It’s not about JNU. It’s about India. 

 It’s no coincidence that people who are supporting anti-India JNU students are exactly the same people who supported Ishrat Jahan and celebrated Lalu’s victory in Bihar. Ishrat turned out to be a suicide bomber. And there have been over 700 murders (including techies) and thousands of kidnappings in Bihar.
No wonder today they find themselves supporting those who want to attack and divide India because Hindus live here. Therefore, JNU issue is a blessing in disguise. We will know who stands where. I believe any support, tactical, intellectual, real, legal, financial or moral to these bunch of students is an indirect support to terror groups.
Also, let’s be very clear it’s not about freedom of speech or sedition law. This is the first tactic, closet enemies use. They will confuse the issue by bringing in lots of counter news and views. They will quote laws. They will try to make it look like an anti-RSS, anti- BJP issue. This isn’t about any of the above. It’s about a war against India. In 2010 there was an intelligence report that terror groups and IS is making inroads in Indian Universities. Everyone ignored it exactly like when intelligence said Ishrat Jahan was a suicide bomber. They believe in intelligence reports only when it suits them. This is a real threat. And it has just begun. Don’t ignore it.

The game plan is to create an emergency like situation and force the government to come hard on students and thus start nationwide riots. Don’t get trapped. Oppose and expose everyone who even remotely shows sympathy towards such trends. In life, very rarely come situations when you need to sand up to protect your identity, your dignity and your safety. This is the beginning of that moment.

What can be a better proof that the same people are debating whether national flag should be hoisted atop our universities? Debate? Really? It’s ok if Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal, Barkha, Rajdeep and gang are found supporting them as they have nowhere to go. From here on they will do only wrong as the race they have chosen ends in a dark well. Don’t confuse their debates as intellectual debates. They aren’t intellectuals. Intellectuals are those who do intellectual things. Like your mother. Your teachers and millions of common unheard people who bring about a real change.

They may call you bhakt but it’s better to be a bhakt than being ignorant and anti-national.

Jaihind!

 

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A short, open letter to all those who take ‘stupid statements’ seriously 

Dear ‘stupid statement’ lovers,

Have you ever lived in a joint family? Or have you ever been to a big, fat Indian wedding? Have you noticed there are different kinds of people, groups. Exactly like our country. 

1. The doers: People who organise everything, manage and keep and control monies so that everything runs smoothly. They hardly sleep and are at work when everyone is partying. They are answerable and responsible for everything. That’s the PM and his cabinet

2. The family: a group of people who are interested in wedding, dance, food, fun and all the benefits of a wedding but they are always figuring out their importance in the scheme of things. They may bitch about bride’s or groom’s family members but mean no real harm. They have suggestions for everything but are too lazy to actually work. This is the ruling political party.

3. Neighbours: They have no role to play in the wedding but they want it to fail. They are perpetually seeking bad news that is good news for them. That’s the opposition. 

4. The cribbers: Then there is always one ‘Allahabad wale Foofa Ji’ who is always unhappy about something and doesn’t join the celebrations until given importance or a gift. He is neither responsible nor answerable but plays his ego all the times. These are the intellectuals. 

5. Widowed Buaji: There is always one relative who loves to nitpick. This relative will bitch, crib, gossip, badmouth the hosts and his/her intention will be to somehow spoil the party, even if he/she has to lie, spin, misinform or manufacture a lie. They will always look at the negatives and rundown the success of the party. This is the media. 

6. Khatiyabaaz Tau Ji: These people sit on a charpoy (Khatiya) and keep an eye on the traditions, culture and morality, commenting on dancing youngsters, drunk youngsters and keep passing comments about values/morals. They are always first to pick up brewing affairs. No-one listens to these moral keepers anyways but when they get an audience they exaggerate and say things which anyways have no impact on the wedding. These are the inconsequential fringe elements. 

7. Baraatis: All they want is that ‘ladkiwaale’ should keep them happy. No-one, including them, knows what makes them happy. They can make or break a wedding party. You have to keep most of them happy at all the times. With freebies, facilities or both. These are the citizens/ voters.  

Every wedding has a unique power system. In last 67 years, in this big, fat Indian political wedding, the doers and baraatis were inconsequential and the entire wedding was run by No 2 to no.6.  

What has happened suddenly that, in Modi’s ‘out-of-the-box-politics’, he has eliminated groups from no. 3 to no. 6. When you make 5 groups out of 7, inconsequential and irrelevant, they make lot of noise. They want the wedding to fail. They gang up. Some, with strategy, and some with their stupidity. 

