Handling of Myanmar – 18 Indian Army jawans were killed in Manipur inside India. India’s response was, to enter the territory of another sovereign nation and conduct army raids there. Indians got a hashtag #56InchRocks, PM Modi became the No-Nonsense PM, Parrikar the bad ass Defense Minister. But, is there any point of view which could convince me that this was the ideal step to take, in such a situation. Instead of taking it as a national insult or a terrorist attack, this should first of all be seen as a huge failure of the intelligence agencies for people to come from across the border and stage such planned outrage. Second, what would happen in case some such attack comes from Pakistan or Bangladesh, we can’t storm in there. Congress inaction was a big no no but the BJP/Parrikar knee jerk reaction and chest thumping “We don’t keep the army to preach peace” isn’t much of a positive twist either. Even the mighty (read US) can’t sustain and succeed in the wars of this age, leave aside a lowly India. There was no mention of intelligence failure or the need to develop preventive, resistive capabilities and we got a chest-thumping-making-fool-out-of-himself-previously-respected-defense-minister. If Only!!
The pages of History which I go through
One of the biggest gain I find
The joy of marvel, the awe of being humbled
When I get to meet the giants of past
One such super cool, Bearded Suave Rockstar
One whose speeches India first heard
Was our dear old Surendranath Bannerjee
Or as I like to call him, SNB
Raja Rammohan Roy,the first modern Indian
Nehru might after all be the first independent one
But, my dear friends, talk of the Indian who was first free
The one who stood as Indian, our SNB was the one
Surrender Not Banerjee was what the British would call him
A fan of Mazzini, Garibaldi, the first Indian ICS
This was the man who scared Hume
And thus we got our own Congress
He was the one who started mutinies and won them too
Fought and won the post of ICS once
Until they couldn’t but dismiss on whim
And thus was born the first radical
Buried in the pages of Moderatism
The free Indian got blown by Tilak
The Rashtraguru faded into oblivion
But not before he had made the mark
Years countless have passed since your birth
Almost a century since your death
And yet this one son of your nation
And a lover of your extremism
Shall always remember you
The one with poise but too the swag to push it up
The one who started it all for us..
The one great grandfather we all forgot
Indian win over Pakistan to win Gold Medal in Hockey.Dream come true for so many Indians who wouldn’t have known names of perhaps 2 hockey team players (Sardar Singh might be known because of being flag bearer). The era of 1948,1971 and the ages of percieved equality in 80s and 90s are gone. We have surged ahead of Pakistan. We are an emerging global power, Pakistan is a failing nation, the competition ended years ago.
Pakistan is a separated brother, agreed they are temperamental, hostile but which younger brother is not hostile to seemingly harmless actions of a big brother because of the fear of domination. I saw the fear in eyes of my 1 year old nephew. Kids are kids, my older nephew came and snatched away the toy from his younger brother and played away to glory. We the elders were left to pacify the younger one distracting him away from the toy.I wouldn’t comment too much on Pakistan but India (hopefully) has matured over the years. We are a young nation with the famous “Dividend” , not a toddler. Age of brow beating and toy snatching is gone. India’s vision, as too that of India’s youth, should be higher, better and suitable things rather than the joy of beating Pak to win Gold in a second grade competition against a similarly woeful opponent.
I would have liked atleast one to say, “This should be a building block, India should now aim for greater glory in Olympics”, it wasn’t even a celebration of India’s victory, but a defeat of Pakistan. India has moved beyond 90s in many things, this is one of the vestiges which need to be shed soonest.
With the vested interest making up political leadership in both countries, any chances of peace and brotherhood are limited for India-Pakistan. More than Pakistan, India needs a peaceful Pakistan and good relation for its benefit. Its our prerogative to offer the hand of friendship. Diplomatically its a tough nut. Only way out is “Dil Milna” of the aawam of 2 nations. When I see, some of the most politically correct, unbiased of my friends celebrating Pakistan’s loss. I can only pray for “Man ki Sawchchhata” of some, just to make a beginning. Brothers can fight but shouldn’t kill or humiliate..
