How Narendra Modi Will Tackle USA?



Who is afraid of Narendra Modi?

The USA, it seems — if we go by its various actions in the diplomatic arena, and if we look at how the issue of Visa is raised time and again at strategic junctures!

In UPA 1 and 2 USA had got an ally which was just too happy to toe the line and help USA in furthering its geopolitical aims in the Asian Continent. Manmohan and Sonia fitted the bill absolutely – and after ten years of uninterrupted influence it was looking for making more inroads.

However, the only dark cloud in the horizon has been the persona of Narendra Modi – the man who seems to have a mind of his own and has a strong will. He is honest and is committed to furthering the interests of India on the global scene. While Manmohan Singh was happy to get occasional brownie points from USA, Narendra Modi may prove to be a hard nut to crack — because USA knows that there lies in Modi’s heart a burning desire to make India a global power!

In the following article, Menaz Merchant beautifully explains the challenges that USA faces in the current international scenario and how Modi may well be able to exploits the chinks in its armour!

Read the full article here…


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‘Running With The Hares; Hunting With The Hounds’

I have sometimes deliberated about the thought process of those who are going ga-ga over the appearance of AAP leaders. The AAP supports are constituted by that crowd which feels deceived by the Congress dream but yet have not got over their opposition for the BJP – secularism and all that, the white noise that is generated by media spurred by the cacophony created by the Congress and its cohorts.

The AAP constitutes the perfect honey trap for just this population – when will it get over it, and be able to think beyond prejudices and be able to look beyond the veil created by the media – because no doubt they also have to survive and news is created by the powers that be – I wonder!

There was a time when the prominent leaders of the AAP were known for their involvement in the Anna movement against corruption. Then this movement metamorphosed into the ‘India Against Corruption’, ultimately to transform itself into a strange political animal – namely ‘Aam Aadmi Party’.

I call it strange because there was a lot of hullabaloo over its formation, accompanied by many a heart breaks. Anna, Kiran Bedi, and few others, some of the staunch supporters of IAC, said that they felt betrayed by Kejriwal and his colleagues for having betrayed them, because they  were not in favor of launching a political party; but were rather in favor of fighting the ‘system’ from ‘outside’.

They also blamed Kejriwal for harboring political ambitions and some reports suggested that he and some of his colleagues had talked about the formation of a political party even before the Anna movement – the idea was summarily rejected by Anna himself.

So we were witness to the birth of a political party, which arose out of a civil movement – no problems there, except for the fact that were were certain anomalies in the scenario that unfolded.

First, the bickering of the IAC members themselves about the very idea of forming the party, which I have just mentioned.

Then there were faint murmurs here and there which were alleging that the party had been formed with an hidden agenda. The hidden agenda was that the party was formed after a behind the curtain deal with the Congress – the party against which the entire IAC movement was purportedly launched. At that time it was not understandable, and completely unimaginable – how could a group of people who were breathing fire against Congress reach a covert understanding with the same party?

The logic behind such an understanding became clear gradually. At the time BJP had launched a very strong movement against the various scams committed by Congress Government at the centre. The movement was gaining in momentum by the day. The Newspapers and TV channels were full of news coverage regarding the scams and the astronomical sums of money allegedly appropriated by Congress leaders in these scams.

The movement seemed to be going out of hand, public was fuming, with danger that there was a danger that it may topple the Congress government at the centre.

Some thing got to be done, the movement need to be contained, BJP had to be stopped in its tracks so that it may not take the political advantage out of the public anger that was seen to be seething all around – coupled with the appearance of a strong leader like Narendra Modi appearing on the horizons – with his fearless potshots at the top leadership of the Congress party. The party was very fast being reduced to a laughing stock.

The unthinkable was happening – the power was slipping out of hands.  After six decades of remaining in power, it appeared as if the party was finally losing its hold over the psyche of the people – people were looking for alternative heroes, past messiahs having failed miserably, their dirty faces exposed, the charm of the family lost, compounded with the fact that they all looked foreign. Indian public was no longer identifying with them.

So, a deal was struck. Both the sides deny it vociferously, but now the facts stand almost exposed with the party’s founding member exposing the deal in this video.

