Sunday, August 12, 2018

Is Life Actually This Simple?


Vince was all excited after he came back from Rishikesh on one weekend. He showed me some photographs of himself along with a sadhu who had long matted hair and was wearing only a loin cloth, and a liberal amount of ash. Vince told me that the sadhu could speak fluent English and had been a professor in a college; he had now renounced everything worldly and retired to Rishikesh. He continued that this sadhu had built a small hut for himself on the banks of Ganges River, and was living in that.Vince confided that on many occasions, he had long conversations with this sadhu, and with many others like him, during his numerous visits to Rishikesh during the four months that we were together until then.

Vince, an American, had come to India to do the IBM certificated e-business course, Jan – May 2000. We had met as co-students on the first day of the course, in January 2000. Most students doing the course were in their twenties, with Vince being the only foreigner. They were excited to meet a ‘gora’ & bombarded him with personal questions on the first day itself; he took an instant dislike to them and thereafter he generally kept aloof. I never asked him anything personal, as I had learnt that it is taboo to ask an American about his personal life, unless of course he knows you well enough and is willing to share information with you.
Over a period of time he developed a rapport with me and started sharing his ideas, thoughts and views with me. One day, Vince confided to me about his dream of starting a software company with an aim of earning money. He further said that he wanted to earn a million dollars so that he could buy a cottage on the beach in Virginia, his home town. Dreamily he continued that the cottage would have a private beach in which he would sit in his easy chair and relax, doing nothing. Over a period of time, he was willing to share more with me, without my asking.

I had noticed that Vince would vanish on Friday evening's and would appear back in class on Monday. This happened on most weekends. After about three months, we were friendly enough for me to invite Vince to my place for a meal, over the weekend. He declined the invitation saying that all his weekends were booked in Rishikesh. He confided that he had rented a room on the banks of the Ganges, at Rs 300 per day for all his remaining weekends in India. He further told me that the view of the Ganges emerging from the hills was very beautiful, and that he really enjoyed the serenity and peace during his stay there, especially the sun rising from behind the hills. Every weekend was full of excitement for him, on many counts. What we Indians take for granted and tend to ignore as ignorance, superstitions, etc had a new meaning. His interactions with the knowledgeable seer were giving him new insights into our Indic thought, and I realised it was just because he had an open mind, unlike us Indian ‘western educated prejudiced’ minds. His weekend visits continued, and he had many things to share.

After one such weekend visit, he told me that his Indian sojourn had given rise to a dilemma in his mind. He went on to mention his ‘dream’ once again. With a dreamy look thereafter, he philosophically observed that, I want to earn one million dollars so as to relax on the beach, doing nothing, and here is this sadhu who has nothing except a loin cloth and a few other belongings doing exactly what I want to do, after all this struggle. He ran out of words thereafter, and I too was totally dumb struck. We both looked at each other in silence. We were too busy trying to comprehend the enormity of this realisation. I still wonder at times about this incident…….

Is life actually this simple?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

LIFE IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF _______________________


Life is kaleidoscope of _____________


This photograph taken a few of days ago, on the banks of the mighty Mekong river in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand set my mind thinking at the gorgeous colours and a mulitude of other things that  life throws at us every day; most of us do not seem to notice/ have the desire to notice/ or are too busy notice and so life just passes us by, one breath at a time, until our last breath, over which we have no control. We only have control on that one breath that is inside of us and that too for not very long, and yet we pretend and behave as if we are going to be here forever! Human mind, its design, the 'maaya jaal' (illusions) of our senses have us believe that every thing around is real. 

The spiritual being that has descended suddenly transforms from a 'spiritual being in human form' to a human body with attributes like name, handsome, tall, dark, etc etc; vanity, ego and every other form of vice enters the person and one thinks that that is what one is. We forget that we are human beings, not human bodies; the lure of the maaya jaal is so strong; our minds can convince us of anything.

