Journal India

A Friday stands out for those who work 5 – day weeks. There’s no other day like it, especially for the young at heart who feel forever starved of me-time. The music is already on in the mind and the evening, bathed in freedom, is pregnant with opportunities. Its spell intoxicates with anticipation much before the first sip is tasted.

Yet, what would a week be without its disappointments. First, that opinion which held the agriculture ‘guilty’ of being slow to grow, and a drag on indices otherwise so promising. What does one say to that ? That, dear fool, you wouldn’t be alive, nor would there be an economy at all without agriculture, drag or not. I’m sure the opinion meant to underscore the need to inject improved ways into farming. But there was no gentleness or depth in the expression to communicate that.

Likewise seem the battle cries of feminists, who deem the veiled ways of woman in several societies as an insult and a means to deny females of their womanhood. Again, perhaps the intent is to point to their denial of choice in the matter; but the expression doesn’t seem as reasoned or stark. Woman should be able to choose, also to retain a curtained living space they can recede to when they want. In the summer, it is common to see women keep their faces veiled, as do men, to protect themselves from heat and blast of hot winds. We all keep ourselves covered, more or less, do we not ? I myself choose not to step into the living area of my house when it is filled with people I do not relate with. How does that take away my manhood, I wonder.

* * *

I wrote through the week in bits and pieces about the debt crisis in Greece. The harshest critics of its past and present government say that it has been profligate, more socialistic than it can afford, and downright irresponsible. Almost all advocate for the systemic status quo, IMF conditions to extended debt and the holy cow of scheduled repayments, the rights of European banks to assets in lieu if bailout loans to pay their dues are not arranged, and that high moral ground found on their own economic comfort.

The erroneous ways of successive Greek administrations is undeniable, not for the populist policy they pursued but because they created and ignored the revenue deficit for far too long, as to lose the capacity to manage the urgent consequences. The IMF loan and earlier EU bailout itself was a perverse capitalist attempt to fish in already murky waters. Was it not evident that loan for repaying a previous is signal to spiral into abyss ? Wasn’t Greece already living by a book that was openly unsquared off ? As a sovereign state, it was entitled to its erroneous way. But the pundits in IMF and EU ? Why did they not foresee the intractable compounding in its future along the set trajectory ?

* * *

It is a curious observation : I prefer life, and my movies, to be either grand or deep. Raquel Welch’s Hannie Caulder and Lee Van Cleef’s films were grand; no ambiguity, nothing grey that wouldn’t resolve into white or black soon enough. The Dishonoured Lady was deep; as exploratory was Vivien Leigh’s The Deep Blue Sea. Music can be both…

In continuation with my two-part Yoga posts, I’ll leave you with a sacred observation from Isha Upanishad :

” They are in dark, who do not know.

” They are in greater darkness,  who are engaged in living by what they know.”

*

On Indian soldiers in World War I …

What if forgotten, @BBCNews ?
What if remembered ?

If anybody told you they were anything other than mercenaries, with no cause of their own, they are lying for their own present day reasons.
What we do remember, and shall always, is how methodically the white country of Britain destroyed our economy, humiliated our people, disabused our knowledge base, killed our traditional educational institutions, partitioned our nation, and deliberately killed our millions through Churchill — induced famine.
That is all there is to remember… along with Edwina’s honeytrap on islamised Nehru.
Yeah, that is what we all would remember.

@narendramodi tweets of nirvana day, this day on which Swami Vivekananda shed his body.
The Sanatana Way has no such ‘nirvana’ concept. There is ‘moksha’ which is different … No one need necessarily die to attain that. Especially not the ever liberated ones…

In Vivekananda’s own words : I will shed this body as its date of use expires… I will come again and again to serve the living gods on earth — the poor, disempowered and the weak, and the ignorant everywhere.

‪#‎Epic‬ Lewis Carroll presented a mathematics book to Queen Victoria after she, impressed with Alice’s Adventures, requested that he dedicate his next work to her.
Maths ! ? Yeah.

Islamic‬ madrassa graduates can only become owaisis, not Abdul Kalams !

India’s Eco-Political Way

India’s republican politics began with social justice and managed economy, which soon degenerated into banana democracy and crony capitalism riding on corruption, red tapism and opaque governance, before it rebounded in early 1990s, consolidating through the turn of the century, worsening after 2005 and again jump- starting now in the middle of the second decade.

One marked feature in our current run is the confidence the country has shown in trusting its own particular basket of priorities, policies, institutional processes and governance structures, tuned to its very specific security, polity, energy, infra and consumption needs. It braced the transparency challenge and technologicall multipliers to appreciable effect, built grandly on democratic participation of its population, and has added flexibilities that have made for high responsiveness in real time.

Hence, today when I hear Noam Chomsky rail against the tyranny and subversions by the greedy and powerful, and for the vulnerable people, I gather that his concern is with how the situation is in the US, in particular, and wherever the US-style of capitalism has come to prevail. The crisis in Greece represents the same ‘colonialism by other means’ that US– backed IMF and Germany–led EU institutions pursue on behalf of their respective keepers and their MNC beneficiaries.

I specifically do not see the described problem relate to the ground situation in India, where the govt has rolled out a slew of food, education and health guarantee schemes for the poor, several public distribution channels operated or assured by the state, economic security, housing and small enterprise facilitation programs, etc.

