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Category: Politics & Social Issues (Page 2 of 4)

Why Indians don't see the Irony in laughing at trump

Why Indians don’t see the Irony in laughing at Trump?

I’m sure most of you reading this have enjoyed a good laugh watching John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Bill Maher and countless others in one of the talk shows making fun of their President. Correct ?

It’s okay if you haven’t. You can skip reading this post and head over to watch these.

Here’s a video of John Oliver talking about Trump:

Coming back to the Indian context, it is so cute when Indians have a good laugh at those jokes and don’t see the Irony. I mean, there would be a tiny voice in your head asking you to make a correlation and you’ll be telling it in your cute little voice, “Ohh Come on, it’s so different!”! 

I mean, thoda to bheja me light jalta hoga na ? 

And it’s okay, if the bulb doesn’t light up. Maybe it glows only when you hear a speech or listen to the much-awaited baat from unke mann ? Hai na ?

Election rally videos with those orgasmic speeches rule your late-night search history? Or even day-time? Hey, I’m not judging!

The fact that even when we’re able to watch this scenario play out on the global stage from an outside perspective, it is difficult to see through. One can assume that media or influencers have a freedom of speech which they can exercise without the fear of a mob out there to beat them.

I know what you’re thinking. “He’s again going there”. The voice in my head says the same. “Stop! Stop, else you’ll waste more time being a Keyboard activist, then writing stupid things like these”.

Kiski sunun ? Speeches to achhe lagte nahi! 

zaira waseem meeting J&k CM

The Zaira Waseem Controversy: Why the fuss?

In an age where a tweet reply by a celeb can become, “This celeb gave the perfect response to a troll” and at the same time whatever happens in the rural India doesn’t even make the front page. Zaira Waseem trending all-day on Twitter and other social media timelines does not surprise me a bit.

But let’s go back a little. Shall, we ?

I can add 10 different “Did you know” news items from rural India and it’ll perfectly fit the title.  We only like news, that’s trendy. And of course, we’re supplied the same by the media as well. You and I might think that those “noisy” TV debates can definitely be avoided, but a sizable audience loves to watch just that. The News Channels won’t go by our opinion which will get branded as “elitist” for some reason, but will go by a more tangible (of sorts) metric called TRP!

As far as digital medium is concerned, Buzzfeed-like headlines are a hit. It gets them the clicks. And “You won’t believe what these guys use as headlines”, but it works! Touche.

Now, lets come back to Zaira Waseem. The poor 16-year old who was bullied and is now the talk of social media and eventually the news rooms. Yes, that’s how the flow chart works. If it gets attention on social media, it finds place in the prime-time News debates.

Last evening when I read the apology issued by her, I was baffled! I mean what did this kid do? Did any Mufti issue another useless fatwa ? Did anyone threaten her for acting in films ? What happened ?

I dug deeper and found out, she was trolled for meeting the Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir.

She had every right to meet whomsoever she desires and if someone has any issue with that, it is their own. There’s simply no argument on that. It is sad that she had to pen down an “apology letter”!

But the problem doesn’t end there!

Problem comes when people want others to toe the same line that they think is right. In this case,it may be to not be friendly with the Chief Minister whom they think didn’t do anything for the people of Kashmir!

You can turn the table and place any issue and the reaction of the “troll” brigade will be the same. Take Beef Ban for instance. People want to govern food choices. People want to dictate what one should wear or when one should stand up. Do you think, they’ll let this one get away?

Even though this incident is nowhere compared to what happened to other Bollywood actors who decided to open their mouth, yet this being done to a 16-year old is wrong.

And to the sympathizers, who seem to have woken up now, to add this to the list of, “But what about Malda”. Everyone can see through that.

For Zaira Waseem, more power to you. never think that you are not a role model. Women in India, need more role models like you. We have a history of not letting them being born in the first place.

Political tidbits: Achievements

Political tidbits: Achievements

Just three of the masterstrokes by our Government in recent weeks!

  1. Digital India!

We’re finally witnessing results of the Governments “Digital India” campaign!

Leave aside the village folks, the usually “inaccessible” armed forces is finally Vlogging!

Why should they be left behind. Huh ?!

You see, all because of the Government’s Digital India Campaign!