So, I decided to do a short one word survey, by sending out this one photograph with the question, like above on my whatsapp contact list. The answers are as follows: -


  1. Opportunities
  2. Kaleidoscope
  3. Good
  4. Exquisite
  5. Probabilities
  6. Colours
  7. Patterns
  8. Colours
  9. Beautiful
  10. Blessings
  11. Nature
  12. Emotions
  13. Beauty
  14. Wow
  15. Experiences
  16. Experiences
  17. Experiences
  18. Emotions
  19. Challenges
  20. Blessedness
  21. Sat Naam (True Sound/ Name)
  22. Wonder
  23. Emotions
  24. Surprises
  25. Lifetimes
  26. Karma
  27. Experiences
  28. Opportunities
  29. Experiences
  30. Selfie
  31. Possibilities.
A total of 31 responses, all varied and true; maybe it is what we are going through within ourselves at this point of our history and geography; may change with more newer experiences & learning - both being building blocks of our long term memory system in the brain, scientifically speaking.

My daughter was quick to point out on the family group that, "All these answers are simple in their positivity". Couldn't help but agree with her, but my response to her was that, "True! And that is the tragic part of life. We blow the negatives too much & forget that life is just to be lived until the last breath, one breath at a time."

So, live life positively, the way you came in to this world as a spiritual being, the accumulation of the five elements in your body and brains happened here, and will vanish here only. What will go with you is the being again, pure but layered & burdened with all you carry from here, your bad as well good karmas, creating your next destiny. Nil debit/ credit is the only way out from here to 'being' or mukti from this cycle of birth and death.







Sunday, July 1, 2018

LOFTIEST INDIAN THOUGHT - VASUDAIVA KUTUMBAKAM


#ObservingLife

Sun Water Earth Air Ether for All, all five vital ingredients of life, irrespective of other shapes/ sizes/ make/ model/ composition

Think

Life evolved; lower level animals evolve; staked claim to territories for survival; still do

Further evolution, humans evolved with better brains

Initially only one belief system staked claims to territory; survival instinct was pre-dominant, like animals

Evolve further only one faith, multiple beliefs now stake claim to territory

Evolve further, multiple faiths & beliefs start to live together

Human brain is a human mental construct, after birth, by design

Humans are not; they are part of this grand cosmos design of the Creator

Indian thought had already reached this, since millennia

Acceptance, not only tolerance, of ALL was our ideal

Propounded millennia ago as a mantra, "#VasudaivaKutumbakkam"

The entire cosmos is one big family

They lived to live in harmony with everything around them

Trees, rivers, snakes, cats, dogs were accepted as part of the grand design

Proud 2 be part of this grand heritage #India

No wonder this was considered a weird land by all

The ideal is too lofty for less evolved minds

All it requires is to Observe, Inquire, Contemplate, Meditate, Connect with the Super Consciousness/ Divine/ God/ Creator, or whatever else you think or don't think created this finely balanced cosmos, where the earth goes around its own axis in 24 hours; the earth goes around the Sun in 365 days, 6 hours, some minutes and seconds

If all the bees in the world were to go extinct today; plant, animal and human life will cease too! 

Think of our interconnections with everything around us.

Could we be sitting on a spinning planet without the planet holding on to us through gravity?

No religious teacher/ Pandit/ Maulvi/ Granthi/ Priest can lead you to the answer. They merely indulge you in rituals and mythology; it is their profession.

The grand philosophy is yours to "obeserve, inquire, contemplate, meditate, connect & understand". 

It is all within you!


Why was I born to my parents, in to their religion, in to this land? Any answers? Did you control any of them? Did you have any say in your language, race, nationality, religion or for that any thing else that defines you today? Are you a spiritual being in a human body or a human body?