The current NDA administration especially has been both people-centred and responsive in real time. And our participatory democracy couldn’t be better as of now, relatively speaking.

Which thought is sort of assuring and encouraging of the very tailored middle-way economic path India has chosen to follow, now with even greater strength and directed focus than ever before.

It spells goodness and virtuous polity when people trust their country and believe in its trajectory coming from before. The future is still unknown; but it wouldn’t be bad, we know.

The Discontent’s Heart

I

The moon solitary, the sky in itself

The heart lonely each time we met;

Hope is dead, even the stars have set

Just the reek shimmers within the self;

Is this life, we call ?

Breathing mere, alive just

The body lonely,

The spirit dumped. ?

Even with partners I met on way 

We trod alone, apart in own sway;

Beyond these lights, off and on

The house will then rest alone

By itself, shrivelled and forlorn

Waiting… after I am long gone

Glass eyed but still looking on

Absent steps, path overgrown.

Why insist, my dear, for my tale bland

Weaves insipid, its joyless strands ?

* * *

Blistering frenzy would have brough him to these ruins

Else who would light a lamp in storm this booming ?

Speck every must hold his prayers pure

With God must he have each form cured 

Quenching the thirst of burning thorns

Palms loving, the dripping waters hot.

And if he’d find a shining golden rock

Reflect it’d his clear, own broken heart.

Ere the traveller wipes the blood spatters clean

Know, he raised this garden in barrens rocky.

* * *    * * *

Adaptations of poems

written and sung by Meena Kumari.

The Peacock Feel

This morning, the monsoon is in view :

IMG_20150629_063705404

Our Duties. Our Respect.

The Indian Constitution, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi deems as the only ‘Bible’ for his administration, contains several sections numbered from I to XXI. The part IVA contains the Fundamental Duties that every citizen of India must live up to and be guided by. Though not enforceable, its presence in the august body of guidelines assigns to it the status of a national calling, a mandate of the collective for what each citizen must ensure in his or her conduct in everyday life.

Even though the breach of laid fundamental duties by an individual is not punishable by law, perhaps to restrict the State from misusing such powers and to retain the liberal environment for all citizens, any transgression of such duties would automatically devalue the citizen in the eyes of the national mainstream. And such a devaluation cannot be considered to be discriminatory against the person or prejudicial to his right to equal treatment and place in society, especially if the deviant behaviour is perceived to be an act of will and not merely inadvertent.

The Fundamental Duties mandates that it shall be the duty of every citizens of India :

(a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;

(b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;

(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;

(d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;

(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;

(f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;

(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;

(h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;

(i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;

(j) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.

My felt need to direct a spotlight on this important section of our Constitution, that is treated almost casually and essentially as a mere afterthought, arose out this evidence of serious, willful and repeated breach of its provisions by groups of people and religious communities.

It is my attempt at letting the deviants know why they are looked down upon by the national mainstream. It is because, by their conduct, they themselves declare to the rest of us how little value they have for their citizenship, even while claiming and clamouring for all the rights it offers to them.

It is only by abidance to our essential and mandated duties can we deserve to be treated as no less and step up to meet others as honourable citizens of this great nation, which is on the move.

Journal : Those Emergency Days

June 25 #Emergency 40 years ago this day…

I knew what it was while I was home during that summer from college. I was back to late nights with friends at the club, formally an ” institute,” at tea shops, on the roads, sitouts in public places…

Until one day, my father, forever limpid and soft spoken, said with a worried look : Don’t stay out for long, and never late. These days, you can never tell.

I was perplexed, truly. What the hell ? Wasn’ t this my town, the one that always spelled laughter and joy for an otherwise perpetually parched soul, such as I then was ?

My mother looked on … quiet, serious, contemplative with love. She brought on dinner to break the spell. It still tasted divine; but the cloud on my mind wouldn’t go away. Because, there was fear behind those words my father had spoken. A strange emotion in the man I had known until then. Which was little, as I later found out during the same visit.

Visiting the railway station, the book stall actually, I read the display board in some alley I cannot remember. The area was ill lit, yet I could read his name as President of Divisional Railwaymen’s Federation. Year 1958–59.

I never did query him about it, ever. The man I knew was totally apolitical, though people would often congregate at home and talk … waiting for what he had to say. He and mother never failed to walk into the booth on election day. But active, vociferous, never, as I knew him. Not then, when I was in my late teens, and not later.

He had quit the politics entirely but had his strong belief in Jan Sangh, and Dr S P Mukherjee, even R M Lohia. They, in his values system, represented what the nation really needed. He found his idealism in arts, the film buff he was. And Ramayana, which he would often read aloud, haltingly because of throat choked of surged emotion and eyes blurred with tears.

Journal entry made this day, June 25th 2015.

The Truth Overarching : Yoga II

Much transpired in the Indian subcontinent over a very very long period of time, in terms of definitive understanding about life and its reality before accepted, peer validated thought systems were codified for the civil world to ponder, practise and know. The happenings pertain to times so long ago that it is well nigh impossible to hazard a guess as to when it took place. But the thought systems themselves are astonishingly clear even millennia after they had been in vogue, each preserved in series of pithy texts outlining the content from start to end.

