(mis)marriage for Mrs Modi

What is wrong with marriage? An ordinary man may become distracted and lose focus, but a Great Man should have no such misgivings.

What is wrong with having a good woman by your side? Usually it is the Ceasar’s in-laws that create most of the problems. Look at the first dynasty and the mad mango man (son-in-law).

Who is the ideal man? We expect a man to always stand by his wife. For life. Even the most perfect man (Ram) had erred grievously when he abandoned his wife (Sita). It is acknowledged that the man (as a minor) did not have a say in the nuptials (but neither did the woman) however once you have said the vows you have no choice but to honor them. 

If you treat your wife dishonorably how will you treat (Mother) India?
…..
Married
at 17 to a bride about his age, BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi has
admitted for the first time under oath that he has a wife.



In
his nomination form for the Vadodara Lok Sabha seat, which he filed amid
much fanfare on Wednesday, he entered the name of Jashodaben as his
wife. She is a retired school teacher in Brahmanwada, a village about
35km from Modi’s hometown, Vadnagar.

Now 63, the former RSS
pracharak had left the column blank in the last four state assembly
elections in 2001, 2002, 2007 and 2012. This was first openly challenged
in pamphlets distributed by Congress in January 2001 when Modi
contested the by-election to the Rajkot-2 assembly seat, three months
after becoming Gujarat CM.

His opponents hope that this
disclosure will dent his popularity among women who might empathize with
Jashodaben, whom he never returned to after two weeks of their
nuptials.

The declaration is reported to have come after strict
legal advice that he come clean on the marriage which, his family
members say, was never consummated.

As per the Representation
of the People Act, 1951, every candidate is required to declare even
assets held in the name of the spouse. In his nomination form, Modi has
said he has no information about Jashodaben’s income, IT returns and PAN
details.

The Supreme Court in November last year had refused
to entertain a PIL accusing Modi of leaving the column on marital status
blank in the nomination papers for the Maninagar assembly seat in 2012.

….
regards

Muslim Brahmin axis rides high (on elephant back)

Brahmins (210), Muslims (19), SCs (17)!!!

One group has ruled India for a few centuries. The other group has been the social leaders for many more centuries.

Now the (dalit) Rani riding high on her elephant is graciously offering them (more than a fair share) a seat at the high table, provided she is made the high priest. The pyramid is inverted and a giant leap for social evolution!!!

This rainbow coalition must be driving the caste-hustlers nuts.
This
Lok Sabha election, the elephant will seek to trample the opposition
with the power of Muslim-Brahmin combination. In a tactical shift,
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Thursday decided to give a
larger chunk of seats to Brahmins (21) and Muslims (19) in comparison
to what she did in 2009 Lok Sabha election, when 20 Brahmins and 14
Muslims got the BSP ticket.
The higher allocation of seats to the two
communities has thus decreased the number of OBCs, who are ostensibly
being wooed by both Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The move to give more seats to Muslims is seen as an attempt to woo the
community in the wake of west UP riots that claimed the lives of around
60 people, ostensibly from the minority. The lesser number of seats
allocated to OBCs is seen also as a shrewd move of Mayawati given the
fact that the community is already divided between SP and BJP. The BSP
chief also decided to field 17 SCs, eight Thakurs and seven women
candidates.

….
regards

Poor or Backward? (that is the question)

Option one: Reservations for everybody (already many political parties have floated the concept of reservations for economically lagging forward castes) as per political calculations (which are by necessity big tent- you cant win on the back of any one community, while simultaneously polarizing others) and held to strict scrutiny by the Courts.

Option two: Reservations for low income (low wealth). This way only poor people benefit from reservations. It will be difficult to argue that poor people of all classes are not equally deserving. After all, this is a principle which is already accepted in Option One.

The difference between the two is not expected to be significant, except the caste factor will be blunted in the second case. It may be also a clear cut way of introducing reservations for Muslims. 

Instead what we have is a bloody mess involving various communities fighting amongst themselves to prove how backward and how deserving they are. This only sharpens the caste factor and amplifies grievance and puts people in various (permanent) boxes. For greedy, grubby politicians- what is not to like?
….