Do different people from different belief systems have different blood, or is human blood universal? Do we drink the same water, breathe the same air, eat the bounty of this earth, etc? Then how can we be so different as to kill each other for our distorted beliefs?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

ANCIENT INDIAN CIVILISATIONAL HERITAGE - KARMA, COSMOS, REBIRTH, EVOLUTION

I was a young boy, maybe about 7 - 8 years old when we had gone to our village for the first time to spend our summer vacations with my paternal grand mother in a relatively remote village in Himachal Pradesh located on the banks of river Beas. It was a great vacation. Every night we, my younger siblings & I, would lie down in our beds under the open skies in the court yard in one line and pester our grand mother to tell us some stories or anecdotes. She always had something new to add to our young minds, which had spent most of their lives in the city. She was very wise but totally illiterate by modern standards, maybe she had studied up the 3rd class, as she came from a Brahmin household that always valued education and wanted every one to know at least how to add/ subtract, and write their names.

One day she told us about how fortunate we were to be born as human beings. She further elaborated on the Hindu wisdom/ folklore of the evolution of species; which as per her was to have to live through 8.4 million births in different species before one got to the human birth, and thus how it was important for each one of us to strive to do good karmas, so as to end this cycle of birth and death, and achieve 'mukti' or liberation. After a few minutes we were fast asleep. But, I remember that it left a deep impact on me, although I did not understand karma, rebirth, species, or any thing else connected with life on this cosmos.

We were up the next morning, and trudged our way of about 2 - 3 kms to the river Beas to do our morning ablutions, have a massage on the banks and have a dip/ swim in the river, before returning home for a sumptuous 'aloo porathas', pickles and curd. On the way there were always peacocks in the jungle at 2 places, performing their beautiful dances every morning. We always looked forward to witnessing the tantalising beauty performing the dance with loud squeals to attract the peahen's attention; not that we understood any thing at that stage of life.

After finishing our massage, given by the expert hands of my father, we would take flat stones and skip them off the river, while cooling off our warmed up bodies before entering the relatively cold waters of the Beas. On this particular day, I picked up two stones that I thought would help me do what I had in mind, after I returned home. These were then deposited in the pocket of my shorts. We returned, finished breakfast and I was off to my mission now.

There was an ant hill in the small kitchen garden on one side, and every morning the big black ants would trudge out of that and form a queue going out looking for food. I took up my position on one side of this queued up ants. I placed one my stones on the ground and held the other in my right hand. I would pick up an ant, being very careful not to expose my two fingers to the deadly claws of the ant. I would then place it on the stone on the ground and with other one would try and kill it, before it scrambled away. Initially it was tough as the ant would invariably get away much before the second stone came down. I finally got the hang of it, and managed my first 'kill'. I was now getting excited that I had learnt something new to do my job successfully without getting hurt or bitten.

At that instant my grandmother came out and confronted me, "what are you doing". So, I told her that I am helping these ants overcome one of their 8.4 million lives so that they can reach the human form earlier. She was aghast, and asked me, "Is that your karma? What happens to your karma? Who are you? You are only required to do your own karma. The ant is not dependent on you for his evolution. You have no right to take more than what you 'need' from this existence, as every thing has a role in this grand design." She was visibly upset and I too was after this bitter rebuke from my grand mother. I never understood what she meant but did understand one thing very clearly and that I was just another small cog in this big universe, which included stones, rivers, trees, animals, stars, sun, moon, galaxies and the vast nothingness of our skies.

Observation, inquiry, life, thought, contemplation have brought me to the same conclusions that my very wise but illiterate grand mother knew because of our great traditional civilisational heritage, where the 'varna' system ensured that the most evolved souls contemplated and passed on truths about our great cosmos to lesser mortals as beliefs. The system got corrupted many times, but every time an evolved soul came about and brought about reformation. All religions born on this sacred soil, from Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, have imbibed most of the salient features of this these basic truths of life, existence, and God. These thoughts celebrate the diversity of the Creator and is happy to 'accept' what is and work only to evolve oneself from within. Acceptance & gratitude comes naturally to all diverse ways of living, belief, etc.

There is no one 'right way' is the final thought and 'every one is right' in their own way is guiding spirit because every one has a different journey through this cycle of births and rebirths, where one evolves as per one's own karma. Only thing needed in 'Observation, Inquiry, & the use of intellect to understand our role in this whole cosmos.

