Monday, December 7, 2009
Jawaharlal Nehru the first prime minister of modern India was a moody, idealistic intellectual who felt an almost mystical empathy with the toiling peasant masses; an aristocrat accustomed to privilege, who had passionate socialist convictions, an anglicized product of harrow and Cambridge and an agonist radical who became an unlikely protégé of saintly mahatma Gandhi. A pampered youth, he always had little connections about grass-root problems. Even he himself had written in his biography that an only son to prosperous parents is apt to be spoilt and if he remains alone till 11 the chances of left unspoiled is nil especially in India.
There are many fine things which Nehru gave us. He united a nation out of most heterogeneous people on the earth. He nurtured democracy. More than any other individuals we owe him our present day attachments to democratic institutions. He respected minorities and made us secular in our temperament. Most important he injected in us the modernist idea of liberty and equality. He gave us youthful hope and optimism. But there are equal bad things which Nehru gave us if not more. His failed economic promises which have cost us two generations of missed opportunities. Instead of socialism, his path led to a corrupt, domineering state which we are desperately trying to dismantle today with the economic reforms. He lacks vision, the blind faith on China who later backstabbed us. His failed policies, overconfidence had made India backward by at least two generation from what it deserves. The uncompromisable attitude which led to the partition of India and his more than desired idealistic attitude which lacks realism still cost us and after seeing the condition of today I can say that even the Fabians socialist ideology went wrong at some point and what was more pathetic was his reluctance to improve. That’s what we call ego.
Mahomedali Jinnahbhai, as the world knows, was a Gujarati-speaking khoja Muslim, a westernized liberal constitutionalist who believed the mass movement unleashed by Gandhi was also leading to widespread religious divisions in the public because of the way Gandhi was mixing religion with politics. His break with the Congress was ironic because at heart Jinnah was a diehard Congressman, whose early associates were Gopalkrishna Gokhale and SN Banerjea.
Jinnah was a towering national leader much before Gandhi returned from South Africa and entered public life. He was better known than Motilal Nehru, Tej Bahadur Sapru and M.R. Jayakar. Gandhi’s rise to prominence lies in the Khilafat movement which Jinnah bitterly opposed. Jinnah was a permanent secular liberal while Gandhi adjusted his secularism according to the prevalent condition and the requirement. He was constantly humiliated by congressmen and was not treated nicely.
All this did not dishearten Jinnah to such an extent that he demands a separate homeland for Muslims. Till 1937, Jinnah saw “no difference between the ideals of the Muslim League and of the Congress, the ideal being complete freedom for India. In October 1937, he said that “all safeguards and settlements would be a scrap of paper unless they were backed up by power.” In Britain the parties alternate in holding power. “But such is not the case in India. Here we have a permanent Hindu majority....”This is where Jinnah went horribly wrong. His constant humiliation led him to majority-minority trap. He forgot that the key issue to Muslim development was through empowerment on all fronts including politics. Jinnah was so frustrated and in that he raised the slogan of “permanent Hindu majority”
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, aristocrat by temperament, catholic in taste, sectarian in politics, and the father of Pakistan, was the unlikeliest parent that an Islamic republic could possibly have. He was the most British of the generation of Indians that won freedom in August 1947. As a child in the elite Christian Mission High School in Karachi, he changed his birthday from 20 October to Christmas Day. As a student at Lincoln's Inn, he anglicised his name from Jinnahbhai to Jinnah. He wore Savile Row suits, heavily starched shirts and two-tone leather or suede shoes……Despite being the Quaid-e-Azam, or the Great Leader of Muslims, he drank a moderate amount of alcohol and was embarrassingly unfamiliar with Islamic methods of prayer. He was uncomfortable in any language but English, and made his demand for Pakistan — in 1940 at Lahore — in English, despite catcalls from an audience that wanted to hear Urdu.”
However the status assigned by Indian historians and media-persons to both persons is sharp contradicting. Nehru is a super-hero, jinnah is the all purpose villain. But the reality is If Nehru compromised on minorities’ rights then Jinnah on India’s unity although both men were secularists. A.G. Noorani writes, “Therein lies the tragedy. Nehru harmed secularism by denying the legitimacy of minority rights. Jinnah ruined it by the two-nation theory.” He adds, “ Yet, it is doubtful if, in the entire history of India’s struggle for freedom, anyone else has been subjected to such a sustained, determined denigration and demonization as Jinnah has been from 1940 to this day, by almost everyone - from the leaders at the very top to academics and journalists.”The Cabinet Mission’s Plan of May 16, 1946, for a united India failed and dragged it “into the abyss of inevitability.” Everyone including Nehru and Patel had given up; only Maulana Abul Kalam Azad remained opposed to it.
India would have been surely different and better had Nehru taken some realistic steps or had sardar vallabh bhai Patel became the first prime minister of India? Similarly for Jinnah, had he been somewhat less egoist, History would have been different.
[Note:-Being an Indian I had not touched Jinnah’s aspects as a nation head and had only focussed on his role before partition]
Well, Sachin Tendulkar is a man of possibilities, of the unthinkable: in his quest for perfection, if not greatness, he has shattered stereotypes and smothered barriers; indeed, he has dignified so many records that even history books rise in ovation.
Yet, Sachin might feel he is still an incomplete epic, an unfinished masterpiece: he cannot, and won’t, rest on his laurels until the World Cup too snuggles into his teeming trophy chest. For that, of course, he has to wait two more years; and yet, cruelly, there’s no guarantee that the dream will be fulfilled.
Today, he will complete 20 years at the pinnacle of the sport. One has seen many Sachin gems during his voyage, right from Old Trafford in Manchester to Newlands in Cape Town, to SCG in Sydney to Basin Reserve in Wellington; one has seen many more dangerous-looking deliveries too disintegrate from his presence, bedazzled by his sparkling strokeplay.
The personal favourite, however, is from lower climes, from the Ranji stratosphere: the 1991 final against Kapil Dev’s Haryana. It’s not for sentimental reasons though: it was the first time one saw him bat in flesh[although not me], blood and with gay abandon; it was love at first sight, of course.
Chasing an impossible 355 on the last day, Mumbai were quickly reduced to 34 for three. And then Sachin arrived. The script, as it would happen many times later, immediately changed on its head: it was an innings of pure genius, almost blasphemous to even think possible from a lanky lad’s seemingly too-heavy willow.
That is when one first witnessed the Sachin Tendulkar phenomenon too: with each boundary, the monstrous Wankhede seemed to get smaller and smaller, and noisier and noisier; by the evening, it was nearly full, and the ambience inside had turned electric. Amazingly though, his shots could be heard even over this aching din.
Later, when he would make the progression to live television, the country regularly came to a stop when he got going, and got going only when he stopped, or indeed when an insolent delivery stopped him.
It was the first imprint in the mind of a glorious, free-flowing Sachin: commanding and yet so humble, regal yet so simple. With him, it’s usually a matter of time before the assault reaches a crescendo; every stroke is a high point, every drive the climax.
Alas, however, Mumbai lost by a mere two runs: he was, of course, heroic in defeat, and calm and assured even in the face of imminent doom; that evening, as time stood still, even a veteran like Vengsarkar could only cry like a child.
In many ways, that near-victory heralded a pattern, a vignette for the future: he would be dominant yet remain vulnerable; he would seem all-conquering yet be susceptible. How many times has he been reduced to that little boy on the burning deck? How many times has the team crumbled, and the players become distraught enough to give up the fight after his fall?
Only he knows how many tears he shed each time India spurned a victory; only he knows how many times sleep evaded him after seeing the taunting face of defeat.
In a merciless country, not too surprisingly, that is one of the grouses against him: oh, he hasn’t helped India win many matches; oh, he hasn’t delivered in the big ones. As wicked as that might be, not to forget how untrue as well, nobody seems to notice the mountains on his shoulders when he comes in to bat; one just has to look into his eye to understand that even sleep had run away in fear the previous night.
How many people can withstand this kind of pressure, this size of expectation? Tendulkar doesn’t face just the fury of one bowler, or the cunning of a team; he faces the anxiety of an entire country each time he pads up for India: one false stroke, indeed one good delivery, can wipe out a million smiles faster than a tsunami.
Is it really possible to see the ball through such a crowd? Can the feet move in such a throng? Can the mind communicate its command to the body in such deafening silence? It’s a miracle, really, that Sachin can even walk into the cauldron of a World Cup final; yet he goes in, erases the million pleading eyes, tames the demons and comes back unscathed for another mauling, for another day.
Sachin, the captain
If Sachin was born to bat, Tendulkar was clearly ordained to lead: after all, there is no nuance of the game that escapes his eye. He catches the tiniest weakness in each batsman and unravels the shrewdest and most-guarded secret of every bowler; he has Plan A and Plan Z, and a million ideas in between.
