Friday, November 28, 2008

The Bombay Tragedy

At this point more than anything else I'm feeling tired at the deplorable drama in Bombay. More than anger, humiliation, more than anything else, I'm feeling sorry for the innocent civilians killed, held hostage, the security forces killed & those still engaged in fighting a cowardly enemy, their families & their friends.

Ultimately, that is what it's all about. The talk around our security situation, the politicking, the sensational news coverage are all detracting from the basic human tragedy of it all in some way.
All of us armchair experts/concerned netizens have expressed concern & disappointment, and there are some brilliant points made on the still ongoing tragedy from sanjukta, Ketan, Jo & constantmotion. Apart from the call for us to use our heads & maintain peace, our posts have primarily focused on saying NO to getting used to terrorism! Very honourable. Most have desisted from blaming the Govt. machinery, which says a lot for the netizens. This is not true of some people on TV that I saw yesterday. I'm presenting my take on the situation.

Don't forget that above all, this is a enormous human tragedy!

Despite all the initial knee-jerk criticism of our intelligence, security & government machinery, one must commend our police, the ATS, the NSG & the armed forces for their unstinting efforts to bring the situation under control. Martyrs like ATS Chief Karkare, Salaskar, Maj. Unnikrishnan & the many other as yet unnamed bravehearts who lost their precious lives fighting a dastardly enemy! (Worrying is how Karkare got shot in the chest thrice despite wearing a loose bulletproof jacket? How Salaskar got shot in the head; wasn't he wearing a helmet? But that can be talked about later.) Such a waste of life! Human Tragedy like I said, above anything else! Kudos to all of our brave men who're doing their duty for the country. But prevention would've been better than cure.

Prevention: I don't know how many of us have worked on financial processes in BPO's. Mere Data Security needs to be watertight here (physical security too) lest critical customer information falls into the wrong hands! Despite putting in all kinds of measures, small & big incidents/frauds do happen. If a Risk Management Team, an Operations Team, an Audit Team cannot get it right on a 300 seater floor; you can imagine the challenges of ensuring security in a 1 Billion strong nation, that has the World's 7th largest landmass! It's a humungous task. India fails at things everyday! We failed at battling poverty for long, we fail at infrastructure, we fail at electing the right leaders, we fail at riot prevention. Failing at terrorism is nothing unexpected. It's just that it's a greater shock than all these other issues because of the immense human tragedy. But also because some of our elected leaders choose to make it a poll issue.

The same Navy that was being celebrated a few days back for sending pirate ships scurrying, is suddenly the villian for not having spotted the terrorists' vessels!!??

We're forgetting our victories against terrorism in Punjab. They came at a great human rights cost. A lot of our policemen & leaders like PM Indira & CM Beant lost their lives. This was largely internal terrorism that we quelled. Can we do it again? I'm sure we can. Should we do it that way again? I don't know about that.

Ratan Tata said something to the effect that we should've learnt from our mistakes. He's right about that. Why despite numerous terror attacks on public places was security lax at the Taj & Oberoi? Or at most malls/cineplexes? Why do we as citizens not walk up to the mall manager & question them on the security situation?

It's obvious that we need a better method to tackle terrorism. But all of us who're crying about it have no clue to go about it really. We must put our heads together. We must come up with ideas. We must form NGO's to tackle it. We must send our list of ideas to the PM. We must not stand on the sidelines. We must participate in solving the problem. A few good men can only make a beginning. They need our support to go all the way!

YP Singh echoed what I'd said in a comment. He said the intention is to target the Americans & the Britishers. Since they can't get to them intheir country, let's go to India & target them. Makes a lot of sense. Kill 3 birds with one stone! 4 if you add the targeting of Jews.

Srinivasan Jain asked whether we're seeing a new form of terrorism; one that has no demands, it just seeks to kill & terrorize. Is he only expressing himself now or did it just dawn on him?