Now decide, who matters to you. Who would you like to listen to? If you still want to subscribe to stupid statements and go by what the neighbours (media) or khatiyabaaz (fringe) or frustrated Bua ji are saying, chances are, in sometime, you may also turn stupid. 

With love: 

A proud Baraati

Vivek Agnihotri

November 3, 2015 

 

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Are you creative?

Finding Buddha -2

In the first part of this series I discussed how our life is a constant struggle and how ‘Creative Thinking’ can help us sail through this struggle. Before we understand ‘Creative Thinking’, we need to understand what is creative and what is not creative.

We all are born as ‘creative’ individuals. It’s a myth that we are born intelligent. Intelligence is what we develop. First, we are creative. I have never seen anyone calling a bird ‘stupid’ or an animal ‘idiot’. You never call a tree ‘dumb’. God doesn’t make us dumb or idiot or stupid. We are born as creative individuals. It’s in our DNA. Our DNA is nothing but accumulation of impressions, over millions of years. The fact that we have survived, despite insurmountable odds, proves that we are basically and essentially creative beings. Yet our society is divided between creative and uncreative people. If you are a musician, painter, writer or a photographer, you are considered creative. On the other hand if you are in a programmed, structured, assembly-line job you are deemed uncreative. But what has one’s job got to do with creativity? What can be a bigger lie than this? Look at the this social fraud closely. Music, painting, photography, writing are all skills. People who practice these are as skilled as a driver. With practice they become better. It’s only when a musician uses his music to discover his own tones, his own melody, his own song that he becomes creative. A driver who uses his driving skills to explore new territories, new routes and a unique way to beat the traffic that he becomes a creative driver. Whether you are a watchman or a scientist in NASA, you can be creative.

Assume that you are the world’s most uncreative person. A banker, a CA, an engineer, a lift man, a delivery-boy or someone who is in a routine,structured, mundane job. Same routine. Same struggle and no scope to be creative. Imagine, one fine morning, you wake up in a jungle with a note that there is no way out. No map. No directions. No skill set to survive in a jungle. Now, visualise the jungle with its complexities, all kinds of creatures, nobody to communicate with, no sense of direction or time. Think hard. How do you slowly start becoming aware of the jungle? How do you slowly discover Jungle’s unique sound? You can now smell distinct fragrances of the jungle. Everything comes into focus. You are not outside of this jungle, hence you can’t be judgemental about it as you are the jungle. Whether you live or die will have no bearing on the dynamics of the jungle. You are as important or unimportant as a tiny insect on the trunk of a banyan tree. None reacts to your scream for help. none understands your language. None loves you. None cares for you. Yet you can take whatever you want. You can kill anyone and there are no sentences for that. Killing is not a crime. Stealing is not a crime. Yet there are consequences of all your actions. There are trees, fruits, streams, fish, animals, oxygen, everything you need to survive. You can consume anything you want with full awareness that you can also be consumed by anything. Be it an animal or that nature.

What’s the first thing you do? Explore. You try to figure out what’s around you. Then you walk to explore further. You start experimenting with things – the leaves, the wood, the fruits. You try various fruits and decide which is best suited for your survival. You make things to protect you. You create fire to keep yourself warm. You have to cross a stream and you can’t swim. So, you either learn to swim or you learn to make a bridge. Both require a design and engineering. By and by, you learn both. By and by, you learn to devise your own tools. You learn timing, in sync with the nature. With more experience and understanding of the jungle, you learn that you are not responsible for the jungle’s unique design and architect and it’s the jungle that’s responsible for you. Your sole purpose is to experiment with the jungle’s resources and create your own ecosystem which protects you, keeps you warm and helps you keep healthy. And for this purpose you explore, experiment, design, build, rebuild and so on. And it’s you, who is creating all this. There is no map, no self-help book, no DIY kit. How come a man who was a bored, uncreative CA or an engineer or a postman or a McDonald’s salesman, and who the world considered uncreative, has suddenly become so creative? Because there is nothing between you and the nature. You are creating your own survival on a moment to moment basis. You don’t worry about what terrain you crossed, you are thinking about the terrains challenges of the future. You are right in, right here, finding ways to survive. Ways not based on anyone else’s advise, but on your own unique experiences. In this jungle, you are the most creative person. You are inventing fire, shelter, weapons, tools and bridges. You are discovering food, time and space. Without any support from the family or the society. And how? Would it be possible if you aren’t born creative?