Yet, somehow Sachin has never been a successful captain; more damningly, there’s hardly been a great batsman who has not gone on to become a great captain, with or without the resources.
Sachin’s record shrieks mainly because he is almost always ahead of the game; it may be only into its first over, but he is already thinking of the fifth, the tenth or possibly the fiftieth. His mind is processing data, nay tactics, at the speed of a dual core; sadly, it’s impossible for the lesser mortals to keep up with him. More significantly, perhaps, they may have found it difficult to execute his plans; at the peak of his own batting, of course, India were hardly a bowling side either: his attack was never good enough to account for 20 wickets. What could he do?
Sachin could only despair as his pacers tired, his spinners flagged and other shoulders sagged; as for him, even in defeat he never had to hunt for enthusiasm or energy. Only his body language betrayed the grief, and the quiver in his voice the trauma.
Actually, Tendulkar the captain needed ten other Sachin s to make India the most formidable side in the world.
The moment he realized it was an untenable dream, he gave up captaincy; he dedicated the rest of his life to other captains, in pursuit of the same goal. For Sachin, the planning never ceases, the plotting (of the rival batsman’s downfall) is an unending process.
Indeed, he remains the biggest cog in the think-tank; not a single stratagem is devised without a little finetuning by him, not a single match has been won without a particularly sweet coup from him. Sachin has always been the captain of the team without officially being one.
He is not Sachin
As the advancing years slowly rendered him back to mortality, he encounters a new charge: he is not the same batsman anymore; he doesn’t bat like he used to. True, this is not Sachin at all; this is some other imposter batting in his frame, scoring the same number of runs but in a much, much more human way.
Those who have seen the real thing up close, of course, will lament in hope; those who have heard the crack of his rasping shots will continue to long for the vintage little boy: the others can only snigger and make crude remarks about his role in the team.
Luckily, just a couple of weeks ago, Hyderabad happened, the 175 materialized; let us, however, be assured that it was an accident, that we may not see it again, at least not in a hurry; but yes, it very clearly showed that the old little Sachin still resides in Tendulkar’s body.
The bitter truth, however, is that it’s not the same body any longer. In fact, it has probably been dissected more than even his own batting; there isn’t a single part inside which hasn’t seen an injury or met a surgeon. He has gone through so much pain that it’s a marvel that he can even walk, forget run or play.
Indeed, there came a time when he couldn’t even lift a spoon with his left hand; the tennis elbow was so excruciating and humbling that he actually thought he could never wield a bat again. In his mind, the end had already etched in big, bold letters. Yet, Sachin didn’t give up; he had come on a mission to this planet and he would finish it.
Eventually, through true grit and a numbing fitness regime, he got his elbow back on its feet. He was tempted to use a lighter bat but he gave up the idea almost the next instant; now THAT wouldn’t be Sachin: he subtracted a few dynamic strokes, including the stunning lofted drive over mid-on against pacers, and added a few pedestrian ones.
Runs started coming from behind the wicket, rather than from the front; the booming cover-drives and cascading straight-drives are a distant dream now. Why, he seems to have even lost that special ability to read the ball before it was delivered, or be in position to play before it reached him. Yet, the hundreds keep coming almost as if out of their own will.
What else could one want? What else could one ask of him? Well, how about turning back the clock and becoming that precocious kid all over again? Yes, we want the little Sachin, just one more time. For ever.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Has Gandhi become, in our subconscious, an irritating nuisance, a mirror before our guilty conscience? Who wants to be measured by the yardstick of a saint who was so disconcertingly honest that he turned his autobiography into a confessional? Jinnah, on the other hand, was so private, and even secretive in life that, in death, he is vulnerable to endless post-mortem dissection. Gandhi has become as ephemeral as an ideal. We can disturb the memory of Jinnah. Gandhi’s memory disturbs us.
Where would Gandhi have been on his 140th birthday, October 2, 2009, if he were not safely dead? He would have been on a fast in Maharashtra. Why? The state police has slipped into the public space a statistic made even more astonishing by the indifference with which it has been received: there has been, on an average, a riot every 20 days in Maharashtra during the last five years. Print media consigned it to a couple of statutory paragraphs inside. Television, crowded with high-decibel celebrities, ignored this completely. It seems that our innumerable guardians of secularism need familiar villains for their rage. Faceless violence is not attractive enough.
Gandhi placed the facts of violence above the politics of conflict. He would have been an inconvenient presence for those who profess to live by his creed today. As for the heroes of modern India: they would not recognize him. There is no way to reinvent Gandhi as a happy symbol of a rising sensex, checking out the value of an investment portfolio at five every evening. It makes sense on every side to convert Gandhi into a token portrait on the wall of a government office.
Jinnah’s problem, conversely, has been that he has been appropriated, or misappropriated, by a range of vested interests, each determined to resurrect him in its own image, to serve its agenda. Pakistan’s political elite, forced to compromise with the culture of theocracy, has converted the natty, lean, handsome owner of 200-odd London-tailored suits into a shalwar-and-cap chameleon. If, instead of being clean-shaven, Jinnah had sported a slight, fashionable beard, they would have extended the beard by six inches in official portraits. Most Pakistanis would be shocked today to discover that Jinnah did not know Urdu, never fasted during Ramzan, had little interest in the rituals of religion, and that his concept of spiritual sustenance was very worldly indeed. Jinnah sent out invitations for a formal lunch-banquet in honour of the visiting Mountbattens for August 14, 1947, the day the new nation was born. The meal had to be cancelled when someone realized that they were in the middle of Ramzan. Jinnah had been oblivious of the fact that observant Muslims had been fasting for three weeks.
Indian politicians have restructured Jinnah more subtly. Contemporary Congressmen needed a cardboard Jinnah as the all-purpose villain who could soak up all the guilt of Partition. An obstinate, communal hate figure was planted into Indian schoolbook history. This was then morphed into something more insidious.
When Jinnah’s utility as the father of Pakistan receded, he was transformed, surreptitiously, into the symbol of the guilt of Indian Muslims, who became the whipping boys of Indian nationalism as practiced on all sides of the spectrum. The Bharatiya Jana Sangh, forerunner of the BJP, latched on to this projection with great glee, since it perpetuated the politics of isolation and accusation. Indian Muslims, in this construct, were genetically unpatriotic and therefore, deservedly condemned to the status of second-class citizens. When Jaswant Singh challenged this single-dimension mythology by lifting the record from the private domain of academic archives and flinging it into public discourse, he had to be expelled. He had spread the guilt to others, who were Hindus, and disturbed the equanimity of a half-truth.
The secular parties, whose expertise in the dynamics of electoral behaviour has always been more astute, quickly understood that fear is the easiest route to the Indian Muslim vote. Fear of the past, Partition, was compounded by fear of its future consequences. Muslims had to choose between the communal cage and the secular trap. One offered a diet of gruel, and the other a scrap of cheese. After six decades, Indian Muslims are beginning to bang on the door of both the cage and the trap.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
.....(edited dialogues of TROY-the movie)
‘..It is our duty to pay for our liberty with our own blood. The freedom that we shall win through our sacrifice and exertions, we shall be able to preserve with our own strength.... Freedom is not given, it is taken.. One individual may die for an idea; but that idea will, after his death, incarnate itself in a thousand lives. That is how the wheel of evolution moves on and the ideas and dreams of one nation are bequeathed to the next......' Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose'
'..We should have but one desire today- the desire to die so that India may live - the desire to face a martyr's death, so that the path to freedom may be paved with the martyr's blood. Friend's! my comrades in the War of Liberation! Today I demand of you one thing, above all. I demand of you blood. It is blood alone that can avenge the blood that the enemy has spilt. It is blood alone that can pay the price of freedom.' Give me blood! I promise you freedom!!
“'Blood is calling to blood. Arise! We have no time to loose. Take up your arms. There infront of you is the road our pioneers have built. We shall march along that road. We shall carve our way through the enemy's ranks, or, if God wills, we shall die a martyr's death. And in our last sleep we shall kiss the road which will bring our army to Delhi. The road to Delhi is the road to freedom. Chalo Delhi”
(No need to say these words are of Subhas Chandra Bose)
The story of Indian independence is well known. Even its heroes are firmly established – Mohandas Gandhi, the saintly demagogue, and Jawaharlal Nehru, his rationalist, Fabian acolyte. A national-liberation movement that relied not on guns and bullets but on non-violent love and inner strength; a method used to such effect that even as the conqueror struggled against it he came to admire it.
Lately, too, another hero has emerged to make the legend complete: Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, Admiral of the Fleet, Earl of Burma. He arrives in India as Viceroy in March 1947; he produces a plan for partition of India that politicians who have spent their lives opposing the very idea instantly accept. By August 1947 India is free; and when, two weeks after Independence Day, Nehru and Patel urgently summon him with the confession that they don't know enough about administration, he goes on to save the newly independent country.
In the face of such compelling myths, history must come a poor, unwanted second. Yet the history of India's struggle for freedom was not quite that simple. A frail old vegetarian, a Fabian socialist and a dashing young royal did not between themselves produce the India that emerged on 15 August 1947. The story is altogether more complicated, and even more romantic. There were other men and women, as well as deeper interactions of political, social and economic movements. Prominent among these men was one who opposed Gandhi, was a bitter rival of Nehru and waged war against Mountbatten. This is his story, and that of the alternative, violent, revolutionary struggle for Indian independence – one that often paralleled the non-violent one and occasionally threatened to overwhelm it.
The man, of course, was Subhas Chandra Bose. Today in India he is deified. His name is given to parks, roads, buildings, sports stadiums, artificial lakes; his statues stand in place of those of discarded British heroes and his photograph adorns thousands of calendars and millions of pan (betel-nut) shops. It is always the same picture – Bose in military uniform exhorting his countrymen forward to one last glorious struggle: the final answer to the British calumny that Indians could not fight.
I am not focussing upon what bose had achieved and what not? But what would have been INDIA’s fate if Bose wouldn’t have died or disappeared.
Had Bose returned to India after the war he might well have prevented the tragedy. He was not a tired politician ready to accept office under any terms. Although his uncompromising hostility to Jinnah and Pakistan might have led to a civil war, the cost of that could not have been greater than the senseless waste of partition.
Certainly Bose's often repeated warning that the Congress would pay dearly for the acceptance of 'office mentality' was historically acute. It came when in the late thirties the Congress was struggling to cope with the consequences of the 1935 Government of India Act, and the blandishments it offered. In the 1936 elections, the Congress reaped the rewards of nearly two decades of unceasing mass struggle against the British and totally vanquished the Muslim League.
But by 1945, after a decade of negotiations and some power-sharing with the British, the Congress was reduced to the level of the Muslim League; just another group, albeit powerful, seeking the rewards of office. And by placing such faith in the negotiating chamber the Congress had played into the hands of Jinnah, the master lawyer and negotiator. As Bose had foreseen, the Congress had thrown away the trump card of its power - mass struggle - for the dubious delights of the round table.
But could Indians have lived with Bose? An extreme man, he produced extreme reactions: total adulation or permanent rejection. Certainly the India of Bose would have been very different from the India of Nehru. Bose had often said that India needed at least twenty years of iron dictatorial rule, and he would most certainly have rejected the type of parliamentary democracy that has developed. This opens up the whole question of whether it is better for people to have food or to have freedom to change their political rulers every five years. The argument can never be resolved - though, given the recent adulation of the West for China, some of the oldest democracies in the world seem to think food is more important.
Surely Bose's rule would have degenerated into autocracy, like that of Mrs Gandhi between 1975 and 1977? Though the analogy.is not quite accurate (Mrs Gandhi's rule degenerated long before the events of June 1975), for conclusive evidence Bose's critics point to his behaviour in Germany and with the Japanese during the war. In a climate that brooked no dissent and where the leader was always right, he too came to believe that he could do no wrong.
Part of the possible reason for this change of personality - if there was a change - may lie in the fact that at that stage, particularly in south-east Asia, he found himself a king without any worthwhile courtiers. The people who surrounded him there were political innocents, thrust into the wider world by events beyond their control: they could only applaud, never interject. Bose was, as the official Japanese history puts it, 'a bright morning star amidst them'. There is also evidence to suggest that Subhas Bose was not quite the dictator a simple reading of his speeches makes him out to be.
No doubt there was an authoritarian streak in him, but his actions often belied his dictatorial postures. in 1939, as Congress president, he behaved - against Gandhi's wishes - less like an autocrat and more like a negotiator who had won one round and expected to reap some benefit from it. Throughout his political career he was always loyal to colleagues even at the risk of damaging his own chances: hardly the mark of a man of iron.
Almost alone among Indian leaders, Bose offered solutions that were both visionary and practical. Nehru's socialism may have been more rounded; rigorously logical and free of Bose's celebrated eclecticism. But its strain of romanticism divorced it from the realities of India, and the Nehru years resulted, almost inevitably, in a country with the most progressive socialist legislation outside the Soviet bloc which happily allowed the most unbridled capitalism to grow and flourish on a feudal structure that had changed little, if at all, since the British days. The cynicism this produced has bitten so deep that every government since has had to struggle against it and no combination in Indian politics looks likely to counteract the years of wasted opportunities and lost hopes.
Bose had the capacity to inspire total love and dedication, and produce gold from dross. He was hated by many, but those he 'touched' loved him with an almost overpowering sense of completeness. And this, combined with his rigorous, matter-of-fact manner and an instinctive feel for ancient Indian loyalties, might well have produced the revolution that India needed - and still lacks.
Unfortunately Bose died in 1945(was he?).But only after living a life of warrior, a fighter.
It is 23 January 1981, and crowds all over India are celebrating the birthday of Subhas Bose. Politicians who have never known him, and many who fought him when he was alive, garland his statues, invoke his name and urge their audiences to follow his example. More than thirty years after his death Bose has become a myth: the alternative hero of the Indian struggle for freedom. And the banners at these meetings tell their own story. 'Subhas Bose 1897-1981'. Subhas Bose is not dead. One day he will return and rescue India.
The legends and the myths have been a long time in the making, and they express a deeper Indian unease: had he lived and returned to India after the war, he would have shaped a country far more successful than the one wrought by his rivals and successors: an India united, strong and fearless. Bose became a legend in his own lifetime, but his transformation into a myth fit to rank with ancient Hindu classics came after his death, through forces he had himself tried to harness for his cause
There are people who thought at one time that the Empire on which the sun did not set was an everlasting empire. No such thought ever troubled me. History had taught me that every empire has its inevitable decline and collapse. Moreover I had seen with my own eyes, cities and fortresses that were once the bulwarks but which became the graveyards of by-gone empires. Standing today on the graveyard of the British empire, even a child is convinced that the all mighty British empire is already a thing of the past.
I have said that today is the proudest day of my life. For an enslaved people, there can be no greater pride, no higher honour, than to be the first soldier in the army of liberation. But this honour carries with it a corresponding responsibility and I am deeply conscious of it. I assure you that I shall be with you in darkness and in sunshine, in sorrow and in joy, in suffering and in victory. For the present, I can offer you nothing except hunger, thirst, privation, forced marches and death. But if you follow me in life and in death, as I am confident you will, I shall lead you to victory and freedom. It does not matter who among us will live to see India free. It is enough that India shall be free and that we shall give our all to make her free. May God now bless our Army and grant us victory in the coming fight ! Inquilab Zindabad ! Azad Hind Zindabad !
(Words of NETAJI SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
a>he is certainly better
b>Its me who is representing him.
No matter how much we fight with each other we never break our relationship.Its not because of our love but because we know despite of hour hercules attempt to prove one better,the winner will always be like a winner of rat race and the biggest problem with the winner of rat race is that he still remains a rat.In simpler words,the winner of srk-aamir combat will always be second, never first.Why so? Who is the number one then?who is the elephant sitting at the top? I think elephant is not appropriate metaphor it should be giraffe.DUH! many people might have guessed that its A B not juniour but senior.Yes the BIG B.But then why neither i nor my friend had his favourite actor as amitabh.Its because people of our generation had always seen amitabh as an actor,never felt that perhaps he was much bigger than that.He was a hero.Too much confused,don’t bash me rather read and feel the next few paras to understand why amitabh is more than a actor,why amitabh is in diffrent league.
After long mutinies,battles and revolts INDIA finally got her independence in 1947.Next few years as expected we were in happy-go-lucky mood.We were so much happy about our independence that we almost forget or ignored the fact that we were now the masters of our country.Moreover the word “democracy” was new for us,we thought our government will tackle our problems easily and sufficiently.In admist of these confusions and ignorance we were all sleeping a sound sleep which was feasible but not desirable and thus several social problems like illiteracy,poverty,corruption had crept into our system,our society.The problems looked bigger with the arrival of 60s but the major road block to solution was the fear that if we complain so much we can be slaves again,the hostility of britishers was stll fresh in the memory of people.Meanwhile till the mid 60s INDIA fought as many as 2 wars,one with China[backstabbers] and the other with pakistan[less said is better] as a result only further deepening our grief,our fear.India was struggling hard to make a position in any global event,the situations were worse. In short we can say that till the 60s “Those who were oppressed, deprived and neglected in pre-independence days, still remained the same. No change has appeared in their life style. The ’Sun of Liberty’ has risen for those who can move the stick and dominate over the less fortunate by any and all means.The zamindars,leaders,street goons,bandits,rich peoples were all busy in making the life hell for common people.
Then the 70s arrived, a new generation came who were not ready to be mastered by others. They were ready and eager to fight for themselves.Meanwhile the government was too moving towards dictatorship headed by late indira Gandhi only to enhance people's suffering and anger.The street goons, leaders[politicians to be precise] were all making merry. People wanted to fight, to revolt but either they were oppressed by the powerful peoples or their revolts was without any directions. They wanted to revolt but nobody was there to lead, to help them. However leaders like jai prakash narayan and ram manohar lohia tried hard but their message was not conveyed with the effect it should have been. Moreover these leaders were basically against government’s wrong policies and deeds. So the closer and more effective ones like thekedaars,zamindaars were still free what they wanted to do. There was no channel to convey people’s problem. Police was corrupt too. In the name of media only DD1 was there, that too dominated by government. News against the government were either not shown or was manipulated. The volcano inside people was ready to burst but was lagging the initiator to burst it. And to hit the final nail on the coffin of common man,a Himalayan blunder step was taken. The emergency was implemented. The basic rights of common man was snatched from them, they cannt complain, they can’t revolt. What they can do was just to see their fate declining.
As it is said in geeta when the dharma no longer prevails, when adharma becomes intolerable, the god conspires to tackle the problems. A hero arises from nowhere. The movie zanjeer released,Vijay the cop in the movie was not the one to be curbed by power. A 13 flop movie actor Amitabh soon became the people’s hope to solve their problems, they know it’s all reel not real but who cares at least there was somebody who understand the problem of majority,there was somebody who loves to fight for common masses,atleast there was somebody who was not corrupt.People went to the movie theatres to see their hero taking birth and avenging on behalf of them.As a result the movie was a blockbuster. Everyone seemed happy,the ones related to movie was happy as they earned big bucks while the people were happy because they find a new hero in the 6 feet 3 inch tall bachchan.The role rejected by likes of dharmendra,sanjeev kumar,raj Kumar soon became the national obsession. People felt as if a lot of wannabe Vijay’s will soon get a boost, they coined a phrase for him “the angry young man”. Then came the series of movies of the people’s hero. In most of them amitabh lived up to expectation of the people’s aspirations. In most of those movies The downtrodden of the childhood understands no bar of stigma,makes it big. He doesn’t care what destiny has in bags for him. He only knew what was right and is ready to fight for that. The shikandar,jai, vijay, heera, were no different people but a individual among us. The unexpressed love, the silent crush, the sheded egos are nothing but a part of us. People laughed their hearts out for the jokes of Anthony, cried for the death of jai, felt proud for the deeds of sikander.The dialogues of deewar,muqadar ka shikandar,coolie was remembered line by line by children as well as grownups .
Whenever a new movie of amitabh released people saved their every single penny to see that movie not once, not twice but uncountable times just to see how system can change ,how a powerful person too can be brought into the mercy of poors,how good wins over evil and how an actor awakens a generation. They loved the movies and desperately waited for the real vijays,real sikander to arrive .On the smaller scale some of the people too dared to overthrow the powerful resulting into further enhancing the charisma of amitabh.Amiatbh too even in his real life never disappointed the masses with his behaviour. People know that he is someone among us and in actual cares for us. That’s why when amitabh was fighting for his life during coolie accident the whole INDIA was praying for him day in day out. They can’t see their hero struggling and the one who was responsible for all this puneet issar [although accidently] had to hide to spare for his life. The amitabh provided an easy symbol for the words of great leaders like jai prakash.The people who cannot understand the words of jp understands them well by seeing an amitabh movie and thus a phenomenon is created which is still untouched,undisturbed.
NOW-A-DAYS some people might feel those movies as a bit heroic,unbelievable,fake but that was the need of the hour and a person who helps in need is a “HERO” indeed.Amitabh,was,is and will be a hero. The millennium star award is just a testimony of the fact i stated above. There can be better paid stars than big b,there can be better actors than amitabh but no one can inspire a generation like amitabh did, no one can produce hopes for the million like what bachchan did.
Monday, September 21, 2009
1.Tall,grey and handsome.
5.caring and silent
I asked to them what are they discussing? Is it characterstics of an ideal wannabe son-in-law or a man named Rahul dravid.One of my aunties said both are same.In a way she was spot on.Yes the very famous cricketer Rahul dravid had his fan following in the aunties age group too.But then that is what which had made dravid so much distinct from stars of his age and time.He is perhaps one of the few stars whom people loved more for his non-cricketing reasons rather than for his cricketing despite of the fact that he is one of the best batsman ever to don a team INDIA jersey.Fathers loved dravid because they wanted their son to be like him,mothers loved him because they wanted their son-in-law like him.And the youngsters liked him because he was a perfect role model to them. Now when I say ‘Role Model’, it is not just an ‘ordinary adjective’ to describe the achievements of any cricketer or any legend of any field. It has a deep metamorphic meaning. The dictionary describes Role Model as "person who serves as an example, whose behavior is emulated by others." Sachin Tendulkar, probably the best to have played the game of cricket and they cricketer who has shared the dressing room with Rahul Dravid for over a decade, chooses no one but Rahul Dravid as a ‘perfect role model’ for the youngsters.
The first attribute of Rahul Dravid features in the first few pages of every book that parents read to their children in their growing days. It is called ‘Hard Work”. The stories emphasizing the importance of hard work are taught to all, but grabbed by only few Dravids. Now I fail to form my next sentence, as I am confused whether to write, “Rahul Dravid’ is the synonym for ‘Hard Work’ or Hard Work’ is the synonym for ‘Rahul dravid.’ For what ever I know about Rahul Dravid, he has spent most days of his life on nets along with playing international cricket for one-third part of a year. In the past few years, when some of the cricket experts advised him not to practice a lot in nets to retain his form, he did not heed them. Like any other artists, he believes a daily rias [practice] is the only necessity to keep your art alive and strengthen it. This actually paid off. He got a hundred in an international match against England. People were astonished to see a hundred in the midst of quite a poor form considering the standards set by him over the years. They said it came out of nowhere. But Dravid after scoring the hundred said that it was the result of continuous fluid that he lost practicing in nets. Now that is why I ask people to go through all those books emphasizing the virtues of hard work, rather than banking up their luck to turn good and achieving a undeserved success.
“Patience’ is one attribute that Wall of Indian Cricket team has shown since his debut. The quote that first comes in anyone’s mind who knows anything about Dravid is ‘Slow and steady wins the race’. Word ‘patience’ does not mean that he cannot play shorter versions of the game. In fact, in his last few years, he served as a ‘match finisher’ and did the unusual job with utter perfection. But the ‘patience’ is not only confined to short selection and the way he approach his game, but also in the thought process. He has shown extreme patience and tolerance even in the most intense situations. In the lows of his lives, when he was dropped from the side, had a tough time while batting, he has not repented. This is how a legend considers ‘living a life.’ They know that failures are part of lives and know how to deal with them. That is something, which distinguishes an extra-ordinary person from an ordinary herd.
Another prominent quality that Dravid has is that he knows how to handle success better than many. His achievements do not carry him away. As he said in an advertisement for a shaving product of a brand called Gillette Mach3 Turbo,” Yesterday is over. Each day is different and brings a new challenge.” When he goes to bat, even on the pitches where he has scored heaps of runs, even against the bowlers whom he have dominated over the years, he tries to reproduce the same effort. That is how one should be aspiring in his profession. If you have nine, try to get ten. Nobody will praise you for your work in the past until you perform in the present. Consistency is required for being extra-ordinary.One last character that Dravid has is inspired from his One-Day International career. When he made his debut in this shorter version of the game, people said he is not an apt player for this format. Many cricket experts called him a one-dimensional player. Instead of saying that ‘I give up’, he worked on his game, improved his range of shorts and strike-rate and rest is history. He went on to score more ten thousand runs in the format of which he is not called a player. What this story says? It simply says that ‘natural talent’ is not the only necessity to perform any task efficiently. If someone is determined to do something, works hard, he can perform it even more efficiently than the one who are born to do the task.
Also, being benevolent and generous helps in whatever profession you are. Again, Dravid acts as a perfect example. He has played cricket in high-pressure situation for over a decade, but has remained a gentleman all these years. He has an emotionless face. He smiles occasionally on victories, takes a sigh during defeats and remains emotionless in situations involving pressure. Rahul has kept a ‘cool head’ over the years not indulging in arguments with any cricketer or umpires after getting a wrong decision. For this, he has won the respect of cricketers with whom he has played with him, just showing the worth of being a good individual enhances your dignity as a professional. And thus with so much great attributes as you expect he has achieved what one can only dream of.10,000 runs in both format of game,several match-winning innings,most double-centuries by an indian
But then like every perfect bollywood script things cannt go smoothly as expected.To enhance the quality of angels,demons had to be there and rahul dravid was no exception. Something similar happened to the legendary cricketer Rahul Dravid ''The Wall''. Dravid has been the most consistent player in the past 13 long years for India, In these years Dravid with his flawless technique, innovative strokes and imaginative placing of the ball transformed himself into an integral part of Indian team.He with his classy technique and gentlemanly demeanor attracted millions of heart, and been an youth Icon for many who dares to dream big.After being the main stay in Indian Cricket for such a long time, he had some dry periods,where runs weren't coming easily as it uses to be in the past.He relinquished his captaincy to concentrate on his batting,but one bad series as a Non-Captain costed his place in the Indian ODI cricket,the glorious career of the glorious man came at serious crossroads. But Dravid was never disturbed,he went back to Ranji Trophy games and in the first game after he was dropped from the National team side,he scored 214 against Mumbai, but the selectors wasn't convinced.When serious questions were asked against the selectors, the message was conveyed that Dravid had been given some Rest, but contrasting statements from the selectors made everyone to realise that there is something more than ''Rest'',as he was overlooked for the other ODI series,with that a great injustice was meant to Dravid and it had started get affecting his concentration, and he had some dry runs in Test matches, the media made it a bigger issue, though Dravid had good support from his present team mates and the Ex-Cricketers,the retirement talks had started hitting the newspapers and debated over in the mediaUnder immense pressure Dravid could not re-establish swiftly as he did in the past,he had decent runs in the game,but he could not transform those good starts into big knocks. At those times, he was also shuffled in the batting order.eventually his runs scoring ability wasn't the same as it used to be in the past. All other players in recent past were given a prolonged time to regain their form but a player like Dravid was not given a fair chance and when everyone was speaking, here once again Dravid maintained his golden silence and never uttered a single word in his defense.Dravid, who has reputation of a cool minded and humble cricket personality left it all on his bat to speak and answer those who questioned his strength.
Dravids critics was growing in numbers, but there were two aspects which holded him together until today, one is Dravid's belief in himself & his self confidence and second is again like any perfect successful bollywood story there had to be happy ending and if the ending is not happy,"picture abhi baaki hai mere dost”. finally the Mohali Test arrived.Many of the people thought that Dravid would be dropped for the match,but their assumption was proved wrong.Dravid's supporters once again showed their confidence in him and they believed that their hero will bounce back in this Test Match....This 'Never Say Die spirit' is one of the gestures they learned from the man himself they idolised.The Day arrived and he was in the playing 11 for the match.( Though later it was revealed that there isn't any sort of plans within the dressing room to drop Dravid for the match ).The start of his innings clearly revealed the intensity of pressure under which he was playing.The real Dravid was back making everyone to remember of his old days. He started positively and never looked back. At last Dravid's un-tiring efforts,commitment and prayers of his supporters were paid in form of his comeback century,he played an awesome inning of 136 runs.His century brought a smile back on every one's face who had immense faith with Dravid and his abilities. It was more of Dravid's dedication towards the team for which he wanted to contribute to the team and therefore after the century he did not get over-excited, no punching in air, no animated reaction,he just completed the 100th run with a simple jog down the pitch,it was just about a feeling of relief for him.The whole dressing room went up to congratulate him because they knew the legend is back with a bang
Dravid's comeback century came at the right time when all eyes are back on Dravid for New Zealand tour.Everyone is now expecting him to show his magic once again on the foreign soul.On the bouncy pitches of New Zealand only a technically correct player like Dravid can stay on the crease for a prolonged period which eventually makes Dravid a key player against the Kiwis. By the time the New Zealand tour dawned on India, he was ready. The gods conspired to set up the stage, although the conditions were not exactly frightening; yet, he came up with a dazzling performance. Showing immaculate technique but even better footwork (if that was possible) and monk-like patience, he blunted the Kiwi attack.
He managed half centuries in every sinle innings but didn’t cross the three-figure mark in any of the three Tests; but the questions and doubts were already scurrying for cover. The Wall had taken back his unquestionable position in the Indian lineup; but he wasn't done yet.
Dravid, like most successful people, has the memory of an angry elephant; he had surely not forgotten the ignominy of IPL-1. So, unbeknownst to all, he silently worked on his scoring rate and devised a few un-Dravidlike strokes.
Not surprisingly, he was one of the top-scorers (271 runs off 12 matches) in Royal Challengers' run into the final in IPL-2. In many ways, he should have been at peace with himself after that; he could have just focused on Test cricket, or even set goals for the reminder of his career. But then, the phoenix-genes popped up.
So why has his quiet life been disrupted? Why have the selectors abruptly drawn him out of the fire? Well, the answers are self-evident and pragmatic: the Indian team has recently been struggling against the fast and short rising ball. The Champions Trophy is in South Africa too, where batting is a little more about skill than just frills.
Maybe, they feel Dravid can bail the team out of this conundrum. After all, it is not such a good idea to let the world know that the most hyped-up lineup has a basic deficiency; if every bowler goes for our batsmen's ribcage, we will have a lot more that broken bones and shattered egos: India will never become Number One that way.
And so dravid was back again into ODI scheme of things.He will once again don the blue jersey for INDIA.But again he is not done yet,he had not only to play but rise no matter how much it looks heroic and defy the logics and laws ,but he had to rise for us who finds in him our role-model,he had to rise for us who tries to incarnate hin,he had to rise for those fathers who see their son in him,he had to rise for those mothers who want somebody like him as their son-in-law,he had to rise to prove the world how wrong selector was in dropping him,he had to rise to prove media how wrong they were in writing him off,he had to rise to prove that age is no bar for excellence,he had to rise to prove the world was right in calling him with all the adjectives like mr. Dependable,mr. Cool etc,finally he had to rise to prove that he is ‘’gulliver’’ of our times and the gullivers knows to do only one thing “rise” no matter how much liliputs are strong qualitatively and quanitatively."RISE THE GULLIVER OF OUR TIMES’’
Friday, September 18, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Now, having got that out of the way, I want to get back to what engaged me to comment on this. “I think we have misunderstood him (Jinnah) because we needed to create a demon... We needed a demon because in the 20th century the most telling event in the subcontinent was the partition of the country,” says Jaswant. Well, fair enough. Irrespective of what you think of Jinnah – and am not a diehard fan of either Nehru or Jinnah, so I am not arguing the who-was-responsible case here – I don’t think it is about we needing a demon in this particular context. We need demons, period.
In the world where Bollywood scripts are churned out, the scriptwriter is faced with the fundamental question in maybe eight out of ten scripts that ever get to the production stage – which character will play the villain? You need a villain to make a good movie. Not that Hollywood is very different. Or any good story, for that matter. Where would the Mahabharata be without Duryodhana and the Ramayana without Ravana? How can the hero be a hero unless the anti-hero is there to provide the contrast and to shoulder the blame for all the mess? Of course, not all anti-heroes can be as mass-appeal evoking as SRK in Baazigar or as definitive as the Joker in the Batman movies, but that’s another story. In the larger, real world, where stories of drama, pain and conflict, involving thousands or millions are shaped and structured, especially where defining events are accompanied by large-scale costs in human suffering, demons are absolutely integral to the subsequent presentation of things. Of course a lot went wrong – and this guy did it!
The idea of fixing a name to the episodes where people behave like beasts or are slaughtered like them is perhaps a cathartic one. Who was the demon of WWII? Adolf Hitler. Who was the demon of post war Europe? Josef Stalin. Who was the demon of the Middle East? Saddam. Who is the current demon of the civilised world? Osama. Everyone else’s accountability is washed away, when we can pin massive chaos and death to a single name, and isn’t that a nice thing? Socially, when we look back at horrendous events, oppressive regimes, massacres and things that make us retch and consider if the “nasty, brutish and short” paradigm of life is the only consistent one, we need to pin the blame somewhere, to take it off the collective conscience. Politically, regimes that take extreme positions on issues find demons very handy. Nothing pushes up a government’s ratings quicker than taking on the bad guy and saving the world from him. The US – since its leaders have needed those ratings to stay on in power – has been saving the world from a lot of demons, for instance. During the war, it was Hitler. After the war, it was Stalin, Khruschev, whosoever – Reagan fighting the Evil Empire. Close home, it was Fidel. Ayatollah Khomeini. Saddam. Kim Jong-Il. Osama Bin Laden. Etc, etc, etc. The slot has rarely been left vacant. These are, of course, the top league, but the ‘lesser’ ones closer home for us are aplenty too. Who is the demon of Mumbai? Dawood or Balasaheb, depending where you see it from (Raj just doesn’t have the stature yet, though he tries). Who is the demon of Bihar? Nah, no prizes for guessing that one, too easy, it shouldn’t even be on the list. Who was the demon of the sandalwood belt? Veerappan. Prabhakaran would be top league for us too, but it needs to be remembered that he shifted from ally to demon status only after the Rajiv Gandhi assassination. One could go on and on. So far as Jinnah goes, he is not the only leader who can be judged afresh in the light of the was-he-guilty-was-he-not perspective. These things have changed and been repositioned depending on who calls the shots. Beyond the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, we have had a fairly grey zone and a lot of selective memory in terms of deciding who our saints and demons should be. But that is to be expected in a culture where Ravana is a demon in the North and is close to a deity in portions of the South – we pick and choose our demons depending on which side our instincts and roots go. I also think that the Indian need for demons is higher than many other cultures given that we need to play out the Dussehra exercise of effigy burning all the time at a more decentralised level by burning effigies of anyone from Obama to Osama to Greg Chappell to the neighbourhood politician whenever we are aggrieved. No hate-able enough demons, ergo, no effigies to burn. How boring! Jinnah is hardly the only politician who has ‘not been given his due’ – which is not to say I believe that he was a great man or agree with Jaswant. Patel is someone who hasn’t been given his due, even by Jaswant, from the very skeletal info I have about his book, though I daresay today it is politically incorrect to talk of the “Gujarati strongman” since it gives Narendra Modi a legacy to inherit. Subhash Bose was viciously abused by a wide spectrum of people, including the Congress and the Communists and was well on his way to Demon status at one point – Fascist stooge and what not. On his birth centenary, I was thoroughly confused and read a piece on the TOI’s edit page asking how come 1) the Congress seemed to fall in love with him and wanted to reappropriate him as a Congressman all of a sudden, 2) the BJP was lashing out at the Congress for not giving him his due and describing him as a great leader, and 3) Jyoti babu was giving speeches saying how the Left was wrong in not realising what a great man Bose was. I mean, how could he have a political ideology that appealed to the Congress, the BJP and the Communists all in one go? The INA was affiliated to neither, last I checked. But that was perhaps Bose’s moment of de-demonisation, to coin a phrase. He was suddenly no longer a proper demon. There are many other instances of transitional phases where it has been cool to slam someone and subsequently ‘rediscover’ them. Perhaps it is too much to aspire for everlasting Demonhood, in a world of constantly changing affiliations. One random observation before closing this – you have to have that sharp edge to your individuality, a stubborn streak, a headstrong temperament, to make it to the list. Gentle agreeable leaders don’t ever get there. A Narasimha Rao, an IK Gujaral, a Manmohan Singh can be criticised and attacked – but they never run the risk of being demons in history books, no matter who writes the official history. Two interesting things, though. The US has never found a demon in Pakistan, where staging coups and establishing military regimes and creating nuclear programmes or such is supposedly pretty ok as things go – but if you do the same in North Korea, or much less in Cuba, you are promptly a Demon with a capital D. Perhaps there could be a process of formal demonification (the way the Vatican does the beatification and anoints you a saint, the flip version of that?). It would be so much fun. The UN’s Ethics Panel or some such thing voting to formally confer Demon status on X, Y and Z. And the casting vote rests with the US prez. The second interesting thought that comes to mind is that while we have a name and a face as official demon to affix to almost every large scale death inflicted on man by man in the recent past, in all the years of school, college and life after that, I don’t recall anyone being anointed as a demon for the definitive moments of death by human hands – Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
SRK might be an icon to Indians and many in the subcontinent, even to the desi diaspora spread across the globe, but to America he’s just a visitor. We may be convinced he cannot be involved in anything that’s remotely violent, but the guard given the responsibility of stopping something like 9/11 from happening in his country again will want to take no chances. And what is the possibility that he’s a die hard fan of the Khan and Bollywood? Very slim.
SRK says he’s ``upset and angry’’ because it was his Muslim name that caused all this. Thousands of Muslims are made to go through extra security checks everyday in America and a host of Western countries. Is he equally upset at that? He's probably just pissed that it happened to him, India's mega star. We all know how a lot of Muslims have been subjected to prejudice around the world because many countries see terrorism as an Islamic phenomenon. Yes, it is uncalled for, unjust and maybe wrong. But America is a country that takes the killings of its people with the seriousness it deserves, unlike India whose record on this is shameful, to say the least.
Also, because most of the perpetrators of 9/11 were Muslims, America thinks it has to be doubly careful where they are concerned. Had the terrorists been Jews, perhaps it would have looked at Jews with similar suspicion. I was much more aggrieved at President Kalam being frisked.
There are two layers to the SRK incident and we must peel them off with care. One, it is quite ridiculous that Indians feel their icons and superstars are everybody’s icons and superstars. What the heck? If Jet Li came to India tomorrow, the man on the street here would probably call him ‘`Chinky’’ and not give a second look.Moreover, America doesn’t have a culture of fawning the way India has. Mike Tyson was treated like a common rapist and spent most part of his youth in the slammer. Laura bush was sent to jail for violating the rules.Can one expect the same for rahul Gandhi? Oh forgot rahul even any mp’s son or daughter?
More importantly, we are actually aggrieved because we are ``not like them’’. Well, guess what. It isn’t a virtue. We should be like them and take the security of our country and its people with solemn, no-nonsense professionalism. Frisk Brad Pitt when he lands in India next. Give Tom Cruise the same dose. Don’t spare Bill Clinton either. Isn’t he an ex-prez just like Kalam? Who’s stopping you and what’s stopping you? Colonial hangover? Or is it plain lethargy and callousness. Looks like both.
There’s a lesson in this. And it is a positive one. A day after our own 26/11, there was hardly any security at CST in Mumbai. It can’t get worse than that. The bottom line: Stop fawning, shed the colonial hangover and make no compromise where the country’s safety is concerned. Can we do that or is it too much to ask from a country that’s been free for 62 years but was ruled by white sahibs for 200?
The ludicrous fracas by politicians over the "frisking" of APJ Abdul Kalam and shahrukh khan was an example of how we continue to overthrow the principle of equality. Pray, how is a routine security check a violation of anyone's self respect? We live in a democracy yet strangely we continue to regard democratic norms as insulting. Not only do we refuse to stand in queue and patiently wait our turn, but when a wonderfully idealistic citizen and archetypal aam admi like Kalam happily stands in queue and submits to a check by Continental Airlines, we are on our feet screaming about national honour and protocol. Our netas and top babus all send their children to the US for higher studies. Surely, when taking the SAT and GRE exams, these students submit to American rules. In applying for visas they also submit to US legal requirements. But when Kalam submits to US laws when traveling on an American airline, we are suddenly shaken to our foundations.
The VIP culture of India is truly a slur on our Constitution. The "don't-you-know-who-I-am" syndrome violates every principle for which our freedom fathers toiled. As the Delhi High Court held in 2008: VIP security is an obnoxious status symbol. When common men are killed on the street, why should the tax payer pay for so much security for politicians?" That great jurist Fali Nariman has long campaigned against VIP culture, saying it is time to get rid of it. This Independence Day, lets all take a solemn pledge. We will never again utter the phrase: `Don't you know who I am'. Instead we will all emulate the dignified Kalam who, quietly and unobtrusively, took his place in a queue not like the shahrukh khan vip syndrome perhaps has taken into his mind.
And yeah shahrukh is not any national icon like kalam or manmohan singh or even the sportsperson who go to other nation's to represent our country.Like always, Shahrukh went to dance to some patriotic songs, make a million bucks for his own good and make a complete mockery of Indians and himself in some other country. This time it was an Independence day function unlike weddings, Birthdays and inauguration functions where Shahrukh is known to dance for money. It's completely like the old saying ,'Begaani Shaadi mein Shahrukh deewana!!!!!" Oops!!! Its Abdullah deewana.It was a business tour for Shahrukh to earn some moolah for himself ,and in no way was the US government or the US security going to benefit from Shahrukh's visit.They didn't even call him to their country.Why the hell on Earth would they then compromise on their security procedures.Moreover, Indian actors, politicians and page 3 celebs have earned a name for themselves in cases involving illegally helping people immigate to other countries, have been caught with illegal items like drugs during security checks at international airports.
