Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hello. ;-)

So, where were we?

Ah, yes. Let me apologize for the post blackout.

Stuff happened.

My course got over; College ended; and I have long since moved out of Bangalore. After a lifetime of living in India, I have returned to the Maldives. Returned home, to be precise.

Somehow, I don't feel as much at home as I felt in India. But that should change soon.  Job, career and perhaps a larger circle of Maldivian friends should help.

Meanwhile, I haven't really been keeping a tab on the latest in Indian politics, nor have I been able to read any of my favorite Indian blogs. Apologies for that too.

But I see I'm still getting hits on this blog.

Thanks for coming back. Once I feel a little more settled down, I intend to resume my comments again, and read all the blogs I've been missing out on.

Long live Secularism!


P.S. -> You might want to read my more regularly updated blog. More in a Maldivian context than this blog, but deals with the same issues I usually pick on. Secularism, Reason and Tolerance. And good ole' fundie bashing. ;-)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Observe the BJP & Enjoy the Pop Corn!

The irony is killing me!

To think this man was running for his much desire PMship on a 'Strong, Decisive Leader' slogan?

Look at LK Advani now. His meek, helpless countenance as he helplessly pores over his rapidly imploding party.

Of course, I'm totally enjoying the show. With pop corn too.

I have no intentions of reading Jaswant Singh's book. (Neither does Modi or Sushma Swaraj or any BJP leader - except perhaps Advani , for that matter)

But the book HAS been able to rip apart the charade of PURPOSE in a directionless party that doesn't know if it ought to be a leader of a rapidly modernizing India, or a slave to a discredited narrow dogma.

I doubt if Jaswant Singh was surprised by his crude dismissal. He must have known very well what he was doing when he entered Jinnah territory while sitting on an RSS sponsored chair.

Getting kicked out was inevitable. (Ask Advaniji) I think Jaswant just didn't give a shit anymore.

The drama following the release of the book has exposed the long lying problem with the BJP. Namely, the vice-grip over the party exercised by the RSS.

This is obvious in the way Jaswant Singh (a non-RSS ex-army man) was expelled for the offence of THINKING independently, without being given a chance to defend himself.

Whereas open critics like Arun Shourie (party leader and RSS idealogue) who conferred the entire Top Leadership of the party with charming little nicknames ranging from "Humpty Dumpty" to "Alice in Blunderland" has been kindly asked to "explain" his endearments.

The idea is simple. You can piss on the party leadership, as long as you regularly genuflect before the almighty RSS.

This has to change if the BJP is to survive in the long run.

I'm no great fan of the BJP or its saffron politics. But I do believe that India could do with a genuine modern Centre-Right National party to counterbalance the liberal-leaning Congress. (I speak strictly in National interest. Watching BJP curl up and die will be of huge personal satisfaction to me)

It would only help the BJP to snap its ties with the RSS dinosaur (which serves absolutely no purpose in the country, except during communal riots) and turn towards the Atal Behari Vajpayee brand of moderate politics that will see the BJP regain its middle class appeal.

Vajpayee was adored by Indians. Not "Hindus". The BJP can perhaps *attempt* to please the same crowd and hope to regain some relevance.

Perhaps saner individuals within the party could cobble together a new political force - minus the hateful, anti-Muslim, minority-bashing rhetoric.

Or Ya know, leave the current BJP to the lowly likes of Modi and Varun Gandhi and MOVE ON, like the rest of India.

It's about time the Arun Jaitleys and Shivraj Singh Chauhans came together and did a Jaswant - look squarely at the RSS and say 'We just don't give a shit anymore.'

Until then, it's pop corn time for me. :-)

P.S. - Why is anyone surprised that Hindutva firebrand and Gujju chief Minister Narendra Modi JS's book- probably without even reading it? We've always known that Modi simply doesn't care for books that are at clear odds with his stated ideology. Like the Constitution, in the past.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Just wondering.

Why is it that every time I hear the word 'dialogue', I automatically hear protests from the BJP?

Monday, June 22, 2009

The BJP Coming to its senses?