Each one of the six thought systems present the second, or shall we say the reverse, flow of consciousness : from the individual to the universal, the whole. In Dr Kenneth Chandler’s words : The first flow of knowledge of the Veda is the flow from the One into the many. The eternal oneness of pure Being or pure consciousness knows itself. And in knowing itself, it breaks itself into many. The infinite One collapses into a point, and into infinitely many points. These points of consciousness are finite, separate, isolated points of individual consciousness. But they are all ultimately points of the one infinite whole of consciousness. Each is a collapsed point of the infinite whole, and in the process of returning to wholeness, the finite points of consciousness expand back into the infinite One from which they began. This is the fundamental process of creation that is expressed in the Rig Veda and in the Vedic literature.

The referred thought systems acknowledge the Vedas as their base and their nature or goal is set in its accord. Though this quote of Dr Chandler pertains to the Vedas itself, I present it in the context of what the originator and pioneers of the thought systems have shared : The Veda is expression of the knowledge the seer passes by while transcending beyond the individual consciousness formed in gross and subtle receptacles available in the mind-body complex, or during the descent from that undifferentiated sublimity. Whilst cleansing the seer’s own mental and intellectual universe of all flaws and taints, the direct experience also retains the awareness of that oneness pervading all creation. It is not localised to individual awareness, as is confirmed by several seers contemporary, before and after; it is universal. Anyone else too can gain the same transcendental experience of the infinite, unbounded silence, and confirm the truth.

* * *

From a very broad consideration, it seems that Vedanta is the last of the thought systems to develop and also the overarching one the seers finally agreed upon : There is but one Truth, one Existence, one Being, which is perceived to be many and regarded diversely in accordance with the nature of the seer being.

It does seem that Vedanta rose in view through two practice verticals : action and reasoning. The action vertical rose over several centuries, perhaps millennia, along Purva Mimamsa and (Raja) Yoga practice. The former has no place for a super deity — God, believing entirely on the power of action performed and regarding the unseen immanence as the sole cause behind the certain fruits or consequence of the deed done as prescribed. Yoga does have God — the super being, compared to the individual — in its core but not as a performer of miracles or as lord of the universe. God, Yoga suggests, embodies the ultimate evolved being the individual himself is heading to be when his own practice matures and completes.

Along the other practice vertical — of reason — is Nyaya or logic and Samkhya. Buddhism is largely drwn from the Nyaya method of right knowledge to attaining moksha or nirvana. It also allied to the insistence on certitude of knowledge in respect of any real thing, as detailed in Vaisheshika school of thought, which Jainism borrows. In their ultimate consequences however, Yoga and Samkhya are almost identical, though the latter ends with dualism being the eternal reality while the former eschews such consideration and presents the Self Absolute as the supreme truth.

Vedanta proves to be the mother thought by virtue of having a place for all the other five in its fold. It is Brahman, the sole ultimate definitive and absolute reality of experience in Yoga, and Maya, the inexplicable unknown and indeterminate reality of all forms gross, subtle and causal. The One is immutable, our Self; the other is illusory except until it lasts, as reality is in our dreams.

Manu Smriti : An Amazing Origin

vam:

Manu Smriti is a wonder… A more than amazing document pertaining to an age when the world was uncivilised, barely spcial and practically stone age !

Originally posted on Truth Within, Shines Without:

I have chanced upon this remarkable reduction of Manu Smriti @ http://satyavidya.org … The treatise contains a set of codified, socially agreed laws to regulate human society, right through the reigns of successive Solar dynasty kings upto Rama Daasratha of Ayodhya and thereafter, until the rise of Lunar dynasts that came to overwhelm the subcontinental firmament around the Mahabharata times.

The laws, framed anytime between 12000 – 8000 BC at the origin of Sanatan civilisation, seem astoshnishingly contemporary except for contradictory portions that appear to have been appended later, perhaps after the dominance of Solar kings was on the wane and during the chaos of several rising Lunar principalities around 4000 – 3000 BC.

The entire text can be accessed @ http://sanskritdocuments.org/all_pdf/manusmriti.pdf

DR VIVEK ARYA helpfully points out … (Manu 2/8)

“But a learned man after full scrutiny with the eye of knowledge should perform his duties in accord with the intent of the revealed…

View original 2,618 more words

Yoga : The Doing To Experience And Knowing Oneself

In a couple of days, the world will observe the first International Yoga Day. Hopefully, people will venture away from their present faith-found belief mode of being and transition into self-validated and knowledge backed admissions in which diversity includes the miraculous and norm-range covers the extreme and the outlandish, though humanity will continue to opt for the merit of living the ‘ middle way.’ Personally, there is nothing more I respect and regard than the very human capacity to observe, inform oneself, think and analyse, and know and opine for oneself… than being told from the pulpit or rostrum and being compelled to trust men in green or white.

Not unexpectedly however, men and women have equated yoga with physical exercise, postures or ‘asanas.’ Admittedly they are a great help, combined with deep harmonised breathing, in setting the body up for happier experiences in terms of health, better functioning organs and limbs, metabolism and detoxed habits. Success through this part or sub-discipline surely lines one up for more : the real yoga.

Before I begin to sound confusing, allow me to layout a brief ‘tour’ through yoga disciplines : yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahar, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi … ending with kaivalya — absolutely liberated, totally unqualified, completely de-identified witnessing self infinite ! It really will take a very close study of standard texts detailing what constitutes each of these eight disciplines before we can embark upon them, and deal with obstructions faced as it suits. But, summarily, each is required to be taken up in their order, even though the others get auto-triggered in the backgound, the next most in the fore and the last farthest and faintest to us.

