A Genuine Independence Day!

It’s true, we drove away the foreigners from India in 1947.
But, we promptly coronated the natives that were even more inimical.

By awarding God-like powers to a certain old gentleman,
We accepted the Devil he recommended to be our leader.
That some true patriots died before their work was done, didn’t help either.

So, we had a single dynasty rule us for a long time.
Did I say rule? I actually meant ‘mis-rule’.
This nasty dynasty is now on the verge of extinction.

With a true nationalist at the helm now,
With the Saffron flag flying augustly over the Red Fort,
Let’s celebrate our Independence day today with a relieved heart.

A dangerous game

“Both Telangana and Kashmir were not part of India before 1947. They were separate nations. But we were forcibly annexed to the Indian Union after 1947. Our troubles have started since then. We do come out clean, few parts of Kashmir are not ours and we need to draw international borders.” – Kavita Kalvakurthy, TRS M.P. from Nizamabad, Telangana, India.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi has taken the conflict to the next level with this statement. The stakes have been upped. Most of the TRS leaders, including their head honcho KCR, might appear buffoons to a lot of people, but their buffoonery has a well calculated direction. Along with other people, I have largely made fun of them and might have given the wrong impression that they are a bunch of harmless jokers. That was never my intention. Jokers they might be, but harmless they aren’t. In fact, I have always believed TRS to be a dangerous divisive entity that spews venom at every opportunity, thus corrupting the souls it touches in the process.

Actually if you think about it, the Telangana Struggle has all the familiar elements of the plots that have come to be associated with other assorted ‘victimized groups’.

The plot always evolves like this. A group declares itself as a victim and a persecuted entity and demands that past wrongs be redressed. Usually, it starts as a trickle and slowly gathers moss. Hatred will always find some takers. There are plenty of unhappy individuals going around. These people will find somebody/something to focus their anger on. A Telangana dude will suddenly remember a job he lost because of an Andhra Wallah in the past. Some woman will recall how her father has been cheated in a business by an Andhra partner. And the momentum increases. Wisdom dawns on more and more people from the victimized group that the reason they are not successful is not because of them, but because of ‘others’.

At this point, the politicians and the so-called intellectuals (mostly of the leftist variety) join in. They believe this can be turned into an effective political cause and exploited. And thus infrastructure gets added to the so far toothless movement. And the people in the power start noticing them.

In India, for a long time, the people in the power have been those who would hold on to power at any cost. With an eye on the votes that might be lost, they will try to cajole the movement leaders. At first sops are given. This will, of course, not improve the lot of the victimized group, but just fatten the pockets of their leaders. And the leaders would demand more flesh.

In the case of rogue states like Pakistan and North Korea, it would be money. “We have been wronged and our people are baying for blood. We can only hold them back for so long unless you give us something. If you give us our deserved piece of the pie, we will hold them off for a bit longer.” In this case, the West is afraid of the nuclear proliferation these two countries might cause, and doles out some largess.

In the case of religious minorities and backward castes it could be reservations. Since these sops will never achieve what they are intended for, they will only make these groups even more insular and backward. In short the carrot will always be dangled and the hare will keep running.

In the case of Telangana and Kashmir it would be increased autonomy or outright independence. “The only way we can improve our lot is by seceding or separating. Nothing else will work. This is the only way,” they will clamor shutting out any negotiations.

The truth is, the moment the ‘perpetrators’ accept to provide some sops to the victims, they are automatically agreeing with their core arguments. The ‘victims’ will gain moral ground. “Aha, see they are providing these sops to us now that we have started raising our voices. Otherwise we would have been exploited as usual” would be their refrain now. The only way to deal with such people is to call a spade a spade. “Nonsense, it is not because of Andhrites you are suffering this fate. It’s because of your own ineptitude and your own leaders. And the Naxalites aren’t helping greatly either,” would be the only right response.

If you are scared senseless at every threat of a hunger-strike-unto-death like the incompetent former CM like Rosiah, who were believed by the even more incompetent leaders like Sonia Gandhi, the ‘victims’ will always win.

