It is sad that such autocratic & totalitarian tendencies, which have always been secretly kept hidden amidst the middle class minds, are bursting out in the open! It is even more tragic that this amusing Team Anna gets glorified by the mass media. Anything can be manipulated in the television studios. There is no healthy debate in the media. Even apparently sensible persons like Medha Patkar & Arundhati Roy are getting swayed to this tamasha. Forget the media-savvy comedians like Ram Dev, Ravi Shankar, Narayana Murthy & Kiran Bedi. The NGO-Raj is wrecking havoc to the vibrant democratic ethos. This is corruption of ethics at its lowest ebb!
I feel sad that S.S.Ravi Shankar who has enabled so many people to discover peace in their otherwise wasted life and Narayanmurthy who has build world level institution with strong work-ethics are also derisively spoken against. I have no problem with poking fun at those who only speak but expect others to deliver. But those who have delivered and led by example should at least be left from this slugfest.Coming to Anna, the comedians are getting lead roles for the simple reason that the principal actors have forgotten acting and are only interested in plunder.
Excellent! All this tamasha of Jail Bharo and show of solidarity on the streets only makes one wonder of the deep craving in the minds of urban 'intelligentsia' for a leader in some form and yearning for the smug satisfaction of identifying oneself as a part of great movement, having missed the freedom movement of their forefathers. It is nothing but a show of lack of understanding of any subject in depth by these so called intelligentsia and the mania that can be unleashed by the media!
Corruption is definitely not a joke for most people.. More than the money, it is demeaning and insulting to the person who is forced to be part of a corrupt system. We all have become so insensitive to the issue that we don't even think it is an issue worth fighting for. Though am not in favour of the way in which Anna has gone/is going about this issue, the scams have been tooo many and tooo deep rooted, to think of a reasonable way of resolving this problem. Why is it that the people wanting to bring a positive change have to always be reasonable while the scamsters go scot free for their plunder? What vibrant democracy are we talking about? Even today in a remote village, where medical facilities are not easily available,the nurse who is supposed to regularly visit the villagers and provide treatment free of cost, demands Rs. 20 for giving medicines, Rs. 50 for an injection. Is this a sign of vibrant democracy?? In which virtual country are we living in????If people feel that it is the television studios which are manipulating these stories, please go down to the ground level and see the reality. I am not belittling the efforts done by many government officers. But just because a few NGOs are not doing their job properly it is incorrect to say that NGO-Raj is wrecking havoc. Today in many places, if not for the NGOs, we would be having movements similar to Naxalism. The point to ponder is why should the social sector/NGO sector or civil society speak/act if the government did its job properly??? After having a hearty laugh at Anna, may be some instrospection about our own selves will do us good..
Neither the blogger nor the followers of the blog would state that corruption is a non issue or would deny that corruption should be rooted out of the society. But in the frenzy created by Team Anna and the protesters flocking the streets, the real debate on the issue is only getting neatly sidelined. The political melodrama being played with Anna Hazare as the central character is nothing but a laughable farce. The generation that is chanting and dancing in the streets is being told by senior leaders that it is akin to Emergency or second struggle for Independence and what else can be more laughable? These statements can be nothing but a reflection of political illiteracy and gross ignorance. The generation that has gone into the Anna frenzy has been brought up on 24 by 7 private channels, mobile phones, internet and McDonalds. And even a movement idealistic in imagination but a fashion statement in reality by this generation can be a form of entertainment and high TRPs for the channels and obviously these channels would propel further and further frenzy.A strong Lokpal bill is definitely the need of the hour to weed out corruption but what is the recourse? We have a Parliament and the draft Bill is before it and we have the opportunity to debate over the pros and cons of the draft bill. Instead, to arrogate themselves the claim to represent the views of the entire nation as Team Anna in the name of civil society has been doing and to push its own Jan Lokpal Bill is not only dangerous but also setting of a bad example.The Jan Lokpal Bill has several loopholes and is truly a frightening document. It wants all officers of Central and state Governments under its ambit which is not only impractical but also ill advised. While progressive nations advocate separation of power Jan lokpal bill demands centralization of power. When power gets centralized liberty and consequently democracy would become the casualty. It demands not only a budget of 0.25% of India's revenue but also arrogates the power to investigate, prosecute punish everyone in public life. In short it is nothing but a creation of parallel Government. If that be the case why to have a elected system of government or democracy in the first place.Everyone is entitled to his or her point of view and peaceful protest is permissible. While Mr. Hazare's motive is laudable, compelling Parliament to enact his Jan Lokpal bill is not just constitutionally permissible. Hazare brigade insisting on its draft being made law and threatening unrest if not, is nothing but simple blackmail. And instead of debating the issue at hand or taking pains to understand the issue what is the point of pouring onto the streets or commenting at length about corruption by getting emotional?
