(These are excerpts from the speech delivered by Arvind K.Pandey at Jagat Taran Girls Degree College, Allahabad, on January 12, 2014 in a programme organised by Kritisankalpa Society to celebrate birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Other notable speakers who expressed their views on this occasion included Swami Nikhilatmananda, President, Ramakrsihna Mission, Allahabad; Justice Rajesh Tandon, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Uttarakhand; Justice. Palok Basu (Retd.), Allahabad High Court; Dr. Milan Mukherjee; Devendra Tiwari and Senior Advocate Ashok Mehta.)
Today we find that youths are at the receiving end of so many challenging issues.The transition phase has introduced them to complex living patterns, which has left them high and dry. They not only remain the most exploited lot but also remain frustrated and depressed. That’s because pressure to perform is at its peak in materialistic times. They are unable to choose right means of survival. Worse, imposition of outdated patterns of living by the silver hairs has made youths a sorry figure. Against this backdrop, the values shared by Swami Vivekananda seem to be last ray of hope as they infuse within the being supreme confidence and positive feelings.
Swami Vivekananda truly recognized the potential of youths. He always believed that “strong, vigorous, believing young men, sincere to the backbone” can change the face of globe. “A hundred such and the world becomes revolutionized.” However, when we look at the state of affairs prevalent in their lives, it leaves any thinking soul quite worried and sad. Very recently, police entered inside the campus of Allahabad University and students got beaten black and blue with laathis as if they were hardcore criminals and not innocent students. If you hear about the experiences of these youths, you would be in great pain to hear about their exploitation. Acharya Manu rightly states that silver hairs alone do not constitute wisdom but in Kaliyuga the white hairs have become confirmed sign of knowledge! No wonder they are always in conflict with younger generation. They are more often than not involved in quashing the innovative spirit of youths, leading to dissipation of enthusiasm from the lives of youths.
Swami Vivekananda believed that each soul is a “potentially divine soul” but misguided silver hairs with their outdated notions have turned these younger souls, bubbling with optimism, into a potentially destructive soul. Swami Vivekananda possessed a revolutionary spirit who had dared to ask uncomfortable questions from older lot. He rightly believed that “each generation should be inspired afresh” and “men should not be taught to imitate a personal ideal, however great”. One of the fatal errors committed by older generation is that it tries to impose its views all in name of sharing experience.
Some of the well-made flicks like Three Idiots, Rang De Basanti, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and Paan Singh Tomar, to name a few, capture well the conflicts generated by old minds in the lives of youths. It’s evident that optimism and energy found in youths deeply impresses any conscious thinker of Vivekananda’s stature interested in creating new order of things.” My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions.” It’s another thing that in a nation which prefers argumentative tradition-something highly praised by Amartya Sen-the youths get tamed on one pretext or another.
The lives of youths seem to have got trapped in ills of modernity. Or, why else are we seeing advertisements related with prevention of AIDS on National Youth Day? Isn’t this sad reminder of the fact that there has been erosion of values among the youths? Or is this indicative of fact that things have gone out of control since what was once upon a time treated as immoral has gained some sort of acceptance in Indian society? Whatever it is, it indicates crisis of values. We also need to accept that priorities of youths have changed and their role models have also changed. Their role models are the ones which do not inspire them to be do good and be good. They are the ones which encourage them to earn name and fame within short span of time. So what’s the role of a spiritual powerhouse amid this new set of perceptions?
Even if we take into account new changes that have hit the lives of youths, there is still much space left for spirituality. That’s because materialism cannot give them real peace of mind. It cannot quench the thirst which exists inside our soul. No wonder youths have been hit hard by giant dragon called depression. Let’s also not forget that India is land of discovering inner peace. It’s not the land to multiply external source of happiness. And so likes of Swami Vivekananda would always be influencing our lives. They are the ones who keep us above from the realm of negativism. Youths are depressed because external world has limited means of satiating one’s desires, wherein seekers are more than suppliers! On the other hand, the inner world is infinite in nature and the competition to own this inner world is less. So people in race of inner peace have greater chances to remain happy than the majority which is in the race to conquer external world.