It took two successive election debacles, but the recent rout in the General elections seem to have woken up the BJP to the fact that there are also Muslims, Christians and other minorities in this country.

I read (LK Advani Aide-), Sudheendra Kulkarni's detailed analysis of the defeat in a magazine and (surprise!) there was Hindutva among the reasons given.

'How did we invite this weakness upon us?', went the opening line.

Truly said. How could any aspiring national party have continued to bind its own feet using such a bigoted stance?

Kulkarni made some points about the prevalent anti-Muslim dogma among party members that prevented them from taking ANY attempts, no matter how justified, towards minority development and welfare.

I was half hoping for a schism in the BJP, whereby a new party could emerge free from it's RSS and VHP ties, leaving the dinosaurs behind to fade into ignominy.

That hasn't happened yet, but positive signs are emerging.

At the National Executive Committee meeting held the other day, the party has resolved to abandon its hardline Hindutva stance.

To quote former charioteer, LK Advani, "At our office-bearers meeting two days back, two eminent colleagues of ours affirmed their faith in Hindutva but cautioned against any narrow, bigoted, anti-Muslim interpretation being put on it"

The Resolution taken at the meeting also stated that "Theocracy or any form of bigotry is alien to our ethos. Hinduism or Hindutva is not to be understood or, construed narrowly confined only to religious practices, or expressed in extreme forms"

I hope that means an effective end to the bigoted 'Hindu Rashtra' ideology and the associated venom spewing.

It is not exactly the much desired snapping-of-ties with the RSS, but definitely a firm step away from them.

How honest these words are remain to be seen, but it sure is an encouraging sign.

India really needs a truly right-of-center national party to act as a natural counterweight to the liberal leaning Congress.

Thus far, the bigoted, anti-Muslim and minority bashing tactics of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar meant that there was no genuine, inclusive national alternative to the Congress.

By getting routed in the elections, the party has got a real opportunity to reposition itself as a party for ALL Indians, not some.

One would hope that this election translates into a more mature, civilized political discourse from the BJP.

Another reason for India to say 'Jai Ho!' ;-)

Friday, June 05, 2009

Go Obama!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Just an Experiment!

I've just installed a new comments system on this blog.

I just like the idea of threaded comments, that's all.

If I don't like it, I'll change it right back.

What this means, of course, is that I'm not done blogging yet! In fact, I'm just itching to write on a whole bunch of topics.. Just haven't the time right now.

Wait till my University exams are over and I shall like to participate in some full blooded dialogue again! ;-)

Ah. Miss those days!

Give me a week.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Keechad, Kamal and Kundali

Ah! The Irony!

After all that time spent by the National Divisive Alliance trying to dangerously polarize the country... After all the time the it spent trying to prop up an old, underachieving codger as a 'Strong, Decisive leader'.. after all the time it spent on trying to label a decent, non-politician gentleman Prime Minister as a 'weakest' PM.. and after all the insanely In-Your-Face publicity campaign involving music videos, giant posters and a billion google ads, rabble-rouser Advani went to the polls.

And India replied by showing a big middle finger to his brand of cheap, negative politics.

Lalu Prasad was right.

Prime Ministership just wasn't written in Advani's kundali.

So much blood has been spilt, so much hatred spread and so many painful wounds have been inflicted upon India and its people, just to keep this joker in the reckoning for his much desired Prime Ministership.

Was it ever surprising that every single time the BJP or its family of militant sister organizations needed a little publicity or a few assured votes, it didn't hesitate to put the country aflame with extreme hatred and violent rhetoric?

Truly. The kamal only blooms in a lot of keechad.

I'm glad the secular, peace-loving India is having the last laugh.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Strong Man Advani.

Even a blind man, I believe, would now be sick of the Advani ad blitzkrieg.

You want a strong leader? Advani's the man! Strong! strong! Strong he is!

(On the other hand if you wish to settle for a (sigh!) 'weak' prime minister *points at Dr. Manmohan Singh* vote for him!)

Forgive me for not taking the BJP's word for it. But what exactly has LK Advani achieved in his entire career?

