Life is always slogged with alter-egos – the personality and its other aspects – and the underlying philosophy that is assorted, assimilated and reflected as we move on with time.

This experiential philosophy is a way to look at things with a leverage to look at in your own way, giving you, in turn, the leverage to scale the scope.

That is a vital way to look at life as it keeps you in company – the way that has been famously philosophical about philosophy – its inherent roots in you and its subsequent emergence and sustenance based on how efficiently you understand, communicate with and befriend your alter-egos.

And the existentialism of this philosophy is – it also allows you to develop your own paradigm (and paradoxes as well) including your own ways and definitions to look at life events, attachments and detachments, pain and peace, and what may be behind our feelings to feel so or what may follow our feelings.

Life is always sum total of events that are never sum total in entirety – shaping, fragmenting, reshaping and inventing on its way – from a day to the next – from an aspect of life to the other.

The life experiences are varied. Life lives them in vivid ways. Within a life, you are your one aspect today – you are your other aspect tomorrow.

A life lived is about an efficient and naturalized circumnavigation of the varied aspects of your life – the alter-egos that take you to the extremes of life events – the experiences that let you philosophize about the lives you internalize to become one with your question to become you.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


This conversation with my seven year old nephew turned out to be quite interesting. Randomly thought to share this joyful random experience.


7-year old: Uncle, tomorrow is a big day. India will play Australia in the Cricket World Cup final. We are so much excited here and just can’t wait to watch the match next morning. You would also be waiting for it.

I: No son, I can’t watch it. I have office tomorrow.

7-year old: Baba, can’t you take a day off tomorrow? You must.

I: No son, I can’t.

7-year old: Then you can do one thing.

I: What?

7-year old: You can get updates on your mobile phone. After all, you have 3G in your mobile. You can get updates on who is batting, who is bowling, what is score and all others.

I: Ok son.

7-year old: Also, you should download some world cup app. They are very good.

I: How is that son?

7-year old: Some of them are very fast. They give updates like we see on television.

I: How do you know that son?

7-year old: I use it on uncle’s mobile phone. Then there are advertisements of cricket apps on television. Also, my friends talk a lot about it.

I: But you should not use mobile phone. That is wrong. Didn’t I tell you?

7-year old: Arre uncle, I do it with permission – and in situations when we cannot watch a match due to power outage. Also, I have grown up now and I handle the cellphone with care.

I: Even then. You should keep away from mobile phone and excessive television viewing. Internet should only be used for academic assignments and study purposes.

7-year old: Oooo Uncle. Ok, after this world cup. And yes, please download the ‘Cricbuzz’ app. It is really fast.

I: Son, but I don’t know how to use it?

7-year old: Uncle, it’s so simple. Simply, type India and Australia there in the app to get the updates as we would be watching the same on television.

I: Ok son I will try.

7-year old: Bye uncle. My friends have come. I am going to play. Do download the app.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Section 66A is draconian and is not needed, the Supreme Court of India says.

And therefore, the logics like ‘Section 66A is draconian but needed’ have been put to an effective rest…..until the policymakers come with yet another on the similar lines.

After all, policymaking is their prerogative and they follow it religiously.

And like with this provision that came when the Information Technology (IT) Act of 2000 was amended in December 2008, the next law will take another fight then.

Because it is basically about playing around with words. The word formation of the scrapped down Section 66A says this.

“Any person who sends by any means of a computer resource any information that is grossly offensive or has a menacing character; or any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.”

Mind the terms ‘grossly offensive’, ‘menacing character’, ‘annoyance’ and ‘inconvenience’. These four elements from the ‘defining character of 66A’ are menacing enough to unwind any rational thinking.

How to define what is grossly offensive and who should define it?

Okay, if the consensus is reached that ‘something posted’ is grossly offensive then how to scale the ‘level of offensiveness’ and how even courts can deliberate objectively on something so subjective?

There are laws on treason and public harmony to take care of something that intends to do so. Similar is the case for defamation and slander. Section 66A is not needed for all that.

So what else is of ‘menacing character’ false in the same shadow of ambiguity as the ‘perilous sanctity of something grossly offensive according to Section 66A’.

Add to it – ‘annoyance’ and ‘inconvenience’ were ‘menacing’ enough elements mentioned capping the anomalies of 66A taking it to the extreme levels of ridiculousness.

How can we define if some expression is causing ‘annoyance’ or ‘inconvenience’ beyond personal perceptions to work as objectively as the ‘upkeep’ of legal sanctity requires?