The first four are a group that brings us face to face with our ethical, physical and vital being. They are advisories to live the honest, truthful, compassionate, renunciate-at-heart and uncovetous life; to keep oneself clean both without and within, live minimally but with functioning regularity, efficient motions and effective speech, and the moderate life as suits; to sit for long, happily, with a straight comfortably rested spine, in line with the crown of the skull (as would top when gazing on ground about a feet in front); and, to breathe deep in and out, with a brief comfortably managed pause in between, gradually making the entire experience light and weightless, consuming minimum effort, enhancing comfort in the pauses when breathing stands suspended.

As mentioned, the beginning of the second group of disciplines autostarts even while we advance along our practise of the four in the first group. These are acute mental and spiritual disciplines that easier stated and herculean to attain : to bring the mind again and again to one and the same object or subject chosen to be rigorously retained in our focus, for the unwaveringly awake witness self; to hold our attention still, awake, increasingly aware, single-mindedly, upon the same object or subject chosen; to enter the still, focused awareness of the object or subject, effacing all bounds of form or identity, and witness the object or subject being from within; and, to give up all remaining psychosomatic sense, support, shed even the trace of identity anchors, and be absorbed entirely in the being, progressively from individual to cosmic entityhood.

Along the way, the text extolls three markers of fullness of awareness, of being or existence to the witness aware : one, filled with truth, when the witness is truly aware of the being bound in the object or subject in focus, all questions and doubt cease, and awareness in its respect no longer changes or mutates with time; two, bliss infinite, when separation of individual from cosmic reality is transcended, whereupon it becomes possible for the witness to seamlessly transition from one to the other; three, when witness consciousness is fulfilled with cosmic identity and can sense the being infinite, pure and absolute.

Kaivalya is the being infinite, absolute, immutable and pure, unqualified and unmarked… when even the identity associated with cosmic being is shed. It is the yoga we have all along striven for, the summum bonum of Raja Yoga, to distinguish it from all manner of sub– or secondary and tertiary forms of yoga men have found for themselves, most prominently Hatha — the yoga disciplines devoted to physical and vital health of the individual being.

 Is this the image we understand or the stone from which it is unravelled ?

Economy : Governing For The People

Oh, to venture on the subject is like entering a mad house of ale on fire ! There are so many fathers, gods, experts, spirited advocates, authorities and suave exponents with papers and papers, books and references, miles of datasheets, and wise regulators at the top of the heap.

But I’ll keep it simple : there this whole environment of people at work across production, organisation, wholesale and retail through the seasons, delivering value to people — the economy, regulators, government, inspectors, businessmen, traders, suppliers, buyers and consumers, stockists and distributors, transporters, information disseminators… They all reduce to cost chains, profit chains, tax chains, interim price chains and, finally, the price people must pay for the delivered value.

We are of course deep in the midst of relatives : shifts from before, projected variations, increase, decrease, both in costs or price and in the values delivered along the respective chains. The price which people pay and the value they receive are of concern to every government worth its salt, whether for self-preservation or for truly democratic goals and promises made to people.

Governments alongwith their principal regulator and central bank monitor the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), an aggregate indicator built on weighted national sectoral measures, and the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which are calculated for several local centres and aggregated to yield the national figure. And here lies the rub and rot : it reduces to a routine, without serious attempt to obtain actionable systemic insights, sectoral and monetary on one hand and rigourous enforcement to prevent cheats who rob the people of fair value and creative malpractioners who distort the markets.

Economic governance in India is a fraction, perhaps one-tenth of what it should be. Whilst the monetary responses are just about fair, it is only now that sectoral problems have begun to be seriously studied and addressed. The present government has shown an intent to deal with malpractices but it will be a long, long time before the creative white-collared Indian will cede and desist.

The cheat industry in India however are unarrestable, operating locally with sleeping and corrupt government overseers appointed to keep them in check. The entire setup is deficient, being a responsibility left to respective states, which are politicised through and through and are very open to influence and money. There are value delivery areas, like local cable and internet providers, who are not even adequately monitored, much less regulated or punished.

These are inadequacies I expect the NDA govt to address over the next few years, hoping the state govts mature to seeing the merit in values-based governance. Or, should I say, over the next few terms, hoping this country never again returns the dumb, corrupt and non-performing UPA regime we lived through its ten unending years.

One Thing I Understand

This wasn’t the next thing on my mind, what with hot and heated happenings the successes of present Indian government have triggered among those marginalised in public eye and the International Yoga Day coming up in a few days from now… But the difficult topic has suddenly eased itself into my awareness : yeah, sincerely, at any other time I’d be hard put trying to answer if there is really anything I do understand. And so be it.

One, things happen. They always do but, left to themselves, they rot and rust. Correction : they will likely rust and rot even if all that you do, lead you into unhappy circumstance, troubled relationships, interactions that stretch the chasm and harden you into it, to breach of trust, loss of love and divorce, not necessarily limited to your spouse but with every other thing or people or dream you have earlier placed your hope and happiness from.

I couldn’t ever understand those matrimonial ads which clearly stipulated that grooms from IT industry need not respond. I felt it must be the career risks  associated with the profession or frequent relocations those young people had to undergo, untill a chance visit by a financially comfortable colleague from years ago clarified. It wasn’t professional but a distinct inability upwardly mobile youth of our empowered I–Me–Mine generation acquire in our rights denominated societies… right to individual freedoms, do as one pleases, especially with all that money one has oneself earned, to be and become as it occurs on the spur of the moment, even when others around do not appreciate or disagree and caution.

