Monday, September 1, 2014

PROud Kabaddi


Jaipur Pink Panthers have become first ever Pro Kabaddi champions beating UMumba 35-24 in an action-packed clash yesterday.

According to latest TRP ratings Kabaddi has become the second most watched game in India next to IPL. People are thrilled to see a gali-mohalla game to reach such heights of popularity while the other games like hockey and football has been striving for such popularity in India for many years now.

The Indianness of Kabaddi makes it special. It originated in Indian soil and hence has an Indian essence in it.

For example, the concept of 'revival' or 'sanjeevani' of a player when a raider scores touch point in oppositions's half. It means the 'out' player can be brought to life again. This is symbolically equal to the concept of rebirth in most of India-born religions like Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism where life is cyclical. This concept in missing in other sports like cricket, boxing etc wherein out literally means out. You can not return back to the game once you are declared out. It strikes similarity with western mythology where life is linear and so you have only one life. Hence the sense of urgency arises to do everything, achieve everything in one lifetime.
Another example in Kabaddi is of a raider fighting for a point in opposition's half in order to revive his teammate. This exhibits Indian belief system of paropkar and karma. This is not evident in foreign games like relay race wherein a player passes batons to his teammate who then runs for fulfilling former's goal.

Signing off with a note - Lets enjoy this wonderful game and keep alive its essence. 'Khel Kabaddi!'

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

गर्व से कहो हम हिन्दू है


सरे देश का मीडिया और Secularism के रक्षक बेचारे मोहन भागवत के ऊपर टूट पड़े है। जैसे उन्होंने कोई नया बयान दे दिया है या बहुत बड़ी बात बोल दी हो। वास्तव में मोहन भगवत ऐसे बयान देते रहे है और ये ही उनका काम भी है। जिस दल के वे सदस्य है वो ये सालो से करता आया है। शुरुवात सावरकर ने की थी (जो की RSS से जुड़े हुए नहीं थे) जब उन्होंने एक परचा बाटा था जिसमे हिन्दू की परिभाषा को चुनोती दी गयी थी। तब से आज तक ये सवाल कई बार उठता रहा है और उठता रहेग. क्यों? क्युकी idea cellular के विज्ञापन की तरह हम तब तक उल्लू बनते रहेंगे जब तक हम अपने अक्ल के परदे पीछे न कर दे।



जिन लोगों को पूरी बात मालूम नहीं है उनको में बता दू की हाल ही में मोहन भागवत के बयान आये जिसमे उन्होंने ऐसी बातें कही जो की कुछ लोगो को आपत्तिजनक लगी:-
  • यह देश एक हिन्दू राष्ट्र है और हिंदुत्व इसकी पहचान है
  • इस देश में रहने वाले सभी लोगो की पहचान हिन्दू है
  • अमेरिका में रहने वाला अमेरिकन, जर्मनी में जर्मन तो हिंदुस्तान में रहने वाला हिन्दू क्यों नहीं?
  • हिंदुत्व मतलब hinduism नहीं बल्कि hindu-ness है
Refer: Link 1 and Link 2

आप भी सोच रहे होगे की इसमें क्या गलत है? अब इन्ही बातो को किसी minority लीडर के मुख से सुने तो ये कैसी लगेगी:
  • भारत हिन्दू राष्ट्र नहीं है, भारत secular state है. और संविधान भी येही कहता है की हम भारतीय है और भारत हमारा देश है
  • किसी मुस्लमान की पहचान हिन्दू शब्द कैसे हो सकता है 
  • इस देश का नाम भारत है और हम सब भारतीय है. अगर हिंदुस्तान देश का नाम रखना है तो हम हिंदुस्तानी क्यों नहीं? सिर्फ हिन्दू क्यों?
  • हिंदुत्व का मतलब हिन्दू लोगो का मुसलमानों के ऊपर वर्चस्व बनाये रखने वाला आन्दोलन है
आपत्ति सिर्फ मुस्लमान minority के शुभचिंतक को हो रही है। बाकि सभी minorities जैसे सिख, christian को कोई परेशानी नहीं है। 

इस पुरे विवाद में भागवत जी उल्लू बना रहे है और बाकी सब उल्लू बन रहे है। क्युकी वे हिन्दू शब्द के साथ खेल रहे है। वे जब चाहे हिन्दू शब्द को धर्म से जोड़ देते है और जब चाहे उसे संस्कृति की परिभाषा दे देते है। शब्दों से खेलना भी एक कला है! ऐसा करने से उनका उल्लू तो सीधा हो जाता है मगर बेचारे 'भोले-भाले' लोग बहक जाते है और दंगा फसाद हो जाता है। अब इसमें भागवत जी की क्या गलती!

भारत   नेपाल   भारत    सऊदी अरब 
 धर्म  सनातन सनातन  मुस्लमान   मुस्लमान 
 संस्कृति  हिन्दू  नेपाली  हिन्दू   अरबी (Saudi)
 नागरिकता  भारतीय  नेपाली  भारतीय   अरबी (Saudi)
हमे चाहिए की हम हिन्दू शब्द के मतलब को समझे। हिन्दू कोई धर्म नहीं है बल्कि संस्कृति है। जो लोग वेद पुराण को मानते है वो लोग सनातन धर्म के अनुयायी है ठीक वैसे ही जैसे कुरान को मानने वाले मुसल्मान। परन्तु भारत में रहने वाला हिन्दू नेपाल में रहने वाले हिन्दू से सांस्कृतिक रूप से अलग है ठीक वैसे ही जैसे भारत में रहने वाला मुसलमान अरब देशो वाले मुस्लमान से। 
हमे हिन्दू शब्द को बाँटने वाली नज़रो से नहीं जोड़ने वाली नज़रो से देखना होगा और इसे निःसंकोच अपनाना होगा। इसीमें देश हित है।  

