China needs a solid evidence against Masood Azhar, sure

China needs solid evidence against Masood Azhar, sure

China says that if India wants China to vote for the ban of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, it will need to provide some solid evidence. Of course, solid evidence for China would mean an HD video of Masood Azhar blowing up places in India and running amok on the streets going crazy with his machine gun. Anything short of that it would be a “nah”.

There are 15 members in the United Nations Security Council and all but China opposed the ban on Masood Azhar. Even Saudi Arabia is on India’s side.

What’s China’s problem?

I think China’s attitude must be viewed unemotionally, keeping our history by the side. For a long time China has been a thorn in our foot and it is going to remain so because it considers India as a regional competitor. No other country in the world likes Pakistan, but just to keep India on tenterhooks, just to annoy India, just to keep it occupied so that it cannot fully concentrate on its development, China not only hobnobs with Pakistani dictators and corrupt politicians, but also protects terrorists living within Pakistan on international forums. It does that just to show Pakistan that they are chums and India is their common enemy.

Another thing is, and again I would stress that one shouldn’t weigh this fact emotionally, by nature China is a bully. Historically it has been a very philosophical, spiritual civilization, but may be due to the prolonged rein of communism, it has turned into a bully. So, it just wants to tell the world that no matter what is the international opinion, it is going to have its own say. So, come may what, it is not going to support a ban on Masood Azhar even if the entire world wants a ban on the terrorist.

So, what can India do?

In this regard, internationally, it is no use wasting time on China because in such situations, logic doesn’t work. Mollycoddling Pakistan is of strategic importance to both China and America and this reality is not going to change in the near future despite Donald Trump happening to America. All India can do is, strengthen its internal security


Who would’ve thought that we would have an Investors’ Summit in Ranchi?

Lots of progress being made in BJP-ruled states is purposely ignored by the left-dominated news media. Take for example the Investors’ Summit that was launched this Thursday in Ranchi, Jharkhand, and a promise of a Rs. 50,000 crore investment has already been made.

Whenever we heard of Jharkhand it was mostly about tribal problems, naxalism, extreme poverty and conversion. And now people are talking what business investment.

Conventional businesses can thrive only if 2 things happen: a better law and order situation and better infrastructure. These 2 attributes must be right now present in Jharkand to get a commitment of Rs. 50,000 crore from industries like Ratan Tata and Kumar Mangalam Birla.


If gurus are political, what about mullahs and priests?

Dharm gurus are always questioned, for example in this Frontline article that questions “jet set” gurus and godmen (and women) who, according to the article, “push religion into regressive identity politics” and make it into a “means of mass mobilization for political purposes”. The article has the photo of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev as the featured photo (they make sure that only a Hindu is featured, not a Muslim or a Christian).

This is one of those typical articles that are constantly written to preach Hindu gurus and saints. If they simply targeted the attitude of gurus, mullahs and priests, we could agree with them, but if they simply talk about one religion, it drips of hypocrisy and inveterate bias.

True, dharm gurus do glean massive followings and they do use their following to wield political influence. Yes, it happens. It’s been happening since time immemorial. Our great sages were also political. What’s wrong in that?

Many maulvis and mullahs instruct people whom to vote for and whom not to vote for. The same goes for Christian priests in India. Would you ever find a Christian priest urging people to vote for the BJP, for example? No.

The point is, if you don’t like the idea of god men and god women playing with politics then talk about every god man and god woman from every religion, not just Hindus. It’s getting boring now.



Is economic liberalization a curse on the poor

The poor have been here since time immemorial and so have been the rich. In the olden times they lived their separate lives unless there was some blatant exploitation.

The contemporary problem is that the lives of the poor and the lives of the rich are intertwined. This Scroll article, through the review of a book titled “Understanding the Black Economy and Black Money in India”, tells how black money, the money that is siphoned off from various government policies, coupled with economic liberalization, has wrecked havoc with the lives of the poor. There are some stark statistics in the article.

Whether you believe in the basic message of the article or not is not the issue, but the reality is, the poor, no matter in which country they are, these days have to bear the brunt of the progress that is mostly enjoyed by the rich. This is an inescapable reality.

Take for example mining. Most of the natural resources extracted through mining are not used for local populations but they definitely pollute the land and the water around the mining areas.

In the same manner, various industries have polluted water bodies. The rich can afford to purchase water from companies that sell clean drinking water, but the poor have to depend on the dirty, polluted water. This dirty, polluted water makes them sick, and since treatment and medicine are expensive, they either end up spending all their earnings and savings on getting treated, or they remain untreated.

