Even if Rahul Gandhi fumbled again while expressing him out, by our common sense, by the sense of the public, he doesn’t deserve to be hooted.

Yes, the political booing is an altogether different thing in an age when Indian politics has no talking points left on norms of ethics.

It can be safely said that the right intent of Rahul Gandhi, once again, chose the wrong or misplaced words to express what he meant and since his intent was amply clear, he is to be given the clear benefit of unclear doubt.

According to the media reports on his address to the congregation of the women members of the Indian National Congress yesterday, on the occasion of the 70th birth anniversary of the former prime minister and his father Rajiv Gandhi, this is what Rahul Gandhi said – Mr Gandhi, referring occasionally to notes, focused a large part of his speech on urging his party to ensure the safety of women. “In India, we worship goddesses,” he said. “But the same people who go to temples to pray to goddesses molest you in buses. Every woman in India has been oppressed at some point,” Mr Gandhi said. (NDTV here – http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/congress-needs-woman-power-tsunami-says-rahul-gandhi-to-workers-578851)

Now, that is basically about a good intent only.

One of the basic tenets of the human nature is that we all have good and bad elements within our psyche and which one plays out when and to which scale is circumstantial, shaped over a period of time.

Yes, there are impulsive gaffes as well, but they clearly come in the ‘to be given benefit of doubt’ category.

Now, by nature, most of us in the Indian society are religious and every religious person in this country visits the places of worship and offers prayers – be the person with refined sensibility on universal norms of social behaviour – or the person with no regard to moral values and human life – or the persons in the in-between shades.

Yes, we believe Rahul Gandhi was addressing to this section of the people in our society who become perpetrators of crimes, from molestation to rape, from fights to killings, from thefts to robberies, from bribes to extortion. We cannot say they don’t visit the places of worship, irrespective of why they visit.

Believing in a God must be about refinement of the character – but we are living in times when value-distortions have become so common, so as to become the regulars in lives.

But God never accepts them. God will never accept them. Even if they visit the places of worship daily.

What Rahul Gandhi said was correct in intent, yes, but he wasn’t politically correct in expressing it.

His speech should have been religion-neutral, like ‘places of worship’ in place of ‘temple’, like ‘Goddess’ in place of ‘Devi’ or doing away with it altogether.

Yes, it can be said it was said consciously, given the Congress’ history of Muslim votebank appeasement politics – but, in the changed political circumstances, when the nation saw how the religious appeasement politics of Congress and other parties failed and how it polarised the majority Hindu votes – the senior Congress leaders would not tread that line in the near future, and no Congress strategist would advise Rahul Gandhi to do so openly – so, here, Rahul Gandhi can be safely given the benefit of doubt on ‘wrong selection of words’.

It was reflected even in the media coverage. The speech was delivered yesterday but the controversy erupted only today after the political opponents including the BJP raised the issue. But it died down soon with no prime-time media programming centered on it.

Because what Rahul said was not wrong – because it was said with a right intent – and such rightly-intended ‘gaffes with wrong selection of words’ don’t make for big news stories.

While speaking on women’s rights yesterday, even if Rahul Gandhi was politically incorrect, he was correct socially.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


JWF Collage-2

The freelance photojournalist and US citizen who was abducted by the terrorists in Syria in November 2012 was killed by the ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Al Qaeda offshoot, the most barbaric terror group so far, now ruling the vast areas of Iraq and Syria) on Tuesday according to a video posted by the terror outfit on social media sites.

The beheading video is so graphic, so gruesome, that it cannot be watched. I could not. YouTube took it off immediately.

But the video and the photographs were immediately reloaded with different IDs. Many were posted in reply to my Tweets on paying tribute to James Foley with his photographs taken from the website http://www.freejamesfoley.org and FBI’s missing webpage on the journalist.

Many journalists have been killed in the global crisis hotbeds. Libya and Syria are the most recent and the ongoing war zones of Libya and Syria that have cost many journalists their lives. But the spirit to tell the truth cannot be put down by such incidents, a BCC report yesterday from the Mosul dam that was taken by the Kurdish forces from the ISIS a day before tells us that again.

And there will be many to venture in places like Syria and Iraq even if the ISIS threatens to do the same to another captured US citizen, the Time journalist Steven Joel Sotloff, as the James Foley video shows while winding up!

It’s about being in Solidarity with the Humanity – it’s about the feeling of being there to tell the truth for them who cannot speak – it’s about the truth, the trust and the care – a role, a responsibility, that sometimes, even costs sincere and devoted journalists their lives – but the spirit lives – as echoed by Diane Foley, James Foley’s mother – her words are a moving tribute to this spirit of standing for Humanity – standing ovation to her – the Humanity is in solidarity with the family.


RIP James Wright Foley.

But, (the oft-quoted question) why the hell the US and the world are taking so long in uprooting the ISIS? Why the silly considerations every time whenever it comes to act on rogue countries or terror groups, be it Syria or Libya or Bahrain or Yemen or Egypt or Somalia or Nigeria or Central African Republic or many other humanitarian crisis centres, many of which are the making of the policies of the global geopolitics of self-interest?

Yes, but Barack Obama’s statement may well be the beginning of the end of the ISIS, the death-knell of its barbaric existence, the US hunt of Osama bin Laden tells us and the ISIS would not have a terrain like Afghanistan to run away, to hide from the US wrath.

Obama was looking upset while reacting on James Foley killing a few hours ago and his brief statement had clear message on what is going to be of the ISIS now because whosoever controls this group of death mercenaries has directly challenged the American might by making a deep scar on American conscious. And it has been felt globally.

JWF Collage-1


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Krishna 1

Krishna 2

O dear Krishna,

Krishna 3

Well, its one year,

When I had made,
A plea so clear..

Now, You are going,
To born again
Now, that You have,
Arrived again..

I am asking for,
That mutual talk
I am speaking of
That silent walk..

You are the Source
You are the Soul
You are the world
You are the Goal..

O dear Krishna
It’s Your night again
The day of Krishna’s
Transcendental rain..

Giving me the moments,
To dance, to sing, to pray,
When You come,
To my home again this way..

Krishna 4


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Yes, it cannot be compared and it is nowhere near to the history-defining moment of 1947 when Jawahal Lal Nehru delivered the epoch-making midnight ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech 67 years ago on India’s first Independence Day.

It is another history-defining aspect of India, Indian politics and Indian democracy that Jawahar Lal Nehru’s run as India’s first prime minister that continued for many years went on to establish a political dynasty in India, something that should never have been the case.

Remember, the Mahatma, the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi had said to wind up the Indian National Congress in 1948 – “My suggestion is that, in so far as the Congress was intended solely to achieve Swaraj and that purpose has been gained – though I do not think what we have gained is full and real Swaraj – this organisation should be wound up, and that we should put to use all the energies of the country.”

Yes, that should never be the case. We cannot undo the past but we can think of the future based the day now. And we can hope so with a prime minister who has no family and who has willingly and honestly kept his separated wife (with mutual consent and in harmony) and his extended family away from any possibility of political patronage.

And the tryst with politics this year on the Indian Independence Day was about this man only and the sort of political changes that India has seen with him after the results of the Lok Sabha elections 2014 were declared on May 16, 2014 giving an absolute and overwhelming majority to a non-Congress party since the Independence in 1947.

The other time when a non-Congress political outfit had got clear majority on its own was in 1977, the watershed elections after the Emergency that sent Indira Gandhi packing, but the 295 seats of the BLD (Bharatiya Lok Dal) also included some 28 seats won by Jagjivan Ram’s Congress for Democracy (CFD). Janata Party had contested the election on BLD’s symbol and in alliance with CFD. And that makes the BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party) tally of 280 on its own in this election the largest ever for a non-Congress political party.

And that person played the central role in it. His intense campaigning, his direct approach and highly commendable and successful governance record coupled with his nationalist and pro-Hindutva branding, aided superbly by the sky-high anti-incumbency against the Congress-led Manmohan Singh government pushed the BJP from some expected 200-220 mark to 280 seats in the final tally.

No one had expected so, not when no single party had been able to win clear majority after the 1984 elections, not even Congress.

And the political tryst this year has made that possible. The turn of political events this year has given the world’s largest democracy a prime minister in Narendra Modi who began his life from the weakest socioeconomic layer of the Indian society, worked hard, rose steadily and gradually and ousted the most powerful political dynasty of the country from the seat of power. It was an impressive win and a humiliating defeat.

A required tryst in Indian politics after 67 years of Independence! Hope it delivers.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


My reflections on life – in quotes

“Independence is the most treasured of the values of life..
..of your identity.
Do care for it. Love it. Live it. Stay free. Be liberated.
Be You.”

Independence, The Most Cherished Value


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Yes, its governance is still in experimental phase with some pretty rough hands given the charge to run the social laboratory.

Yes, its democracy needs much more to be called a democracy envisioned in its Constitution.

But, we cannot deny, that in spite of all its weak points and all its failures, it is still a functional democracy, even after 67 years of independence and is moving ahead with its democratic experiment.

We cannot deny that the movement of this democracy is positively oriented. Yes, voices are crushed and manipulated. But voices are also raised.

Look around for democracy in the global geopolitics. Look around for democracy in countries that have been ruled by foreign powers or have colonies of the western nations.

The slate is so badly crisscrossed that it becomes too hard to find even a single satisfying example. Yes, the subjective interpretations may come with some names but that would be akin to comparing the foreign rule in America with that in India.

India, one of the culturally most diversified countries, with many languages and dialects and with many religions, castes and sects is still a homogeneous democracy, even after 67 years of an independence that came with one of the worst religious riots the humankind has ever seen.

It is the positive orientation of the democracy only that a person from the weakest socioeconomic section of the society can uproot a political dynasty that has ruled the country for the most of its independent history with an overwhelming public support.

And we are from this functionally-moving-ahead democracy. We are from this independent country that has been able to this stage of its democratic experiment.

And following its Constitution, we are free to voice our opinions. We are free to choose what we should be. We are free to choose who we are going to follow.

Yes, circumstances do affect and force to make choices, but we also have the space to fight back. A Red Fort Independence Day Speech by Narendra Modi once again proves it.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


Social media invasion – well, it is one of the most intensely ‘debated’ issues worldwide – the invasion of the social media tools in our lives beyond the ‘perceived’ usage of the social media for us – and the two outfits are central to the logics of this debate – Google and Facebook – the two online giants with access to almost 3 billion users.

Here, it is about one such incident associated with Facebook that I witnessed last night.

Last night, around 11 PM, I was exploring websites of the carriers Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet for Delhi to Varanasi flights on August 15. While doing so, I was also in my Facebook account.





Suddenly, an incoming message drew my attention to the Facebook page. Nothing unusual! It keeps on happening and signing out of the Facebook chat app is the best way to deal with it.

Anyway, here the context is different, about invasion of the social media tools in our lives, going deep into the details of what we do and how we behave online to dig information for their commercial use, and my first hand experience of it the last night.

While visiting the Facebook page of my account last night while exploring the flight booking options, what arrested my eyesight and stuck me with was the advertisement bar of the Facebook page (left or right side, depends on what convention one uses to write so) showing advertisements of Jet Airways and the travel portal http://www.makemytrip.com for exactly the same itinerary of mine – Delhi to Varanasi – promising me special rates – as shown in the screenshots above.

Now, we know websites like Google, Facebook and many others use cookies and other information collection tools to makes heaps of information on the social media usage behavior of their users (in the name of tracking the online shopping behavior, a more or less accepted practice by the user who bother to know about such issues – but, it ‘must’ be limited to what we do on Facebook and what we do with its advertisements – certainly not with what we do on other websites) – but what this last night experience tells – that websites like Facebook are getting so deeper that they can look through what all we are doing online.

The last night experience was on marketing advertisements based on information collected on what I was doing on other online platforms than Facebook – means Facebook can have access to every avenue of my online presence – be it my online purchases or ‘online window shopping’ or my other personal online activities – or is it limited to collecting only the commercial information, something that is the ‘redundant’ sort of catchphrase of these companies?

But, like always, we cannot trust the defense of these companies – because, if they have the ability to see what we are exploring and purchasing online – then, they also have the scale to see what else we are doing while online. We cannot trust them on their mere assurance because they are yet to share with us the information they collect from us (on us, about us) by their online snooping.

Have they shared with you?

Yes, it doesn’t mean to shut our online presence, but we need to draw the line and need to very cautious about following this line.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/