आओ गर्व से कहे हम हिन्दू है
(सांस्कृतिक रूप से)

Friday, August 15, 2014

In search of Indian Independence Day


India is a country of festivals - this is an unforgettable line from school-time essay on Diwali. This line suddenly jumped from the subconscious section to the think-and-process section of my mind when few days back I read that Dainik Bhaskar has started a campaign to boycott Raksha Bandhan -a hindu festival. This initiative was named I pledge to respect woman:
Case I - Forced celebration
What happened next was a bunch of 'sanskriti ke rakshak' started #boycottdainikbhaskar movement online. They said it's anti-hindu and Dainik Bhaskar has no right to forcefully stop hindus from celebrating their festival.  Leading to Dainik Bhaskar abandoning the initiative with immediate effect.

Case II - Forced boycott
Bajarang Dal (another breed of sanskriti ke rakshak) are also known for all the hungama they create on Valentine's Day. Their point here is that Valentine's Day is not a hindu festival and it is against hindu sanskriti. Hence it is their moral duty to stop young boys and girls from celebrating it. And if found they have moral policing rights over them from beating, humiliating, stripping to whatever bad you could think off.

Case III - Forced way to celebrate
Mr. Dina Nath Batra, also known as 'Book Ban Man' recently published his books under the umbrella of 'Siksha Bachao Samiti'. These books were made 'compulsory readings' in government schools by Gujarat government. His books are aimed at teaching hindu culture to students which include following:

  1. Stop wearing western clothes, blowing off candles and cutting cake on your birthday
  2. Include countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Burma when drawing map of India (Akhand Bharat)
  3. Celebrate 14th Aug as 'Akhand Bharat Smriti Divas'
  4. Division of India is unnatural and it can be united again
Forced moral policing in above 3 cases raises following questions:


  • Dainik Bhaskar didn't do any thing wrong. It was an 'initiative' not 'compulsion'. It was an appeal for good cause. Since when appealing has become moral crime?
  • If someone want to force me to celebrate a festival (Raksha Bandhan) because it is Hindu festival and do not allow me to celebrate a festival (Valentine's Day) because it is foreign, then do they have courage to stand against the prime minister of country on 15th Aug and ask him not to celebrate 'Indian' Independence Day because the concept of celebration of independence day is also foreign?
  • Mr. Dina Nath Batra should 'sell' his books with intention of teaching 'good habits' to students and not hindu sanskriti or Indian culture. Because whatever is being taught by him is/was never part of this culture. Do you remember how Ram/Krishna celebrated his birthday? Is there an mention of not cutting cake and blowing off candles in Vedas? Where does this comes from? It comes from the minds of these sanskriti ke rakshak and not from any religious book. Should we celebrate Akhand Bharat Divas, just because someone thinks his philosophy is right? Is teaching students to unite India with neighboring countries equivalent to LeT's teaching in Madarsa?


When Ram won battle and Lanka was set free, it was celebrated. But not as 'Lankan' Independence Day! Hindus call this celebration as Vijayadashmi and they have not forgotten it. It is still celebrated and arguably larger than the 'Indian' Independence Day.

The point I want to make here is that there is a group of people who think that their version of story is the ultimate truth and they have right to impose their way of living on others. They forget that we are as much Indian as they are. We celebrate and enjoy our Indian-ness every day, each moment more than they can imagine. 
So why don't they just let us be free, each and every day of our life. Then will be a true 'Indian' Independence Day celebration in country.... through out the year.

Jai Hind! Jai Bharat!

Friday, July 25, 2014

CWG 2014: Weightlifting - Men's 56 Kg


India had a very good day in the weightlifting. After the Gold and Silver in the Woman's competition, both of the Indian Male lifters also lifted medals, Gold and Bronze this time.

 





Here is how the events unfolded in chronological order:

In the halfway, two participating Indians are doing fairly well occupying 1st and 3rd positions.

2nd is defending Malaysian champion and 5th is Pakistani weightlifter who failed in his 2nd and 3rd attempt.



Indian team members are Ganesh Mali and Sukhen Dey:

Ganesh Mali



Lot of Indian support in the hall.

The second half is not going that good for India.
Leader in the first half, Ganesh has failed the first two attempts in the second half, second being controversial. It was called clean at first but the Jury intervened and reversed the decision.







But he finally made the third attempt successful and still leads the table. But all his attempts are finished and others are yet to lift.



Mohd. Faisal from Malaysia is the defending champion. But he failed in all his three attempts in the second half and hence out of the medal race. Good news for India so far.

South African lifter suddenly comes into the game making a successful lift in the second attempt of the second half.

Sukhen Dey is leading the race with a wonderful lift in the first attempt.

Sukhen Dey is definitely getting the gold here with second successful lift.

Dey is going for the world record now. No he fails this attempt. He has to satisfy with the Gold.

Sukhen Dey:
 










 


 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pakistan fighting Taliban is like taking antibiotics when the infection is peaked!



In an interesting development, Pakistani Air-force is executing it’s operation Prophet’s Sword in which it is bombing the Talibani hideouts. Something which India was demanding since long!

But when the Talibani militancy has gone completely out of hand and they have attacked Karachi last week, Pakistan seems to have woken up to the fact that if this Cancer – which it was feeding mostly because of Kashmir – is not controlled now, then they will have to worry about Islamabad rather than Kashmir.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

How Modi's SAARC move is both Calculative and Foresighted ?