A small thought for the thinking minds:


10 Things That Would Happen if Bees Died Out




Please try and think. In case you do not want to then, one can only agree with the logic given by the writer at the link https://www.toptenz.net/10-things-happen-bees-died.php

Eventually we will all cease to exist. 

Every thing in this world is interconnected by grand design.

We appear stationary, but are hurtling through space at 1500 kmph on the equator, once every 24 hours, AND for millinea now.

We appear stationary, but are hurtling around the sun at many times the speed of sound, once every 365 days 6 hours and some minutes/ seconds.

We are just a cog in the wheel in the great and grand cosmos, sticking with some beliefs that some lesser qualified society/ priest/ pandit/ mullah/ granthi or what have you try to tell you.

So, OBSERVE, INQUIRE, CONNECT WITH THE SUPER CONSCIOUSNESS THROUGH CONTEMPLATION AND MEDITATION ON THE BIG PICTURE OF OUR ROLE/ PLACE IN THIS COSMOS



Thursday, June 21, 2018

International Yoga Day, 21 June 2018

Happy International Yoga Day to all.

Let's make ourselves, our societies, our cities, our country's, our earth, our Universe, our Cosmos better.

We have the power to do it, just by making ourselves better!

Look for beauty; create beauty if you can't see it around;



Explore it if you find it;



Admire it when you notice it;



Appreciate it for its worth


It is all around us; it could be in human relationships, things, sky, sun, nature, feelings, emotions, or any thing else around us.


Did you find any thing worth admiring today? 

Find more every day! 

Good luck; the world will become a better place one day, if we all only try.   

Monday, June 11, 2018

WHO AM I? - ABOUT LIFE, EGO AND INTELLECT

Humans born with no ego & amazing intellectual powers Learning & growth happens every instant of life, from birth

Values & beliefs are picked up at a very innocent young age

Most human children are taught that these are not to be questioned; intellect dies a little

Many never do, and carry the baggage of beliefs that go contrary to life, as it happens

One goes to school/ college, which helps one to expand on their power of discernment and reasoning

Ego starts to grow, as one starts to understand things better As one grows, physically and mentally, ego grows even more... As ego grows, Learning from life starts to slow down

A stage comes in life when you start using your education to do things that you have mastered

You excel, and the system starts promoting you, and your ideas

You initially feel humbled......

The trap is now laid, because you now start to forget that the entire universe has collaborated to get you there

The ego starts to go from 'we' and 'us' to 'I' and 'me'

Suddenly one day ..... The ego becomes bigger than intellect Hardly any learning from life now seems to enter the conscious mind

Growth as a human being now starts to slow .... Human reaches the 'I know' stage in life where he has answers to every thing

Life continues to unfold ....

Life throws multiple lessons, again and again

Inquiry, rational debate and observation, so vital for learning and growth seem to have been replaced with 'been there, done that'

One does not notice the change happening around, being too self absorbed

Relies only on past experiences and learning, stored in the human memory, which does not fit the new experience

One tries the handle the new situation in life with old tested, tried & successful methods

Doesn't work

Disappointment sets in against every thing around, and the universe

One stops living life, as it is unfolding

One doesn't realise the changes that every instant of life brings along

Some of these changes are subtle, and some not so subtle

Life keeps changing as this existence knows 'change is the only constant'

Day is followed by night, and so on

So, keep learning and growing every day

Use your God given gift of intellect to go beyond intellect and perceive the essence of life





Who am I?








Tuesday, May 15, 2018

LOOKING FORWARD TO 2019

The Karnataka results are still streaming in...

BJP is in the lead, INC trailing....

What is happening.... what is the message coming out from the people's verdict....

No leader, other than PM Modi, across all political parties has been able to convince the people of India, across all spectrums of caste, religion, sex, region (after the Karnataka elections), their vision of an equitable and prosperous India.......