The
Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea to stay Centre’s poll-eve
notification to include the Jat community in the OBC list for providing
the benefits of reservation, saying there are prima facie material for
taking the decision.


Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for OBC Reservation Raksha
Samiti — an organisation of members of communities which are included in
the central list of Backward Classes, alleged that the March 4
notification was issued a day before the model code of conduct (MCC)
came into force and it was done by the party in power to garner votes.

However, the bench said it cannot come in the way of the government taking a decision a day before the MCC came into force. “Government is a government. We can’t say, you can’t do. Till one day
before (the MCC), they can take a decision,” the bench said.

Venugopal submitted the party in power took the decision for private gain.

On April 1, the apex court had asked the Centre why it allegedly
ignored the advice of the National Commission for Backward Classes
(NCBC) to keep the Jat community away from reservation benefits.

The court had also said that “the matter is serious” and had directed
the ministry of social justice and empowerment to place before it all
the material, records and files pertaining to the decision, to see
“whether there was application of mind or not” while issuing the March 4
notification.

The notification included Jat community in OBC
list in Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh,
Delhi, Rajasthan (two districts of Bharatpur and Dholpur), Uttar
Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.

OBC Reservation Raksha Samiti in its
plea had contended that as a result of the notification, Jats will be
like a “creamy layer” in the OBC list and will take away the seats and
posts in schools, colleges and government jobs from other community.

The petitioners,
referring to several empirical studies and survey, have contended that
Jat community being a socially forward caste will consume substantive
portion of the quota of OBC reservation which will deprive the deserving
people of other backward classes of the benefit of reservation.

They submitted that people of Jat community have performed much better
than those of other castes and the number of those who have been
selected in the prestigious civil services exam of UPSC is much higher
than the number proportionate to their population.

….
regards

Red planet beckons

Mausi Mars (Mangal) is coming closer and closer to Ammi Earth (Prithvi). There is no need to pack your emergency gear (yet), she is 92 mil km away!!!

In the meantime the pride of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) the Mangal Yaan which left Earth on November 05, 2013 and has crossed the half-way point as of Wednesday, April 09, 2014 at 0950 hrs (Indian Standard Time).

The D-day (Mars insertion step) is September 24, 2014. Watch this space for updates.

“On Wednesday at 9:50am, India’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft crossed the
half-way mark of its journey to the red planet along the designated
helio-centric trajectory,” the Indian Space Research Organisation said
in a statement.

India’s Deep Space Network, aided by NASA, has
been tracking the orbiter since its launch and six orbit raising
manoeuvres after which it left the Earth orbit on December 1 last year.

Through six orbit raising
exercises, scientists have brought the apogee (the spacecraft’s farthest
point from Earth) from the initial 25,000 km to 1,92,000 km.

As the spacecraft goes through the spheres of influence of the Sun and
Mars, four trajectory correction manoeuvres (TCMs) were planned to keep
it on course. Originally the TCMs were planned in April, August and
September, 2014.  The Mars orbiter insertion will be carried out on
September 24, 2014.

If all goes fine, MOM will study a range of
things including early signs of life or supporting system on the red
planet and its atmosphere through five indigenous instruments or for at
least five months.

India is among an elite club of nations to
take up interplanetary probes. Of the 51 Mars missions by the US and
Russia/ USSR, only 21 had been successful. Fourteen days after India’s
MoM, the US launched a similar mission, MAVEN, which is also on its way
to the red planet.

….
regards

Seeking Jaziyah from muslims

Here is a living glowing consequence of the 2-nation theory. The basic premise is simple: If muslims deserve a separate homeland why should hindus not have one as well? The only thing that stands between this vision (demand) and reality is an unified muslim block vote for the Congress or its substitutes.

As Shahid Siddiqui points out such block-voting has come at a great expense of economic and social backwardness- which suits both the political masters and community leaders just fine. And ironically it has not even helped in making muslims feel secure (which is the rationale for Jaziyah).

But things may change. The worm will eventually turn. Muslims will reject the false choice of security and progress. They will demand both which they are fully entitled to, as citizens of India, regardless of caste and creed. That will hopefully be the beginning of a new India.
….


Jaziyah is the protection tax that non-Muslim citizens of an Islamic
state have to pay to the Islamic government for their safety and
well-being. In independent India minorities, especially Muslims, have to
pay Jaziyah of a different kind. This Jaziyah is in the form of votes,
paid to so-called secular parties, especially to Congress for ensuring
protection to them, for not letting India become a Hindu nation and
keeping it secular.


Since Independence this game has been
played both covertly and overtly. Media and intellectuals have,
knowingly or unknowingly, helped these parties in extracting this
‘electoral Jaziyah’ from insecure minorities. After partition, Muslims
who remained in India were told both by Muslim and ‘secular’ leadership
that if they wanted to survive in Hindu India it was their duty to
protect secularism, which in real terms meant voting for one party,
which in return would keep India secular.

In India’s political
lexicon, thereafter, ‘secularism’ became synonymous with ‘Muslim vote
bank’. The Sangh Parivar parties used it conversely to mean ‘appeasement
of Muslims’. Indian ‘secularism’ therefore was neither ‘sarva dharma
samabhava’ (equal respect for all religions) nor the European concept of
state above religion. It meant protecting minorities from possible
violence and discrimination. In practical terms it meant verbal
appeasement of Muslims, especially before elections.

The
socio-economic condition of Muslims deteriorated after Independence,
riot after riot made them more insecure, their representation in
government and private services declined, they became economically more
vulnerable. They went into a shell and their sense of victimhood made
them withdraw into a social and political ghetto.

Congress,
which claimed to be secular, took the service of maulanas, political
ulemas and other conservative elements instead of educated liberals to
garner Muslim votes. In other words communal leadership was imposed on
Muslims by ‘secular’ parties.

Liberal Muslim leaders demanded
economic and social rights while religious leaders were more concerned
with Muslim personal law or protection of madrassas or perceived notions
of ‘Islam in danger’. From Jawaharlal Nehru to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi,
‘appeasement’ of Muslim communal leadership, at a heavy cost to the
educational and economic growth of the community, took place.

Other ‘secular’ parties followed the same path of appeasing the
religious/communal leadership to garner the Muslim vote. ‘Secular’
leaders made a beeline to get political fatwas from Madanis of Deoband,
Ali Mian of Nadwatul Ulema, Shahi Imam Bukhari of Delhi’s Jama Masjid to
Arshadul Qadri and Tauseef Raza of Barelvi school, so that Muslims were
herded like sheep to vote for saving secularism.

Realising
that these ‘secular’ parties only cared for and promoted narrow
religious leaders, even educated liberal and secular Muslim leaders
started speaking the same language. Those like Azam Khan, Syed
Shahabuddin and the Owaisis replaced others like Dr Faridi, Karim
Chhagla, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad or Arif Mohammad Khan.

Muslims
have been carrying this cross of secularism on their feeble shoulders
for the last 67 years. From my student days when we campaigned for
Subhadra Joshi and D R Goyal, great crusaders for secularism, we saw
that all meetings for ‘secular democracy’ were organised only in Muslim
localities, as if only Muslims were required to be educated about
‘secular India’.

Later we realised that it was not to educate
Muslims about secularism but to create the fear of Jan Sangh and Balraj
Madhok, making Muslims vote for Congress unquestioningly. The same game
has been played over and over again and gullible Muslims as well as
their intelligentsia have carried this cross as an honour and privilege
since Independence.

As chairman of Congress’ Minority Cell in
1996, I was surprised to discover that all its meetings began with
recitation of Quran. I stopped this practice as I considered it a
religious activity not suitable for a secular party. However, this was
held against me by my secular colleagues in the party. Whenever i spoke
about socio-economic and educational problems faced by the community, i
was told by Congress’ highest leadership that Muslims voted out of fear
and not for development.