Swami Vivekananda’s views will always remain relevant among youths since they enable the youths to rectify their approach towards life. They rejuvenate our dull spirit, by making us shift attention from the external world to inner world and in the process this great truth gets revealed: “The aim of life is to realize God…He alone is real and everything else is false…Religion is realization.” And once you attain realization you come to feel every moment that” all power is within you, you can do anything and everything.”
P.S.: This post also appeared in Northern India Patrika On January 18, 2014.
Any close observer of the happenings in modern India would easily confirm that secular governments have unleashed a sort of war against Hindu saints. They have been framed in number of heinous crimes right from sexual crimes to crimes against national security. The paid media ensures that one-sided coverage gets highlighted not only within Indian landscape but also in International arena. In such matters wherein Hindu saints are involved, a striking feature is that news coverage is full of lies and twisted truths spread by secular press. None of the mainstream media dares to reveal both sides of the story in an impartial way.
One important reason is that most of the Indian media houses are in some way controlled by hidden powers in Western nations. How can we then expect truth to make its presence felt? After all, the mainstream media which harps about involvement of Sadhvi Pragya in blasts never found it important enough to report in same candid fashion about severe violation of rights of prisoners, about inhuman treatment meted out to her inside the jail! The same media is so hyper-sensitive about rights of Devyani who made mockery of India’s honour in West but yet she is being portrayed as if she committed no crime at all! That’s because she is part of the system. But anybody who dared to expose the misdeeds of government was branded as criminal in a well-planned manner!
What I am trying to ascertain that we have given way to era wherein propaganda has become more powerful than version close to truth. One of the most important job of media is to reveal the real picture but exactly opposite has taken place: Media has become carrier of falsehood and distorted versions. It’s main agenda has become to shield dubious powers in rule. Like a prostitute it keep changing its loyalty or, in other words, it generally speaks the language of rulers! Remember the arrest of Kanchi Shankaracharya Swami Jayendra Saraswati in year 2004 in most humiliating manner for allegedly playing a role in murder of Sankararaman, manager of the Sri Varadarajaswamy Temple. The then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,J Jayalalithaa, in an attempt to appear more secular than others and to give an impression that no one is above law ensured his arrest! The Kanchi seers were charged with” criminal conspiracy, misleading the court by giving false information, criminal trespass and supply of funds to carry out the criminal activity.”
The head of a 1,000-year-old Brahmin monastic order was presented as petty criminal in mainstream media and even before case was put to trial he was portrayed as accused. Let’s remember that Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham is one of the oldest Hindu mutts in the country and Shankarcharyas belonging to this mutt command a great respect among Hindu communities across the globe. In fact, Swami Jayendra Saraswati is a highly respected figure having profound knowledge of Hindu scriptures. He like his predecessors provided new heights to this mutt established in 9th century by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, enjoying similar status the way Vatican enjoys amid Christians. However, clash of interests between J Jayalalithaa and DMK chief Karunanidhi, who represented anti- Brahminical movments, ensured that this highly revered pontiff got disgraced.
Prominent media analysts of that period conveyed the impression that “police would not have acted unless they had sufficient evidence.” Ironically, the prosecution at that time was supremely confidant about involvement of Kanchi seers in abetting murder of Sankararaman, claiming that it had “incriminating evidence”. The investigating officer Prem Kumar came out with version that made mutt head appear guilty: “We have strong evidence about the involvement of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi in Sankararaman’s murder. There has been animosity between the two for the past four years and further investigation is on to corroborate the evidence collected on the involvement of the Kanchi Acharya.” The allegations had deepened with revelations of Tamil magazine Nakkeeran. Amid these bizarre turn of events, the case got transferred to Pondicherry to ensure fair trial. To make the matters worse for Kanchi mutt head, even allegations of sexual exploitation surfaced. (The Hindu)
However, the truth had the last laugh when verdict delivered by a special court in Pondicherry acquitted all the accused involved in this sensational murder. The verdict was delivered on November 27, 2013 after nine years of suspense and drama of all sorts. They were acquitted of all the charges which included “criminal conspiracy, misleading the court by giving false information, criminal trespass and supply of funds to carry out the criminal activity.” The main witnesses failed to corroborate the prosecution’s theory. More than 80 witnesses went against the story presented by the prosecution.