This proves that nobody is ever born uncreative or stupid. It proves that creativity is in our DNA. It doesn’t suit God’s large design to have uncreative people. Like small insects keep ploughing the soil to keep it alive and fertile, human beings are required to plough mother nature to keep it alive. So, the first prerequisite to be a human being is creativity. If one goes by the principles of Hinduism, a creature needs to be reborn millions of times before he is gifted with the powers of a human – the supreme creative creature. Which is you. And I. We are born creative.

This is the second part of a blog-series on ‘creative thinking’ titled. In next part I’ll discuss what is not creative.

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Finding Buddha – Part 1

In life, we take birth, we struggle and, eventually, we die.

Struggle is the essence of life.

The entire act of life’s conception, per se, is full of struggle. Millions of sperms struggle to unite with the female egg. Mother, the carrier of this life, struggles to protect the life in her womb. The life struggles to come out of the womb.

And starts an unfinished relay race of human struggle. One struggle passes the baton to another struggle.

Struggle to open tiny eyes. Struggle with the light. The cold. The visuals. the noise. Struggle for milk – the food. After this sensory struggle, the baton is passed on to our struggle to communicate.  To walk. To be independent.

Once we learn to walk, talk and rock, we become officially independent. And thus begins a new struggle to be dependent. Dependent on work, money, partner and society. We spend all our life being dependent.

We struggle to gain weight, lose weight, throw around weight, shun weight.

We struggle to dream, to actualise the dream, to protect ourselves from the failure of the dream.

We struggle with our body, our mind and our heart. We struggle to be happy. Once happy, we struggle to sustain it. Once the happiness is gone, which it must, we struggle to repeat it.

Sex is struggle. Money is struggle. Power is struggle. If you have one or all of these then, their possession is a struggle.

Success is a struggle. Unsuccess is a struggle.

A relationship comes with struggle. It survives on struggle. Marriage is struggle. Children make us struggle.

Winter makes us struggle, so does summer.

Whether we travel in mountains, oceans, rivers, forests, desserts or plains, all terrains introduce us to another kind of struggle.

Materialism and denouncement both are struggles of polarised kinds. Any desire to attain something is rooted in struggle. Indifference and detachment are struggles to escape struggle. We call it higher kind of struggle. The moment we attach levels to anything, it becomes a struggle.

If you look around minutely and try to understand calmly, you shall end up discovering that there is nothing that touches us and doesn’t trigger off another struggle.

When breathing becomes a struggle, its called Asthama. When existence becomes a struggle, its called Life.

One may call life by any other name like dynamics, motion, change, unknown… but in its heart its only struggle. Its composition, its nature, its behaviour and its outcome are all enveloped in a struggle.

Humankind has explored life, tried to analyse and understand it through science, metaphysics, abstract, religion and many allied instruments. We have been able to discover, invent, innovate, create means, tools and techniques to make our lives better and with each betterment we added another collection of struggles.

We invented a wheel. Wheel struggled to fit into a bike which struggled to transform into a car which struggled to become an aircraft and so on. We have reached the Mars in a rocket yet we struggle to move on in life. We are still there where we started from. The birth and the Death. In between we still struggle to love, feel and survive.

I am not one of the kinds who blame technology or internet for social struggle. Or emotional struggle. If you start reading from the first text, ever written, to 140 character literature of Twitter, you will find that despite the dominance of the theory of change, human struggle remains exactly where it started from.

Hindus and Buddhists professed the practice of meditation and detachment to rid us of this struggle. But if meditation and detachment are born out of struggle they will end up in struggle. Like drug induced sleep isn’t temporary nirvana, meditation isn’t an escape from struggle. Meditation is seeing the internal struggle. Meditation is a struggle to not see the external struggle. But struggle it is.

Happiness, pleasure, joy, success, richness, knowledge, wisdom, beliefs, opinions, rationale, freedom, liberty etc are all important ideas which are worn like articles of fashion and for precisely the same reason articles of fashion are worn, which is to make the wearer look better and to feel à la mode.

If everyone and everything is struggling, then why should we have hierarchies, levels, positions, statuses or classes? Aren’t we all equal in the sports of life? Aren’t we all in the same pool, unclothed?

If all life is driven by a common struggle then what is the purpose of this life? Why do we exist so haplessly? Can’t we do anything to be evacuated from this rubble? If struggle controls us then what is the purpose of a mind? More struggle?

I think Mother Nature after having given us the gift of struggle, as a fulcrum of our lives, also gave us the power of ‘creative thinking’ like a steering wheel.