Am I mistaken in believing he owes his entire public standing to a Rath Yatra that caused some Indian blood to be spilt at each pitstop?

What exactly makes him a 'strong' leader again?

Is it his bold decision to resort to cheap Mandir/Masjid politics that gives him his superhuman strength? Or is it his resolute and steadfast decision to stand by Genocide perpetrators in his party?

Lately, Mr LK 'Strong' Advani also cannot seem to digest the news of a terrorist attack in the country. Dr Manmohan Singh is apparently 'weak' on terrorism.

Advani, the 'tough on terror' strong leader that he is, conveniently forgets that in his days, he BOLDLY decided to free terrorists who have since unleashed a spate of attacks on the country. No. Wait. He didn't 'know about it'.

One would think that stuff like Akshardham temple attacks simply didn't happen under the watch of 'strong' Advaniji.

Funny that this very man called for resignation of the entire UPA government over the Mumbai attacks.

Advani, the resolute leader that he is, publicly declared Jinnah a 'secular' man while in Pakistan (which he probably was.. but shh!) This politician finds it convenient to change his 'principles' whenever required.

Remember the time when Advani declared Ayodhya the 'saddest day' of his life? Never mind that he never found it necessary to apologize for the bloodbath.

Nerves of steel, indeed.

This man's entire career is built on an issue of 'National importance' like a temple and a mosque in Ayodhya. When that doesn't work, of course, there's always Sethusamudram. Exactly the kind of things a strong 'National' leader comes up with.

During his stints as Home minister and Deputy Prime Minister, if he's ever done anything 'strong' or 'decisive', it has escaped me completely.

Unless Advani has some sort of Weightlifting/Armwrestling medal tucked away somewhere, I do wonder on what basis he is putting up billboards all over the country declaring himself a 'Strong Leader'.

Why is Advani 'strong' again?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rajnath Singh: BJP does not believe in ‘spreading hatred’

The BJP does not believe in hatred.. only its projected, high profile election candidates do. Nice.
Varun Gandhi, Yogi, Modi, the a vast majority of the Sangh Parivar just happen to be. The BJP does not condone it.

The Varun Gandhi tapes were doctored. His defense of it was doctored too. The attacks on Christians were doctored. Modi loves Muslims. Babri Masjid demolition didn't happen. Gujarat wasn't a genocide. Gandhi's assassination was fake. The Sangh sister organizations like Bajrang Dal, RSS and VHP do NOT condone violence!

Life's perfect. Everything wrong is doctored.

Oh. And Advaniji is their Prime Ministerial candidate.

Friday, February 06, 2009

ADvani : Google gets it right.

Now, I'm not trying to insinuate here (well, all right. I am!) but..

I was just trying to read about a random, violent terrorist organization posing as elected leaders.. when Google bombarded the web page with three large banners.. of LK Advani!

This Adsense algorithm is more advanced than one thought.

Anyways, does anybody else think that there's just too much ADvani on the net these days?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On Hindutva and the Pub Attacks.

I strongly object to the use of the word 'Talibanization' used in reference to the recent attacks (by yet another 'Sena') on girls in a Mangalore pub.

Let's stick to the right terminology, please. It's not 'Talibanization', it's 'Hindutva-ization'. 

To quote the Chief Militant of 'Shri Ram Sene' (the right-wing, Hindutva organization behind the latest dose of 'Hindu Righteousness')  
"We are working for Hindutva, to save Hindutva"
Good. That's more like it. 

Chief militant, Pramod Muthalik, says that cowardly violence on women was absolutely necessary to 'save Hindu sanksruti'. He added that this was the way they treated their mothers and sisters.

Strange. His goons didn't like they had any mothers or sisters. 

I also object to the use of terms like 'moral policing' and phrases like 'taking the law into their own hands'.

Which morals, exactly? And what Law? 

Ajmal Kasab did NOT 'take the law into his own hands'. 
Afzal Guru did NOT 'take the law into his own hands'.

The Hindutva militants, who are currently enjoying a relatively free run in the BJP ruled Karnataka state are NOT, repeat NOT 'taking the law into their own hands'.