In this context the part played by one member has been very interesting, and the title of my post ‘Running with the Hairs; and hunting with the hounds’ is pointed towards that personality – Yogendra yadav.

He appears to have played key part in the formation of the party. Several of Kejriwal’s close associates have revealed that he has always been extremely deferential towards Yadav, and tries to keep him in good humor.

In this context this post in Niticentral appeared interesting as it it explained, in very few words, the part played by Shri Yogendra Yadav.

The multifarious personality of the man, with various roles being played by him in the political arena, the roles that are often mutually conflicting, is really amazing; and it is almost fascinating to watch him perform such an impossible balancing act – but not so much, if you remember the TV debates in which he appears, where he starts from one end, and smoothly comes out at the other extreme – and you are left wondering on which side the guy really stands!

This man is the man to be watched in the coming days!


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Why Modi Was Able To Create A Wave

It is fascinating to see the rise of Narendra Modi on National scene, watching him going from strength to strength. From political untouchable to a Hero, having millions of followers, calls for an appreciation of those qualities that made made it possible for him to accomplish this impossible task!

A few years back TV channels were forecasting doom for him; it was generally assumed that his name will be forever tarnished by some misdeeds that he might have committed in 2002. So many Commissions, enquiries, probes for one single person – surely, if he was guilty it was imperative that he was to be brought to the books and treated like any other criminal of humanity.

But, slowly all those Commissions and probes only helped to add shine to his character. They may not have given him the clean chit, but they did not declare him guilty either. The excess of all this Commissioning and Probing was their undoing – the implied agenda behind the setting up of these was became quite clear to the common man  – ‘Get Modi at any cost!‘ – so the dice was loaded against him from the word Go! If, in such a scenario, no enquiry found him guilty, it actually meant more than a ‘clean chit’.

Then there came the Gujarat Assembly Elections of 2013, which he won resoundingly – third time in a row. Obviously the entire population of Gujarat had not been made to drink a magic potion to force it to vote only for Modi. Gujaratis are known to be quite astute and proud citizens of India; it will be an insult to their intelligence if one doubted the judgment of the entire state. They had seen his work, they had seen him from up and close. They knew him more than all of us – who knew about him only through TV channels and newspapers.

Another quality that left a strong impression on public mind was that he was neither detracted by nor got involved in petty arguments. He carried on with a single minded devotion with the one task that he had set set up for his political life – the development of Gujarat. This is extremely amazing if we keep in mind that he could not have foreseen the outcome of his efforts when he set out to do this; there was every chance of failure; it must have been the power of realization that what he was doing was for some greater good that kept him focused and energized.

He had nothing but his own faith to guide him when all around him powerful forces were hounding him and bad mouthing him in every imaginable way!

He was able to make ‘development’ into a national agenda – replacing divisive issues like secularism and regionalism – only because of his single minded devotion and solid achievements. He never bothered to reply to the extreme criticism he was subjected to, did not get involved in arguments and instead concentrated on the goals that he had set for Gujarat.

I have seen him responding to the criticism only from two people – Sonia and Rahul: as if he was saying that he knew who was targeting whom. He managed himself in his public life with such grace that all the criticism and witch hunting against him only added to the sheen of his persona.

His devotion to public service can be readily seen by the fact that he never tried to use power and influence to work for the betterment of his own family members. His mother and brothers still live very ordinary lives. What a sharp contrast from what we see all around us: the breed of politicians that we have got used to who, when they come to power start showering favors, grants and positions to their sons, nephews, uncles and aunts!

This is due to his single minded devotion for the public good that he is always brimming with ideas – which was all too apparent in the India Today Conclave held in New Delhi last year – I have never seen such an abundance of ideas in any Indian leader – living or dead!

He is a strong leader no doubt – and I believe that the country needs just such a leader at this time and juncture of India’s march to greatness – the leader who has got a vision and is neither afraid to articulate it nor to implement it in practical terms!

His enthusiasm is infectious – this is all too visible in the crowds that get electrified on listening to his speeches – this one man army was able to turn the tide in just one or two years – when everything seemed to be working against him – including all the political parties in India and so many of them in other countries too!

Let us pray and wish that Modi is able to come up to such grand expectations that people of the nation have reposed in him!


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April 6, 2014 · 5:21 pm

Will You Still Do It If It Was Not So ‘Cool’?


There was a News item today that informed that in Delhi University campus during the last December’s Delhi Assembly Elections (2014) you were considered a ‘loser’ if you did not vote! To flaunt the inked left Index finger became a style statement, and also portrayed you as a politically conscious and socially aware guy or gal.

The issues discussed in those elections – corruption and women’s security – were the topics of heated discussions in college canteens and it was considered stylish to out pour one’s outrage in FB posts! One’s social ranking would have hit a real time low had one not gone and voted for the ’cause’.

This was largely caused by the vast media coverage of the Anna Hazare movement which was later on hijacked by the smart guy Kejriwal to fulfil his political ambitions leaving behind a sulking old man with a ‘shared’ topi!

Considering all that hoopla and constant focus on Anna, Kejriwal and later on Aam Aadmi Party, it is not surprising that the events surrounding the main protagonists of the entire drama became the talk of the town, and the presence of many young actors in the drama, and clever manipulation of media, brought youngsters into the centre stage — leaving oldies like Baba Ramdevs, Advanis, Sushmas and Jaitleys on the sidelines helplessly watching issues first raised by them being hijacked before their very eyes!

Now Lok Sabha elections are just round the corner, but that heat is missing from the campus and the talks are again centering around fashion, films and famous! This is surprising, since these elections are far more important than Assembly elections and affect the future of the entire country!


 What Goes Into Making Of ‘An Issue’?

It is interesting to analyse the dynamics through which people get involved in certain issues, feel compelled ‘to be involved’, ‘to have an opinion’ and to take action, and ultimately become instruments of social change.

If we just go through the main features of the events described above we observe the following features which make an issue into ‘An Issue’.

  • The issue is widely discussed in society and is considered to be the ‘in’ thing. There is persistent focus on it in all TV channels and is vigorously discussed in News, analysis and discussions.  In almost all the mainstream Newspapers Editorials are written discussing various aspects of the topic.
  • The topic becomes trending on Social Media – Fecabook, Twitter and WhatsApp are abuzz with the buzz and people are never tired of airing and exchanging their views.
  • No one can afford to appear ignorant on the issue – a copy-paste will do if you do not have your own view on it! Everyone feels compelled to show one’s involvement.
  • As a corollary we observe that young crowd begets young crowd. In the Anna movement the presence of so many young actors – media personalities, politicians, Professors and students helped bring about more young crowd.
  • To motivate the middle class it is important to promise a mini-revolution that will the change entire system. However, the revolution should call for not more than symbolic actions like candle light dinners, Jantar Mantar ‘morchas’, mini interviews on Television, etc. – you get the flow, right? Job safety is important man!

All of these ingredients mixed together in reasonable proportions will create a snowball effect. We observed all of this in the Anna movement which was centered mostly in and around Jantar Mantar which does not have the capacity to accommodate  a crowd of more than 3000. And half of the crowd consisted of TV crew!


Will You Do It Again?

Now, all that heat and dust is gone: movements and topis stolen, some are eating the fruits of labor while others are still trying to decipher what exactly it was that transpired!

Well, let bygones with bygones –  I am neither with simple Gurus nor with smart chelas – my whole worry is — suppose a situation comes, when issues are even more important, when consequences are even more grave which affect the fate of the country; but all this happens without the fanfare and noise and din of the crowds and TV and social media and candle light marches, will the people feel involved, will they bother to get involved, will they feel compelled to air their views?

The answer – Yes or No – is extremely important — it has a bearing on the fate of India!

Please leave your comments below, I will love to know your views…



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Who Destroyed Takshashila University?

Who Destroyed Takshashila University?

Takshashila University has a unique place in India’s history, in as much as it was a great seat of learning for Indian students, as it was a much sought after educational Institute for students from around the world. It existed so far back that it finds mention in Varun Puran, in Mahabharata and also in many Jataka tales!

Its burning was a major setback for the civilizational growth of India due to the prestige attached to it around the world, and must have been felt as a painful wound in the memories of the people of the time, and they would have bewailed for such an occurrence for long times to come.

In History books, it is often asserted that Huns destroyed the Takshshila. But it is doubtful whether Huns really invaded that place. Besides they had friendly relations with the king of the Indian state.

This post in 2ndlook caught my eye which presents a strong case that it was actually Alexander who invaded the place and destroyed the oldest University of the world. However, to preserve the myth of greatness of Alexander, Western Historians now seem to have whitewashed that period of his invasions.

Though it is a conjecture, but entire History is a conjecture. Sometimes, it seems that History is the biggest repository of fiction! Does History (with Capital H) really exist? Will we ever know the truth?


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Modern Hindi Writing: Recommended Reading List

This is in response to the wish of Armchair Guy to know more about modern Hindi writing. However, I hope this will interest all those who take any interest in Indian creative writing of any language.

I am not an expert in Hindi writing, though I am its unabashed fan, so following qualities distinguish my recommendations.

This list is completely biased, full of omissions, not at all objective and shows my personal whims and quirks, and sometimes, lack of knowledge. I like to keep my views uninfluenced by what critics say, and am extremely skeptical of Prizes and awards. I believe that many writers are great simply because people are too afraid to criticize them due to a hallowed status that these authors enjoy; and some writers are relegated to the background because very few actually took the trouble to praise them. Another reason for their anonymity could be that they were too great for their contemporary times.

Consequently, many a times we have to bear with average writers who are considered great until somebody comes forward with enough courage to calls the sham; and many really great writers are given quiet burials without their getting the fame they deserved. So, the fame is not to be equated with greatness.

Having said this, here are my recommendations for modern Hindi writers, along with some of their more famous works.

Acharya Chatursen –
Novels – Vaishali Ki Nagarvadhu, Vayam Rakshamah
(Historical Roamnces.)

Jai Shankar ‘Prasad’ –
Poetry – Kamayani, Aansoo, Lehar, Jharna
Drama – Chandragupta, Dhruvsmwamini, Janmajeya Ka Nagayagya, Ajaatshatru, Samudragupta.
Short Story – Akashdeep, Indrajaal (‘Akashdeep’ and ‘Goonda’ are my personal favorite short stories)

Sumitra Nanadan Pant –
Poetry – Gunjan, Pallav, Geet Hans, Chidambara

Mahadevi Verma –
Poetry – Neehar, Agnirekha, Neelambara, Saandhay Geet, Deepshika.
Memoirs/Essays – Ateet Ke Chalchitra, Smriti Ki Rekayen.

S H Vatsyayan ‘Agyeya’ –
Poetry – Bawara Aheri, Hari Ghaas Par Kshan Bhar, Indradhanu Raunde Huye Yeh, Mahabriksha Ke Neeche, Sagar Mudra, Aangan Ke Paar Dwar, Kitni naavon Mein Kitni Baar.
Novels – Shekhar – Ek Jeevani, Nadi Ke Dweep.
Short Story – Chhoda Hua Raasta, Latati Pagdandiyaan (Anthologies)
Essays – Aatmanepad, Likhi kagad Kore, Jog Likhi, and many others.
Travels – Ek Boond Sehasa Uchhali, Are Yayavar Rahega Yaad
Experimental – Bhavanti, and one other cannot remember the name.
(He was nominated for Nobel Prize in the year that H G Welles won it. Both of them made to the final list. Between 1961 and 1964 he held the visiting faculty position at Harvard and Berkley Universities. Was also a visiting professor at Heidelberg University, Germany. He, along with Jaishankar ‘Prasad’, took Hindi to unprecedented heights! Recently came across a book on his works – “The Quest Of Ajneya” by Roger Hardham Hooker. Is on my ‘to be read’ list.)

Jainendra Kumar –
Novels – Tyagapatra, Sunita, Muktibodh

Hazari Prasad Dwivedi –
Novels – Charu Chandralekh, Baan Bhatt Ki Atma Katha
(Somewhat difficult language, but extremely beautiful narration. Worth the effort.)

Raangeya Raghav –
Novels – Kab Tak Pukaroon.

Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’ –
Novels – Maila Aanchal, Part Parikatha.
Stories – Maare Gaye Gulfam (Teesri Kasam), Thumri.

Nagarjuna –
Novels – Rati Nath Ki Chachi, Nai Paudh, Balchanama, Baba Batesarnath.
Poetry – Satrange Pankhon Wali, Aakhir Aisa Kya Keh Diya Maine.
Memoirs – Rinjal Dhanjal, Van Tulsi Ki Gandh, Pehli Kranti Katha.
Essays – Anam Hinam Kriyanam.
(Both the above use a language that is full of delightful local flavor.)

Dharmaveer Bharati –
Novels – Sooraj Ka Saatvan Ghoda.
Drama – Andha Yug.

Mohan Rakesh –
Drama – Aadhe Adhoore, Lehron Ke Rajhans, Aashadh Ka Ek Din,

Rajendra Yadav –
Novels – Sara Akash, Ukhade Huye Log.
Stories – Chhote Chhote Taj Mahal, Abhimanyu Ki Atmahatya.

Krishna Sobti –
Novels – Dilo Daanish, Zindagi Naama, Daar Se Bichhudi, Mitro Marjaani.

Mannu Bhandari –
Novels – Aapka Bunti, Mahabhoj.

Usha Priyamvada –
Novels – Pachpan Khambhe Laal Deewarein.
Stories – Itna Bada Jhooth, Zindagi Aur Gulab Ke Phool, Meri Kahaniyaan.

Priyamvad –
Novels – Parchhaain Naach,
Stories – Ek Apavitra Ped, Khargosh, Laal Kaner Ke Phool.

Sanjeev –
Novels – Jungle Jahaan Shuroo Hota Hai.
Stories – Aarohan.

Apart from the above, works of Amrita Pritam and Firaq Gorakhpuri are also worth reading, who are as popular if not more, in Hindi as in their own languages (Punjabi and Urdu).

So, that’s that, hope it whets the curious soul’s appetite.

Suggestions and comments are welcome.

(Can anybody tell me how to publish the above list in Devanagari (Hindi Font)?)


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The Case Of Missing Hindu Terrorist

A few things are interesting because of their absence. For example, in old age, in few cases at least, teeth become interesting because of their absence. You look at others’ teeth and sigh with nostalgia, ‘Oh, those were the days, I had teeth back then!’.. And so on.

Is that the case with Hindu terrorism? Political parties who were cultivating Muslim votes were looking for a stick to beat Hindus with. But, those jihadis were queering the pitch. Damn, those Hindus, couldn’t they just go out and shoot a few sparrows? Then we will have a few Hindus in our hands, to equalize the score, sort off.

Then they got this brilliant idea – Hindu Terrorist. It sounded so spicy and sexy.

At least it equalizes the score. Now, we can say that we are secular sickular. Muslim terrorists vis-vis Hindu terrorists. Now, you cannot accuse us of partiality, right? We (dis)respect all religions. We do not differentiate. We insult a Muslim by assuming that they have sympathies for terrorists, and we insult Hindus too by proving that they can at least kill sparrows!

But, what stirred me (I am quite lazy otherwise, you know!) to go into a reverie was this news item – HuJI ban takes no note of ‘Hindu terror’ role

It reads –

Contrary to Centre’s growing estimate that alleged Hindu extremists carried out the May 2007 Mecca Mosque blast in Hyderabad, the United States and the United Nations have held the Pakistan-based Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami (HuJI) responsible for it. The UN has, in fact, termed the blast a joint operation of HuJI and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and listed a number of other terror attacks in India in which these outfits were involved.

But, the paper does try to balance the act with –

It is possible that the UN and US authorities did not check with India for fresh updates on investigation into the crimes, going along with the initial line of Indian investigators. if they need to. Well that is another matter. We should never expect the worst. Fair play and all that!

But, suppose, Hindu terrorist is really there, no seriously, then what are the implications? Why does a populace that is 80% of the entire population, feel compelled to take up arms? Why should they feel that they are threatened? That they will not get a fair hearing in a country that has been their own for millenniums!

This calls for some serious thinking.

I call your comments on this.



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