SO, BOB DYLAN IS NOT THAT REBEL OF 1960S..AND IT IS GOOD

So Bob Dylan is not rebel of 1960s and it is good for everyone – for Dylan, for Nobel, naturally for his fans and for people who think that Nobel should go beyond its ‘sometimes absurd, sometimes puritan, sometimes illogical and sometimes political’ nuances to actually serve creativity, especially in case of the Literature Nobel.

He respects the Nobel Committee’s decision. He, in fact, felt speechless when the award was announced for him.

Following is the press-release on the website of the Nobel Prize regarding this conversation:

Bob Dylan: “If I accept the prize? Of course.”

On 13 October, 2016, the Swedish Academy announced that this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

This week Bob Dylan called the Swedish Academy. “The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless”, he told Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy. “I appreciate the honor so much.”

It has not yet been decided if Bob Dylan will attend any events during the Nobel Week in Stockholm in December. The Nobel Foundation will share information as soon as it is available.

Since the Newsroom Home section of the Nobel Prize website doesn’t mention any date for the release or for the conversation, except ‘this week’, we can assume it as a recent development.

Probably Dylan was left so speechless that it took three weeks for him to react on the news that makes for global headlines as soon as it broke. And it was that Dylan was in some isolation. He was getting regular inflow of greetings and admiration for his Literature Nobel. His website even acknowledged it (though the Nobel mention was later removed). Even the Nobel Committee had felt so frustrated on a restrained (or a controlled or a speechless Bob Dylan) that it had to formally announce through its website that it was abandoning its efforts to contact Bob Dylan for his Literature Nobel.

But all’s well that ends well. Now that Dylan has acknowledged his Nobel (in his trademark style) – the controversy should end there. Yes, the hangover of certain things remain in our lives – throughout. And with Bob Dylan, it may be his 1960-70s Counterculture years when he was one of the main rebel voices who shaped the Counterculture movement in some way.

So, again in his trademark style (of being rarely available), according to a ‘The Telegraph’ world exclusive, Dylan again puts it as ‘if he can’ – “Yes, he is planning to turn up to the awards ceremony in Stockholm. “Absolutely,” he says. “If it’s at all possible.””

©SantoshChaubey

YADAVS’ FIRST FAMILY: A CARTOONIST’S DELIGHT :)

Well, that is exactly what has happened with recent events – developments, statements and even silence – everything gives an interesting sense of déjà vu. Everything has happened as it was thought to be – but with loads of moments that are pure delight for any cartoonist with an eye for political humour and satire.

We can say,

PAL MEIN TOLA PAL MEIN MASHA, KITNE RANG BADALTE HAIN.

SOMETIMES THEY PLAY FAST. SOMETIMES THEY PLAY LOOSE. HOW MANY COLOURS THEY CHANGE?

Or

(SOMETIMES IT PLAYS FAST. SOMETIMES IT PLAYS LOOSE. HOW MANY COLOURS IT CHANGES?)

Any which way you want to say 🙂

Or we can say,

A FAMILY THAT SPARS TOGETHER, SPEARS TOGETHER.

Or we can say,

A FAMILY THAT PRAYS TOGETHER, AFFRAYS TOGETHER.

Or we can say,

A FAMILY THAT PLAYS TOGETHER, DISPLAYS IT TOGETHER.

Or we can the staple one 🙂 🙂

A FAMILY..THAT DISAGREES TO DISAGREE.

muakhishiv-1

(CARTOON BY RAGINI CHAUBEY)

YADAVS’ FIRST FAMILY: A CARTOONIST’S DELIGHT 🙂

©SantoshChaubey

MERCEDES POLITICIANS FOR BICYCLE PEOPLE

What is India’s poverty line?

That is a big political issue in a country which houses maximum number of the world’s poor. There have been experts and their panels – many of them – but still we haven’t been able to define who is poor.

There are truckloads of data in statistical wisdoms and in countless luminary minds – yet we regularly form panels of eminent economist(s) to correct the anomaly in the previous poverty line – only to dismiss it – because the result of burning the midnight oil here is always so absurd that you would dismiss it as soon as you are enlightened with it.

In April 2014, the government unveiled its newest poverty line – Rs. 32 a day in rural areas (Rs. 960 a month) and Rs. 47 a day in urban areas (Rs. 1410 a month). That was, in fact, an improvement over the standards set by the Tendulkar committee – Rs. 27 a day in rural areas (Rs. 810 a month) and Rs. 33 a day in urban areas (Rs. 990 a month).

According to this new poverty line, 29.5% Indians are cursed to live below the poverty line. Now that is around 23 crore Indians.

And that is when this newest Indian poverty line is nowhere to the World Bank benchmark for the poverty threshold – $1.90 – a threshold that the World Bank recalibrated in October 2015 – from the earlier benchmark of $1.25. Now, based on current Dollar to Rupee exchange rate, that comes to around Rs.127 – almost four times of the newest rural poverty line in India and almost three times of the urban one.