Let's condemn them for exactly what they are:  Hindutva-vaadis. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Notes on Islam.

I've been thinking.

Maybe Muslims would want to read this article from my personal blog and ponder over it?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Where I stand.

People often ask me - Do you just criticize? Or do you ever offer a solution?

Apart from of my 'anti-India' and 'anti-Hindu' and 'pseudo Secular' (this term is quite lovable once you get to love it) rants, do I have anything to offer?

Just so you know, I don't really appreciate being called an 'anti-Indian' by people just because they can't quite respond to my arguments.

C'mon. Throw some debate at me. Not lip.

But to answer some eternal questions that come my way once and for all.

Q. Who am I to speak about India? After all, I'm NOT Indian, am I?
So shut my trap.

A. True. I'm a Maldivian guy who's been India all his life. I can understand about 5 Indian languages.. can read and write a couple of them.. have most my friends here.. Am at home with both North and South Indians.. Love Indian cuisine.. appreciate Indian folk dances.. understand Indian sensibilities.. am inspired by Gandhi and Tagore.. read Indian history.. and aware of Indian law and familiar with the Indian constitution.. Hell, I'm more Indian than most of you are - or ever will be.

So no, I won't keep my trap shut.

Q. Am I a Hindu basher?

A. No.

Q. Am I a Muslim basher?

A. No.

Q. Am I a fundamentalist/extremist/radical/fanatic basher?

A. Yes.

Q. Am I communist?

A. No. Call me left-of-center if you HAVE to label me.

Q. My idea of Secularism?

A. Absence of religion from Government. Constitutional ban on mention of any party with any religious affiliations. Banning of any party that mentions religion or indulges in linguistic chauvinism.

Q. Why?

A. If you can't represent all citizens, you have no business being in government.

Q. My views on Sethu Samudram project?

A. Should NOT be built. But on purely environmental grounds. The beauty of a coral reef and marine life cannot be substituted. Not to mention the livelihood of hundreds of fishermen.

Q. My views on Hindutva?

A. It is NOT nationalism. It's pure chauvinism. If being Anti-Muslim, Anti-Musharraf and Anti-debate encompassed being a 'Hindu', then my idea of the Sanathana Dharma is totally off the mark.
I have a far more favorable view of the Hindu religion to associate it with the likes of Togadia and Yogi.

Q. My views on Kashmir?

A. There's a post somewhere below on this. Find it. I'm all for including Kashmir in a *ahem* secular, liberal republic like India, rather than a volatile, unstable country like Pakistan.

But I believe it's not for me or India or Pakistan to decide. It's for the Kashmiris to decide. I'm not sure I see that happening anytime soon though.

And yes, the Indian army DOES have a lot to answer for.

Q. My views on the Indian Army?

A. The same as any army. Terrible, terrible human rights record.

Q. Does that take away from their glorious achievements and bravery?

A. No.

Q. My views on the Kashmiri Pandits.

A. Tragic story. They need to be rehabilitated and given back their homeland, and their security ensured. Security comes with peace. Peace from Justice. And Justice from Political will to solve that eternal migraine called as Kashmir.

Q. My views on the Congress Party.

A. Dilapidated party, out of shape. But is centrist. Leadership needs to move out of the Gandhi threshold.

Q. My views on the BJP.

A. Hypocrisy. A 'tough on terror' party that won't condemn terrorism. Cannot ever be free from its radical hindutva roots.. and until then, cannot be my favorite party. Development is all fine, unless it comes at the cost of ripping apart a society for votes.

Q. My views on the RSS and associated 'parivar'.

A. Ban the bastards.

Q. My views on SIMI and associated 'mujahideen'.

A. The bastards have been banned for good!

Q. My views on Indian Muslims.

A. Poor, backward. Requires a strong leadership. They haven't had one since Nehru.

Q. My views on Pakistan.

A. I think Pak-bashing in Indian movies is a tad too overdone. After all, It is a country. With humans in it.
It is normal to have friendly relationships with that country. The Maldives has excellent relations with it.. and it's normal to find people in my country who don't wrinkle their nose upon hearing that word.

