It’s the strongest evidence of divine justice that people of Jammu & Kashmir are today on the mercy of Indian Army! When they are being chased by death in form of threatening flood waters, it’s not the separatist forces, sponsored by Pakistan, which have come to their rescue. One can also not trace so-called progressive people and International Human Rights Commission who always condemned the role of India Army in J & K.
Today, in times of crisis, all we notice are efforts of Indian Army involved in rescue operation in the state. Where is Arundhati Roy who leaves no stone unturned to blame Indian Army? Her scathing attack on Indian Army, usually figment of imagination, is used by the foreign press to give rise to anti-Indian sentiments across the globe!
The chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba’s front Jamaat-ud-Dawah Hafiz Saeed treats the floods in Jammu & Kashmir some sort of conspiracy on part of Indian government! “Indian water terrorism is more lethal than its LOC violations.” His statement gives clue about Pakistan’s instability in various spheres. After all, what else can you expect if you have these sort of blockheads deciding fate of key issues related with nation’s growth!
Anyway, hats off to divine spirit exhibited by the Indian Army! It’s time to salute their indomitable courage and unbiased stance. It’s also time to hate the cowardice of people who entered in malicious campaign against Indian Army.
Pic Two & Five : Internet
मोदीजी का स्वाधीनता दिवस भाषण कई मामलो में ऐतिहासिक और विलक्षण है। ये भाषण सिर्फ वाक् कौशल का जबरदस्त नमूना नहीं था बल्कि ये एक नेता के दृढ सोच और स्पष्ट दृष्टि का आईना था। अभी तक इस तरह के अवसरों पर दिए जाने वाले भाषण सिर्फ महज एक खानापूर्ति होते थे जिसमे साधारण जनमानस की नाममात्र की दिलचस्पी होती थी। इस बार लाल किले के प्राचीर से दिए गए भाषण में मौजूद अद्भुत तत्वों ने सबका ध्यान अपनी तरफ खींचा और उन उदासीन वर्गों में भी जो अब तक नेताओ के भाषण की खिल्ली उड़ाते थे कायदे से एक सन्देश गया कि बात निकलती है तो दूर तलक जाती है और एक अकेला चना भी भाड़ फोड़ सकता है।
“यह भारत के संविधान की शोभा है, भारत के संविधान का सामर्थ्य है कि एक छोटे से नगर के गरीब परिवार के एक बालक ने आज लाल किले की प्राचीर पर भारत के तिरंगे झण्डे के सामने सिर झुकाने का सौभाग्य प्राप्त किया। यह भारत के लोकतंत्र की ताकत है, यह भारत के संविधान रचयिताओं की हमें दी हुई अनमोल सौगात है। मैं भारत के संविधान के निर्माताओं को इस पर नमन करता हूँ।” कांग्रेस सरकार के पतन के पीछे जो सबसे बड़ा कारण था वो ये था कि कांग्रेेस ने कभी भी संवैधानिक संस्थाओ का मोल नहीं समझा। सत्ता के नशे में डूबे निकम्मे कांग्रेसी नेताओ ने संविधान को ताक पर रख कर काम किया जिसका नतीजा ये हुआ कि संसद और सुप्रीम कोर्ट आपस में कई बार टकराव की मुद्रा में आ गए। राज्यपाल जैसे गरिमामय पद मोहरो की तरह इस्तेमाल होने लगे। सुप्रीम कोर्ट के फैसले कागज़ पे लिखे व्यर्थ के प्रलाप लगने लगे थे। इस परिदृश्य में मोदी जी का संविधान के ताकत को नए मायने देना, एक संजीवनी प्रदान करना बहुत दुर्लभ घटना है। भारत ही एक ऐसा देश है जहा लोकतंत्र ने अपने को सही ढंग से विस्तार प्रदान किया है। इसका सशक्त होके उभरने में ही देश का कल्याण है।