The supporters of the pre-liberalization era say that before economic liberalization, at least people could afford food and medicines. How much of this is true depends on who is telling you the story.

Personally I feel the problem is not liberalization, the problem is our political class that has no will to solve basic civilian problems. But then again, blaming the political class is very convenient because after all, who chooses these politicians? We.

It’s a vicious circle. The circle can only be broken by people like us, who have the means, but sadly, since for us the stakes are not very high, we are not motivated enough.


Are big fat Indian weddings coming to a stop?

There is an impending Lok Sabha Bill that may put an end to the big fat Indian weddings. The bill has been introduced by the Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan and it has a very interesting conditionality for people planning to spend more than Rs. 5 lakhs on a wedding.

If the bill gets passed, if you spend more than Rs. 5 lakhs on a wedding, you will have to spend 10% of the amount you are spending on the wedding, on the marriage of a girl from a poor family. The name of the bill is The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016 and, according to this ScoopWhoop update, it may be taken up as a private member’s bill in the upcoming Lok Sabha session.

Yes, marriages can be insane but then, it is not up to the government to tell people how much they can spend on marriages. After all, the money being spent on lavish marriages isn’t simply being burnt; it is being pumped into the economy in one form or another. People spending so much money on marriages means so much money is being put into the economy.

But of course the bill doesn’t tell you how much you can spend. It only makes you spend the 10% of the amount you are spending on the marriage, on the marriage of some poor girl. The thought is good, although I don’t believe in forcing people to involve themselves in social causes. But this can be a good beginning. Certainly deserves more thought.

Rather than making people spend money on the marriage of some poor girl, they should be encouraged to spend money on the education of a poor child, whether it’s a boy or a girl.


Delhi may have a Nirbhaya Science Museum, but her parents want her real name to be used

Actually the museum is already there. It was opened in R. K. Puram in New Delhi, in 2013, as a tribute to the 23-year-old girl who was gang raped and murdered in a moving bus the previous year.

The science musing was named “Nirbhaya Science Museum”.

At the time when agitations were going on in the city against the brutal gang rape and murder, since the name of the victim cannot be revealed, people started calling her Nirbhaya and now the girl is known by this name.

But her parents want people to know her real name.     Why should she live in anonymity? If there is a museum on her name, then it should be on her name, not on a nomenclatures temporally defined.

Totally agree.


Mukesh Ambani says that for India, Donald Trump is a blessing in disguise

And I totally agree with him. I have been saying this for a long time that if Indian tech industry stops depending on the US, we can develop our very own thriving tech industry here in India and our techies won’t have to struggle for offshore assignments. Then Americans will be looking for work visas to work in India rather than the other way around.

There are 2 reasons why I believe in this: one, as Mukesh Ambani rightly says, we have a huge market. If the tech companies start solving domestic problems, we can have mega tech companies in our very own backyard by simply providing services to our own population, and who would know this better than Reliance? Their cheap mobile phones literally changed the way people communicate with each other – even the poor – and despite selling cheap mobile phones, the company made a killing just because of India’s population.

Two, we have the talent. The tech industry in the US has been run over by Indian software programmers and engineers. Just imagine what wonders these guys and girls can work when they work in India.


People found to be supporting terrorists are terrorists

This is what General Rawat has said and many, mostly liberals, have started scurrying around like startled ants.

When the Indian armed forces are fighting pitched battles with terrorists they are often disrupted by local mobs. While they are being fired at by the terrorists, they are also subjected to stone pelting by the locals. In most of the cases, our army jawans don’t retaliate to civilian provocations but now, it seems, enough is enough.

The army chief has said that there have been even casualties due to constant interference by the local mobs. Now these mobs will be dealt with strictly if they are found to be supporting terrorists instead of the Indian Army.

Locals carrying Pakistani flags in raising antinational slogans will also be taken to task.

I think such a stand was long overdue. India as a state has been apologetic for a long time.

Does FoE mean doing country’s ma-ki-behen-ki with impunity?

Among intellectuals and liberals it has become a fashion to say everything under the sun against the country, the Army, the cultural nuances of the majority community and disparaging festivals and traditions again, of the majority community.

These proclivities would have seemed a normal behavioural pattern had they been uniform in their condemnation for the so-called “backward” practices and repressive tactics. They don’t find Pakistan repressive but defined India repressive. The don’t find Muslim and Christian festivals of offending but they find Hindu festivals offending. They want Jammu and Kashmir to go to Pakistan. They are constantly berating the Indian state while turning a blind eye to the indiscretions of the Pakistani and the Chinese governments.

This Indian express article laments the fact that “intellectuals” like Nivedita Menon of Jawaharlal Nehru University and Rajshree Ranawat of the Jai Narain Vyas University of Jodhpur are being targeted for giving anti-India speeches in front of students.

Police FIRs have been filed against them and there have been protests against such individuals.

Should the so-called intellectuals and liberals be able to say what they want to say in the name of scholarship? Yes.

But if they are going to adapt a bipartisan attitude then they must face the consequences. When they begin to choose sides instead of remaining scholarly, then they have to bear the brunt. If they start pitching one community against the other, one of the communities is going to retaliate and when communities retaliate, they don’t retaliate in a scholarly fashion. Sad, but a reality.

I wouldn’t say I’m a scholar, but I respect scholarship. I believe scholars are the backbone of every civilization. But are these scholars? This is a question that we need to answer first.

If they are going to raise accusing fingers than they can’t decide how the others are going to react. In the name of FoE they’re constantly instigating anti-India forces and they can’t expect the society to simply rant and do nothing. The repercussions for their “FoE”can be serious and they should be prepared for that. If they think that ours is a repressive state, then they are obviously being proven right, so what are they complaining about?


The Indian Express needlessly tried to create a rift between the Indian blind cricket team and Virender Sehwag

Recently the Indian blind cricket team beat Pakistan by 9 wickets and again won the T20 Blind Cricket World Cup title. To congratulate them, the former cricketer Virendra Sehwag posted a Twitter message and used the hashtag #OtherMenInBlue.

Someone at the Indian Express took it upon himself or herself to feel offended and then attribute the offense to the captain of the blind Indian cricket team Ajay Kumar Reddy.

A report in the Indian Express reported that Reddy was upset over the #OtherMenInBlue remark. The news report quoted Reddy as saying, “We wear the same blue jersey, represent the same tri-colour and play with equal pride and passion then why term us as ‘other’? It is appreciable that he congratulated us but then we are no others. We too are the men in blue.”

The good thing is that social media is here. Ajay Kumar Reddy, as reported in this OpIndia report, uploaded a video. In the video he says that he is quite upset the way media has misquoted him. He never said such a thing. You can view the video on the above link.

Further, Sehwag was simply using the official hashtag of the Indian blind cricket team. The hashtag #OtherMenInBlue also appears in the team’s official banner.

The news in itself might not be significant (or it is) but the important point is, the mainstream news organizations can no longer spread canards and other lies. Every person has access to different platforms these days and this is why our “righteous” mainstream journalists feel jittery and cry foul.

It’s so great that Reddy was able to upload his video and the world was able to know what the truth is. Aside from this, even Virender Sehwag was able to include the image of the poster in his tweet. The Indian Express reporter had to eat crow.

Shameless as they are, they still haven’t removed the article from their website.


Big congratulations to ISRO scientists

More than a year ago when India had sent its Mars orbiter the New York Times had mocked at India by publishing a cartoon showing a poor farmer knocking at the door of an elite club of scientists and bureaucrats while holding his cow. What the cartoon meant to say was that India was being extravagant while being such a poor and backward country and all the progress being made in space technology amounted to nothing.

New York Times has had to eat a humble pie now. The ISRO scientists have made a world record by launching 104 satellites into the space with a single PSLV rocket from the Sriharikota Space Centre. The previous world record was sending 37 satellites in one go and the record was made by Russia.

Why humble pie? Because 96 of the 104 satellites that were launched belonged to various US companies. The rest belonged to companies based in Israel, the Netherlands, Kazakhistan, Switzerland and the UAE.

Sending so many satellites at the same time may not involve advanced technology to carry lots of weight because these are nano satellites, but despite that, it is a great feat in the commercial satellite launching arena and the ISRO scientists deserve great congratulations.


No, I still don’t understand the Sasikala episode

What’s going on in the South? Is this the democracy we have developed so far? It seems although the South Indian states like Tamil Nadu have economically fared better compared to other states in India, in terms of political attitude, they are as feudal as the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and as destructive as West Bengal.

First, Sasikala takes ministers hostage and no hue and cry is raised by the public, the media, and even other political parties. Kidnapping and taking ministers hostage is being seen as a mere political manoeuvring. That’s one thing beyond comprehension.