And they have a serious law and order problem. Fundamentalism and militancy are its bane. But then, so is it in India.

Having said that, I truly believe India needs to put pressure on the Government of Pakistan to crack down on militants - and do the same at home too.

Q. What I believe politics is about?

A. Building Infrastructure, Building schools, Education, Peace, health care, justice, security, foreign policy, economy and very very importantly, FREEDOM from oppression.

Q. What I hear politicians speak about instead?

A. Hindutva-minorityappeasement-Ram sethu- Muslim - Pakistan - Muslim -Hindu- Hindutva-Hindu-Hindu-Muslim-Hindu-Muslim-Mandir-Masjid-Ram- Hindu...

Q. My views on 24X7 news channels.

A. Disgusting. Every last one of them. Utter, unbearable, unforgivable trash.

Q. What do I think is wrong with India?

A. Too many people in politics with a hat rack for a head. No visionaries.

Q. What do I think is wrong with the world?

A. Too many people in politics with a hat rack for a head. No visionaries.

Q. What do I think should be done to improve things?

A. Education and literacy, for a change. Banning communal politics outright would help immensely.


That's enough Q&A for now.

And to all the 'critics' out there - I enjoy nothing more than a healthy debate/discussion. I have gladly eaten my words when I've been proven wrong.

No amount of outrage, heated or impassioned rhetoric and sloganeering has ever changed my views (in fact, they reinforce my beliefs)

But quite often, a single calm logical comment from you can convince me to accept your point of view.

Well. That's about my views in general.

So do I just criticize, and have nothing constructive to offer?

I admit I don't have any ready made 'solutions' for India or the World's problems. But what I do have is a vision - and a promise that India holds, given it's unique place in history, it's culture and young population and it's rapid growth in influence.

I'd like to see it become a truly secular, liberal republic - and not another Saudi Arabia, albeit a saffron one.

Hope that clears the air a little.

Friday, November 28, 2008

India's 9/11? Ha. Ha.

Certain (far more) important things kept me away from commenting on Indian politics lately. ;-)

To begin with, the Maldivian democracy movement finally culminated in the peaceful deposing of a 30 year old dictatorship through an electoral process.

We now have a YOUNG(and by 'young', I don't mean 55) and energetic new president.

Note that the country's first democratic elections saw no violence, no riots, nor any attempts to hijack the election.

Instead, the new and old leadership have decided to work together during the transition phase.

It's also important to note that new government is working on improving investments and business friendly policies and privatizations. Of improving students performances in secondary level exams.

They're also talking of future planning - and investing in land in another country, in case Global warming results in the low lying Maldive islands disappearing under the sea.

In short, they are thinking of GOVERNING, rather than merely clinging onto power. No sloganeering, no vindictiveness, no hatred, no populism for mere votes.

I'm proud of the way it turned out. Maybe India can learn a lesson or two from us. It's an honest thought.

But coming back to India. It's horrifying to see the continuing terrorist attack in Mumbai.. The sheer scale of violence and the audacity of the perpetrators in coming out in the open is indeed frightening.

It's a moment I thought the country would come together and stand united in the face of terror.

Instead, I see electoral glee on the faces of the BJP led opposition. Seeing the fortunes dip for the ruling Congress, they're firing missives and 'letters'.. and making announcements of their poll planks.

Some people are trying to label it India's 9/11.. But I don't agree. On 9/11, all the Americans stood united - cutting across ideological lines, party affiliations, race, color or ethnicity - Democrats and Republicans and third parties stood UNITED and STRONG behind President Bush in that hour.

I don't see anything of that sort happening in India. Front page reports are weighing such a brazen terrorist attack in terms of electoral gains and losses.

It got me thinking. Hundreds of horrific deaths, constant explosions, a raging fire and continuing violence by anti-Nationals - and they find time to think about VOTES?

Speaks much for India's 'leaders'.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Is this Sharia?

This is revolting. Raped and murdered by law.

If there's a God, may He bless all those killed in his name.

Is there no end to fanaticism?