“What, isn’t the moment everything there is to life ?” Wasn’t it Buddha himself who has prescribed, and all the modern age gurus proliferating on spcial media endlessly, full-throatedly and unreservedly concur ? Which hole are you coming from to disagree with such legit norm of choices and aspirations : do it, if you can: better to do than regret; now, than then ? “After all, it is my life. And you only live once. I’m not committing a crime, wronging or harming anyone. Above all, it is money I have earned, to do as I wish. And you are welcome to it too, to join in or have it your way.”

 * * *

My discerning readers would have guessed by now. It is UBUNTU : There is no happiness without the happiness of those I relate to… in my company, family, community or group.

It’s the bottomline to our spirit… not just of our mind, body, profession or bank account.

One thing I understand… So may you.

Pakistan : Crucible Of Deadly Nuisance

Pakistan’s veteran foreign affairs expert, Sartaz Aziz, reacted to Indian Prime Minister’s references to India’s role during the 1971 War with an appeal to UN and international community to note India’s admission of having interfered in the affairs of a sovereign nation, underscoring the impuned lawlessness as a trait that makes India ineligible for the high seat in UNSC. PM Modi’s “nuisance” descriptor of the country, for its terror culture and state export, would have severely dented Pakistan’s image globally, coming as it did from a leader the world has begun to respect, trust and listen to. Mr Aziz read in it a clear sign that India does not want good neighbourly relations with Pakistan but he reiterated that such attempts will not succeed at driving a wedge of discord in the sound relationship his country has with Bangladesh.

What relationship, Mr Aziz, I wonder, with a country whose people still await a State apology from Pakistan, for all the senseless brutality and mindless frenzy of rape and killings they suffered while the land was still a part of your country ? Your country withheld recognition to the emerged nation for five years after its independence and your all-weather friend, China, vetoed its membership to the UNO.

More recently, Mr Aziz, in late 2013 your country’s National Assembly had passed a resolution against the hanging of Jamaat leader accused of committing heinous crimes on Bangla people. In fact, from day one you have not ceased fomenting serious trouble for the young nation and its aspiring people : coups, sectarian strife, political regression to Islamist cause, breach of peace and creating law and order problems on an ongoing basis, regular opposition to democratic process and open dialogue in the society, dispossessing and terrorising the Hindu minority, mob killing of emergent voices and areligious intellectuals… There is nothing you have stopped fanning and supporting to stop Bangladesh’s march as a modern nation.

Some relationship, indeed, Mr Aziz. Did Bangladesh’s expulsion of your country’s diplomat in February this year, for inimical conduct, signal the soundness of your country’s relationship with Bangladesh ?

In a related development, even as I now write, the leader of opposition has introduced a resolution in Punjab Assembly against PM Modi’s statement made during his Bangladesh state visit. Since then however, Bangladesh’s foreign ministry has issued an unequivocal statement accepting Mr Modi’s references as factual, true to its history, and very welcome. There has not been a word against his statements in Bangla press, not one line disputing their validity in context.

For that lament of yours, Mr Aziz, regarding India’s ‘brotherly’ relations with Pakistan, the world is witness to how far Mr Modi’s administration has reached out to every other country in SAARC, including Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Srilanka, and now our neighbour in the east.

Should you feel the need to introspect, and truly fathom how the Indian people feel about your country, may I suggest a previous essay of mine : Telling Ourself, Telling Pakistan. Nothing has changed since its writing months ago. We are a democracy, Mr Aziz, unlike yours. The government here will always have an ear to how the people of this nation feel towards your country that nurtures terror and exports it to terrorise and blackmail others, a country that has a dysfunctional judicial system, where there are no guarantee of life and dignity to minorities, from which respectable people flee in hordes and take refuge in other lands, to which criminals flock and where terror advocates roam free.

Is that a country India should have brotherly relations with ? It would not.

https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/telling-ourself-telling-pakistan/

One Year Later, Mr Modi !

We Trust You, Mr Modi…

It’s just that a few things are far too important to be left unsaid or presumed to have been said, that certain matters are urgent enough to merit reiteration even at the cost of seeming basic, extraordinary or repetitive.

Everybody has sensed that the 2014 election is historic in more ways than one. But, being of the winning political party, it might be less obvious to those in power that the democratic expression is less about you or your outfit than about the future of this ancient nation and its people. It is a landmark, the like of which remains in collective consciousness for centuries as a pre– and post– marker, between dark and illumined periods along the linear time scale when the entire life quality of the people turns discernably for the better — hope, freedom, ease, goodness, virtue, prosperity and happiness… or transparently for the worse. This turn of 2014 is comparable to the one felt in 1947, in 1977, and in 1991 to lesse extent.

But that scale of perspective starting in 1947 is too, far too, short in the context of what the Indian people hold in their heart. Our calendar still starts with a mention of “Yugabdha 5117″ … the first year of Kaliyuga. It speaks of Vikram Era, which ‘secular’ British India abandoned because it began 57 years before the Christian landmark. The Saka Era was adopted instead, being 78 years after the Christian era reference in ‘modern’ gregorian calendars that prevailed then and is now followed nationally.

