Tag: narendra modi

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?”.

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?


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.

Without an identity :The nomadic tribes

The 29th state of India got the light of the day; all thanks to the UPA government, by keeping an eye on the upcoming polls has started developing the vote bank that will help it come back to power yet again. Call it “tokenism” or “appeasement”, one thing is certain over here, you only get something from the government if you fall under their definition of a vote bank. Be it the Muslims getting poll-sops or SCs/STs/OBCs getting reservations in every other thing. It is all done with an eye on that elusive seat at the centre or in the respective states, which added another name to its numbers, also opening gates for similar demands to rise soon.

Now, when we are part of such a system moves in and around power politics and people who would be only help their cause to get to that elusive dream of ruling the population. Imagine being a small community (small in terms of comparative analysis over the entire 1.2+ billion population), living in the remotest part of the country. Do you think, the whole brass of politicians would ever arrive at your doorstep??

Can you imagine a certain Rahul Gandhi coming to your house to “enjoy” a meal at your house ?? Or Narendra Modi coming and talking about all the “development” he could bring to you ??

It would be naïve of you to even think of doing that.

Meet this community of “nomads” or de-notified tribes who are just nowhere in the picture all thanks to being not in the voters’ list. They are not in the interest of your Modi or your Rahul. They don’t have any address and for the same reason that they don’t possess any Voter Id card. Now, when you don’t have that, or more so, when the whole community doesn’t have any, then you are just a nobody.

There is a village in Gujarat, wadia tribe, where women are forced to enter prostitution just to make ends meet. Even the male members of this community have to become the pimps for them!!!

There are many of these tribes, suffering from not being able to continue their age-old trade of entertainment in the form of roadside shows, snake charmers, puppet shows, etc. but with new-age entertainment and regulations that stop them from continuing with their profession. For example the age old snake charmer has to stop it all, due to the law prohibiting him in doing that. But what about any alternate source for their income?? Many of them are forced to either beg or enter into a life of misery doing work that they are not accustomed to.

But yes, even with all this darkness flowing in and around the poor and helpless nomads, there are people who go out of their way to change things. Their efforts are what fill in your life with optimism, and you start believing that there is light at the end of the tunnel of this darkness.

One such woman is Mittal Patel, who has been a pillar of strength to communities like these by bringing their names in the electoral lists (from that of the police records, where they have been stereotyped as criminals from the time of British rule) helping 30,000 people get their voting cards, trying to get girls in the wadia tribe get married, marrying off 8 girls and engagement in March 12 in 2012, in order to stop them from entering into the ill-trade of prostitution, running 26 schools all around for the tribes.

Mittal patel

There is a foundation established named VSSM in order to carry out the work, which has affected 9 districts helping people all around the state of Gujarat. Here’s how Mittal Patel describes about the problems faced by people and her efforts in the same direction.


She is just 30 and her works speaks for itself. Hats off to her ever growing dedication to help the people who figure nowhere in any political parties’ manifesto.

Real Hero: Mittal patel

Dreams will become a reality, is what the vision of Mittal patel is. The community of Nomads or de-notified tribes constitute of 10% of the population, scattered all around.

Earthquake, Riots and Modi

2001, just when the Earthquake happened in Gujarat, I was just a 10-year old. It was really sad to see all those people, their houses, shops being in that terrible condition as they were. Earthquake, from what we read in one chapter in a social science book some days back, was there to show me what it actually is, and how damaging it can be. But, who knew, there were more socially damaging things waiting to happen.

The very next Friday, the mosque’s moulvi requested each of us to pray for the souls of the deceased in the zalzala and help to the needful over there in Gujarat. Also, lined up were various people looking for donations for Gujarat victims outside the masjid. Schools, colleges everywhere people were kind enough to give away some of their stuffs for the needful.

It was the time, when we had only Doordarshan, unlike many in our neighborhood, and they had started these 2-minute news updates every hour. And every time there was a Gujarat earthquake related news coming, so it had become some sort of a routine to see Gujarat out there. The only things I knew about Gujarat were the earthquake and Amul, about which I had heard sometime from my dada.

gujarat earthquake

I can’t gather the details now, but I am not pretty sure, as to what happened in almost a year. Whether DD continued to show its monotonous news stories only about earthquake, or not. But that image was still there. But then another incident happened, something related to train burning. As far as I remember, and there were riots.

Things started to come together, all those previous talks that used to happen in between conversations’ in dada’s oldie-addas or even sometimes when dadi used to tell some small stray incidents of chousath (’64) or Tiraasi(’83) ke riots. (Although, when she used to say it, it used to sound like Right). So, now, again another Riot had happened, and this time in Gujarat.  I believe I didn’t understood most of the stuff that time, only thing that went in my head was the bafflement as to how and why certain people behave like that.

There were lots of things that were buzzing my little and yet-to-turn-teenager head at that time. I had already started thinking of myself as someone who is not a kid anymore. But then, I guess, most of us used to think like that. Suddenly, it struck as to why our relatives from the other part of the city, mainly around the industrial part of Sakchi( Where Tata Steel, or TISCO as it used to be called then was) to our locality Mango(where there was hardly any development at that time, and situation is not much different even now) which is a fully muslim-populated area to take a casual and safety refuge at every Ram navmi. The real reason, as I asked and could know was, about the fear of riots that they had.

With years passing by, my tiny little head becoming big, things were somewhat becoming clearer. Although, I must say, there are still little things that are not. Actually, there was just a little question, WHO are these people make these riots happen?? And WHY do they do that??

Going back to Gujarat, and the reason I had this long prologue to what I actually wanted to say.

Putting this one question of Why and who, which I mentioned above, I somehow got the answer.

The answer is not something to be said in mere words, because this is a perspectivial thought that came from this. And this answer didn’t come from asking that question just once, not twice but numerous times. I do advice, if you don’t have the answer, then please keep asking yourself.


“Shri Narendra Modi” once said something about action-reaction, displaying his immense knowledge about Newton’s law of motion. Not to forget his made-to-woo oratory skills, which he can use to talk about in colleges (where there might be protests outside the premises, but then his “intellectual” fans don’t mind that), or he can go globe-trotting to tell about it (provided he gets the visa, Oops).

I would just like to say, to him, the action that your government did, or didn’t do for some reason about which everyone knows and some try to act as if they don’t, will always have a reaction waiting for you someday. Not exactly in the manner that you made people of your own state to go through, but at least in making you get rejected for a visa (First CM to do that, Record!!), maybe getting “disinvited” to events, and more importantly getting the mandate of the people of secular India, where people have the guts tell it to you that what you did will always remain in their memories. And you will know about it soon. Kyunki bhai, 2014 door nahi.

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