The other is, after the recent SC verdict on the disproportionate assets case she is facing years of imprisonment. She is not being arrested. The police is waiting for her to surrender. She’s going to surrender at her own convenient time. Again, the TV news channels are stating this fact as something very normal. Why isn’t she being arrested? Why is the police waiting for her to surrender? How come she has grown so powerful that even the law and the judiciary have to tread carefully? This is a scary situation for the country and I don’t know why people don’t realise this. Do we live in Afghanistan where the writ of tribal lords runs large?

What’s scarier is, the peels of the deep-rooted rot are coming off layer after layer only now when we no longer have to depend on conventional news media for news updates. Now we are coming to know what sort of democracy the so-called secular and democratic parties have created in the country.

Valentine’s Day and Matri-Pitri-Pujan Divas

Should Indians celebrate Valentine’s Day or not? Should they celebrate Matri-Pitri-Pujan Divas instead? Who should decide what Indians can celebrate and what not?

This is an unfortunate dilemma many youngsters get in every year. Orthodox elements of the society think that celebrations like Valentine’s Day are just a conspiracy to impose Western values on our youngsters. Aren’t they conspiracies? Who knows?

Wearing pants is a western concept. Why do you wear them? TV came from the West. Why do you watch TV? English came from the West. Why do you interact in English? The Internet is a Western invention. The mobile phone is a Western invention. Not just the mobile phone, even the traditional phone is a Western invention. In fact, there’s a big chance that 90% of the day-to-day things that you use have come from the West whether you like it or not. So stop this nonsense and focus on the core issues. The core issue is that our society is insecure because it isn’t sure of its own values. That’s the main problem, not the Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is a nice day to express your love for not just your lover, but also to express your love to your loved ones. It’s a nice thought and no way it pollutes the minds of our youngsters. And anyway, who are we to impose our values on them? They should themselves be allowed to decide what sort of celebrations they want to indulge in.

If you don’t like the concept of Valentine’s Day, then don’t celebrate it. If I want to celebrate Valentine’s Day and if you come to stop me and if you use force to stop me, then you deserve to be arrested and if I have enough physical strength to beat you up, then you should be beaten up.

It’s good that many want to celebrate Matri-Pitri-Pujan Divas but why think of paying respect to mother and father on this particular day? It means paying respect to your mother and father comes as a retaliatory gesture and not as a genuine gesture. This is shameful.

Did demonetization rid the country of all monetary ills?

Nobody in his or her wildest dream would have thought that the recent demonetization drive could solve all money -related problems in the country but people are busy pointing out what didn’t happen after demonetization rather than giving a thought to what happened.

Two big reasons why demonetization was implemented were, fishing out black money as much as possible and rendering fake notes/currency redundant. Both these targets were achieved with great success. People were literally burning notes because they couldn’t be used. Big chunks of terror funding sources were destroyed. Naxals and Maoists lost millions of rupees. This Quora thread has nice information on the positive effects of demonetization. It doesn’t have exact figures but it gives you the complete picture of what all happened due to and after demonetization.

The government was claiming that one of the biggest benefits of demonetization was the elimination of the fake currency. It is said that a big fake currency kingpin publishing Indian notes in Pakistan committed suicide after the demonetization drive. Patthar-baaji in Kashmir suddenly came to a halt.

This India Today report says that fake currency is back. The primary purpose of using the word demonetization along with the expression that fake notes are still being printed is to show that demonetization hasn’t worked the way it was supposed to work.

I think demonetization was a drive but not a long-term solution. It suddenly eliminated notes that were used for wrong purposes. It was like a cleanup drive. Once you clean up the roads, it doesn’t mean they’re not going to get filthy again.


Good news! Food inflation is low

Although it isn’t being discussed in TV news studios and none of the journalists in “reputed” news publications are going to talk about it, inflation is down. I have actually heard people saying that the food is a lot cheaper than it used to be a couple of years ago. People are actually feeling a change at the ground level but of course, media has to be cynical for obvious reasons. This Bloomberg report says that the food and beverage prices rose by just 1.29%. Check out this link for some real-time data on how the inflation rate is coming down.


An India with strong naval capacity good for regional security?

This Daily Signal link says yes, and it makes sense. In this region of the world there is one bully, China, and one goon, Pakistan. A stronger India with a great retaliatory force already keeps Pakistan in check (although India is constantly wounded by the proxy war carried out by Pakistan, but that’s due to India’s weak political structure) but China is altogether a different ball game. It’s a very big country.