Well, it’s true that Kanchi seers got acquitted but in the process it caused irreparable damage to the reputation of an institution, which represented the collective psyche of Hindus. This “collective psyche” of Hindus made its presence felt again the way Kanchi Mutt Head responded to this verdict: ” Dharma has prevailed. Truth has won. That is what matters…I have been trained by my Guru to bear everything. There is no question of situation being tough. Times were challenging because we were facing completely new set of situations. ..There are several invaders who vandalized our temples. Today when you see the disfigured temples you remember the invaders and their acts of vandalism. What was perpetrated on the mutt has been termed as an act of vandalism by several people.” (Kanchi Sathya Org)
It’s really saddening that moments allegations against Hindu saints surfaces, the whole mainstream media goes berserk and paints them in wrong colours, forgetting that its main task is to report the incident and not to conduct trials. Worse, when the allegations are found false and saints get acquitted the same news item does not get prominence. Acquittal is never important than false stories planted by vested interests. No wonder acquittal of Kanchi’s Shankracharya did not get the same coverage. After all, it strengthens cause of Hindus, which is antithetical to secular spirit of this nation. The mainstream media is more interested in propaganda than emergence of truth.
The secular forces always convey the impression that no one is above law. And so will they dare to arrest Shahi Imam Syed Ahmad Bukhari against whom so many cases have been registered? Will they dare to bring in open and convict Christian missionaries involved in conversion of tribals in remote corners of India? That will never take place. The law exists only for Hindu saints. It’s an instrument of oppression for Hindus and all that which represents self-pride of Hindus. It’s there to support propaganda and not to sustain truth.
The complex issue of Devyani Khobragade has come as a boon for ruling party in India on the verge of facing one of the worse defeats in upcoming Parliamentary Elections in 2014. It has allowed its leaders, who have lost their sheen, to talk big about saving the pride of nation, forgetting that most of them enjoy a chequered past! Its most of the leaders, who have been relegated to the background, have now emerged on the surface, speaking aloud about attributes which they rarely displayed both in public and personal lives. Consider the manner in which the Lokpal Bill got passed after the government was left with no other option but to take cognizance of growing unrest over this issue in nation!
The Indian leaders, especially from the ruling party, definitely lack the moral right to make shrill cry about violation of standard provisions in case of Devyani Khobragade. It’s quite evident from a deeper analysis of issue at hand that facts have been blown out of proportion. Like always the issue has been given a larger-than-life colouring, making it look like some shrewd diversionary tactics on the part of hidden players behind the curtain.
Devyani Khobragade is no child that she could not apprehend the consequences of misrepresentation of facts on visa application of the domestic help Sangeeta Richard. How come she is so much aware of ”Vienna conventions” but pretty unaware about the violation of domestic laws of U.S. even as there were reported incidents of atrocities committed upon domestic help in the past by other Indian diplomats in the same country? Being an Indian diplomat she should have set high precedents instead of giving impression of being a “victim” in the aftermath of strict actions on part of U.S. authorities.
Let’s be very clear that it’s not the case of making mockery of sovereignty of India but it’s more the case of playing with the fire. Devyani conveniently forgot that she was living in United States and not in India where even a petty “Sarkari Babu” (government official) can use his power to thwart the investigation on being caught.
