Thursday, August 21, 2014

Minds trapped in "metal coffins"

The multiple partitions in South Asia makes a powerful case for co-existence (which is, sad to say, lost on the extremists). Tactics which lead to polarization between (and ghettoization of) communities must end, else we will be well on our way to create a Middle East in our midst.

Take one instructive example. EMS Namboodiripad is an all-time great amongst Indian politicians. But even as a man of the left he was not averse to playing communal games. It was in 1969 - only two decades removed from Partition I - that EMS promised and delivered a "muslim district" in Kerala by merging together the Muslim majority areas of Thrissur, Palakkad and Kozhikkode districts. This was done at the behest of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in return for short-term political support for the CPM led Left Front (IUML has long back ditched the CPM and is now partnered with the Congress).

Now the IUML is demanding for a separate Muslim state by bifurcating Kerala and capturing some land from Tamil Nadu (good luck with that). So...the next logical step will be a Muslim country...right? Not to worry, people already refer to Malappuram as mini Pakistan.

All this political skullduggery has predictably led to a considerable backlash and "hindu organizations" have joined forces- for example, the Nairs (NSS) and the Ezhavas (SNDP) who were once separated by bitter caste barriers. Once the Left starts to decay, the BJP will take its place (just like in Bengal).
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Recently Malappuram district secretary of Muslim Youth League demanded the division of Kerala. He demanded a new state named Malabar with Kozhikode as the capital city. It is reported that they want a new state including “7 districts, right from Thrissur, along with the inclusion of Mahi and the Nilagiri district of Tamil Nadu.". The justification for the demand is that "it will be the sole solution" that will "help in the progress of the region." 
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No good comes out of creating divisions within people (usually done for winning political power). Neighbors should not have to meet purity tests. And when one identity (religious) becomes too strong, then people will suffer, minorities for sure, but even people from the dominant faith.  

The stowaways who were just now rescued from a "metal coffin" in England have been identified as Afghan Sikhs. Sikhs and Hindus have been living in Afghanistan for centuries. With the rise of the Taliban (again), these communities face the choice of conversion or death. If and when the Taliban comes back to power (again), only muslims will be left to face the beatings, hand choppings and be-headings, while muslim women will disappear into home-prisons.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Thirteen years in exile

Our history-myths (TM) tell us that once upon a time, the darling of the people, Yuv-raj (prince-in-waiting) Rama was ordered by his father Raja Dasharath (actually step-mother Kaikeyi) to leave Ayodhya and spend fourteen years in the forest (van-vaas).

Irom Sharmila Chanu is a commoner but she is equally a darling of her people. She was imprisoned on the grounds that she may commit suicide. Now after thirteen years of time spent in the concrete forest, a court has finally ordered her to be set free. She has promised to continue her fight for justice. Perhaps one day, an epic will be composed in honor of this ordinary woman.

It is people like Sharmila (also Binayak Sen, Baba Amte, Medha Patkar and others) who give us hope that India will, one-day, be ready to give the gift of dignity to people who have no belongings, no land, no water, no rights whatsoever. We have been fortunate enough to meet Sen and Amte and what inspires us so much is how gentle they are, and how firm is their spirit and their stead-fast commitment to (non-violent) action.

To give credit where it is due, the Press has helped to highlight the plight of Sharmila and her fellow travelers. In these times when majority coalitions are firming up all across the country, it is important that the Press continues to play its role as the guardian of minorities (can be Hindu...the wrong type...see the inquisition going on in Telengana, against "thieves and looters" from Andhra), to be able to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. Also, now that the Indian left is on its death-bed and the Press is being corrupted by corporate money, we the people will need to stay extra vigilant.
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A Manipur court ruling directing the release of Prisoner of Conscience Irom Sharmila because there were no grounds for charging her with attempted suicide is a legal and moral victory for the activist and her 13 year-long hunger strike, Amnesty International India said on Tuesday.
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OSO for BKS

That would be Om Shanti Om (TM) - our brand new modi-fied version of Rest In Peace - for Bellur Krishnam-acharya Sundara-raja Iyengar (December 14, 1918 – August 20, 2014).
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He is the Guru-ji, who single-handedly created the world-wide Yoga brand (though some naughty people attribute the popularity to Christy Turlington). We are not passionate about Yoga, however it is impolite to say so in academic, left-liberal circles- both in the USA and in India.

