Counter Strike
My take on the things and events in the world.

The Ugly Face of Communism in India

Thursday, November 22, 2007
Communist movement hasn't achieved anything spectacular in its long history in India. However, it has earned a bad name due to its anti-national and anti-democracy polices at several occasions especially among the educated middle class. I have been a supporter of left parties for some years now largely due to my closeness to socialist ideology and partially due to my disenchantment from BJP and Congress. I seriously had begun to look at the left as a viable political alternative at the national level. I am not sure anymore. There are a couple of reasons:

Nuclear Deal: Without going into the technicalities, let us first try to look what this deal is all about. India neither being among the five recognized nuclear powers nor a signatory to the NPT is isolated in the world with regard to the corporation in the nuclear energy sector. India needs nuclear energy for its rising domestic power demand and more importantly the high table at world level. America wants to counter rising Chinese threat and sees India as a strategic partener. So, the deal is simple. USA would agree to supply India the nuclear technology and material for civilian use and India in tern would separate its civilian nuclear program (for peaceful use) from the military use program. This would be done in a phased manner and an international agency IAEA would keep a check on the civilian nuclear facilities only. There would be no interference in the military research program. Moreover, US would lobby hard to get NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) to cooperate with India on nuclear energy. This can be done as India has an impeccable record in nuclear nonproliferation and in following international treaties. During the long and tough negotiations, India got almost everything it wanted. Pakistan demanded a similar deal but was bluntly refused. China and Pakistan both lobbied hard to see this deal dead. Unlike the past, India clinched the deal successfully. This deal, I think, has been one of the most important achievements of Indian foreign policy till date.

Now what is the issue? First, there is a perception that Indian foreign policy is losing its independence and we are aligning too much with the US. Second, American Hyde Act, that says that deal might be scrapped if India conducts another nuclear test. Ideally speaking first concern is a big issue, but foreign policies are never decided on ideals. India made that mistake (thanks to Nehru and leaders that followed him except may be Indira) and that’s the reason we have more enemies than friends. You like it or not, aligning with US is a wise thing to do as long as we keep our national interests above everything and don’t let Americans use us. The second issue is simply unavoidable. You can not keep a check on the domestic laws of a sovereign country and if India conducts a nuclear test, of course, USA or any other country should have a right to decide if they want to continue the nuclear corporation or not.

After everything has been finalized, Left parties wakeup and start raising these issues. Raising issues is a good thing in a democracy but they have halted the deal which is against Indian interests. Let us try to put things in perspective and try to think whose interests are they serving?
Who would benefit if this deal doesn’t go through? Pakistan and yes CHINA. The ghosts of Indo-China war are again visiting! Most of the left leaders (including Jyoti Basu and Harkishan Singh Surjeet) supported China wholeheartedly during India's war with China over boundary dispute in 1962. They even shamelessly declared that Chinese President is India's president. These people celebrated when China tested a nuclear bomb touting it as "People’s Bomb" and opposed fervently when India exploded nuclear devices in 1974 and again in 1998. China seems to have achieved through their agents here what they could not achieve directly. These are serious issues. So, comrades, tell the people of India, why you favor Chinese interests over Indian? Who are your paymasters and why you should not be banned for anti-national activities?
Nandigram: Its simply unbelievable that a communist government is taking away two-crop arable land from farmers forcibly to establish SEZ for a private capitalist. Left front oppose the same neo-liberal polices at the center. But because Chinese "Communist" government is doing it, they would also emulate it.
Moreover, when local people opposed this move and tried to protest, the government used force and 14 farmer lost their lives in police action. Now, CPIM gondas (they call them "carders"), are trying to "take over" Nandigram and police and administration is simply looking the other way(dejavu of Gujrat). These gondas are killing poors, indulging in large scale rapes to punish poors for raising their voice to save their lands. Media is not being allowed inside nandigram and its simply Stalin-style handling of dissident voices.