(This is not to say that everything in Telangana is hunky and dory. There are many problems. Just like there are many problems in Andhra. And many problems in Timbaktu. But when irrational hatred forms the basis of the victims’ arguments, the problems don’t go away, they simply become nastier. Everybody loses. In this case it would be the people of both Telangana and Andhra. Forward five years from now and you will come to know that neither part of the former Andhra Pradesh has benefited by this vivisection.)

KCR and the company have got their impossible demands fulfilled because of sheer luck. That an evil, inept leader like Sonia Gandhi was at the helm made all the difference. Sonia Gandhi, for reasons known only to her, broke every rule in the Indian constitution and almost single handedly divided Andhra Pradesh into two pieces. Even a lunatic would have done a better job.

This seems to have emboldened the Pink brigade. They are really thinking they achieved Telangana with their demagoguery. They seem to be thinking that it will work again.

This time they are doing it because there is a not-so-friendly government at the Center. TRS would like to bend NDA to its will by raising the ‘not a part of India’ specter. They probably expect BJP to come running to them saying, “Please, don’t say that. All you have to do is accept you are Indian. In return, we will do whatever you want us to do. We will give those provinces in Bhadrachalam we took away from you. (Never mind Bhadrachalam itself was part of the Andhra state before Andhra Pradesh was formed.) We will even break the new Andhra Pradesh into three more pieces. Just say Kashmir and Telangana belong to India.” And when that happens K. Kavita would issue a statement denying what she said earlier and blame the media for misquoting her. Ahem.

But then, BJP is not Congress and Narendra Modi is not Rahul Gandhi. So, TRS might be in for a rude shock.

By speaking on behalf of everyone in Telangana, they have also put the denizens of Telangana in a mighty spot of bother. Most of the Telanganites have supported TRS so far, not because they think KCR & Co. are a noble bunch, but because their hatred for Andhrites, blinded their eyes to the follies of TRS.

Will they still keep their eyes shut?

Viva Fut^Bol!

The world is currently gripped with football – soccer for Americans and Australians – fever, and rightly so.

There is no other game that’s more popular throughout the globe. More than hundred countries play it. In theory, all you need is a bunch of people willing to play the game AND a football, which explains its popularity in the third world countries. No other expensive equipment is needed.

I feel the game of football has not been given its due. May be, it’s considered a poor man’s game. It definitely doesn’t have the sophistication or grace possessed by a game like Tennis. But the raw power and charm it exudes is unmatched.

Also, the world’s two biggest democracies, India and the USA are not big patrons of this game. The USA is catching up (it still has a long way to go before it springs any real surprises) and in India it is confined largely to the Eastern part. I believe that when the game of Football is taken up in a big way by these two giants, it will finally get the respect and recognition it deserves.

Why football hasn’t flourished in India is always a mystery to me. Given the population and the low cost associated with the game, it should have been natural for Indian kids to be playing football everywhere in the country. Still, it’s not too late for Indians to adapt to this wonderful game. I am not asking Indians to let go of their favorite game, Cricket. Just fondly wishing they would add this game to their list as well.

And why football? It’s probably the greatest team game ever played, and has a chance of unifying the whole world behind it. An official world game if you would.

If you have ever seen two superb evenly matched sides fighting it out in the field in a soccer game, you would know what exactly I mean. It’s truly poetry in motion.

The insidious nature of socialism (and how Congress exploits it to the brim)!

There have been several kinds of fascism that pitted one human being against the other: Racism, Religious Fundamentalism, Tribalism, Casteism, Monarchy, Dictatorship, Linguistic Parochialism to name a few.

In the last century though, two forms of fascism have stood out. They are Islamic fundamentalism and Communism. Both have the potential to destroy our human world as we know it.

However, a third kind of ideology has been gaining ground recently all over the world that is at once insidious and virulent. It is Socialism.

The word socialism itself is not new. There has been a tendency to use communism and socialism interchangeably from the beginning. China and Russia called themselves socialist too, more often than not.

