Hulla of Indian Elections!

The movie Hulla (2008) talks about how noise leads to a man loosing his peace and stability.

Indian politicians seem to be trying to do the same to the masses. Trying to confuse the people with noise so that they loose their capacity to think and vote. This ensures that the real issues get clouded in the noise.

Which ever channel you turn to, whatever election issue may it be (from Terrorism to Economic Slowdown) the discussion starts out quite calmly with the various people from different parties (the standard on NDTV being BJP, Congress and the Left) looking all cool and calm.

The anchor introduces the people and the topic.

Then the anchor puts the first question to one of the representatives. That is when the whole group of ‘politicians’ starts shouting at one another like a couple of sulking teenagers.

Usually it is the party in power vs party wanting to be in power which, sometimes, is almost the same as party in power vs party which WAS in power 5 years ago!

What we see is discussions on all issues, big or small, reduce to a shouting match with the anchor trying to guide the discussion. The attempt to guide is as affective trying to divert a flood with a straw!

All the noise, all the fighting, all the personal and political battles being fought on air while the real issues are being ignored. No one is going to admit failing and no one is going to give an inch.

What happens then? A stalemate. No discussion and no one party either gets questioned by the public or needs to defend itself.

I wonder if this is something that all sides have implicitly agreed on. To create a noise screen to drown out the REAL questions.

INDIA! WEAR EARPLUGS AND TRUST YOUR EYES!

 

 

Choices Within Choices

Life is full of choices.

I believe all our actions have a choice behind them.

There is nothing called circumstances. We can choose to be a slave to circumstance or not.

All choices have consequences.

All choices have choices within them.

An example:

You are at work, it is a 9-5 job and you have to stay in the office till 5pm. But you don’t feel like working and want to leave early. Most people would say that it is because of circumstances that you cannot leave the job early. If you did you could loose your job.

In my view that is a choice we  make. We choose to hold on to the job and obey the 9-5 rule. The choice is ours. The consequence of this choice is that we get stability in life.

There is a choice within this choice as well.

Holding on to the job could mean just holding on to it or it could mean doing it well. Choosing to leave early is a choice. We could choose to remain at work and do something (like write a blog!).

So remember… never curse your luck or your circumstances.

It is all down to the choices you make!

Decisions of Consequence

We often think about decisions, in real life, before we take them. We also come across statements like ‘that was the wrong decision’ and ‘in the long run it turned out to be the right decision’.
But the other day when such a statement came up in the conversation I asked myself is any decision wrong or right? Or is the perception of a decision being right or wrong simply a matter of time and frame of mind?
Let us examine the problem with decisions first. The problem with real life decisions is that you can’t play what-if with them. Time is always flowing and you cannot come back to that same instance in time and take a different decision. There is no save-load in life.
Therefore once a decision has been taken there is no way to go back and re-take THAT particular decision. Once the route ahead has been chosen all other routes are closed automatically. In fact the very act of thinking about what to do next signifies a choice about how to proceed.
This means there is no real way of comparing two choices.
Therefore no decision can be right or wrong.
While it may appear right or wrong at a particular instance in time or when we are In a particular frame of mind, there is no guarantee that the evaluation is correct (or incorrect).
Then my question is why worry about decisions taken in the past?
Why decide to worry about a problem with no answer?
Why choose this road ahead?

Following on how can we decide what is the best road ahead at that point of time?
Well we can try and think of the consequences of taking the various different roads ahead. That is where the skill of the decision maker comes into the picture.

Religious Tolerance

When I see people in India screaming and shouting to support their religion I feel that they are missing the point. In India we are too concerned with what is happening with other people and we take the freedom we have for granted. That is especially the case when it comes to Religion. Religious co-existence has been a topic high on everyones discussion list. Especially every time a terrorist attack takes place.

I have seen a very different kind of religious tolerance and co-existence here in UK. Few examples I shall present through photographs taken in and around Southall, an area known for its ‘Indian’ feel. There are lot of Sikhs living in and around Southall. It is home to one of the largest gurudwaras outside India (photographs can be seen on my website).