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey

BURNING SCHOOLS IN KASHMIR: WHERE IT IS AIMED AT?

The ongoing Kashmir crisis is in its 109th day. And by the attitude of the Indian government, it has become clear that it is not going to budge when it comes to the demands of the so-called freedom of Kashmir, something that is nothing but Pakistan sponsored militancy and propaganda to snatch Kashmir from India.

Now, the whole world, including Pakistan knows that it is not going to happen. But Pakistan would always want to inflict as much damage as it can, and it has found handy tools in Kashmir’s separatists, pro-Pakistani civilians and terrorists to exercise its sinister designs.

All these tools, in coordination, or in isolation, try to perpetrate acts that could compromise the Indian sentiments in Kashmir.

An important part of that militancy and propaganda is to drag Kashmir’s every upcoming generation away from everything that can propel it to think rationally about where its future lies. And a rational mind can never go with Pakistan, a fractured nation with an increasing notoriety of being a rogue nation that employs terrorism as its state policy.

So, the whole emphasis would be on killing this rationality.

The phase of insurgency that began in Kashmir in late 1980s has consumed a generation of Kashmiris. Post 2000, there have been attempts and development has seen some growth, including tourism, the mainstay of Kashmir’s economy. Excluding few instances, there has been an atmosphere of relative peace, even if gun sponsored.

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey

WHY OCTOBER 25, 1971 IS IMPORTANT FOR INDIA

25 October is an important day for China. It was on this day that China was voted in by the United Nations General Assembly and Taiwan was thrown out.

It was on this day in 1971 that China, as we know the country today, started on the path to become a global power in a true senses – with its place as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – and a roadmap laid before it where it would have access to geopolitics and global markets.

October 25, 1971 is also important for India. It was on this day that India was officially pushed to the league of nations that didn’t matter, nation who had no say in the global matters, the pariah nations who were at best tools to populate international organisations like the UN. The process of India’s official downfall had started much before but India’s hara-kiri was cemented on this day.

There are no second thoughts about it that despites being India’s largest trading partner, China is India’s main adversary, has fought a full-scale war with India and is engaged in a bitter border tussle. China, in fact, has illegally occupied a large swath of the Indian territory in Jammu & Kashmir and claims Arunachal Pradesh, an Indian state, as its own.

And it leaves no opportunity to express its displeasure, be it the visits of dignitaries, like it did with US Ambassador Richard Verma’s Arunachal visit yesterday or its practice of not issuing or issuing stapled visas to people having Arunachal Pradesh association.

China, in fact, uses every opportunity to humiliate India. It leverages the highly skewed trade balance in its favour to challenge India to take tough stand on Chinese overtures like opposing India’s move to ban JeM terrorist Masood Azhar in the United Nations or blocking India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) or provoking or equipping Pakistan against India.

And China has been doing it for long, ever since it betrayed India’s and Jawaharlal Nehru’s trust with the 1962 war. Yes, it was because of the Nehruvian policies that India was forced to trust a deceptive country like China and it was because of Nehruvian policies that China could get what should have been rightly India’s – be it the UNSC membership or nuclear capability.

And it owes its genesis to the Nehruvian foreign policies, especially in regard to China, that pushed India decades back and China decades ahead.

Much before China, India was offered the UNSC seat. For the world powers of that movement, after India and China began their sovereign journeys, India as a democratic nation and China as a communist dictatorship, China was like a pariah. India, in fact, was offered the permanent UNSC membership, in 1950, in 1955 and other times but Pundit Nehru blundered here in counting China’s goodwill in making his mind. Whenever it came to a decision in this regard, Nehru always thought what China would do (and not what such a big change could do to India’s future).

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey

TATA SONS IS THE STORY BUT MYSTERY?

Things (and perspectives) vary depending on which side of the fulcrum you are. So, the ongoing Samajwadi Party (SP) family feud is the politically most surcharged event of the times (and not just the day).

But the day threw one more surprising development today – abrupt sacking of Cyrus Mistry – the 48 year old Tata Group chairman who had succeeded the formidable and most admirable face of the Indian corporate world, Ratan Tata, in December 2012.

But like the SP family (and thus party) feud smacks of intriguing stories, mysteries, conspiracies, sabotage and even flat rebellion, there is nothing that you would tend to read in the Tata Group development.

Because branding and perceptions are entirely different here.

The SP feud is about politics, the craft, the entity, the social practice, whatever we want to call it, and politics has almost no credibility when it comes to branding, when it comes to conform to the established norms of humanity and human rights, the trust value, the most basic thing with branding. Life of a political party or a politician is full of controversies – a detriment to the branding perceptions (and thus exercises).

But the Indian corporate world is better placed here, with bag of mixed possibilities, depending on who commands what. And Ratan Tata is the one person whom almost everyone admires. He is epitome of integrity, humanity and business excellence. And the same can be said about the Tata Group even if the conduct of some of its companies do attract controversies (but basically business-oriented in nature).

So, even if it is going to be the most surprising and (shocking) high-level sacking in the Indian corporate world so far and Cyrus Mistry is going to challenge it legally, it is going to be seen as just yet another business-oriented controversy, because it has Ratan Tata’s endorsement who has replaced Cyrus as Tata Group’s interim chairman till the group finds the next one.

And that makes the reason, that Cyrus was micro-managing everything and was not allowing CEOs of different Tata companies to work independently that in turn was affecting the group’s work-culture and that in turn was affecting performance (except TCS and JLR, other Tata Group companies are not performing well), the most plausible (and hence the most acceptable) logic behind this sudden move, something that may not seem that sudden if you keenly watch the Indian industry.

So, no mysteries here.

©SantoshChaubey

WHICH WAY MULAYAM WOULD GO TODAY?

So, yesterday was a day of intense drama, revenge sackings, letter wars and war of words in the ongoing family feud in Uttar Pradesh’s first family to wrest the power. And today could be even more fiery, even more spiteful, even more dramatic, even more shocking, depending on which way Mulayam decides to go, and in turn, depending on that, which way Akhilesh would go.

Let’s do some wise (wild guessing).

This morning when Mulayam Singh Yadav will speak on the controversy after meeting his party’s MLAs and MLCs, it will have the hangover of the meeting of the day and of the developments yesterday we can say.

Will Mulayam speak his mind irrespective of which way the meetings goes, with Akhilesh’s power display or Shivpal’s show of loyalty?

Or his final word will become final after he assesses the mood in his party – that who carries more weight now – Akhilesh or Shivpal?

Whatever happens, one things is sure that it will write the next chapter in the script of the Samajwadi Party family feud.

Harm has to happen. Votes will split. Irrespective of which way Mulayam decides to go. What he can hope at best – that the repercussions will not last long.

And one thing – Mulayam is not going to replace Akhilesh with himself as UP’s next CM.

©SantoshChaubey

A WORSE SEPTEMBER 13 REDUX: AKHILESH SACKS UNCLE SHIVPAL THIS TIME

Going a step further this time, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has sacked his uncle and the most senior minister of his cabinet, Shivpal Yadav, who is also the state president of his Samajwadi Party, the ruling political outfit of UP led by Mulayam Singh Yadav, a position that previously Akhilesh held.

This time, it is a worse sort of split.

Last time, on September 13, Akhilesh had, first sacked the UP chief secretary Deepak Singhal, considered close to Shivpal, and then had stripped Shivpal of his entire ministerial portfolio (but had not sacked him).

Protesting this, in a late night drama, on September 15, Shivpal had resigned from both positions, as the SP’s UP state president and as UP’s cabinet minister. Amar Singh was being relentlessly targeted by Akhilesh supporters for creating this havoc in the party.

Next day, on September 16, Mulayam had rejected Shivpal’s resignation. Led by Mulayam, the party patriarch, Akhilesh’s father and Shivpal’s brother, a deal sort of arrangement was brokered and it was announced from Akhilesh’s office that Shivpal and the controversial UP minister Gayatri Prajapati, close to Shivpal, would be reinstated and Shivpal would be given back his portfolios.

Now that today, on October 23, 45 days after September 13, Akhilesh has gone a step further and has sacked Shivpal Yadav from his ministerial berth, as well three others including Jaya Prada (Amar Singh confidante), vocally targeting Amar Singh this time, we can gauge the obvious fact that it was just a temporary arrangement last month which had came at the cost of humiliating Akhilesh’s self-respect. So there doesn’t arise any question of Shivpal’s resignation now. He has been shown the door in clear, unequivocal terms this time.

There was never a ‘peace’ deal. After Shivpal was reinstated, he did everything that he could to downsize Akhilesh’s stature – sacking/expelling people from the SP who were seen close to Akhilesh, replacing names who were seen as Akhilesh Yadav’s people from the party’s list of candidates for the upcoming UP assembly polls and successfully reengineering Quami Ekta Dal’s (QED) merger into the SP fold which was foiled by Akhilesh in June as the QED is seen a front for the dreaded gangster Mukhtar Ansari.

So, what Akhilesh has done today was waiting to happen.

Akhilesh, on his part, has said that he will not leave the SP and will purge everyone who is seen close to Amar Singh.

But a vertical split is the most likely outcome in these circumstances.

If Mulayam continues with the stand he had taken last month, Akhilesh will be forced to find his own separate way.

Can Mulayam replace Akhilesh as UP CM, as Shivpal supporters have been demanding, when elections are just three-four months away?

Is Mulayam still confident enough that it is he in whose name people vote for the SP?

If Mulayam favours his son this time, Shivpal Yadav is expected to cause a vertical split in the party.

And whatever has to happen will happen soon as the UP assembly polls are just around the corner where the SP, with a huge anti-incumbency, is pitted against two formidable foes, the BJP whom the first round of opinion polls have shown winning the state, and the BSP, a favourite of analysts this time to win the polls – with its Dalit-Muslim social engineering.

©SantoshChaubey