We do believe that Yoga provides health benefits...but only for the true believers. Of course, the good thing about Yoga is that believers come in all shapes, sizes and ages. We have been amazed to see seventy year olds doing asanas with ease, the ones we had to work hard over in our teens. Today, Yoga is a multi billion dollar enterprise and Indians are not doing too poorly as new-age entrepreneurs (example: Baba Ramdev). Soft power and all that.
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All in all, BKS was an inspiration to countless folks, a good man who said "Physical health is not a commodity to be bargained for....Nor can it be swallowed in the form of drugs and pills - it has to be earned through sweat. It is something that we must build up." Right on, dear sir, and may you enjoy your brief moments of peace up in the stars before you recycle back to this nasty old earth.
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BKS Iyengar, the Indian yoga guru credited with helping to fuel a global explosion in the popularity of the ancient spiritual practice, has died aged 95. Iyengar started his yoga school in 1973 in the western city of Pune, developing a unique form of the practice that he said anyone could follow.
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"A message to America" (from a Briton)

.....Foley, 40, was kidnapped in northern Syria, according to GlobalPost, a Boston-based online publication....He had reported in the Middle East for five years....kidnapped and released in Libya.....Steven Sotloff, who appeared at the end of the video, went missing in northern Syria while reporting in July 2013......
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It is grim news for those who hope to halt the march of the Islamist menace by controlling immigration or through surveillance of citizens.  What would work (in a fantasy world) is a program in reverse brain-washing, but we are not there yet (and we dont want to fantasize about such evil things).

What you have is a greatly disaffected community of Islamists (nihilists??) who are born and raised in the West. They feel utter humiliation and helplessness because the Christian West (as they see it) dominates the world aided by Jewish money.
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A linguistics expert has told British radio station LBC that the masked IS militant who beheaded James Foley is probably from London.   

Claire Hardaker, a lecturer in Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University, said: We seem to have definitely southern vowels in there, we’ve got some interesting pronunciations - he says the word ‘Muslims’, he says it in quite an interesting way. You kind of use a ‘Muz’ sound and he’s doing a ‘Mus’ ...as in he does an unvoiced ‘s’ when he says it. 

We’re definitely looking at a British accent, from the south and probably from London. 
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These young turks also see (often justifiably) oppression of muslim populations everywhere: in South Asia, China, Russia, Indo-China, and Israel, but also (for Sunnis) in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon and ex-Russian-stans. Driven by the quest for purity they may even consider fence-sitters such as Pakistan as being insufficiently Islamic.

These folks dream of a Caliphate cockpit, the flight-deck from which to rule the world. They want to create a new global order. They are the new Siegfrieds and all they lack is a...dirty nuclear bomb. Be very afraid.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Storming the Red Zone...with human shields?

.....Imran Khan’s terrible hunger for power is a frightening thing to see...his refusal to accept that system can only be improved, not torn down......More than convincing people of Nawaz Sharif being unfit to be Prime Minister, Imran has made a more solid case for why he should never, ever be awarded that mantle....
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We are outsiders...and this comment will probably give offense: Captain Sahib has gone completely bonkers. We agree with The Nation (Pakistan) editorial that Imran Khan should declare victory and go home.

It is bad enough that IK wears the mask of civil disobedience by urging his supporters to not pay taxes. Presently, just about 0.9% of Pakistan pays tax (he should know of this). How is such a step somehow enlightened?

But to encourage women and children to march to the Red Zone against the full might of the military...is insane. Add to this the crazy ultimatums. Nawaz Sharif has been asked to resign by Wednesday (Aug 20). What happens if he does not?
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12:55am DawnNews reported sources as having said that the Pakistan Army has taken charge of the Interior Ministry's control room. Former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah however has rejected the reports, saying that the Interior Ministry is still in charge of the control room.