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

Lotus Blooms Across Vindhyas

Sunday, May 25, 2008
Bhartiya Janata Party scored a historic win on Sunday in Karnataka and is all set to form its first govt. south of Vindhyachal. This victory has made it clear that that BJP is no longer just a north Indian cow-belt party but has a pan-India appeal. BJP has been the only party that has been able to challenge congress in a real sense in the last 60 years. It is good for democracy and for people of India to have a real choice.

Karnataka has been a traditional congress bastion that stood by it even after emergency. Congress took it for granted and people of Karnataka have chosen to reject to be taken for granted any more. It is a positive mandate for Mr. Yeddyurappa and for the party that talks about development and a mandate against petty politics played by parties like JDS and Congress. My best wishes for Mr Yeddyurappa. I, like many other people hope that he would be able to provide a good administration and would put Karnataka back on the development track.

Congress once again blamed the defeat on the division of the secular vote. Come on Sonia ji! There was nothing like communal vs. secular in Karnataka. BJP in fact, did very well in Muslim majority seats like last time and simply walked over congress in reserved (SC/ST) seats. This should be an eye opener for Congress. People are sick of your secular talk. It is time to deliver something on the issues that actually concern people. It was a divided house in congress with no clear leadership. Mr. SM Krishna was forced in at the last moment and did not receive much cooperation from other conrgress leaders like Veerappa Moily, Dharam Singh, Mallikarjuna Karge and Siddharamiah. Isnt it wiered that congress blames local leaders for defeats and praise leadership of Sonia ji and mass appeal of Rahul baba for victories.

But it was not really that bad for congress as it was able to maintain its vote share and number of seats. But it was a real defeat for the Gowda’s. JDS has been routed badly even in their traditional strongholds like south Karnataka. Their lingayat vote also seems to be slipping away. The ‘great betrayal’ cost them very dearly and helped BJP in the form of sympathy vote. But it would be naive to write off Mr Gowda as he is a mass based leader and a seasoned politician.

Congress has lost yet another election and BJP seems to be on a winning spree. If it would continue till general elections in 2009 is any body's guess. It’s too early to call, but anti-incumbency coupled with issues of price-rise and internal security would haunt Congress and UPA in the coming elections. Another thing to keep in mind is that the up coming state elections are in Rajasthan, MP and Chhatisgarh, the states ruled by BJP. So it would be hard for them to maintain the winning streak as anti-incumbency is very hard to tackle in India now-a-days. “Dilli abhi door hai” as they say. And as Iqbaal puts it
Sitaaron se aage jahaan aur bhi hain
Abhi ishq ke imtihaan aur bhi hain
Read On 0 comments

Moditva - The Rise and Rise of Hindu Terrorism

Thursday, May 15, 2008
Hindutva or fanatic Hindu nationalism is not a new phenomenon in India. It was always present in some form or the other during the freedom struggle and even before that. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the primary organization that promotes this ideology, has been quite active for a long time. Lately, Hindu extremism saw rejuvenation in the late 80’s and came to the center stage of Indian political landscape in the 90’s. And from there on, we have seen it reaching new proportions.

This re-emergence of Hindtuva started primarily after the demolition of Babri mosque in Ayodhya in Dec’ 92. After subsequent events, we have seen dramatic rise of communal tension and as a result of that more and more riots. Hindu-Muslim riots have always happened in India and unfortunately the “secular” police and state have most of the times helped Hindus to kill Muslims. Also, using religion as a tool to win election has never been a taboo for any community. So what is new in Moditva?
Moditva – Hindutva practiced with the help of organized terrorism and supported by large scale manipulation of democratic process.

What happened in Gujarat in 2002 was blatant state terrorism being inflicted upon its own innocent civilians. There can be no excuse to justify it in any way. It’s much worse than Muslim terrorism as organizations such as Lashkar-e-Toiba or SIMI are banned and no longer part of the society or political process. They are criminals and terrorists by definition. But Hindu extremist organizations such as RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, BJP are very much part of the society and are intact using society and political process to unleash terrorism. And we as civil society are watching the show helplessly. All our constitutional safe-guards have largely failed. Hindu extremism is growing and sadly getting more and more acceptability in the society.

It really frightens me to the core when I think about Muslim youth in India hearing venomous speeches by people like Praveen Togadiya and Narendra Modi. How much anger they would have felt, while watching the news about Gujarat massacre! How disillusioned they must be feeling, when India as a country failed to bring those responsible, to justice and people of Gujarat reelected the man who we all know, was the main culprit for massacring thousands of fellow Muslims.

I am amused by the amount of restrain shown by the Muslim community in India. At the same time, the thought troubles me a lot, when I think of the day when all this rage would spill over. And, it would be more unfortunate if that doesn’t happen. The legitimate grievances of an oppressed community should be expressed in some form or the other. In the end, I would like to say that India has to be an egalitarian society and a secular country not only because we want to be but because we would crease to exist if we don’t.
What an irony that the proponents of “Akhand Bharat” are working so hard to validate two-nation theory and make Jinnah’s doubts a reality!

There is no real irony here as the two-nation theory was first proposed by Sangh Parivar's ideologue Savarkar in a session of the Hindu Mahasabha in 1937 - three years before the Muslim League's Pakistan resolution in Lahore. Thanks to a friend for pointing this out.
Read On 0 comments

Confessions of an Atheist - Part I (The Big Question)

Sunday, May 04, 2008
"What is your aim in life?" asked one of my best friends while we were enjoying 'free lunch' at work.

"Umm..., I don’t have any aim..." was my frank reply.

"What do you mean you don’t have any aim? You gotta have some purpose to your life..." he shot back as if I was the only guy in the world who didn’t have any defined aim. This was one of those rare occasions, when he probably saw an opportunity to win an argument with me.

I started eating my sweet dish before finishing the meal just to get some time to think. "I take my life one stride at a time and don’t think beyond 5 years. I set new objectives when I have achieved what I earlier aimed for" was my reply.

"I am asking about your overall objective" he was relentless.

"I don’t have any overall objective and I don’t think that it is necessary" I replied as if I knew that I was right and found the discussion completely useless.

"What is _your_ overall aim?" this was my turn now and I expected to catch him on wrong foot.

But he was well prepared for the question and probably was expecting it. "I wanna go into space." he said looking at me with eyes filled with strong determination and face lit up with confidence.

We went on to argue until we finished eating and as usual didn’t reach any conclusion. As a last ditch effort to convince him that I have a valid point, I later sent him this sher written by Allama Iqbal on chat:

Har makaam se aage makaam hai tera
Hayat zauq-e-safar ke siwa kuchh aur nahi

Frankly, I myself wasn’t sure of what I was arguing for and I now realize that I had no idea of what we were talking about.

(To be continued...)
Read On 0 comments


Recent Comments