Also, how can we equip our legal jurisprudence to ‘define, scale and level’ – ‘annoyance’ and ‘inconvenience’ – in countless expressions that flood the social media sites and other internet platforms – expressions that are about personal airs than being the acts of ‘treason, public unrest, defamation or slander. Like said above, if so, all such expressions can, absolutely logically, be tried in every Indian court with backing of well-laid laws.

It is well established (and self-evident time and again) that our policymakers feel equipped enough when they make such laws but certainly (and rightly), our best legal minds don’t correlate with what their legislative counterparts think on the ‘legal relevance of human intellect’ in such matters.

And they expressed it again today, loud and clear – telling them Section 66A is legally draconian now – terming it unconstitutional and striking it down.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Okay, Putinism was always on the roll, though with some rough patches intermittently.

But, it seems the 10 days of break from public life has recharged the world’s most powerful dictator to take on the world again, the world efficiently pressed under his boots and the world that he so eagerly wants to dominate, but is incapable of.

The time after his another stage managed coup to continue on top of everything in Russia has not been good, particularly with his deepening adventures in Ukraine.

Though his bravado, enveloped by his machismo, did earn Russia Crimea and pushed Ukraine to a sustained internal war with rebels, it cost Russia heavily as well.

The meekness of the western world, the European countries and the United States of America, allowed Ukraine to be torn apart, and to save their faces, they resorted to the routine of imposing sanctions.

But even this routine step is proving effective and Russia is reeling under its after-effects.

Russian economy is in bad shape and this derailment may prove out a worse nightmare for Putin than the bad days of ‘toned down economic blitzkrieg owing to the low energy prices’.

The world knows the Russian tiger was running fast fuelled by the oil money and Putinism’s genius had no role to play in it.

Oil prices continue to remain low. And with the Ukraine (mis)adventure, the Russian tiger is increasingly find itself in a quagmire with its pace nailed to a ground that is positioned to remain unstable.

Latest figures show the world a ‘rapid economic contraction’ in Russia, a Reuters report says. Rouble has taken a massive hit and domestic consumption is feeling the heat.

Though the Russian leaders say the ‘worst is over’, the same is not shared by the outside world.

The ‘Crimea Act’ had earned Putin and Putinism brownie points in Russia under the garb of patriotism and nationalism. It was after a long time that Putin enjoyed high popularity ratings and it was in the ‘aftermath’ of his Ukraine calculations.

But the continued downward economic spiral, adding to the bad days of the low oil prices, was a potential trigger to darken the prospects of this ‘patriotic’ Putin. To remain larger than life, Putin needs to push his ‘ultra-patriot macho’ image because this only can give him the leverage to blunt the edge of any potential voice against him in Russia.

Now, since he has crushed the political opposition in Russia, he would like to downplay any development that can give voice to the voiceless political opposition in the country.

But, the developments that can voice another round of political opposition as we saw during 2011-12, during his bid on re-election as the next Russian President (for the third term), are beyond his control – the oil prices and the economic sanctions.

The Russian economy is in shambles and Putin cannot do anything about it. But he can do to make it look normalizing. He needs to create the mirrors of diversions and his experience tells the ‘nationalism of a macho’ can handle it better.

So, after the break that gave rise to colourful conspiracy theories like from fathering a love child to ‘ being ousted in a silent coup by a group of powerful anti-Putinism generals’, he got back with a bang charging the world with his nuclear tongue.

After his ‘surfacing up’ act, he ‘warned’ the world that Russia was all set for a ‘nuclear war’ putting its nuclear forces on alert during Crimea annexation. For the first time, in a voice that would sound ‘heroic’ to the Russians, he admitted that Russian soldiers were in Crimea to take care of referendum and annexation.

Next, his ‘machismo’ found friends in many leaders (read autocrats and dictators, including Kim Jong-Un) to celebrate the 70th anniversary of World War II victory (to be celebrated next month, so time to build up further on the propaganda).

And yesterday, after reappearing act of March 16, Putin threatened Denmark. He threatened Denmark to nuke the ‘warships of the Danes’ if they joined the ‘missile defence shield’ of NATO.


Putinism’s nuclear tongue is on a roll and expect more of his ‘ultra-patriotic-nationalistic-machismo’ speak to colour the pages of geopolitics as Putin’s Russia moves ahead with time trying to address it economic woes.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
― Mark Twain

The resonance of the assonance the time weaves is an imperative that inevitably comes. That is the history of history.