Someday before I die in a world seemingly impossible hopefully realistic, I would like to able to shout the slogan “Hind-Pak ek maa ki santaan” without any brow beating or violence.
Very often do I have people asking me the question. Why do I admire/appreciate/whatever Hitler? Don’t I agree with the fact that he was a mass murdered and all that. In many words and at various times, I have tried and explain this answer. Yet, more or less, my words fail me when it comes to expressing it. One (of the few ) good things you can find about him is, The Revolution. He was the one, who came who changed, the man of action. One who had ideas and had the guts and ability to steer the course of an entire nation, and almost the whole world.
The second ques, which might arise in the mind of anyone reading this title is, Gandhi & Hitler, def can be used in close proximity, but how does Godse get the honour of being his name taken in such esteemed company. Thats where my point tries to sneak through in midst of these names. Godse, if nothing, is an interesting character in Indian history. There have always been assassins through the history of world. Even India has had its share of assassins, so nothing new in that activity. Yet,
This was the man who killed Gandhi, who killed Mahatma, who killed the biggest apostle of peace, who killed a bapu of a nation, who killed one of the most famous person in human history and (arguably) most famous Indian ever. He, as an individual, should have been absolutely destroyed in the modern history, as it was written by the followers/fans of the Mahatma.
All this said and done, we never find Godse’s name maligned. We never hear accounts of him being a beastly human with more penchant for blood than feelings. Facts are facts which can’t be changed much, but folk lore or the stories are the part which can be fabricated anytime by anyone, and made to look real by the situations, we have seen enough examples of that. This, very fact combined with the statement of Godse, and whatever I have read of him on net and books, makes me put Godse on the same pedestal as Gandhi and Hitler, in the same sense that I admire history.
They were all revolutionaries, they had some (misguided at times?) set of rules, they had some principles, they thought about things and executed what they wanted to, in the fashion they wanted to. What makes them all different from simple, men of actions, is the effect on society. Agreed, Godse wouldnt stand anywhere near the two, and even if he hadn’t, the old man would have died in a few years if not months, by himself (or the self induced fasts). But, his revolution lay not in, ridding India of Gandhi, which was his purpose. Rather, it can be more understood, as a man standing against the Mahatma.
Netaji shall always stay one of the most important and respected figure in Indian National movement, looking through the annals of Indian National movement, he seems to be the only one among the major leaders, who seems to have no seemingly obvious flaws. Nehru is criticized in all circles in India, Gandhi might have been the Numero Uno pre-independence, yet you shall find Gandhi bashers in every corner of India (I am not talking about pro-Gandhi people, as they were and would always be present in large masses everywhere). Netaji, who was at a particular time (perhaps?) more influential than Gandhi (1938-39). But 70 years from that time, and many decades after his supposed death Netaji although popular among Indians by the virtue of his name and his war cries like “Delhi Chalo”, “Tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhe azadi dunga”. He shall always be considered a national hero, but leitmotif of the pages of history have been the question of his death(about which nothing can be done) and the supposed ignorance or negelect meted out to him.
The first part of this riddle, the question of life and death, which in itself is a very interesting question and a question of (perhaps?) national importance. Yet by all senses, the question might have lived out its time. But, the more important question could be the supposed neglect of Netaji, the way he has remained only a name in the history books unlike Gandhis and Nehrus who can be seen as landmarks all over the nation. The question of his death, at best can be termed as a bit of trivia, as the question whether a man died or not on a particular date can only be of certain level of importance to a nation of a billion. The question, whether a certain leader has been amply respected or not, has he been given his proper due or not, is one which can be perceived as one national importance and thats what I shall try to pursue in the next paragraph or two (which is the max such a platform can allow me).
