Tag Archives: modi

BOOK REVIEW: THE RSS–ICONS OF THE INDIAN RIGHT by Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

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    It is a well-researched book published in the year 2019. The publishers are Westland Publications, Chennai. The main book comprises of some 405 pages and then you have the end notes and the index. The price of this book is Rs 799. Before I touch the book, let me brief you, about the author.

    Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay began his career in journalism in the early 1980s and is best known for his reportage on the rise of Hindu organisations and their politics. He writes columns for several newspapers and web portals, and is also, a well-known face, on the Indian television news channel, as a political commentator.

    His other books include the best-selling Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times; and Sikhs: The Untold Agony of 1984. Nilanjan is an unabashed college drop-out. He lives with his family in Delhi-NCR.

    The subject book comprehensively explains the genesis of RSS. In present times RSS is almost close to an untouchable organisation for some in India and even abroad. But why, is the moot question. On the face of it, RSS has been, an apolitical organisation in many ways, so to say. But why and how did this right wing organisation become pan India. Was it to save the Hindus and unite them against the onslaught of Muslims primarily, and why forget the British tyranny against Hindu culture—primarily the caste system. The book explains it all through the individual accounts of eleven RSS icons that the author goes on to detail. In a nutshell can one say RSS was a befitting counterweight to the Muslim League? Figure it out for yourself by reading the book. Taking the cue from the book further.

        In the history of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is known for the domineering presence of Konkanastha or Chitpavan Brahmins, it is probably one of the biggest rarities of fate that its founder was born into a family of migrants from a village in Telangana.

    In the early decades of the 19th century, several landless Brahmin families who made their living as priests in Nizamabad district, were forced to flee their homes under the Mughal rule. Many chose to settle in Nagpur, a city that was ruled by Maratha Bhonsle kings, mainly because, the dispensation, supported Vedic learning. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar’s great-great-grandfather was among those who had made the city his home. Gradually, these immigrant families from Andhra Pradesh began to assimilate, and not only did they adapt to Maharashtrian customs, but also began looking up to local historical icons as their very own.

    The book gives a good account of partition and the initial Bengal links of some of the RSS leaders such as Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Golwalkar aka Guruji that goes to show how Bengal was indeed the think-tank of that India. The book unearths certain facts that we’ll never venture to find out in our day-to-day life. One of the peculiarities of national politics at that time was the practice of simultaneous membership in multiple organisations. For instance both the Indian National Congress and Hindu Mahasabha boasted of common members.

    RSS was formed for the promotion and safeguard of Hindus. And at the time of partition when refugees entered India from Pakistan RSS did stellar work in looking after them in terms of food, shelter and security. These refugees soon started off with small trade but they didn’t snap their relationship with the RSS, rather they became members of RSS. And did you know that Veer Savarkar was not a member of BJP’s erstwhile political avatar the Jana Sangh, nor the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), but leaders of the Sangh Parivar, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, always held him in great esteem.

    Yes a fog of mystery does surround the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh—or RSS even today—the largest cadre-based organisation in the world. The political tow-chain that goes on between the RSS and its political offshoot earlier Jan Sangh and now BJP is covered in the individual accounts quite comprehensively which is otherwise a mystery for the common man of India.

    The author chronicles the personal and political journeys of the most important men (and a woman) of the Hindu Right-wing, digging up, little-known, but revealing facts about them. Let me narrate a few of them only to build your interest in this book.

    KESHAV BALIRAM HEDGEWAR: The founder of the RSS, and its first sarsanghchalak, was called ‘Cocaine’ as a young revolutionary, who transported subversive literature for a group back home in Nagpur. Although, Keshav was originally a Brahmin from Telangana, he had little trouble in securing entry into the subversive world of Bengali radicals.

    VINAYAK DAMODAR SAVARKAR: This leading light of the Hindu Right had once invited the vegetarian Mahatma Gandhi to dinner and had told him that unless one consumed animal protein, one would, not be able to challenge the might of the British. Well … few had faced the tyrannical wrath of the British Raj than Veer Savarkar having spent an aeon in Kalapani—so was it a reaction to the deep agonies that he suffered in the jail?

    MADHAV SADASHIV GOLWALKAR aka ‘GURUJI’: The iconic ‘hermit-ideologue’, whose appointment as sarsangchalak was challenged by many in the RSS itself, had maintained, the only work that needs to be done is to unite and organise fragmented Hindu society into a large corporate entity through the daily work of RSS.