And hey, don’t you dare say anything against our Jawans

2. Being National!

Anyways, apart from the Digital India Campaign, our Nationalistic outburst seems to have reached Canada as well! Yes, all thanks to Amazon. And Sushma Swaraj! I mean she made the likes of Amazon to issue an apology letter!! Bravo! What were they thinking, giving jobs to Indians or investing heavily in India, huh ? We’ll not coy down to their “insult” on our National Flag. Even though we throw our national Flag all across the street after our Independence day celebrations, it is all done by us! You foreigners! Go to Italy!

3. Bringing Khadi Back!

Yes, all these years, Khadi was neglected. We’re finally giving it a brand new ambassador! Someone who can fly across the world and sell Khadi worldwide. This won’t cost an extra dime to us as well. He’ll anyway be travelling around! Another Masterstroke by us. The previous Brand ambassador was showing too much skin! Not good for our Bharatiya Culture, eta all!

Uff, there are so many more achievements, but I’ll list them down tomorrow.  You must be bored with speeches by now, right ?

 

Money Matters

While returning back to Bangalore from Coorg last evening, got this message in one of the groups which surprisingly was not muted, that “Currency Notes of 500 and 1000” were banned effective midnight. Like all forward mesages, I usually assume them to be fake unless verified. On verifying after a brief search on the Big G found out it was indeed true. Of course the “Notes will have NGC technology” was a hoax. See, never beliieve forward messages.
 
Thankfully I had no notes of 500 or 1000 in my wallet and was relieved that I wouldn’t have to make a trip to the bank for the exchange. All across the city, ATM lines appeared to be like the lines in Railway station.
 
Like many other salaried employees there wasn’t anything to worry for me. And with the orgasmic response on my Timeline made sure people were indeed delighted.
 
I’m not an economics expert and hence my views are limited to my own income/spending habits. It is a bold step towards a cahless economy. However, sceptically looking at troubling issues that can engulf the entire non-banking population (which is huge) just cannot be ignored.
 
Anyways, as Ravish said, The real test of this move will be when upcoming elections in UP happen. If the number of helicopters get replaced by cycle and the huge number of promotional campaign events come down, then this definitely has worked. And if it doesn’t… well.. Let’s see it then.
 
Till then, #PaytmKaro
 
[P.S Paytm didn’t pay me to write this :P]

Why I won’t be writing about Politics in 2016

Yes, you read that write.

And No, it isn’t one of those click-bait headlines to drive you to read this post.

Or is it ? 😛

Well, jokes aside, this is a conscious and well thought of decision. Although it does sound similar to one of those “new year resolutions” we all make. Without any further ado, I’ll come to the “Why” of it.

It is very simple. I don’t want a headache.

No, headache is not from writing about it, but what comes after it. The stream of idioticity flowing in abundance. The idea of a constructive debate gets flushed in the same stream and what comes your way is, pure shit. No kidding. There is a missing political discourse in our country, evidently displayed through the sheer “brilliance” of our educated flock. The flock doesn’t like their “leader” to be criticized at all. After all, when you assign a demi-god status to someone, how can you stop yourself from not defending them ?

We all are biased. But no one wants to believe that they are not.

On Twitter, at least, responses of “disagreement” (If I may term them in a polite way), comes from people whom you can assign the status of a troll and simply ignore/block them. On facebook, it comes from people with whom you’ve studied, worked or played cricket in your childhood.

Disagreements in political ideologies are fine. It is quite necessity, but does it stop there ? Disagreements breeds discontent and gets personal as you dig more into it.

A debate has to be won. A clear side has to be picked. One leader has to be your leader. Why ? To talk to these folks. Because that’s the way it is for them. You are either with them, or against them.

I don’t want to explain myself any further because, well, I don’t need to.

I don’t want to say Never, because as the old adage goes, “Never say Never”. I’ll try my best to not post anything political on Facebook through the year, or maybe after that, but let’s take one step (rather a year) at a time. Twitter and my blog might occasionally (when I just won’t be able to resist), might be the only platforms for any of my politics-related posts.

Here’s to a worry-less 2016 for me. Cheers!

We are not on Our side

Party A come to power after complaining continuously for years about the policies of Party B. Complaining about policies, law & order, Corruption and every move by the Ruling party, A. B does all sorts of protests, from stalling Parliament and not letting any laws to pass or any discussions to take place to coming out with press conferences demanding Resignation from the PM. Party B does it all to keep their attack mode always On.

