Rice and Religion: The Deadweight of Indian Politics

In a time when the Indian economy is walking on a tightrope, teetering precariously with a danger of buckling over and falling sideways, mindless and meaningless religion politics still somehow manages to creep into the game. I saw yesterday that the prime time news-hour was comprised of unknown religious leaders debating (to be read abusing in Indian English) over the recent “ghar wapsi” revolution instigated by the most impeccable right-wing Hindu nationalist non-governmental organization called the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). The sangh which claims that its main objective is “to organise, consolidate the Hindu society and to serve, protect the Hindu Dharma” has somehow claimed that ‘it was due to their “struggle” in the last 50 years that Hindus have “regained” the lost “empire” of Delhi after 800 years.’ We were fools to have been celebrating Independence Day for the past 67 years when clearly India still isn’t a free “empire”, right? Shame on you Ashok Singhal!

VHP 1

The movement started with the conversion of 57 Muslim families in Agra district of Uttar Pradesh claimed to be a ‘purkhon ki ghar wapsi’ (homecoming of our ancestors). All this was done under the pretext of providing BPL cards to the families. Next came Arnai village in Valsad on Saturday— where at least 500 tribal Christians were “reconverted”, thereby conveniently creating another controversy. Now while the nation and its leaders engage in blame games and denials, nobody gives a 5 paisa about the people involved. Who cares what gods we pray to when our families are dying of hunger? Who cares what gods we believe in when children still don’t have access to education? Who cares what religion we follow when our hard-earned taxpayer money is being euthanized, with no hopes of revival, under coal scams, telecom scams and whatever scams possible? India needs to come out of its ‘developing nation’ shadow. This country is the largest market for everything ranging from food to electronics. It has been the biggest supporter of e-commerce in a span of two years. This country just put a spacecraft on mars with the lowest budget ever! This country, this great country needs to start enduring. We need to do away with right wing political leaders who claim that “Our values will be gradually established in the country. We want an invincible Hindu society which works for the world’s welfare according to these values. We have never gone out to convert the world but to win over their hearts.” Looks like RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal have been too inspired by Nolan’s time travel and are determined to push India back to 1715 from the era of 2015. How come everyone is embroiled in religious debate but no one is aware of the fact that it’s illogical, immoral and pointless if we really want ‘achhe din’ to be brought into this country. Shouldn’t the Indian social media be debating and commenting about this along with admonishing terrorists? How come people aren’t outraged by such meaningless and mindless activities being carried out in the name of a religion whose roots are embedded in harmony and not in denouncing others’ beliefs?

It is the year of 2015. The government needs to concern itself with social upliftment for all. The PM’s policies are yet to be put into action properly. But already the government is being anchored down by the dead weight of communal outrage and religious controversies. The country needs to stop being afraid of these Saffron goons and ask law enforcement officials to start enforcing our human rights rather than party politics. For how long are we supposed to live in a shroud of Hindutva when clearly Humanity is at stake?

Yours truly,
A devout 22 year old Brahmin guy.

VHP

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The Big Fat Indian Paycheck

As the entire world knows, the Indian media is the most unbiased, uninfluenced and unabashedly truthful of them all (if you are clueless, then YES, I’m being heavily sarcastic). And they have proven their undeniable worth as a dependable watchdog of the Indian society in these past few days by their unparalleled coverage of the recent placements at the IITs that started a couple of days back.

Now as any Tanmay, Deepak and Hari will know in India, the IITs are the premier institutions for technical education in our country; while the people who study there are definitely India’s best and brightest. But the media suddenly has decided that the Indian youth isn’t pressurized enough in their formative years of high school (11th and 12th standard), so now they have decided to make our lives more hell with the constant news coverage of “an IIT-Kharagpur student getting a pay package of 1.54 crores” in the course of the ongoing placements.

IIT4 IIT3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now as a technical student though I’m in awe of the person in question, it’s now going to be VERY difficult explaining it to the average Indian parent and even harder living with the ‘pados waale Sharmaji ka beta’ (all, except Kapil Sharma. He’s nalayak!). Like any good and responsible media they have chosen to completely ignore and leave out facts like cost of living, the EXCHANGE RATE (he’s NOT going to be a karodpati in Amreeka!) and all the technicalities like stocks and one time bonuses. Leave Amreeka. Here’s whats happening on the home turf.

