PAKISTAN MILITARY FINALLY ACCEPTS DAWN LEAKS INQUIRY COMMITTEE REPORT, JOURNALISTS BEWARE!

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

After a meeting between Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif and its army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa today, it seems the issue of Dawn leaks has finally settled now. According to media reports in Pakistan, its army’s public relations wing has issued a clarification that the Dawn leaks issue is closed chapter after it found the action taken by the government on the inquiry committee’s report satisfactory and withdraws its earlier tweet that had rejected a notification issued last month by the Nawaz Sharif government over action taken in the matter.

The Dawn leaks case refers to a front page story by the Daily Dawn’s columnist Cyril Almeida’s last October, quoting government sources, on rift between Pakistan’s civilian and military establishment over crackdown on Pakistan’s terrorist groups active in India and Afghanistan. The article had further written quoting government source that this dichotomy was forcing Pakistan to a diplomatic isolation. It had caused quite a stir in India’s volatile neighbourhood and had seen a standoff between its all powerful military and Nawaz Sharif’s government that threatened to snowball if something was not done to appease it.

And the action was swift. Official rebuttal were issued. Almeida was banned from travelling abroad. Pakistan’s information minister Pervaiz Rasheed was forced to step down pending an inquiry, a move that has been endorsed by the inquiry committee that was formed in November to investigate the matter. This is the only addition to the notification issued today otherwise contents of both notifications are similar.

No one knows and nobody will probably ever know what transpired in the top-level meeting between Sharif and Bajwa as the contents of the inquiry committee report that the government has decided not to make public. But its outcome is exactly opposite to the Pak army’s earlier stand after the Sharif government had announced last month its follow-up action to be taken on the inquiry committee report.

After the Sharif-Bajwa meeting today, the Ministry of Interior has issued another notification, that looks more or less same, as the one issued last month and was rejected by the army saying it was not as per the recommendations of the inquiry committee report. On April 29, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor had tweeted expressing Pak army’s displeasure over the Dawn leaks report. After today’s development, the tweet has become infructuous.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor‏Verified account
@OfficialDGISPR
Notification on Dawn Leak is incomplete and not in line with recommendations by the Inquiry Board. Notification is rejected.
3:22 PM – 29 Apr 2017

Nawaz Sharif has accepted the recommendations of the Dawn Leaks Inquiry Committee and has issued directions of disciplinary action to be taken against the daily, its editor Zaffar Abbas and its reporter and columnist Cyril Almeida. The notification issued by Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior also says that “the Dawn Leaks Inquiry Committee recommends that the role of Daily Dawn, Zaffar Abbas and Cyril Almeida may be referred to All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) with a direction to take disciplinary action against them.”

Besides this disciplinary action, the inquiry committee has also emphasized on the need to develop “a code of conduct for print media especially when dealing with issues related to security of Pakistan.”

The Dawn leaks report has cost another high profile person his office. Nawaz Sharif had to sack his Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs, Tariq Fatemi, for leaking information of the high level civilian-military leadership meeting. Also, disciplinary action has been recommended against a the principal information officer of Pakistan’s foreign ministry.

©SantoshChaubey

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SUSHANT SANS RAJPUT: SUSHANT’S TWITTER CAMPAIGN AGAINST BHANSALI ATTACK

Most in the Indian film industry have protested the way Sanjay Leela Bhansali was manhandled in Jaipur during shooting of his next film Padmavati based on 13th Century queen Padmavati or Padmini who, according to Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s 16th Century epic poem Padmavat, had committed suicide in an act of mass-immolation along with many other women of Chhittorgarh seeing impending defeat and capture by the forces of Allauddin Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate. Attackers alleged that, Playing with history and people’s sentiments, some objectionable scenes were being filmed between the characters of Rani Padmavati and Allauddin Khilji.

The assault on Bhansali is an outrageous act and is being condemned widely and like has become the norm now, Twitter is the primary platform giving expression to people’s anger. But some are going a step further and asking others to join by setting a precedent like actor Sushant Singh Rajput has done, by removing his surname from his Twitter handle. So his Twitter handle @itsSSR has Sushant only as his introduction. And it seems he is on a Twitter campaign to take the march further. He is still tweeting his thoughts on the issue and is replying back to trolls as well.

Tagging #padmavati, he had written on January 27, “We would suffer till the time we’re obsessed with our surnames. If you’re that courageous, give us your first name to acknowledge”.

Naturally, it was an open invitation to trolls and they were there with a bang, with their obnoxious language and all unhindered obscenities. They started questioning his roots, his intention, his mental balance, even trying to give it a communal angle. Sushant hit back writing that ‘people quote history to search for their relevance in future, not knowing that their names surely will be forgotten forever.

When someone commented that Sushant didn’t have the balls to stand for history, Sushant retorted saying ‘he has the balls to stand up for the future, so just shut up you joker’. It was yesterday, on January 28.

Today, on January 29, he tweeted his mind again on the issue, “There is no religion or cast bigger than humanity and Love and compassion makes us human. Any other division is done for selfish gains.”

Trolls, too, were there, on their job again. People wrote that removing surname was a business driven decision and even after that Bhansali would not take Sushant in his films. Trolls name-called the whole film industry saying that they were an insensitive and apathetic lot.

When someone advised Sushant that we use ‘surnames to respect of fathers and forefathers and due to some stupid acts by some idiots, we should not stop following them, Sushant replied gently, “Well I respect my father and he knows it. But that doesn’t allow me to disrespect somebody’s son. Violence is not bravery. You react on a speculation because of fear. There are ways to put up your point but that requires intelligence.”

When someone tested his patience saying “why doesn’t he change his name too, if he doesn’t follow any religion then why a Hindu name Sushant?”, the actor gave him a befitting reply, “I’ve not changed my surname idiot. I’m probably 10 times more Rajput than you are if you’re implying courage. I’m against the cowardly action.”

It is interesting to see someone from the Indian film industry taking a principled stand. Hope it will inspire many others in his fraternity to do so. Padmavati or Rani Padmini was real of fictitious is not the issue here. When it comes to the legends that have become part of our folklore, people go by sentiments and not logics.

Many Rajput outfits led by Karni Sena have alleged that history is being distorted in Bhansali’s movie. Distorting history or manipulating historical facts for creative freedom or to add drama to an otherwise flat storyline is done all across and is a hotly debated issue, be it Hollywood’s Schindler’s List or Gladiator or Argo or other such productions or our own Jodhaa Akbar or Bajirao Mastani (Bhansali’s last film) or even 1982’s Gandhi that was an international production. Schindler’s List, Gladiator, Argo, Gandhi and many other films alleged for distorting history have emerged as milestones of the world cinema and have gone on to win Oscars. Even back home, despite all their controversies, Jodhaa Akbar and Bajirao Mastani were commercial successes.

©SantoshChaubey

FACEBOOK: FROM FREEDOM OF INFORMATION TO CENSORSHIP

Facebook is reportedly working on a software that will sift the content hostile to the interests of the Chinese government in order to gain entry in the world’s largest base of active telecom and internet users. Facebook was blocked by China in 2009 for allegedly contributing to Xinxiang’s race riots.

China has around 700 million digital population, largest in the world – and Chinese internet companies like WeChat, Weibo and Baidu have grown manifold, aided by a protectionist Chinese government and by the absence of global internet giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter.

And it seems Mark Zuckerberg wants a share of that digital population to fuel his organization’s further growth even if it comes at the cost of the founding principle of Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg had written about information flow on Facebook in an open letter on September 8, 2006 that is available on Facebook. The open letter was basically about how apologetic Mark Zuckerberg felt after Facebook had a messy launch of its News Feed. The open letter was basically about the ‘free flow of information the Internet’.

Zuckerberg writes in the initial lines of his open letter, “When I made Facebook two years ago my goal was to help people understand what was going on in their world a little better. I wanted to create an environment where people could share whatever information they wanted, but also have control over whom they shared that information with. I think a lot of the success we’ve seen is because of these basic principles.”

Zuckerberg further writes in the letter about creating a group ‘Free Flow of Information on the Internet’ because this is what he believes in as he says. The open letter has hyperlinked text to redirect to the group but when the link is clicked it says “sorry, this content isn’t available right now.”

From that motto of ‘free flow of information on the internet’, Facebook is now reportedly developing tailored tools to serve propaganda of the autocratic regimes like China.

Facebook was founded in 2004. In 2006, it was still a small business with valuation around $500 million. But 10 years later, its market cap is now over $350 billion – in ivy league with companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Exxon. Industry analysts say Facebook’s profit has the potential to grow 32% annually for some next years and its market cap may touch $1 trillion. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is already among the wealthiest people in the world and that if it happens so it will make him the richest person on the planet.

That makes Facebook a pure business interest for Mark Zuckerberg and with that comes the pressure growth. And he is already facing the heat. The pressure to grow its market has effectively put a break on Mark Zuckerberg’s goal of ‘free flow of information on the internet’. The ‘unavailability’ of the group Mark writes about in his open letter can be seen as a testimony to that. There has been a flurry of cases around the world on how Facebook uses the data or it violates personal privacy norms. It has unsuccessfully tried introducing controversial platforms like Free Basics in India, essentially a marketing tie-up with some companies that provides free basic internet to the users but with selected content.

fb-infoflow

To maintain its hold as the primary and most preferred social networking site, Facebook has tried to increase its reach, acquiring new platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram and focusing on markets with enormous potential like China and India. Facebook’s mammoth acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 was seen as a desperate attempt to maintain that lead.

Facebook is slowing down in its main market – America and Canada – that it counts as one – and it needs to expand. China and India are the world’s biggest telecom markets in terms active users. As Facebook India MD Umang Bedi puts it, and as Mark Zuckerberg says, India is the most critical and strategic market for Facebook. But there is a big catch. India may a be a future market for Facebook but its contribution in Facebook’s overall revenue at the moment is negligible. Facebook earns Rs. 630 per user in the US whereas in India, it is still less than Rs. 9 while the global average is around Rs. 270. That is a huge gap to fill.

Also, Facebook has set a norm for itself that how many ads it can show in its news feed and it will hit the threshold in 2017. So, it needs many more users and markets outside the US to fuel its miraculous growth story. And China can be the solution Zuckerberg will have in mind.

And he is trying to woo China like anything. He has had multiple visits to China. Though Facebook is blocked in China, he opened his sales office there in 2014. He has learned Mandarin. Like Narendra Modi, he has also met with the Chinese President Xi Jinping and has given those events ample publicity. Narendra Modi even visited Facebook headquarters during his US visit in September 2015 but that luck has not smiled on Facebook when it comes to Xi Jinping.

©SantoshChaubey

WOULD TWITTER REMAIN SAME, OLD, FREE TWITTER?

Selling Twitter makes business sense for its promoters. The San Francisco based company was formed in March 2006 and went public in November 2013. But Twitter is yet to make profit. According to a Reuters report, the total accumulated loss of the company since its inception comes around $ 2.3 billion and Twitter has not showed any profit since it went public.

But Twitter is just not any other social media or information technology Company. It has become a powerhouse of news, views and information. Any big news is usually broken on Twitter first, be it Osama bin Laden’s death or Prince William’s engagement or many other such developments. Even back home in India, the whole nation was waiting for Nawaz Sharif’s UNGA diatribe and India’s first official response on it came through Twitter only. Narendra Modi had announced his sudden Lahore stopover on Twitter only. There are countless such examples – India or elsewhere.

The another aspect of Twitter that is goldmine of news and views is that people, especially those who matter, tell their anger, frustration, irritation, joy, happiness, sorrow and what not through Twitter. Sometimes a controversial tweet becomes the biggest trending news of the day. Sometimes a tweet becomes the most direct message to tell your problems and grievances that potentially reach across the spectrum.

In that sense, Twitter has become more like a mainstream media outfit – with the obvious benefits of social media – there are no restrictions, no gatekeeping, no censorship – and these are really free. Yes, there are exceptions and government poaching but then where aren’t they? The good thing about Twitter is that it has fought such censorship attempts vehemently.

If we see Twitter sale in that context – the natural question that comes to us is – “would Twitter remain the same, old, free Twitter after it is sold to some big behemoth with multiple business interests across the countries?”

Don’t we know how big businesses lobby with governments and do compromises to keep their operations growing?

©SantoshChaubey

OWAISI MAY BE TECHNICALLY CORRECT BUT HE IS SOCIALLY AND POLITICALLY INCORRECT!

‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ (Hail Mother India) has finally exploded and the way the level of discourse has deteriorated, it really leaves the rationally thinking souls in a bitter taste.

Today, the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to suspend AIMIM MLA from Mumbai, Waris Pathan, from the House for the remaining days of the Budget session after he reiterated what his party chief Asaduddin Owaisi had said three days ago – that he will never say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

It is true that the Indian Constitution doesn’t ask anyone to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ to prove his/her patriotism/nationality – something rightly pointed out – first by Asaduddin Owaisi – and then by his party MLAs.

But the row begins here.

He has added another contentious point to the already intensified ‘nationalism Vs anti-nationalism’ debate – as if the beef politics, the sedition row or the ‘award-wapsi’ over the tolerance Vs intolerance debate or the ‘ religious conversion or Ghar-wapsi’ episodes were not enough. The row has taken over the airwaves and has become the main news agenda of the day. And as the polls have been announced in five state assemblies, the polarization politics would do all to keep the row alive.

What Asaduddin Owaisi and others are saying is technically correct and they are rightly entitled to have their views.

But being a political person, and being a member of the Parliament and above all, being a people’s representative, he has to be socially and politically correct here.

And he is socially and politically incorrect – literally (and not pejoratively as the phrase ‘politically correct’ has been a subject of linguistic discourse)!

We have the Constitutional guarantee on our fundamental rights including the right to free speech but while exploiting this right, we must also keep in mind that our Constitution also expects us to use our discretion in performing fundamental duties it lays down.

Yes, the fundamental duties are discretionary, voluntary in nature but that doesn’t mean we should blatantly disregard them.

Something that Mr. Owaisi and his partymen have done.

If Mr. Owaisi and some others don’t want to say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, it is their prerogative – but only in private – or as private members – not when you are in public life – and certainly not the way Mr. Owaisi has chosen to express his rant – while addressing a public gathering.

When communication goes on mass level, no one sees the intent but the words you speak – the words that have stirred a hornet’s nest here. In order to score political advantage, he has given avenues to others engage in some votebank politics that ultimately disrupts social balance.

If the Constitution gives us the fundamental right to speak our mind, it also expects us to respect others’ feelings and other thoughts – as it says – ” to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities”.

Mr. Owaisi and his party’s tirades on ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ belie the spirit of this notion.

It is not about RSS or some other outfit asking us to swear by ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ , it is about our right to feel so and say so as Javed Akhtar very emphatically expressed it yesterday in the Parliament putting Asaduddin Owaisis in the doc.

Asaduddin Owaisi may try to score some political mileage by uttering a cheap political expression that would certainly hurt Indians across the communities. But if Mr. Owaisi thinks he will score some brownie points politically by using such inflammable words, it is really a dangerous precedent, a new low in political discourse in the country – something that has been mostly been crass or ‘politically incorrect’ for social harmony.

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

JNUSU PROTEST MARCH: THE EXPECTED CLIMBDOWN – AND IT IS FOR GOOD

It was expected to happen this way and thankfully it did happen this way – the response to the protest march called by the JNU Students Union (JNUSU) – that did not set the news agenda today.

And much of it has to do with the rapid climbdown the ‘Kanhaiya Kumar hopes’ saw – after his bail on March 3.

March 3 and 4 were crucial – for Kanhaiya Kumar to understand and act that he was not a fulltime politician but mere a student activist who had got people’s sympathy and support because people felt he was being wronged, because people felt that he and others in JNU were being victimized.

Newsrooms and the nation saw a surcharged atmosphere even during the breaking developments centred on Umar Khalid and Aniraban Bhattacharya disappearance, reappearance and surrender.

Being students was the significant brand equity every JNU student had when police, politicians and administration started making mess of a university matter. Their activism, ideological affiliation and sense of fighting it out only amplified the appeal. It worked well with the popular sentiment that tends to be with the people who are perceived as being victimized.

Kanhaiya Kumar and other JNU students lost these advantages after Kanhaiya Kumar started doing rounds of personal interviews and started making unnecessary verbal attacks that didn’t spare even the defence establishment including the Indian Army.

When communication goes on mass level, no one sees the intent but the words you ejaculate. The ‘Kanhaiya Kumar fined for obscene behaviour against a woman’ episode further added to it. Then there were additionals like talks of Kanhaiya Kumar slated to campaign for the Left-wing parties in the upcoming assembly polls.

So, a mess that had given a window, an opportunity to revive student politics and activism in India was being reduced to a mere political opportunity that could conveniently be labelled anti-BJP and thus could be dismissed.

Everyone saw through it – including those who had rushed to support JNU students. Certainly there has been a disenchantment and it reflected today when no national news channel made it a point to beam Kanhaiya Kumar and others while they were organizing the protest march.

It was third in a series of solidarity marches to raise voice for democratization of academic institutions in the country and was about JNUSU’s and JNUTA’s demand of releasing Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya. And sane, neutral voices want them released though their judicial custody was extended for another 14 days today. Hope, they get bail tomorrow when their bail plea hearing is expected.

But as the overall issue is important – that how some students of a particular institution were targeted and are still being targeted – beyond what should have been a justified punishment/disciplinary action meted out to them – so was the attention given to the issue today. Almost every news carrier carried the developments on the JNU protest march later in the day – with relevant pointers from Kanhaiya Kumar’s speech today.

Student politics and activism are imperatives for any democratic society but within the confines of academic environment. Yes, universities must be the first places for voices of dissent but it is the responsibility of everyone to keep the culture of debate healthy and democratic. And they must be within the Constitutional norms that run a democracy. You have to practice the fact that only your ideology cannot be sacrosanct – be it Leftist – or the Centrist – or the Rightist.

If you have to get engaged in fulltime activism or politics, pass the confines of the academic institutions first. While still being a student, it is not your job to raise voices, indulge in sloganeering and organize events to rid the country of this or that ideology. Keep your leanings intact for the time when you will be out in the open to take on what you believed was wrong and unjustified when you were building the activist in you during your days in your academic institution.

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

KANHAIYA AND OTHERS TO BE RUSTICATED? TOMORROW IS AGAIN A STORMY DAY IN DELHI.

The inquiry committee constituted by JNU has submitted its report. The day finally came today after the three extensions the committee was granted. And going by the information leaked so far, its findings and recommendations are going to make for headlines.

It has already begun and tomorrow, when there is a big agitation march planned by the JNU Students Union (JNUSU) – Parliament Chalo, it is going to figure prominently. The findings of this probe committee will certainly reflect on how stormy the day is going to be tomorrow.

JNUSU is demanding removal of sedition charges and other cases slapped on Kanhaiya Kumar and others. The Left-wing students unions are backing the move. JNUSU has appealed to the students in Delhi’s different colleges and universities to join the protest tomorrow.

And given the response that Kanhaiya Kumar and other students got after the administration and police made the mess of a simple university issue, the protestors will try to mobilize more support for Kanhaiya Kumar and other students when they take to roads tomorrow.

Kanhaiya Kumar is out on ‘interim bail’ with some tough words by the presiding Delhi High Court judge who delivered the order. Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya are still in jail after they failed to secure bail.

So, even after the blitzkrieg that Kanhaiya tried to unleash after his bail on March 3, they, from JNUSU and those under scanner including Kanhaiya, are not going to say anything acidic or hostile to the law of the land – that will further affect their case. Yes, a sort of speech delivered earlier in JNU is expected tomorrow – but it is not going to get same eyeballs – because, since March 3, Kanhaiya Kumar last lost much of his currency that made him relevant for a cause.

Some deft political manoeuvring has to be there then – that conveys what the JNUSU wants to say – and convinces people of its intent and substance. JNUSU opposed this probe committee, demanded a fresh one. Those under investigation didn’t appear before it. And students had support of many faculty members as well. And it was certainly not restricted to the university campus. And that has to be sustained.

A well coordinated movement fanning across the capital city or a significant presence in the heart of Delhi to catch media attention and social media pull will serve the purpose. Yes, a speech is ok – but with the intent that reflects sincerity and commitment to a cause.

If tomorrow has to be a stormy day – it has to be within the confines of the law – like the protests of the hugely successful anti-corruption movement of 2011. And if JNUSU has learnt any lessons, it will try to follow the suit.

Hope sense will prevail tomorrow – unlike what happened on February 9 – when anti-India slogans were raised in JNU. Yes, Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and others say they did not raise them and those who shouted those slogans were outsiders and we would love to go with that but with the obvious questions that if all these JNU students were present there, when these slogans were raised, they why none of them bothered to stop such anti-nationals or behaved like responsible citizens by informing the authorities of what had happened.

If there had to be any punishment in this case, it was about this – a disciplinary action by the university administration.

And it is expected that the action taken on the recommendations of inquiry committee would be in line with this spirit – with no expulsions – but clear warnings. Police did not go on hunting for two more students named after Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya surrendered indicates that.

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

NOW ‘A KANHAIYA KUMAR UNBECOMING OF A JNU STUDENT’: HOW WILL IT FURTHER MUDDY THE WATERS?

An assistant professor of the Delhi University, who is also a former student of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, has come out with an open letter addressed to Kanhaiya Kumar, the arrested and out on bail JNU Students Union president, slamming him for his recent ‘reincarnation’ and his ‘for women’ views expressed on the International Women’s Day terming him a ‘false revolutionary’ and misogynist.

And after reading her letter you can feel why she is so outraged – that why she cannot be dismissed.

And the way her Facebook posts with her complaint letters and this letter by the JNU proctor finding Kanhaiya Kumar guilty of the offence, using harsh words against him, and imposing fine on him, have gone viral is emblematic of a trend that is witness to the rise of the social media and how the mainstream media picks threads from it.

This trend picked out Kanhaiya Kumar from obscurity to put him into the nation’s conscience in a matter of few weeks only. And social media, well, can be his rapid undoing if he doesn’t read the path cautiously now.

Because anything and everything related to Kanhaiya Kumar and JNU is under intense scrutiny now and it is just the matter of days when something hostile will go viral like this revelation by a former JNU student has gone. She had written her first post on Kanhaiya Kumar on February 16, attaching hand-written copies of her complaint, but obviously no one took note of it. Also, the nation’s sentiment was more or less with Kanhaiya Kumar and JNU then.

She wrote her open letter on March 3, in the morning and Kanhaiya Kumar was released on bail later in the evening. He delivered a terrific speech that night in JNU that he termed was accumulation of his experiences in the jail. And so how could’ve anyone noticed this open letter then and there, even if it was very pertinent?

But after this, Kanhaiya Kumar started derailing, like an immature student, devoid of pensive thoughts (though still with difficult words). And so, anti-Kanhaiya Kumar images (and words) started finding inroads – with people now open to listening to the other side of the story.

And when she posted yesterday an unsigned version of this letter from October 2015 – letter that castigated Kanhaiya Kumar finding him guilty of obscene behaviour with a female student – it picked up threads – and went viral today when she posted the signed version of this letter.

KanhaiyaKumarDiscAction

This is the classic way the social media works – doing and undoing – making and derailing.

Let’s see how this big revelation, that is clearly anti-Kanhaiya Kumar, further muddies the waters. Any attempt to stonewall it or confront it with verbal bravado will only help those who openly opine against JNU.

And for us, the common folks, the loss of another promising leader – it is nothing new – especially after the Aam Aadmi Party experience in Delhi.

Here is the Facebook link of that assistant professor from DU and that former student from JNU.

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

NOW, DON’T CARICATURIZE KANHAIYA KUMAR! II KANHAIYA KUMAR, PLEASE DON’T CARICATURIZE YOURSELF!

Now that is exactly what we are witnessing – in increasingly emboldened hues – subaltern is an imperative for an amorphous society that India is – but everyone needs to learn first:

— that no ideology can survive in isolation,
— that no ideology can flourish in autocratic domination,
— that no ideology can propagate itself further if it refuses to engage into healthy dialogue with other ideologies.

Be it the rightist, be it the leftist, or be it the centrist!

No one knew Kanhaiya Kumar outside the JNU precincts before February 9, 2016 and ‘Kanhaiya Kumar of today’ can only be relevant to the nation if he remains ‘a Kanhaiya Kumar’ who is a puritan student of an ideology and not ‘a Kanhaiya Kumar’ who is a mere tool in the hands of the left-wing politicians in the country who are living the last leg of their political life.

And it is unfortunate – because a democracy needs a constellation of differing ideologies and a healthy discourse among them!

Leftism is a logical social-political ideology that would always remain relevant. Left-wing politics has shaped and reshaped many pockets of the world but if it is dying in almost every part of the world today, including in China, it is for its supporters to think why it has come to this. Simply, it didn’t move ahead with times and it didn’t find resolute followers who were puritan in their hearts.

Shouting at BJP or criticising Narendra Modi or sarcastically delivering views and slogans or brazenly disregarding other ideologies will only caricaturize Kanhaiya Kumar and anyone else who has got into the nation’s conscience after the alleged anti-India incident of JNU on February 9 – something that has happened in this whole JNU drama – and something that has intensified after Kanhaiya Kumar was released on bail.

Yes, whatever the administration and police did at JNU was totally unacceptable. There are valid reports of false allegations and doctored videos on which the police based its investigation. We all know the case will never stand in the court. The JNU folks should respect the public sentiment at large that stood with them, that came out in their support, considering that some students were wrongly and harshly targeted, even if they were not on the same page as the ideology of these students was.

That is the discourse India needs – and JNU needs – and Kanhaiya Kumar needs.

Yes, we need leaders. Good leaders are always needed but one needs to qualify for that. The first night Kanhaiya Kumar addressed a huge gathering in JNU can be seen as a natural reaction to the injustice meted out to him. But after that, it has stated sounding hollow – his ‘ideological’ repetitions (without reverberations now) – a protest or the other in JNU every other day – disregarding everything else in India in the name of ‘Brahmanism’ or ‘Manuwad’ – and using ‘complex, tough, pregnant words’ as Kanhaiya Kumar said – words that sound more like rants now.

It is for Kanhaiya Kumar, the student, to ponder over why the left-wing politics is dying in India. If he starts thinking and acting on it as a left-wing politician of the day in India, he is bound to fail. He will be remembered as nothing more than a political caricature then.

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

SOCIAL BLOGGING

Now is the time to see Social Blogging as a separate category within the realm of the overall larger social activity that blogging is.

Having said that, the Social Blogging content should involve socially relevant and concerned expressions – whether it for activism – or – it is being in solidarity with – in opposing the unjust.

Bloggers have helped shaping the Arab Spring. They have started speaking for those who can’t speak. Blogging is becoming more and more socially responsible.

Bloggers have lost lives in dictatorial regimes, in restive countries and in orthodox societies. The most recent case in point is Bangladesh.

Social Blogging, in fact, is quite strong in oppressive societies where it gets amplified attention and the process that has begun will only intensify further.

Its next big leap is going to be in societies like India. India is a country that is the world’s largest democracy – a country with a robust democracy – but a country where the democracy has still a long way to go.

And the process will be business-driven, even if we scoff at capitalism! Business will lead communication technology penetration that in turn would arm more and more people with information access. Creating a blog or having an online identity to connect with the world had never been this easy.

Long live social media!

And India, the world’s second most populous country, with projections to have the world’s largest share of middle class in a decade or so, just rejected the initiatives of internet and social media giants like India’s Airtel or Facebook to dominate internet/social media by introducing differential pricing through their networks.

Long live net neutrality!

But its sustainability has to be perennial!

Let’s start a debate first and then a discourse to spread the word about Social Blogging and it’s increasing role and need in societies.

SocialBlogging-4

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