O CHILDHOOD

O childhood
I was again lost in your innocence
When you didn’t ask me why
Your anger looks so complete
For both of us
That it doesn’t need words
Like that expression on your face
As natural, as reactive,
As life is supposed to be
You speak when you feel
You react when you have to
A freedom so natural to us
Yet we have to crave for it
In a life, driven by compulsions
We have almost forgotten
What it is about being a human
Our broken souls do cry inside
But in a painted world
Where we selectively cry
As it is invitational to its semiotics
And so to our inhibitions
When I see you o childhood
I realize what I have lost in life
And I go through this grind so often

©SantoshChaubey

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….HOW HISTORY IS MANIPULATED

The Holocaust is the biggest example of our recent times that shows how history is manipulated.

The world, more or less, is in agreement that the Holocaust was one of the most horrific genocides of humankind and ran though an unparalleled regime of brutality in our modern times which killed millions of humans.

They were simply wiped out from the face of the earth – as they should have never existed.

The world believes in this Holocaust and observes remembrances to revisit the horror, so as to remain on the path of sanity.

Yes, on the path of sanity – but for them only who want to remain humans. It is good for our habitat that majority of us are ‘humans’ in that sense.

But not all of us are.

Naturally, they are from the insane breed that has reddened the earth in every generation.

And has derived its sanctity by manipulating history – in order to get that high pedestal in society first – that would enable them to perpetrate terror in the garb of legitimacy and would further push them to rewrite history – as Adolf Hitler did – as his sycophants did – and as Benito Mussolini did.

We all know that a wide cross-section of Germany was complicit in Hitler’s crimes against humanity. They all benefitted from bodies and ashes of Jews and others who their mad warlords didn’t like. But when it came to trials and punishment, almost of them were let off – in order to begin the process of reconstruction. To a lesser extent, but the same was the case with Mussolini’s Italy.

True, prosecuting hundreds of thousands of Germans would be unwieldy (and time and resource consuming) for a geopolitics that was interested in slicing and dicing the world that would give us the Cold War and geopolitical camps in the future. A war gives winners and losers and winners can rewrite everything as they wish.

Those Germans (or Italians) who were let-off, yes many of them had a conscience crisis for what they had done, but many of them still justified or tried to justify their stand, going as far as to deny the whole Holocaust history as mere propaganda of winners, as some Nazis then and neo-Nazis now, among them have been doing.

Holocaust deniers have had a consistent presence for decades and their propaganda has been there all along, and they have significant number of takers, especially in non-Christian societies, or in the generation that doesn’t care to read history.

As Hitler had got the upper hand in Germany, exploiting the humiliation that Germany faced at hands of the winners of the First World War, manipulating history and records, any autocratic power would do, if it gets the throne. Yes, that is the first thing power gets autocrats to do – they scramble to capitalize on their efforts to rewrite history that they had been trying for years – in order to further legitimize their stay and further consolidate their grip on power.

Nazis, Fascists, neo-Nazis, Neo-Fascists and all other like them have revered the likes of Hitler and Mussolini and they would do all to install them on the highest pedestal of societies when they get a chance to do so. History tells us so.

©SantoshChaubey

I AM STILL LIVING IT AS MY SOUL

Let’s go there today, beyond those inhibitions
Life has taken so long and yet there is no word
Wait is a good experience only when it speaks
It sucks when silence forgets how to express
It might have been your soulful decision once
But it has betrayed you for so long that it hurts
You may not express it, but I, too, share its pain
We had walked together when life had a story
We are still walking together, trying to rewrite it
I have my words in place, but it is your time now
Come along the words our souls weaved then
In the worlds where the story had a conscience
I lived my part and I am still living it as my soul
You could not but I never felt any inhibition
It was not that I was strong and you were weak
Probably, words could not fall in place for you
I knew where our worlds were going to take us
I lived your questions all along, like my echoes
But you found yourself trapped by inhibitions
Yes, I was strong enough to see through them
I never asked for your reasons but now I say
Come beyond those inhibitions and reasons
The story that you left there, is still speaking

©SantoshChaubey

TTP REFUTES ITS EX-SPOKESPERSON CLAIMS OF INDIA FUNDING TERROR IN PAKISTAN, TERMS IT PAKISTAN’S PROPAGANDA

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has refuted the Pakistani claims that India and Afghanistan fund the group and its various factions to perpetrate terror against Pakistan. According to an Associate Press report, TTP spokesperson Mohammad Khurasani, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) is using a surrendered ex-TTP spokesperson to further its propaganda and drumbeat its agenda.

The ISI had released a video yesterday showing confession of ex-TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan where he claimed that he surrendered after finding that India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) were funding the TTP and its factions for terror activities in Pakistan.

Ehsan and many other disgruntled TTP commanders had split from the TTP and formed a splinter faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) in September 2014, headed by Maulana Qasim Khorasani. Ehsan has also claimed that the JuA chief got treatment in India after he was injured in a terror attack in Afghanistan.

The TTP has called his confessional video a bunch of lies, something that suit the Pakistani establishment. Let’s see what JuA comes up with.

Ehsan, who became the spokesperson of the breakaway faction in September 2014, had claimed that the JuA would work independently and would have no connections with the TTP headed by Mullah Fazlullah. According to Ehsan, the stated goal of the JuA was to implement Sharia globally and they began their campaign from Pakistan. Since its formation, the JuA has claimed responsibility of many deadly terror attacks in Pakistan including the Easter Sunday bombing in Lahore in 2016 that had killed over 70.

On April 17, the ISI had announced the unconditional surrender of Ehsanullah Ehsan. The Pakistani media has claimed that it is the most high profile surrender by a senior Taliban commander in Pakistan in years.

©SantoshChaubey

BUA WITH BABUA: LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP OF MAYAWATI AND AKHILESH YADAV

AKHILESH YADAV AND MAYAWATI SHARE LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP.

POLITICALLY, THEY HAVE BEEN LIKE “SWORN ENEMIES”, EXTREME POLLS IN THE UTTAR PRADESH POLITICS.

BUT AFTER THE UTTAR PRADESH ASSEMBLY POLLS, THEY ARE BEHAVING MORE LIKE “FRENEMIES”.

MAYAWATI DESCRIBES HER “LOVE AND HATE” FOR AKHILESH BY CALLING HIM BABUA (LITTLE BOY – IN AN AFFECTIONATE WAY/OR SATIRICALLY).

AKHILESH EXPRESSES HIS “LOVE AND HATE” BY CALLING MAYAWATI “BUA” (AUNT – FATHER’S SISTER/OR SATIRICALLY).

MARCH 9, 2017: TWO DAYS BEFORE THE COUNTING OF THE UP ASSEMBLY POLLS – AND ON NEXT OF THE LAST PHASE OF POLLS – IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE EXIT POLLS GIVING CLEAR MAJORITY TO THE BJP – AKHILESH IS FORCED TO FEEL THE PULSE OF SECULAR POLITICS AGAIN – HINTS HE IS OPEN TO AN ALLIANCE WITH MAYAWATI TO KEEP THE BJP OUT OF THE LUCKNOW SECRETARIAT – MAYAWATI’S VAGUE REPLY SAYS SHE IS ALSO OK WITH THE GESTURE.

MARCH 11, 2017: THE BJP WINS A LANDSLIDE IN UTTAR PRADESH, BETTERING EVEN THE EXIT POLL PROJECTIONS – A DESPERATE MAYAWATI BLAMES EVMS – AKHILESH ACCEPTS THE DEFEAT BUT SEES A POINT IN MAYAWATI’S ALLEGATIONS….SO, THE GROUND FOR FUTURE ALLIANCE FURTHER TAKES SHAPE.

APRIL 14, 2017: MAYAWATI, DURING HER RALLY IN LUCKNOW ON DR. AMBEDKAR’S BIRTH ANNIVERSARY, ANNOUNCED HER VOCAL WILLINGNESS TO BE PART OF A LARGER ANTI-BJP ALLIANCE…..

APRIL 15, 2017: AKHILESH RESPONDS TO MAYAWATI’S CALLS, SAYS READY FOR HIS ROLE IN ANY “ALLIANCE AGAINST PROPAGANDA”.

APRIL 20, 2017: MAYAWATI FURTHER FIRMS UP HER “ALLIANCE” PLANS, MAKES CHANGES TO THE BSP PARTY STRUCTURE AND DECIDES TO CONTEST THE LOCAL POLLS ON HER PARTY’S SYMBOL, UNLIKE HER PAST STRATEGY.

WITH THIS, MAYAWATI HAS MATCHED AKHILESH IN MAKING OPEN CALLS FOR AN ALLIANCE – TWO CALLS EACH – BUA AND BABUA ARE REACHING THERE.

LET’S SEE WHO COMES UP, WITH WHAT, IN THE NEXT STEP OF COALITION-MAKING PROCESS.

BUA WITH BABUA
LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP OF
MAYAWATI AND AKHILESH YADAV

©RaginiChaubey/SantoshChaubey

CHINA DOESN’T WANT A CHILD NAMED MUHAMMAD OR MEDINA OR ISLAM OR FATIMA

According to a report in the New York Times, the Chinese authorities have added another layer of restriction on the Muslims of the Xinjiang region, its westernmost province that borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan and India and is home to some 11 million Uighur Muslims and other small groups of ethnic Muslims among Tajik, Kazakh and Mongolian communities.

The New York Times report claims to have a copy of the “List of Banned Ethnic Minority Names” that has asked the Muslim parents to desist from choosing names like Muhammad, Medina, Mecca, Islam, Quran, Imam, Hajj, Jihad, Arafat and Mujahid. The directive has banned over two dozen such names which may be used to fan religious and divisive agenda. The list further expands the one notified in 2015 which banned names like Saddam, Hussein, Laden, Fatima, Amanet, Muslime among others.

The New York Times report, quoting Xinjiang officials, says the directive is “part of an effort to “curb religious fervour” in Xinjiang.”

A report in the Financial Times gives more details into this. It says that the Muslim families not complying with this directive will not get ‘hukou’, the registration of their households that gives them access to state benefits of childcare, health, education and employment. According to the report, the municipal authorities in Xinjiang have issued a notice which prohibits “overly religious or splittist names” for newborns. The directive doesn’t stop at naming the newborns only. It further says that “if your family has circumstances like this, you should change your child’s name.”

Organizations like the Human Rights Watch and Uighur representatives living in exile have condemned this order. The Human Rights Watch has termed it the “latest absurd restriction imposed on people of Xinjiang” while the World Uyghur Congress has termed “China’s policies increasingly hostile”.

Xinjiang, China’s North-western province, that is also known as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, borders eight countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. It came on the radar of the Chinese authorities, especially after the widespread riots in its capital city Urumqi in July 2009 between the Uighur Muslims and Han Chinese that saw around 200 dead and some 2000 injured. Ethnic Han Chinese are around 40 percent of Xinxiang’s population. China now considers Islamic terrorism emanating from Xinjiang destructive enough to convert into a full blown separatist movement and does all to curb its spread, especially after reports that the Islamic State (ISIS) is eyeing the region to recruit fighters and expand its base.

According to Amnesty International, mass arrests, arbitrary detentions, disappearances, shooting and torture followed the Urumqi riots. China maintains a strong vigil in the region with large rallies of security forces to intimidate the minds who dare to think otherwise. It has banned its civil servants in the region from taking part in religious activities, even if it means fasting during Ramadan, a ban that was extended to students as well. Muslim attire like veils and symbols like keeping beard are already banned.

©SantoshChaubey

NAXAL VIOLENCE: BIGGEST KILLER OF OUR SECURITY FORCES

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit extended to reflect further developments.

Another ghastly Naxal attack on our security forces has left 26 Central Reserve Police Force personnel (CRPF) killed. This is a developing news story and the toll may go up as 11 soldiers are critically ill and seven are missing. Details about the group of Naxals that killed are still sketchy. It is the worst Naxal attack on the CRPF since June 29, 2010, when a Maoist ambush had killed 26 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district.

According to the eyewitness accounts of the injured soldiers, a group of around 300 Naxals, organized in different teams, ambushed a road opening party of the CRPF in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, that comes in the South Bastar region, among the worst Naxal affected areas. According to the injured soldiers, the group of 90 CRPF soldiers did respond to the indiscriminate firing by the terrorists, claiming to kill many of them but details are yet to come.

Left-wing extremism (LWE) or Maoist terrorism or Naxal violence, in fact, has been the biggest killer of our security forces if we go by the data of the past decade.

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a data driven website on terrorism in South Asia, since 2004, 3912 security forces personnel have martyred in India in different theatres of conflict, in Jammu & Kashmir, in our North-Eastern part of the country and in the Naxal corridors of India.

The portal has maintained records of the Naxal violence since 2005 and according to the data available here, 1885 security forces personnel have lost their lives in Naxal attacks. The data on the site is updated till April 16 this year. So, today’s death toll makes it 1911 lives lost in the Left-wing extremism in India.

That casualty count is much higher than even the most debated theatre of conflict in India – Jammu & Kashmir. In the same period, since 2004, according to the SATP, 1369 security forces personnel lost their lives in Jammu & Kashmir, a significantly higher numbers, but much lower when we see it in comparison with the 1911 lives lost in the Maoist violence in the same period.

The North-East of India comprising seven sister states, i.e., Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura and Sikkim, is the third major theatre of conflict where the fatality rate of our forces is quite high. The SATP data since 2004 shows that till now, 609 soldiers have lost their lives in the North-East terrorist violence.

MAOISTS DEADLIEST IN INDIA

A 2016 report by the US Department of State found the outlawed CPI(Maoist) the deadliest terror outfit of India, joining the deadliest terror outfits of the world in terms of violence they perpetrate. Its violence was ranked fourth after the Taliban, the Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram. According to the report, the Maoist violence had killed 176 people in 2015 in 343 terror incidents.

©SantoshChaubey

TAMILAMMA TO PANNEERAMMA!

SASIKALA FEELS THE ‘PAIN’ JANAKI RAMCHANDRAN HAD FELT SOME 30 YEARS AGO.

THE DRAMA BEGAN IN DECEMBER 1997 AND ENDED IN FEBRUARY 1989 WITH JAYALALITHAA ESTABLISHING HER WRIT.

THEN THE RIVAL FACTIONS WERE INSIDER VS OUTSIDER.

THIS TIME, IT IS OUTSIDER VS OUTSIDER.

LIKE THE LAST TIME, IT IS A DECEMBER AGAIN FOR THE AIADMK. MGR HAD DIED ON DECEMBER 24, 1987. JAYALALITHAA DIED ON DECEMBER 5, 2016. THEY BOTH WORKED LIKE AUTOCRATS IN THE AIADMK. SO A SUCCESSION CHAOS IS NATURAL.

BUT UNLIKE THE LAST TIME, IT IS NOT GOING TO TAKE THAT LONG.

SASIKALA HAS BEEN BOOTED OUT. DINAKARAN HAS BEEN THROWN OUT. THE MANNARGUDI CLAN, IT SEEMS, IS DONE AND DUSTED.

BACK THEN, IN LATE 80S, AN OUTSIDER WON THE WAR. THERE WAS NO INSIDER THIS TIME.

BUT SASIKALA CLAIMED TO BE JAYALALITHAA’S EXTENDED FAMILY. LIVED WITH HER IN HER HOUSE FOR DECADES. HER FAMILY CONTINUES TO OCCUPY THE POES GARDEN RESIDENCE EVEN AFTER JAYALALITHAA’S DEATH.

GOING BY THOSE CLAIMS, EVEN IF DISPUTED, AN OUTSIDER AGAIN HAS WON THE SUCCESSION WAR IN THE AIADMK.

UNLIKE JAYALALITHAA, PANNEERSELVAM MAY OR MAY NOT BECOME CHIEF MINISTER.

BUT HE HAS CLEARY WON THIS ROUND OF BATTLE, THE FIRST STEP IN CLAIMING THE LEGACY OF JAYALALITHAA, WHO, IN TURN, HAD SUCCESSFULLY CLAIMED THE MGR LEGACY.

SO FOR THE MOMENT, IT’S FROM TAMILAMMA TO PANNEERAMMA!

TAMILAMMA TO PANNEERAMMA!

©RaginiChaubey/SantoshChaubey

INCREASING XENOPHOBIA, BURDENED EARTH!

BIGGEST REFUGEE CRISIS SINCE WORLD WAR SHOWS THE UGLIEST FACE OF DISCRIMINATION

RAPID GLOBALIZATION OF ‘NO TO REFUGEES, IMMIGRANTS’

INCREASING GLOBALIZATION OF ‘NO TO FOREIGN WORKERS’

AFTER COUNTRIES LIKE THE US, AUSTRALIA, SINGAPORE, NEW ZEALAND, EVEN SAUDI ARABIA TIGHTENS INFLOW OF FOREIGN WORKERS

INCREASING SPREAD OF RIGHT-WING POLITICS AND NATIONALIST RHETORIC, ESPECIALLY IN EUROPE AND AMERICA, THE CITADELS OF LIBERATED HUMANITY, UNIVERSAL NORMS AND FREE EXISTENCES

IT WAS ALWAYS AN UNEQUAL WORLD

BUT XENOPHOBIA, IN TIMES OF CIVIL WARS AND INTER-CONTINENTAL REFUGEE CRISIS, IS MAKING IT WORSE

AND THE THREAT IS, WORST IS YET TO COME, AND IT MAY COME ON ANY DAY

BURDENED, EARTH WAS ALREADY CRYING

SHE HAS, NOW, STARTED BLEEDING, AND SHE IS ANGRY

INCREASING XENOPHOBIA, BURDENED EARTH!

©RaginiChaubey/SantoshChaubey

‘SRI’ TO ‘SRI SRI’!

Sri is a polite way to address someone. It is also used for Deities in Hinduism.

So, in case of humans, when Sri is used multiple times (or twice, as is the case), it should be reflective of a great politeness.

Though what the most famous double Sri (Sri Sri) thinks about ‘Sri Sri’ is not clear, an official blog post on his website, from June 19, 2014 says, “A colleague who had been with me at Maharishi’s came up with the idea of Sri Sri. Everybody agreed that one Sri is very common, generic and confusing. My opinion on the matter was irrelevant in this animated discussion. I was just a silent witness. And so, I was rechristened at Waldorf.”

Okay, so we don’t know what actually Sri Sri thinks about ‘Sri Sri’ or probably, I didn’t dug enough. Anyway that is not the point here.

The point is, ‘ Sri is very common, generic and confusing’, so, ‘Sri Sri’ was adopted to avoid ‘confusion’ and give ‘an uncommon and branded identity’.

So, in social parlance, ‘Sri’ is for commoners and ‘Sri Sri is for greats, especially the spiritual uncommoners.

And ideally that is the case. Our society runs like that and we are content with the system, even with its deviations and diversions.

Ideally, if ‘Sri’ symbolizes politeness, ‘Sri Sri’ should sent out an aura of politeness that is saintly, that is great, especially if it is about saints and gurus in our society who drive us, who guide us, who many a times, make us understand the meaning of life.

So, when we hear our constitutional bodies, the protectors of our legal systems, the courts, commenting about him like “You have no sense of responsibility. Who gave you liberty to speak whatever you want to. It is shocking”, it only reinforces that this ‘Sri Sri’ may be about anything but it is certainly not about politeness.

This ‘Sri Sri’ says “fine should be levied on Delhi government, NGT for saying ‘yes’ to Yamuna event”, as his website says, and not on him and his organization that made a constitutional court, the National Green Tribunal, came down heavily on him.

This statement may be reflective of anything, but certainly not of spiritual politeness and not of saintly greatness.

The events like the ‘World Culture Festival’ have takers in India and millions who descended in Delhi to join the three day long spectacle last year prove it. But had it been by someone else or some other entity than a person/entity with claims of being religious/spiritual guru of our society and who has achieved a saintly status for his followers, it was acceptable.

But not when you are a religious/spiritual guru of a society where millions still toil to earn their daily meal, where they don’t know what is meaning of education and healthcare, where a government whip can be the only force to force them to have ‘Aadhar’, where they don’t know what is quality of life, where they don’t know if there is life beyond the life they are living.

Such spectacle events can feed millions of them. And the true peace will only come when they are fed, when they are aware of their rights to have a decent quality of life with education, health and a place to stay. That may sound utopian, but at least this is what that is expected from our saints, our gurus, our religious guides and our spiritual patrons. They draw sanctity and strength from people and, therefore, they must justify their ‘Sri Sri’ here.

©SantoshChaubey