'Divide and rule' is beyond 'best by' date.....

  • Lingayat issue did not translate to votes; 
  • Blackening out Hindi sign boards did not; 
  • North - South divide creation did not help; 
  • BJP is 'dalit virodhi' did not help .... 
Modi was able to speak in Hindi and still connect with the electorate. Proves that effective communication is not through words alone......

Mandir/ masjid/ church visits by Rahul Gandhi did not help with the ballot box .........

'Sabka saath, sabka vikas' is the only winning & correct political strategy for India, which needs to be translated effectively to benefit every citizen through development and progress of the country....

The time has come for equal citizenship, through a Uniform Civil Code, as envisaged vide the Directive Principles of our Constitution. In the last 70 years, successive governmnets have not done any thing towards making that a reality in India, except for passing of the Hindu Code bills in the 50s, and.......

....more importantly, overturning the SC judgement in the Shah Bano case - a step which went totally against the spirit of our constitution.

 'Jatiwad' & 'pariwarvaad' is on its final legs. I would love to see the last of it in my life-time.

Inner party democracy is important, across the political spectrum....

India needs & deserves a strong national opposition party....

INC is the only national party....but

INC has to re-invent itself under new leadership at all levels; a leadership that is more in touch with the real India; India deserves a strong & grass roots connected national political party.....

It has to change from 'self, family & friends' party to 'for the people' party......

It needs to have inner party democracy that throws up competent leaders...

Family lineage and proximity to 'high command coterie' should not be the ONLY criteria to be a post holder in the party.






Tuesday, March 27, 2018

CORRUPTION, LEADERSHIP, POLITICS, AND INDIA - RANDOM THOUGHTS

Corruption is so deeply entrenched in our systems and psyche that it is going to be tough to rid us of it. 

Today we have a leader with a vision, which is beyond 'self, family & friends'. 

A lot of infrastructure work has been done/ is being done, whose impact will only be felt in the long term. 

However, people are looking for short term results; none visible so far. 

We have got used to doles/ subsidies; paying for stuff hurts. 

Short circuiting any system/ cheating/ lying seems to have become our birthright. 

Every TV channel/ journalist partisanly magnifies failures of Modi, but keeps quiet about others. 

People, especially our political class, are not looking at what is right or wrong, but wish to make political capital out of everything, whether right or wrong, e.g. the sealing drive in Delhi. 

Where are we heading as a nation. 

Disparate ideologies coalesce with a single point agenda of 'oust Modi'; their survival is threatened. 

We all cherish diversity, which I believe is our greatest strength. However, sometimes one wonders whether with the 'divide & rule' policies that our so called 'secular' political parties follow, it has now become our weakness.

Why isn't our Indianness highlighted by all political parties. Why isn't our constitution highlighted, which promises us equal citizenship, irrespective of our differences.

Maybe emphasising this equality will create a win-win situation where our elected representatives will have to perform to increase the size of the pie.

Creating win-lose situations is easier through the much practiced art of divide & rule. Guess why the Lingayat issue came just before the elections in Karnataka.

This cannot continue for much longer without damaging the basic fabric of our society.

All of us have to rise above our comfort zones & go beyond ourselves first to build our nation, or we will all drown together. We all have to stand for what is right. 

Vote only for leaders who have a win-win agenda rather than a win-lose agenda. In the short term this may look attractive to a certain segment, but eventually every one loses.

Do we spot any other leader, from any party, who can lead this nation today? 

Our nation needs leaders, not 'famiy and friends' chief executives. I have no time for any political party; they are same, including the BJP. 

It is a leader only who can make the difference in a party, a leader who believes in 'sabka saath, sabka vikas'. Every citizen must enjoy the fruits of progress, by just being a citizen of this country, irrespective of other considerations.

Rule of law is another important issue that the leader has to focus on.

