INDIAN DEMOCRACY: A DILEMMA..

REFLECTIONS

“Indian democracy..
..is a dilemma..
..between being..
..politically correct v politically relevant..
..between being..
..politically apolitical v apolitically political!”

Indian Democracy-A Dilemma

INDIAN DEMOCRACY: A DILEMMA..

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

VIPISM – FUNERAL PYRES!

COLORES INFINITUM

Sample this.

Funeral pyre is said to be the only decided event that comes inevitably to every life – irrespective of your caste, religion, community, sect or ethnicity.

And it is very rightly said that we all are equal in death – even if we spend our whole life with lofty ideals, with gaudy ostentations, with bawdy deliberations, with audacious aggrandizements, with synthetic ethos, with filthy exaggerations, and with everything else extravagant.

What happens to the body of a billionaire also happens with a beggar – either buried or burnt on a funeral pyre.

Yet, VIPism runs deep even here – and is spreading its tentacles fast.

If you chance visit any cemetery or cremation place on riverbanks, in most towns, cities and metro cities, you can see a separate section, with or without a raised platform – the so-called VIP section – that is available either to VVIPs or VIPs – or for a higher charge.

And mind you – people do lobbying – like getting some influential person to call – even while in the heaviness of death – if they don’t get the VIP option available. Likewise, the people manning the crematorium have their behaviours modified.

With increasing levels of income, sophistication (and obviously consumerism, that is otherwise a good trend for a growing economy), the VIPism to show your clout or to simply to quench your inner urge to feel above from others, is becoming a regular feature even at our final resting places.

When – the eternal and the only truth is – we all are same in death – even if we lived different lives.

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

VIPISM – FROM TEMPLES TO FUNERAL PYRES!

REFLECTIONS

“We are so sucked in this VIP culture –
– in life –
– and in death –
– from the VIP queues in temples –
– to the VIP arrangement for funeral pyres!!”

VIPISM

VIPISM – FROM TEMPLES TO FUNERAL PYRES!

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

VIPISM – TEMPLES

COLORES INFINITUM

Temples are probably the best examples to see how deeply ingrained is the VIP culture in our society in India, something that a rational and logical mind instantly disapproves.

But then what can you do?

Nothing!

But to keep you straight, up according to the norms – as humanity desires and as God decrees – and not as some of us, so called rulers or the ruling elite, lay out.

My first experience to this VIPism was some 10 years ago – back in Chennai – when I was in queue to the famous Ashtalakshmi Temple near some beach – when I saw this VIP line – for people who would pay some amount to bypass the longish queues of sinners like us to get nearer to God.

Now only they can tell or the priests can vouch for if getting in a VIP queue at all helps the purpose – in feeling God – in going near to Him.

What can you achieve by saving some moments by rushing to have your presence in that Sanctum Sanctorum when you cannot toil to see even God?

And this is when our scriptures say that it takes ages of Tapasya (austerity, penance, strict meditation, whatever you want to say) to meet the Almighty in any possible form.

Our scriptures say, our tradition says, the Hindu codes of worship say – that even Goddess Parvati had to do Tapasya for ages to marry Shiva.

But this VIPism has only got worse. From some temples, it is now becoming a regular feature of large temples across the country.

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

WHY TWO STATE GOVERNMENTS HAVE BEEN DISMISSED? WHY MORE IS UPCOMING?

Simply, because it has been the political culture in India.

Congress was always notorious for dismissing/sacking elected governments in states and the party has exercised/exploited this option innumerable times during its long reign in India – some 55 years of India’s 68 independent years.

And like the Congress party is complaining now – is crying now – all those parties did so when their governments were thrown out of the power.

So, in a way, it should be kind of sweet revenge – that Congress is facing something that it so conveniently did when it had the power.

A very famous poem that is taught in school curriculum says that those who have seen defeats in life can only know the taste of victory.