The powers at the centre is censured time and again for neglecting his contribution and name (and perhaps rightfully so). This might seem an act of disrespect to the ‘bharat mata ka veer putra’. There certainly could have been more recognition for the man. But, looking at it all from a broader (and different) perspective might/should not arise such issues in the mind of people. Even if we emulate the views/doctrines of the Great man himself, which if it has to be described in one word, can be called Realpolitik, which in lay man terms can be defined as bit of ‘opportunism’. One of the comment he made was, if he had to shake hands with the devil for India’s independence he would do that. Hence if we look at him taking his own ideas as the backdrop, it can be seen (to an extent) to be consistent with his doctrines. It’s the opportunism/realpolitik which has kept him away from the well deserved honour. The Gandhi/Nehru ideology has been the winner in the struggle among the Freedom Fighters, and hence Subhas has more or less remained in silent pages of history.
Although this might seem wrong to some people, but then History has never gone by right or wrong, it has always been written by the winners, and with valid reasons. This can even be related to Survival of Fittest, ones who win have the right to do things their way, because its been their method which was more successful hence giving them more of an option of surviving. Hence, Netaji great as he might have been, lost somewhere in the race and since politics is always about masses and voices, and dead men dont posses any voices, so by any kind of rule/system, they are bound to receive less attention and importance than the ones who survive.
Thats why, I think its time, we leave the past and its legacy and start living with the system which has been in place, because it is there only after passing some tests. Even if, we ignore the dying part, saying Gandhi also died, yet his legacy remains strong as ever. Thats where we can find the fault in Netaji for not being able to set up a legacy or a support cast (read : Nehru) which could have carried his name ahead. After all it was the game of politics they were all playing and like any other thing in the world, some win, some lose!
Local authorities and the govt are perhaps two of the most cursed things in India, after our very own legendary Ravindra Jadeja. Each and everyday, we end up cursing some or the other thing related to the administration, ranging from unfilled potholes or the roads which havnt been refurbished after the extended spell of monsoon that the city enjoyed. Yet, since the time I have come to Hyderabad, the HUDA (or whoever is the concerned authority) if it hasnt managed to be the best local development authority, then I would surely rank it above many places I have been to till date.
The whole life, according to me is nothing but a matter of balance, and it is in maintaining this balance that HUDA has more or less succeeded in the, almost 5.5 years I have spent in the city of Nizams. Sure, we shall always have our problems, the roads in old city will always be crowded and congested. The diversions in Hitech City, shall always be hijacked by a group of people, unable to quench their thirst of spending more hours working, taking (supposedly) illeagl shortcuts to reach office early. Still, with such problems which every major establishment shall face with the increase in population, specially the IT inspired population explosion that Hyderabad has experience in past few years.
Such a explosion is bound to fail all the existing systems of a city, yet somehow Hyderabad, much to its credit hasnt yet choked fully. You can still see open spaces, you can still find empty tracts of road, you can still travel 8-9 kms in 20 mins or so. Hyd, as I said, has been about maintaining balance, it hasn’t gone the Mumbai, Bangalore way and as a result making people spend major part of their days on road. Neither has it been lucky like Noida and specially Greater Noida, with having lots of space to extend and huge amounts of capital investment to support the impending infrastructure development. Greater Noida, when inhabited shall be a city to marvel, yet as of now, it just seems a lot of money invested to build lots of houses and lots of good roads, with no people to use them.
One major part of development of Hyd, since the time I have come here is the preemptive planning, a point, which, Not many planners around the country are taking into account. I still remember, once upon a time, the Nagarjuna Circle, used to be one of the busiest places in hyderabad, and was touted (perhaps misgivingly) as one of the busiest circles in Asia. Yet, just the construction of a simple flyover at the place, has decreased that problem by orders of magnitude. That was one example of taking action after encoutnering the problem, a strategy missing in almost all cities, where things are mostly allowed to Let It Be. Chandrababu Naidu, shall be thanked for inculcating a flyover culture in Hyderabad. After the construction of this flyover, the PVNR Express Way was also more of example of acting at the problem. The examples of preemptive planning are the new flyovers which have come up/are coming up in Hitech City and near Gachibowli (respectively). Agreed, the traffic at the Cyber Towers circle has increased exponentially in the last few years. But in no situation had the problem exaggerated to the extents of needing a new flyover. Similarly the situation at Gachibowli circle commanded even lesser attention than Cyber Towers, yet we do have a flyover construction in full force there as well, and, shall sooner than later, be welcomed by the sight of a new one. Yet, the most shocking part was, when I observed, what could only be the building blocks of new flyover near the Begumpet flyover.