कई बार ये लगता है कि देश में सिर्फ ब्यूरोक्रेट्स का शासन है। ये देश उन्ही लोगो का है जो या तो सरकारी पदो पे आसीन है या उनका है जो बड़े बड़े शहरों में कॉर्पोरेट घरानो के मालिक है। इस भ्रम को मोदीजी ने बहुत बेरहमी से तोड़ दिया। इस सड़े गले से भ्रामक तथ्य को मोदी ने इस सुनहरे सच से बदल दिया कि “यह देश राजनेताओं ने नहीं बनाया है, यह देश शासकों ने नहीं बनाया है, यह देश सरकारों ने भी नहीं बनाया है, यह देश हमारे किसानों ने बनाया है, हमारे मजदूरों ने बनाया है, हमारी माताओं और बहनों ने बनाया है, हमारे नौजवानों ने बनाया है, हमारे देश के ऋषियों ने, मुनियों ने, आचार्यों ने, शिक्षकों ने, वैज्ञानिकों ने, समाजसेवकों ने, पीढ़ी दर पीढ़ी कोटि-कोटि जनों की तपस्या से आज राष्ट्र यहाँ पहुँचा है। देश के लिए जीवन भर साधना करने वाली ये सभी पीढ़ियाँ, सभी महानुभाव अभिनन्दन के अधिकारी हैं”
आज़ादी से लेकर अब तक किसान प्रधान देश में किसान हमेशा हाशिये पे रहा। इसका नतीजा ये हुआ कि किसान के लड़के दो कौड़ी की सरकारी नौकरी करने को प्राथमिकता देने लगे। आज आप गाँव में जाकर देखिये लड़के सिपाही/क्लर्क बनने की जुगाड़ में लगे रहते है और खेती के आश्रित रहने में उन्हें अपना भविष्य अंधकारमय लगता है, शर्मिंदगी महसूस होती है। उत्तर प्रदेश और बिहार जैसे बड़े प्रदेशो में तो ये हालत है कि किसानी करना मतलब लोहे के चने चबाना जैसा हो गया है। बीज महंगा है, उर्वरक महंगे है, बिजली नहीं है, पानी का जुगाड़ नहीं है और उत्पाद का कोई ठीक खरीदार नहीं है। मोदी ने इस दर्द को महसूस किया है। वो ये जानते है कि किसान इस देश की रीढ़ है और बिना इनको मुख्यधारा में लाये आप विकास के उच्चतम सोपान को नहीं पा सकते। इसलिए उनका गाँव और किसानो के प्रति झुकाव ह्रदय को झकझोर देता है। “जवान, जो सीमा पर अपना सिर दे देता है, उसी की बराबरी में “जय जवान” कहा था। क्यों? क्योंकि अन्न के भंडार भर करके मेरा किसान भारत मां की उतनी ही सेवा करता है, जैसे जवान भारत मां की रक्षा करता है। यह भी देश सेवा है। अन्न के भंडार भरना, यह भी किसान की सबसे बड़ी देश सेवा है और तभी तो लालबहादुर शास्त्री ने “जय जवान, जय किसान” कहा था”। उम्मीद है मोदी की गाँव से जुड़े संकल्प से उभरे योजनाये गाँवों का कायापलट करने में सहायक होंगी।
नौजवानो की बड़ी भीड़ है इस देश में सो इनको “स्किल्ड वर्कर ” बनाकर मैन्युफैक्चरिंग सेक्टर को उन्नत बनाने का संकल्प एक बेहतरीन दृष्टिकोण है। ये मोदी की दूरदर्शिता दर्शाता है कि आयातित प्रोडक्ट्स पर अपनी निर्भरता को कम करना चाहते है। अभी तक तो ये होता आया है कि युवाओ को सरकारे सिर्फ दिवास्वप्न दिखती रही है। सो उम्मीद यही है कि मोदी राज में युवाओ को एक सार्थक यथार्थपरक दिशा मिलेगी। अंत में मोदी जी की उस दृष्टि को उभारना चाहता हूँ जो इस भाषण की ख़ास बात रही और वो था उनका इस देश की संस्कृति और महापुरुषों के प्रति अभिन्न श्रद्धा। श्री अरविन्द और स्वामी विवेकानंद के वचनो और संस्कृत कथनो का उल्लेख करके उन्होंने ये बता दिया कि देश की जड़ो का सम्मान किये बिना भविष्य की तरफ झांकना कोई मायने नहीं रखता। भौतिक विकास आध्यात्मिक जगत से जुड़े बिना सिर्फ भटकाव ही सुनिश्चित करता है, सिर्फ विनाश ही करता है। सो इस देश को जरूर विकासोन्मुख बनाये मगर इस पूरी कवायद में जड़ो को ना भूल जाए।
Full speech can be read here: प्रधानमंत्री का संबोधन
The views expressed herein unfold Sri Aurobindo’s methadology to deal with huge challenges India was going to face in post-Independence era. Sri aurobindo conveyed these views between 1910-1922 in Arya- an English monthly published by Sri Aurobindo.