That's what they have been doing in West Bengal. It is "Our way or highway". If you dont agree with us you cant live in here. Most of it is due to the lack of credible political alternative (dont suggest Mamta "Drama Queen" Benerjee). And on top of that they are not ready to debate it in the paliaments, saying it is a state subject. These are the very people who debated violence after Ghodhra in Gujrat. So why cant we debate Nandigram? They are not even ready to debate the issue on TV. WB Transport minister backed out of the debate on NDTV at the last moment. Central government is seeing the whole thing helplessly and our Dehli-Mumbai "Sting Operation" media is happy by just debating the issue in air condition newsrooms. But anywys, this is not at all democracy. This is the fascist attitude that has been common among all communist governments be it in china or Russia. The situation has taken a communal flavour as most of the people affected are Muslims and Dalits. Its unfortunate what happened in Kolkata on Wednesday. But more than that, CPIM government, instead of resolving Nandigram issue has escorted Taslima Nasreen away from WB.

Poor people are killing poor people. We can debate these issues latter but please bring peace in Nandigram and now in Kolkata first.
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इश्क तो ढोंग है

Sunday, November 18, 2007
तुझे इश्क हो ये ख़ुदा करे,
तुझे कोई उस से जुदा करे

तेरे होंट हँसना भूल जाएँ,
तेरे आँखें पुर-नम रहा करे

तू जिसे भी देख कर रुका करे,
वो नज़र झुका के चला करे

तू इस की बातें सुना करे,
वो किसी और की बातें कहा करे

तुझे दोस्ती भी न आये रास,
तू तन्हा तन्हा रहा करे

तुझे हिज्र की वो झड़ी लगे,
तू मिलन की हर पल दुआ करे

तेरे ख्वाब बिखरें टूट कर,
तू किर्ची किर्ची चुना करे

तुझे इश्क पर हो यकीन तब,
उसे तस्भियों में पढ़ा करे

फिर मैं कहूं इश्क तो ढोंग है,
तू नहीं नहीं किया करे!!!

पुर-नम = Tearful

हिज्र = Separation

किर्ची किर्ची = In Small Pieces

तस्भियों = A String of Beads Used in Counting Prayers

I came across this absolutely mesmerizing ghazal today. I tried but could not find out who the poet is. I had got into the poetic mood after three days and was trying to complete my unfinished ghazal. But this piece of poetry consumed me completely. I was not able to think anything at all except this. I have got to make a presentation tomorrow and I am just thinking about this poem and writing it on my blog. This seems so foolish.

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एक रोज़

Friday, November 16, 2007
सुनते हैं कि मिल जाती है हर चीज़ दुआ से
एक रोज़ तुम्हे मांग के देखेंगे खुदा से

- Rana Akbarabadi
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Java is Good Enough

Friday, November 16, 2007
For the last few days, with other things, I was quite busy in writing a mid-term paper for a course in my MS at OSU. It is titled "Looking Beyond Java – A Comparative Analysis of Java, Python & Ruby". This paper tries to analyze the major difference points between Java and Python/Ruby and argues that although; time has not come yet to abandon Java, but we should seriously start looking at the dynamic scripting languages and try to use them for suitable projects. Here is the summary:

We should continue using Java because:

  • Compile-time type checking
  • Excellent tools support
  • Very widely used and supported as a platform
  • Nice language to work on

We should not move to Python/Ruby completely because:

  • No compile-time type information
  • Still not mature enough
  • Tools not good enough
  • Not being used in the mainstream

We should start looking at Python/Ruby and use it for suitable projects because:

  • More productive
  • More readable
  • Essential to use different languages for growth as a developer
  • Its fun to work on

In the nutshell, Python or Ruby might be the future but Java is good enough.