Shobha De shot her mouth off as usual. I'd expected someone with her exposure to look for more constructive solutions than mouthing off. It looks like 20 something netizens have more sense than she does. What I don't get is how a literary porn star (or is it literary pimp/madam?) gets so much footage?

narendra modi came & announced a Rs. 1 Crore compensation for the families of all those security personnel who lost their lives in the battle. Momentarily stumped I caught myself slowly mouthing, "Noble move...";

Until I heard him this morning back to politicking & electioneering (criticising our Prime Minister) in the face of such human strife! Then these questions came to me:

  1. Lives of brave securitymen who die in a high-profile anti-terrorist struggle are more important than those security forces who died recently in a naxal attack? Or those who lost their lives in the Bihar floods? No largesse for them?
  2. What was he doing in Bombay? advani was there. He should've been talking. rajnath singh is their party president, he could've been there. What was modi doing there? Saying all the things that advani couldn't???
  3. So the security personnel are doing a good job, but our intelligence failures must be blamed on the PM! So one days the Navy is a hero & on another day we must criticize the PM for the Navy or the coast guard failling to spot the terrorists?
  4. Forgetting the intelligence failures of Kargil, Khandahar, Akshardham, Parliament is a very noble thing to do as well!

Such honourable politicking at such an opportune moment! I'm sure this is what we want in a leader!!!

Edit: For more related conversation, please refer to the sister post's forum.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is this not development too???

In rural Maharashtra, away from all the recent madness, is a village. Like any of the other gadzillion villages that dot India's countryside? No. Unlike anything that dots rural India! This village is a shining example of development through local partnership, something that India is advised to emulate but hasn't unfrotunately been able to do yet. The village is called Ralegan Siddhi.

I quote from Wikipedia on Ralegan Siddhi:

The World Bank Group has concluded that the village of Ralegan Siddi was
transformed from a highly degraded village ecosystem in a semi-arid region of
extreme poverty to one of the richest in the country. The Ralegan Siddi example,
now 25 years old, by demonstrating that it is possible to rebuild natural
capital in partnership with the local economy, is a model for the rest of the


It is considered a model of environmental
conservation. Since 1975, led by Anna Hazare, the village has carried out
programs like treeplanting, terracing to reduce soil erosion and digging canals
to retain rainwater. For energy, the village uses solar power, biogas (some
generated from the communal toilet) and a windmill. The village's biggest
accomplishment is in non-conventional energy. For example, all the village
streets are lit by solar lights. Each light has a separate solar panel.

How did this happen? How did a debt, famine, disease & alcohol ridden village of 1500 people in 1973 start figuring on the prosperity & model village map of the world?

It happened primarily because of one man. Not that the villagers didn't contribute, but they had an able leader to show them the way. They are the first to acknowledge Anna Hazare's leadership. Read here about the unending list of achievements that he has helped them bring about.

There are other quiet achievers in Inda. My friend Animesh recommends making this daily reading in order to know about the lesser known quiet leadership of India, and I thank him for it.

His link tempers my rant to some degree, but I still want to tell the masses who use the word "Development" without understanding it's full meaning, use it even as an excuse for ignoring genocide!

This is real development! This isn't conspicuous industrial, urban development. It impacts the livelihood, life quality & even habits of what is said to be India's heart... it's villages! Better per capita income, reduced disease, no debt, no alcoholism. THAT'S ALL ROUND DEVELOPMENT! And this is what we should be celebrating! Ralegan Siddhi & Anna Hazare!! Continued development for 33 years!!! Read more here & here.

And I'd like to end with a few questions. One for all of us to ponder over: If our leaders were so gung-ho about development, wouldn't they have made Hazare a national hero by now? Wouldn't they have organised the state machinery (or their many branches, take your pick) to replicate his model by now?

And the others for our mainstream media: Why are you sitting content on your ample backsides, allowing people like thebetterindia & us to do your job for you? You seem to talk about development, about socialism, about new-age thought... why don't you focus on more stories like this? Why don't you influence public & Govt. opinion in this direction? If you won't, do we really need you?

Monday, November 24, 2008

On Feminism

IHM put me in quite a spot by tagging me on something like this. I have oscillated between calling myself an all-out feminist to being the occasional borderline misogynist. So you can see why it was difficult for me to even begin this post. Then, if I had to write this, I would have to THINK my way out of the mess in my head! Thinking hurts the head. IHM... at this point I feel positively misogynistic! ;-)

In my teens & twenties I had this simple logic: Girls are so beautiful, so demure. I like everything about them. They're great to be with. Much more fun than playing with the boys. So I was a self-proclaimed feminist.