    SYAMA PRASAD MOOKERJEE: A brilliant academic-statesman who became part of Nehru’s Cabinet. Mookerjee had several differences with the prime minister. He once asked Nehru: ‘Are Kashmiris Indians first and Kashmiris next, or are they Kashmiris first, second and third, and not Indians at all?’

    BALASAHEB DEORAS: This towering pracharak had a strong dislike for religious rituals, and referred to himself as a ‘Communist’ within the RSS—‘it is highly debatable if he believed in God, or if, in any way he needed Him.’

    DEENDAYAL UPADHYAY: The man who propounded the ‘philosophy’ of integral Humanism was opposed to the partition of India and recommended that, ‘if we want unity, we must adopt the yardstick of Indian nationalism, which is Hindu nationalism, and Indian culture, which is Hindu culture.’

    These and other leaders, including Vijaya Raje Scindia, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Askok Singhal and Bal Thackeray, are all covered in the book. Through the individual stories of the organisation’s tallest leaders, a larger picture emerges. In spite of a three-time ban on RSS in a multicultural and secular India—and despite the RSS’ insistence that it has no truck with electoral politics—the group is, and will be, the hand that’ll always rock the BJP’s cradle. The author by and large maintains a fair balance between criticism and appreciation of the RSS which I liked. He has done a good amount of homework and has got inscriptions from various sources which only adds to the flavour of the book. Yes narration is in long and at times bulky.

    Last but not the least, even if you fear reading a thick book, you could still read it as, one icon at a time, which will not make it monotonous. The chapters are self-sufficient. Language is plain quite easy to understand with occasional verbose. I would give the book seven out of ten. It makes an informative read.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

   

JOURNEY OF ARTICLE 370

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    Until the Modi government moved to end it with a presidential ordnance, Jammu & Kashmir had enjoyed a special constitutional relationship with the Union of India because of the circumstances in which Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of Kashmir, signed the Instrument of Accession after Independence in 1947 ended British paramountcy over his princely state. Government’s move has not repealed 370; it has effectively made it defunct. It has done away with Article 35A, which emanated from it.

1947: WHY MAHARAJA BIT THE ACCESSION BULLET

    The instrument of accession was executed on October 26, 1947 by Hari Singh and accepted by Lord Mountbatten. The circumstances and timing of the signing are important. A few days before that, Pashtun “tribesman” and Pakistani irregulars had crossed into his state and were moving towards Srinagar. The Maharaja turned to India for help, but India could only defend, provided it was a formal part of her territory.

    Clause 5 of the document said that the terms of accession “shall not be varied” by any amendment to the Govt of India Act of 1935 or the Indian independence Act 1947 unless accepted by Hari Singh in a supplementary instrument. Clause 6 disallowed the making of laws to acquire land in the state “for any purpose” but permitted Hari Singh to do so for the Dominion of India for a law applicable to the state. Clause 7 said no future Constitution of India (which was still to be written) could be imposed on the state.

    In 1950, in the original Constitution of India, J&K was listed as a Part B state, along with the other princely states that had merged by Instruments of Accession, including Hyderabad and Mysore.

    Part B states were then abolished and J&K was by an amendment of the Constitution put into Article 1 as India’s 15th state and irrevocably part of the “territory of India.” It continued to enjoy the special status granted to it under Article 370.

PLEBISCITE OUT, SPECIAL STATUS IN

    Article 370 was incorporated in Part XXI (temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir) of the Constitution. The state’s constituent assembly had wanted only those aspects of the Indian Constitution that reflected what Hari Singh had signed away. Besides Article 1, it was the only other article of the Indian Constitution that automatically applied to J&K. The other provisions of the Indian statute could apply to the state only if its constituent assembly concurred.

    Article 370 provided Jammu & Kashmir with special status, allowing it, its own state constitution. The Union of India could legislate act only in defence, foreign affairs and communications.

    Since the 1950s, there have been efforts to pull the state into a deeper embrace with the Union, but Article 370 was strengthened when Sheikh Abdullah, who had become the second Prime Minister of J&K in 1948 and was later dismissed came to an agreement—after spells of detention—with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975. In return for giving up his demand for a plebiscite, special status for J&K was allowed to continue and Sheikh Abdullah became the chief minister.

    However, over the years, the state was made subject to many Indian laws through various amendments in concurrence with the state assembly, the logic being that it was the natural successor to the J&K constituent assembly, which by definition was a transitional body.

    35A DEFINES WHO IS A PERMANENT RESIDENT.

    Article 35A was made part of the Indian Constitution in 1954, through a presidential order—though its genesis goes back to early 20th century Dogra apprehensions of an influx from Punjab, which they feared would change the State’s demographic and land ownership patterns. The article, which defines who is a permanent resident of J&K and lays down laws restricting property purchase and ownership to such permanent residents, also discriminated against women, depriving them of their state subject rights if they married non-permanent residents. The J&K high court ruled against this aspect in 2002.

    It had been the subject of acrimonious political debate and was challenged in the Supreme Court in 2014 on the grounds that it had been added to the Constitution not through an amendment passed by Parliament but by Presidential decree. Recent Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 2019 supersedes the 1954 order, in effect scrapping Article 35A.

    SADR-I-RIYASAT OR GUV: IT’S ALL IN A WORD

    Article 370 said no changes could be made to the Constitution regarding the status of J&K without the concurrence of the state’s constituent assembly. The constituent assembly, though, was dissolved in November 1956 without providing any alternative to obtaining its concurrence. Article 370, originally written as a temporary measure, was treated in several court orders as therefore having become permanent. However, a presidential declaration on November 15, 1952, under Article 370 (3), had defined the “Government” of J&K as meaning the Sadr-i-Riyasat of the state acting under the advice of the state’s Council of Ministers. Then, in 1965, the term “Sadr-i-Riyasat” was changed to “Governor” by the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir (6th Amendment) Act, 1965. The change meant that a Sadr-i-Riyasat elected by the state assembly was replaced by a governor appointed by the President of India.

    August 6 Constitution Order 2019 was issued by the President under Article 370, Clause 1, with the concurrence of the “Government of J&K”. “Government” here means the “Governor”.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

   

INTERESTING FACTS & QUOTES EPISODE 15

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INTERESTING FACTS 

  1. Hamletian dilemma: The phrase is derived from William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. When Hamlet, the prince of Dutch learns that his father was murdered by his uncle, he is in a dilemma as to whether he should avenge his father’s death or continue ruling the kingdom.
  2. Begusarai was once known as the “Leningrad” of Bihar, or the “Leningrad” of East. It was recently in news again, because the Communists, are trying to field Kanhaiya Kumar from this pro Communist constituency. Leningrad as we all know is a place in Russia. The famous siege of Leningrad lasted from September 1941 to 1944. By the end of the siege, some 632,000 people are thought to have died with nearly 4,000 people from Leningrad starving to death on Christmas Day, 1941. The first German artillery shell fell on Leningrad on September 1st, 1941.
  3. Teacher absenteeism accounts for the loss of up to one-quarter of the primary school spending. A World Bank Report estimates this loss to be about $2 billion a year in India, just at the primary level.
  4. With a median age of 27.9 years in 2018, India’s population is quite young. By 2020, youth will make up for 34% of India’s population.
  5. Forty-five million young people have been added to the voters list since 2014. Based on 2011 Census, about two crore youngsters turn 18 every year, even though not everyone gets registered to vote.
  6. India has shown responsibility and restraint by targeting a satellite at 300 km altitude, as opposed to China destroying a satellite at the height of 857 km in 2007, which created a lot of risky debris. But even the Indian test has a small likelihood of creating some debris that gets thrown into the higher orbits.
  7. One of the reasons for lesser concern with India’s test has to do with the height of the test. At 300 kilometers, the debris may survive just for months, if not weeks. At 800 kilometers, the Chinese satellite debris has already survived for more than a decade and may survive for a few more years.
  8. India has demonstrated that it can take down satellites in Low Earth Orbits of less than 2,000 km above the surface.
  9. There are over 22,000 artificial objects currently in the orbit that are being tracked by one government agency or another. The European Space Agency estimates that currently there over 34,000 pieces of debris in the orbit that are larger than 10 cm in size; close to a million pieces between 1 cm and 10 cm; and 128 million pieces of debris less than a centimeter in size. With reducing satellite size and the increasing frequency of space launches, this is only set to grow rapidly.
  10. UTSAVA- is a Sanskrit word. Where, UT –means to ‘let go’ or remove and SAVA means worldly sorrows hence the complete word UTSAVA means to “let go your sorrows.”
  11. In the Scandinavian countries without any reservations, around half the MPs are women. In India we only keep talking of 33% which is not happening.
  12. Earth orbital safety in the 21st century is as vital as shipping lane security was, in the 20th century.
  13. The Lucas critique, named after Robert Lucas‘s work on macroeconomic policy making, argues that it is naive to try to predict the effects of a change in economic policy entirely on the basis of human relationships observed in historical data, especially highly aggregated historical data.
  14. Marriage industry of India boasts about 10 million weddings a year.
  15. There are reports that Pakistan is collaborating with China to develop a fifth-generation fighter aircraft. India too needs to double up.
  16. In Hindu philosophy the soul is interpreted as being without a gender.
  17. Security cooperation was one of the reasons why PM Narasimha Rao formally opened diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, followed by purchase of India’s first IAI Searcher unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and an air combat manoeuvring system from Israel in 1996. 
  18. India is the largest single market for Israeli arms. Israeli arms sale to India is only second to Russia, having gone up by 650% in the past decade, now amounting to $715 million in 2017 alone. IAF misslies fired in Balakot reportedly used Israeli made SPICE-2000 GUIDANCE KITS.
  19. Modi was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Tel-Aviv in July 2017 and then came the visit of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to Delhi in January 2018.
  20. Israel is virtually a ‘nation-at-arms’ country. It has always had conscription, or draft, or compulsory enlistment of people in national service. Every Israeli man (who’s Jew or Druze, excepting those with medical disabilities or religious scholars) above 18 serves in the military for 36 months, and every Israeli woman for 24 months.
  21. The National bill of Israel passed in 2018 specified Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. This makes Israeli state closer to a theocratic one.
  22. Iron and steel accounts for roughly 15-20 % of the total cost in real estate.
  23. Global warming: When Americans were experiencing bone-chilling temperatures on January 29, the world was actually 0.3 degrees warmer on an average compared to a baseline from 1979 to 2000.
  24. Among all the 13 tiger range countries, India alone has the maximum number of tigers (70% of the global wild tiger population) and their source areas. This impressive gain is there despite the fact that our per capita forest is only 0.06 hectare as against the world average of 0.6 hectare, apart from having 60% of global livestock, 17% of world’s human population, with a forest productivity of around 1.34 cubic metre per hectare per year as against world’s average of 2.1 cubic metre per hectare per year.
  25. It has been documented that around 67,911 hectares of forest cover has been lost in 188 districts of India between 2009 and 2011 due to encroachment.

Quotes

  1. Earth: The soil is her flesh, the rocks are her bones, and the wind is her breath; trees and grass her hair. She lives, spreads out, and we live on her. When she moves we have an earthquake—Rabbi Ezekiel Malekar
  2. In real life it is the hare who wins—ANITA BROOKNER, award winning novelist.
  3. Mary Shelley projected through the character, Frankenstein. We all are threatened by the monsters we create. They don’t come into being on their own.
  4. Every fair-minded person holding a position of authority must support the few who have stood up against the injustice being perpetrated in the name of blasphemy—ASMA JAHANGIR, Pakistani Human Rights lawyer and activist.
  5. If you don’t have a coalition with you, you will have a coalition against you—SHIMON PERES. Israeli politician who served as the ninth President of Israel.
  6. ‘No book is perennially useful to mankind,’ says English philosopher David Hume.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK TALK: THIS UNQUIET LAND … by Barkha Dutt

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

THIS UNQUIET LAND

(STORIES FROM INDIA’S FAULT LINES)

By Barkha Dutt

(Published in 2016)

Publisher: Aleph

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about

    There is an old saying. ‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.’ I think the saying fits in quite well in this case as you’ll come across many lives in this book.

    Barkha began working in 1994 for a news show that was originally broadcasted on Doordarshan. Her entry into journalism coincided with the birth of private TV. But, then, why this book all of a sudden? Showcasing India’s fault lines that runs deep and wide. Some of them even go back, centuries. The book is some three hundred plus pages. Where, she has selected certain topics, that have been haunting India for quite some time now. And these topics have even besmirched India’s reputation abroad. Basically she has handpicked issues that she came across during her career as a journalist. And around those issues the book spreads like a Banyan tree, but without any storyline. Hence it is difficult to summarise or even write a synopsis. However, what I’ve attempted here for you is, the trait of the book. Along with its central points that will give a sense of what the book is all about.

    The book spins around issues and the issues spin around Barkha. It has a gamut of aspects—starting right from her childhood, including parents, education, career, enthusiasm and even frustration. But most of the time … it is India’s helplessness. So, not a very superlative narrative for the country I would say. But I guess it can’t be helped. Because, for most journalists the uncompromising tenet is to first broadcast the negatives comprehensively, and beyond that if the time permits a few positive outlines too. Remember by broadcasting achievements you don’t get as many eyeballs as you get by broadcasting disasters. To substantiate the point Barkha quotes a VIP who says—‘India is a country that moves from headlines to headlines.’ Of course sensational ones. 

     The central theme of the book perambulates around, the last hundred years of India. One could call it the not-so-recent as well as the recent events of India. But then, while cruising through the book one does get a stale feeling, as if you’re zipping through some old newspaper columns or an old magazine article in staccato effect. Certain pages get you a feel as if you’re negotiating a long prose, though well described but high on verbosity. And what really keeps you charged during such narrations, are things that you don’t know, and that too, within what you know and also what goes on behind the scene. Many of us know a lot about the Kargil war through electronic and print media. Yet, we may not know, how important a role, late Mr Brajesh Mishra played in solving the crisis. Or we may have heard about Bhanvari Devi rape case in Rajasthan. But we may not know that ‘Bhanvari Devi’ was the starting point in the rape history of India where the other end was ‘Nirbhaya.’ The title covers the following chapters. Where, each chapter appears to be a short book in itself.

    PLACE OF WOMEN:  the chapter is almost like the rape history of modern India. The description below is about Bhanvari Devi and how ghastly.

     ‘Post rape: ‘Back at the police station, she was asked to strip and leave her ghagra behind as evidence. It was past midnight when she made her way home draped in the thin cloth of her husband’s turban.’ she picks the narration from Bhanwari Devi rape case of Rajasthan and links it up with Nirbhaya.

    In between, the lady author also spreads across to other rape cases, that had figured in various headlines during all these years. At times the narration appears as a memoir with a lot of emphasis on the sufferings of Indian women vis-a-vis the unceasing tyranny of the Indian men. Something, that is even otherwise known to most Indians. But then she doesn’t really relay any out-of-the-box suggestions, to at least dampen the malaise. She gives a good account of a lady journalist. Problems she faced while commencing her career. And in all of that, she juggles quite well with the words but the content doesn’t seem to be very uncommon. In certain pages sentences are long. But then they are vivid and to the point. The book has a tilt towards feminism which is quite obvious.

     It’s high on lexicon for an average reader, who might have to Google more often, to keep cruising. Therefore, the target audience is clearly the elite. But shouldn’t books with such historical sparks be, in easy read format? She has dug out some exhaustive statistics on females of India, especially, working women, and their sexual harassment.

    The book has a striking hard cover. The title is appropriate and gets further substantiated by a pin pointing sub title that says—STORIES FROM INDIA’S FAULT LINES. It is well presented in terms of font and flow. But it is still not a very moving book. As it swings between, diverse chapters and the personal memoir and does not have a linear penetrating plot. And it goes on and on. Sure intermittently it has interesting frills. As a messenger she has reported the happenings in the most erudite style, but has not presented too much of her own view points. She also touches upon the Gulabi gang of Uttar Pradesh that once operated in full flow. At places the narration is quite pungent when you compare it with the topic. Chapter deals with women’s issues, especially rape where it also cites three other cases. But then there are no incites or suggestions to solve the menace. She also goes on to describe the methodology of women politicians and about the callousness of women officers who are not sensitive to women’s cause. Superwoman versus supermom is comparison she draws quite artfully.

THE COST OF WAR

    This chapter by and large takes you through the sad tale of Kargil War. During the war Barkha was often seen near the the LOC. It was well covered by the channel she was working for, then. I’m sure. She must be carrying evocative memories about it. Such memories don’t die. Rather, you carry them to your grave. In this chapter, she even goes on to describe the role of Brajesh Misra, principal secretary and national security advisor to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in quite a detail, which you won’t come to know unless you read the book. She even elucidates the role that the diplomats of India played in bringing the war to an end, together with the balancing act of the US. She throws up some good war statistics. But she could have vented her views more ferociously. The chapter has a lot of stuff from ground zero.