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Missing Home on Diwali

Sunday, November 11, 2007
This year was my first Diwali away from home. I have been missing many things about India since I have landed in US. But I really missed my family on Diwali day, although I am an atheist and do not really celebrate festivals with great zeal. Generally speaking, its a bit hard to connect with culture and events in a foreign land. But what is even harder, is to get disconnected from your roots, things on which you have really grown up, events you like to follow and people you enjoy meeting. Changing your house doesn't mean you have got a new home. Home is where the heart is. As Allama Iqbal has written in tarana-e-hind,
"गुरबत में हों अगर हम रहता है दिल वतन में,
समझो वहीं हमें भी दिल हो जहाँ हमारा"
गुरबत = Foreign Land
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Thursday, November 08, 2007
जीवन के लम्हे सपने से हैं
सभी तो यहाँ अपने से हैं
दोस्तों के मजमें से हैं
हम भी कुछ मद में से हैं
आंखों में फिर भी नमी सी है
कहीं पर कुछ कमी सी है

लक्ष्य तो आसमान सा है
विश्वास भी विद्यमान सा है
रास्ता कुछ मुश्किल कुछ आसान सा है
हर कोई वेगमान सा है
ज़िंदगी फिर भी थमी सी है
कहीं पर कुछ कमी सी है
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Tuesday, November 06, 2007
वो जहाँ आसमान से ज़मीन मिलती है,
वहीं से निकला था सूरज|
हल्का, लाल,
नर्म धुप लाया था साथ,
पक्षियों कि चेहचाहट भी|
थोडे से फूल,
और ओस की कुछ बूँदें|
एक लंबी रात के बाद,
सुहाना सवेरा|

देखता रहा मैं,
और सोचता रहा,
क्या यही है मेरी मंजिल?
क्या यही हैं वो फूल,
कि जिनकी ओस कि बूंदों पे मेरा हक है?

ओस की बूँदें....
मिट गयीं अचानक|
जल गए फूल|
वो पक्षियों की चीत्कार,
कानो के बीच से,
मस्तिष्क को चीरती हुयी,
गूँज उठी मातम की तरह|
सूरज की लाली में खून के धब्बे,
और उनसे बहती हुयी गर्म धुप|
झुलस रहा है रोम रोम मेरा|
परों के नीचे उबलता हुआ रेत,
जकड़ रहा है क़दमों को|

अब रुका तो मेरी सांस न रूक जाये कहीं,
मेरे थमने से मेरी नब्स न थम जाये कहीं|
पूरी ताकत को जुटा कर,
एक कदम और सही|
नयी सुबह की तलाश में,
एक सफर और सही...
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Dil Aaj Shayar Hai...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I recently found some of the poems that I wrote a long time back. I have been writing poems for quite some time now and more recently some ghazals (although I don't have enough command on Urdu). But I have been for various reasons, very reserved about sharing them with anyone or even keeping them with me safely. As a result of this, most of them are lost. But I have now decided to upload them on my blog, as soon as I finish them. If not all, at least most of them. So I would be uploading the above mentioned old ones, that are complete, very soon. The rest of the stuff contains just abstract toughts. I am not sure what I am gonna do about those
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Counter-Coup Against Mush?

Monday, November 05, 2007
There are rumors that Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiani, the second in command in the Pakistan Army after Musharraf has staged a counter-coup against him and Musharraf is under house arrest. Although Pakistan Govt has denied it and Gen Kiani is known to be a close confident of Mush, prospects of a counter-coup in the near future can not be dismissed altogether. If something of this sort happens, the situation would be further complicated and the result could be total chaos. Even after imposition of emergency, Musarraf doesnt seem to be in control and that, contrary to my earlier observation (Emergency Declared in Pakistan), the event has in fact increased the political uncertainty. As it is said, that situation in Pakistan is affected primarily by three factors, America, Army and Allah! And you got have two of these factors are your side to rule. E.g. Musharraf had support of America and Army, Gen Zia got Army and Allah. Even though Mullahs were against Mush (अमरीका का जो यार है... गद्दार है...गद्दार है...), he was able to hold on to power. So continuous American support would be crucial for his survival. But America seems to have learnt a bit from its past mistake and hasn't put all its eggs in Musharraf's basket this time. They have placed a balancing power, Benazir Bhutto, right there in Pakistan. But as there are conflicting signals from almost every significant player, the uncertainty continues. Whatever happen, its gonna be very interesting watching events in Pakistan in coming days!
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K..K..K..Kounter Strike

Sunday, November 04, 2007
No, I am not a Karan Johar or Ekta Kapoor fan. After thinking about it for months (literally), I finally decided to write a blog. And Counter Strike was the most appropriate name that I could come up with. But Counter Strike being the name of a very popular computer game, had already been reserved. I tried several combinations like strike.counter etc but no luck. So I decided to go the "saas-bahu" way. I hope, I don't let Ekta down and am able to continue my blog like her TV serials...forever. :)
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Emergency Declared in Pakistan

Sunday, November 04, 2007
"Army is out on the streets. TV/Radio have been taken over. All private TV stations have been shut down. And mobile and internet disconnected. A general appears on the National TV."
Not again! But this time its a bit different. Actually under the guise of democracy, Pakistan was already under army rule. Musharraf was ruling the country single handedly. But now he has formally assumed powers that he was already enjoying anyways. I see this as a positive step and a proactive measure for the good of Pakistan and the world at large. Musharraf has done a lot for Pakistan in the last few years than anybody else could have done. He is a sincere and liberal leader and world community has a lot of stake in him. There seems to be no other better option. Pakistan was heading towards political uncertainty and lets face it, there was no chance for a real democracy even after the proposed elections. And Bhutto and Sharif are both worse than Mush. Judiciary and Islamic fundamentalists were only doing harm to the country.

Interestingly, just a day before, US issued a statement that they wont support any move to impose emergency or martial law in Pakistan. Bush, I think knew about all this and has hand in glove with Musharraf. The most awkward situation is that of Benazir Bhutto "न खुदा ही मिल न विसाल-ए-सनम". She has again started taking about alliance with Nawaz Sharif for resorting the democracy. Democracy has again died a premature death and this is a sad news for the genuine supporters of democracy in Pakistan and the world. In the words of Ghalib:
कहूँ किस से मैं के क्या है, शब-ए-ग़म बुरी बला है,
मुझे क्या बुरा था मरना अगर एक बार होता|
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Aanan Faanan

Friday, November 02, 2007
"मुझको तेरी आवाज़ से खुशबू आती है,
और खुशबू में रंग दिखाई देते हैं.
तू जब नही है, तब भी तू है साथ मेरे,
मीलों से छूते हैं तुझको हाथ मेरे."
How beautifully put into words by Javed Akhtar! This the part of the lines narrated by Javed Sahab himself in the song "Aanan Faanan (Mehfil Mix)" from the movie Namaste London. He, in my opinion, is the most versatile and talented lyricist of Bollywood today. He can simply write anything from "Tumko dekha toh yeh khayal aaya" to "Where is the party tonoght" in such a graceful way. Gulzar on the other hand, has produced absolutely breathtaking poetry in the past and in fact, his 'abstract and yet simple' style of writing has influenced me as a poet in a big way. But he is below average these days. I didn't like his lyrics in the last few films like Guru, Just Married ,Jhoom barabar Jhoom , Bunty Aur Babli. He has been good at a few places and the songs have been hit, but he is no match to the work Javed Sahab is doing these days. Same poetry continues further as:
"वो जो तेरी साँसों में हैं घुले हुए,
कहीं रहूँ, वो गीत सुनाई देते हैं.
बादल, तितली, कलियाँ, लहरें, फूल, हवा,
यह सब तेरे रुप दिखाई देते हैं.
मैं हूँ, तेरा नाम है, तेरी बातें हैं,
हर पल दोहराता तेरा अफसाना हूँ.
मुझको तो अब होश नहीं है,
तू ही बता, सब कहते हैं मैं तेरा दीवाना हूँ"

I wish I could write even half as beautiful as this......
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