So history may be subjected to subjective subjugations, manipulating it to the extent to sound its alter-ego. But, in the contemporary history where history records itself, as the time moves ahead, by having enough of the ‘types’ being its eyes and ears, that they preserve its objectivity for everyone who cares for.

So, people, even in the archetypal dictatorships, take on to the streets, to revisit their history, to correct their history, to make premises for a history that would be recorded ‘as it goes’.

Like everywhere else, in the contemporary history, it is true with the contemporary Indian history as well, including its Independence Movement.

Most of us (who are willing) have access to what happened during the pre-Independence era and what followed.

And it tells us India owes its Independence in 1947 to the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. No rational mind would debate it.

And it is equally true that no rational mind would debate the contributions of those who differed with the Mahatma on the issue of ideology – the league of revolutionaries including Subhash Chandra Bose, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh and many more.

They all inspired the ordinary Indians to go beyond their personal perceptions to raise a collective call for full independence.

But the way the post-Independence India followed its history skewed the facts of its Independence struggle giving space to few while ignoring others. It left it poorly expressed. It left it incompletely done, a verse with no rhyming.

So, while most of us, who bother to read, know about Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, or even Bal Gangadhar Tilak or Gopal Krishna Gokhale or Lala Lajpat Rai or Madan Mohan Malaviya or many more like them – but don’t know when they were born, when they died, the place of their final journies, where their descendents are – because the politics of post-Independence India never bothered about them beyond lip-service.

But as Mark Twain says, history does find ways to find elements to rhyme itself.

March 23 is the Martyrdom Day of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru who were hanged by the colonial British rulers in a Lahore prison in 1931.

March 23 comes every year and goes. Apart from routine mentions and some social media activity (in recent times), it doesn’t generate much buzz.

But with a changed political dispensation with a different ideology, Indian politics is searching for different symbols, to add to the existing ones or to replace them – to rework the ideological symbolism of Indian politics.

And March 23 has rightly found a prominent place in this search, and through it, the contemporary Indian history has found the elements to find a way to rhyme its tales on Indian freedom struggle.

The Martyrdom Day of the great revolutionaries this year is going to create front page headlines and round the clock coverage and thus a greater public exposure.

A very handful of Indians would be aware of ‘Hussainwala’ or ‘Khatkar Kalan’ but tomorrow most of them would be reading or googling about them.

The colonial cowardice of the then British government pushed for a secretive, hastened hanging of the revolutionary trio and their bodies were cremated at Hussainiwala in Punjab’s Ferozepur district. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going there tomorrow to pay his tributes. A PM is going there after 30 years when it had to be a regular affair.

Khatkar Kalan is the ancestral village of Bhagat Singh. It is Punjab’s Nawanshahr district that is now known as Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. Anna Hazare is going there tomorrow to pay homage.

Let’s see if we see similar moves followed with native places of Sukhdev and Rajguru.

The Aam Aadmi Party is going to launch a state-wide agitation in Uttar Pradesh against the Land Acquisition Bill. Congress is going to do that in Tamil Nadu.

Include many other planned and unplanned incidents on the similar lines and expect social media trends generating high volumes.

So, there are by-the-government- and anti- government moves planned for tomorrow, but the good thing for Indian history is that March 23 is the central theme, the common cord of all.

Hope, the rhyming will be lyrically balanced this time.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


In 2013, the latest year for which the figures for crime in Indian Railways are available say of some over 1400 incidents of heinous crime including murders, dacoity, rape and robbery.

Going by the annual tally for some years, we can safely assume the figures to be hovering around on similar scale as nothing earth-shattering has happened in the intervening period. Overall safety and security continues to be a big issue and a worrying aspect for the Indian Railways, the lifeline of public commuting in India.

And we seldom hear of these odd 1400-1500 incidents of heinous crimes, even murders the figure for which for 2013 was 270, leave alone the cases of dacoity and robbery, over 1100 in 2013.

Because they mostly happen with the ‘aam aadmi’, the common man. Most of them cannot afford even the higher class (read AC First Class and AC Second Class) travel by the trains. Taking a calculated ride of comfort has the AC Three Tier as the first preference because it is the cheapest one. Even if they can afford or somehow afford, most of them are not certainly the VVIPs.

Also, the AC class passengers, with most of them still being the common men, though with inflated pockets, form a minor fraction of the overall train passengers in India with sleeper class and second class accounting for over 90% of the volume.

