What’s going on?

What’s happening in India? A good question. My bro asked this a couple of days back. When the Middle East is fighting to get back democracy, are we actually up to destroying it? Or are we moving towards a communist India, or a Hindutva-dominated India? What is this Anna movement all about? People who are outside the country or even as a matter of fact, outside the movement, are naturally suspicious about the nature of it. And I think it’s my duty to describe it as I perceive it to be.

The movement is primarily a clear attempt to fill the gap created by the lack of moral authority in our political leadership. For a long time now, our political leadership was by and large corrupt, reckless and criminal in nature. And not to mention, it has been a family business: sons or daughters getting entry to the highest level without any other criteria other than their family name. This has created a strange situation: people with extreme power in hand carry no moral authority. The whole of political system works in a completely dishonest manner, there’s no balance of physical and moral power in current society. It can’t continue for a long time. Someday or the other, it will break down. And that’s what has happened exactly in this movement. Look at the nature of it: people trust Anna Hazare and his team members but they don’t trust their own elected representatives. Who is Anna Hazare and his team members, people with no apparent power but extreme moral authenticity, and who are the elected representatives? People with extreme power and no morale!

Now coming to those, who are telling it’s wrong to disrespect the Parliament, because it is the most sacred place in democracy. Now, simply keep on telling “Respect the parliament, it’s the temple of democracy”, will not help to make the current pattern of democracy survive. Look at the people, who are sitting inside it, they should have treated this as the temple of democracy with a stern moral authority. Because they have not done it for a long time, how much hard you believe or how much high you chant, the “temple of democracy” will neither remain temple nor the current form of democracy will survive in India. The current form of democracy is the worst that can happen to a country, it has no other attribute of democracy but to get your cast every five years, that too on the basis of caste/creed/religion/region in most of the areas and largely on money and muscle power. We don’t even have a right to reject the candidates political parties choose for us! It’s high time we ask ourselves “Is it democracy, really?”

Before we judge the aim of the movement, it’s always better to look at the root cause of it. That may help to solve the issue to a substantial extent. The problem is, the current system is not allowing honest leadership to come up and take charge. For an example I am an honest person with enough leadership skill, if I want to contest election, no renowned political party will give me tickets. And if I try to stand as independent, I’ll never get elected. So, the system prevents real leadership to come up and lead the nation. Now where will these people go? Nowhere, they remain within the system, with a tremendous urge to serve the nation, honesty and moral authority. And the country is led by corrupts, immoral people. There’s a pure gap in between. Sometimes or other, it was bound to topple the system to bring back the balance. This is what exactly what is happening and no outside force can stop it.

Movements don’t aim at what exactly society is searching for! The moment they get a path of what they were searching for, movements just happen. And that is what exactly has happened. Be rest assured it’s not aiming at revival of Hindutva brigade nor a communist uprising! It’s simply the filling-in the gaps in the morality of our leadership. And it will continue to be graver as more people gets education and a better way of life. The more they are exposed to better lifestyle, they’d feel the void of morale in their leadership. The moment system will start getting competent and honest leaders, the necessity of this movement will die down. Till then, happy movement days!