The trouble with the development–alone agenda is the same as projecting Gandhi as ‘Father of the Nation’ : the mainstream Indian collective has forgotten nothing of all in its past. It remembers the happenings before the advent of Kaliyug and hence finds as laughable this pinning of India’s nationhood to the year 1947. The Muslim community’s rape, loot and killings, and atrocities of Christian Inquisition in Goa and elsewhere, to name just two ‘religious’ behaviours, makes this constitution-mandated secularism seem very suspicious in our view.

Let me assure you, Sir, that the large mainstream collective of this country is perfectly willing to accept our history, both the glory and the gore, with its unique equanimity. But not the glossed over versions peddled before it. That counters its primary character as seekers of truth, inculcated and imbibed over tens of millennia. The injustices and indignities it has suffered over time is entirely bearable but without a shred of lie or untruth in its regard.

Is that so difficult to understand, Mr Modi ? This collective yearning for reconciliation in the light of truth ? If it is, allow me to say it to your face : This nation will settle its heart only in favour of its truth seekers and truth sayers, of the kind that Veer Savarkar embodied, that Aurobindo showed and Netaji Bose followed. Not that antic-filled game played out Gandhi and taken up by his heir, Jawaharlal.

So, when your ministerial colleague Rajnath says, the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya is not a priority of your government, it can only mean : either, you do not understand the people’s mandate of 2014, or, you are lying and can rightly be accused of having a hidden agenda. The choice is yours to make, and clarify.

 

Recurring Life Stoppers

People look for it. Marketers routinely use it. Yet, it stops me for a while when people get lured by that call to ‘perfect’ something — house, car, shirt, food, travel destination or accommodation. You name it and append the appellant to let its manipulative power work. Like magic, both to beckon the dreaming hearts and in fobbing off the multitudes in their harsher circumstance.

It’s one of the many expressions I classify as recurring life stoppers — classic, mysterious, unclarified. It’s real for the sensitive, and for anyone whose concerns are no longer basic, who can afford to dream of something more in his or her life. And this one — perfection — tops the list.

The word suggests a package that is complete with ‘everything in one’s desire.’ The context is the individual, who supplies it at its mention : perfect. Couldn’t be better ! Nothing, not already there, would improve it.

Which kind of rubs off its sheen. But who comes this far, analysing and breaking its wonderful spell in our experience just then ?

It isn’t that I do not believe in it, in its being. I do but more for myself, in my individual context : the thing, the situation, time, my values, and perspectival specifics I have brought over from my past and in my intent for the future. It is inconceivable that I would project my sense of it on to anyone else’s context. Looking up, from that state of freeze at its public mention, marketers must most surely be smarter than I will ever be.

The MBA-wallah is dead.

Long live the MBA-wallah !

To add, I believe even more in the effort to perfection, this once in common with each of my contemporaries. But that, unlike the material lure of a perfect package here and now, is hard work : in the making of things, surprising oneself pleasantly and causing exhilaration to rise among others, unsuspecting and unaware !

Maharana Pratap : The Hindu Nationalist

vam:

This day, 475 years ago he was born …
The Great : Pride of the land !

Originally posted on Truth Within, Shines Without:

Statue of Maharana Pratap of Mewar, commemorat... Statue of Maharana Pratap of Mewar, commemorating the Battle of Haldighati, City Palace, Udaipur. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He was a braveheart who never gave up fighting for his freedom and the for independence of the State of Mewar. The battles he fought against the might of Mughal emperor, Akbar, through victory and defeat, are the stuff of inspiring legend since they happened some 500 years ago.

Born May 9, 1540, patriotic Pratap exemplifies bravery, chivalry and sacrifice through the struggle between Rajput confederacy he led and the invading alien hordes. His was a Hindu nationalist’s crusade against relentless Muslim aggression, much in the mould of Prithviraj Chauhan, brothers Harihar and Bukka, Guru Gobind Singh,  Chhatrapati Shivaji and Chhatrasal Bundela’s against powerful armies of the same religious, cultural and administrative enemy.

Maharana Pratap perceived Mughals as foreigners who had invaded India and, though smaller in resource, he refused to surrender to guile, entreaty or threat even…

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When Kalkaji Temple was demolished … in 1667 !

vam:

The Kalkaji Temple is dedicated to the Great Mother and has been in recorded existence since 3rd Century BC.

Originally posted on Truth Within, Shines Without:

 3 September 1667
Emperor Aurangzeb issued a decree for demolishing the Kalka Temple, dedicated to the Mother Goddess. It’s what he wrote that is revealing of a senselessness that continues till date among the Taliban, Jihadists, ISI, Pakistan Army, Wahabis of Saud, Mullahs and orhtodox Muslim clerics everywhere, Kashmiri separatists, Jamaat-e-Islamists… 
Translated, I am told, it reads :
“The asylum of Shariat (Shariat Panah) Qazi Abdul Muqaram has sent this arzi to the sublime Court : a man known to him told him that the Hindus gather in large numbers at Kalka’s temple near Barahapule (near Delhi); a large crowd of the Hindus is seen here.
“Likewise, large crowds are seen at (the mazars) of Khwaja Muinuddin, Shah Madar and Salar Masud Ghazi.
” This amounts to bid‘at (heresy) and deserves consideration.
” Whatever orders are required should be issued.”
The cleric’s request is immediately admitted by the…

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In Praise Of Un-Marketing

CITY CITY BANG BANG
Santosh Desai column in Times Of India
… Quoted in toto.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of eating what were without question the best idlis that I have ever had. This was at a small stall in Vijaywada going by the name of Shree Ganesh Idlis. This place is a little shack on a small road in a desultory residential colony and is basic enough not to have any sign that displays its name. The idlis were divine, the upma even more so, but they had run out of dosas, which is what they are really famous for. Like many other stalls of this kind, there were clear codes to be followed-they were open only for breakfast-once they run out of batter, they shut shop for the day and idlis that become cold are not served to customers. They had been in operation for 30 years, were used to receiving guests from all over the world, but they couldn’t be bothered to add a bench for people to sit down.