    It fleshes out some good war statistics. It also hazily talks about gun configurations. The chapter explicates extensively, about the various wars with Pakistan and even the border skirmishes with China. She mixes the blend of her career and the Kargil war quite efficiently. For the general public doesn’t know what all goes on behind the scene and this is where she makes a killing. Excellent and moving description about martyr’s cremation.

     The sentence that moved me was, ‘And so in Kargil without snow shoes or proper high-altitude gear, Vishal and other first-time troops literally crawled their way up to peaks as high as 18,000 feet, where the temperature slipped to as much as ten degrees below zero to fight for the honour of their platoons and regiments.’

TERROR IN OUR TIME

    The chapter covers the gory parliament attack of 2001. It also gives a good account of, the history of terrorism in modern India. In this the lady author covers selected terrorist attacks. She gives a wide coverage of 26/11 Mumbai attack, describes Ajmal Kasab’s episode in detail. And how, in that moment of disaster, communities come together in Mumbai’s Zaveri bazaar. Narration is good and content is extensive. She also sketchily talks about farmer’s suicide. As a true messenger she reports whatever is happening in India. She talks about various issues without any solutions. Then she goes all over and even touches upon Sheena Bora murder case in page 95. She then even adds Samjhauta express and Malegaon blasts. A lot of it is the same and reverberates in your mind as news items of those times. But yes there are some finer points too, which were kept under the carpet, which is interesting. ‘Extremism is a bigger threat than terrorism’ she hears from another VIP.

    But in the ultimate analysis I would ask. If such books even reach the think tank of the dispensation to act upon, or they just get into their personal libraries and sit their as literary accolades. She further makes an important point–200 districts have Maoist movement—India’s red corridor. Where, she richochet’s some good statistics. And gives a good hidden perspective of India, overall.

IN THE NAME OF GOD

    She covers Gujarat riots together along with with the rapes that happened in 2002. A lot of it is a recount of recent history. How kar-sewaks were murdered and Muslims were massacred as a consequence of that. But she nowhere blames the media for reporting inflammable stuff. Rather she rarely points a finger at the media. She covers Gujarat riots in great detail but has less to say about the sentiments of the relatives of the kar-sewaks who were murdered in Godara. The narration appears as catchy news reports without author’s own modulation. She talks about the strong points of Indira Gandhi. She covers Babri Masjid demolition too. And compares the trinity– Narsimha Rao, Rajiv Gandi and Rahul Gandhi

A CHRONICLE OF KASHMIR

    Barkha mentions the minute India released Maulana Masoor Azhar, Omar Saeed Sheikh and Mushtaq Ahmed on 31.12.99 for hijacking IC-814 India turned into a soft state. Farooq Abdullah who was then the Chief Minister of J&K vehemently protested this. She narrates further, ‘the minute we gave in, India became a soft state; an apoplectic Farooq Abdullah, who was chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir during the hijacking of IC-814, would tell me later. He phoned L.K. Advani, the then home minister, to vehemently oppose the release of terrorist.’ … She doesn’t hesitate in exposing India’s weakness. Then she covers the 1st suicide attack of the valley. Even harps about countries spreading terrorism, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. She of course has a lifelong obsession about J&K and doesn’t forget to talk about Nehru’s background and the birth and growth of JKLF. An interesting point that she makes is:

    ‘A month later in September, the prevaricating Maharaja Hari Singh made an offer of accession to India for the very first time. Nehru stunned him by making the deal conditional on the release of Sheikh Abdullah from jail. The maharaja refused.’ She also goes on to describe Patel’s conversation with Nehru. And of course she has described J&K’s constitutional history quite well and has also dealt with the malaise of Kashmir in detail.

OF POLITICAL DYNASTS, JUGGERANUTS AND MAVERICKS

    The chapter is full of anecdotal tales which the readers would love reading. It covers lady author’s encounter with various national and international leaders and even there close relatives. Where, it starts from Priyanka, Raga (Rahul Gandhi) and even Robert Vadhra. Barkha is curt and brusque when she wants to be. She compares Modi with Gandhis only to say, ‘Modi was determined to overthrow the political royalty of the Gandhis. He was a citizen who had come to take the kingdom.’ She disparages Raga, who had the luxury of several years of authority without any responsibility. But he neither became a minister in the government nor took charge of the party.

    She then goes on to describe the sum and substance of Arvind Kejriwal and at one point even draws a comparison between him and Raga. Both are youthful men, in their early forties—where, Arvind is acutely educated, and has a self achieved track record.