And it applies to the both parties here – the state run by BJP led NDA government in Centre and the states run by Congress governments – first Arunachal Pradesh, now Uttarakhand – and there are murmurs of same fate about Himachal Pradesh and Manipur.

Going by the poem, and going by the proverbial wisdom, Congress is now facing the brunt of defeats, first electorally, and now in the name of the Constitution, and we should rightly expect that it will do all to taste the sweet ‘taste’ of victory once it regains the power in Delhi – either in 2019 or some other time.

But first about the erstwhile losers – or the parties that have had very little say in running the affairs of India – and except BJP, the only party that has had so far only any full-term government (in fact, only single full-term government) – will certainly be feeling more ‘justified’ in exercising this Constitutional provision while running the country with their government installed in Delhi.

Because, when it was its term, even Congress was always Constitutionally right – irrespective of what the common sense’ political wisdom said – irrespective of what the experts said – and irrespective of what the Constitutional custodians, the courts, said.

To continue…

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

SOME ‘THOUGHTFUL EJACULATIONS’ ON GEC PROGRAMMING :)

Obviously in the Indian context!

Is there any limit to the shit being run on GEC TV channels?

Has story-writing become dead as an art for storywriters/screenwriters/dialogue-writers for television writers?

Either the screenwriters of these ‘wisdom-operas’ are so brave that they can write the same stuff again and again – without getting bored and bottlenecked – for same television serial or for some other.

Or they are so naive they cannot think beyond the routine sob-and-conspiracy stuff that makes families look like coming from Mars.

Or they are such chauvinists (considering they are males) that they do not want to think beyond sobbing or robbing women – a kind of gender discrimination and thus exploitation – portraying women in a closet.

The counterpoint – what about female screenwriters, producers, directors and actors?

Or – do they have the wisdom of common sense?

Or – why they so adamantly stuff the viewers with such boredom operas so much so that they like to think that they are contributing to the lucid flow of wisdom operas on the entertainment television channels in India.

Or – they are simply dumb to come with innovations and experiments in their writings?

Why it is such an obsession (or fad) with the production houses or the television channels to paint the ordinary Indian family in such a derogatory skew – multiple affairs – extramarital affairs – sibling rivalry to extent that a brother kills a brothers, a sister conspires against a sister, relatives try to kill each other?

Whatever that is left is dumped with fillers like grand parties, film songs and lavish events.

An increasing trend these days is the increasing population of superstition-based, supernatural or fantasy television shows that look horribly shabby in the absence of proper story and character development and totally unacceptable regard for aesthetics.

They work so questionably that they convert even the good storylines into worn-out, bizarre spectacles!

They simply tell why television is still called the ‘Idiot Box’ – in spite of being the most powerful communication tool in the mainstream media.

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

THE SYRIAN HOLOCAUST

After the Holocaust, Syria is the biggest horror humanity has seen and to make the matters even worse, it is still ongoing with no end in sight.

On one side, an emboldened dictator-cum-mercenary-cum-warlord-cum-butcher, after the Russian support (courtesy another dictator), is slaying his own countrymen in flocks, using even the chemical weapons.

Then there are terror outfits like the Islamic State or the Al Qaeda affiliates or even the Syrian rebel factions.

They have sandwiched the common Syrians – killing them, forcing them to live under siege or forcing them to flee the country – to a place where they can see the dawn of next day.

And this ongoing horror has given us another event that once again raises questions on us being the members of a globalized world run by a globalized code with a unifying organization like the United Nations. Almost the whole globe is member of the UN.

Events like Syria say the UN is failing; the world community is failing – because the Syrian crisis/civil war is now in its sixth year while the major police nations of the world, who invade an Afghanistan, an Iraq or a Libya, have let that happen.

As a result, in this globalized world, Syria has become the only war-torn/civil-war-hit country to see a decline in its population – with hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced. Syrians are the biggest migrants group in Europe – those who have got asylum – those who are still waiting in ‘nowhere’ zone – and those who lost their lives while trying to reach those elusive borders of the European continent.