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What kind of job is going to give Rs 3.5 lakhs A MONTH!? (sigh). There’s already a dearth of professionals in sectors like education, research and the government. All this because all the parents suddenly decided a decade ago that “beta, engineering karlo. Life set ho jaayegi” because it pays good”. Now it’s going to be “beta IIT mein computer science padhlo. Life set ho jaayegi” for everyone. The media has been irresponsible and has made it a masala piece for everyone and people need to understand that. The common Indian middle class parent needs to understand what it means when such headlines are made. They need to understand how the system works. It’s been a fact for years now that students need to choose careers according to their interests and strengths and that parents need to be supportive of that decision. Please don’t try to ruin the life of the person who has managed to convince his parents that he wants to study science or commerce or history or literature or arts. Please don’t kill the dreams of the future Kapil Sharmas, Gutthis and TVF teams. I finish this article with words which have been trending my facebook timeline since today morning. these are from a student who studies in the same institute as the headlines.IIT 1

 

 

Finding Each Other

And so she lies under the cover of darkness,
Warm with love, over his heart’s abode.
As he looks down to meet her eyes,
all the poetry he ever wrote comes to life.
As he holds his hand in hers and her lips in his,
all music breaks out and life feels complete again.

Finding Each Other

This unexpected story that started at midnight one day,
shall be his melody till kingdom come.
And she, the one who gave away her soul to him,
shall live in his essence in a myriad of forms.

So let foster this, their forbidden love,
Let them find each other under the cover of darkness.
For when finally the light shines on them there will be a uproar,
And they will face the world together as one.

Wanderer Of The Skies

It’s been a long time. It’s been a tough journey. But the sky was the limit and we have almost reached there.
Do share if you find it worth sharing.

There was a flash
and a spirit broke
the logic of minds went up in smoke.
But there were dreams
and there were roads
and a wish to speak louder than words.

And so we sailed
on judgment’s scales
worrying not where we might fail.
These roads we took
without the sun or a brook
tested our strengths till our knees bent and shook.

Then there were ties
of love and entwined lives
which we left behind to fight for our pride.
Sometimes it felt less
sometimes it felt excess
sometimes it felt like the dreams were a mess.

But we walked upon the stony paths,
never cursing other souls to any wrath.
And now we stand here among the stars,
a little battered and bruised but proud of the scars.

And now we sail across the vast skies.
And now we fly above the breaking ice.
The wind in our fold and the stars by our side,
a new world is ahead; let’s leave the old one behind.

Wanderer

Snippets

This is a poem of incomplete stories. A poem about a conversation. A poem which allows to hope for a better tomorrow.

“Tell me a story!”

A tattered body, a battered mind,
Dusty feet and arms covered with grime,
A broken heart and some bleeding wounds,
Yes, this is a story of poorer times.

“What about the good times?”, she asked.

Keep patience, for it is yet to be told,
Stay here if you want to see it unfold.
Because I’ve fallen a victim to the wheels of time,
And surely summer will follow these days of cold.

conversation

“Tell me about colours…”

I can see yellow, black, white and brown,
But I see no red or green around,
but I wonder, what if all was just a serene blue?
I could be colour blind without any bounds.

“Tell me about love…”

I looked for you in old lifeless pics,
A hint of love or the blush in your cheeks,
And selfishly i wanted you back near me,
Because my poetry is nothing but our crazy streaks.

“Tell me about yourself…”

On odd days, on bad days, on days real good,
Poetry flows out as I sit and brood,
And I keep hoping this time will be it,
This time I’ll say what my heart would if it could.

A Moment Of Imperfection

As always, there are doubts and thoughts,
and memories of certain unwanted sorts,
And I wish all that is bottled up flows out,
if only my soul could get lighter with a huge shout.

Imperfection

Pondering incessantly over all that I’ve done,
wishing there was someone to talk on the phone.
I think about all the ways I’ve been hurt,
all the times I’ve fallen face down in the dirt,
and yet haven’t said a word for so long,
never complained that I was being wronged.
Because life demands that I be a good person,
it demands actions without expectation.

So what if for once I turned humane,
years of silent suffering driving me insane,
For once am I allowed to be selfish in my mind?
Because everyone else is! How was I that blind?

And then you were there holding my hand,
kissing my forehead and trying to understand
the demons that always were inside of me,
but were invisible till you wanted to see,
And so I become who I was again,
because now you helped me through the pain,
And so in your lap, I keep my head and weep
while you caress my hair and I try to fall asleep.

Scribbled

Blinking cursor, erasing, moving back,
undo, redo, sentences and word files.
Scrambling for fresh paper now, fresh ink to start,
But all ends in scratch, scratch, scratch.

What do I write about, what do I choose,
and curse Hemmingway for saying it’s easier with booze!
A pebble I dropped in the pools of my mind,
shuffling, playing and putting memories on rewind.

Changed cities, distanced people and the twenties’ confusion,
a million fires from burning dreams laced with illusion,
do I write about love, do I write of inspiration,
do I write about who hurts me or do I jot down my frustrations?

Do I write happy stuff or do I make my words weep?
Do I write something epic or write something cheap!?
I don’t know what to write, I’m as clueless as a sheep.
So to hell with this, I’ll just go off to sleep.