Creative thinking or imagination helps us looking at this struggle from our point of view (POV), which makes it unique. Our POV of life and its struggle is as unique as our passport no. or our fingerprints. Even if any other POV comes close to it, it will always be an approximation of our unique POV. Never the same. This is the strongest reason that we have a unique worldview. We are the owners of this POV. And that is our space in this infinite universe. Not the land, house, city, nation, earth. Our space is our POV. It’s this POV that makes us ride through this struggle. Imagine to live your life with someone else’s POV and what do you find? More struggle. Because window shopping is a struggle of desire. Life’s struggle, when seen through someone else’s eyes, induces more pain, more fear and more distress to our lives. Like a compromise with our Unique ID puts us in logistical trouble and sometimes in jail, any compromise with our unique POV lands us in a kaleidoscopical illusion and vulnerable to be victimised by organised religion. Our unique POV is our biggest strength. Our oxygen. We may have 20/20 eyes but this POV gives them vision.

Secondly, ‘Creative thinking’ gives us power to channelise this struggle in whichever direction we want. The course of this struggle is derived out of this unique POV. Imagine this struggle as a forceful, violent river. It has the strength and force to take with it forests, cities and populations. When this river is channelised, its tamed and becomes productive and useful to humankind by producing electricity, fertiling the land, quenching hamlets and adds up to aesthetics.  Similarly, once channelised with the creative thinking, same struggle produces incomprehensible energy, unlimited force and gives a meaning to this struggle.

Body, heart and mind, in unison, produce struggle. Once steered by ‘creative thinking, same body, heart and mind engineer a ‘Buddha’ state of mind. Where we become Buddha.

I have come to understand that creative thinking helps us find our inner Buddha.

This is the first part of a blog-series on ‘creative thinking’.

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Intellectual Mafia?

I was a young child when Indira Gandhi declared Emergency. My father was Vice Chancellor of one of India’s most troubled university, Jabalpur university. Sharad Yadav was the student leader. He was an extremely popular and violent leader. Jabalpur university had seen some celebrated Ex CJs and Ex Chief Secretaries as their VC. But Jaipraksah Narain’s student movement led by Yadav had made it impossible for any VC to last for more than 6-9 months. My father was a professor and an intellectual in his own rights with Radhakrishnan and Indira Gandhi seeking his advise on crucial academic matters. He was a man of men. He was a students’ professor. Saharad Yadav became his most trusted and obedient pupil. In that period of political turbulence he finished his term very peacefully and successfully. On a winter afternoon, I was playing cricket with our Maali (gardener) and my father was giving an interview where I overheard something that stayed with me. The journalist asked him the secret of this success and he replied ‘I don’t waste my time with intellectuals‘.

Couple of days ago, I was invited by NDTV for a political debate, hosted by Barkha Dutt. While making my point a term just slipped out of my mouth which went viral. I received many messages, tweets and emails. These were neither from friends nor relatives. These emotional compliments were from the unheard, invisible people.

That term was ‘Intellectual Mafia‘.*

http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/the-buck-stops-here/watch-for-or-against-is-modi-the-issue-of-2014/319094

Nehru was a Fabian sociologist and anti-business, romantic thinker.  Nehru was fascinated by English speaking, good looking, western-mannered, Fabian intelligentsia. He was also a Brahmin. It was his own ‘class & intellectual arrogance’ that he single-handedly destroyed indigenous intelligentsia. Like Rajendra Prasad, Radhakrishnan, Rajagopalachari, Kamraj, Patel etc. Nehru was Indian Jinnah. Jinnah was accidental Muslim. Nehru was accidental Hindu.* He despised typically Indian sensibilities. Indian thinking. Indian way of looking at the world. And Indian leadership. He was a pathetic economist. He could never understand ‘capitalism’. He could not understand technology. He could not understand the real aspirations of Indians. He could not understand Gandhi’s economics. To cover up his failure Nehru took a high moral ground. He was convinced that only he could decide what was best for the Indian masses. He chose socialism over capitalism. He chose spiritual elitism over religion. Since the masses were immersed in religion he slowly turned anti-masses. That Red Rose in his upper pocket was a reminder to people that he was God-like. Gods never lose. But he had lost a part of India to Pakistan. He had goofed up on Kashmir. His self-esteem was broken. He had to heal. He had to rise. So he self-appointed himself as Chief Intellectual Officer.

Nehru believed in political liberty but he was against economic freedom. Gandhi, on the other hand knew that political liberty could be achieved only with a strong backbone of economic liberty. Which is why, he had social reformers and political thinkers  on one side and Birlas and Bajajs on the other. Socialism is a utopia. Panchsheel was a utopia. Utopia which never came. USSR was a utopia which crumbled. Luckily Nehru did not live to see Socialism – baby of his intellectual flirting – die.

To cover up his illicit romances, rising corruption, undercurrent of a revolt and massive defeat and humiliation by Chinese, he nurtured an ‘intelligentsia’ which justified his impractical economics and failed politics to the masses.  The coterie of intellectuals he created was immoral. Historians know that whenever King has surrounded himself with immoral thinkers, debauchery has begun.  These short-sighted and opportunistic intellectuals justified ‘socialism’. Socialism has corruption in its very DNA. Nehru chose Big State over Big Market. More state sponsored programmes mean inefficient system, red-tapism, favouritism, weaker economy and corruption. It meant bigger disparity between masses and policy makers. More subsidies, doles, freebies meant more arrogance of rulers for they were the ones distributing alms. They became the givers. And us, the obliged masses, the takers. Isn’t it a sad commentary on free India’s development that the collective ambition of this country’s youth has been to become an engineer or a doctor? There was no competition. No excellence. No innovation.

Thus, India became State vs Masses. Corrupt vs Masses. Intellectuals vs Masses. Givers vs Takers.

Since Givers were guilty of their corruption they always looked at the Takers with suspicion. This suspicion turned into fear when Indira Gandhi was thrown out by Indian David – Raj Narain, a maverick socialist leader who should have been on her side. But he was masses.  Emergency was declared. Sanjay Gandhi took over. He created an army of morally corrupt, foreign educated intellectuals with no track record. Their biggest strength was their unconditional loyalty to Gandhi family. This tradition has continued. Loyalty over merit. Scheming over competence. Loot over contribution. Corruption grew. Guilt grew. Fear grew. With every scam, family started making the intellectual wall bigger and bigger. Today this wall is full of scamsters, crooks, agents, brokers, pimps, lobbyists, character assassins, land sharks etc disguised as lawyers, journalists, NGOs, feminists, advisors, professors, socialists etc. Simply put, beneficiaries of Congress’s largesse.

Their strategy was simple. Moral domination. Nehru was a thinker. But Rajiv, Sonia and Rahul are no intellectuals themselves. They took a different route.  They redefined morality. Secularism included. Anti-congress was new immoral. Pro Hindu became anti-Muslim. India was morally polarized. Morality is subjective. No one can say with guarantee what is pure morality. Masses were forced to choose between moral standards (Secularism, unity in diversity, Inclusive etc.) and quality of life (development). People who wanted quality of life were made to feel guilty. Hindus who wanted to celebrate their religious freedom were made to feel guilty. Muslims who wanted to be part of mainstream India were made to feel guilty. They filled India’s psyche with fear and hate. They hated all indigenous, grass-root thinkers. They hated Sardar Patel, Lalbahadur Shashtri, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, Chandrashekhar, PV Narsimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and now Modi. They are the hijackers of national morality. Secularism included. They are the robbers of Indian treasury. They are the brokers of power. They are the pimps of secularism. They are the Intellectual Mafia.

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They are the land grabbers of Sainik farms and Adarsh Societies of India. They run NGOs. They run media. They coin useless and irrelevant jargon to confuse masses. They have designations but no real jobs. They are irrelevant NRIs who want us to see reality which doesn’t exist. They want plebiscite in Kashmir. They want Maoists to participate in mainstream politics. They want Tejpal to be freed. They want Modi to be hanged.

But something has changed despite their unity, might and moral acumen.

Left liberals,  as they call themselves, have realised that defeat is certain and with this defeat they will lose that ‘elite thinkers’ tag. And the plum posts, foreign trips and bungalows and other perks. There is a reverse revolution taking place. It’s the innocent masses, who have suffered intellectual injustice, they are raising their voices. It’s the organically secular majority of Bharat, which has been made to feel like communal evils, that is asserting its identity.  Modi is just their face. So do not make the mistake of thinking that its Modi vs others.

Its masses vs elites.

Couple of years back when my father’s death was certain, at the age of 95, he told me about his freedom struggle days. “When as a young man I joined  Bapu, I thought we were fighting British. Its only later I realised we were actually fighting the intellectuals, patronised by the British. And most of them were lawyers. They never solved any problem. Their sole objective was to keep the masses away from the rulers and vice versa. We don’t have forts anymore but they are the walls of an invisible fort. If you want to defeat the rulers you have to demolish this wall of state sponsored ‘intelligentsia’. That’s exactly what Gandhi did. He led the masses to break this wall.”

Something like that is happening again. The wall is cracking up. On May 16th its fall is certain. For the second time in India’s history masses are going to enter the fort. Its not Modi. Its us. The masses. I hope there won’t be new walls. And I hope there won’t be another mafia. Never. Ever.