The same attitude prevails in other
‘secular’ parties like SP or BSP. They believe in taking the Muslim vote
for granted. Muslims had no ‘option’ but to vote for these parties if
they wanted India to remain secular.

Any group or community
without an option in a democracy is a bonded slave of certain parties
and politics. There are regional alternatives like SP, Trinamool
Congress, RJD and so on — but their attitude is the same. They all
expect Muslims to pay protection money in the form of their votes, the
secular ‘Jaziyah’ of modern democratic India.

How long and for
how many more elections will this continue? When will secularism be the
need for a modern state which treats its citizens equally, rather than a
burden to be carried by minorities of this great nation? The enemies of
secularism are not those who have opposed it but those who have
manipulated it for their electoral benefit, looking to get Muslim votes
out of fear rather than from conviction.

The writer is a former MP and editor, Nai Duniya.


regards

Bangladesh war hero is history

It is true enough that those who do not learn from history are condemned to a repeat performance. However in order to learn from history one must first appreciate the importance of history. Indians have never ever written a proper history book (as opposed to propaganda), all the write-ups from the past have been composed by foreigners. Since there is so little evidence on record, there are broad possibilities for manufacturing new evidence (interpretations) by marxists and westerners,which are then subject to furious condemnation by the Hindutva brigade (as insult to hindus and hindusim). But it is clear that the origin of the problem lies not in our stars but in ourselves.

If our leaders had any sense (and shame), INS Vikraant would be converted into a museum and the history of the Bangladesh war should be re-told with a focus on the victims (all of them) not victors. While all groups suffered it was primarily the Hindus who were exterminated or driven out of the country to lead life as refugees in India (where they would face extreme prejudice in Dandakaranya and elsewhere). Hindu homes even had charming yellow stars painted on them. People were shot on the spot depending on whether they were circumcised or not. The powers that be kept quiet at that time because they wanted to focus on bangla nationalism (and punjabi racism) and not the hindu-muslim divide. But why the silence after such a long time?

To be sure all this is not conspiracy just incompetence on a grand, incomprehensible scale.
The
decommissioned aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, INS Vikrant, which
played an important role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, has been sold for Rs
60 crore. “The auction process of INS Vikrant was completed
last week and a company named IB Commercial Pvt Ltd won the bid,” said a
defence source here tonight.

Earlier, the Maharashtra
government had expressed its inability to maintain Vikrant, the Indian
Navy’s first aircraft carrier which was commissioned in 1961. It was
decommissioned in January 1997.

In January 2014, during the hearing of
a public interest litigation which opposed the plan to scrap the ship,
the Union ministry of defence told the Bombay high court that it had
completed its operational life.
 While the Maharashtra government stated that to preserve it as a museum would not be viable financially. The high court subsequently dismissed the PIL.  The Majestic-class
aircraft carrier, purchased from Britain in 1957, played a key role in
enforcing the naval blockade of East Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistan
War of 1971.

….
regards

Killer worm reaches the terrible twos

It is a two year old worm which has raised its ugly head. If you do not want to be devoured stop reading immediately and switch off the net. Immediately.
….
Web
administrators and computer security researchers on Tuesday scrambled to
fix a serious vulnerability in OpenSSL encryption used by thousands of
web servers, including those run by email and web chat providers. The
bug, dubbed Heartbleed, “allows anyone on the internet to read the
memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the
OpenSSL software”.

In other words hackers or cyber criminals
can use the Heartbleed bug to steal private encryption keys from a
server that is using OpenSSL protocols of SSL/TLS encryption and then
snoop on the user data, including passwords. There are reports that
servers of Yahoo, Imgur and Flickr have been affected. However, this is
around two-year-old bug and hence no one knows for sure how many people
have exploited it at how many servers have been compromised.

The bug is so serious and widespread that Tor Project, which manages the
anonymous Tor network, has advised web users to go offline for a while.
“If you need strong anonymity or privacy on the internet, you might
want to stay away from the internet entirely for the next few days while
things settle,” it said in a blog post.


regards

Did (Indian) muslims win the Kargil war?