All over India, there are these wonderful places that serve absolutely brilliant food and they all have one thing in common–they know when to stop.Most of these places have no branches, little by way of marketing and almost every single day, they run out of food to serve.

For anyone with a management degree or even the slightest exposure to the world of business, such behaviour seems to be nothing short of extraordinary. Why wouldn’t the owner of a successful food stall aspire to be the owner of a restaurant, perhaps even a chain of restaurants ?

Why would he not make the most basic attempt to market himself, create a brand in a more conscious way, may be advertise a little? Given that venture capital is so easily available today, why not monetize the value of the business that lies locked up otherwise ?

In fact, the dominant ethos of business today is not only to mandatorily mop up all value that is embedded in any venture, but if possible one is encouraged to also suck up future earnings in the name of valuations. The digital world is testimony to the appetite business has for earning today, what a business might one day hope to earn over several years, if not a lifetime. So many financial instruments of the day collapse future potential into present profit.

The abiding idea that drives the world of business is that of scale. Success is replicated, scaled up, leveraged.The very idea of replication is that of dead multiplication, of things breeding and coming into being without having to come alive in any sense of the word. Scale comes from granting universality of access but taking away the grainy specificity of a particular experience. In doing so, ideas become products that deliver uniformity in a way that is easy to consume. This has always been true but has become much more so today .

In a world of this kind, the idea that there are currencies of other kinds, that there could conceivably be room for people not to extract value but to let it lie unattended and fallow, would appear to be hopelessly dated. But for many ventures like Ganesh Idlis, value takes on many forms–the appreciation of customers who hunt down this place and come from far and wide, the pride of maintaining quality, the feeling of successfully carrying on a legacy , and the cussed insistence of doing the precisely right thing, simply because that’s how it should be done.

The quality of greatness, rather than that of serviceable sufficiency, comes from an ability to leave something on the table. Not every ounce of value is squeezed from a transaction; the price in this case bears no resemblance whatsoever to the value delivered. In this world, a product or experience cannot be fully described by what it costs–labels like high-end or premium get exposed for their poverty .

The difference is in the starting point–today we live in a world defined by the consumer–we begin with what we want to consume and work backwards, by stuffing things with the ingredients of success. This is as true of food as it is of management theory; we want to first find out what makes people consume more of some food or what are the seven signs of effective leaders and then go ahead and recreate those conditions to the best of our ability.

The world of Ganesh Idlis and its ilk on the other hand, begins with the creator and caters first to his needs and is constrained by the limits of his imagination as well as greed. The product is an expression of the creator’s beliefs and abilities and not a précis of consumer desires. It does both more and less than what is deemed ideal and creates its own ethos of consumption. By foregoing the value it could extract from the transaction, it rescues us from the act of con sumption by making us connoisseurs rather than mere consumers.

The world built around people who create as against people who consume is, fortunately, not just a thing of nostalgia. One of the great advantages of the internet is that it in its purest form has little regard for scale. Interesting ideas generate their own currencies and as a result, we are seeing an outbreak of creation–not only those that seek multi-billion dollar valuations, but those that put their passion out on display for the world to appreciate.Small fashion labels, sites for food lovers, archivists of traditional forms of music and dance, collectors of knowledge about traditions and customs of specific communities, the internet is teeming with those that create because they want to and not because there is a market waiting for their efforts.

The opportunity of finding meaning in acts of creation is available much more freely today . The more we are to develop currencies other than money, the richer the fruits of affluence are likely to be.

_______________________

Article originally published @

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=CITY-CITY-BANG-BANG-In-Praise-Of-Unmarketing-04052015006012

You may correspond with Santosh Desai at : santosh365@gmail.com

Journal : Removing The Original Sin

vam:

Anthropometamorphosis …
Did you know about that ?
Clue : It’s an heinously abominal practice in Abrahamic world.

Originally posted on Truth Within, Shines Without:

Adding My Voice Against Circumcision …

In 1650, English physician John Bulwer in his study of body modification, ‘Anthropometamorphosis: Man Transform’d, or the Artificial Changeling,’ wrote of the loss in sexual pleasure resulting from circumcision: ‘the part which hangeth over the end of the foreskin, is moved up and down in coition, that in this attrition it might gather more heat, and increase the pleasure of the other sexe; a contentation of which they [the circumcised] are defrauded by this injurious invention. For, the shortnesse of the prepuce is reckoned among the organical defects of the yard, … yet circumcision detracts somewhat from the delight of women, by lessening their titillation.’

circumcision

According to Darby, it was also seen as a serious loss of erogenous tissue: ‘During the Renaissance and 18th century the centrality of the foreskin to male sexual function and the pleasure of both partners was recognized by anatomists Berengario da…

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Courts, TRAI, Relief In Nepal

Now our justice delivery system (in India) is occasionally brilliant, inspiring public trust, but are infamous for its fabled corruption and endless delays. But this takes the cake : the Chief Justice of our Supreme Court — the constitutional head, I may add, of one of the three verticals envisaged in our Republican bible to keep each other in check — has refused to participate in the newly formed National Judicial Appointment Commission, at least untill its constitutional validity was upheld by the Supreme Court. The other two members of the Commission are the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. The Govt has argued before a 5-judge bench of the same Supreme Court that the CJI is mandated ex-officio by the recently passed constitutional amendment to participate in the meeting to select other eminent members of the Commission. It has sought a direction from the Court to the CJI … so that he does his job and duly participate in the Commission’s deliberations.

The CJI’s intransigence is more than understandable : the amended provision in law has democratised the process of appointing judges to most exalted positions in superior courts. It is no longer the preserve of an in-house “collegium” that was elitist, Platonic may I say, at best. At worst, it was a den of the corrupt that allowed a former CJI to avail of sponsored jaunts abroad, another to pass patently motivated judgements that were rescinded/ modified soon enough, and even encouraged a prominent lawyer to assure a lady colleague of lucrative judicial appointment in lieu of steamy sexual favours right in the exclusive “Lawyer Chambers” in the Court premises !

The rot is deep and widespread, and it shows in the fabled inefficiency and partisan quality of judgements the system delivers to its citizens. It delays, and delays, when the rich or the famous are respondents to common plaintiffs. And it massively overlooks procured investigative lapses, even misjudging matters if nothing avails to satisfy paying litigants in the fray. It is occasionally brilliant, as pointed out, but that only serves to perpetually postpone much-needed administrative changes under the projected garb of “all’s well.” When it is hugely not.

That was why the National Judicial Standards And Accountability Bill was mooted almost a decade ago, to stem the capacity of our judicial system to deliver raw deals at will. Judicial appointments are a big part of the problem, to address which the Appointment Commision has been set up. An upright CJI would be expected to further the aims of the proposed Judicial Standards and the anti-corruption cause against a riven system.

So, why should the current CJI be working against the lofty aims and goals ?

Is it a refusal to admit flaws and a collective guilt ?

Or, is it a more concerted effort to perpetuate the lucrative system of built-in inefficiencies and multiple wheeling-dealing avenues the lordships practice with supreme hypocrisy ?

* * *

I’ve known of (Dr) Rahul Khullar even before his 3-year appointment in 2013 as TRAI chief. He was a former Commerce Dept secretary and Income Tax Commissioner, and especially favoured by the UPA regime through its decade long federal administration that humiliatingly ended in May ’14. Among others matters of bureaucratic dishonour and governance disrepute he contributed to, Dr Khullar is associated with the recent 2G – spectrum scam, which was an alround conspiracy of politician-bizmen-bureaucrat clique to deprive the national treasury of over Rs 10,000 billion ! We all remember the Kapil-Zero-Sibal statement, the Raja-Maran-Kanunidhi involvement, the summoning of that dumb turbaned former Prime Minister to testify before a court of law investigating the matter, and the motivated targeting of the former CAG — who stood up and firm by his scathing criticism of the spectrum allocation process then followed.

Dr Rahul Khullar came to be a part of that sleazy environment, more on account of his seeming omissions to be true. But that wasn’t all. He very recently had gone along pretty well with statements sympathetic of telecom behemoths ( didn’t Sunil Mittal of Airtel move a 75 crore per month remuneration proposal for himself in company Board meeting ? ), while doing nothing to improve delivered services and assure the public. How many complaints to TRAI has he answered and acted upon ?

I continue to read the plight of subscribers on social media. Nothing good is expected through his term, a year of which remains. The current NDA govt has very ambitious plans for countrymen. The biz-babu-neta nexus is subdued but lurk in the shadows. Telecom is expected to change rapidly along people-centric lines from May 2016.

* * *

I have nothing to add to what you already know of the earthquake disaster in Nepal and, to lesser extent, in India and Tibet. Oh, yes, it isn’t China to me and will never be.

The only thing I do wish to mention is donations for relief : contribute to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund that is seized with delivering relief to the affected people. Shun the others, especially the ones set up by media houses in India and sundry NGOs. The Govt of India and the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and its associated organisations are at the forefront and deeply involved, without any quid pro quo motives whatsoever.

_______________

There is this mini series “Against The Wind” … a fictionalised documentary I see as important to popular history of British occupation of Ireland, declared a ‘disturbed county’ and ruthlessly taken over in 1890s, and development of New South Wales through its years as a penal settlement colony. I’ve been gripped… You may check out for yourself.

#India : On Global Stage Now

For far too long, the world has been led by greedy colonialism and dreamy communism.
They’ve led to all the wars we have ever had in our post medieval history.
And their neo-forms remain at work to this day.

India, and all countries at the receiving end heretofore, offers a way out : fostering genuine respect for all nations big and small, all people rich and poor.

It has the unique qualification, among others, of witnessing millennia of unbroken history and it mammoth happennings in thought and action, most of which originating from its own bosom, some of which it has caused to trigger, and consequences of the rest it has absorbed.

India is aware of all the past in the present; and it knows the way to our viable future.
Beyond greed, without the dreams.

There’s a cosmic reality India is in touch with.
It lives upon and by it, when it is not overtaken by imported primitive greed and alien delinquent dreams, as it prevails amongst younger nations elsewhere !

India is awake.

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