    Another interesting point that she makes is about Indira Gandhi under whose leadership Congress as an institution collapsed. She then spreads across to various political leaders of India and their parties. Her description about Mani Shankar Aiyar is engrossing. And there is a good compilation of political barbs. And of course how could she leave out Dr Manmohan Singh. L. K. Advani couldn’t have been left out either with his stories about Babri Masjid and his visit to Jinnah’s grave.

    The interesting comparision she draws is in between the ‘Chaiwala’ and the ‘Mufflerman’ (Namo and Arvind Kejriwal). Talks about ‘Achhe Din’ and ‘Make in India.’

    She opines about Modi, ‘I have always felt, in the many years that I have observed him, that Modi’s ambitions are personal not ideological.’

    I personally feel her overexposure to the affairs of Pakistan and Kashmir in some ways narrowed her journalistic prowess. She got branded. And that reflects in the book also. But then exposure is not always in your hands. She covers Nawaz Sharif and his delegation in the US, and his calling Manmohan Singh a ‘Dehati Aurat.’—that she clarifies.

    She talks about AAP party at length and the anti corruption movement.

A SOCIETY IN FLUX

    This chapter flows all over. It has no direction or plot. Whatever she felt … she has written about. And is quite a contrast to the previous chapters. I guess she wanted to close the book now. India is prone to disasters, so she talks about the Nagapattinam Tsunami of 2004, in Tamil Nadu which she had covered. She describes Ambedkar’s conversion ceremony to Buddhism. Where, she doesn’t forget to remind what Mahatma Gandhi had to say about conversion

    ‘I am against conversion, whether it is known as shuddhi by Hindus, tabligh by Mussalmans, or proselytizing by Christians.’

    Then she covers certain topics that had made it to the headlines. She of course digs into the history of India and fetches out things she had not come across in her career. She describes the pliant middle class of India. Talks a bit about the Modern School, where she had studied. Remembers, the Mandal agitation of 1992, and also brushes past IPL, Sunanda Pushkar and even Lalit Modi.

    Overall, a valuable read. Only if you’re interested in knowing how India operates or rather how the government of the day operates.

*****

Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

 

MODI GOVERNMENT DOES WELL: Rent won’t allow longer stay in Lutyens’ zone now

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

New Doc 66_1

Narendra Modi government has done extremely well by disallowing, Politicians and Bureaucrats to continue in their ‘Paradise’ (official Lutyens’ zone bungalows) when it’s a clear case of ‘Paradise-lost.’

Government truly is not a real estate agent and is not there to make money on such properties. By bringing about this order, BJP has hit at some politicians and bureaucrats where it hurts the most.

Recently TOI had covered shameless politicians like Ambika Soni and Kumari Selja of Congress party who were digging their heels for their sprawling bungalows, when they don’t deserve it anymore. Congress had converted Lutyens’ zone into a “Private Estate.”

Well done Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr Venkaiah Naidu!

Suggestion: The more you remove VVIP-ISM more you will stand a chance of returning in the next elections. Remember Indians are now frustrated with vulgar display of VVIP-ISM.

TOI: column 25.5.15 ‘Rent won’t allow longer stay in Lutyens’zone now.

NEHRU SNOOP ON FAMILY MEMBERS OF SUBHASH CHANDRA BOSE. DID HE SURVIVE THE AIRCRASH?

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11New Doc 11_1

    Mystery deepens today on Subhash Chandra Bose. For who was Gumnami Baba? Read the full column till the end and the two newspaper clippings appended.

    Everything needn’t be proved. The world can as well live, with unproven stuff. For there is no scientific proof that God exists. Yet the majority on planet earth, believes in some form of God. Arising, purely out of faith. And ‘faith moves mountains’ as the saying goes. Post Subhash Chandra Bose’s air crash some believed he was dead, and some felt he was alive. In Lucknow there was a strong buzz, that Subhash Chandra Bose is alive and in solitary confinement near Ayodhya, and this how the story goes.

    ‘When I was young and in a school in Lucknow. There were rumours galore that an old ‘Baba’ stays near Ayodhya in a secluded ‘mutt’ and that he is Subhash Chandra Bose in hiding. And that many senior political leaders and government officials often come to see him but no civilian is allowed to meet him. So, then, who was he, if not Subhash Chandra Bose? This was a common hearsay in Lucknow, Faizabad and even Ayodhya around late sixties and early seventies. The veracity of this story can be traced back to some intelligence archives of the UP Government. But the moot question remained, why was Subhash Chandra Bose in hiding?

    And, to that we were told that Government of India had an unwritten understanding with the British, after independence. That ever in future. If Subhash Chandra Bose was found alive post the air crash on 18th August 1945. He would be handed over to the British Government for his secessionist acts. Where, the only punishment would be ‘capital punishment.’ But Government of India could not have handed over, its worthy son of the soil to the Britishers, even if clandestinely committed. So, when Subhash Chandra Bose was found alive, after the air crash he was kept under house arrest, and in hiding at a secret location in Ayodhya. And, later after some years there were rumours that the baba had died.

    Whether proven or unproven. There is no smoke without fire and such issues where the masses are not at rest keep simmering off and on.

    Read the article by M.J. Akbar on Nehru snooping titled. “Some Fire Smouldering Within Smoke.” Appended above.

    And below is another interesting article titled–“Mystery lives on: Did Netaji Subhas Bose really die in that plane crash.”

New Doc 11_1_resized

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

 

ARTICLE- MIND THE BRAND IMAGE OF YOUR SURNAME

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16

Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘surname’ as a ‘hereditary name common to all members of a family.’ And in India many families can have the same surname, provided it comes down their lineage and is acceptable to them. In other words surnames are just family, caste or even trade and trait names. But certain towering personalities take their surnames to unimaginable heights and some bring it down. But bringing it down is only okay till it doesn’t start affecting the generic surname in an adverse manner.

Let us start with the father of the nation’s surname- Gandhi. I would call it one of the tallest surnames of the world. Today, Gandhi is almost a synonym for non-violence, freedom struggle and nobility. Many Gandhis may have come and gone thereafter, but this one Gandhi, the father of the nation has stood the ground; thereby raising the brand image of this surname.

Today, some contemporary and tall Gandhis, appear in certain ways, to be in ethereal sync with the father of the nation’s surname, even if they are not up there. Just as Indra and Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India, Sonia Gandhi the Congress President and Chairperson of the UPA and Rahul Gandhi Vice President of the Congress Party. And, so the overall brand image of surname ‘Gandhi’ deceptively conveys, as if all Gandhis are a towering personality by default. And in some way or the other guiding India, and could even be dynastical. Surname ‘Nehru’ too had a strong brand image but never got the critical mass to surge ahead, I guess.

32

It is typical of India, certain surnames always zoom you to certain professions, traits and banners. Just as the Khans, the three top stars of India; remind you of acting under the Bollywood banner- the famous trio of Shahrukh, Salman and Amir. But then one Khan could be known as a trouble maker that pulls down the brand image of other Khans. And, the Kapoors, who too remind you of the erstwhile number one family of Bollywood; Prithviraj and Raj Kapoor. And this is how certain brand images of certain surnames have been built.

And, then the Ambanis sounding generic to business; reminds you of Dhirubhai Ambani and his sons Mukesh and Anil now running the biggest business empire of the country. While we come to sports, Tendulkar, Gavaskar and Amarnath brothers connect you to cricket in the manner Amritraj brothers connected you to lawn tennis to name a few sportsmen.

And, I can’t move ahead unless I talk about one of India’s most famous surnames ‘Singh.’ It signifies the ruling class of India. Even the Sikhs as a community wear this famous surname. Many Rajas and erstwhile rulers have used this surname Singh and have given it a high brand image. Lord Rama too was from this clan. Some famous Singhs of India are Dr Karan Singh, Giani Zail Singh and Dr Manmohan Singh who unfortunately got reworded to Maunmohan Singh. But, then, where do we place the famous Yadav Singh involved in this huge scam in Noida.

Then you have one of the oldest and strongest surnames in the name and style of ‘Yadav.’ It originates from Lord Krishna, a Yaduvanshi and therefore considered holy. But then how does it battle the whining cry of criminals such as Pappu Yadav, Lalu Yadav and the more recent ones Shiv Kumar Yadav involved in rape crime. And the lackluster Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav who need to do much more in the stream of governance. Probably boxer Vikas Yadav and psephologist-cum-politician Yogendra Yadav bring some reprieve.

‘Modi’ was never a strong surname brand in India. But there again one towering personality like Narendra Modi has made the surname ‘Modi’ as an international brand now having being picked as number two out of thirty most performing of the world leaders.