Modi is going to be sworn in the Prime Minister of the Nation on Monday 26th May 2014 at 6 PM. In the ceremony that is going to be held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, invitations are being sent to the guests suggested by the Modi's office through the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Even if we do not ponder on the depth and the dimensions of the move, it looks like a step in the right direction. India is too big a nation to ignore it's neighbours and not play a leaders role in the region; something that it was doing since decade and which has therefore tarnished it's image and supremacy in the world and especially South Asia.

So, firstly, this move is commendable as a step towards restoring that image and also for taking SAARC to a meaningful position.

Puting Sharif in a fix.

Secondly, extending an invite to Sharif as well, as a member of SAARC nation has many dimensions to it. One is not giving Pakistan any undue importance at the very beginning of the Modi era. Which otherwise would have been the case if only Nawaz Sharif was invited.

Another dimension is putting Sharif in a fix by extending him a invite knowing that it would be difficult for him to personally accept the invite as PM Manmohan Singh refused similar invitation extended by Pakistan at the time of Sharif's swearing-in ceremony. 



The Foresightedness 

Even before the results of the 16th Lok Sabha Elections were out, there was a huge uneasiness in Pakistan over the possible crowning of Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister of India.

BJP is perceived as pro-nation party with an image of having an ideology which is capable of taking strong steps when provoked. Be it the Kargil War or the Nuke test of Pokharan; BJP has certainly added feathers in the cap of the National strength.

This image get magnified many times when the name of Modi comes into picture. Another dimension of pro-hindu leader emerges which further increases the heartbeats of our neighbour.

In this backdrop, it is only suitable for Modi to project his willingness to work towards cooperation and peace with Pakistan though this step. In future, if there are any unfavourable circumstances because of seize-fire violations or terror attempts, Modi will be in a position to tell the world that he tried for peace but it did not work.


Whether Pakistani PM chooses to come himself or send his representative is secondary; the main thing is that Modi has made his first move which is no less than checkmate for many. Even Congress and Omer Abdullah are praising Modi for this move! Future is going to be interesting.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

लोकतंत्र में परिवारवाद


आज वरुण गांधी ने अपना नामांकन सुल्तानपुर से किया।  नामांकन करने के तुरंत बाद उन्होंने अपनी बहन प्रियंका के आरोपों का जवाब दिया। इन भाई-बहन के वाद-विवाद को सुन कर मन में यह प्रश्न उठा की परिवारवाद से राजनैतिक पार्टियो का फायदा हुआ है या नुकसान। सवाल जितना आसान है जवाब उतना ही मुश्किल।

बात भारत की हो रही है पर परिवारवाद भारत की उपज नहीं है। अमरीका का केनेडी परिवार, पडोसी पाकिस्तान का भुट्टो परिवार, उत्तर कोरिया का किम परिवार। अगर सूचि बनाने लगे तो अनगिनत परिवारवाद के उदाहरण मिल जाएंगे।

भारत में परिवारवाद की नीव रखने का श्रेय जाता है नेहरू-गांधी परिवार को। आज़ादी के बाद के लगभग ६० साल के राज में से ३५ साल सत्ता इसी परिवार के हाथ में रही है। अन्य राजनैतिक पार्टिया चाहे कांग्रेस के खिलाफ क्यों न हो पर एक चीज़ तो सभी ने कांग्रेस से सीख ली - परिवारवाद। अगर वामपंथी दलों को छोड़ दे तो शायद ऐसी कोई पार्टी न मिले जिसमे परिवारवाद की जड़े न फैली हो।

  • कांग्रेस - नेहरू-गांधी परिवार, हुड्डा परिवार
  • बी जे पी - राजनाथ परिवार, सिंधिया परिवार, जसवंत सिंह (पूर्व सदस्य)
  • स पा - मुलायम सिंह यादव परिवार (यू पी)
  • अकाली दल - बादल परिवार (पंजाब)
  • इ ने लो - चौटाला परिवार (हरियाणा)
  • लो ज पा - पासवान परिवार (बिहार)
  • जे के एन सी - अब्दुल्ला परिवार (कश्मीर)
  • एन सी पी -  पवार परिवार (महाराष्ट्र)
  • शिव सेना - ठाकरे परिवार (महाराष्ट्र)
  • बी ज द - पटनायक परिवार (ओडिसा)
  • रा ज द - लालू प्रसाद यादव परिवार (बिहार)
  • टी डी पी - एन टी आर परिवार (आंध्र प्रदेश)
  • वाय एस आर कांग्रेस - वाय एस आर परिवार (आंध्र प्रदेश)
  • डी एम के - करूणानिधि परिवार (तमिल नाडु)
  • आप - राजमोहन गांधी (सांकेतिक रूप से)

सवाल यह उठता है की क्या राजनैतिक पार्टी बिना परिवार के नहीं चल सकती? या परिवार बिना पार्टी के नहीं चल सकते?
कांग्रेस की बात की जाये तो लगता है की बिना गांधी परिवार के कांग्रेस बिखर जाएगी। ऐसा हुआ भी है जब इंदिरा राजनीती में सक्रिय नहीं हुई थी और जब राजीव के जाने के बाद सीताराम केसरी अध्यक्ष पद संभल रहे थे। ऐसे वक़्त में हर कोंग्रेसी अध्यक्ष या प्रधान मंत्री बन जाना चाहता है। पर जैसे ही कोई गांधी आ जाता है सारे कोंग्रेसी उसकी सत्ता को स्वीकार कर लेते है और आजीवन उनके निचे काम करने को तैयार हो जाते है।
बी जे पी में परिवारवाद को खूब भुनाया गया है। परन्तु कभी बिना परिवार के बिखरती हुई नहीं दिखाई दि। इसका कारण है की बी जे पी के पीछे एक बहुत बड़ा परिवार काम कर रहा है - संघ परिवर। बी जे पी के द्वारा जुटाई गयी शक्ति का असली भोगी यह संघ परिवार है। बी जे पी के अन्य परिवार तो क्षेत्रीय लाभ ही भोग पाते है।
अन्य पार्टिया जैसे स पा, लो ज पा, जे के एन सी, शिव सेना, बी ज द, रा ज द, टी डी पी, वाय एस आर कांग्रेस, डी एम के सिर्फ एक ही परिवार के आधीन रही है और रहेंगी । इन पार्टियो का परिवार से पहले अस्तित्व ना था और ना ही परिवार के बाद रहने की सम्भावना है।

सवाल यह भी उठता है की परिवारवाद में क्या बुराई है, बाप की दुकान अगर बेटा नहीं संभालेगा तो कौन संभालेगा?
इस सवाल का जवाब भी सवाल में ही है। समस्या यही है की कुछ परिवारवादी लोगो ने इस देश की राजनीती को दुकान समझ लिया है। जबकि राजनीती में योग्यता के आधार पर स्थान मिलना चाहिए न की जन्म के आधार पर। इसमें अपवाद के तौर पर अगर कोई योग्य संतान हो तभी उसे स्थान देना चहिये। भारत के मतदाताओं को यह समझ लेना चाहिए की राजनीती में योग्यता सर्वप्रथम आती है। अगर हम आज अयोग्य संतानो को चुन रहे है तो वो दिन दूर नहीं जब हमारी भी स्तिथि सीरिया जैसी होंगी। सीरिया में वंशवादी बशर अल-असद अपने पिता के बाद राष्ट्रपति बने। वहाँ राष्ट्रपति बनने की योग्यता को ४० वर्ष से बदल कर ३४ वर्ष सिर्फ इसलिए कर दिया गया ताकि उस समय ३४ वर्ष के बशर आसानी से राष्ट्रपति बन सके।

परिवारवाद के लिए लोकतंत्र में कोई जगह नहीं है। परन्तु विडंबना देखिये की जो पार्टिया लोकतंत्र को सुरक्षित रखने का दवा कर रही है वे सभी परिवारवाद में फांसी हुई है।

हिंदी में ये मेरा पहला लेख है इसलिए त्रुटियों के लिए माफ़ी चाहता हूँ।

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The number game behind Representation of People Act


The world's biggest voting event is here. More than 81 crore voters are expected to choose their representative using the power of voting given by The Representation of People Act - 1951.

When we open Facebook, Twitter or TV set it is very likely to hear intensive debates on GDP, inflation, women empowerment, corruption, secularism etc. But for actual* voters these debates doesn't really matter. They still vote for food, cloth, shelter, water, roads, electricity etc.

Why this divide in voters?
To answer this I did some interesting calculations**, it goes like this:



Which effectively means that:

  1. Population of India is 2.51 times of what it was in first general election
  2. The number of constituencies in India is 0.11 times of what it was in first general election
  3. So while population of India increased from 35 crore to 123 crore (88 crore more) the constituencies has increased from 489 to 543 (54 more)
  4. In 1951 there was one elected representative for every 7 lakh people
  5. Whereas in 2014 there will be one elected representative for every 22 lakh people
  6. It means the elected representative (our hard working ministers) should work 3 times harder to serve their constituency in 2014 as compared to 1951
  7. And if the elected representative isn't able to work 3 times harder (obviously!) then the remaining 15 lakh people in every constituency becomes 'isolated'. They have no contact with their elected representative. They have no access to information, news and media. They are eventually deprived of basic livelihood needs.

This is what divides voter into 'well informed and connected' or an 'isolated'

Although I am no expert in politics still I could see some simple measures that could be taken to close up this gap:

  • Reforming the Representation of People Act
  • Demarcation of boundaries of constituencies should be done every 5 years instead of 25 years
  • Reduce the size of constituencies. We can't expect 1 M.P. to be reachable to 22 lakh people. It's highly impractical.
  • There should be mandatory mohalla meetings, gram sabhas, or something to connect M.P.s with people. By saying so I DO NOT become an AAPTard.
  • An M.P. must stay in his constituency for half of the hours spent in parliament in a year
  • "Right to News" should be introduced to ensure that TV or news-paper or radio or some medium is available to each and every citizen of India no matter how detached his village may be. Access to news is very important. In absence of news a poor may not know when he is kicked out of BPL zone or how much daily wages is an unemployed eligible under NAREGA.

*Visit a general bogie in train or a government hospital to see them
**Assuming in 1951 people were 100% connected with their representatives

Friday, February 7, 2014

Political Myths and Dharma


Recently when I visited my home town I witnessed what change the Indian politics has brought into the lives of residents. I saw green and saffron colored flags hosted on roof and balcony of houses. Instead of political achievement banners, religious banners are being used to lure votes. I was afraid for “where is such a polar and communal politics leading us?”
The house of green supporter

The house of saffron supporter
Earlier, I did not notice such things in my life because I was like many others, busy in routine job. But now I see them, daily. I see it in ‘kattar soch nahi, yuva josh’. I see it in ‘zehar ki kheti’. I see it destroying my dharma everywhere.


The so called ‘right’ wing (doesn’t matter how wrong they are) wants to bring Ram Rajya back. They want India to be declared a Hindu Rashtra. They want to re-define Hindutva.
Meanwhile, the counterpart talks just opposite.


There are myths being spread. If one follows them he/she can never uphold his/her dharma.


Myth: HINDUTVA is proprietary Hindu
Fact: Hindutva, as per supreme court is the way of life. It is equivalent to Indian-ness. But people of India are being misinformed about it that Hindutva is subject to only Hindus. Hindutva doesn’t relate to one Hindu religion. It includes all religions of India.


Myth: We will bring back RAM RAJYA
Fact: Ram Rajya, as per Ramayan is the period of reign of Lord Ram. There is no pain, no injustice in Ram Rajya. No son dies before father. No couple remain childless. Everything is just perfect. Only Ram is king, the chakravarti ruler of Ram Rajya. Can a politician rule like him or is it a myth being spread?


Myth: RAM RAJYA begins in May 2014
Fact: Ram Rajya, was true in treta yuga. In Treta yuga, the bull of dharma stood on 3 legs. It symbolizes that dharma was held more firmly in treta yuga. In next yuga i.e. dwapar yuga, the bull of dharma stood on 2 legs symbolizing decline of dharma. In current yuga i.e. kalyug, the bull of dharma is standing on 1 leg. The decline of dharma has reached its bare minimum in this yuga. And finally at the end of Kalyug the nature will be destroyed and recreated. Then the life cycle will repeat itself. Then will be born one more Ram in treta yuga and his reign will be called Ram Rajya once again. Those who understand the essence of cycles in Hindu dharma knows that Ram Rajya can't be reality in kalyug.

Myth: RAM is a warrior figure
Fact: Often we come across a picture of Ram holding a bow and arrow, ready to aim and shoot. This is the picture we see in political banners. But do we worship this Ram? Do you recall the image of Ram seen in temple? As per temples images he is picturized as a family figure. A man who sit with his wife, brothers and devotees in peace. Similarly Krishna is worshiped as Bal-Gopal and Radha-Krishna holding flute in his hands. Do we worship his poster riding Arjun's chariot in battlefield? Is the politicization of Hindu God historically, culturally and morally correct?

Ram as a warrior
Myth: We have to fight and save AYODHYA
Fact: Ayodhya means A-Yudha. A place which should not be fought about. A kingdom which never attacked anyone. A kingdom of wise king and happy retinue. A kingdom where dharma is upheld. A kingdom where helpless, minority, untouchables each one is protected. How can someone save city without protecting citizens?

The political parties in India are well aware of above facts but they are deliberately trying to twist the truth just for their own interest. It is up to us, the people of India what should we follow ; Political Myths or Dharma.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Why BJP is making it Modi Vs. Kejriwal?


The rise of Kejriwal has definitely not gone well with other politicians. It's just like a yesterday's intern in a company gets into the board of directors within no time, how can it be digested by far experienced employees of that organisation?

But that does not give these politicians the licence to pull his legs like they do with one another! The way +Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) has come out against +Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) is surprising!

Why BJP is getting the momentum it presently enjoy is because of two things. Firstly, because of the infamous image that the ruling +Indian National Congress has earned over the last decade of it's governance, most of which coming in the latter and more recent part of the rule. This is probably way too much for the Nation to digest or forget. Even the Vedas say, अति सर्वत्र वर्जयेत् which means 'excess of everything is bad'. Perhaps, they have reached to those heights from where 'aam aadmi' cannot be seen. Secondly, it was because of the emergence of the iconic leaders such as +Narendra Modi. This person has enhanced the image of his party to an extent which is beyond the wildest imagination of Congress Party.

Riding on these two horses, BJP has stormed the Assembly elections leaving Congress lost in the mud beyond recognition. The picture is all very rosey for the BJP till we talk about the man of the moment, Arvind Kejriwal; the mention of whom brings the devil out of the 'Ram-bhakts'. Almost all the leaders of state level BJP party that definitely includes faces like Vijay Jolly and even Chief Ministerial candidate Dr. Harsh Vardhan are coming out openly to criticise AAP and Kejriwal.

Image credit : globalgujaratnews.in


If we take a step back and think why people have voted for BJP, one reason that will overshadow all others will be the love of the people for the Nation. People want to see India progressing and the evils like corruption and bad governance be rooted out entirely. A party like BJP has shown some promise by its good governance in few states like Gujarat & Madhya Pradesh and through the emergence of few iconic leaders. Coupled with the failures of UPA, this change was inevitable. 

But similarly, a new sun has appeared at the political horizon of the country. With the dramatic rise of Aam Aadmi Party in state surrounding the National Capital, new pages are added to the books of history. The story of the emergence of AAP from it's inception to reality is so dramatic that it can give even  bestselling works of fiction run for their money.

If we talk about the reason of the success of AAP, we will see that it is not much different from the reason of the success of BJP. One of which is the failure of the present Government and other is the vision of a better Nation and a better Governance.

More than these political issues, a common nation loving individual would like these parties because of the care for the Nation shown by their popular leaders. You look at Arvind Kejriwal and Narendra Modi, they are loved because people believe that they love the Nation more than anything else. Same cannot be claimed about Manmohan Singh or Rahul Gandhi, who seems more worried for their party.

But the question remains, why the decision makes in BJP cannot see this? Why are they criticising a party which is voted in because of an ideology which is similar to the one their Prime Ministerial candidate propagates? The common man of India who has voted-in BJP with an overwhelming majority in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh only feels proud when he hear about the rise of Arvind Kejriwal in the National Political scenario; a feeling that BJP spokespersons in the media do not share! Even Narendra Modi, who is so much vocal about Rahul Gandhi has not spoken even a single word against Kejriwal yet! Perhaps his team is still trying to analyse whether it will do more harm than good for his campaign. Take a clue!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Section 377 vs Homosexuals vs Religions


A bit of background

Section 377 of Indian Penal Code

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizes sexual activities ‘against the order of nature’ (discussed below). It includes homosexual acts between adults, fellatio (oral sex), anal penetration and sex with minors and animals.
This section is part of historic IPC of 1861 which was introduced in India by then ruling imperial British power.

Delhi High Court’s verdict

In 2009, a historic judgement was given by Delhi High Court which overturned the 150 year old section 377. The 105 page judgement legalizes consensual homosexual activities between adults. It also mentioned that section 377 is against the fundamental right of human citizens. It violates the article 14 of Indian Constitution which states that every citizen has equal opportunity of life and is equal before law. The court also said that the judgment is valid until the Parliament amends a law on this judgement.

Supreme Court’s verdict

On 11th Dec 2013, the Supreme Court of India ruled out the Delhi High Court judgement and re-criminalized homosexual acts between consenting adults. The court also said that the Parliament should debate and decide on the matter.


This is to be noted that both judgments are contradicting on homosexual acts between adults. Other kind of sexual activities like fellatio, anal penetration and sex with minors and animals were a criminal offence in both the judgement and remain unchanged.


Interpreting the judgement, my way...

What is nature?

Nature is opposite of culture.

What is order of nature? 

In nature, 'might is right'. In nature big fish can eat small fish (matasya nyay). Order of nature is for animals. It is also called as the law of jungle.

Are we followers of nature? 

No! We are followers of culture. Culture protects and helps the helpless. Culture upholds dharma. Order of culture is for humans.

Why are there different orders for humans and animals? Aren't we all animals by instinct?

No, humans are superior beings than animals. We are Manavas who has Manas. Manas mean the power of thinking and imagining. This power to think and imagine differentiates humans from animals. Manavas are supposed to follow Manusmriti. Manu is the first Manav. In every age there is a Manu who writes Manusmriti which defines the code of conduct for humans. These code of conduct are different from order of nature (Matasya Nyay). Humans do not follow Matasya Nyay. It is for animals to follow it.

When courts say 'order of nature' which order do they mean? The one established by monotheist Prophets? or The one which the Hindus follow? or The one established by British?

Most of the Abrahamic monotheist religions follow their holy book. Allow me to call their respective holy books as a 'code of conduct' for time being. It is in these books defined how we should lead our life. So when 'order of nature' for a monotheist is referenced, it points to their respective holy book. 
But Hindus do not have such 'code of conduct'. Hindus have Smriti (words of Brahma, written by Manu) and Shruti (Vedas). Smriti is rigid whereas Shruti is libral. When there are differences in Smriti and Shruti then Shruti is considered as correct because it has higher spiritual authority. As in the case of caste system, un-touch-ability and degraded social position of women in society, Manusmiriti can be overlooked with the views from Vedas according to which all human beings are equal.
The difference in 'order of nature' for Judeo-Christian-Islamic and Hindus is that earlier books talks more about what NOT to do whereas later talks more about what to do. 
When court says 'order of nature' they mean the one established by British which is based on Bible's 'sex is sin' theory. British and Mughals imposed their 'sex is sin' theory on Hindus during their ~500 years long rule. Hindus were never shy in discussing sex and expressing love. Look at the Kamasutra and Khajuraho, you will understand what I am talking about. But this 'openness' towards sex was shattered by Mughal invaders and later British imperial power. Hindus have mentions of homosexuals, transgenders in their texts which existed much before birth of any Prophets. So homosexuality is not introduced in India by invaders. And hence we must not blame west for it.

Why do all religions have problem with sex?

In religions, sex is seen as anti-religion. Sex is seen as diversion from religion. Sex is distraction from God. Sex is illusion from spiritual path.
References are available in Hinduism where Shiva is distracted by sex and lust. Shiva is considered to be God of Yoga. He is NOT supposed to get distracted by worldly things like lust and sex but he eventually does, which is not good according to religion: 
  • Lord Shiva once was meditating and Kama, the god of sex (or sensuality) tried to distract him. Shiva opened his third eye and burnt down Kama to ashes.
  • Mohini (female form of Lord Vishnu) was so beautiful that Lord Shiva ran behind her crazily until he couples with her. Thus born gods (yes, I mean god not God) are called Aiyappa swami and Hanuman.
Similar well known incident from Bible (Old Testament for Muslims) considers Apple as a 'symbol of sin' because it distracted Adam and Eve who were happily living in Paradise. Thus born humans live in 'world' full of 'suffering and injustice'.
In most of the religions sex is permitted only after marriage. And yet the sex which involves non-sexual organs (or homosexual) is considered bad, anti-religion and anti-spiritual because this kind of sex is not aimed at conception (creativity/reproduction).

What do Bible and Quran say about homosexualilty?

According to the Old Testament (The Bible) the City of Prophet Lut (called as Sodom) was turned upside down because people residing in Sodom city were practicing upside down sexual things (in other words, they were homosexuals). These sinners (homosexuals) were then stoned with hard-baked clay by God. The scientific understanding of 'hard-baked clay' is volcanic eruption. This reference to old testament is also found in Quran.
Clearly both religions abolishes act of homosexuality.

What does Hindu literature say about homosexuality?

Most of the Hindu literature is full of anti-homosexual, anti-women, anti-low-caste stories and law. It is really dangerous job to find something supportive in favor of homosexuality. I would mention 10 points which do NOT reject homosexuality. Alert: I did NOT say I will mention 10 which favor homosexuality.
  1. When Rama returned back to Ayodhya he finds Hijras waiting for him at the gates of Ayodhya Nagari. When asked Hijras replied "Before leaving for vanvasa Ram said all men and women, please go back to city. Ram didn't mention what we should do who are neither man nor woman?". Ram was moved with their devotion. Ram folds his hands and requests Hijras to come back to city with him. This is a big tactical move by Ram. It implies that Ram welcomed Hijras to live with others in the society with equality. This is Ram Rajya (Which BJP promises?). Was Ram liberal? No, he was just being human. (Hint for Salman Khan fans)
  2. Shikhandi was born a girl and brought up as a boy by her parents. She manages to get male sex organ from a Yaksha in jungle and then returns back to society to prove his masculinity by having sex with woman. Is the sex between Shikhandi and woman a heterosexual act or lesbian act? You decide it. But for me it is more important that it is because of Shikhandi's presence in Mahabharata that Pandavas were able to win the battle. It was Krishna who asked Shikhandi to ride with him on his chariot along with Arjuna. This is another reference of Lord including a transsexual into mainstream society.
  3. Budh (not Budha) is son of Brahaspati (Jupiter). He was born by union of Chandra (moon) and Tara (wife of Brahaspati). Budh is considered to be neither male nor female. Budh married ila who was daughter of Manu. Ila was a man who became woman in later course of life. Is the sex between Budh and Ila a homosexual activity between transgenders? You decide it. But remember that their dynasty came to be known as Chandravanshi and Lord Krishna was a Yaduvanshi which is a sub-tree of Chandravanshi. So in other words Lord Krishna was born in a transgender clan!
  4. In order to ensure victory of Pandavas in Mahabharata, Aravan, the son of Arjun was to be sacrificed. But the last wish of Aravan was to marry a woman before dying. Since no woman would marry a man who is supposed to die next morning, Lord Krishna took form of Mohini, married Aravan and spend night with him in his bed. Next day Aravan was be-headed, sacrificed and later Pandavas won the battle and established dharma back in society.
  5. In scriptures and temple arts Lord Shiva is visualized as half man and half woman and thus called by the name Ardh-Nareshwar.
  6. In Mathura, Lord Shiva is worshiped as Gopeshwar (a woman). Shiva takes forms of a woman, wears clothes like woman and joins the group of gopis just to enjoy dance with Lord Krishna.
  7. In Nathdwara (Rajasthan), Krishna is dressed as a woman once every year. Just to remember his mother, his Radha and his own woman form Mohini.
  8. In Maharashtra, Vithal (another form of Lord Vishnu) is also called as Vithai = Vithal + Aayi = Vishnu + Mother.
  9. Temple scriptures in Konark, Khajuraho and Kanchipuram shows lesbian and gay acts. See below pictures.
  10. In Mahabharata, Bhishma tells Pandavas story of Bhangashvana who was the only person in this world to be called as father and mother both in one life time. Bhangashvana was born a man and was later cursed to be a woman by Indra. Bhangashvana produced children as man and woman both!
Gay act


Lesbian act

What made me write this blog?

I am not a regular blogger, this is my first time on what really mattersYet I decided to write my views on such a sensitive topic.
I am not a subject matter expert on section 377. I am also not good in my and other's religion and their beliefs. I know that there exists tons of material on Google and Wiki pages related to this topic. Yet I decided to pen down what I know and what I feel people should know about on this topic. 
Because these facts will raise questions in our mind. Questions which decides fate of 'others' who are not 'diseased' or 'mental'. Questions seeking wisdom...

Questions to you (and myself)?

  1. Where are the equal rights for LGBTs in India? Do they enjoy fundamental rights in India?
  2. Do Supreme Court mean to say that Shikhandi, Aravan, Mohini, Budh, Ardh-Nareshwar are criminals?
  3. Do Supreme Court mean to say that heterosexual people sitting in parliament are the best people to decide what a consent homosexual adult couple should do in their bed?
  4. Do Supreme Court mean to say that politician like Prakash Javadekar who ran away chanting 'Shiv Shiv Shiv' from media camera and Shatrughan Sinha who replied 'khamosh' when asked about section 377 verdict are the right people to make law on this sensitive subject?
  5. Do you think that majority should make law for minority? If yes, then are you ready for vice versa?
  6. Do you think that homosexuality is 'really' hurting cultural values of India?
  7. Do you think homosexuality in India is influenced by west?
  8. What should be written on passport of Hijras? Do supreme court even bother?
  9. Why not have something like 'British Civil Partnership' in India for homosexuals?
  10. Should we really follow verdict of Supreme Court? Remember that following law is NOT always beneficial to all. Consider the fact that Sita was banished in Ramayana in the name of upholding Dharma and Draupadi was disrobed in Mahabharata in the name of following law. 
  11. Should we follow Baba Ramdev who excludes homosexuals from society? Who claims that homosexuality is a 'bad habit' and can be cured by doing 3-6 months of Yoga lessons including pranayams and breathing exercise.
  12. Or should we follow Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who at-least confirms that homosexuality is not a 'crime' in Hinduism?
Disclaimer 1: I am not Sri Sri follower and Ramdev hater. I wake up with Baba's toothpaste in my mouth daily morning :-)
Disclaimer 2: Please excuse me for bad writing skills, insufficient knowledge, insulting your religion, hurting your sentiments, etc, etc.
Disclaimer 3: I am not Homo and I have a kid :P

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Joke-pal and Lokpal Game


After the IAC movement was being crushed with the apathy of Indian Media and also by the delayed actions of the government which had managed to test the attention span of followers. It is evident that Arvind Kejriwal's phenomenal success with the Aam Admi Party has managed to take the center stage in today's political landscape.


When the India Against Corruption team had split up with one group taking a political path and the other team taking the apolitical path. It was said that their paths are different but their goals are same and they would be maintaining a healthy understanding with each other's activities.

Anna Hazare following his Gandhian principles had taken a stand that he will not be supporting any political party. However, his constant stand against the Aam Admi Party looks more like a strong support for both BJP and Congress. At Ralegan Siddhi, during his fast protest for the Jan Lokpal Bill he took a clear stand against the Aam Admi Party's leader Gopal Rai and in support of VK Singh a BJP Leader. Anna Hazare had mentioned that no political party will share his stage during the protest. VK Signh with his strong alliances with the Bhartiya Janta Party was not in the right place, which was proved with the words he used.

VK Singh clearly made an attempt to taunt and defame the motives of AAP, reacting to which Gopal Rai tried to correct him and tell him to stick to the topic. Below is a news coverage by Zee News. Though Gopal Rai had committed the mistake of interrupting an ongoing speech, VK Singh had made the mistake of starting the political drama in the first place. The apathy of Indian media still stands against Aam Admi Party (AAP) which is evident in the below video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4eZ4HD70Lk

It need not be said, the reaction of Anna Hazare to this incident was like a school teacher who would ask one out of two students misbehaving in the class to leave the class as a punishment.

I would like to highlight the Lokpal bill which the Lok Sabha is wishing to implement was coined as Joke-pal bill by Arvind Kejriwal, who was the main brain behind drafting the bill and the strategist of the IAC movement. Indian Media had been hiding this fact that the bill which Lok Sabha has passed and is under discussion in the Rajya Sabha is not the original bill which was being requested. Until today, when BJP has emerged to support a strong bill and not AAP. Refer the link below:

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/government-fast-tracks-lokpal-bill-tabled-in-rajya-sabha-458161?curl=1386941077

I had read this article yesterday when it was completely different. I would like to focus your attention to this point on the screen:


And soon BJP steals the stage in this agenda:

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/lokpal-bill-in-rajya-sabha-today-bjp-warns-government-against-dilution-457792?curl=1386941136

You can also notice similar lines in both the articles.

When Arvind Kejriwal had been shouting against it all the while. In the below 3 hours live coverage of the volunteers meet, we can listen to Arvind Kejriwal's un-cut speach from around 02:40:00, he clearly claims that the Government's Lokpal bill is a Joke-pal bill, which was not shown in many of the major News Channels in India.


(You can see the NDTV coverage of this speech and notice how they have shown what they felt important.
http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/video-story/300999)

Does this scenario not contradict with what VK Singh was trying to taunt on - Give priority to the bill and not party and individual motives. At this point, not focusing on who should take the center stage on the matter I would like to share the differences between the two bills.



According to the Government's Lokpal Bill Parliamentary members would appoint the Lokpal Team. According to Jan Lokpal Bill, the Lokpal would be appointed by an independent recruitment process similar to the Election Commission or Civil Societies.

Below are the differences listed (Taking reference from Wikipedia)

Issue
The Jan Lokpal Bill
Government's Lokpal Bill
PM can be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench.
PM can be investigated by Lokpal after she/he vacates office.
Can be investigated, though high level members may be investigated only with permission of a seven member Lokpal bench.
Judiciary is exempt and will be covered by a separate "judicial accountability bill".
Conduct of MPs
Can be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench.
Can be investigated, but their conduct within Parliament, such as voting, cannot be investigated.
Lower bureaucracy
All public servants would be included.
Only senior officers (Group A) will be covered.
Anti-Corruption wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
The Anti-Corruption wing of the CBI will be merged into the Lokpal.
The Anti-Corruption wing of the CBI cannot be merged into the Lokpal.
Removal of Lokpal members and Chair
Any person can bring a complaint to the Supreme Court, who can then recommend removal of any member to the President.
Any "aggrieved party" can raise a complaint to the President, who will refer the matter to the CJI.
Removal of Lokpal staff and officers
Complaints against Lokpal staff will be handled by independent boards set-up in each state, composed of retired bureaucrats, judges, and civil society members.
Lokpal will conduct inquiries into its own behavior.
Lokayukta
Lokayukta and other local/state anti-corruption agency would remain in place.
All state anti-corruption agencies would be closed and responsibilities taken over by centralized Lokpal.
Whistleblower protection
Whistle-blowers are protected by Lokpal.
No protection granted to whistle-blowers by Lokpal.
Punishment for corruption
Lokpal can either directly impose penalties, or refer the matter to the courts. Penalties can include removal from office, imprisonment, and recovery of assets from those who benefited from the corruption.
Lokpal can only refer matters to the courts, not take any direct punitive actions. Penalties remain equivalent to those in current laws.
Investigatory powers
Lokpal can obtain wiretaps (to make a connection to a telegraph or telephone wire in order to obtain information secretly), issue rogatory letters, and recruit investigating officers. Cannot issue contempt orders.
Lokpal can issue contempt orders, and has the ability to punish those in contempt. No authority to obtain wiretaps, issue rogatory letters, or recruit investigating officers.
False, frivolous and vexatious complaints
Lokpal can issue fines for frivolous complaints (including frivolous complaints against Lokpal itself), with a maximum penalty of Rs 100,000.
Court system will handle matters of frivolous complaints. Courts can give 2–5 years imprisonment and fines of Rs 25,000 to 200,000.
NGOs
NGOs not within the scope due to their role in exposing corruption.
NGOs are within the scope and can be investigated.

If you have a basic understanding of the Indian Political scenario you would agree more that in fact it is the joke-pal bill.

The BJP Leaders are negotiating on the various norms of the bill and would come to consensus soon. The differences in the two bills are being talked about as a count. So if we have 10 differences listed, we might settle in for 5 differences. In such a case, we would need to deal with the 50% joke in this bill. Also is anybody bothered on how the Lokpal will be appointed?

Kiran Bedi today nodded with the Bill the government has passed and she is happy with the discussions that took place in the Rajya Sabha. I don't know what will be finally decided, but I know one thing, people who would be signing affirmatively for the bill would make sure they are saving their asses at all times!
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