Life will never be the Same again

When I was preparing myself silently for one of the toughest battles of my life, I asked people to pray for me, not because I don’t know how to pray, not because I wanted to win it, but I knew I have to fight for my 120-crore countrymen. May be a thousands of us will face the most powerful entity of the country, the government and whole of political class on behalf of the whole nation: on behalf of the aged freedom fighter who has been deprived of his pension because he denied paying bribe, on behalf of the poor Ahmadnagar farmer who has to commit suicide, on behalf of the 14 RTI activists who were killed last year because they dared to lodge their protest against this corrupt system and many more. I wanted to be a thousand times of me when I step my foot on this uneven battleground.
16th August was the D-day. And before I leave my home, the first news that came was the arrest of almost all the members of the core group of Anna team. We were ready for that, Ms. Bedi already told this last evening “May be we would be arrested for an indefinite time. The movement needs people who believe in the cause to stand up and continue it.” I called my dad. I was not sure whether I would be arrested, too. And I wanted to talk to him before I start my journey. He told “Talk to your colleagues. Don’t court arrest all together. It’s necessary for some people to stay outside to continue the battle.” And I knew the real battle has started. We have to chalk out the strategy.
So, when we reached near Pune Municipal Corp (PMC) building, we were like “Is the police going to pick us up from here itself? 144 is already imposed here!” A police van was strolling around. Some of our members went to them, talked to them and asked them whether they were going to arrest us from there itself. They told “You people are going to join the main venue at Balgandharva from here, right? No, we wouldn’t do anything to you people.” The first surprise of the day! And such a nice one! We started our journey with around 50 people from there, we knew group of people were rushing in from different places of Pune to gather at Balgandharva.
And when we reached there, what a sight it was! Hundreds have already reached. And each and every team joining them was getting warm welcome with patriotic slogans! Polices were quite a few in number, vans were also not aplenty! And as the day went on, thousands kept pouring in: college students, young and aged couples with their children, workers, teachers, ex-army men, and housewives. It was tough to find out whether any strata of society were left out! Our team members were becoming impatient “When will they arrest us? Anna has told us to court arrest, right? Then why are we waiting?” The youngest one, Divyang (who is just 16-year old) took the placard written “Please Arrest Me” and walked around the police vans for a couple of times, but nobody cared. He came back and wrote “I am Anna” on it and told “This time, they’d surely arrest me. Just wait and watch.”
Around 4:30, police brought three vans to arrest people. This is the first time in my life as if I visualized history. People were almost mad at who would go first. We were trying to tell them that there would be more vehicles and they might go later. But they were adamant “No, I would go in the first van.” People started rushing in the vans with tricolor and “Vande Mataram, Bharat mata ki jay” on their lips. Each and every van, when they started moving got clapping and accolades from people outside. As if some kind of celebration was going on! I saw 3 vans and 20 more buses going, more than 4000 people courted arrest. I have read about the freedom struggle in books, didn’t get a chance to see that. But it cannot be more than this. As if we were seeing history being repeated in front of our eyes!
It is history now. It was a total of 13 days and how the days were! Sometimes, we volunteered around 40,000 people to walk in a rally without any traffic disruption, sometimes there were human chains couple of kilometers long, sometimes there were foreigners who came to stand beside us, telling “We are following up the story and we support the cause.”, sometimes after a hectic day, an ex-school teacher had offered us tea in a roadside shop, telling “You have a long fight ahead. “, sometimes police had let some of the youngsters go on the way from police van, told them “You people are doing a great job. Keep it up.” Our hand, legs and throat would pain badly after the day, but I couldn’t sleep for long. It was always like “When would the day start!”
As if we were living the soul of India within us. Harshal told a strange thing while managing crowd in the maharally “I am feeling all these people are my own, we are fighting for them only. All are my own people.” It was so very true! We lived as Indians literally for those 13 days. In the hub of regionalism, we shouted slogans in hindi, took oath in hindi, and nobody bothered. A sikh, holding poster bashing our sikh PM, a hindu boy taking a muslim boy on his shoulder and dancing in the tune of “Mohe rang de basanti” , and everything so organized, nobody uttered a bad word for other, while travelling, we used to meet people holding rallies on different streets, we would shout “Bharat mata ki”, they would shout back “Jay”, as if some celebration was going on!
Finally on the 12th day, when parliament bowed down to their real masters, the people to discuss a bill drafted by people, lakhs of people watched them doing it with utmost care and scrutiny so that their representatives can’t fool them again. This is what we aimed at, all our efforts to define the real meaning of democracy and confrontations that we were not part of any fundamentalist or communist group bore fruit. This is what we wanted. We wanted to invoke people, make them aware of their rights and duty, and we achieved it.
We have a long battle ahead, for sure. But looking back to these thirteen days, I am sure life will not be the same again for us. We lived a life which taught us to stand up for these 120 crore Indians. Fight tooth and nail with the most powerful one for the oppressed and commoner, we can’t sit back again and see things happen as it is. Come what may, we will remain standing tall, attentive against all odds. I swear by my countrymen.

Several times of me

Till today, I chose not to write anything about Anna Hazare and his movement with which I got attached very closely. I chose not to tell anything about this movement because it’s really disgraceful on the part of anybody to beg to fight for his own rights. It’s disgraceful for a nation to see a 75-year old fight for its people’s right and keep mum.

But the time has come to face the truth: either we have to fight for a better and cleaner democracy or keep on continuing with this anarchical political system which works under the name of democracy. Time has come to face not only this bitter truth, but to face a system which is much more powerful than us as individuals.

16th August is the day I, along with some others are going to start this journey of truth with Anna. These others include 16year old schoolboy to 83-year old veterans, those who have chose to speak up against injustice. I’d not request you to support the cause and these people; I would request you to wish us luck. Because we are going to fight your battle; unarmed in front of batons and bullets, and non-violent in the claws of the powerful. Wish us, may be merely a couple of thousands, wish us to have power of all of you 121 crores of Indians. Wish each of us to become a several times more powerful. Wish that every slogan we shout, to echo the voice of thousands more, thousands of you. Wish us every food we deny, to be thousand times more, to become your food.

If you are reluctant to fight your battle, I’d fight it for you. If you don’t protest against corruption, I’d lodge a complaint on your behalf. And I don’t mind facing any consequences.

Just wish me that I become several times of me, to become you on this decisive day.
Vande Mataram!

Where do I stand?

This was originally a PMP session, but I happened to discover myself in some bizarre way during the session. It was all about type of Program Managers. But I went through a self discovery process. Now I don’t know how much bizarre it would sound to others, because apparently there’s no relation between the two fields I am putting under analogy machine!!

Type A Program Manager: AVERSE Program Managers, who have the knowledge of risks involved and so they’d be averse to taking any risk in the project.
Type B Program Manager: They don’t have domain knowledge and so they are averse to take risk.
Type C Program Manager: They also have good domain knowledge and guts to take risk. They are opportunity SEEKERS.
Type D Program Manager: They are ignorant about domain knowledge, still they’d take risk. They are termed as “DEATH SEEKERS” as they can lead a project to disaster.
Type E Program Manager: Don’t care Managers, they have damn good knowledge, but their attitude is sort “I don’t care. Let something happen and then I’d see.”
Type E Program Manager: They are also “don’t care” managers, they only difference being from E that they don’t have knowledge of the domain.

Now, my interpretation of this on a scale of spirituality:

Type A People: Followers of Charvaka. Even with the knowledge of Spirituality and divinity, they are atheists. They have huge knowledge base of the Vedas and after that, they start opposing the Vedas showing every shloka has some kind of issues.
Type B people: the plain and simple believers, who bows down to the so-called God (in any form) certain times a day. As they don’t have any knowledge about spirituality and the divine, they feel only praying will keep away evils and help Him to hear their woes! God, if at all there, must be smiling at their innocent gesture!
Type C People: The SEEKERS. They are the real people. They know what the divinity is and also they know that in seeking lies the real path. There’s no end to the path. The more you seek, the nearer you reach to Him.
Type D People: Lols! They are our politicians and our dhongi babas! They do all kind of wrong things in life and pray regularly! A dip in the holy Ganges clears all the sin! God must be cursing himself for creating these people.
Type E People: My dad! He doesn’t bother much about whether God exists or not. His view is like, “If at all he is there, let me meet him after I die. Then we’ll see.”
Type F People: No idea about Spirituality or God. There are so many around.

Now, if I try to map myself, I’d fall somewhere in A or C. I thought I was in C sometimes back very resolutely, may be a good ten years back. But now, I have got shifted to C domain primarily. I don’t want to stop. Because in searching, lays the beauty of divinity. But sometimes I get myself shifted to A region deliberately. That is when people come and start telling crap about certain religion or “Your and My God”. I enjoy it a lot. They are mostly from B or D domain. B people are still less harmless. D guys are real trouble. With them, you feel like bad-mouthing their God (I don’t know who their God is actually, as I don’t have any idea about how come a God can teach such hatred to people?) and crush them, along with their God under your feet.
My mom belongs to B domain and she tried a lot to bring me there since I was a kid. My dad was always, very firmly, remained in “E” zone but never tried to influence me. I somehow got stuck up in between their philosophy of life!
Good Heavens! How parents impress their kid and shape up their life, without even knowing what they are doing!
(Disclaimer: If the whole analogy has sounded crap to you, please do comment. No problem, I already know its crap! Some temporary chemical locha in my brain was the only inspiration for this piece.)


World is a strange place! People forget those who actually work in the ground level and pay a price. When Baba Ramdev starts a “fast-unto-death” against corruption, he never bothers to talk about Manjunath or Satyendra Dubey, who laid their lives fighting corruption. All you need to be a leader is to have fan-following and unlimited money. A private jet and some “garma-garam’ word to instigate people. Is it how movements are to be carried out?

A Baba, who is surely having a good knowledge of yoga, becomes a self-proclaimed torch-bearer. Is it so easy to be a torch-bearer to the nation? I pity people like Gandhiji, who had to study a lot, work on ground level a lot and experiment a lot on the truthful way until he became a leader to the nation. Nowadays you don’t even need to have conventional knowledge of politics, history, economics or even ground reality to become a “leader of the nation”. Put some good money, earned in whichever way, make good arrangements in a big ground and give some hate-speech. Lo and behold, you are a leader!