I guess, for once we should thank the Authorities in Hyderabad, for trying to do their best in an endeavour to make the lives of us Hyderabadis simpler and more convinient.
I have very vibrant memories of times in our school/college when going through the pages of TOI, I would at times stumble upon an article talking about the problems that the young corporate India was facing. The term used in the papers was Quarter Life Crisis. To describe,what I could make out of the phenomenon (after reading such articles time and again) was the confusion that these people had, the lack of purpose, lack of direction and such things which were threatening to disrupt their mental balance.
Looking from the POV of a starry-eyed teenager or an unconcerned college student, these issues didn’t amount to much. It was quite hard to appreciate the feeling of emptiness/void being talked about in the articles. It always seemed quite weird to me that people having good pay packages and all the comforts in life, they could think of, would still be unsatisfied, could still be puzzled and muddled. Looking from the point of view, I had at that time, getting a job and earning handsomely could have been the simplest solution to life anyone could ask for. Yet, such is the rule of life, that when you find the key to the lock of happiness, somehow or the other, lock changes and you are left flummoxed at some nook or corner of a road, which until now had seemed like heading in one direction with no seemingly visible obstructions or turnarounds.
Today, more than 1.5 years since I left the college and joined corporate culture, left right and center, I can see people going through the Quarter Life Crisis. Words like void and incompleteness which only graced the pages of science textbooks for all such science graduates, started becoming the words which describe the current status of their lives. It might be wrong to say that most of the people this age are looking for solutions and things to do, yet the fact remains, that some way or the other this is the time to THINK. Someone’s happy with a relation, some one else is all geared up to settle down and have a happily satisfied life, some are looking towards their job and making a glorious career out of it through their own efforts, some people after spending enough time in corporate world are looking to go for education, mostly an MBA or MS which would help further their career in the line of service they choose. Such people, who have chalked out a path in life for themselves can definitely be found around us.
Yet even with all this said and done and people having options and many of them even selecting them, there remains a large chunk of population, torn between the issues which shall decide their life, someone’s torn between looking for (and hopefully finding) a gf (ignoring bf coz girls just supposedly don’t care that much) or else, working for and looking to develop a career, which can be a bit difficult if you give time for the activity of finding and maintaining a girl. Troubles in the task of finding a life or a better(?)/different career is compounded by the fact that S/W field is a very comfortable and (atleast for me) a well-paying option, which desists an individual from taking any sort of risks because it shall involve giving up a life which is good, comfortable, paying and respectable! Almost everything you could want from a job is provided by the field, yet leaving a blank/void somewhere somehow which makes you think again and again, more and more until you are irritated by the thinking and also as a result of all this thinking have exaggerated the pre-existing void in your life.
Asking for a solution to such a thing, is never going to be easy. Since a whole generation is suffering with the problem, you would be hard pressed to find people in your peer group, who can give u solutions, at best people around can be used as a sounding board, on which you can bounce your own ideas and think for their views and opinions, but its going to be hard finding help more than that. It’s hard to say what path life takes in such cases, someone more experienced in this situation can help people out. But, each and every person having his/her own mindset/problems/talents/desires leads to the fact that no one can understand the issues like you do, and the things they recommend could be wrong in your context. I can’t say, which way this ends, or rather which way it shall chalk out for me, but I guess I shall be looking forward to it,because after all
Jeena isi ka naam hai