According to the reports, since the crisis began in 2011, Syria has seen some 11.5% decline in its population. From this assessment, if the pre-conflict Syrian population, in 2010, was 21.5 million, it should be around 19 million now. According to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, the five years of Syrian civil war has killed some 470,000 Syrians while some 480,000 are forced to live under siege.

But when we count in the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe or the Syrian refugee crisis in totality, the inland Syrian population looks even thinner. Some 5 to 6 million Syrians are in different refugee camps – in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan and in many European countries.

This – the population decline – has not been seen even in the war-torn nations and the crisis hotbeds like Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died. Hundreds of thousands are in danger zones, facing imminent threat to their lives. Hundreds of thousands are starving to death. Millions in refugee camps are stuck with their lives. Majority of schools and hospitals in Syria are gone, ruined or annihilated in the ongoing war.

And we, in the larger world community, are to blame for it. We are letting the Syrian Holocaust happen.

©SantoshChaubey

WASHING, KISSING FEET OF MUSLIM MIGRANTS: SYMBOLISM OF POPE FRANCIS’S GESTURE

It is one of those rare images that make profound policy statements – yet, will it change anything?

What Pope Francis did today could not have been better than it – and could not have come at a more opportune time than this.

The Pope chose the Holy Thursday rite to convey the message that we all so desperately need – that we all are same – in joy – in pain – that we all are brothers – be it the European residents – or the migrants from Asia and Africa that have created the biggest human crisis in the Europe since the World War II.

When he washed and kissed the feet of refugees, including Muslims, Christians and even Hindus, it was a strong counter-statement to those who are out there to exploit the xenophobic mindsets to score political mileage.

Remember the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany – who exploited the nationalist sentiments of Germans after the loss and humiliation of Germany in the World War I to create his brand of ultra-nationalism that ultimately gave the world the World War II and the Holocaust and millions dead across the continents!

Yes, it is not going to be the World War III – but again, human lives are at stake – and millions of them.

Thousands have been killed in the ongoing war theatres in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon and many other Asian, African and Central American countries.

And the war-torn nation states have left millions of displaced – desperate to find some shelter – desperate to find the next day of their lives.

And the exodus is coming mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

We talk of universal nature and values of the human rights.

We have a world body for it – the United Nations.

We have a global agency dedicated to look after the affairs of the refugees – the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

We have an International Criminal Court – we have an international police organization (Interpol) – and we have many strategic and trade bodies panning across the globe.

That directly tells we all are global citizens with similar rights to live and grow.

Now, when there are domestic war theaters forcing people out of their homes, of their cities, of their countries – isn’t it the responsibility of everyone – including those in Europe – to give them shelter – to give them a place to live – to preserve their right to live and grow?

Yes, these are utopian propositions – but have always been true – and will always be – even if the ground realities are starkly different.

When Pope Francis delivered his message of ‘brotherhood’ by embracing the Muslim refugees, he just did that.

It was a humane attempt to convey the message of seeing the God in everyone, be it a Christian or a Muslim, in the times of war rhetoric and increasing anti-migrant voices in the European establishments after the spate of terror attacks in European nations, especially France and Belgium.

Let’s hope sense prevails – because the millions – displaced from their houses – and trying to pick the thread of their existences in Europe – need it desperately.

RV14378_Articolo

Image Courtesy: Vatican Radio’s Facebook Page (see the video here – https://www.facebook.com/VaticanRadioEnglish)

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

SURROGATE BANALITIES

REFLECTIONS

“Keeping yourself hooked to the surrogate banalities –
– that is the worst you do to your soul!”

Surrogate Banalities

SURROGATE BANALITIES

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

THE COLLECTIBLES THEN – CASSETTE COVERS (IX)

PHOTOGRAPHY

The Collectibles 39

The Collectibles 10

THE COLLECTIBLES THEN – CASSETTE COVERS

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