I pity my India. Have we become so poor in leadership that we need such leaders to lead us? Yes, for a long time now, we have ceased to lead ourselves, but I was at least having faith that we have not become susceptible to false leadership. Yes, we do have bad guys in politics. But we all know they are not leaders of us. They are merely the people whom we choose in elections. Most of us don’t consider them to be our “leaders”. When the Anna Hazare and his team came to lead, I still believed in us, in our sensibilities. This man at least has some credibility to lead. We can’t expect a 100% honest and credible leader like Gandhiji and his era. But at least those who worked in the ground level, did some real good work still can inspire us. It’s a good sign that the nation is still awake and sensible enough to choose a leader for them.

But when this Baba took on the centre stage and people started talking about him as a leader, I lost hope. A yoga guru is better to remain a yoga-guru. If the country needs to be leaded by a yoga guru who doesn’t have any credibility in leadership, God save our nation! He speaks in some strange language, unscientific and baseless. He puts some demands which are not even economically viable! He supports criminals like khaps. He is supported by real communal forces like RSS. Is this the future leader of India? Pity on us, pity on our capability, pity on our sensibility.

And our useless government has made a martyr out of this useless Baba by tackling his drama in a most undemocratic and uncalled for way, by lathicharging and teargasing his unarmed disciples at midnight!

(Now that Baba has taken resort to plain and simple UPA bashing and his movement has turned out to be another anti-government one, I still hope Anna and team can formulate a strong JLP bill in coordination with govt. The civil society’s opinions on this Baba drama still are sane to some extent. And as a die-hard hopeful, I still believe that the black-money stashed in Swiss Bank will come to my country. And corruption will be ended. But not in the Baba way. There is democratic process of formulating laws and if government is not willing, there are peaceful ways of going into sane protest, sans hate-speech full of illogical facts!)

God may not be a perfect person

(It’s my first attempt at Haiku, and I know it’s pathetic. But let me do some experiments before I can at least be tolerable)

Evening 7:30; the cab has a total of four.
The music system plays some strange song.
And the driver speeds up
Oblivious of what we four are doing!

One is hooked to his own music;
The other is fast asleep;
I can’t see the third one.
And I am left out to think.

The journo has been killed somewhere;
Brutally. For expressing his view.
And the older people somewhere are ready
To lay down their lives for saving the new!

World is of course not the best place to live;
But not a bad place either.
God may not be a perfect person;
But for sure a demon neither!

Tibet’s new dawn

As the news of PAC, CWG, 2G, Adarsh, Kanimozhi and Kalmadi roar in the front page, a small piece of news was likely to be lost. Lobsang Sangay, a Harvard law fellow (who happens to be Darjeeling-born) has been elected the new Prime minister of Tibetan government-in-exile. Without going to political details, this is indeed the start of a new era for Tibetan politics for which Tibet will always be thankful to the Dalai Lama.

Dalai Lama, who gave up his political career and continued to serve as the religious leader of Tibet, did indeed marked a silent revolution by this decision. While the world is torn apart by the impact of mixing the role of church and state, he broke the age-old tradition of Tibetan political system of being completely intermingled with the religious one. It is surely not an easy task to break the religious tradition in the first place, but then nobody other than the person leading it can do that. Secondly, Dalai Lama is revered as the “incarnation of God” by the Tibetans; it’s very easy to understand what kind of power he used to hold while occupying the political throne as well. It’s not an easy task to disown the privileged power of both the state and the church for the sake of your people’s betterment. But he did it, and apart from setting an example to the world, his countrymen will always be grateful to him for that. Tibet is bound to get some real good politicians who have prepared themselves across the world (in exile) due to this decision of Dalai Lama. And more importantly, they can push Tibet’s case better in the world forums than a religious leader who will have to understand world politics and languages first to place the case to the world.

The impact, if the media is to be believed, has already started. There are reports that Beijing has already marked this young Tibetan leader who shares the Harvard department with Barak Obama and has a massive network of contacts worldwide as “terrorist”. When the oppressor shows some hastiness to go to such extent, it becomes quite evident that the oppressed is going to the right direction.

I always believed that the world is moving towards a better future. In spite of all the wars world is seeing today, there is an undercurrent of humanity flowing beneath. And this transition in Tibetan politics gave me another reason to believe that the fate of humanity is to be refined and prosperous, both materialistically and spiritually day by day.

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