Under Nehru though, at least in India, the word got a new meaning. It was supposed to be the best of both worlds Capitalism and Communism offered.  The kind of ideology that was supposed to suit the special conditions that prevailed in India. According to Nehru, China, Russia and India were all socialist countries, though neither China nor Russia never believed India was anything but a pseudo-capitalist country, which immediately tells you one man’s socialism is not another’s.

The word socialism is an ambiguous beast.  The closest most of the people would agree upon, is probably this: In socialism, people have the right to possess private property. But the government is responsible for the general well-being of the people and hence has enough discretionary powers to make that happen. How much private property one is allowed to have,  and how much power the government has to ensure the welfare of the people are the flexible parameters here.

Given the above definition, communism can be considered as an extreme case of socialism. In communism, the individual owns nothing and the state has every power at its disposal.

Similarly most of the capitalist societies also practice some degree of socialism. If you take America, the government has been playing a bigger and bigger role in providing all kinds of amenities to the people.  So, though America is the closest idealistic capitalist society we have,  it’s not 100% capitalist either.

Nehru used socialism as his ideological foundation on which he tried to build India. When he started out as India’s first Prime Minister,  he truly believed that socialism would deliver. I have no doubt of that. However,  he also must have realized that things weren’t progressing along as he hoped them to. He wasn’t statesman enough to backtrack and try a different approach, but his earlier conviction was genuine enough.

However from the time Indira Gandhi took over the reins of India, she continued with socialism not because of her ideological affinity, but because she quickly figured out it could be cynically exploited to  create a vote bank out of the poorest. She was targeting the kind of poor who had every stake to go to the polling booth on the Election day and vote, not like the educated classes who weren’t really interested in the their right to vote.

By that time, most of the communist thinkers had already figured out that communism would not work anywhere.  But they still held on to it. Some of them had spent their whole lives believing in its efficacy and were loath to admit they were wrong.  Regardless, communism and it’s derivative, socialism, were moribund philosophies.

But even Indira Gandhi, or Rajeev Gandhi who succeeded her, didn’t  understand the full range of benefits a demagogue can extract out of socialism.  Not until China turned communism into a form of controlled capitalism, did all the unscrupulous politicians wake up.

Now evil politicians all around the world realized that it was better to allow some people to make money. That way there will be a bigger pie to loot from. Also, they didn’t have to abandon their vote bank of poor either. In fact, they could strengthen it, by sharing some of the wealth thus generated.

The equation is simple, really. Mathematically speaking, if 49% of the people can be made to pay for the rest of the 51%, continuance of power is assured. The grateful 51% would keep such a benevolent government in power.

Two things need to be be noted here:

1) Even during the best of the economic times, there would be no progress since whatever wealth is being generated is being frittered away, by a non-working population.

2) Slowly the people from the working 49% of the population would get disenchanted and start joining the other group.

Soon 30% working members of the society would be supporting themselves and the 70% of the non-working members. Afterwards, 20% would be supporting the rest of the 80%. This arrangement is destined to break at some point, when the money being generated by the worker ants will not be enough to pay for the lazy ants.

But who cares? At least, not a party like Congress. They can play this charade for one or two terms depending on how much surplus the previous government had left them and how long people are willing to play along. If this balance is upset, they are willing to sit in the opposition for sometime. After all they need time to spend all the loot they collected.

So, here’s the rub. Before 2014 elections, Congress will do its darnedest best to befriend the non-working members of the society. They will rush to get an Aadhar card to everybody, so they can use it as an instrument to transfer cash to the poor, thereby effectively converting them to beggars who would need the Maibaap Congress Sarkaar to keep protecting them. Congress will play every cynical move, stoop as low as it can possibly go, to come back to power for a third term.

Here’s rub number two. Even if Congress loses, BJP is going to inherit a sordid mess. It will probably take them more than a term to sort it out. When people would have to go through difficulties because of the political and economic reforms BJP must undertake, they would suddenly remember the golden days of Congress rule, and all the blame would be squarely placed at the door of the BJP.

