Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Crony Capitalism

There is an excellent article on Crony Capitalism in "The Statesman" which is very unbiased.  While it focuses on Mallya's recent escape (from Indian authorities) to London with 9000 crores of unpaid debt, it does mention other similar flights of defaulters in earlier administrations.  If you feel up to it, you might read it here:

Time Modi took on Crony Capitalism

Monday, March 14, 2016

Leftism and Islamism - Joined at the hip?

Take time to view this discussion.  If you like it, tell your friends about Centerfire.

Anti nationalism or Intellectualism?

The recent controversial incidents at Jawaharlal Nehru University are merely symptoms of an underlying disease afflicting the Indian society.  Wrath and frustration on a myriad of issues has begun to surface as discontent which is often misdirected and not very well understood by those propagating it.  We see the classic mentality of the rajahs (who allied with the British forces in the 1700’s to defeat the kingdom next door) emerge in the form on sentiments which have widely been seen as antinational.

There are many nations inside India – all in a state of conflict and turmoil - and under various stages of siege.  There are the poor who see themselves as being oppressed by the rich.  Their frustration comes out in form of Naxalite gangs who make alliances with enemies of the Indian state for arms.  There are the homosexuals who resent a society that refuses to open its arms to them and accept them for who they are.  There are Muslims who, wrongly or rightly, feel that they do not get their due in the Indian society.  There are SC’s, ST’s, Backwards, Dalits etc. who feel like they are the underbelly of the society who have not gotten their fair shake.   And now the so called forward caste has started feeling that they are under siege because the quotas have taken jobs away from them – relegating them to menial jobs.  It tramples their pride and they now form gangs like ‘Ranvir Sena’ to protect their interests.  

When there is little to go around in a country where the population is exploding unchecked, tensions arise.  Lines between the peoples of a society that fade in prosperity darken and animosity develops.  In these circumstances, incidents like what we saw in JNU flare up.  India is now sitting precariously at the edge in a pre-anarchy state with a high degree of polarization between the ruling party and its supporters and the conglomeration of "everyone else".  This polarization  has brought Leftist intellectuals, Islamists, and troublemakers together in an unholy alliance under the "everyone else" banner.

India has a deficient political system that, because of a political divide, ties the hand of the executive.  This has kept the wheels of development frozen for decades.  The passenger of the Indian bus deflates the tires when he is not allowed to drive the bus.  That is the underlying problem.  The rest are symptoms thereof.

In this society, there runs a vein of a populace – the so called intellectuals who have been instrumental in coloring this state of discontent in the society with the paint of anti-nationalism.  The average intellectual of India has gone through the rigmarole of the Indian education system,  has lived through the rigors of daily Indian life, has haggled for vegetables, has put up with discrimination of various sorts in reaching a position where he/ she is considered “learned” enough to teach or control minds of others.  Sadly many of these individuals are ignorant of what is happening around the world.  They are products of the turmoil of their daily lives and their myopic education.  They can only see so far when it comes to the positions they espouse.  Very often they strive to be idealistic and may argue a case against their own existence – much like the Engineer who was allowed to say his last words before his head was to be chopped off by a guillotine.  He lay there looking up at the blade and said his last words, “The rope is twisted over the pulleys.  This guillotine won’t work!”   Was he saying the truth?  Yes.  Was it in his benefit? No!

 Many of our Intellectuals, whether they make a case for Kashmir’s independence or return their awards for the rising (and largely imagined) intolerance in the country are like that Engineer.  They do not speak in their own interests.

Farid Zakaria, the noted journalist who hosts the show GPS on CNN commented on many of the Middle Eastern political leaders, saying that they enjoyed the bounties of the West during the night and condemned it during the day!  Much like those leaders, these Indian Intellectuals enjoy the privilege of free speech (for which they would be executed in a theocratic / totalitarian state) to speak against the state itself!
The vision of  the Islamic Caliphate.  Grab a burka, Menon!
Our Desi intellectual is ignorant of the fact that the radical clerics of Middle East try to turn the minds of the Indian Muslims by defining land as being of two types – Dar-ul-Islam (Land where Sharia prevails) and Dar-ul-Kufr (Land of Infidels).  Here is the Desi Individual standing on Dar-ul-kufr, making a case for the secession of a territory from where the Pandits were expelled only a few years ago.  Our desi intellectuals miss it when the Pakistani delegates speaking with Indian Muslim delegates openly says that ‘Jihad’ is their divine mandate and they would never take a stand against it.

The Desi intellectual who foments trouble by trying to disseminate inflammatory opinions does not realize that these could just be frustration on a grid locked government, unchecked inflation, a homophobic society, and just a hundred other frustrations that are finding expression in form of lies and partial truths simply intended to destabilize a paralyzed government.

The Indian Intellectual should realize that idealism has its place, but practicality trumps it in every instance.  Go live in Pakistan before asking for Kashmir’s secession.   While there, try criticizing General Raheel Sharif.  If you choose to go to Saudi instead, try criticizing the house of Saud.  And by the way, it might be useful to learn a few terms. “Sangsari” means stoning to death.  Men are buried up to their waist and women up to their necks.  “Hudud” means major crimes mentioned in Koran and finally “Jald” means lashing your backside with whips.

