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No to Navin Chawla

In support of the campaign Sandeep started against Navin Chawla.

No to Navin Chawla
No to Navin Chawla

The most powerful weapon of democracy, the sacred voting rights of Indians should not be subverted by dangerous political tricks like this. Also read the whole episode.

Bhaarat-Kya-Hai

[listen to 1m 43s audio clip in Hindi by Shri Narendra Kapre]
—-

Who are these nincompoops?

Ok, We know that there are two main communist parties in India — CPI and CPI(M) (I am aware of a CPI(ML) as well.. but I know of no one from it!) . Now, since I am a novice in political matters, CPI(M) appears to be a bit more “known” than CPI, largely because of its two illustrious leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechuri. They even sport their own wiki pages, albeit with limited content:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prakash_Karat
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitaram_Yechury

Of course, they are far more colourful than their wiki articles suggest and this post cannot hope to wield a paintbrush wide enough to paint their personae in their true (24-bit) colours.

What this post humbly confines itself to are some basic questions about the “leaders” from the other communist part, CPI– A.B.Bardhan and D.Raja.

In short, I mean to ask –Who are these buffoons??

I understand that Bardhan (full name: Ardhendu Bhushan Bardhan) is a Bengali and D.Raja is from Tamil Nadu. But nothing more is known about them. While this Bardhan guy has atleast a wiki stub to cover his body (I wonder where will he put that stub…), Raja has none at all (Talk about the King’s clothes!). Still they keep appearing on TV while my anxiety and curiosity levels keep rising towards that mild-schizophrenia barrier. What amazes me is, no one watching the TV seems to even want to know who they are and what their (at least apparent) credentials are, just like that 37-years young Principe Raul was touted to be M.Phil something. Nope! None at all!

So who the hell are these people?

Why do they keep appearing on TV if they are not important at all?

Why do they get to attend the meetings where the Country’s future is decided?

An interesting comment was offered to me recently:
“And yes, i hated the phrase “Hindu Terrorist” and for a moment i thought, how much will an ordinary muslim hate or feel bad if people use “Islamic Terrorist” or “islamic Militant”.”

There are multiple questions that arise with this comment:
1) What is the definition of a terrorist?
2) Does the recent rightwing Hindu outfit in the news fit the definition of “a terror outfit” at all?
3) How does the ordinary Muslim feel about Islamic terrorists?
4) Does he know where the problem is?
5) What choices does he have?
6) What has he tried till now?

This is an open blog– come along my secular hearties, lets see where this discussion goes. At the end of the discussion, I will update the answers for these questions.

Quote-Unquote: Part I

Name the people who said the following:

1) [Any attempt to reorganise our society on the basis of hatred of the Muslims] “would therefore be to court degeneration and disaster. For that would pollute our minds by constant remembering of their heinous crimes.

2)“We are not so mean as to say that with a mere change in the method of worship an individual ceases to be a son of the soil. We have no objection to God being called by any name whatever …he can not be a Hindu at all who is intolerant of other faiths.

3) “I have said that I am proud of our inheritance and our ancestors who gave an intellectual and cultural pre-eminence to India .How do you feel about this past? Do you feel that you are also sharers in it and inheritors of it and, therefore, proud of something that belongs to you as much as to me? Or do you feel alien to it and pass it by without understanding it or feeling that strange thrill which comes from the realisation that we are the trustees and inheritors of this vast treasure…You are Muslims and I am a Hindu …but that does not take away from that cultural inheritance that is yours as well as mine.”

This newspaper, traditionally the frontline newspaper of most South Indian elite, has of late become a questionable bigot at best, and a Chinese-Communist-AntiHindu rag at the worst. Many people have openly come out against its reporting ethics (or the lack of them), its selling of Chinese propaganda to Indians (especially before and during the olympics), and blatant anti-India, esp. anti-Hindu bias (by now, we Dhaarmic people have become accustomed to bias against us anyway) of the paper.

B.Raman, international terrorism and intelligence expert, felt compelled to react against the abject surrender of the The Hindu to the Chinese official media agency “Xinhua”, so much that he calls paper “People’s Daily of Chennai“. He has also written about Shri N.Ram, who heads The Hindu now.

“The Chindu” (a take on the Chinese angle of The Hindu), a blog run by a group of vigilant Indians is doing a superb service in this regard by exposing the bigotry of this once-great newspaper. Till recently, it had become a habit for me (before I stopped buying The Hindu) to first read the editorials and guess where the factual inaccuracies are and how “The Chindu” would blast them. What fun!

The latest claim of The Hindu is that Hinduism was also involved in forcible conversions at one time, just as other religions do.
Here is the article:
http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/07/stories/2008110753791100.htm
And here is a firm rebuttal of the article.
http://cbcnn.blogspot.com/2008/11/conversions-and-hinduism-chindus.html

Please do follow the blog and understand what sort of Goebellian propaganda we are being fed with, everyday. Of course, one can always say that the blog is a rightist one and they have their own perspective of looking at things, but then, they are atleast open for a discussion on their blog, unlike The Hindu (or is it Chindu?).