The urgency exhibited and absurd statements on part of Congress Ministers make them laughing stock in the eyes of all conscious people, who believe in the rule of law. The paid mainstream media might give the impression that knee jerk reactions on part of Indian counterparts back in India are “bold measures” and fitting response to United States, but it would never diminish the ugly truth that she is guilty. The moves on part of U.S. sound more appropriate when Preet Bharara makes it clear that “This office’s sole motivation in this case, as in all cases, is to uphold the rule of law, protect victims, and hold accountable anyone who breaks the law — no matter what their societal status and no matter how powerful, rich or connected they are.”
All those who are talking aloud about diplomatic immunity granted to Indian officials posted at consular office surely needs to answer questions posed by this U.S. prosecutor: “One wonders whether any government would not take action regarding false documents being submitted to it in order to bring immigrants into the country. One wonders even more pointedly whether any government would not take action regarding that alleged conduct where the purpose of the scheme was to unfairly treat a domestic worker in ways that violate the law. And one wonders why there is so much outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian national accused of perpetrating these acts, but precious little outrage about the alleged treatment of the Indian victim and her spouse?”
Yes, it’s disturbing that mainstream media pressure and chaotic voices within the government have made it a “diplomatic row” when it’s nothing more than criminal action committed by a responsible Indian officer. However, let’s view critically the actions taken on part of U.S. The WikiLeaks have proven beyond doubt that American leaders are no saints. The U.S. might give the impression that dealing fairly with violation of human rights is always their topmost priority but when their own men get trapped it takes recourse to most shrewd measures to save them.
Or, for that matter, it can go to any extent to get its job done, even if it means sabotaging the sovereignty of other nations. It’s no secret that documents and evidences were forged to justify their attack on Iraq. The drone attacks in various parts of Pakistan make it clear that borders become meaningless in face of its interests, and so death of innocent civilians means nothing! The controversial release of Ramyond Davis, C.I.A contractor guilty of double murder in Pakistan, speaks volume about subtle pressure employed by American leaders.
The U.S. claims it’s very much in pain over episodes of violation of human rights but see the treatment meted out to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay! So it’s evident that rich and powerful nations have dual standards and the U.S. is no exception. It’s not at all wrong to presume that it used its domestic laws to enter in barbaric behaviour which many in India see it as an assault on the pride of India and modesty of a woman.
India needs to learn few lessons from this episode instead of entering in retaliatory actions. Before I come to that point let me state that introduction of gender-neutral laws in India or need of tough measures to punish abusive women always lead to raised eyebrows.The so-called messiahs of women’s rights start making noise in India. The U.S. has perfectly demonstrated that laws are equal for men and women and, therefore, women cannot claim special privileges or concession.
In India despite the leap of so many centuries woman is still inherently seen as a weak specie, a saintly figure, who can first commit no crime and even if she commits crimes she needs to be given special treatment! It’s an impression that’s even supported by foreign based agencies, working for the rights of women in India but the same agencies would remain silent about inhuman behaviour done with Devyani just because it happened in U.S.!
Anyway, India needs to demonstrate its own strength not in reactionary way but in a more mature way. It needs to take away all the special privileges and concessions it offers to U.S. citizen in extraordinary way. Very recently a Visa Officer in India was transferred because she had refused to grant visa to a gay American diplomat on the ground that such marriages are not legal in India. The Indian government instead of supporting her argument, transferred her to a lesser department.
In the light of recent Supreme Court judgement, which has upheld the validity of section 377, one needs to follow the words of former Finance Minister of India, Yashwant Sinha, to let United States become aware of consequences if other nations also become strict in implementing their domestic laws.”My suggestion to the Government of India is, the media has reported that we have issued visas to a number of US diplomats’ companions. ‘Companions’ means that they are of the same sex. Now, after the Supreme Court ruling, it is completely illegal in our country. Just as paying less wages was illegal in the US. So, why doesn’t the government of India go ahead and arrest all of them? Put them behind bars, prosecute them in this country and punish them.” (Yashwant Sinha).