Newsrooms are filled with debates where representatives from A and B (and occasionally a random C) fight out on who can shout the loudest. Not only newsrooms, Social Media is abuzz with trends from supporters of A and B, abusing each other and fighting about their Party’s “credibility” from issues ranging from Corruption to mis-governance. Neither of those debates give out any results but the higher decibel levels that the Party spokesperson (even the self-confessed ones) can reach or their supporters can trend through the day, determines the apparent support towards A or B. The battle is not only between the parties. Battle is between their supporters too.

From one issue to another, the TRP Hungry channels swindle between issues and ensure that whatever grabs more eyeballs gets more coverage. While supporters from each camp, blame these news channels for selective coverage. The outrage is also selective and limited, depending when their own party is in the wrong.

No matter whether it is A or B, the policies hardly change. Apart from of course the names of those policies. Party A even starts implementing those very policies which it opposed when B was in power.

Hypocrisy? Indeed.

Every media channel or News reporter gets branded as a “Dalal” (The Indian word for the middle man, in a derogatory sense of course) or more recently as a “Presstitute”.

And to single out one party in this would be again taking a side. Something which has actually created this entire hoopla. Our urge to side with one party has emboldened them to keep the divide and enjoy the perks alternatively.

It just doesn’t matter which party is in power, our roads continue to house countless potholes, while the garbage refuses to leave the streets, the water quality keeps getting deteriorated and electricity has a mind of being absent at its own will.

Do you think there is going to be any change if B is in power or it is A. It wouldn’t matter even if a C comes in.

But for us, what matters is, which one we like. We are okay with potholes if the party we like is in power. We will crib about it when it is in opposition. We want our “party” to win.

For some reason that party becomes our “own”.

On a lot of levels, I believe these politicians behind closed doors would be meeting and laughing at who made a better “pappu” of their supporters. And no, I’m not referring to that “Pappu” (I know, Ironic)!

Point is, no matter which is your “A” or which is your “B”, nothing is going to change. We will crib based on our own biased views (Yes, we all are biased towards something) and appreciate something. As the year is about to come to an end, let’s try to (at least try) to take things a little more objectively than siding with either A or B, or the new “C”.

When it comes to politics, “Iss Hamam me sab nange hain”.

Instead of being on the side of “A” or “B”, try to worry about your own welfare and be on your side. Right now, we are not on OUR side.

[Related: Care not for Thy Future, care for youngsters]

 

Here’s why our reactions to Aamir Khan shows we are are okay with Intolerance

The “Where were you when that happened” rhetoric seems to have faded off this time in Aamir’s case.  The usual “politically motivated” jibe has also been reported missing.  Questions of “doing it for money” will be no less than a joke.

And so, there is a new one in the market.  “If not India, where will you go?”

Pretty sure this naive argument of how people are mistreated in Middle East or our favorite neighbor Pakistan, would be another response to my blog. Is the idea of our country so weak, that we have to bring in comparisons from other countries? Especially ones which are countries which are ruled by concepts of One Religion?

Sorry, but I don’t live in a Hindu Country. And would fight to not turn into one, if I have to.

The common thread binding all the reactions is, that it shows why people are okay with Intolerance.

Yes, they all are okay with it.  They tell is, Sure there is Intolerance in India, but then it is there elsewhere too?

I don’t live “elsewhere”, I live in India. I’ll judge my country based on what it stands for.

This isn’t altogether new.  When Dadri happened, there was the need to justify it.  Justification that this might be a result of a local conflict, instead of being a case of a person being killed because of eating Beef.  Not to forget that even a forensic test was carried out on the meat.

But then we’re okay with this. Why should anyone eat something which one community doesn’t eat ?

When media reported incidents like Dadri, they were accused of leaving out another story of a certain “Prashant Poojari” who was killed by “Muslims”.
Sadly, when reports showed two people who are not Muslims were arrested by the Mangalore Police, hardly anyone reported.  Now, was the Indian media selective? Or was it you?

But then we’re okay with this. Why bother when the news has died down?

Fact is, people are okay with Intolerance unless it directly affects them.  Indians are not alone in this, but since we are discussing India, let’s skip that part.
When Aamir’s PK was released, there were protests.  Protests not because he was showing fraud babas from Hindu religion, but why is he only showing the Hindu ones?  A series of attempts to hold protests to paint him as an anti-hindu actor was evidently seen across the county.