Ref. 1

Friday, March 11, 2016

Gomutra, Gurus and Godmen - That's the art of living

In many societies people who walk dogs, carry plastic bags to pick up the dog’s poop.  In the same societies, hunters who are out in the middle of the woods and have to relieve themselves, carry a small shovel, so that they can dig a hole, put their deposit in it and cover it up.  In the same societies, there is a great deal of awareness that the air and water should be clean. Litter drives are held and trash is picked up.  If a whole group of people plan a get together or a festival, they go to a place where they do not cause any disruption to others.  And when they leave, there is nothing left behind that even suggests that there was someone there before.  Every piece of trash is picked up and the land is left in its original pristine condition.  Thousands of people gather in the Black Rock desert of Nevada every year to hold the festival of “Burning  Man”.  Derived from an ancient Aryan tradition, this festival attracts common folks and people of high celebrity alike.  If you visited the location after the festival ended, you’d never know that thousands of people had congregated in tents at that location just the week prior.

If cleanliness is next to godliness, these societies are far more spiritual than other societies like the mahan Bharat desh where Godmen and guru sell, yoga, meditation, and gomutra and claim an inheritance of spirituality. Yes, I am pointing my finger – not one, but all of them, at SS Ravi Shankar who has, by his denial to pay a fine for holding a “Cultural (sic) Extravaganza” on the banks of Yamuna, earned an F grade on his record.  He can stick that grade in front of the name of his organization – Art of living.

If there is the most basic art of living, it is living clean and keeping our environment clean.

Here are some references if you are curious to learn more:

“Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's mega cultural fest in Delhi, the opposition launched a scathing attack in Parliament demanding to know why the spiritual guru's Art of Living had not deposited a 5-crore fine imposed by the country's top green court.

“Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City—a temporary community erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by 10 main principles, including "radical" inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, gifting and decommodification, and leaving no trace.”

Very well said about such events (as AOL gathering) on the ecologically vulnerable banks of Yamuna.  Such gatherings , one should not forget, are common in most religions. When Pope travels or during the Haj hundreds of thousands gather. But the litter is cleaned up very well during and after the event. During the Ramadan hundreds of Desis are employed for the clean up  in Saudi Arabia . But the very same guys don't stoop over to pick up and collect their refuse when they are in India.  What can Modi do- pray ' Sadbuddhi De he Bhagwan.'?
 - S. Anand MISHRA 

This was not a religious festival.  It was supposed to be a "cultural" festival.  When it was very obvious that this was an illegal event for which the government was going to have to fine the Ravi Shankar fellow, then Mr. Modi should have refrained from attending.  I was disappointed that he sent a wrong message by attending.
- Rakesh Chaubey

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Looking for feet to fall on

The stereotypical Desis have a deficiency that has brought misery to them time and again.  Yet, they have not learnt from it.  Many Desis are so deep into hero worship that they are quick to elevate someone to the status of "Mai Baap (parents)" or even to the status of the Almighty.  It is no wonder that criminal god men in India get a serious following of thousands of devotees thronging around them like flies on stale turd.  It was for this reason, that in the stratified Indian society,  a handful of British were able establish an Empire, rape the land and the people and rule effectively for 200 years! In the latest instance, a new poster has been in the news supporting Trump.  Trump has been shown sitting on a lotus like Lord Vishnu!

Supporting Trump is okay if you like his agenda, but this?!  This is beyond ridiculous.  To support someone you don't have to be so fawning that you place them alongside your deities!  Hopefully someday the Desis will learn some self-respect. From this poster, that day, however, seems far away!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Happy Holi and Happy Chaharshanbe suri!

"Sorkhiye tu az man, zardiye az man tu!"

The ancient Aryan chant in Farsi that translate as - Give me your redness (health) and take away my yellowness (sickness).  This chant is addressed to fire, which as per ancient Aryan belief, is the messenger of the creator.  Millions of people of Aryan origins around the world celebrate spring by venerating the fire.  The Christians venerate the fire by lighting candles during Easter,  The Tajik and Iranians jump over small bonfires and the Hindus celebrate the night before the Holi festival with a big bonfire.

Chaharshambe (Wednesday) Suri (of the Sun) is being celebrated around the World this month. So is Holi.  Both festivals have common roots.  Even the mythological tale behind both festivals are similar.  The Hindus of India talk of Prahlad and Holika.  Our Persian counterparts have to the story of Sheiavash and Saudaba.  Wishing both Ajaam and Hindus a Happy New year!  

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Proud of one, ashamed of the other (two)

Official 113th Congressional photo of Tulsi Gabbard
This is a complimentary article about a person who calls herself a Karm Yogi.  It is not about Bobby Jindal or Nikki Haley. They do deserve mention here because they (the two Desis) provide the contrast which makes this "Karm yogi" look like a a diamond placed between two pathetic clods of  dense clay that are really good for nothing.

We are talking about US ex - Congresswoman (D) of Hawaii's second congressional district, Tusli Gabbard. She recently resigned from her congressional seat and endorsed Bernie Sanders for President in 2016.  She is one of two veterans who became Congresswomen.  She came back from her deployment in Iraq in 2006 and volunteered to go in again in 2009  She is a Samoan American who got her Hindu faith from her American Mother and a Catholic Father who was of a spiritual bent.  He sang Kirtans and practiced Meditation.

Gabbard, unlike Jindal, visited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was on a visit to New York in September 2014.  She presented him with a ginger flower garland from Hawai  and her own copy of The Bhagwat Gita - the very same one which she took her oath of office and a US Congresswoman.

Ref:  Click here to read more about Tulsi

Nikki Haley did go to visit Modi.  Note  the contrast.  Some Sanskar!  Huh?!