* Thanks to @rahulroushan for helping me rephrase ‘intellectual terrorists’ to ‘intellectual mafia’. Because that’s what it is. 

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15 Communal Questions to ‘The Secular Bollywood’

Yesterday, certain Bollywood personalities led by my very dear friend and renowned scriptwriter Anjum Rajabali, issued an appeal to public at large.

In their appeal, simply put, they have warned us that India is in grave danger from divisive and communal forces led by a ‘man-they-won’t-name’ (read Modi). These A-lister personalities have reaffirmed their faith in secular nature of ‘their‘ India. They have appealed to all Indians to stop these communal forces by voting only secular parties. In order to  save India’s cultural diversity, its pluralism and above all ‘Sickularism’.

Because India is vulnerable.

Suddenly, it reminded me of Indira Gandhi’s era where she always cautioned us about looming dangers from CIA conspiracies. Then Rajiv Gandhi started warning us against foreign elements trying to destabilise India. Sonia Gandhi led UPA has brought us to this. Where Indians are pitted against Indians.

I am saddened and very angry. Armed forces and Bollywood are India’s two most secular institutions. Mr. Anjum Rajabali and his ilk, in their obsession with Modi-hate have betrayed the film industry. I am sorry your appeal has obfuscated us more than enlightening.

I have few questions and I am sure you would like to answer to help me help India.

1. I am going to vote for Modi. Am I secular? Or communal?

2. I have decided to vote for the only man who says repeatedly that India is his religion and her Constitution is his holy book. If I vote for ‘that-man’, how will I threaten the secular fibre of India? Pl. enlighten.

3. Millions of Indians (read Hindus) love Modi. They respect him. Adore him. And some also worship him. Like many worship Shahi Imam of Congress. By hating their leader, calling him a grave danger to India, aren’t you playing a communal card? Aren’t you questioning the judgement of millions? Aren’t you hurting the sentiments of millions? How is your appeal secular?

4. Secular, as I understand means that religion should not play any role in governance. If it’s true then why were you quiet for last 10 years when the ruling party was continuously giving alms to Muslims? Did you and your fellow signatories utter a word when PM MM Singh said that minorities have first right over natural resources?

5. You say India is vulnerable.Yes. I agree.  India is vulnerable to Maoists & Naxals.  (Coincidentally, I see a lot of your signatories have certified Maoist leanings), terrorism, poverty, unemployment corruption and  crumbling institutions. What’s your hidden logic that you find ‘secularism’ as the only threat to India? Pl. enlighten.

6. Do you want me to believe that India will collapse if ‘the-man-you-won’t-name’ Modi comes to power. You write – The need of the hour is to protect our country’s secular foundation. Some of you are learned men. Where does this ‘secular foundation’ come from? India was always a Hindu nation. Until it was invaded and looted by Moguls, British and Congress. India has survived that. India is secular because of its Hindu culture. With its millions of Gods and Goddesses and millions of reincarnations, none understands secularism better than the natives of this country. If Hinduism wasn’t secular in its DNA, it wouldn’t have survived for thousands of years. It’s the very secular nature of Hindus that it never ever invaded or attacked any other country or civilisation. Its the Hinduism that encompasses all other faiths and religions and not the other way round. Hindus have let Muslims and British rule us. It’s the Hindu sensibility that has let an Italian run this country for 10 years. There is a Shahi Imam who also appeals to vote against communal forces. Who are these communal forces? Hindus? Or a party which believes in Hindu secularism and is led by ‘The-Man-You-hate‘ who says 10 times a day that his only mantra is ‘Justice for all. Appeasement for none.‘ So whom are you pointing your fingers at? Who is threatening India?

7. Your representatives, in Times Now debate said that they are not pimping for any party. But you are asking us to choose. If its not Modi led BJP, then who do you want us to vote? There are only two national parties. BJP and Congress. Who is secular, according to you? Unless you meant SP, BSP, AIIDMK, LJD, TMC, NCP etc. What is compelling you to talk in cryptic language and not naming ‘the-man’?

8. Mr. Robin Bhatt, your spokesperson, on TimesNow admitted that Modi is secular. Mr. Hansal Mehta, on the other hand, in the same programme, says he hates Modi but that’s his personal opinion. How is it that even before the ink dried up your signatories are distancing themselves with ‘personal’ and ‘official’ positions? Are you a political party? Like AAP? Or lis it that AAP is speaking through you? How can there be two opinions if some passionate ‘saviours’ of ‘art & culture’ have come together for a cause they believe in, so passionately? Is it possible that some people like Robin Bhatt and many others have signed it blindly because of your deep association with them in Writer’s association?