At the outset, let me respond to Mr.Pankaj's remarks. Pankaj's many a comments in this Blog had always made me feel that he is a person with finer spiritual sensibility who is deeply immersed in one of the greatest texts of mankind namely "Sri RamCharitManas" of the Poet-Saint Tulsidas. Gandhiji considered this classic text to be the best scripture on devotion. But then it is shocking, rather saddening to see that Pankaj, being a person with a deeper understanding of religiosity, would stoop to sanctify the phenomena of one of the successful market-friendly Yoga-Trainers like Ravi Shankar. This does not mean one has to deride either success or market or yoga-training. They are all perfectly fine. But let the spade be called as a spade. Not as shamelessly as Gurus, Sadgurus, Maharishis, YogiMaharajas or Sri Sris. Otherwise, those very ancient words will lose all inner strength and meaning. Words are important. They should never be misused or abused. A Yoga-Trainer is as important to the society as a Bollywood-Entertainer. Both of them give some sort of peace and solace to an otherwise apparently wasted or an illusorily useful life. To that extent, both of them have their respective places for the 'peace industry' to thrive. But definitely not a wee bit more. The problem starts when they pretend to be the paragons of virtue to parade for any of the socio-political causes affecting the society.Similarly Narayana Murthy is no doubt a successful institution-builder with a strong management-oriented work ethic. But I heard from my journalistic friends that his company does not pay a single penny as tax as it has been exempted and even the crores of rupees that gets accrued to his personal account as dividend is also tax-free. This may be the policy of the government and the tax department to encourage the software service sector of the economy. Pankaj may have to throw more light into these nitty-gritties if he knows them better. After listening one of his morally sermonising speech on TV, it came as a rude shock when I got to know that he had presidential ambitions for the country. No harm in him secretly desiring to become the President of India, for he might be better than many! But in order to take a morally superior stance, the fundamental question that arises in my mind is, even if the government has exempted his kind of income from paying taxes, why should he not voluntarily pay the taxes and claim much more ethical superiority? Why to preach from the pulpit one thing and then hide behind tax exemption provision and still give moral opinion on everything about the polity and society? Of course, in a democracy everyone has a right for his or her opinion. I do not have to bother about his fundamental right for any kind of loud or secret thinking. But my worry begins when he is being blindly worshipped and projected as an ethical hero by the middle class, without questioning any of the basics. That becomes a serious issue which has to be put in its perspective.
This seems to be the noisy and ugly trend of the emerging middle class in India. The greatest saints and Yogis who had selflessly struggled for the effervescence of our Hindu or Bhakti, Sufi or Islamic cultures have all been relegated to oblivion by these new-age consumeristic Yoga-Trainers. And the multitudinous good work of many a silent and non-publicity oriented industrialists, businessmen/women and philanthropists are getting thrown into the backburner when the likes of Narayana Murthy starts to haunt the limelight. Millions of real grassroot level workers and genuinely selfless social activists are simply ignored by the media-hogging NGO-raj entrepreneurs. All these point at the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the great Indian middle class. This is a very disquieting development which has crept in during the recent times. And when persons like Pankaj or the second Mr./Ms.Anonymous above (it is always baffling to see why some persons hide behind the 'Anonymous' label when they want to express their opinions in the blogosphere!) fall into the same media-concocted trap, it becomes even more sadder.I stand corrected on my views about Arundhati Roy. While Medha Patkar looks comically puzzled on the TV screens as her hackneyed turf of various struggles had been amusingly hijacked by various upstarts in the NGO-sector, Arundhati has come out dazzlingly brilliant in her latest and very powerful critic on Anna Hazare entitled, “I’d rather not be Anna!” It shows how Arundhati, who gets carried away in her rhetoric many a times, can at other times, be intelligently sensible and critically thought-provoking too! Hats off and kudos to Arundhati Roy for her fabulous critique on Anna Hazare! More such logical and intelligent analyses should happen in the public domain to make the thickening skin of the Indian middle class become much more sane and sensitive.