Above: Church advertising in Punjabi.


Above: The gurudwara (Shri Guru Singh Sabha) faces a Christian cemetary. This picture was taken from the Gurudwara entrance.


Above: Shree Ram Mandir next to a Christian cemetary in Southall.


Above: A march for religious unity on the occassion of Christmas.

I think my friend put it really nicely that day… that when you are in your own country you can scream and shout about religion all you want but when you are outside your brain works in a straight line because you don’t have any options.

Could we have a Ram Temple next to a Christian cemetary in India? Would we think of making one?

Maybe religious tolerance is just a question having no options or having too many options?

The Constant Dreamer…

The ‘terrorist’ attacks have become painfully regular. Another thing that has become painfully regular is the Government of India (and the various State Governments) being caught with their pants down.

There is now talk of establishing four more NSG hubs across India to deal with such terror attacks (especially because the NSG took 9.5hrs to arrive on the scene in Mumbai) in the future. I mean you could have sent commandos from UK in that much time! That is like increasing the dose of the medicine just because you cannot find any other way of attacking the disease.

What about improving the quality of the State police?

What about providing them with automatic weapons and bulletproof jackets instead of new cars.

What about improving the physical fitness of the police so that they are capable of doing something more than just relax at the Police checkpost?

What about improving coordination between the different agencies both at the State and Central level?

What about spending money to buy things like unmanned aerial surveillance platforms to patrol deserted stretches of the coastline?

On the political front the so-called ‘unified face of politics’, which Mr. L. K. Advani talked about before highlighting the fact that the attacks pointed towards the total failure of ‘State and Central administrations’, did not last long. In fact it did not even last 2 full days. How could it when some of the largest states in India (such as Rajasthan. Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh) are going in for State elections? In fact these attacks couldn’t have come at a better time for the parties currently sitting in the opposition. Delhi (where voting took place on the 29th of November) got hit by a series of bomb blasts recently. Looking at what happened in Mumbai I am sure the people of Delhi are not going to be very happy with the current State government.

RSS has also grown silent after the attacks in Mumbai. I think they have conveniently forgotten how they were targetting non-Marathi Indians working in Maharashtra till about two weeks ago. It is parties like these which must be inspiring the terrorists. I mean if we start attacking our own people surely troublemakers from abroad are going to be able to find at least a few friends there! We should remember that the Central Government controls approximately 5,00,000 crore Rupees through the budget. I am sure everyone wants a crack at that.

The people of India can only respond in one way. The only way which will ensure that the political parties learn a good lesson. Demand the immediate resignation of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra along with all the Ministers responsible for security and saftey of the population. Shivraj Patil the Union Home Minister resigned. That is not enough. There should be legal proceedings against him and it should be ensured that he does not hold any position in any elected body in India ever again.

Similarly there should be negligence proceedings against all the associated Ministers and administrators. That is the only way they are going to learn.

But none of this will happen. I dream of this.. that is why I am the constant dreamer… waiting for the day these dreams turn to reality.

The Mumbai Joke…

From there, they mandated to kill indiscriminately, particularly white foreign tourists, and spare Muslims split up into five batches.
 

Click here for the article.
 

There are a few questions that came to my mind, being a citizen of India, after the Mumbai incident:

1) How can you shoot people ‘indiscriminately’ while making sure Muslims are spared? Is it written on a persons face whether they are Hindu or Muslim? Do they check their passports before shooting them ‘indiscriminately’?

2) How can the press be so irresponsible? How can they start launching the ‘religious’ angle so quickly.

3) What was Narendra Modi doing at Oberoi Trident? Did he go there to look at the building out of curiosity? Was he there to look at his handiwork? But mostly why did he go to a sensitive area and further pressurise the security service to give him cover.

4) How come three top cops in Mumbai were shot by terrorists? What were they doing there? How did the terrorists get so lucky? How come one of them was involved in investigating the Malegaon blasts where a ‘Hindu terrorism’ plot was being revealed.

