who.sends online? But after success in last few years they decided to spread the goodness. You can also visit Narayan Murthy in Shimoga with reports in case you want to meet in person. Their medicine did wonders and we could see effect in 2-3 days. Number to reach is +919014646206 ( you can refer my name vishala Katta in case they ask)
All the best. So glad to be of some assistance. chin up. No cries. And no loathing sympathetic relatives / friends. I have personally researched all three. Please use your discretion and gut instinct. Don't mix them all up.
- Vishala Katta
*I have removed the second reco bcs apparently that doc has retired. 

Another reco given by someone else on this thread: Navgrah Ashram , Bhilwara.

Posted here only for reference. Just in case it helps anyone. 

On the radicalisation of Islam

So, I can't stop thinking of this.
1. Not ONE Islamic country has benefited from the radicalisation of Islam. Not ONE.
2. In each case, radicalisation was enforced, not by the majority, but by a small, well-armed, and well-funded group, which then went on to use armed occupation to enforce radicalisation. (Turkey is an exception)
A. Who was paying? How were they well-armed and well-funded?
B. Who is benefitting?

Sunday, January 05, 2020

On CAA: (and NOT NRC.)

My dear friends: I completely respect your opinion, even if it differs diametrically from mine, if you have read the laws.

I also watch with amusement your reading of the 42nd Amendment Preamble that was created as an absolute act of tyranny in post independence India (Watch The Tashkent Files to know how this Preamble was pushed through and what it really stands for. OR read the history of the 42nd Amendment yourself).

I also accept your unwillingness to read the Act, but to arrive at flash judgement and give a completely unrelated twist to the Amendment whose only job is to give disenfranchised victims of religious persecution a semblance of dignity - some 6 years sooner. That's all. Giving them and their families 6 years of dignity. NOT subverting the need for documents. NOT creating a backdoor. NOT welcoming new migrants into India. Just giving some people 6 years of life.

AND I accept your willingness to remain voluntarily unaware but polarised, making assumptions about an Act that has not been framed yet, and connecting dots that are completely unrelated.

BUT, if after this, you say one word against the attack on Nankana Sahib, then, my dear friend, I will truly lose all respect for you.

Because voluntary ignorance and difference of opinion is one thing. Hypocrisy is quite another. 

You have chosen one side of the table. Now stay there.

By the way, it hasn't occurred to any intelligent folks yet, but the CAA could have gone through and a representation could have been made to the government to include the others, one by one. There was no need to deny this benefit to those who need it so much.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Quotes for 2020

Blinkers block the view of exactly one person - the wearer.
India is not secular because of its Constitution. It is secular because of its population.
Has anyone else realised yet that NOT ONE Islamic country has benefitted from the radicalisation of Islam? In fact, every single one of them has been impoverished beyond belief.
So, who's paying?
In hindsight, we know that all wars are triggered by small, seemingly simple actions.
In foresight, we don't know which ones.
The silent are not stupid. Wisdom is quiet for a reason.
The business model of Cambridge Analytica was not made viable by Facebook.  It was made viable by people who don't do fact checks,  people who are not self critical,  and people skip don't insist on getting and understanding 2 perspectives before agreeing with one.
The path to world peace passes through cherished hobbies and sweating armpits,  not ivory towers and bleeding hearts. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

New Year Thoughts..

All of us think that our circle of influence is too small and insignificant in the larger order of things. But consider this: Anyone interacting with us also slots us into at least 3-4 'classes'. For instance, I am a woman, parent, Hyderabadi, Delhiwali, Punjabi, Sikh, development sector person, consultant….

When we interact with people, we are giving them a data point, not just about us, but about all the classes into which we have been unconsciously slotted.

So many ppl have said, "We always thought that XYZ are very snooty, but you are so down to earth and humble."
- That is an exception data point about all XYZ that this person will encounter, and will discuss IXYZ with.

So what? Does that mean anything perceptibly larger than what we currently think our circle of influence is?

In a simple mathematical calculation, if you have 10 new interactions a day, and each of them slots you into 2 classes (a bare minimum), and each class has a population of 10,000 (less than the bare minimum), you create an impression/behavioural data point about 2,00,000 people every day. 
Over a productive lifetime of 55 years.. I leave the Maths to you.

THAT is your true power. Use it well.