9. Why is it that most of the signatories also happen to be part of the same association that you have very constructively nurtured? I happen to know some of them closely. Are you sure they feel neither obliged nor compelled? Is this their absolute free and conscious voice? If they felt so strongly about India’s vulnerability how come they have never ever uttered a word about politics of any kind? How come they never spoke on social issues, at least?

10. If your fellow ‘secular’ filmwallas feel so strongly about  the ‘secular foundations‘ and its preservation, thereof, how come they never uttered a word against Muzzafarnagar riots? Or against Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav? Or Azam Khan? Or Abu Azmi? Did Imtiaz Ali object when Ayesha Takia (ironically, Both started their careers in a film called ‘Socha Na Tha’) to Abu Azmi’s communal comments on a public platform? Why suddenly?

11. I have an observation to make. Why is it that the Leftist crusader of truth, Shri Patwardhan, while speaking only looks down, never looking in the eyes. You are a genius scriptwriter who studies characters. Is this how men with convictions address the most sensitive issue which can shatter the secular foundations of Hindustan?

12. You know Bollywood is the biggest brand India has. People follow Bollywood more than cricketers and politicians. Your appeal has created an impression that entire Bollywood endorses your views. Have you written a disclaimer in your letter that these are your personal views and have nothing to do with Bollywood? Maybe not. But when Media called it Bollywood’s stance did you try to call the same editors to deny it with the same enthusiasm? Or are you taking advantage of a position that was never to be misused for political or personal gains?

13. Do you seriously want us to believe that secularism is the sole issue of these elections? And not development? Are you telling me that hungry, jobless people will ensure more communal harmony then well fed, employed people. Do you seriously mean that a corrupt India, lawless India, uneducated India and a weak India has better chances of preserving ‘secularity, inclusiveness & pluralism’ than a modern, educated and strong India? Or is it that like many Maoists/Naxals/ Leftists you also see development as biggest threat to their own existence and their political agenda?

14. Shrimati Sonia Gandhi also issued an appeal few days ago. Is it a coincidence that your appeal is reinforcing exactly the same? Can you vouch it for yourself and the other signatories that none has ever been beneficiary of Congress’s alms? And that noone of you have any vested interest in what you appeal? And that you have no political agenda? And none is firing from your shoulders like did with Arvind Kejriwal? If not, where was the need to get organised and send an appeal in such a hurry? Did you send this mail to all listed film professionals or just to those who you knew will sign either blindly, or would use this opportunity for their own agendas?

(I know the above question may upset few of your secular signatories but I must ask as the 15 crore young Indians are going to vote for the first time and they are vulnerable. I just want to ensure that they don’t feel cheated later.)

15. Last but not the least, I have two young kids in a very impressionable age. Next time if we happen to meet what should I tell them… “this is your secular uncle? Because he did not vote for Modi.” Is that the only thing you have reduced yourself to be called a ‘Secularist’?

In conclusion, my fellow film makers, I’d like to make a small correction in the mission statement of your appeal where you write: 

“However, one thing is clear:  ‘India’s secular character is not negotiable!

Not now, not ever.”

I find it narrow and rhetoric. Hence, I’d like to make a small correction and modernise it to suit the aspirations of millions of Indians:

“However, one thing is clear:  ‘India’s United character is not negotiable!

Not now, not ever.”

And also add:

Jai Hind.

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15 promises of BJP that can change our lives

Today, BJP released its Election 2014 manifesto.

It was supposed to be released on the 3rd April. BJP delayed it citing a logistical problem of bringing all their main leaders together as they are all busy filing nominations. Since then opposition parties, their supporters and media have been outraging on this delay. This is the first time in the history of Indian Democracy a manifesto has been sought with such intense passions. And for the first time in Indian electoral politics a manifesto has been read, analysed and debated with same emotions by BJP, political parties and media.

This is how its analysed in panel discussions of newsrooms.

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Congress has gone to the extent of saying that BJP copied its manifesto. Abhishek Manu Singhvi has blamed Modi for stealing Sonia Gandhi’s ideas. Sure BJP did copy. But which idea, Singhvi doesn’t tell us.

Yes, its true that nobody takes these manifestos seriously. Last time people took a manifesto seriously was when AAP government in state assembly of Delhi, led by Arvind Kejriwal made some unachievable 18 promises. When he failed to fulfil them, it seemed manifestos lost their credibility forever.