Whither Dharma?

We seem to be having a lot of debate regarding future government for India and the relevance of Dharma for such a government.
So, is it going to be
1) the Nehruvian model of progressive liberalism, victimisation and guilthood ridden socialist government?
2) the No-holds-barred hyper-consumerism driven capitalistic system of the USA where everybody is rich and bankrupt at the same time?
3) the time-tested ideal of Dharma–the law the country has followed since ages, which the people are already conditioned to?

So let us start with a basic question: What is this government and why do we need it?

Nitin at Acorn writes an excellent post on this:
“Let’s start with an axiom: all individuals are free, and from this freedom, they possess certain inalienable rights. They possess these rights and freedoms at all times, but in a state of nature, their ability to enjoy the freedom and exercise the rights is circumscribed by their individual power. In Indian philosophy, the state of nature is termed as matsya nyaya, or the law of the fishes, a condition under which the stronger fish eats the weaker fish. Thomas Hobbes, the 17th century English philosopher, describes this as the time when “men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man (bellum omnium contra omnes).” Life, therefore, is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
To better enjoy their rights and freedoms, individuals trade-off a part of their freedom for the security offered by a state.

(In the present context, it is also important to consider what the Arthashastra says regarding internal security, upholding law and order, and disaffection.)

Now, coming to the kind of governance that our country needs, I belive that the first form of government largely stands discredited because it is based on negativistic concepts of guilt and victimhood (as you can see more about this below from some of the articles on Dharma) and not on positives of growth and national interest.

The second concept of governance, while being attractive, is not suitable for Indian psyche, because we are not known to be huge spenders. While capitalism as an ideal of allowing private enterprise is very much according to our Indian tradition, such reckless consumerism, as we have witnessed in USA resulting in mass-bankrupcy, is not in our blood. To paraphrase what M.R.Venkatesh says in this highly entertaining talk on globalisation, “The Indian wife will not allow such reckless spending and makes sure that the economy of the family is always sound.” (as an aside, he had predicted the market crash as far back as February 2008).

Regarding the third one, Yossarin over at Offstumped (who, I consider to be my mentor) has written a series of articles on what Dharma is and how it protects us (regardless of our personal affiliations), as a nation, if we stick to it:
Dharma 101:What is Dharma?
Dharma 201-Part I
Dharma 201-Part II
Dharma 301: There is no Ninth Schedule in Dharma
Dharma 401: Extracts from Constituent Assembly Debates
Dharma 501: Responsible Exercise of Freedom
National Interest First, Not Human Rights
The Rise of Beedi Activism
War on Terror: Justice, Not Vengeance
Dharma 701: To Violence or Not?

That explained, he goes on to explain what Hindutva, based on Dharma means and how can it work in the current setting:
Flat World Hindutva-1: Freeing Religion from State Control
Flat World Hindutva-2: Uphold the Rule of Law as Dharma
Flat World Hindutva-3: Of Liberty, Licentiousness and Bigotry
Flat World Hindutva-4: Individual Freedom & Socio-Economic Choice
Flat World Hindutva-5: A Moral Compass to guide on Contemporary Issues
Flat World Hindutva-6: Integral Humanism and Flat World Hindutva
——————————————————————–
Conclusion:
So after going through all of these, readers will find that the all important question “So if we desire a Dharmic government, what should we, as individuals, do?” or put in other words, “what does Dharma ask us to do?” is answered comprehensively.

First of all, any fears that if I subscribe to a Dhaarmic perspective,
–I have to shop for a brand-new Trishul and brandish it at every given opportunity yelling “Har Har Mahadev”, or
–I have to start decrying and dengrating other religions just because I dont like them, or
–I have to join a gang of like-minded individuals and start playing tit-for-tat with those who have no Dharma in them, because fighting injustice is advocated in Bhagavad geeta
are plain nonsense.

Dharma is all about doing righteous actions at all times and in all circumstances. As Yossarin says, it is not about “what” of things, but “how” of the things.

As far as the Dharma of an ordinary citizen is concerned, it lies in the following three steps advocated succintly with brevity by Yossarin:
– Volunteering to join the Armed Forces or the Security Forces
– Forming Citizens Vigilance Group to work with your local police to keep an eye on suspicious activities
– Finally if you want to be a hero be a Simon Wiesenthal, make it about “Justice and not Vengeance” while not being a “Hater”.

It is time that Indians understood what real Hindutva means and work towards national interest using the Dharma as propounded by our forefathers who,
–were used to living in a society with multiple, often conflicting, ideologies,
–wanted to create sound principles, for the Indian psyche, towards betterment of all citizens,
–mostly importantly, did not wish to eliminate dissenting ideologies and wanted to include everyone in their stride.

Such an overarching, all-inclusive non-exclusivist, yet intuitive and simple principle is unheard of in any other civilisation at any point of time in history. And knowingly or unknowingly, we have been following this dharma in some way or another even before our current constitution was written down.

It is time we understand what really we should be aiming for.

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