I will only send my love for Pallavi for being very forthright in her comments. As for her colourful critique, i will recite a couplet from Sufi Shayar Bedum-Suna hai sufion se hamne aksar khanakhaon mein,Ki ye rangin bayani bedum, rangin bayan tak hai.Will add few basic things-1. The dividend is not tax free. It is taxed in the hands of company at a rate of 15%. The person receives tax paid dividend, therefore it is not taxed in his hands again.2. What is market-friendly? Ability to reach out to millions should not be held against a person. Ravi Shanker, as i know him, is not like other Sadgurus. I have not attended any of his courses. But it is my gut-feeling that he is a very noble soul. On the spiritual journey, one puts aside all views, people, institutions and only feels one-ness with the divine. But while on this plane, one should feel one-ness with the mankind. If that is not possible, one should at least feel one-ness with good people. S.S.Ravi Shanker, i regard as a very positive inflence in the present disturbed times. Therefore i had felt the need to defend him. But not at the cost of infringing on the independence of Pallavi. She should feel free to critise anyone, how so ever high he may be. I am all for it.3. As far as Narayanmurthy is concerned, I spoke for him, because all around i see people talking and sermonising endlessly without having the ability to move a stone. Therefore if someone has developed an Institution, captured the foreign markets and has largely retained his sanity (he may harbour Pesidential ambitions, if Pratibha Patil can, anyone can!), i think it is a good thing. If we have to grade people, narayanmurthy will definitely gat a good grade. Still if he also should get the stick, so be it.4. Lastly, if someone is not hogging limelight, he is blessed. This limelight is extremely dangerous and only an impediment in spiritual pursuit. It can only give strength to our little self at the cost of our sanity. Therefore, those who are in limelight should be jealous of those who are pursuing their dreams quitely. One should feel pity at those who have become media-darlings. This is one sure-shot way to disaster.5. lastly, even though i agreed with the substance of Pallavi's comments, i think i touched a raw nerve somewhere while defending S.S. and N.M. But there was nothing shocking in that. I am surprised, it is so easy to shock! I can only apply some balm now. Cheer up Pallavi. I am with u.
On request from my dear friend, i am uploading not just the meaning of couplet by Hazrat Bedum Shah Warsi, but the entire Kalaam (song) and its translation. Kalaam by Hazrat Bedam Shah Warsi---Khuda jane kahan se jalwaye jana kahan tak haiWahin tak dekh sakta hai nazar jiski jahan tak haiOnly God knows the limits of inifinte His KingdomHumans know to the confines of their finite mindHum itni bhi na samjhe aql khoi dil gawan baitheKe husn o ishq ki duniya kahan se hai kahan tak haiI lost my mind and heart I could not figure outWhere the world of beauty and love begins- and where it endsZameen se aasman tak ek sannate ka aalam haiNaheen maalum mere dil ki viraani kahaan tak haiFrom earth to sky stretches an eerie wildernessI kow not the extent of the ruinsthe desolation of my heartZameen se aasman tak aasman se la makan tak haiKhuda jane hamare ishq ki duniya kahan tak haiFrom the earth to the empyreanfrom the sky to placelessnessOnly He knows the expanse of the hearts universeNiyaz o naaz ki rudad husn o ishq ka qissaYe jo kuchh bhi hai sab unki hamari dastan tak haiThe stories of beauty of loveWhatever there is in the world, is the storyof our loveKhayal e yaar ne to aate hi gum kar diya mujhkoYahi hai ibteda to inteha iski kahan tak haiWith the very first thought of the Beloved I was lost to the worldIf this be the beginning whatwould be its finaleSuna hai sufiyon se hamne aksar khanaqahon mein Ki yeh rangeen bayani Bedam rangeen bayan tak haiOnce have I heard Sufis say in their retreatsThese colourful words, Bedam, these soulful verses,ends here - Kalaam by Hazrat Bedam Shah Warsi
Why does everyone fall into the trap of "Either you are with me or you are against me"?!
Thanks a lot, dear Pankaj, for the gesture of your overflowing love! The Kalaam by Hazrat Bedam Shah Warsi which you've posted is wonderfully nice.Since you've broadly agreed with all the points in its basic spirit, I do not wish to debate further.My love to you too!
Actually I'm expecting the detailed cum consolidate discusssion from the blogger in his style about the Anna Hazare movements. But he disappointed by his high profile commentary...From the day one of this posting I'm longing to make my comment but I couldn't due to lack of my knowledge about the issue in depth.Sunaina and Anonymous comments are giving more insights towards the issue.In addition, Pallavi & Pankaj conversations enhanced my understanding level in another dimension..Thanks to all Blog Followers who posted their comment with atmost sincerety.I too fall in love with you all..