NCC AND 'THAT TYPE OF STUFF'

On Saturday 24 Mar 2018, Congress President Rahul Gandhi was interacting with the students at Maharani's Arts College for Women in Mysuru, Karnataka. On being asked about the facilities or benefits that he would give to NCC 'C' certificate holders, he was totally non-plussed. His response was even more sad, "I don't know the details of NCC training & 'that type of stuff', so I won't be able to answer that question". He further went on to state that as PM he as a "young Indian person" (PM aspirant/ 48 years young, almost) would ...... These remarks were a little childish & irresponsible, especially when coming from someone who is aspiring to be the Prime Minister of India. A look at the video of the event would give one a glimpse of the actual conversation.


The Congress ecosystem immediately went in to overdrive to defend the remarks. A tweet by one senior national journalist of the India Today group.

Tweet by Rajdeep Sardesai on 26 Mar 2018

Not a popular thing to say but I think we must appreciate for saying he didn't know much about NCC training. More politicians should admit things they don't know about instead of being 'know it all' types. Nothing wrong in saying 'I don't know' IMHO!

Yes Rajdeep, it is not important that a PM aspirant should know every thing under the sun, but there is a certain amount of political preparation that goes in to aspiring for the top political job of a country of nearly 1.3 billion people, which is hoping to reap a demographic dividend of actually 'young' working hands & minds.  

This becomes even more important because Rahul Gandhi's only claim to the top job is the family name, 'Gandhi'. His own great grand father took very keen interest in the growth of the NCC. As a 'hereditary choice' for the throne, sorry post, he should have at least read up about his family legacy, which he keeps quoting to demand votes for his party.

Also, since his party had slammed PM Modi for asking for the contact details of all the 13,00,000 NCC cadets a few days earlier, it would normally be considered prudent for any PM aspirant to find out more details about the NCC, since his own party was criticising the sitting PM on the subject. 

Why would the PM of India be interested in interacting with 13 Lakh NCC cadets? It is because he knows that the young of India are the future of India. NCC is the largest voluntary uniformed youth organisation in the world and currently has 13 lakh cadets on its rolls. In Delhi, nearly 40,000 school and college students are a part of NCC.

Any person who has been to school/ college in India, or witnessed any republic day parade on TV, or live at Rajpath, or read the newspapers during the build up to the 26th January parade every year would be aware of the NCC.

NCC was formed just after independence, with the passage of the National Cadet Corps Act of 1948, and was subsequently raised on 15 July 1948. The NCC was given an inter service image, with all three arms of the defence forces being represented, and both sexes being inducted in to it. It was introduced in schools and colleges. 

Many mottos, which included "Duty and Discipline"; "Duty, Unity and Discipline"; "Duty and Unity"; "Unity and Discipline" were thought about from its inception. The curriculum was extended to include community development/social service activities as a part of the NCC syllabus.  

The Aims of the NCC were laid out in 1988. NCC aims at developing discipline, character, brotherhood, the spirit of adventure and ideals of selfless service amongst young citizens. Not only these, it also aims to enlighten leadership qualities among the youth who will serve the Nation regardless of which career they choose. It also motivates the young to choose a career in armed forces. Isn't this the type of organisation that any PM/ PM aspirant of India should get to know, knowing the demography. What has Rahul Gandhi been up to in public life?

Rahul Gandhi was elected to parliament for the first time in 2004, and has been an MP ever since. What political preparation has he been doing during the last 14 years leaves many Indians really wondering. He hardly spoke or discussed any issue in parliament, and all his images in the media have been of either sleeping during the sessions, or showing his 'entitlement'. He has been holding the posts of General Secretary/ Vice President of the Congress party and now the President. 

Nothing wrong in saying, "I don't know!", but then there is everything wrong in aspiring for the top job just on the basis of one's surname, being 'humble', & being a 'nice person'. A PM is expected to be better informed on issues that effect this country, or it will be a repeat of UPA 1 & 2, where-in the political power rested with Sonia Gandhi & her coterie of trusted people who form the National Advisory Council, which wielded all the authority in policy formation, but  had no responsibility towards the people of India.