“How shall we recover our lost intellectual freedom and elasticity? By reversing, for a time at least, the process by which we lost it, by liberating our minds in all subjects from the thraldom to authority. That is not what reformers and the Anglicised require of us. They ask us, indeed, to abandon authority, to revolt against custom and superstition, to have free and enlightened minds. But they mean by these sounding recommendations that we should renounce the authority of Sayana for the authority of Max Muller, the Monism of Shankara for the Monism of Haeckel, the written Shastra for the unwritten law of European social opinion, the dogmatism of Brahmin Pandits for the dogmatism of European scientists, thinkers and scholars. Such a foolish exchange of servitude can receive the assent of no self-respecting mind. Let us break our chains, venerable as they are, but let it be in order to be free, in the name of truth, not in the name of Europe. It would be a poor bargain to exchange our old Indian illuminations, however dark they may have grown to us, for a derivative European enlightenment or replace the superstitions of popular Hinduism by the superstitions of materialistic Science.”
“Our first necessity, if India is to survive and do her appointed work in the world, is that the youth of India should learn to think, to think on all subjects, to think independently, fruitfully, going to the heart of things, not stopped by their surface, free of prejudgments, shearing sophism and prejudice asunder as with a sharp sword, smiting down obscurantism of all kinds as with the mace of Bhima….”
“Let us not, either, select at random, make a nameless hotchpotch and then triumphantly call it the assimilation of East and West. We must begin by accepting nothing on trust from any source whatsoever, by questioning everything and forming our own conclusions. We need not fear that we shall by that process cease to be Indians or fall into the danger of abandoning Hinduism. India can never cease to be India or Hinduism to be Hinduism, if we really think for ourselves. It is only if we allow Europe to think for us that India is in danger of becoming an ill-executed and foolish copy of Europe…. We must … take our stand on that which is true and lasting. But in order to find out what in our conceptions is true and lasting, we must question all alike rigorously and impartially. The necessity of such a process not for India, but for all humanity has been recognised by leading European thinkers. It was what Carlyle meant when he spoke of swallowing all formulas. It was the process by which Goethe helped to reinvigorate European thinking. But … Europe has for some time ceased to produce original thinkers, though it still produces original mechanicians…. China, Japan and the Mussulman states are sliding into a blind European imitativeness. In India alone there is self-contained, dormant, the energy and the invincible spiritual individuality which can yet arise and break her own and the world’s fetters.”
Source: Bharat Vani
These beautiful verses in Sanskrit unfold glory of India’s past. They make you aware of great souls who made their presence felt on this great divine land. The verses also let you know about beautiful places, rivers and mountains which make this part of the world a poetry carved on planet earth. I first noticed these verses on page of Sri Vijay Krishna Pandey.