In fact we should learn a lesson from US authorities,who treat a pompous bollywood star and a common man in the same way.No wonder why there has not been even a single terror attack on American soil after 9/11. And in India hundreds die every year in terror attacks. Everytime time a terror attack takes place, the Indian government and security personnels are awestruck.And there are some people who are making the whole thing a communal issue.They dont know that while they are reading this comment, the already richie rich Shahrukh has become richer by a couple of millions with this controversial visit to US.Shahrukh might have thought that he was at Chhatrapati Shivaji terminous where a fat constable with tobacco stained teeth would put up a sugary smile wen he wld see shahrukh, say salam saab and ask for an autograph for his kid at home, all in the name of security check.
SO what was all this? IS this a gimmick - is this a publicity stunt? Who cares, quite frankly, as a non-SRK-fan. Want to frisk Brad Pitt? Go ahead, do it. You know what - when it is done Pitt isn't going to go on record and then claim the Indians were racist. Shah Rukh should have shut his trap and gone through the process. IT is he who wishes to do business with the USA and not exactly the other way around. IF you don't like the rules of the game then you don't play it.
Srk fans can say me to talk the talk only you have walked the talk!then let me tell you,Well I am ready to sacrifice my privacy,I am ready for continuous check-ups of my bag provided our government also give assurance that next 8 years we will be terror free.I think its still better to be in detention for 1 hour than to remain in constant terror for 1 decade.But then that’s what I can think,you can think.Why would srk n our ministers think same? When they know that none of the bombs are made for them.Its our destiny to get such lethargic n shameless death not there and that’s what you pay price to be in INDIA the world’s greatest democracy.
Friday, August 14, 2009
WHILE I was in my ninth standard, I read a quote of an eminent personality in our compulsory history book that sent a shiver down my body and mind. The quote was given on much awaited midnight of 14th august 1947 by our first prime minister who announced on radio that "Long year ago, we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.... We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again."
After that 62 years have passed with varied colours, India has also been gradually growing from its nascent stage each day. Now, standing on the 62nd year of its valued independence, I would like to draw your kind attention towards some issues that have been haunting me.
The first and foremost issue that occupies frequently is how independent we are in reality and whether we are really independent? Before Independence, we were ruled by the Britishers; for every purpose, we had to bow down in front of the foreign power. After much bloodshed, we got independence from the British, but undivided India was broken into two dominions – India and Pakistan. Though both of the two dominions were declared secular at the time of independence, Pakistan turned into an Islamic country. India has maintained the ideal of secularism till date as mentioned in the Constitution, ignoring all heinous attempts by some political organisations to make it a ’Hindu’ land. Every five years, we, the proud citizens of India, cast our votes and elect our representatives in the Parliament (the very citadel of democracy) and in the legislative assemblies. But the overall procedure of election is well known to us. Except for some major cities in India [where nobody go to vote by the way]election is considered neither a fair nor a peaceful event in the rest of our country. Booth-jam, rigging, terrorising the common masses to remain away from casting their vote and various other malpractices take place in order to secure maximum seats in those socially and economically backward areas. Casting a vote pressurised by some goons is equal to staying inside a prison and acting like convicts. After the voting, while the winner along with his/ her supporters conducts a rally, an imbecile like me also can’t suppress the laughter.
Earlier, we were under the British rule. With independence, a transformation of power took place. Those who were oppressed, deprived and neglected in those days, still remained the same. No change has appeared in their life style. The ’Sun of Liberty’ has risen for those who can move the stick and dominate over the less fortunate by any and all means.
Shocked! well Then tell me what will make you happy to call India an independent nation! That depends.A country cannot be independent till it can freely express its opinion and act based on its national and strategic interests. Is Iraq an independent nation? Why not? Well you say their Government is hand picked exiled puppets of America. Well it is true! Then who is Manmohan Singh? Can he or Sonia madam really oppose Iraq war knowing very well that Saddam was India’s real friend! Well why are we negotiating with Pakistan knowing very well what Pakistanis are up to! Well you will say it is better to live in peace with neighbors! Well that is what Pandit Nehru and Natwar Singh said in early fifties about Pancha Seal with China! Did the Chinese give a damn about India in 1962?
So what are the prerequisites of independence?First, we must be a self-sustaining nation with least dependence on foreign culture, money, power and influence. Let us start with culture – are we not eager to shed our “ego and parampara” and embrace the Americanism for money and status symbol? Money – isn’t our national reserve dependent on how much foreign money comes through foreign institutional investments? Let us take power – did we not withdraw from Kashmir border on insistence of America? Did we not settle in Kargil and not cross the LOC because of what the super powers will do in United Nation? Are we not compromising with China to keep America and Pakistan in check?
OK,for a moment lets forget about international relations.lets talk about basics ? After 62 years of independence, the Central government has failed completely to fulfill three basic needs of the common people – food, clothing and employment. At least 9.05 per cent of youth community are still fighting against ’unemployment’. Yojanas after yojanas arrived, a number of policies and plans were executed, but the water has remained stagnant.
Our Central governments as well as state governments shout a lot about development, but that is very much limited within the boundaries of the metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and a few more. But what about the villages?Shortage of pure drinking water comes first in this list. May be the residents of A-1 cities/metropolitan cities get volumes of drinking water regularly through municipal corporation but those who dwell in the remote villages, strive daily for a bucket of fresh drinking water. Keeping apart Rajasthan, the only desert state of India, until you visit the villages of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamilnadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, you will not realise the level of distress. Everyday, women in groups from these places cover a long distance just to get one or two buckets of drinking water.
Electricity is the next issue. India is a country consisting of over six lakh villages. But alas! After sunset, a major percentage of Indian villages go under an impregnable curtain of darkness due to lack of electricity. Thermal power, hydro power, nuclear power...so much power, but still a large portion of Indian population lives without electricity.
Just read any newspaper thoroughly.It will be full of news of people getting starved to death.Such a news is nothing but a shame for India, which is globally known as a developing country. It is a striking fact that while a large amount of food grains are wasted each year, people starve to death due to non-availability of foods.
Ok lets forget about basics also.Let us peer deeper into ourselves rather than taking a dig at government and its functioning.What does we feel about independence? Do we feel we are independent?Let me tell you “yes” – we are independent according to the definition’s minimum benchmark. We have an independent army, our people think that we are independent and we have an independent political system and most important we are free to express ourself.
Still pondering about last point whether we are really free to express ourselves?Here are some of the many examples about our freedom.
1.Just check our independence during frequent power-cuts.What we do?We have a readymade solution to these problems, don’t we? We like to gather some angry friends, uncles and chachas and storm the nearest power office. There, when the heated arguments get hotter than the weather outside, we resort to throwing stones. Unfortunately, getting stoned is not what it is made out to be. Sticks and stones will break their bones but won’t get power into your homes.In return the power office workers also dont forget the matter,afterall they are also independent? Aren't they? So, they follow a strike and ultimately even with power present in stations it doesn't reach to our homes n then the process continues.Wow ain't it independence?
2.We are independent in raising voices against the racist attacks in far situated australlia and thus making situation more worse for our fellowmen present there.But wait aren't we racist? Well,more than aussies n americans i guess.But then why do we react?It's because we are so racist ourselves that we are so quick to react to a racist slur: it takes a racist to catch a racist. And our racism is colour-coded in black-and-white terms: white is intrinsically superior and desirable; black is inferior and undesirable.In the Indian colour scheme of things,black is far from beautiful.For us,fair is lovely, as those abominably tasteless TV commercials keep proclaiming: Don't get sunburnt, use skin whitening creams, or you'll end up dark and no one will marry you. (When did you last see a matrimonial ad seeking an 'attractive, dark-complexioned life partner'?).Even the trucks on our road had a racist comment on back of it ''buri nazar waale tera mooh kaala''.What more can we say it proves that being black is a sin n only bad people performs them.Our racism is largely, but not exclusively, based on colour. Caste is India's unique contribution to the lexicon of racial bigotry. Whether 'caste' - a result of cultural and social segmentation - can legitimately be conflated with 'race'.Then one of the latest racist item comes in our long menu-regionalism.well,less said is better[after all raj thacrey is also free n independent n he is just keeping his point.so,what if 100s lost their life].But then why we are over-reacting?we cannt stand racism racism because It reminds us disquietingly of the face we see in our own mirror.But then we are independent to even break that mirror or maybe change those eyes.