It’s one of the few countries that can pose a real challenge to the US in case there is war. India has been once pushed against the wall already. So, a strong naval capacity is going to create a counterbalance. If India has a weak position, on land and on sea, China has little incentive to maintain peace. But if India can retaliate and cause big damage to China’s interests, that it can be a big deterrence. Whether you are on war with an enemy or sitting across the negotiation table, talking with a militarily strong position makes the other party take you seriously.

The article says that:

India’s new K-4 nuclear-capable, submarine-launched ballistic missile is expected to have a range of 3,500 kilometers, a serious improvement over its current operational missile of the same kind.

When coupled with India’s burgeoning nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine program, India is set to seriously increase its second-strike capability in the coming years.

This trend aligns with India’s ongoing efforts to modernize its military with particular focus on naval power. A heftier military capability will extend India’s national influence and potentially rival China.

Most of India’s naval fleet is in Bay of Bengal and around Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These are strategic positions and nuclear warheads can be launched from these nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. Since India follows the “no first use” policy the country has to maintain a 2nd-strike capability. Which means, in case of a nuclear strike from Pakistan or China, there should be locations from where a counter nuclear attack can be carried out.

More than actually carrying out the attack, the capability for a 2nd strike certainly acts as a deterrence and helps maintain peace in the region.


A feminist take on the Rani Padmavati-Bhansali controversy

By now you must be already aware of the attack on film-maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the sets of Rani Padmavati, the movie that he is making on the legendary Rajput queen.

The controversy broke when the prospect of some romantic scene between Allauddin Khilji and Rani Padmavati began to surface in various newspapers.

If you know the tragic story of Rani Padmavati you also know that she had to commit Jauhar because of Allauddin Khilji. Jauhar means jumping into a burning pyre to save yourself from a marauding army of rapists and plunderers. Although there are different opinions on whether she should have committed Jauhar or not – the confusion is mostly in the liberal circles – she is respected for her valor, and the legend is an integral part of the Rajput culture.

So obviously people were incensed that their beloved queen who died due to a barbarous villain, was being shown as having a soft spot for the villain. Whether Bhansali actually intended to do that isn’t clear because since then he has been denying it, the general perception was like that.

Since Rani Padmavati was a woman and she died, willingly, to save her honor, feminists are debating whether it is right to hero worship a woman who died to save her honor. What can be more worth saving than life itself, they say? Feminists are specially disturbed that honor-killing or honor-self-killing is again being extolled in the name of history and pride.

Keeping this issue in mind Neha Srivastava has published an article in DailyO titled “Allauddin Khilji harassed a woman. Romanticising his story is an insult to women“. In the article she recalls when she visited the historic Chittorgarh when she was 15 the story of the brave queen deeply affected her.

From a feminist angle she points out that the poet, Malik Muhammad Jayasi, who originally wrote “Padmavat”, totally objectifies Rani Padmavati by turning her into a mere object of desire. She writes:

Jayasi’s entire poem is a travesty in its own right, for all the male characters dominate the narrative and the main character Padmavati is reduced to nothing but an object to be desired and possessed. Her thoughts, her fears, her wishes, her hopes reduced to sidelines as a madman’s lust overcomes him so much so to preside over wanton murder. Why? Because a woman cannot say “NO”. Even if she does, it is of as little consequence then, as it is now.

It is a work of female objectification which I, as a woman, do not find romantic in any shape or form. Even when faced with the prospect of attack on her home and her people, the Rani says a vehement “NO”. But since a woman’s “No means Yes” since time immemorial, that doesn’t dissuade “lover boy” Khilji, who wanted another “possession” for his harem, where he could rape her whenever he wanted, use her to entertain guests and perhaps even trade her like a material possession.

Many commentators have remarked that the reason why Rani Padmavati doesn’t feature in official records even when Allauddin Khilji and her husband Ratan Singh do, is because it embarrasses the patriarchal mindset of both the sides. Historic chroniclers like Amir Khusro on Khilji’s side mention her just in the passing because it was embarrassing for Khilji to have lost her in front of his eyes even after having won the battle to capture her. On Ratan Singh’s side, it must had been humiliating to agree to show her reflection in the mirror to a lecherous emperor to avoid imminent bloodbath. This is what liberal feminists should object to, not whether, since her records are not there, it’s fine to twist her story according to one’s convenience or not, but, she not getting her rightful place in the recorded history of the country.

Image source