5) Why did the NSG and Army not stabalize the area where the terrorists were hiding instead of just rushing in? Why did they not try and buy time to further investigate the situation? This has been suggested by security experts throughout the world not just me.

6) When the Indian Airlines flight was hi-jacked (IC-814) during the BJP government  how come they decided to negotiate and then release the prisoners? This time how come there were no negotiations? Not even to stall for time to allow the forces to prepare?

7) Did BJP help out the terrorists back then and now the terrorists are helping out BJP by creating chaos just before general elections and by killing of people who were investigating acts of ‘Hindu terrorism’. This operation could surely not have been done without inside help. Landing a boat with arms and so many people on the Mumbai coast is surely not a joke. Advani said this operation must have required 2 months or so of planning. That is what came out in the investigations!

8) We must remember that who could be the best friend of Hindu hardliners? Obviously Muslim hardliners. If there are no Muslim hardliners then there is no justification for Hindu hardliners. So obviously they are going to help each other. If we remember that in India Hinduism is not just about religion it is also about the Central and State Goverments and access to billions of rupees.

Who is going to answer all these questions? The media? Nope they are busy selling their news. The politicians? Now ways can we trust them.

Where do we go to get these questions answered?

The Indian Reply – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Watching the response of the authorities, the media, the common man and those in the line of fire made me realise that the Indian reply is made up of the good the bad and the ugly.

Let me start with something that really made me VERY happy. The statement issued by Taj Group of Hotels. Their premier hotel in Mumbai, operating out of a heritage building has sufferred a lot of damage. But even as the army operations are in progress to flush out the terrorists Taj Group issued the following statement:

“….we will rebuild every inch that has been damaged in this attack and bring back the Taj to its full glory,”

Amazing!

At the other end we find the Government shutting down the city. Wanting people to hide in their homes scared and terrified instead of going about doing normal days work. They pretend as if life is otherwise so normal and safe.

This has also shown how news hungry our media is.  If media had their way they would stick a camera right up the ass of the injured and the army people and ask ‘apko kaisa lag raha hai’ (how are you feeling now). The silliest bit was when Barkha Dutt tried to approach a foreigner (a diplomat from the Canadian High Commission) again and again using ‘sir’ and almost ready to lick the persons feet for a sound-byte.

This has also shown how deeply are the Mumbai underworld, the Police and the Government are connected. Three senior police officers being targetted all of whome with a connection with the underworld. Police says that the terrorists came by boat. No way can you land on a boat in a busy city like Mumbai without anyone noticing. I am 100% sure terrorists had help from the authorities.

 

In this case I think the terrorists made use of the fact that many objectives converged into one big mission. Dealing with cops who attack the underworld, killing cops involved in investigating major crimes (like Malegon blasts), causing chaos, targetting foreigners, destroying a few more buildings and making some silly demands to launch the Kashmir Issue onto the World Stage.

Who knows, maybe Hindus and Muslims are cooperating in terrorism as well! Who benefits from all this? Only the hardline organisations. The Muslims will feel threatened and would increase hostility. The Hindu hardline organisations will use this to spread ‘Hindutva’.

They picked a very bad time though. The world is reeling under the weight of a financial crisis. No one has time for terror. In fact maybe that is why they combined so many operations into one. Maybe terrorists get affected by recession too!

Mumbai Attacks – A Lesson for We Indians

Things are going as I predicted earlier. Terrorism, a failed concept, has taken a desparate turn. Hostage situations, random firing and widespread chaos. All leading to a desparate attempt to stun the people of India.

Again what are 100 dead people? I would say the terrorists are stupid. We kill 1000s of people a day because of corruption and ignorance. People who die of hunger, illness and cold. Food grains after a disaster are diverted. Aid money used to increase personal bank balances.

Furthermore a few hundred terrorists can’t kill a country of 1billion+ people. There are not that many bullets in the world!

Finally this incident reminds us of a very important fact: ‘There are no guarantees in life’ Live the day and do what you have always wanted to do. Pursue and achieve your dreams. You never know when you die!

The Great Indian Truth: Ignorance is Bliss

“In 2008, stampedes have killed 360, blasts 156” – A news item on the Times of India website (1 Oct 2008, 0354 hrs IST) (Click here for the article)

Still thinking why we should have to die from a terrorist bomb?

Death has many forms and one cannot control it. Every form of death has a cause.. and more often than not another human is the cause. With respect to terrorism there is just a clearer connection between the hand holding the smoking gun and the bullet which killed the victim…

This terrorism nonsense is highlighted just because it has deep political implications and for some reason people are scared of bombs. This can be used to focus people’s attention and to increase your votebank. It has another handy side-effect: people give up their civil liberties without much of a fight. It makes people easier to control. Entering a PVR theater in Delhi feels like entering a high-security prison.

More people die every year because of smoking cigarettes than bombs. But we don’t see politicians making a universal smoking ban a hot issue. That second hand smoke you are breathing in while partying in a nightclub is more lethal than a bomb.

If one dies of a heart attack sure enough the cause of death can be traced back to things like bad eating habits, smoking and alcohol abuse. All these point the finger at the person’s parents who could not prevent these bad habits from developing within their child. So how different is the above incident (see link) where surely a local politicians as well as civil servants are to blame along with the temple administration and local police authority. What makes them so different from the so called terrorists?

The funny thing is we GAVE these people the power to kill us. We ELECT the politician and the civil administration which then kills us slowly day by day. At least in case of terrorists they were not given power by us, voluntarily.

In the end I think that is what really hits us. Terrorism is like being stripped naked in public where you know you are being looked at by 100 different people.

Whereas failure of civic machinery is more like a hidden camera movie of someone changing clothes taken by people they trust! The person remains blissfully ignorant of the fact that within hours 1000s of people are downloading a video of them changing and life goes on normally till one fine day when they find out what has been happening behind their backs. But by then the excitement is over, ignorance is bliss and the incident is best forgotten.

In case of a terrorist attack we undergo both the incidents described above. We feel naked and exposed when terrorists hit at familiar everyday locations like a market. We get angry. But for some strange reason we don’t get angry at being decieved by the people we trusted to take care of us.

Ignorance is bliss. Life goes on. One day at a time. Till the clock stops ticking.

 

Terrorism: A Failed Concept

Terrorism is being defeated. Step by step. Blast by blast.

Earlier the targets were important locations and people. Bombs were hidden in briefcases, cars and often carried by terrorists on their person.

Now targets are common places and the general population. Bombs are hidden in garbage bins.

This shows how terrorists are unable to target those in power. So now they target those being controlled by the people who have power. If you can’t attack the masters then attack the slaves.

What they don’t realise is that the slaves have enough problems. Another few people being blown to bits is not going to affect them. As a friend said: ‘People have to work so that they can earn money and feed themselves and their families’.

India is not a welfare state where people have the option of living of the state. So people have developed thicker skins. They need to go out and struggle every day. If that involves dealing with killer Blue-line buses, corrupt Government machinery, pathetic hospitals or toxic ground-water then so be it. Add to that a terrorist bomb… who cares!

A terrorist bomb can kill you once. Bad water kills you day by day. Bad electricity supply creates stress minute by minute and the slow machienary of the Government grinds any left over life to bits over a lifetime.

Who need to fear the terrorists the most? People who are not struggling out there. People in power. People sitting on a pile of money which was earned under the table.

A friend of mine asked me (in anger): ‘Why should we be killed by a terrorist bomb?’

In my view the only way you can decide how you will die is if you commit suicide. Then also not all methods of commiting suicide are failsafe.

Terrorism is a mental disease. You have to be insane if you can kill innocent people. Like some diseases it can be cured. Like other diseases it can kill. 

In the end life goes on. Nothing can stop it. That is why terrorism fails especially in a country like India. Nothing grounds to a halt. The Americans, in the biggest act of terror, to date, dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima AND Nagasaki (in Japan) resulting in large number of civilian casualties. Today Japan is one of the most advanced countries out there.

That is one thing the terrorists have understood. That is why terrorism is a failed concept.