But then Modi has been selling a dream. A dream any sane Indian would buy. A dream that has shaken the muslim-vote-pattern paradox to an extent. A dream that’s soon going to marginalise undisputed rulers of India – Congress. A dream that’s made all world powers and economists sit up and take notice.

People are taking note of it because they know that these promises are made by a man called Modi. Such is the faith of his fans and supporters in his competence and intention. Mostly youth. No wonder there pledge of some 20 odd things the following is what made me read the entire manifesto.

To build a Modern India:

And I like that. Its kind of cool that young India understands. Enough of hypocrisy.

I don’t know how far BJP will succeed in delivering this in 5 years but I have picked up some salient features which I believe Modi will most certainly implement. He may be Hitler. He may be a fascist. He maybe a mass murderer. He may be authoritative but he is passionate about the following and I know that a passionate leader can make anything happen. (Remember AB Vajpayee’s successful quadrangle highway project).

Here is my pick of 15 objectives that BJP promises to accomplish and if they do will change our lives forever.

1. Team India

Formation of a task force ‘Team India’ including Prime Minister along with his cabinet and all Chief Ministers. This will strengthen federal structure, reduce regional disparity and integrated objectivity.

2. The Governance model:

  • People-centric, Policy driven, Time bound delivery.
  • E-Governance: Easy, Efficient and Effective.
  • Mandate digitization of all government work to reduce corruption and delays.
  • Minimum Government, Maximum Governance

3. Digital India

  • Deployment of  IT to protect India’s priceless cultural and artistic heritage, which includes digitization of all archives and museology.
  • Set up High-speed digital highways to unite the nation.
  • Make every household digitally literate with a goal to make India the Global Knowledge hub, with IT being a major driver and engine of growth. 

4. Judiciary, Police & Defense

  • Simplify legal procedure and language.
  • Double the number of courts and judges in the sub-orinate judiciary. It also wants to extend fast-track courts to all layers of the judiciary.
  • Networking of police stations and strengthening of investigations, making them swift, transparent and decisive
  • Insulate intelligence agencies from political intervention and interference.
  • Completely revamp the intelligence gathering system by modernizing the intelligence department.
  • Set up four dedicated defence universities to meet the shortage of manpower.

5. Hold Assembly and Lok Sabha elections simultaneously.

  • Apart from reducing election expenses for both political parties and Government, this will ensure certain stability for State Governments. 

6. Minority

  • National Madrasa modernization programme would be initiated.
  • Curate rich Muslim heritage and culture – maintenance and restoration of heritage sites; digitisation of archives; preservation and promotion of Urdu.

7. Urban Areas – High Growth Centres
“Our cities should no longer remain a reflection of poverty and bottlenecks. Rather they should become symbols of efficiency, speed and scale. We will look at urbanisation as an Opportunity rather than a Threat.”

8. Building 100 new cities

  • Enabled with the latest in technology and infrastructure – walk to work etc, and focused on specialized domains. Wi-Fi facilities will be made available in public places and commercial centres.

9. Industry

  • Government withdraws from those services which could be done by others and devote that extra time, money and energy for social sectors.
  • Focus on Zero defect products.
  • Embark on the path of IPRs and Patents in a big way. (My favourite)

10. 50 tourist circuits

  • Archaeological and Heritage,
  • Cultural and Spiritual,
  • Himalayan,
  • Desert,
  • Coastal,
  • Medical (Ayurveda and Modern Medicine).

 

11. Nertworking

  • Set up Gas Grids to make gas available to households and industry.
  • Set up a National Optical-Fibre Network up to the village level; and Wi-Fi zones in public areas.
  • Diamond Quadrilateral project – of High Speed Train network (bullet train).
  • Inter-linking of rivers.

 

12. Promotion of innovation

  • by creating a comprehensive National System of Innovation.

13. Science and research

  • devise schemes, programs and opportunities to encourage the youth to take scientific research and innovation as a career. Make research careers more appealing,
  • enhancing the national productivity and competitiveness
  •  build world class, regional centres of excellence of scientific research in the field of nanotechnology, material sciences, thorium technology and brain research.
  •  create an ecosystem for multi-country and inter-disciplinary collaborative research, and establish
  • an Intellectual Property Rights Regime which maximizes the incentive for generation and protection of intellectual property for all type of inventors.

14. Launch ‘National Mission on Himalayas’. (I love this)

  • Create a ‘Himalayan Sustainability Fund’.
  • Create a Central University dedicated to the Himalayan Technology.
  • 

15. Build Brand India with the help of our strengths of 5 T’s:
Tradition,

Talent,

Tourism,

Trade

Technology.

This is my list. I am sure you have picked your favourites too.

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