Sometimes back there was controversy about alleged permission granted to American sniffer dogs to enter Rajghat as a part of the security drill before the visit of U.S. President George Bush. In future this sort of “desecration” could be avoided since it’s not permissible as per our own rules. It’s time for India to exhibit that it has a backbone, instead of entering in knee-jerk reactions. That can be perfectly demonstrated by pursuing its own interests in a rigid way without granting extraordinary privileges to outsiders, being least influenced by their nationality and position.
Pic Two Is From Internet
It’s a matter of great satisfaction that prominent publications related with mainstream media have begun to embrace issues related with men in a fair way. The various bodies working for the cause of men across the nation have decided to ferociously protest against the recent amendments made in Hindu Marriage Laws which are not only anti-male but also do not augur well for the cause of society. I must appreciate The Times of India and its correspondents some of them whom I know personally quite well for being sympathetic towards issues sensitive in nature. The complicated issues cannot be dealt with in a proper way unless we know both the sides of story and this type of fair reporting allows us to be more informed about aspects which remain neglected owing to lack of dissemination. Right now some of the well known Men’s associations based in Bangalore, Pune, Nagpur and elsewhere are working hard to create awareness regarding misuse of laws, which they call legal terrorism. The activists right now are engaged in having dialogue with Members of Parliament with a hope to apprise them of with concerns of Men’s Associations. I am sure the day is not far when gender-neutral laws would get introduced to provide a better shape to Indian society now on the verge of disarray due to blatant misuse of power by the feminists, enjoying support of negative powers operating within the nation and in foreign lands.
(Also published in Northern India Patrika, December 22, 2013)
Once upon a time Hindi movie songs acted as anti-depressants. Now Hindi film music gives rise to depression! Modern songs devoid of meaning and set upon incoherent beats in the name of music give rise to headache instead of removing it! Earlier songs depicted certain philosophy, which added a new dimension in the script of the movie. The movies made by Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor effectively used songs to introduce new twist in the story. It’s altogether a different story in modern cinema. There are item numbers or poorly inserted hopelessly romantic numbers.
First, there is dearth of talented lyricists and, second, there is lack of good music directors. The bunch of music directors that we see are primarily technocrats, relying heavily on technology. Some will argue that we have talented lyricists but the ability to write one or two catchy one-liners doesn’t make anyone a lyricist! Listen the lyrics and it would be hard for you to decide whether it’s an English song, or a Punjabi song, or a Hindi song. Look at the music compositions. It’s either for the hip-hop generation or it’s for the night clubs. It’s not merely that times have changed and we need to adjust to new trends. There is something terribly wrong with the creativity involved in making of songs! Should we not assume that capitalistic traits have murdered real creativity? Overseas rights of distribution, heavy fees extracted from rights of satellite channels and numerous other equations enjoy greater concern than ensuring bliss!
I do not wish to appear stupidly nostalgic caught in the time warp. As an evidence of the creativity, which prevailed in 50s and 60s, I am presenting four songs of lyricists who have really inspired me a lot. Every time I come to hear a song written by them, it leaves me in state of intoxication. I am referring to trio comprised of Sahir Ludhianvi, Shakeel Badauini and Shailendra. These “Triple S” always stirred my emotions to no extent.