So, even if BJP comes to power in 2014, the struggle doesn’t and must not end. It must be ensured that Congress never comes back to power again.

To make sure Congress doesn’t return, BJP and its friends must make sure that a sustained information campaign goes on explaining the truth of the matter. They need to work extra hard, since the national press won’t help at all. Movies must be made, books must be written, camps and meetings must be held. In short whatever is necessary to keep reminding the people that socialism is the reason why they are in trouble in the first place.

Even if the BJP has to dilute its agenda, it should, because there is nothing more important than keeping Congress out of power permanently. I would go as far as to say it’s the duty of every patriotic Indian.

Celebrate Congress’s defeat, but cautiously!

So, Congress got a kick in the rear. Am I happy? Of course! Better late than never…

Am I deliriously happy? Not really, because it’s justice delayed. They should never have been brought to power in 2004, let alone given a second chance in 2009.

It took a zillion scams (each scam involving zillions of rupees); a near act of war by our beloved neighbor Pakistan, (hint: the attacks in Mumbai); total lack of law and order, either on the streets or in the power circles, (the rapes, the rise of the rowdy-sheeters, the utter contempt with which politicians have been flouting the norms); a policy of “Divide and Rule” so cynical it would put even Machiavelli to shame; and a complete idiot (Rahul Gandhi) whom Congress tried to force on us as the next Prime minister, that finally tilted the balance against the Grand Odious Party.

Does it have to be this bad before we realize that evil is ruling us? Does nothing but a possibility of utter destruction awaken us to the truth?

It’s not there aren’t people who are aware of the prevailing situation. There are a few. But they are disorganized, frustrated and are sulking to themselves (yours truly sometimes fits the bill nicely).

In a country like India, it’s always the masses who decide the fates of the governments. By masses, I don’t necessarily mean the illiterate. A lot of the so-called literate are no better, consumed by caste loyalties and parochialism as they are.

By masses here, I simply mean enough people to bring about a change.

We need a critical mass of people that should be clever enough to see through the designs of rulers who always want to keep them subdued and subjugated. They should be perspicacious enough to care for the long term gain rather than the short term relief. (Remember “Garibi hataavo” slogan anyone? Right from Indira Gandhi, Congress’s plan has been to keep people “gareeb” forever, so they can keep working on removing their “gareebi.”)

We need free thinkers, who are not affiliated to any one ideology blindly and who are willing to undertake the painful task of choosing a lesser evil. If you wait for the right party in Politics, you will wait forever. You take the closest possible right party and then teach it to be more right.

I says this because I keep running into people like these who proclaim wisely: “All politicians are the same. BJP is as corrupt as Congress. Just see what Kejriwal will do when he comes to power,” and so on and so forth. These people, (almost all of them are literate), are the most dangerous members of a society.

They claim “they are not interested in politics,” without understanding the fact that nobody can get away from politics. It’s all around you, at work, at home, even among friends. Whether you are interested in politics are not, it’s certainly interested in you and will use you.

Actually, power politics loves people who are disenchanted, because they know there would be no threat from that quarter. The people who are not interested in politics are as good as dead for the politicians. So, you are actually helping politics flourish by not being interested in politics. Go figure that out!

Did you get that, dude or lady, who is constantly discouraging people by saying “Nothing will change, no matter what we do?” 

It’s possible the next party we vote to power might be as bad as Congress.(Remember V.P. Singh, the guy who wanted to unite his party, by dividing India?) If the next party is as evil, we will vote them out too. And the ones after them. The point here is this.

Repeat after me slowly:We will not, and shall not allow evil to take root.      

Allowing Congress to rule (or misrule, if you prefer that) for ten long years in the 21st century, where time and quick action matter more than ever has already put India into a bigger hole than anyone could have imagined in 2004.

This happened because of the:

1) Socialist policies pursued by the Congress party  (using up the wealth created by BJP before it came to power) that convinced enough people that it’s “good” for them to have Congress ruling the country.

2) Apathy of the intelligentsia,  and

3) Media which still feels Modi would be worse than Rahul and is trying to downplay how bad Congress has been to our nation.