Even today, check out my reasons for wanting to sit through a Bollywood item number:
Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Neha Dhupia, Tanushree Dutta, Riya Sen, Bipasha Basu, Celina Jaitley, Katrina Kaif, Yana Gupta...
If I was either Akbar or Samudragupta, these women would've been the Navratans (Nine Gems) of my court! Or would they be adorning my harem? Am I confusing art with biology?
But you get the point, don't you? I love women. Everything about them. I'd give them their rights! Hell I'd give them mine! Dashratha even gave his son's rights to one! Now there's a feminist if there ever was one!
I'd actually like 18 Gems. I have a list beyond the one I've given above. That way I could have them in my court & in my harem!

But jokes aside, I've always been a big champion of equal rights. My feminism is probably a branch of that tree.
I've been raised by a single Mother. With a fiercely independent younger sister. And a housefull of aunts & female cousins. Maybe that has something to do with my understanding of their myriad moods, with my general affinity for women and my desire to see them treated well.

I've been victim to some bullying during my first few years in Bombay. Until I finally learnt how to fight. But even in these initial years, my distaste for street brawls didn't stop me from taking a stand when it came to women. I will relate an incident here:

My first job entailed being clean shaven & dressed in a tie. Barely 22, I hardly looked intimidating. I was travelling on a crowded BEST bus to work, seated thankfully, when I heard a commotion up in front.
There was this huge man yelling at a woman, "What did I do? Did I touch you?".
The woman was apparently protesting his standing too close in the crowded bus. She was too far away to hear & probably intimated. She (softly & bravely) probably said something like, "Please stand a little further away".
The said huge man got bolder, "DID I TOUCH YOU? WHAT DID I DO, HAAN? DID I PUT MY FINGER IN YOUR BUM?"
The poor woman mumbled something in protest...
Huge man: "Shut up. I've seen enough like you. You get them for 50 bucks on the streets."

At this point something stirred inside 22 year old, boy-faced, clean shaven, tie-clad, 5'7" me. The same me that preferred to walk away from brawls, suddenly stood up & roared (I have a voice that is 6'3"), "SHUDDAP!!!"
Huge man whirled around: "Who said that?"
I roar back, "I DID!"
Huge man: "How's it any of your business?"
Huge man tried to move towards me, but he was far & the bus was crowded. He mumbled something about it not being any of my business, but I roared back: "THAT'S NO WAY TO TALK TO A LADY!!!"
By this time, the bus had come to life. A few more women stood up and started berating Huge man. One gent got up & offered his seat to the poor lady who bore the brunt of Huge man's attack. Huge man backed off seeing that he was hopelessly outnumbered by now. (And THAT is also why I keep saying that it takes just one voice to start a revolution! THAT is also why I am on the blogosphere!)

When I got off at my stop, some old ladies got off with me. They smiled at me, patted me on the head/shoulder & said, "God Bless you my son."
That moment I am still proud of, over 11 years later.

Like I said I'm a feminist.

I am however not blind anymore (as the teenaged me used to be) to the faults of women & women feminists. (Nor is my so-called feminist record that clean anymore as frequenters to the Mutiny will happily vouch for; but this is not a confessional...). Women are not perfect creatures. No one is. They have their faults and reams have been written on them by William Shakespeare & Jerry Pinto alike!

The problem that some feminists face is a lack of objectivity. They tend to make feminism a little like what the current (as opposed to back then) Dalit rights movement in India has degenerated into. Loud, Partisan & represented by crass Mayawatis instead of classy women. When a Shobha De is celebrated by feminists, I cringe. Just as I cringe when Chetan Bhagat is celebrated as an author!

There is a strong need to pick the right role models, the right causes, and go about them in a classy manner, a manner befitting women.
This last phrase is no doubt going to cause irritation to the average feminist.
And therein lies the problem.
In trying to break the mold, they shatter everything that is feminine or is likable about women. They didn't fight to be recognized for what they were. They tried to become like those who they thought were their oppressors!
Women are nice because they are gentle, soft-spoken, feminine, kind, they smell good, etc. etc. Hope for a better world lies in some of those very traits. What good comes from discarding all of that??? What good comes from being a coarse, loud, manly, uncouth, smelly woman? THAT is not feminism to me. That is taking feminism too far... too far from what it set out to achieve!

Every ~ism runs the risk of having factions that tend towards the extreme. We've all seen that happen in history & in our times as well. Communism... Capitalism...
This is a danger feminism must guard against.

Not doing so will elicit such responses from their own ilk. The said blogger is an extremely talented writer (among other things) and it would be a shame to not have her on the side of moderate feminism.

Edit: A blend, a fine balance, the middle path are what enhance everything. Even feminism.
To me feminism could also mean treating women as equals. No special privileges. Same tough talk as the men get. Same rough language...?
It could also mean being the man of the house, taking care of our women, providing for them, treating them like delicate pieces of china, pulling out chairs for them, old world chivalry. Chaperoning too...?
Or it could mean striking a balance between these two. Taking the best of both worlds and giving it to women worldwide!
So that women can have their cake & eat it too! NOW that would be Feminism!
Except that only a handful of really secure men would want to give it willingly. And the rest would call them minority appeasers! Such a shame...
Over to the feminists now. Tell us what you'd prefer.

And oh yes... I tag Annie, Sanjukta, Yaamyn, Ketan & Utopianthots. Any other interested takers?

Life’s little disappointments…

The last few weeks have been good on the personal front, but a look at the world around us also brought to light a few incidents that have left me more than mildly disappointed.

1. Barack Obama’s picking Sonal Shah as a member of his transition team. Sonal’s links with the VHP are public knowledge, but it is said that Obama knows her from his Harvard days. Maybe we can trust his judgement. Maybe he knows that her support to the VHP is limited to earthquake relief work. Maybe I’m dreaming! He may also be putting together a cabinet of rivals. It’s always better to have hope than to be perennially negative. It’s not a good path to be walking on, easy to start down it but very difficult to walk away from it.

2. Baba Ramdev. While I never bought into his tall claims of being able to cure cancer, diabetes & heart disease through Yoga, I did have respect for the man for having effected a positive change in the Indian masses towards healthy living. I didn’t lose that respect when someone accused him of using animal bones in his ayurvedic medicines. I knew people take potshots at celebrities. The guy went all over the country spreading the message of healthier living. He went to the UAE & spread his message there. I started thinking that a guy with his mass following can surely spread the message of communal harmony in our country. All he needs to do is say in each one of his shivirs that all human beings are equal irrespective of religion. That Indians should remain brothers. The masses would’ve responded well to his call. Even when one of the World’s premier Yoga gurus, BKS Iyengar publicly denounced Ramdev’s knowledge of Yoga, I still gave Ramdev credit for marketing Yoga well in India. I was taught Yoga by one of Ramdev’s disciples and can say from personal (bad) experience that Yoga isn’t the totally safe practise it’s made out to be. It has to be taught by someone who really knows it & knows how to teach it. Then the Ramdev I thought was progressive, inclusive & apolitical, goes & does the exact opposite of what I had in mind from him:

Raising the pitch on the Pragya Singh Thakur issue, Ramdev said: “Power is today
being exercised by people who should either be in jails or who should be hanged.
There will be a massive tussle for power three months hence. The country needs a
big change, where Sant Shakti (religious gurus) and Jan Shakti (people power)
come together. This process will not stop until the glory of India’s past is

3. Our current Opposition Party, one that aspires to lead India in her march towards prosperity & peace, one that has always advocated a hardline approach, on being tough on terror, on equal rules for all; for doing a 360 degree turn on all of the above (which incidentally is consistent with their past record!). Rajnath Singh falls back on divisive politics (a harkback to the British rule they claim to hate) by saying on the Pragya Thakur investigation that the Govt. is angering Hindus and that it is pushing the country towards a civil war! Strangely, today’s Indian Express reports that Lt. Col. Purohit during interrogations revealed that RSS leader Indresh Kumar had received Rs. 3 Crore from the ISI!!! I thought my suspicions on the sangh & the ISI being in cohorts was just a silly theory!! And to borrow a sentence from Offstumped, the alacrity with which they moved from embarassment to aggression & opportunistic politics, they have managed to even embarass the word “shame” with their abject lack of it.

4. Disappointed at no one filing PIL’s, making any arrests, banning the seditious website because of this. No one cares, huh? sanjay? swati? guy? Are you not offended? Is your taking umbrage partisan?

5. Disappointed at terrorism claiming religions for themselves. But happy that amidst this madness there is hope, that there are people with whom we may have differences, but who agree on core issues. Do read this, this & this please.

I’ve come to realize that faults lie within all humans, not within all religions. That’s why a leader of men that brings our the best in human nature is called a Prophet; & a leader that brings out the worst in humans is called a politician or more appropriately a crook!

6. I’m disappointed at the difference between the leaders of their country & ours:

7. Ashutosh winning Bigg Boss. I erroneously thought that someone who publicly slapped a woman to win a third-rate reality show, shouldn’t get to win another third-rate reality show. I’m obviously disappointed that the rest of India doesn’t agree with me. But I know that this is not the whole picture.

What is the whole picture? The whole picture is work-in-progress. That is part of my learning.

What else have I learnt from these little disappointments? To ignore them. To move on. If there is any truth to the Karma philosphy, everyone gets their due. Also that “It’s all OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end”.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hope, Horror & Humour: some links from around the Blogosphere


1. The final results of the American Presidential race are making me beam from ear to ear. Any guesses on what my views are on Barack Obama?

Well, aside from the fact that I feel immense black pride (despite my not being black) at this point; aside from the fact that I feel blown away by the fact that a member from among those who were considered an inferior race in America till a few decades back has today been picked to lead their country; aside from the fact that America today redeemed itself and proved that it's way ahead of us in being an amalgamated people; aside from the fact that he is of mixed race (a club I do proudly belong to) and that the fact made him acceptable instead of not-acceptable; aside from the fact that his birth-father wasn't American & that he spent some time growing up in Indonesia with his step-father, and none of that could stop him at all...!

I won't say much more as the sentiment of this truly historic moment has been captured beautifully by one of my favourite bloggers. She picks out some bits of Obama's acceptance speech that are wonderfully relevant to the India that we are today. I'll let you read it for yourself, but just one example of what will inevitably go on to become a quotable quote from Obama is:

a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and
Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

(Reminds me of Al Gore's brilliant concession speech that I referred to in an earlier post. But this moment is about the future. About Obama.)

Indeed, like her, I too am very jealous of the Americans. When will we have a moment like this? When will our politicians talk in this refined tongue? When will they talk of unity instead of regionalism/religion? When will we redeem ourselves?

I'd also like to add this line that vindicates my faith in the power of one. One person started it all. One voice. One firm "NO". The line is from today's TOI: Rosa Parks had to sit for Martin Luther King to March. King had to march for Barack Obama to run. Obama had to run for our children to fly.

2. And in a much much smaller way, this conversation too gives me hope. Read from here onwards.


My Maldivian brother Yaamyn, brings us this story that fills us with horror. Reading it made me shudder.


Another blogger who is fast becoming one of my favourite reads, wrote this last month. I know it's a little late, but it made me laugh. I would like you all to find a little laughter in your day as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

LOTS of Reading!!!

All for you dear reader. There are 5 posts up today.
So what’s the way out?
2 strongmen… & a weak-PM?
Exposing the Lies of the self-styled Marathi
Why all the quiet?


So what’s the way out?

OK! Enough exposes about who’s fault it all is. Let’s look at what can be done to improve the situation in Bombay & Maharashtra. These are a few of my suggestions. Please feel free to add to this list.

1. We need equally strong voices from the other side. And politicians won’t do as we’ve already seen. We need the citizenry to speak up. While a Medha Patkar is as usual one of the first to speak up, she is a lone voice.

Commenters like akki have provided links to wonderful people like Mahesh Vijapurkar, whose views deserve to be widely disseminated, read & understood. Kudos & my respects to these people.

We also desperately need the Palekars-Paranjpais-Natekars-Padukones-Tendulkars-Gavaskars-Vengsarkars-Prabhakars-Rajanikanths-Mangeshkars-Bhosales-Nikhil Wagles to speak up & be heard. They enjoy an immense support base. People all over India & Maharashtra look up to them. They’re Indias Gems! I’d urge them to speak up in the interest of keeping the people of this nation together.

Of course, they don’t have to. They haven’t done any wrong, they’re not the out on the street, bus burning type of Maharashtrians. Why should they be defensive & speak up? I understand that mindset totally. It’s the same mindset that Indian Muslims stuck to for a long time. “I’m not an extremist. Why should I be apologetic? Why should I say or do anything?” As we all saw, that because of the intense propaganda & generalized hate campaign against them, they had to abandon that stance & speak up. And I’m glad they did.

Because as Edmund Burke said: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
And as Herr Albert Einstein himself said: The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.

Apparently education & exposure is no longer guarantees a mind free from misconceptions & bias, as yet another politician demonstrates again.

2. Now this one is bound to be controversial, but it’s one idea. If we don’t want more & more people to come into Bombay looking for livelihood & putting more strain on it’s infrastructure; stop creating more jobs in Bombay! No new jobs, no more migration!

Create jobs elsewhere. Invest elsewhere, develop other parts of the country.

3. Revive the Gandhian approach: We need more & more people to use Gandhian means of protest instead of the madness that is making India an increasingly unsafe place to live in. I read somewhere recently that the terrorist is a disgruntled nationalist, one who is at a total loss as to what options he has left to save his nation. Let more & more people know that they way is Sarvodaya & Satyagrah. Medha Patkar, Baba Amte & Anna Hazare are not enough. We need a huge mass of humanity speaking the language of peaceful means of protest! THAT habit is our only hope that will save us from people resorting to violence.

4. Educate the aforesaid politicians on World affairs. They’re all stuck up in state & nation issues. If they were more tuned in to World Affairs (or even HBO where I picked it up from!!!), these excerpts from Al Gore’s concession (to Dubya) speech would’ve hit home:

While we yet hold and do not yield our opposing beliefs, there is a higher duty
than the one we owe to political party. This is America and we put country
before party. We will stand together behind our new president…
… As for the battle that ends tonight, I do believe as my father once said, that no matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as well as victory to shape the soul and
let the glory out.

Can our politicians not learn to put Country before Party? As far as I can see Gore Sr. was right. Al Gore may have been spared the ignominy that Dubya had to bear… of being called America’s stupidest Prez, among other things. Instead he will always be remembered as a Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

Thank you and good night, and God bless India. :-)

2 strongmen… & a weak-PM?

ram vilas paswan should be arrested for being irresposible. I understand that he feels strongly about the torment Biharis are being made to undergo in Maharashtra, but that doesn’t give him the right to make the shooting of rahul raj more of a national issue than it already is. After all the man hijacked a bus, shot & injured a passenger, is said to have fired 6 bullets from the gun that he was brandishing. If the police shot him, they probably had good cause to. Not that I don’t feel sorry for the poor bloke. He lost his mind & then his life (as opposed to the other raj who’s just lost his mind!). Sure the police could’ve tried other methods. Sure an enquiry is called for. But I’m very uncomfortable with rahul raj, a symbol of violence & rage, becoming an icon in today’s already troubled times.

sharad pawar should be arrested for being a hypocrite. Throughout this entire fiasco in Maharashtra, the so-called Maratha strongman hasn’t uttered a single word. He hasn’t said or done anything to make things better. No call for peace. No denouncing violence. No denouncing raj thakre. No call to the state government for strong action. Is this why he’s called a strongman?

Manmohan Singh should officially be declared a Bharat Ratna. The man has reportedly sent a strongly worded letter to the (unfit to be) Maharashtra CM, vilasrao deshmukh on his inability to control the situation in a state under his charge. Sure he acted late, but he acted sooner & stronger than the esteemed A.B. Vajpayee did during the 2002 Gujarat carnage. I wonder why the weak PM thing irks me so much… Ah! I know why! Because it’s classic right-wing, easily exposed lies!

Exposing the Lies of the self-styled Marathi messiahs

I’ve lived in Maharashtra for 16 years now, 12 out of those were in Bombay.
I am totally in love with Bombay & it’s people (probably because of it’s people). I still miss it, and them.
However I don’t know how I’ll feel there now after all that has recently happened.
Obviously my circles will not have the mns types, so I doubt if I’ll be directly affected, but after interacting with so-called educated people on the web, I can’t be too sure anymore. I’m sure there’ll be there rare educated, employed fanatic. These facts are for them & their ilk

LIES: Bombay has a population problem & infrastructure overload due to migration from UP & Bihar.

FACT: The migrant problem that Bombay faces is not because of UP-ites & Biharis. Only 15% of the migrants are from those two states. That means that out of the 42 families that come into Bombay everyday, only 6.4 families come from UP-Bihar. The other 35.6 come from the rest of Maharashtra. Read here. Please read the whole article for insights that will open up your eyes.

Another reason for Bombay’s population explosion is the lower mortality & improved natality that marks an improving India.

LIES: Bombay always belonged to the Marathis.

FACT: Bombay was never solely theirs. Up until 1960, it used to be a separate state (this link also talks about the movement for a separate state like the demands for a separate Jharkhand, a Chattisgarh, an Uttaranchal etc. It suggests a dangerous separatist mindset, much like Shibu Soren’s or Jinnah’s, as is again obvious today). It only got downgraded to a state capital in 1960. And it didn’t stop being India’s financial hub in that year. Nor did it cease to be a part of India in that year. It may have been a landmark event for you, but for the rest of us nothing changed that year. Nothing should have at all actually.
Even at the peak of the Maratha rule, Bombay was not the capital. It wasn’t even significant to the Marathas.
So did it suddenly become desirable? Because of insecurity & greed? Wanting to live off someone else’s hard work?

LIES: Kolis are Marathis, therefore the earliest inhabitants of Bombay were Marathis, therefore Bombay belongs to Marathis.

FACT: I have yet to find any conclusive evidence about the origins of the Kolis. They’re currently found in Gujarat & Andhra Pradesh apart from Bombay and other coastal regions of Maharashtra. Some material on the net says they descended from the Chota Nagpur plateau region. Some totally unverifiable material suggests that they existed from the time and in the area of Mohen-jo-Daro. If any of these claims are true, it’s obvious that a) They weren’t from the region that is called Maharashtra; and b) They weren’t a Marathi speaking people at all!!! Even today the Kolis of Gujarat speak Gujarati & the Kolis of AP speak Telegu. It’s fairly obvious that they migrated and picked up the language of the region. Funnily, the current language of the region is only a 1300 year old language. If the Kolis came from Chota Nagpur, they couldn’t have been Marathi speakers. If they were here from ancient times, they couldn’t have been Marathi speakers. In either case, the Marathi argument fails to apply to the Kolis. The Kolis are also said to have been indigenous people to the 7 islands. Although implements found in Kandivili suggest inhabitation from the stone age. It’s anyone’s guess as to who the original inhabitants were. I guess the original inhabitant argument doesn’t hold much water.
Also, as the Brittanica link will tell you, the Mauryas were the first territorial masters of the Heptanesia. So will Wiki. And where were the Mauryas from? Patliputra? And what is Patliputra? Modern day Patna!!! So were the first rulers of the 7 islands Biharis? Well… that’s what history seems to suggest.

And of course we’re all aware of the dispute around the name.

So my question is this: Are we going forwards or backwards?

And award-winning journalist Amit Varma’s question is this.

And see what Prof. Hari Narke has to point out! Look at the pot calling the kettle black!

And this one from Medha Patkar & others.

And in the midst of all this madness, is an example of a man who was a human being first, a doctor second, an Indian third. A doctor who continues to heal despite his untimely demise. Proof of the power of love over hate. Born Marathi but an Indian Hero to me. And others. Long Live Dr. Chandrakant Patil!

Why all the quiet?

It looks like it’s up to me again to ask this question to the likes of Snehal Joshi etc.
And I wonder why commenter why? questions me for bringing this up, when no one else seems to be doing it…

Well, like I said before, someone’s gotta do it. So here goes:

Sadhvi put the Sangh in a trap: can’t defend, can’t oppose
While the Sangh Parivar today called her arrest a politial conspiracy to malign Hindus, it also distanced itself from sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, one of the three charged with murder by the Maharashtra Police for her alleged role in the Malegaon and Modasa blasts on September 29.

Read More on Indian Express

Please note carefully their discomfort & the tentative denials that these guys are issuing, Rajnath’s & Rajkumar Bhatia’s being classic examples.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that they’ve kep mum instead of coming out strongly against their terrorist foot-soldiers. You will recall their extended silence on the Orissa & the Karnataka violence against Christians.

And their list & range of terrorist acts is growing: Ahmedabad 1969, Bombay 1992, Gujarat 2002, Orissa & Karnataka 2008, Nanded, Kanpur, Malegaon, Modasa… What next?

In my opinion, this calls for strong action against them. If the Govt. will not do it, it’s up to us to create awareness about the anti-national & inhuman forces in our country.

My right-wing enthusiast friends on the web, the floor is now yours to defend.


Action on too many fronts.

Here's a link to one front.