A Country of Labels

Facebook posts, tweets, open letters and hundreds of articles later what have we achieved?
We told the world that WE are a country of rapists.

I see my feed flooded with posts about how men need to change, how we need to respect our women more and how we need to promote equal rights for women. But between all this outcry and anger we have changed the actual common man.

Social media is generally a platform for the educated and civilized to create a ruckus about black and white dresses. But when we are writing, sharing and liking strongly worded posts, the virality (yes! It’s an actual word) stays limited to the millions of people who aren’t ignorant about the facts. And will you seriously tell us that it is the fault of men? Do we have to be labeled as ‘perverts’, ‘jerks’, ‘rapists’, ‘eve-teasers’ and such? Why do we have to fear everytime the bus hits a speed-breaker and we bump into the girl/woman/lady in front of us? Fear that they’ll turn around, shout at us and slap us in public while some self proclaimed feminist is filming it for his blog on his smartphone. Why do we have to be ashamed for being men?

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When we waged a war on terrorism and racism, we all spoke out saying “all Muslims are not terrorists.” Now there is another war on our doorstep. It is a war in which heinous, unspeakable, unthinkable and unforgivable acts are committed by people who are anything but human. But is it not YOUR duty to make sure that the words you spread condemn the criminal and not an entire gender? When you write “friends we should respect women”, do you honestly think that the danger lurks in the heart of your friends? When a person looks at our country all he/she sees in the subtext is “all men are rapists.” Is that right?

The people who are actually to be blamed lurk in the shadows, out of reach of common sense and morality. They are the ones who stalk women on the internet, who have no sense of right and wrong and to whom social media posts are all but impermeable. And the thousands of girls out there who actually have faced the trauma and the torture fight another battle to make their lives better. They don’t sit on social media and rant about it. WE do. People, dear to us, who have been through hell and back don’t tweet their struggles. WE do.

I’ve seen too many labels. I’m a brother, a son, a friend, a mentor and a boyfriend.
I am a man and I’m not a pervert.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

The Real Hero of The Great Indian Elections

(As a writer i feel it is my duty to reveal the truth about why Modi really won in 2014 elections. So here goes…)

I would like to start off this post by making my political allegiance clear. I bear no loyalty to any political party. My support lies with the person who turns out to be the lesser of two evils (let’s not kid ourselves; they’re politicians after all. Evil comes in the job description.) And while the social media is flooded with posts and tweets and barks about ‘MODIfication’ and how “change is coming”, please forgive me if I choose to be human and be skeptical about all this glorification until I see the tides of change with my own eyes.

So now that I’ve criticized properly as any concerned blogger of this country should, let me come back to the point at hand. Underneath all this joy and merry making, we seem to have forgotten one true fact, the one true reason why a once-upon-a-time tea-seller stood to become the leader of the biggest democracy that ever existed. I dedicate this post to the people of India who divided by caste, language, region and religion came up united against brazen corruption, unwarranted inflation and misgovernance. I take up this opportunity to remind the people that it was the work of 551 MILLION+ heroes that this great country now has a chance at ‘change’. A record turnout of 65.85% (beating closely the previous record of 63.56% in 1984) goes to show that a democracy is indeed “of the people, for the people and by the people.”

Even Google Agrees!
Even Google Agrees!

I finish this post by borrowing a section of the Inaugural Address by Mr. Ronald Reagan,the 40th President of the United States that certainly befits my motives:

“… We hear much of special interest groups, but our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries, crosses ethnic and racial divisions and political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and factories, teach our children, keep our homes and heal us when we’re sick. Professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies and truck drivers. They’re, in short, we the people …”

Would You Like Some Tax?

(Beg your pardon for my long absence. I had to disappear since the authorities were after me for my despicable criminal activities. Apparently kicking a professor in the nuts does not come under freedom of expression!)

This article is dedicated to the Income Tax Department of India, trolling Indians for decades now.

Income Tax!

The Indian middle class is the most trolled sub-species ever known to human beings. We are not poor enough to get rice for 2 rs a kilo or to never know the meaning of things like comfort and basic amenities. And we are definitely not rich enough to be unaffected by all the hustle and tussle that goes on in this country. But the average middle class Indian is mostly satisfied with the ups and downs in his life for most part of a financial year. The only speck of rust in his not-so-perfect pittal di duniya is the time of income tax filings.

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As a Le yet-Jobless-Engineering-student I do not know if the government has been decent enough about the slabs and tax rates but in reality it looks like what an average Indian gets is a very big Babaji Ka Thullu (colloquial for squat) in the long run. I am a layman. Not at all versed in ‘Economical’ jargon (or whatever those fancy CAs call it). So please le government, explain me how you would justify the following.

A white collar job is so horrible that you ask a man to pay tax for the 100rs he won in the Samaj Aggarbatti Lucky draw just because it adds to his income. He has to pay you more if he gets a bonus for doing his job properly at the office. He has saved some money by working his chappals off at the same firm for 21 years at the same position. How do you justify putting your grubby and dirty little hands into his account and taking away 20% or 30% of it when Dr. ‘Moun’mohan Singh & Co. yawn at scams of impossible amounts like 2400k crores? It’s like asking for petty change from a beggar. Is this his punishment for being honest foolish enough to enter his PAN number (for those who do not know: it’s kinda like social security, but a lot less cooler) in all his documents and accounts? Tell me, O learned finance gurus of the country, why do I have to pay 17% tax in a restaurant which is already overpriced? Are the mango people of India destined to have 10 rs waala Raj Babbar meals on the roadside forever? Are our life savings never to cross, say maybe, 2 lakh Indian rupees so that the creamy layer of our country don’t get an inferiority complex?

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Tax laws in the country do need to be restructured regarding a man’s life savings and his taxation. Give him some relief so that he does not have to sell a kidney or two to provide comfort for his kids in this age of inflation.

P.S. This is not an Arvind Kejriwal inspired publicity stunt. You see, I never went to IIT.

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