Let me address the above points in reverse.

Media:

A lot of national newspapers and magazines are still writing columns on “How Congress could improve its prospects by doing such and such”, “What kind of lessons it could learn from this debacle”, and so and so forth; Times of India, Indian Express, India Today & Hindu to name a few.

Get over it, media!!! Congress has nothing to “learn” from anything. They don’t want to learn. They know all they need, which is “To be in power by any means necessary.” You know this; we know this; who are you fooling? Stop protecting the Congress and the Nehru clan and lift up your heads from whichever hole it is stuck in.

Apathy of the intelligentsia:

Democracy is a living, breathing and dynamic process. You need to be vigilant and protect it so it will protect you in times of your need. Remember the age old adage Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitaha? If you protect Dharma, Dharma will protect you. Democracy is the new Dharma here.

So dedicate some time to know what’s happening around you. Do something. Anything. This is your life and you need to take charge. If you have to support the lesser evil even though it might not be palatable to you, by all means, still do it. But don’t stop there; keep pushing. Try to make these choices less and less evil. We may not attain perfection but we can certainly aim for it.

Socialist policies:

Socialism is the new mantra for progressive secular liberals all around now. Communism is passe. Plus, it won’t work. Plus you have to kill a lot of dissidents. Too much hard work, if you ask me. But with a little demagoguery and enough dumb people to play along, socialism can really keep a party in power for a long long time.

Let’s see how Congress has perfected this to a near art form in the next article.

Peace and Shalom.

The Rahul Gandhi factor

There we go again. One more faux pas by ‘prince’ Rahul Gandhi.

I have been trying to restrict myself to only a few Congress-bashing articles on my blog every month. Tempting as the prospect is of solely focussing on tearing apart Congress, there is this danger of monotony added to the real prospect of falling into a deep depression.

And, then I read this morning that Rahul has declared in a public meeting, “Communal forces killed my grandmother and father. Will probably kill me too.” He then promptly went on to attack the communal BJP and why it should not be brought to power, because of that very reason.

I tried the age old technique of taking deep breaths. (Incidentally it has been an age old failure in calming me down too.) “Rahul is immature. He is nice guy who means well,” I tried to reason to myself.

Then, I exploded.

Rahul, you idiot!

Your dad was killed by the LTTE  who can hardly be qualified as communal forces, unless you can prove BJP/RSS ordered the hit taking their help. (Come to think of it, you might very well say that in your next meeting.)

And it was your grandmother who sowed the seeds of communalism in the ever patriotic Sikh community by creating the Bhindranawla factor herself, just so Congress could defeat the Akalis in Punjab assembly elections.

What communal forces are you talking about?

Today, you have been downgraded from an idiot to a nincompoop. Amen!

Karva Chauth – Is it significant?

As an individualist that I am and will be, this sort of discussion is irrelevant. I believe everybody should be allowed to do what they like as long as they don’t harm the society in general and other individuals in particular.

However, I decided to speak up on Karva Chauth since my opinion on this tradition extends to most of the other religious traditions too.

For the ignorant, here’s the Wikipedia definition: “Karwa Chauth is an one-day festival celebrated by Hindu women in North India in which married women fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands.”

As long as the wife and the husband willingly go through this ritual (the wife more than the husband; after all she’s the one fasting here), it should be nobody’s business really. It doesn’t matter whether the wife does it out of love or superstition either. Willingly is the operative word here.

People do various things to express their affection for their significant others. The range includes buying diamonds to starving themselves. In one way, each is as important as the other. In another way, each is as silly.

But one thing needs to be noted. It’s not the business of non-believers (like me) to ridicule people for following this custom. Similarly, those who practice the ritual don’t have the right to look down on those who don’t.

So, what do I think about Newspapers gleefully reporting that Kareen Kapoor Khan doesn’t observe Karva Chauth while Aishwarya Rai Bachan does? Newspapers will publish any kind of trash, as long as there is an audience for it.  And believe me, there is a huge audience for these kind of news.