ॐ नमः सच्चिदानंदरूपाय परमात्मने
प्रकृतिः पंचभूतानि ग्रहलोकस्वरास्तथा
दिशः कालश्च सर्वेषां सदा कुर्वंतु मंगलम्॥२॥
ब्रह्मराजर्षिरत्नाढ्याम् वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥३॥
महेंद्रो मलयः सह्यो देवतात्मा हिमालयः
ध्येयो रैवतको विन्ध्यो गिरिश्चारावलिस्तथा ॥४॥
गंगा सरस्वती सिंधु ब्रह्मपुत्राश्च गंदकी
कावेरी यमुना रेवा कृष्णा गोदा महानदी ॥५॥
अयोध्या मथुरा माया काशी कांची अवंतिका
वैशाली द्वारका ध्येया पुरी तक्शशिला गया ॥६॥
प्रयागः पाटलीपुत्रं विजयानगरं महत्
इंद्रप्रस्थं सोमनाथस्तथामृतसरः प्रियम्॥७॥
चतुर्वेदाः पुराणानि सर्वोपनिषदस्तथा
रामायणं भारतं च गीता षड्दर्शनानि च ॥८॥
जैनागमास्त्रिपिटकः गुरुग्रन्थः सतां गिरः
एष ज्ञाननिधिः श्रेष्ठः श्रद्धेयो हृदि सर्वदा॥९॥
अरुन्धत्यनसूय च सावित्री जानकी सती
द्रौपदी कन्नगे गार्गी मीरा दुर्गावती तथा ॥१०॥
लक्ष्मी अहल्या चन्नम्मा रुद्रमाम्बा सुविक्रमा
निवेदिता सारदा च प्रणम्य मातृ देवताः ॥११॥
श्री रामो भरतः कृष्णो भीष्मो धर्मस्तथार्जुनः
मार्कंडेयो हरिश्चन्द्र प्रह्लादो नारदो ध्रुवः ॥१२॥
हनुमान् जनको व्यासो वसिष्ठश्च शुको बलिः
दधीचि विश्वकर्माणौ पृथु वाल्मीकि भार्गवः ॥१३॥
शिबिश्च रन्तिदेवश्च पुराणोद्गीतकीर्तयः ॥१४॥
बुद्ध जिनेन्द्र गोरक्शः पाणिनिश्च पतंजलिः
शंकरो मध्व निंबार्कौ श्री रामानुज वल्लभौ ॥१५॥
झूलेलालोथ चैतन्यः तिरुवल्लुवरस्तथा
नायन्मारालवाराश्च कंबश्च बसवेश्वरः ॥१६॥
देवलो रविदासश्च कबीरो गुरु नानकः
नरसी तुलसीदासो दशमेषो दृढव्रतः ॥१७॥
श्रीमच्छङ्करदेवश्च बंधू सायन माधवौ
ज्ञानेश्वरस्तुकाराम रामदासः पुरन्दरः ॥१८॥
बिरसा सहजानन्दो रमानन्दस्तथा महान्
वितरन्तु सदैवैते दैवीं षड्गुणसंपदम् ॥१९॥
रविवर्मा भातखंडे भाग्यचन्द्रः स भोपतिः
कलावंतश्च विख्याताः स्मरणीया निरंतरम् ॥२०॥
भरतर्षिः कालिदासः श्रीभोजो जनकस्तथा
सूरदासस्त्यागराजो रसखानश्च सत्कविः ॥२१॥
अगस्त्यः कंबु कौन्डिण्यौ राजेन्द्रश्चोल वंशजः
अशोकः पुश्य मित्रश्च खारवेलः सुनीतिमान् ॥२२॥
चाणक्य चन्द्रगुप्तौ च विक्रमः शालिवाहनः
समुद्रगुप्तः श्रीहर्षः शैलेंद्रो बप्परावलः ॥२३॥
लाचिद्भास्कर वर्मा च यशोधर्मा च हूणजित्
श्रीकृष्णदेवरायश्च ललितादित्य उद्बलः ॥२४॥
मुसुनूरिनायकौ तौ प्रतापः शिव भूपतिः
रणजितसिंह इत्येते वीरा विख्यात विक्रमाः ॥२५॥
वैज्ञानिकाश्च कपिलः कणादः शुश्रुतस्तथा
चरको भास्कराचार्यो वराहमिहिर सुधीः ॥२६॥
नागार्जुन भरद्वाज आर्यभट्टो वसुर्बुधः
ध्येयो वेंकट रामश्च विज्ञा रामानुजायः ॥२७॥
रामकृष्णो दयानंदो रवींद्रो राममोहनः
रामतीर्थोऽरविंदश्च विवेकानंद उद्यशः ॥२८॥
दादाभाई गोपबंधुः टिळको गांधी रादृताः
रमणो मालवीयश्च श्री सुब्रमण्य भारती ॥२९॥
सुभाषः प्रणवानंदः क्रांतिवीरो विनायकः
ठक्करो भीमरावश्च फुले नारायणो गुरुः ॥३०॥
संघशक्ति प्रणेतारौ केशवो माधवस्तथा
स्मरणीय सदैवैते नवचैतन्यदायकाः ॥३१॥
अनुक्ता ये भक्ताः प्रभुचरण संसक्तहृदयाः
अविज्ञाता वीरा अधिसमरमुद्ध्वस्तरि पवः
समाजोद्धर्तारः सुहितकर विज्ञान निपुणाः
नमस्तेभ्यो भूयात्सकल सुजनेभ्यः प्रतिदिनम् ॥ ३२॥
इदमेकात्मता स्तोत्रं श्रद्धया यः सदा पठेत्
स राष्ट्रधर्म निष्ठावानखंडं भारतं स्मरेत् ॥३३॥
जयति पुण्य सनातन संस्कृति…जयति पुण्य भूमि भारत…
जय श्री राम
Source: Vijay Krishna Pandey
These verses in Hindi written by famous poet Neearj unfold the charishma of feeling called love!