Are we ready for this arrangement once again?



Monday, March 26, 2018

PM Modi, the BJP Tsunami & Congress-mukt India

A Thought .......

The NDA has a government at the Centre, and the BJP has now formed a government in most states of India, either on its own or as a coalition.


Image Courtesy: Indianexpress.com

All this in my opinion is due to the great connection that PM Modi has forged with the people of India. 

He is a man with a vision, which is beyond himself and encompasses, "sabka saath, sabka vikas". 

He is working to improve the lives of the most needy in India; a section of Indian society who were remembered only during election times.

All the schemes that he has initiated point in that direction; the success of each of these schemes is dependent on many factors, and does not reflect solely on him.

He works selflessly & tirelessly, having the capacity to work endlessly without a break.

PM Modi is a true karmayogi. Why do I say that?

Never before has a sitting PM been so reviled, ridiculed, criticised as a person, as in the last 4 years.

The PM still goes about his work tirelessly.

A lesser person would have given up long ago & would have just enjoyed the fruits of his office for personal aggrandisement. My respect for the man keeps going up everyday. 

There is a whole ecosystem working towards weakening his resolve & destroying his credibility.

I wish that his vision of 'Sabka saath, sabka vikas' becomes visible to every one, irrespective of beliefs. 

I also wish that his govt can rigidly enforce rule of law, without exceptions, like it happened in Jharkhand recently; India's achilles heel.

While I admire PM Modi, but I do believe that a democracy needs to have adequate & strong checks and balances to ensure stability & longevity.

A strong opposition is thus needed to keep the BJP juggernaut from absolute power, as absolute power corrupts absolutely.





The other thought ....

A diverse country like India should not have a single party governing at the Centre & in most states of India. 

This has happened/ is happening. 

The single largest national opposition party, the Congress, is in a self destruct mode. Who is to blame? 


It's leadership, their vison of India, or the negative narrative that they only seem to be working on  ..... 

or 

the irresponsible people of India?

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Who is a Good PM for India

A good PM for a hugely diverse country like India, in my opinion is as follows

Some one who can move the nation forward towards
  • Progress
  • Prosperity 
  • Rule of law
  • Equality for all citizens in terms of rights & duties, without exceptions. Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a crying need to bring about this equality. UCC was given as a Directive Principle vide our constitution, but no govt has had the vision or courage to bring it about. All it needs is clearing misgivings through education, and a bipartisan approach by all our political parties.
I love Modi and what he brings to the table for India. In Modi, we have a leader after a long time.

However, the way the country has elected the BJP in the centre & in most states of India is a little worrisome for our country as we cannot have a single party system for our diverse, in every way, citizenry.  

More worrying is the self destruct mode of the opposition, which cannot let go of परिवारवाद and जातिवाद. Rahul Gandhi has been anointed as the party President of the INC, after the post was vacated by his mother Sonia Gandhi, after 19 long years. It is worrisome that there is no one to challenge this in the oldest & largest national opposition party, although many more qualified people are members of the INC.

The opposition talks of a mahagathbandhan based on a single point agenda of 'oust Modi'. Just this one reason is the only glue that binds them. No common agenda beyond that. 

A minority community polarisation is worrisome and has been an irritant to most Indians up until a few years ago, especially since the constitutional amendment following the SC judgement in the Shah Bano case.

However, a majority community polarisation, without strong institutions and rule of law would be plain disaster.  

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Intelligence and Wisdom

Wisdom ..... a lot of it, in a few words!

Received as a forward .... Sharing for Posterity.

Intelligence leads to arguments. Wisdom leads to settlements.

Intelligence is power of will. Wisdom is power over will.

Intelligence is heat, it burns. Wisdom is warmth, it comforts.

Intelligence is pursuit of knowledge, it tires the seeker. Wisdom is pursuit of truth, it inspires the seeker.

Intelligence is holding on. Wisdom is letting go.

Intelligence leads you. Wisdom guides you.

An intelligent man thinks he knows. A wise man knows he thinks.

An intelligent man always tries to prove his point. A wise man knows there really is no point.

An intelligent man freely gives unsolicited advice. A wise man keeps his counsel.

An intelligent man understands what is being said. A wise man understands what is left unsaid.

An intelligent man speaks when he has to say something. A wise man speaks when he has something to say.

An intelligent man sees everything as relative. A wise man sees everything as related.

An intelligent man is always insistent. A wise man is ever consistent.

An intelligent man tries to control the flow. A wise man goes with the flow.

An intelligent man is wordy. A wise man is worldly.

An intelligent man preaches. A wise man reaches.

Wisdom says, "sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right."

Friday, February 23, 2018

LEAVE THE ARMED FORCES ALONE, PLEASE

The talk given by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on 21 Feb 2018, at a seminar on the subject, “North East Region of India – Bridging Gaps and Securing Borders” has caused a lot of political angst amongst the opposition parties, especially the AIUDF, AIMIM, CPI, INC, etc. The seminar was organised by the Centre for Joint Warfare Studies and the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence in New Delhi. This talk was thus given to a professional body that deals with national security issues. Professional bodies understand the nature of infiltration and the porous borders in the NE region. In professional bodies talks need to be free, frank, and with no holds barred, especially when it affects national security directly. The COAS was thus well within his right to speak his mind, and substantiate the same with examples. A reading of the statements attributed to the COAS would be in order to understand that it has nothing to do with the army overstepping its charter as per the Constitution.

He said, “Migration from Bangladesh is happening because of two reasons. One is lebensraum, you know they are running out of space. Large part of their areas get flooded under water during monsoons. So they have very constricted areas to stay in, so people will continue coming into our place, into our areas. And the other issue is a planned immigration that is taking place because of our western neighbour, they will always try and ensure that this area is taken over through playing the proxy dimension of warfare. You don’t have to confront a stronger nation through conventional operations, so you play a proxy game. I think this proxy game is being very well played by our Western neighbour, supported also by our northern neighbour, so to that extent to keep this area disturbed, we will continue to see this kind of  migration happening.”

“I don’t think you can change the population dynamics of the area. If it was five districts to eight to nine, that inversion has taken place, whichever be the government…there is a party called AIUDF [All India United Democratic Front]. If you look at, they have grown in a faster time frame than the BJP grew over the years. When we talk of Jan Sangh, with two members of parliament and where they have reached, the AIUDF is moving at a faster pace in the state of Assam. Finally, what will be the state of Assam, we have to take a call.”


“I think we have to understand, we got to appreciate to live with all the people we live in the region, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion or sex. I think if we understand that, we can live together happily but the best part is to amalgamate the kind of people that are living there, than identifying the people trying to create trouble for us.” 

“We will have more trouble in segregating people, identifying people. Yes, some people have to be identified who are creating trouble for us, who are illegal immigrants. But as was brought out, the Muslim population actually started coming into Assam from 1218 to 1226, which was the first time that the Muslims actually entered Assam. We have to understand that they are not late arrivers, they are the early arrivers, came concurrently with the Ahoms. Both these people have claim to the state of Assam and, therefore, to the North-East region.”

There is absolutely nothing political or religious in what the General has said, any thing for which our opposition political parties can go about holding the Army, the COAS, or the nation to ransom. The Defence Minister has rightly refused to comment or 'react' on the subject, as there is nothing in the talk, and that too a talk that has been delivered to a professional audience, that is seen as out of place.

Our opposition parties have slowly but surely been bringing down the credibility of our institutions, with an aim to score political brownie points. It seems that no institution established in our country is safe from this political mud slinging, be it the Election Commission, the CBI, police, judiciary, CAG, etc. They are now attempting to do the same to the only sacrosanct institution of our country - the armed forces; our last resource for war, as also for internal security, and as aid to civil authorities when our politicians, bureaucrats, police, and civilian apparatus fail to do what they are supposed to do.

Leave the armed forces alone, please.