The ‘khaas aadmi’, the VVIP personalities, are inhabitants of the AC First Class and in extreme circumstances, they opt to go with the AC Second Class. But the overall Indian Railways is secondary option for the ‘khaas aadmi’, including even the free-loader VVIPs. Train becomes an option only when there is non-availability of air carriers (due to varied reasons).

And even if VVIPs do travel by trains, we seldom hear voices (or clamoured voices) on heinous crimes in Indian Railways.

One of the natural reasons behind it is – most of the victims are from different classes of ‘aam aadmi’, even if inhabiting the AC classes.

And who cares for them in a country deeply indebted with the ethos of a VVIP culture where elected politician are seen as above the rest, the privileged class having the first and foremost access to the country’s system.

So, it takes a VVIP crime incident on moving tracks to make us raise voices on the deteriorating scenario, a scenario that was in pathetic shape perennially.

A state finance minister (Madhya Pradesh) was travelling from Jabalpur to Delhi with his wife in AC First Class. They were robbed today at gunpoint near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.

Now, in 2013, 1096 robberies were recorded on moving trains but we did not hear about even single of them, at least not regionally or nationally. We did not hear what happened to the probes or if any action was taken against the policemen for showing laxity in duty.

Because the victims were the ‘aam aadmi’.

Today, it was a ‘khaas aadmi’ and therefore, three policemen were immediately suspended and a high-level enquiry was ordered.

And the victims were there, all around, to tell their story, with plenty of ears to hear them.

In a country, where a young and honest IAS officer dies a suspicious death and a state government adamantly declines the demands of the grieving family members of an independent, impartial probe the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Because the honest folk was not from some VVIP family and so no connections. Besides, he had taken on many corrupt VVIPs.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Tunisian hostage crisis, leaving 21 dead in the capital Tunis, was contained within four hours but its aftershocks significantly add to the worries post the emergence of the Islamic State as the most lethal terror outfit and its potential as the most rogue terror export hub in the days to come, if left unchecked.

Because, Tunisia is the only country where Arab Spring remained Arab Spring, surviving an orderly transition from a 24-year old autocracy of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to a parliamentary democracy.

The Arab Spring erupted from Tunisia in December 2010 with self-immolation of a street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, after sustained harassment from the authorities.

The movement was to soon engulf the whole Arab World, the major dots of tyrannies and autocracies on the world map.

And it did happen.

Sustained protest movements brought down dictators in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen.

But apart from Tunisia, the other three countries got entangled in bloody faction wars and terror attacks. They are staring at dark future. Syria’s civil uprising is still one of the bloodiest war being waged. Bahrain’s was brutally crushed. Other countries including Algeria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have effectively defanged the protests.

Except Tunisia, it is indeed an Arab Winter in all other Arab Spring countries.

And a terror strike in that Tunisia – on a building of international importance – adjacent to its national parliament – killing 21 including 17 foreign nationals (all Europeans) – within six months of elections completing the process of transition to a parliamentary republic – is indicative of how sinister the terror footprints are going to be.

The network extends – from Asia to Africa to Europe – from crisis hotbeds and terror infested countries to the advanced ones like the European nations.

With the Tunisia strike, the worrying aspect gets even more disturbing. It’s like identifying targets and waging the war on all continents.

Terrorism in the name of Islam, in the era of the Islamic State, is still not able to touch the American soil post 9/11. That makes Europe the natural choice. After all, any attack on a European country, like the January attack at Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, or terror strikes in other European countries, is an event of global outreach that gives the terror outfits a wider publicity, an increased outreach to recruit more, to claim the world.

Of all European countries, France has been the most involved one in strikes on Muslim terror outfits in the recent history.

Tunisia, being a French colony prior to its independence, coupled with its successful democratic transition through a civil uprising, is an antithesis to what all the terror outfits like the Islamic State espouse.

It’s not that all is well in Tunisia. There are real threats – of increasing radicalization of youth – and of persisting presence of an Al Qaeda offshoot (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb).

But there lies the point.

The Arab Spring has succeeded in Tunisia, an Islamic country, in spite of these threats, fighting them while building up a free society, a democratic country.

Something that could not happen in other Arab countries, a fertile ground for the terror groups operating in the name of Islam.

Tunisia is an example for democratic spirits across the Arab nations – a consistent reminder for the dictators – and a slap in the face of the terror warlords.

And the sinister minds would like to make an example of this example.

Today’s terror strike in Tunis may be a well intended message to both Tunisia and to France and to the larger, free democratic world.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –