Wednesday, September 24, 2008

3rd floor Batla House; Jamia Nagar terrorised

Someone knocks the door. Who’s there….a voice from inside comes. The person at the door says, “I’m from Vodafone”. The door opens. They start talking. “I’m from Vodafone and you said about taking a sim card”. The person from inside denies about having said anything of this sort. “Then your friend must have asked for it. Does anyone stay with you? Would you ask him, as the company has given me your address.” The man inside asks his friend about the same, however he also denies having called the Vodafone guy. By this time the other guy is on the door as well. He says, “Now that you are here, you can tell if there’s a new scheme. By the way which address have you been given?”

The well dressed man from Vodafone takes out a paper and shows him. “The address is right; however it seems that someone else from the same building has called you. Around 36 people live in the building; someone must have definitely called you”. The Vodafone guy says, “But the person on the first floor asked me to go on the third floor. Anyways, I’ll look downstairs. Can I have a glass of water?” The man says, “Yes sure, come in.” Both the guys go in. In the meantime, the man from Vodafone calls someone and talks briefly, even before the man comes with water. He then drinks water and leaves by saying that they can call him if they need to buy something from Vodafone.

The door shuts. After 5-7 minutes someone knocks the door again. And this time, the person bangs heavily on the door and orders with full authority, to open the door. The person from inside replies in a similar fashion. The door opens and the whole building echoes of the firing of bullets. Everyone starts panicking and the rest is history. Everyone knows about it, as after that only the dead bodies were seen coming out. The so called person from Vodafone was supporting to get the corpse of a policeman out and later did we come to know that he was a policeman himself. He was from the special cell. And the man he called earlier was none other than Inspector Sharma, who was waiting for a signal. He was the one who fired when the door opened. The boys inside the house also fired in repercussion.

May it be a reality or a story, but what happened, was presented like this on Monday. The reaction on what happened in Batla House became clear when I entered Jamia Nagar. Heading towards Jamia Nagar from Kalindi Kunj, it seemed as if were Sopara in Kashmir. It seemed that there is another Delhi situated inside Delhi, in Jamia Nagar. A place guarded all the time by the Army, so that no one could dare moving ahead. Barricades and the presence of police who never forgets to investigate a pedestrian were imminent.

Interestingly, the Kashmir valley is accustomed to the presence of Army; Jamia Nagar is characterized by a bold conveyance. It’s always busy; both during the daytime and at night. The continuous Army patrolling in Jamia Nagar has broken the old character of Jamia Nagar. In New Delhi, Jamia Nagar is an area with a Muslim monopoly. Students coming to Jamia University stay here and also migrants from small states in search of employment reside here. Entering into Jamia Nagar from Jamia University, it seemed that the Batla incident has instilled an element of suspicion in everyone. Nobody says anything. Everyone seems to have accepted this as a reality of Delhi. The distance between the masses and Army and a rift between the state and the commoners is apparent in Jamia, as now no one can exist or live here on his own.

People from small cities and villages don’t get cut off and come to Jamia, rather they come here with their roots intact. So, there’s no one who gets lost in the fast city life of Delhi and lives a life of a loner. There are numerous of hearsays and stories regarding Batla in Jamia, but importantly the questions are the same. Gradually as you enter Jamia, the number of Armymen reduces and this also ends the amount of suspicion in the eyes of people. Entering this whirlpool like Jamia Nagar would raise questions regarding the cities which are related to migration. People are compelled to come to Delhi. Saraimeer and Mubarakpur are in Azamgarh. Criminal Abu Bashar was from Saraimeer whereas Md. Aftab was from Mubarakpur. Till 80s their families were involved in traditional embroidery work. By the time 90s came, the recognition became that of fake and cheap Banarasi saris and in the last decade Jamia has become famous for its excellent tea. Md. Aftab questions that the advent of machines has made us lack our creativity and talents, but will the new circumstances prevailing in the nation would make us lose our lives? Md. Asif who was from Mehzeen (Kaifi Azmi’s home town) was studying Hotel Management in Delhi. Asif was offered a lucrative job in Sharjah but he refused it, even when his parents wanted him to go. Now his question is….where should he return? He wishes that his address remains India. But here even a Moholla is not considered a part of the country. He returns home at 10 pm every night accompanied by the police. The police examine the things and on protesting; warn of imprisonment. The police rudely questions, “You know how to cook Biryani; so do you also know how to make bombs? Would you make us eat Biryani or blast bombs?

Akhlakh is a Computer Science student. Hailing from Ferozpur he’s also in the glass bangle business. He brings them in wholesale and sells it to the vendors. Coincidently he reached with his Bangles in Jamia Nagar on Sunday. After having looked his stuff and knowing that Akhlakh was a Computer Science student, the first question police asked him was how did he ever courage to come to Jamia after the Batla attack? He had to face a loss of 16 dozen bangles in the course of investigation. The police read all the messages in his cell phone’s inbox and seized the computer for investigation. However when the police got to know that Asif’s uncle belong to Congress and has been involved in making Rahul Gandhi’s U.P. visit a success, then only did they leave Asif. After a silence on Batla incident, Asif mentioned that this has created a rift between Delhi and Firozabad.

In Jamia Nagar, not only people from U.P. but also people from Bihar, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kashmir reside. These are the people who come to Delhi after facing a crisis in their villages/cities. Anyone in khaki can threaten them in Old Delhi however; in Jamia Nagar it’s the threat that protects them. In these circumstances the question is what would be their new abode? When after 5 hrs of search, there was no such person who could answer the reality of Batla without questioning it, I returned to Batla. I saw that the police force was increased as the dead bodies of the terrorists were being brought there.

Coincidently I met the same person, who in the morning of the incident was asking about the details. This time, without even asking he said, “These guys are instigating fear among people. They have blasted the bombs and now are rejoicing. Allah will never forgive them”. Before I could have asked anything, he left and I was amazed. This person changed in just 4 hours time. Are they really not worth believing? When I was just thinking this, I saw a troop of policeman behind myself. Now the question is, is the reality behind Batla a result of terror and fear among people? Isn’t the dividing politics and lack of communication instigating a new form of terror? Who’ll solve it….the question remains unsolved.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Nano: Car with a corpse

The new crisis of Bengal is the politics of majority, which supports the profit of one section and suppresses the other. Today industrialisation is being looked as a means of development by CPM; however it’s the same CPM that wanted it to be eliminated completely, years back. However, in the last 30 years, the wheel of politics has turned and it’s visible now. Due to the Left’s politics, the jute industry is no more. Most of the industries that were established are now closed. Around 40 thousand acres of land under these closed industries is lying useless. This land, instead of being re-used for industrial purposes, is being transformed into commercial markets and residential areas. Also, in the last two decades Bengal has expanded in terms of cities and the land mafias and builders are looking at these lands as well.
The biggest trouble for the Left is that, till date, it has no industry which is productive. The production of Hindustan Motors got halted completely. It was started recently, but manufacturing was more a ritual than a work. Dabur’s biggest plant was in Hubly. It’s closed now. There was a time when BHEL’s industry used to be in Bengal. Philips’ factory was also in Bengal. Even that is shut now. Kolkata had Usha’s factory. It faced a lockout and now the same site has the country’s largest mall, which is the latest centre of attraction for the middle class. If in the new circumstances mall is the centre of attraction then manufacturing units are also important for employment. The politics in Bengal is in a fix on the Nano issue and is ready to put the politics of farmers on stake because in the era of a liberalized economy there’s a huge investment in the service sector. Every state has an IT sector unit, but Nano manufacturing unit by Tata is something new and will give Bengal’s politics a new direction. This new trend has modified the course of Left’s four decade old politics.
The new land is being given to two industries. Also, an infrastructure is being created for it, which was never done before, amidst people and farming. There’s no electricity and water supply in the rural areas, but with the incoming of industries, even this is happening. The question here is also about the financial policies structured by the Left. Ninety percent agricultural land in Bengal is so productive that it doesn’t need the support of the state. That is, it can produce the required without any extra infrastructure. However, there’s no infrastructure for the market sale of agricultural produce and its supply to other states for business purposes. It’s obvious that farmers produce and the mediators on the name of trade, smuggle crops, which is the most profitable business of all times.

In these conditions, is the farmer revolution building up itself again, like in the 60s? However, the conditions then and the conditions today are totally different. It’s Left instead of Congress now. Politicians like Mamta are trying to hold Naxalism as a tool. The Left is not reluctant of the policies that project a notion that farming is no more important. From 1964 to 1977, the way CPM initiated the movement using farmer politics and Jyoti Basu connected the cadre to social confrontation; all these circumstances have no significance now. Jyoti Basu, in 1977 initiated land development and this reduced the gap between the cadre and the society. The policies that were made in that era were implemented by the cadre. Cadre’s been coming in the scene depending on its reputation. The larger the influence circle, more the reputation. Hence, it can be said that Jyoti Basu instigated the feeling of collective responsibility among cadre and the government. No on had been able to challenge the Leftist rule in the last 30 years.
Can this question be raised, that if 4 decades back CPM started land development, it was because of a pressure from the farmers? At that time, the way Naxalite leader Charu Majumdar presented Naxalism and resultantly the tension that came forward, it tested the power reigning farmer consciousness. During that time the aggression of farmers wasn’t for the land or crop, it was for the power. After parting from CPI, CPM realized this and moulded politics into farmer confrontation, and formed the government. And since then, CPM never stops saying that politics is a mere tool that it uses to create an atmosphere of revolution. However presently, the way CPM is promoting capitalism shows that the scale of farmer’s struggle is getting confined to the needs of the middle class. And the politics that started 40 years back with the farmer consciousness has now taken a 180 degree turn and has changed into the market awareness of the middle class. Nano will surely make the lives of small families better, but it’s so small to carry the corpses of farmers to the burial. When a farmer will depart, either Buddahadev would make him travel in a Nano, else another Naxalite would emerge.
We’ll talk about the Delhi blasts on Saturday……

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nano turns the political landscape of Bengal

“We protested to protect the lives associated with lands”. This was the conclusion of the talks held with the Singur farmers, who were with Mamta and were arrested on the grounds of blockading Singur illegitimately. This aggressive approach reminisces of the 40 decade old Naxalism. At that time, the rebellious farmers after their arrest had said, “We remonstrated to breathe freely”.

After a more liberalized economy in India, this is the first time when a government has declined to accept the development, it always wanted during its own rule. It’s also happened for the first time in Bengal’s politics that the farmers-laborers are being sidelined. Ironically, they are the same farmers that the left had used to remain as an option in the Parliament. In opposition to Tata’s car plant in Singur and Indonesia’s Salim Group chemical hub in Nandigram, not only a politics can be played, but also the politicians can be made to revert to their old type of politics. This has been clearly visible after 1991. Actually, in the developmental structure created through a liberalized economy, a particular section has been benefitted, marginalizing a majority section. This has happened so that the society always ponders that everyone is equally developing. It has been tried to create partitions in this majority section.

Four thousand people got employment in Singur. Out of these, one thousand are those who gave away their lands to Tata in lieu of compensation. It’s pretty obvious that regarding the issue of Nandigram also, CPM initially raised the same question that the chemical hub will employ 10,000 people. However in Singur, lives associated with land are more that ten thousand and in Nandigram the number is more than 25,000. In 30 years of their rule, the way leftists have incorporated parliamentarian politics, has rusted their power to struggle.

After Singur, it’s been speculated in Bengal that in the election politics the development of the middle class will matter or this 40 decade old politics of farmers can turn the government upside down. However, a clash between the politics of protest and the politics of elections has raised a question that, shall this establishing of industries on productive land and continuous opposition from peasants-labourers-tribals hamper the ongoing development process? Or will it stand along with the parliamentarian politics?

Bengal’s politics has always been that of confrontation. The reason is the presence of a leftist government in the last 3 decades. However, in the last four years, under Buddhadev Bhattacharya’s policy decisions, industrial development has been made important and the farmer crisis has been dealt with silence. This has raised a lot of questions. The question here is that, the government ruled for the last 30 years using the land-farmer problem as a tool, and it’s the same land that’s lying in blood. What is the way out?

In the 30 years of rule, the left has taught the farmers ways to struggle and in these years the number of landless farmers has increased from 35 lakhs to 74, 18,000. Presently, there are more that 1.25 crore farmers in the state, excluding the far-off farmers. Out of them only 56 lakh farmers approx are the ones who own a land. And, around 75 lakh farmers are landless. This farmer-land crisis has been amplified due to liberalized economy. The agricultural land is been given for industrial purposes, where he profit and employment is limited. Only few people are benefitting from the industries. However, the amount of land acquisition happening is more than 50-100 %. That is, one person profits when 100 farmers become workless. Abdul Razzak, the Land Development Minister of Bengal says that every year around 20 thousand acres of agricultural land is used for purposes other than agriculture.

The state government’s approach towards agricultural development is such that, the farmers-labourers belonging to SC-ST and OBC are facing serious financial troubles. Due to low castes, they are forced to work on leased lands. Around 90% work on leased lands and 83% work on 50-50 output basis. The total money that 36 % leased land workers and 26% 50-50 outcome-based farmers earn in total is not even 1000 per month. They don’t even get Rs.30 per day. The issue is even graver because the land being given for industrialization purposes is agricultural. However, state already owns around 11, 75,000 acres of land, which is lying as it is.

Around 40 thousand acres of land is lying unused, which was once used for industrial purpose. The government is not even making a positive policy regarding the same. The State Govt. vindicates that it cannot take any decisions regarding these lands. Either the forest laws or the authority comes in between. Ironically, it’s the same CPM government that in the 60’s questioned the agricultural land policies of the Congress government. In 1964-67, what CPM said was significant. It said that the Land Acquisition Act, implemented by the British in 1894 was still in practice and that there were no clear laws in the human interest. Giving productive land in private hands was being considered in the human interest. Not only this, but the left clearly said that, industries should be established on the unproductive land in the undeveloped area. Only then would it be industrial development, else it would be land snatching.

The wheel of politics has turned in the last 3 decades. This is clear from the fact that the Nano factory’s National Highway location is such that the whole of the opposite side of it is under land mafias. These land mafias belong to the cadre of CPM- TMC and are forcing for a settlement. Buddhadev reckons that the reality of Nano is the capitalist profit and hence he can promote it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Loktantra Thamba…

The innocents would die. The democracy we live in is so unique that once it begins to get all transparent, it all the more becomes invisible. In Maharashrata’s politics, the very word marathi manus has brought in this transparency, where before saying thamba, a marathi manus says paha (look) and then permits an Indian to move on by saying pudhe chala. Interestingly in Maharashtra, on every traffic signal or on the roadside, one would find something like thamba-paha-pudhe chala written.

The game of politics Raj Thackrey is playing can be crushed by any government. Even Bal Thackrey’s provocative editorials can be stopped anytime according to the Law. And if Amitabh Bachchan decides to revolt against Raj Thackrey’s marathi manus politics, he can anytime suppress Thackrey. However, thamba-paha-pudhe chala will continue, in spite of the fact that there’s a Constitution which rules. The Govt. has all the powers to take steps against the law-breakers. But who would raise his voice and say that it’s a democratic nation and that no one can dictate us. Why is Bachchan scared of saying this? And why is the government not taking any strong actions?

However before that, it’s important to know the Thackrey trend of politics, which belongs to Bala Saheb Thackrey and not Raj Thackrey. Bala Saheb Thackrey very subtly ingrained the type of politics which got initiated in Maharashtra just after the independence, into his politics in the 60’s. Nehru was against regionalism and language based division. However, regionalism is more prevalent in Maharashtra than in any other state like Andhra Pradesh, Punjab or even Gujarat for that matter. There are two reasons behind this. Firstly, the extraordinary Shivaji’s Maratha Kingdom, which fought bravely against Mughals and the British and made themselves an others proud. And secondly, the active role played by Tilak, Gokhale and Justice Ranade in the freedom struggle. Bal Thakre raised these two matters very firmly, through his Shivsena. This got support from the failure of the Sanyukt Maharashtra Andolan and Nehru’s economic policy in the 60’s. The political thinking that was making a place for itself in that period did not believe in democracy. It despised the parliamentary politics and hated political system. Also, it promoted provincial narrowness, communalism, Marathaism, Hindu following and a pro-Hitler attitude. Bal Thakrey understood the message and inculcated it. Thackrey never gave any importance to the concept of democracy and worked the way Hitler did. Actually, Bala sahib based his politics on what he felt was going against him.

In the 60’s, Gujaratis ruled over the trade and industries in Mumbai. The dairy business was in the hands of people of UP. Punjabis from Punjab had a monopoly over the taxi and spare part work whereas South Indians were mostly in the teaching profession. The food business was mainly run by uddupis (people of Karnataka) or Iranis. The construction work lay in the hands of Sindhis and kammas (people of Andhra Pradesh). In this situation, what would a Mumbai dweller do except for saying “Amchi Mumbai aahe”, actually without anything at hand? And that’s the reason why it was not important for the incoming Gujaratis , Parsis, South Indians and North Indians to learn Marathi. Hindi-English was enough to make things work out. Also, it wasn’t important for them to relate to the socio-cultural milieu of the Maharashtrians. When against this Raj Thackrey instigated a base for his politics, Muslims and South Indians were the first ones to be targeted. In his newspaper Marmik, through cartoons and articles, Thackrey said, “All the lungi-clad criminals, illegal alcohol vendors, merchants, rogues and beggars are communists….I want an illegal alcohol vendor to be a Maharashtrian and even a rogue to be a Marathi”.

The language and attitude of Thackrey proved him and Shivsena as an effective pressure group in the Parliamentary elections of 1967. In 1968, he won the Municipal Corporation Elections with full majority and no external support. Importantly, this is the same politics which after 40 years, Raj Thackrey is speaking. In the last 40 years, Bal Sahib formed a Govt. and also lost the authority when he spoke of the nuances of a democracy. The ground that was created by Bal Thackrey through Shivsena, remained as it is. It was only that Shivsena and Balasahib went too far, so much so that there’s no way of coming back. In this period when Shivsena was losing its grounds, Narayan Rane came in for some time. The way Rane worked was similar to that of Bal Thackrey. And this is how Narayan Rane established himself in the whole Maharashtra. According to Congress, it was the same politics that Bala Sahib played during the 60’s. Thackrey claimed that Shivsena came into existence because of the emotional politics of India and that it’s harmful for the modern day regionalism. Raj Thackrey, at this time has nothing to lose; the same way Bal Thackrey had nothing 40 years back. In this context, Raj’s anti-social movement is becoming a battleground for politics.

However, the other truth behind this politics is far bigger than the politics itself. Prevalence of employment and regionalism in 60’s was there, but both existed separately. However in 2008, both employment and regionalism have merged. The moment Shivsena went off power, the employment got effected. This was the time when Maharashtra was economically developing, and an alliance between the Govt. and a special class aggregated everything. So, someone who wanted an employment didn’t join the system, and Shivena, who wanted profit in this alliance, didn’t get anything.

As a result of closing down of mills and Maharashtra Industrial Development corporations in various districts of Maharashtra, the employment opportunities nullified. Also, there was a steep instigation of land mafias, used as a political weapon. In this profession, Congress, BJP, Shivsena and Thackrey had equal shares. In this regard, the profit didn’t reach the majority Maharashtrian class, trained by Shivsena.

Raj Thackrey has very well learned from Bala Sahib, ways to use this majority and their emotions as tools of protest. However, the politics played by Thackreys raises two questions. Where is the government which was chosen by the people? It’s a necessity to say thamba loktantra for the sake of Vilasrao Deshmukh’s government. After the breaking and making of Congress, the Govt. very well knows this and the marathi manus is important for Nationalist Congress party also. The reason is that, any political party can only gain votes and sympathy of a marathi manus if they are able to fulfill their minimum requirements.

The question here that can be raised is why a marathi manus’ politics being played in a state where the farmers are committing suicide and electricity is a problem? A place where there’s no development compared to other states and where the elites are living a seven star life. Importantly for Raj Thackrey, these are the problems that work like oxygen and the Govt. becomes a silent spectator.

So largely, what’s the need for Amitabh Bachchan to ask for an apology? The question isn’t that, just because Amitabh Bachchan lives in Mumbai and has achieved heights here, so that he must also pray the land. The whole question is that the medium through which he has become a superstar has developed in Maharashtra and the people in that profession have earned plenty of money.

However, this is when Amitabh’s distress starts. The aggression of people behind Amitabh’s success is being cashed by Raj Thackrey. Amitabh’s films have given the masses a language to protest and courage to fight against atrocities. But Amitabh acts in his films. This success has linked Amitabh Bachchan to the world but has cut him socially. If someone, through Bollwood directs the people towards aggression-tension and cashes on it, then if the same set of people comes up and protest, then we need to understand the whole definition of apology.

Amitabh’s apology isn’t towards Raj, rather, it’s directed towards himself. He has made himself a superstar, cutting himself off from people. Like a government’s self confessed silence. The same way like Bal Thackrey praising Amitabh for his political benefits. This is exactly the way Raj Thackrey’s marathi manus wants to enter the government. Hence, loktantra thamba…

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Failed states in bollywood’s premise

“The book’s penned by a famous Russian author, Alexander Bushkin…he brilliantly writes… time darts like wild horses…….”

The conversation takes place between a naxalite politician and a child, in the film Chamku. The child would grow up and become the protagonist.
The film questions the belief that counter violence is a way to remove violence. Another film Mukhbir portrays the same approach. Even Wednesday questions the State’s violent approach to any terrorist activity. This is when the masses appear to be vulnerable, with no options at hand.

Looking at Bollywood’s recent movies, it seems that it’s the viciousness of the State that brings out the nastiness in a villain. And in spite of being a bad character the actor still remains clean. However, the character of the State is maligned in the whole process. The films, namely Chamku, Mukhbir and Wednesday, subtly raise the issue of State terrorism. State terrorism is a condition when on the name of naxalism and terrorism, the State becomes violent and fierce.

Prevalence of violence in our society is the result of Govt.’s failed policies and plans and because of these unsuccessful policies there’s no option but to counter attack. And how does this counter attack works in the favour of govt. in creating State terror is well presented in these above mentioned movies.

The 70’s showed the failure of the police force on the silver screen, whereas, the 90’s portrayed a corrupt governance. However, in the last one and a half decade, there has been a constant mention of Intelligence Bureau and a special agency dealing with terrorism. The measures taken by the state to deal with terrorism and naxalism, and the simultaneous increase in the rate of terrorism and violence in the country have been constantly put under question.

Similarly, the salvajudum concept of Chhattisgarh Govt. has now become bollywood’s masala. Salvajudum comprises of tribes with a goal of fighting against naxalism. The interesting point here is that it’s the State Govt. that has given salvajudum the power and ammunitions to fight. And this, according to the State Govt. is justified because they are worried about the safety of these tribes. This is how they validate the Supreme Court on being questioned. However, the SC never questions the root cause of naxalism nor does it ever question the failure of police force.

Bollywood transforms this whole question into a totally new thing.
The protagonist in the film Chamku is trained by the naxalites. He leaves naxalism and joins as an investigative officer who has a strong political knowledge according to his higher officials. The circumstances in which Chamku lives in the forest during his naxalite times makes the higher officials believe that he is tougher than anyone else. Not only this, but also he is matchless and the only one to be sent during an act of violence.
The reasons behind Chamku getting into these circumstances are created by the Govt. itself. The state however resorts to silence on being questioned.

It’s been 40 years now that the naxalism has proliferated to dangerous degree, but the Home ministry’s report is yet to come. In the film, Chamku’s offender who kills his father, is a part of the State’s system and that’s justified by the censor board. However, violence in the name of naxalism and terrorism backed by the State is camouflaged by patriotism. This helplessness has been very well raised in the film Mukhbir.

The film shows that, if state’s policies are against the state itself, where would the masses appeal? Especially if they get caught in the whirlpool of the state’s system and the state doesn’t hold itself accountable for the wrongdoing. No matter this may lead to ruining the lives of a few innocents, the state wouldn’t care. This is something that the film “A Wednesday” portrays. The way to options and solutions goes through aggression and hostility. Or at least this is something that the state projects. This is how a healthy communication is deliberately cut off.

According to the Human Rights Department, in the last two decades, around 50,000 innocents have been imprisoned. More than a lakh of cases had the state as the culprit and in more than 100 cases the ministers were involved and given relaxation in some or the other form. Interestingly, bollywood has been successful in exposing this reality, which the state has refused to accept.

The state hasn’t debated about the prime culprit behind the whole scene of violence; however, the films are raising this issue. The investigation bureau has been constantly questioning the poor and the backwards and has been asking the state to keep a check on them. These poor are the ones who are used by terrorist organizations like ISI in the lieu of a job or employment. The way our government is functioning has led to a segregation in which only a special minority is being benefited and the majority is being sidelined.

Owing to no communication between the State and masses, there is no way left, other than terrorism, to speak up ones problem. This is what the film, “A Wednesday” shows. However, in the film Mukhbir, it’s shown that how a common man becomes a victim of a state’s defense mechanism against terrorism. The psychology of the minds behind terrorism, state’s measures against violence and a constant underlying strategy of playing politics has been well exposed in the films. Interestingly, bollywood is coming up with issues; the State is reluctant to talk about.

The dirty politics played on the name of violence has instigated a feeling of hatred. The parties have been playing the blame game and even the Central Govt. is being questioned on its pro- Muslim policies leading to more acts of terrorism. In this light, the film “A Wednesday” doesn’t name the terrorist and his religion and this comes as a positive solution to a problem the state is hesitant to answer.

The way “A Wednesday” ends, without showing the terrorists being punished, blatantly talks about the failure of the State. It often happens that the investigation bureau and the police force, after any terrorist act, arrests anyone and tries to punish them for no reason. They manipulate in the court and try to prove their fake righteousness. However, in the court the so-called criminal gets out clean, and eventually people forget about the act, the criminal and everything else related.

After watching these films you’ll see that a state’s only answer to these acts of violence and terrorism is ‘state terror’. All this claims lives of innocents, but the state is indifferent leaving no option for the people but to bear the brunt.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A new question…


Your answers raised a question in my mind that if the Nation wants Kashmir and not the Kashmiris, then has the Indian economy achieved its aim? In this era of New Economic Order, a human being is more of a product than a proper human and his needs are governed by his surroundings and environment. This environment is framed by the business class, which is governed by profit. However minor this business class may be; they are the one who decide for the majority.

If the influential class believes that the playgrounds for children should be replaced by residential areas, they are right. If they think that kids need gymnasiums and computers, they definitely mean it. All this makes the children feel that with the technology, the world is theirs. The world would become a known territory and they’ll know how things work. They would know how to live and what’s good & bad for them. They would think they have arrived.

The technology would overpower the mind of a child to an extent that he would begin formulating opinions based on it. Like for instance, if any random school is a brand, but is not of the kid’s choice, but the school is a brand; the child would definitely go to that school. The school after all increases social stature and is famous.

Personally I think that we have become so dependent on information technology. The question is what happened in Kandhamal and Gujarat, the far north-east and Bihar. It’s just that, the moment you type it on Google you get all the information one ever needs to know about this area. Now it depends on you, how you take it as. Do you take it as information or news? If it’s news then it’s definitely not complete. It takes the form of a report then. News is complete interpretation. The scope of computer is limited and it’s bound beyond a point. One day if you search India on Google, you may be surprised to know that it’s still a country of snakes and saints, and nothing more than that. Hence, technology is just a medium and not the complete knowledge.

Knowledgeable is man, who is responsible to share his perspectives, giving enough space to all the interpretations, to create a healthier environment. However, the market doesn’t need such a milieu of knowledge. The business minded only want things to be their way, where technology is the ultimate reality. Even blog is a medium, not a world of knowledge. The encounter with reality would only happen on going out into the world and living with real people. Life’s not just about logics and arguments, and everyone knows that. Important is prevalence of the scope of an argument in this Nation, without a threat. If the reactions over something become “listen to me or die”, it would become dangerous.

Next post will be about Bengal. Is the left turning into a pro-capitalist ideology is the whole question.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Kashmir coloured in Hindutva?

Hundreds of questions popped up as if we don't care about our Nation. Anyways, let's answer them considering the fact that we are nationalists.

The Amarnath Shrine Board will be temporarily given 40 hectares of the land for Amarnath yatra. Jammu is happy over the settlement. Two months of protest has finally been acknowledged, and gaiety is in the air. Everyone seems to be content and pleased. Amidst all this, who do you think is happy particularly? Are they the Hindus who are questioning, if mosques can be given land, why not the temples? Or are they the Kashmiri pandits who are content with the amount of land given, which is less than half the actual land that was supposed to be given?

The initial allotment of 800 kanal was made and passed by the State Govt. only. Not only this but the allotment was made and the land was given. However after such an over fury the land was taken back. There are two possible reasons behind this whole conflict. Firstly, a permanent structure was being erected on the land. Secondly, PDP which earlier supported the Congress Govt. knew that they had negligible chances of winning against Congress in Jammu and Kashmir, in elections ahead. PDP has no strength left to face the public, because they had betrayed everyone.

PDP did what it wanted to, and that resulted in the collapse of the Congress Govt. in J&K. The country has a population of 90 crore Hindus, then why such a propaganda regarding the whole issue. Why was the allotment reduced to 40 hectares? And if the whole issue is about Nationalism Vs Separatism, as according to Advani, why was the settlement considered at all? Why it was even needed, on the first hand?

I don't think this settlement has led to any happiness among the Hindus. The whole issue was supposed to conclude on a decisive note rather than on a settlement like this. Jammu suffered a loss of more than 100 crores. The merchant class which was affected had a sikh majority too. These Sikhs were pressurizing the Punjab Govt. to settle the whole dispute, as it was hampering their business.

Akali Dal, which is in power in Punjab, is an ally of BJP. BJP intelligently tried to retain its friendliness with RSS and remain in Jammu, while not trying to further the unrest. It’s visible that BJP is looking at power in J&K. The importance of RSS under BJP's rule has been prominent since A.B. Bajpayee’s rule. On recapitulation of the whole discussion, one thing becomes clear that the emotions of thousands of devotees have been dumped under the settlement.

The question is that, a demand that was initiated by Kashmir, to serve its interests, how merged with that of Jammu's? It was Kashmir that first instigated the demand for independence and on the other hand the Jammu's trade affected Kashmir. The deliberate bifurcation between Jammu and Kashmir led to a feeling that Jammu and Kashmir are different. The agreement on 40 hectares of land only reflects Nationalism through Amarnath and a separatist mindset camouflaged in the demand of independence.

As a result of this resolution, one can say that peace has been accomplished. But then who would have wanted a Kashmir on fire? It was important to retain peace. But if you feel that Kashmiris should be taught a lesson, that terrorists dwell in Kashmir, that leaders like Mebooba Mufti support Pakistanis and terrorists, then why a settlement? Then how is it possible that on the first hand we raise our voices against Pakistan and on the other hand we settle the conflict and celebrate?

The issue mirrors a fact that a State and religion can’t coexist. The Indian history has evidences of this reality. May it be Aurangzeb in the Mughal era or King Ashoka in the Mauryan era. Their downfall started only when they started spreading their respective religions, Islam and Buddhism. It's better not to scale a Nation on the basis of religion and politics.

Relating terrorism to Kashmir and Muslims can be abstained only if the mutual relations strengthen. In our country no political party ever manages to get 15 crore votes. The maximum a party could get ranges from 13 to 14 crore. So, how can it be considered a full majority? Besides this, there is one more fact that I think has led to this 40 hectare settlement; the sacred month of Ramzan. As it’s the time when no one wants a terror struck Kashmir or a conflicted Jammu.