Perhaps there should be a 2-nation theory for muslims: the pure ones who are in a continuing mission (often genocidal) to improve the purity quotient versus the impure ones who mingle with idolaters and still manage to retain their identity and strike a blow for (imperfect) co-existence.

Sometimes the blows have been real and deadly, and they have been directed towards the aforesaid pure people, thereby stopping the zealots in their bloody tracks. That in our opinion is what is so wonderful about this story.

That said our overlords will always find a way to ensure that defeat will be snatched from the jaws of victory (and progress). It is not realistic to expect leopards to change their spots, it will take a new generation of leaders to place the abstract notions of liberty, equality and fraternity on a firm pedestal. Here is hoping.
….
Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan has
kicked up another controversy when he said it was “Muslim soldiers” who
fought for India’s victory in the 1999 Kargil war against Pakistan.


The controversy-prone Khan, a minister in the Uttar Pradesh
government, dragged the Kargil conflict into the ongoing high voltage
Lok Sabha campaign at an election rally in Ghaziabad last night.



 
“Those who fought for victory in Kargil were not Hindu soldiers, in
fact the ones who fought for our victory were Muslim soldiers,” he said
in a speech laced with communal overtones.


Khan also went on to say that no one can guard the country’s borders better than those from the Muslim community.


 
“Recruit us in the Indian Army. No one can guard the borders of our nation better than us,” he said.


 
Former Army Chief Gen VK Singh, who is the BJP candidate from
Ghaziabad Lok Sabha constituency, condemned Khan’s remarks, saying the
Kargil war was “won by Indians”. “Anybody who talks of caste, creed and religion in the army needs to
be condemned. He may be anybody. The war was won by Indians and not by
any caste, creed, society, religion,” he said.


regards

Blasphemy laws in the 21st century

The anti- religious offense laws come from the 19th century and remain stuck because the attitudes of the community leaders (all of them) which remain firmly in place (and may actually be inching backwards to 7th century and beyond). You have the case of MF Hussain who had to leave his native land, Taslima Nasreen who had to abandon her second home (after being expelled from her native land) and Salman Rushdie who will never be able to speak live in front of an Indian audience.

The religious mafia(s) are making it clear that they are hurt by every spoken word and will inflict maximum pain in return. It is time for the intellectuals to lead the battle but they have remained passive (unless some Hindutva angle is present). Why not demonstrate some principles for a change and stand up against intimidation by the bullies??

….
If Narendra Modi moves to Race Course Road this summer, India is set
for an epic culture war.
Even if he remains as cautious in office as he
is being as a prime ministerial candidate, a future BJP-led government
in New Delhi would chill India’s beleaguered liberals to the bone. They
are already on the backfoot, since over the last ten years Congress has
not shown the slightest interest in protecting, for example, the
individual’s right to free speech. Nor has it reconsidered how a
commitment to the separation of State and religion might be updated for
the 21st century. 


The idea of offense and blasphemy in India remains
old-fashioned, with both offenders and offended following an imported
19th century script. As the original Penal Code of 1860 states,
imprisonment will be the punishment for anyone who ‘with the deliberate
intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any
word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person’.



For decades now, the idea of personal liberty in the form of
Nehruvian secularism and freedom of expression has failed to gain much
popular traction. This is not to suggest any infringement of freedom of
belief would ever be tolerated by India’s citizens, or that Indians lack
the right to openly express an opinion in a way that remains forbidden
in many countries, but rather that the current form of the debate
remains elitist and abstruse, and is often confined to the
English-language media. 

Thus a ban on a film or book may get reported
around the world as an attack on freedom, but it will rarely draw an
Indian crowd onto the streets. A dispute over the upkeep of the Dargah
Shah-e-Mardan, on the other hand, will, for example, produce over 25,000
passionate protestors, as happened earlier this month in Delhi; but it
will barely be reported in India and will be ignored internationally, as
if it were of no consequence.



What passes for secularism in India—which in practice is often a
system whereby political parties secure Muslim votes by wooing
hereditary and religious leaders—has its roots in the shift away from
reform and conversion in the wake of the great rebellion.



Queen Victoria, influenced by her well-educated German husband
Albert, had an aversion to Christian bishops and a great dislike for
missionaries.
She even objected to her children’s governess telling them
to kneel while saying their prayers in the evening. Why couldn’t they
just lie in bed and pray? The settlement after 1857, with power passing
from the East India Company to the British Crown, was a way to maintain
British power at a time of weakness, but it was also a statement of
Victoria’s own beliefs.



Against the advice of her ministers, Queen Victoria made amendments
to a proclamation of future government policy, stating that from now on,
nobody in India would be ‘in any wise favoured, none molested or
disquieted by reason of their religious faith or observances, but that
all shall alike enjoy the equal and impartial protection of the law; and
we do strictly charge and enjoin all those who may be in authority
under us that they abstain from all interference with the religious
belief or worship of any of our subjects’.
This was—in an era when
Britain still had legalised discrimination against Jews and
Catholics—quite a step to be taking.



Individual freedom of conscience came first: missionary organisations
quickly flooded Windsor Castle with letters of complaint, but Victoria
did not budge.
The toleration of the Indian state was guaranteed. More
than 150 years later, the royal proclamation of 1858 forms the basis of
India’s policy of freedom of belief. In Pakistan, the situation
reversed: the state legally discriminates against heretics.



The difficulty with the shape that toleration now takes in India is
not the theory, which remains admirable, but the practice.
If artists
are in trouble with outraged members of a religious group, they are at
risk. If a film or a book is suppressed for spurious reasons by a
politician or a court order, the state will do nothing at all to protect
the right to liberty of expression. If Salman Rushdie appears at a
public event, no ‘secular’ leader will go near him, for fear of
contagion. A supposedly representative Hindu opponent of an academic
book will use outmoded and imported Christian arguments against impiety,
and ignore the expansive, eclectic traditions of Hinduism—in which
devotion is too intense to be troubled by the petty misrepresentations
of others.



A beleaguered liberal, asked what should be done about this impasse,
will generally answer that the Indian state needs to intervene legally
or physically at times of threat, and securitise the right to freedom of
speech—while knowing this is a political impossibility.  

What seems to
happen remarkably rarely (and much less, I think than it used to in the
post-independence years) is direct engagement between the opposing sides
of such arguments. It is striking that both Hindu and Muslim
traditionalists complain privately of being excluded from any
opportunity to discuss what it is that offends them, and feel they
suffer if their command of English is shaky.





When it comes to electoral politics, the assertion of secular values
is even more skewed. Indian Muslims still suffer from social exclusion,
lack of secure employment and chronic tokenism.



Earlier this year, I spent time with a Muslim leader in central India
who had an iron grip on his community: he, or his family, had control
of access to places at an engineering and medical college, the
opportunity for individuals to stand for election, and even the chance
to start a business.
If an outside politician wished to hold a meeting
in the local areas under his control, they had first to seek the
leader’s permission. In his own view, and it was not wholly without
foundation, the power he wielded was necessary to protect the minority
community from hostile communal forces.



He spoke of progress. Would it not be helpful, I asked, if India had a
single law that applied equally to all citizens on matters such as
marriage, inheritance and the adoption of children? Absolutely not, he
answered, as I had expected. But the present divided system, a leftover
from earlier times, significantly weakens personal liberty by subsuming
individuals into a system of control based on compulsory group identity.
Indian Muslim women, for example, can still be divorced by the utterance of the triple talaaq.
In many Islamic countries, this has been prohibited as archaic.
Even
across the border, the triple talaaq was abolished under the Pakistani
Muslim Family Laws Ordinance in more liberal times in 1961. In India, it
remains firmly in place.

If any of these myriad areas of contention are to be improved, the
change has to come from what in India is perhaps inaccurately called the
left: secularists, progressives, liberals and former and current
communists. Were a BJP-led administration headed by Narendra Modi to try
installing a uniform civil code, for instance, the country would turn
into a sea of protest; coalition partners would fall away, probably
bringing down the government.


….

regards