3.We are free to make movies like Newyork which justifies the terrorism yeah the same terrorism from which we are worst affected.We justify the concept and make that movie a blockbuster.Yeah i agree FBI was harsh that time but seeing the end result i dont entirely blame them.Afterall America hasnt suffered any terrorist attack after 9/11.Had our government taken such harsh or ok rude step we had been terror free also and i guess its better to feel the pain for 1 month rather than to reamin in contant terror for nearly one decade .But then we don't like our government,buerocrats to be rude no matter how much we became the same? still shocked just go with a 500 rupee to nearest shop and deamnd the change.see his face,what is rudeness may become clear to you.Even then if you doubt me,just remember the situation of second class compartment in train when in place of 4 ,six peoples sit n 7th one comes n says plzz adjust and then at next station the 8th one come n says the same the most quicker to react will be the 7th one.But then that's what we call freedom? isn't it?
4. Girls are free to wear what they want ,not what their parent's want.And in return we boys are free to make comment on them.yes even the biggest slap on humankind face the adam and eve teasing is nothing but a result of independence.
let me clear you I am not anti-independence.i also love to be independent.But my question remains the same.Are we really independent?
well,forget about our activities[some of them which i mentioned above].Just follow my advice.
Go through the streets of the metropolitan cities at night, you’ll find a number of homeless sleeping under the sky after day long hard work. Each day, these homeless come to your house to clear your dustbin, to clean your car or to polish your shoes
But we fail to provide those, with whose help we all are moving faster, a shelter. If your air conditioned car stands near a red light in a busy road, little hands holding some noted magazines appear outside the film-coated glass, begging for some money to have a piece of bread in lieu of these books. Girls fear to come out alone in cities as well in villages at night as they anticipate rape and molestation. Children are kidnapped for money; people vanish and then their dead bodies are found without kidneys and other rare organs. Blinded by religious fanaticism, one community mercilessly kills the other and pose as if they have done a feat.
So, are we really independent? We were under the bondage of British, and now we are under the bondage of poverty and darkness. If we are really free, then why are we still under the curtain of poverty and backwardness? Crackers worth of millions will be burnt on the eve of 62nd Independence Day, hope all the scars of negativity will be wiped away by the light and sound of firepower. Hope a new India, a real ’Independent – India’ will take birth again.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
NOTE-This isnt an attempt to write an elegy about the man. Better and gifted pens have already done that. Neither is this an attempt to "statistically" prove the "greatness" of this man and how he is "non pareil". Those have been done to death as well. This is an artcle which deals with celebrating a phenomenon called sachin (plzz ignore the gramaratical n vocabulary aspect this time as this article is like a love letter where only feelings are important not the words)
It is not everynight you suddenly woke up at 2.00 a.m with heart beating fast,full of sweating and tears on your eyes.No,it is not an asthma attack,neither i had taken any drink or smoke before sleeping.It was a nightmare ,a nightmare which i always pray to never happen but is aware that it will happen one day and more saddingly its perhaps only some days away.
What i saw in nightmare was a little man with bat on his hand is on his way to pavillion,having tricolour flag on helmet,face not clear but people are sad and the commentator says ''hold on your breath as the master blaster takes the last walk".My eyes got wet as everyone else was also crying and my heart filled with thoughts that oh my god! it is last time i had seen sachin batting.The nature will be there,the earth will be there ,I will be there,You will be there but one man will not be and that is sachin and this last line broke my sleep and i kept sitting on bed till whole night,i dont want to sleep that night coz of the fear of nightmare coming once again.
Now,that can surprise many but not me.For a guy like me whose friendship n foeness depends on the love with which the person aside me adores sachin.the one who if ever try to make a girlfreind will firstly try to know whether she is a fan of sachin or not.I and my freinds quarelled ,broken relationships not because they were bashing him but because a one inning failure had crept a thought in their mind that sachin is not god.My skipping of breakfast,my delaying of lunch n dinner were all due to sachin.Sachin's retirement will not only mark end of cricket for me n plenty like me ,it will be the end of their passion,end of joy,end of belief.there will be no waiting for series then,neithere will be treats for sachin's century.There will be no google home page with sachin typed on it 24*7 .our life is frightened to become a car without engine.
The first question that can arise now is what is so big about this little man that is so special.Actually its not one but collection of many things.What influence can a sportperson have in our childhood that makes us so emotional even about thinking of his retirement?
Actually,I am just representative of the categorie of preponderant number of people who entered their teenage world with the entry of cable TV, liberalized economy, rapidly changing middle class dynamics, clandestinely purchased Debonairs, paradigm shift in middle class values, increased access to happenings in "western world", highly accommodative parents, over achieving siblings, the ravishing Steffi Grafs, vanishing Sabatinis', sizzling samprasses and one man whose presence in the currently playing Indian Cricket team could bring our whole day to a standstill. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
In hindsight it is amazing how the Sachin phenomenon had perpetrated into the Indian collective consciousness ( especially the middle class the one I was intimately acquainted with ). I am an unabashed Sachin fan ( using it as loosely as possible ) not because of his exquisite strokeplay, his dazzling cover drives, his scintillating straight drives, his pulverizing pulls or the impeccable prancing down the tracks to hoist the hapless fast bowler for a maximum.
It was for all this and so much more.
Again going down the nostalgic lane it is amazing how much of my teenage life I remember revolving around Sachin and his innings.There would be plenty in this forum who, I am sure ,like me would have feigned illness on a match day just to watch the little Master play. There would be plenty who would have sneaked a radio into the class just to be updated ball by ball how Sachin (ostensibly "India" ) was progressing. There would be plenty who like me would have dreamed before a match day the Little Master would yet again score a century. Assuming they slept. There would be plenty who like me could recount in amazing detail the exact words he spoke in the man of the match ceremony, the way he got off the mark, the number of balls he took to do it, the way he "unfortunately" got out, the number of fours and sixes you ask? Child's play.
There would be plenty of people like me who would have had a knot in their stomach every ball he faced. Waiting. Hoping against hope hopen. The desperate of us even praying. There would be plenty of people who like me would have hurled imprecations on the poor non striker who didn't have the "common sense" to "take a single" and give "strike" to the Little Master. There would again be plenty like me who would have missed the practicals ( oh what is the wrath of the principle and parents when compared to the master dancing down the track and giving Warne the nightmares of his life? Nothing was comparable to it and nothing could have compensated missing it.) and have make an early exit from the annual examination just because sachin was making 10000 runs that day.There would be plenty like me who when introduced to a girl who professed interest in cricket and actually remembered how much Sachin scored in the last match would immediately start believing in soul mates. There would be plenty like me who would have devoured every article about the Master ( Favorite being R. Mohan's ) and still feeling no adjectives could do justice to him. There would be plenty like me who would have expressed an undisguised scorn at the disinterest shown by the sis and the parents with their callous and blasphemous "I don't understand what the big deal is!!" There would be plenty like me who would have thought spending a whole three hours seeing the Little master striking a ball with a wood a life well spent. There would be plenty like me who would have stayed well late into the night just to catch the highlights after watching the full match in the morning. Sometimes watch a re run of the match again in the night.Sometimes I remember watching matches, when I would agree within myself to strike an imaginary deal with the God that I am ready to sacrifice my exam grades for a Sachin century (it was so silly but I still do it at times and I feel proud at the end if he makes it).
Lets face it there are probably people like me out there for whom it was never really about India actually "winning". ( If Sachin plays and they win it would be just a "nice feeling". ) Who really cares about how many matches India actually "won" because of his contribution?It's like arguing Himesh reshamiya sells more than mohammed rafi so himesh is a better artist. Yes that's bad logic but logic, teenage life and Sachin didn't really go hand in hand.
He made us believe that we as Indians could take on the world, we could dictate our own terms and we could actually be the world's best. For a nation that had shaken from its economic slumber and was entering a new era of opening its doors to the world here was the perfect poster boy. Young, fearless, talented, world class but with a value system that was so endearingly rooted and Indian that he gave the burgeoning middle class of our nation hope that any dream was possible.
No one is irreplaceable. But can one imagine how watching cricket will be after he retires? Sure the show goes on but it does leave a horrible feeling in the pit of the stomach. Legends come about once a while and even sans the media hype around the man there is no taking away from the fact that he is one. The ritual of Sachin actually donning his helmet is a metaphor for carrying the hopes of a billion people. Maybe that's why he never removed his helmet during the storm in Sharjah; perhaps he was aware of what he was carrying.
Let the man be and let him go when he desires. I don't think he will linger longer than that moment when he knows he is not at his best, let no one else make that judgement for him. For someone who has given us countless moments of joy, hope and salvation over the last twenty years we owe him that much.
For some of us it wasn't really about winning at all. It is the realization how far we would have gone to just see him play that shot. Oh just to see him on the pitch.Oh the unbridled pure adulation for a man whose dismissal could break a billion hearts.Oh if there was heaven it would be just it.It's a moment of epiphany which plenty of people like me would have gone through.