जब तक आँसू साथ रहेंगे,
मुझको याद किया जायेगा;
जहाँ प्रेम की चर्चा होगी,
मेरा नाम लिया जायेगा ।
जब भी कोई सपना टूटा,
मेरी आँख वहाँ बरसी है;
तड़पा हूँ मैं जब भी कोई,
मछ्ली पानी को तरसी है ।
गीत दर्द का पहला बेटा,
दुःख है उसका खेल खिलौना
कविता तब मीरा होगी,
जब हँस कर ज़हर पिया जायेगा ।
जहाँ प्रेम की चर्चा होगी,
मेरा नाम लिया जायेगा ।
I have no hesitation in admitting that Allahabad (ancient name Prayag) redefined my beingness.It made me down-to earth, allowing me to view life in its true shades. Although I tried my best to capture all the shades of Allahabad, I am sure I would have missed some beautiful locations. I hope future writers would explore these untouched places in a colourful way. However, in the last part of the photo feature, I have shifted my attention from modern landscape of Allahabad to areas which still remind of the ancient times. Infrastructural bottlenecks prevented me from using state-of-the-art technology in capturing the images and that made me bit depressed. However, now in the aftermath of the publication of photo features, I feel pretty satisfied that I still came to do some good work. These photo features are a tribute to great city Allahabad- my birthplace. A city that taught me how to emerge successful in rising above contradictions to have glimpse of the Absolute!
P.S. :- The copyright of these images rests with the author of this post. Anybody making use of them without prior permission of the author, or without giving due credit to the author, could be penalized as per legal norms.
Many find Allahabad a very tough place to live an honourable life. That’s because even though it came to enjoy a wonderful divine legacy, it never ensured a desired vibrancy for average souls. It never created any scope for living a truly fun-filled life, being all the time involved in dry intellectual activities. Lack of proper encouragement on the part of city towards its vast pool of talented brains have now given way to brain drain sort of affair. Many great souls remained an unsung hero in this city. However, what’s amazing is that it keeps on producing great souls at a regular interval! In nutshell, it’s a city of true beauty, real romance and mysticism. The city teaches you how to remain true to life in a real way, making it very clear to any conscious soul that life is not a bed of roses and it is meant to discover new mysteries of nature. Naturally, average souls running after money, fame, beautiful girl, big house, big car and many other cosmetic affairs would always feel disappointed to be part of this city. Having said that, I hope this city learns to truly honour its exceptional souls and also learns to be bit more blissful!
Allahabad: A City Wedded To Realism (Photo Feature Part One) Allahabad: A City Wherein Global Salutes The Local (Photo Feature Part 3)
Allahabad enjoys a glorious legacy. It’s a city that has been dominated by best minds since time immemorial. Its ancient name Prayag is associated with Rishis (saints) and Devas (demigods) eager to have an opportunity to live in this city. Sri Rama, incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and, Sri Shankaracharya, incarnation of Lord Shiva, both came to interact with this city in their own ways. Needless to state about Kumbh Mela, which provides it a global appeal. And who can forget its role in Independence movement? And in post- Independence era, it still continues to dominate the course of this great nation by giving birth to remarkable thought patterns. Leading politicians, top bureaucrats, great literary figures and etc. all belong to this city. This city wedded to realism is very very slow in embracing ultra-modern changes, but now it has started accepting bizarre changes all in the name of being in tune with time!
(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