[I wrote this piece of the Muslim perspective of PK for which also people protested against Aamir Khan]

The reactions to the whole Intolerance debate are testimony to why we are okay with Intolerance.  We don’t shout down the fringe in unity. We verify which side is he on, and the decide. We have our own biases when the “fringe” speaks. Why?

Is it because it is easier to let the fringe speak for yourself, while expecting things to be “better for you” in a Hindu Rashtra? You don’t need to look further than our “favorite” neighbor when they let the fringe take control for our convenience. So, while we deny any association for what the fringe says, we’ll still continue to reap the “rewards”. Look where are countries which thought like that, now?

But then we’re okay with it. They are the torch bearers of our religion, no ?

The so-called apolitical people like Anupam Kher is the go-to person for issues where famous people speak out against “Intolerance”, speaks on why we should all stand behind India.

Yes, we do Sir. We do. And that’s why we are speaking out to keep the Idea of our India intact. Will not speaking out save it from being overtaken by fringe? Can anyone guarantee us that there won’t be another Dadri ? Because if the PM takes 15 days to respond to Dadri even when wishing every Tom Dick and Harry on his birthday, what should we expect?

But then we’re okay with this. As long as we’re holding huge rallies on our foreign trips?

YES. Like everyone else, even I wouldn’t like my country to be called Intolerant. But denying the fact that the atmosphere has become intolerant won’t turn our country tolerant.

There is a quote from Aamir’s Rand de Basanti, “Koi country perfect nahi hoti, banana padta hai” (No country is perfect, we have to make it perfect).

RDB_DESH_PERFECT_NAHI_HOTA_QUOTE

Abuses hurled at Aamir Khan, a few days back on Shahrukh and anyone who has remotely suggested that there is Intolerance, are proof enough why these statements are being issues. Although both of them never actually said, “India is Intolerant”, they remarked how there is rising Intolerance which needs to be taken care of. Are they wrong ?

As far as people speaking out or even returning awards is concerned, it is their right to do so. No one can stop them from doing that. 

This won’t happen if you keep yourself on the denial mode and continue living in the dreams.

Unless you realize that your denial is only going to make the situation worse while these politicians milk away votes and then money from you. This also gives enough reasons for fringe to develop in other communities. The vicious cycle of hate gives rise and keeps adding fuel to it.

Let us stand behind India and not behind these politicians who support this sort of divisions. Idea of India needs to be saved. Hiding behind the shroud of “We are a tolerant country” won’t save us, but will turn us into a Hindu Pakistan.

Care Not for Thy Future, Care for Youngsters!

Care Not for Thy Future, Care for Youngsters’!

No, I am not here to talk about ozone layers or terrorism. This blog post refers to our dream. I am writing about the dream our forefathers had seen while setting this nation free from the shackles of British demons. Do we even care for making a future of our nation what it deserves? We always talk of our mother nation, how great this country is and what not. Are we doing enough to make our youngsters be proud of us?

I am neither left, nor right. Not even centre. Just a human being trying to express what I see around my day-to-day life. Can I speak, sirs? Do I still have right to express myself? Am I still independent in 2015?

Men and women had to lay down their lives back in the century to bring us the freedom. The freedom where we can talk, shout and argue. We have forgotten the freedom of compassion though. The days in Kendriya Vidyalaya where I spent my childhood learning, one thing which was etched in my mind for being a good citizen was the morning pledge. I took pledge all those years which said – “All Indians are my brothers and sisters”, it never said – “All Hindus are my brothers and sisters”, it never said – “All other religions are burden on my country”. But then why so many of my friends who would have taken similar pledge are behaving so differently today. Has our education gone down the drain? Who have taught us more? Politicians? Characters of hatred? Where is the compassion?

I am a Hindu by faith and my religion or any of the mantras during my any of sanskars on several occasions never said – you have to hate other religions to prove worthy of your faith. Lord Rama or Hanuman or Krishna never asked men to save them or their religion. But let’s keep religion separate because if pundits or fake yogis are reading this, they would love to manipulate interpretation of some of the veda’s content to prove me wrong. Anyway, I am neither a religious preacher.

To talk about science, while a man can use electricity to cook a man’s food or cook a man too. Depends on usage. Similarly religion has been tool for hate mongers to use it in their own ways to spread lies and hatred among humanity. While I am referring to science I must say, if you are able to read this post, you must be literate enough to understand basic science and its usefulness in our day-to-day life. Yes, that computer in your lap or on your table, that smartphone in your hand. That’s a boon of science. If science has made society a better place, how can we use it to go beyond horizons? If Bertrand Piccard’s Solar Impulse has taken a full round of world without fuel in 2015, it is science.

When I turn to social media or news channels, everyone is debating on politics, murders and other’s tolerance levels. Where are we up to? Where is Indian society going? While a 44 year old Elon Musk born in South Africa is making it big in United States, you can argue about our own Sundar Picchai and Satya Nadella. They all would have got such environment or some would have struggled to become what they are. Can we make that struggle easy?

Priority_poverty_India

How can a student focus on general knowledge if day-to-day life is full of so much filth and hatred? A student who must be asking questions on science, commerce and arts is now participating in hatred sessions, asking people about their religions. Because our society is on that way. A sales and marketing director of one MNC commented on my Facebook post trying to preach me why should we be wary of other religions, along with this he quoted me as “an educated fool” responsible for all the wrong happening with this nation. I agree I am the one fool who asks questions, or questions those who are red handed. I should have accepted silently whatever happened. No, but my education doesn’t teach me that. It makes me a free thinker and compassionate person. I know most of you out there are/were free thinkers, but if you keep your mouth mum on every time nuisance is created, you are no less than a wrong doer because this country’s future is in your hands too. If you don’t care for your own future, please do care for your younger generation. A generation learns from its elder one’s, see what we are teaching them – Killing humanity. No brotherhood. Religious differences and hatred.

Hatred will lead to the end of civilization in this very nation where civilization started once across Indus valley. You, whosoever you are, you should care. You play games all day or you run business all day – you’ll have to care and we all will have to care. Rise above religion and politics. Voice your opinion, raise voice against wrong doers. You are one of the kings of this Loktantra. Work for future and become example for youngsters. Be a hero for them. Be an Elon Musk or Satya Nadella or Sundar Picchai or Kailash Satyarthi or Sania Mirza or Saina Nehwal or Kalpana Chawla or Mary Kom or Priyanka Chopra or Chanda Kochar or Indira Nooyi or Kiran Mazumdaar Shaw. Be someone to look up to. I am not saying become someone else, be yourself but be an example for those who’ll look towards you in future. Be the one who cares for a nation, not just a religion.

India is India because it didn’t choose to become Pakistan in 1947. So let it be an India. All men and women irrespective of their faith/religions must and will be respected equally. If someone tries to paint a picture otherwise, he/she is a traitor. Not the others who raise voice against them. That was a huge preachy stuff. Wasn’t it! Though it was from heart.

Guest Post, written By: Raman Kumar

Author is a digital marketing enthusiast with interests in social and political issues. He has been writing about freedom of speech, political intolerance & social issues and believes that discussions lead to awareness, which can be transformed into actions to further shape society and future of nation. To read more from him you can visit: The Purple Street

[The views expressed are of the Individual author]

 

Intellectual Symbolism

Intellectual Symbolism is currently engulfing the nation and most of its news headlines.

When news of Sahitya Academy award winners broke, it was one of the kind which we term as “symbolic”,  and we continue to do the same. Several Sahitya Academy awards have been returned.
Filmmakers, led by Dibakar Bannerjee,  around 11 of them,  have also joined the protests.
They have been joined by Historians and even scientists. A group of 135 scientists have signed an online petition to register their protest as well.

Just a quick word before you proceed, Remember Gandhi ?
Mahatma Gandhi was the epitome of Intellectual Symbolism. Dandi March ? Civil Disobedience movement ?
But then,we are a nation now being re-built on the ideals of Nathuram Godse, why does that matter.

Gandhi Intellectual Symbolism

 

Coming to the point.

Why are they returning their awards?

To protest against the growing Intolerance in the country.  To protest against killings of fellow writers.  To protest against killings with regard to what people eat.

Are they wrong? 

No.  Protesting against something which you feel isn’t right is an acceptable practice of any democracy.  Considering we are the largest of them,  it is right on their part to do so. We can call it Intellectual Symbolism or use any such term but we cannot say they cannot protest.

Is their method wrong?

Debatable. I’m of the opinion that if you have the means to voice your opinion then instead of Symbolism you have to do that.

However, Right to dissent is very much a part of our constitutional democracy and returning awards which belong to them, is part of that right.

Satish Acharaya cartoon award wapsi

There are questions being raised, as silly as,  “Where were they when that happened” and “renowned” writers like Chetan Bhagat are even asking very relevant questions of what is the importance of Historians.

Support from Bhakts is natural.  They see any form of opposition to Modi or BJP or RSS as anti-national or Pakistani.  The Bhakts also take immense pleasure in using other as well for people who don’t agree with them, apart from occasionally killing or assaulting them, but then for sanity let’s leave it at that.

There’s a fair share of opposition from the closet Sanghis too.  Not on the fact that they are wrong in protesting, but why are they protesting now when they didn’t do it then? Classic technique of, when you cannot answer them, hit them back with another question.

I cannot speak for all of them.  Neither will it matter to the ones who are following the herd mentality of blaming them for not speaking out when someone other than their favorite BJP was involved.  Many of those writers did raise their voices, even during emergency, wrote extensively during the dark Kashmir period and also when corruption was at the peak during UPA.  But then, who checks all that?  Especially when you have Chetan Bhagat to listen to?  Rather read to.

People often comment on my posts as to why you didn’t say anything when that happen, or when that happen? Fact is because you won’t do it for me.  You won’t Outrage when a minority loses life, rather rush to label it as a one-off incident.  Because you’d blame the “fringe” and then happily vote for a party which represents them.

Probably the Symbolism isn’t right and there might be many among them who are doing it just for the limelight.  But then did you give them any choice?

The first comment on any article criticizing Modi is by a bhakt calling the writer with the choicest of words.  Abuses that they get from saying anything against Modi go to extents which are baffling.  Don’t you think they will be scared? Scared to speak out as they’ve seen people being killed for speaking out?

So, before you condemn them of speaking now and supposedly not when they did before, be thankful that they are at least doing it now.

Or if you don’t want them to return awards, do something to change the intolerant atmosphere.

It is not the first time that someone who has raised his voice has received flak from the online hate community. They have gone to the extent of abusing Sonakshi Sinha when his father has made any comment against BJP. They’ve gone after Noble Laureate Amrutya Sen. The Finance Minster has even termed the current flock as “Rabid”.

You are also free to register protest against this fashion of Intellectual Symbolism via peaceful protests, but stop blowing the trumpet of, “where were you when that happened?”.
 

Bihari Food Litti Chokha

The Bihari Identity

Bihari Food Litti Chokha

There’s a certain sense of home-like attachment, when I’m around Biharis, not to forget that I’m a sort-of Bihari as well. I’ve never been able to associate completely with the feeling of belonging to one region. Born in Odisha (then Orissa), grew up in Jamshedpur, which is now in Jharkhand, but until the start of the Millennium was part of Bihar.

I’m a Bihari. I’m a Jharkhandi. I’m an Odia. Maybe a few years down the line after staying in Bangalore, a Kannadiga too? (Long Shot). I’m an Indian. I’m also a Pakistani, as some Bhakts would like to call as well.

Identity Crisis? Not really.

It is a distinct feeling when in the company of fellow Biharis, reminiscing about nostalgic Bihari memories or using dialects which others are not very used to. And no, for the Nth time, it’s not just Bhojpuri. Food, culture, language are not the only thing, It is about an Identity which we all share, the Bihari Identity.

It is not like I don’t relate to anything other than Bihar. Is there a Jharkhandi Identity ? Frankly No. Because, even though it became a separate state, our identity continued to be that of a Bihari. My shift from Azad Basti (Jamshedpur) to Jatni (Odisha) has taught me a lot, But the romanticism of being a Bihari, is something that just doesn’t fade away even after years of staying there. It all flows out, from being excited about anything to do with Gangs of Waaseypur to simply random talks with batchmates, colleagues or even people online.

There’s a sense of belonging whenever I’m with any of those people with whom I share my identity. But yes, having grown up in Bihar, you are pretty much stamped with that identity. The Bihari identity has been a slang for “backwardness” for decades, and there’s no denying the fact. Stamped by whom ? The ones who considered themselves comparatively developed. Perhaps a case of a less black kettle calling the more black kettle, Black ?

Bihar gets its share of limelight whenever there is an election. I won’t deny that I’m writing this post as it is in news. But then, isn’t this the only time you’ll actually listen ?

Biharis have a lot of stereotypes to deal with. Yes, apart from being a synonymous slang for being backward. I can list them out for you, but then people who are not even familiar with it, will start looking through those glasses only. Realistically, that is how stereotypes grow.

The only time Bihar finally tried to peep out, or at least appeared to, when Nitish Kumar first took lead as the chief Minster. News of something good happening to Bihar, to all those Biharis outside the state, was something which made them beam with joy. Regardless of political affinity, everyone was proud. Looking a little back, when news of the Railway turnaround under Lalu Prasad Yadav was around, people were proud too. Biharis were proud too. All of this, wasn’t about political affiliations, but about the identity that it is associated with.

I’ve known Bihar, like any other kid who grew up in it. Experienced the joy when living outside and hearing something good out of it. However, for reasons of my confused identity, even to others, never been subjected to the bihari slang. Frankly, this is something I wouldn’t mind. I’m proud of my Bihari Association, just like everyone who has a connection to the state.

Growing up in Jamshedpur, perhaps one of the few Industrial cities that the state of Bihar could boast of, didn’t brought us close and personal with the under-developed areas of the state. But even with living there, you are not completely alien to what is happening around. The state was indeed under Gunda-Raj, under Lalu, and there’s no denying that. Development was absent. One can argue that there were fewer riot-like situations, but then this was not the only thing Bihar needed.

The only times Bihar sort of got development was in the form of various Railway Minister, train lines did pass across Bihar. However, what they only ensured was Biharis travelling outside the state in search of work get options of alot of trains. Just go into the general train compartments of any Long distance train, you’ll find Biharis in there. Stereotype ? It is in fact a reality. A sad Reality.

Has Bihar developed in the last 10 years of Nitish ? To answer this, you have to be a Bihari.

For the politically sound Bihari, this puzzle wouldn’t be hard to crack. Because our politics too is part of our Identity, the Bihari Identity. Be proud.

Request from an Indian Muslim

How would one describe the emotion when you are constantly reminded or questioned about your right of living in your country?

Anger.

Outrage is so much easier.

People like us, can be mocked as the “keyboard” activists, whose outrage ranges from a blog post or numerous facebook and twitter posts. From the list of activities in a day, almost half of it is consumed by arguing endlessly with people whose ideas are never going to change. Yet, since we have so much time on our hand and the constant urge to not sit idle, we just never stop shouting about issues.

There are few who relate to us, few show their solidarity, few feel disgusted of every word we utter and even few who laugh at our plight.

Those of you who know me from Jamshedpur, understand how difficult life has been, and it has only been with Allah’s blessing, it has become a little stable. I doubt there is anyone in my family who even speaks about politics, national issues or everyday controversies. Except my late Grandfather who was into anything political. I’m pretty sure that my non-facebook using Ammi , if comes to know that I write things concerning issues like these, her first words would be, “kya zarroart hai tujhe ye sab ki?” (What is the need of all this).

Do you think any of us who do all this on Social media or elsewhere, likes doing it? We would feel ashamed if a non-Indian even points to incidents happening in this country to us. Even if some of you wouldn’t want to believe, it is our country too. We don’t need to do a Surya Namaskar to prove that. A lot of us have far better things to do. The concern of the most of the Indian muslim focusses around earning bread for his family. If you don’t believe, just take a walk across any of the city suburbs, ghettos, you’ll find a lot of us. Do you think they care who is in the government? Or whether there is a ban on anything or not? Or that there is something called Love Jihad? All this information doesn’t give them their bread.

request from an indian muslim

[Image courtesy: Saddahaq.com]

I’ve outraged a lot, be it shouting aloud about why I’m not sorry about eating beef or criticizing Modi to questioning the Closet Sanghis.

Outrage is Anger.

But it is not just about the anger. All this is Sad. If the present situation doesn’t make you sad, then I question you. Just like everyone is questioning our identity. And please don’t start the chain of messages of solidarity, if you really care about it, then do something.

From those politicians who is hell bent on sending us to Pakistan and anyone among you who never stops at putting that as a reference in your jokes. From deciding what we should eat and killing if we don’t comply and even justifying the same. More than the mob which killed Ikhlaq in Dadri, the MPs from the government telling, “If you eat beef, this will happen”. Not just that, the Chief Minister of a state proudly suggests, if Muslims don’t stop eating beef, they can go to Pakistan?

If what MPs, Chief Ministers and spokespersons of the ruling party, then this happens to be a Hindu Nation?!

I can list down Muslim freedom fighters, Kings, Nawabs and others who actually fought to get us this freedom which is now being shown to us as some sort of charity. And even if  list them down, those of you whose ideology still roams around India to be a Hindu nation, will ignore that piece of information.

If you really care about the Idea of India, then do something to save it. Instead of responding to the Dadri Lynching with “A hindu killed in Bihar by Muslims”, “Why were you silent when that happened?”, “What about Godhra?, try to understand that the Idea of India is being removed brick by brick. Now it is just a few bricks, but if this continues there will be a bigger wall between us. A wall which won’t be easy to break.

Please consider this a request from an Indian Muslim and save the idea of our country. It is neither yours nor mine, it is ours.

The closet Sanghis

While Facebook pages never get tired of sharing anti-Pakistan content as cater to a select “audience” which orgasms on content like this. It’s appalling see how even “educated” people share things like these. The only thing this does is, add to the stereotype, bring in more hate and continue to paint a picture far away from reality.

Of course, there’s no point in arguing with idiots, but these idiots help create more of their kind. The obsession of anything to deal with Pakistan, the zeal to see “wide-eyed” sensationalized news and to show glaringly show their Islamophobic feelings, becomes apparent so often.

These are the people who are “the Closet Sanghis”, the Indian Islamophobia affected class.

Iis not amusing to see your timeline filled with status updates which read, “There is a powercut at my place, why isn’t the PM speaking”, “There was a robbery in my neighbourhood, why Isn’t the PM speaking” and many other similar ones. Of course the idea behind this is to mock at all the outrage over how everyone, except the 31%, has been crying relentlessly asking a statement from the Modi.

This is that part of the population, which couldn’t muster up the courage, unlike those BJP leaders who visited Dadri to pacify the mob who lynched a 50-year old man on the rumors of eating beef. They had to keep their voices down and wait for something a little “grey” to put their thoughts out to the world.

dadri-killing-protest

(Image courtesy: dnaindia.com)

Meet the group, which is more dangerous to the idea of India than the RSS. At least they are open to what they want to do in India. The closet Sanghi, even though sympathizes with RSS and wants almost the same things like them, but is a little afraid to blurt it out. Perhaps, suffers from the “Log kya kahenge” Syndrome”.

To add to their problems, a list of eminent writers have been returning their Sahitya Academy Awards in response to the communal propaganda of the government. Arguments as silly as, “Why didn’t you returned it in ’84?” or “Why didn’t you do it “in the year when BJP cannot be blamed” ? have surfaced all throughout the Social media. Not just that, one of the writers from Punjab had to face the obnoxiously irritating Sambit Patra on why she didn’t returned the award in ’84 ? All she could reply was, she got the award in 2002.

While Chetan Bhagat seems to be making more sense to the Closet Sanghis now-a-days, the list of authors andpoets across the country continue to add their names to the list of writers who are showing their protest.

Of course, you can question the intention of these writers. You have the right to protest or speak what you feel like. No one can stop you from doing that.

But how come your hypocrisy comes to light when the same is being done the other way round ?

Why cannot the citizens of this country question Modi on not speaking up on important issues ? Now, don’t say that he has “better things to do”. Tweeting “get well soon”wishes and trying to take jibes at political opposition shouldn’t come in that category. Or is that the only thing he is good at ?

I doubt we would have even heard him speak if it was not the Bihar Elections!! His mouth has been programmed to open only when he is at a political rally, giving speeches to NRI’s-cum-taking potshots at Indian political opponents, or giving pre-decided interviews to select news channels. Not ready to face reporters out in the open yet ?

I’m not expecting him to answer anyways. After years of the Horrific 2002 riots in Gujarat, all he could come up with was, “If a puppy comes under you car, you of course feel sad”. No points for guessing that the victims of Gujarat were the puppies.

For Dadri, he wants people not to blow it out of proportion, when all he needed to do was come out and condemn the incident just when it happened. But then, why expect him to Not play to the Sanghi gallery ? Even the Closet Sanghis wanted it.

 

 

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