Bimal Roy’s Madhumati (1958) is very close to my heart. Not only it strengthens our belief in re-birth, a prominent concept in Indian philosophy, but also it makes us believe in the power of true love. As per this movie the impact of true love transcend many generations. This movie is really a classic in world cinema. Right from the first scene till the last frame of this movie, it keeps the viewer in state of trance with its gripping presentation of the story and its enchanting music. I remember when I went to see this movie in a theater couple of months ago in a film festival, the theater was jam-packed. Not a single seat was available. And I saw many of the viewers sitting on the floor of the balcony and many others still having argument with the gate-keeper to move inside even as the movie had started. Shailendra and Salil Chaudhary made each song a masterpiece. Well, this time I wish to introduce first song of this movie “Suhana Safar Aur Ye Mausam Haseen”. Every time I move on a beautiful passage passing through the valleys, I always come to remember this song. Shailendra has borrowed the appeal present in poems of Wordsworth. Nature has come alive in this song where one can actually feel that clouds are kissing the earth! – “Ye Aasman Jhuk Raha Hai Jameen Par”. Notice the wonderful prelude of this song. It’s so impressive that it has virtually become part of my consciousness! Immediately you come to realize that this song features mountains! That’s the magic of these songs. One of my favourite past-time in school and college days was to identify the song after listening clip of prelude. Anyway, it’s time to listen the whole song! Also notice the way how great maestro Bimal Da has picturized this song!
That’s a song which speaks volume about the singing ability of Mohammed Rafi. It’s been so deeply and soulfully sung by Rafi that it leaves you speechless. Aadmi was released in 1968 which had music under direction of Naushad and songs were penned by Shakeel Badayuni. Naushad had a special place for Shakeel in his heart and he went out of the way to help Shakeel in his last days troubled both by financial crisis and bad health. The movie highlighted love triangle and fascinating performances on part of Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rahman and Manoj Kumar made it an unforgettable movie. The song makes it clear that one can be strong willed even if one’s heart and mind have been shattered by the cruel twists and turns of the fate. The song has tragic melody which not only depicts personal loss but also highlights that pain ultimately leads to realization of highest type- perfect union with the Lord! The camera work is wonderful in this song as it captures the roaring sea waves hitting the rocks! The song makes an appeal that someone who has begun a new journey should not be haunted by the past episodes of life!
पुरुष अधिकार से सम्बंधित ये खबर दो दिसंबर को जनसंदेश टाइम्स में छपी. विवाह कानून (संशोधन) विधेयक 2010 को लेकर पुरुष अधिकार संघटनो जिनमे सेव इंडियन फॅमिली फाउंडेशन और मेंस राइट्स एसोसिएशन प्रमुख रूप से शामिल है के द्वारा नई दिल्ली में सांसदो को अपनी आपत्तियों से पत्र के माध्यम से अवगत कराया जाएगा जो उनको व्यक्तिगत रूप से सौपे जायेंगे संसद के वर्तमान शीतकालीन सत्र में। इस बाबत ये महत्त्वपूर्ण खबर इलाहाबाद के इस प्रमुख हिंदी अख़बार में छपी जिसका प्रकाशन कई शहरो में होता है.
इस खबर का सकारात्मक परिणाम रहा शहर में क्योकि छपने के कुछ अंतराल पर हाई कोर्ट के अधिवक्ताओ और कुछ बुद्धिजीवियो ने ये कहा कि ये बड़े स्तर की साजिश है हिन्दू परिवारो को तोड़ने की. सही बात है क्योकि देखने में यही आ रहा है कि जितने घातक संशोधन हिन्दू विवाह अधिनियम में हुए है और वो भी पुरुष विरोधी किसी सुनियोजित साजिश का अंग लगते है. सबसे खेदजनक बात ये है कि हिन्दू हितु की रक्षा करने का दावा करने वाली संस्थाए और राजनैतिक पार्टिया इस मुद्दे पर आश्चर्यजनक रूप से खामोश और निष्क्रिय है. जबकि इसी मुद्दे पर अमरीका आदि देशो में कुछ सचेत हिन्दुओ ने इस बात को तीव्रता से महसूस किया है लेकिन हमारे यहाँ लोग अभी गहरी नींद में है इस मुद्दे पर.
सो ये समाचार पत्र बधाई का पात्र है और वो लोग भी जो इस मामले में भारत देश में पूरी तन्मयता से लगे हुए है. शायद लोगो को पुरुष उत्पीड़न का एहसास हो जाए.
Readers can read the content of whole letter on this post: