Last updateFri, 23 Jun 2017 9am

Does the life of a soldier really matter to prime-time news anchors?

Does the life of a soldier really

Time and again we see the news of our soldiers sacrificing their lives for the country. It fills every citizen with sadness. The supreme sacrifice made by our armed men is both a matter of extreme pride as well a moment of extreme pain for all the citizens who love their country. We, as Indians, have taken pride in the commitment of our armed forces that defend our country in extreme situations.

In fact, their news rooms grow on propaganda, half-baked truths, false information, taking extreme positions etc. They create an environment of fear and paranoia around.

But never ever before, the life and death of a soldier was a question of getting more TRPs as it is today. News anchors sitting in their comfortable air conditioned studios who don’t know a thing about the life of a soldier are increasingly showcasing that they are more patriotic than even the soldier standing at the border. These cunning prime time personalities, which, primarily includes anchors, political party spokespersons, out of work Bollywood people and some fringe radical elements are getting into a habit of “shooting off from soldier’s shoulders”.

The public discourse on nationalism is a serious matter. Most of the news channels hardly bother to call a defense expert, an international relations observer or a serious academician to talk rationally on these sensitive issues. This is because if they call these experts, then ‘reasonable’, ‘sane’ and ‘meaningful’ discussions will take place and viewers would be left better informed about the ground realities.


Islamists And Maoists – Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Islamists And Maoists

The modus operandi of the Maoists in Bastar and Islamists in Kashmir is exactly the same.

They are opposed to development and fear education.

On 22 February this year, a group of students owing allegiance to leftist student unions raisedazadi slogans at Ramjas College, in New Delhi. The video is there on the internet for all to see. The slogans raised wereKashmir maange azadi,Bastar maange azadi among others.

We have heard the sloganKashmir maange azadi before at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). But it was the first time that students chantedBastar maange azadi. And why wouldn't they? It is exactly the same ideology that feeds and nurtures both the separatist groups.

The sinister thread that connects the Islamists in Kashmir and the Maoists in Bastar doesn't stop at mere sloganeering. Both are separatist groups using acts of terror and violence to destabilise the Indian state. The ultimate aim of both Maoists and Islamists is the Balkanisation of India.

The modus operandi of the Maoists in Bastar and Islamists in Kashmir too is exactly the same.


L’Affaire Azaan and Noise Pollution in India

LAffaire Azaan and

Superstar Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam’s recent volley of tweets expressing his annoyance over being woken up by azaan, the Islamic call to prayer that is broadcast from mosques, on loudspeakers, five times a day, every day, including one at an unearthly morning hour, is first and foremost a cry for relief from the fatigue caused by general noise pollution in India. However, as a consequence of his tweets, a Maulvi in West Bengal, in typical fashion, has issued a fatwa on Nigam and has offered a reward of Rs.10 lakhs to anyone who shaves the hair of the singer and puts a garland of old torn shoes around his neck. In yet another shock, the singer is now reportedly being persecuted further and is facing an FIR by a Muslim organization in Maharashtra.

Understanding the problem of noise pollution in India

Overwhelming noise pollution is presently a big problem in India. It has perhaps always been so, but especially in recent years as the country has become materially more prosperous, millions upon millions of new vehicles of all sizes and kinds have been added to the already crowded roads, contributing to the din and chaos. More people are now busy and on the move, on poorly designed and managed roads, in towns and cities where chaos prevails as a norm rather than an exception. The urban Indian landscape, already overcrowded and with shrinking green and open spaces, has only become more disorganized, more congested and noisy, and more difficult to negotiate. More people, already packed densely in towns and cities, are now expressing themselves louder in speech and action. With electric supply – a catalyst of better living and of a myriad consumer desires – becoming more abundant and reliable, the problem of noise pollution has only gotten amplified. 24 hour radio and TV, electronic gadgets, and music and sound systems have become ubiquitous, while the size of living spaces has shrunk.


Azaan and Freedom of Expression – Are they Compatible?

Azaan and Freedom of Expression

Sonu Nigam is what we would call a moderately famous personality in Bollywood. But on 17th April, he shot to fame once again when he inadvertently committed a cardinal sin according to Indian secularism. He criticized the self-arrogated right of the Muslim community to intrude into the personal space of the Hindu majority by blaring azaans on the loud speakers. 

He did not criticize Azaan per se. He only criticized the use of the loud speakers but Indian secularists are not the subtlest of creatures. Nuances are not what you would expect of them. In their world, anyone who is not with them is at war with them.

A spate of angry denunciations and disappointments were shared on social media, with many thekedars of Indian liberalism and secularism criticizing him of ‘playing into the hands of communalists at the government’. Some called it just a publicity stunt, blaming him of aspiring to become the ‘Anupam Kher of 2017’, whatever that means.

The net result was that #SonuNigam was trending for most of the day on social media websites. Once again, somebody had violated the sacrosanct laws of Indian secularism and invited the wrath of the Indian liberal upon him. Was it really outrageous? What was so wrong with what Nigam said?

Loudspeakers and their use in public is an outrage, whether they are used in a religious or a social event. Their use without restraint is certainly a nuisance for any civilized society. They are banned by the Supreme Court in India.  Even some Islamic countries have banned its use. Saudi Arabia is one of them. But in India, even after the ban, they are used without restrain. Their use should be curbed; there is no doubt about that.


Endgame Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal is not half as bright or smart as he thought he was or his media cronies thought he was. Only the biggest fools on earth believed this man had any substance or had any remote sense of conscience. Post the IAC movement when he formed a political party, most of us put events together and realised quickly that AK was a poor little stooge floated by the Congress. The sequence of “incidences” left no doubt in my mind. Some Janta Adalat crap. Then some RTI activity with Magsaysay award. Then series of promotions by, you guessed it – NDTV, for his RTI awards. Then the IAC episode with Anna Hazare as the front. November 2012 was the month AK revealed himself to the observant ones. He started calling Narendra Modi corrupt with all kinds of bogus allegations. That made it clear to me who had installed him to combat Modi in Gujarat and later in the general elections if it came to that.

There is something foolish AK never estimated about Narendra Modi. But we will come to that a bit later. Let’s just summarise the progress of a wasted, meaningless politician and his absolute quest for power that got him nowhere. This is from one of my past posts:

I need not again write a book on the misdeeds of AK. Quite easily, he is the most morally and financially corrupt politicians of recent Indian history. He wasn’t interested in being Delhi CM. He had hoped some wins in Punjab or Goa would bail him out of his problems. He is yet to learn who undid him – Like his journo-cronies, AK is not all that bright. I only feel sorry for the millions of ordinary people who put their faith in this fraudster and even their money.


The great Hindu revolution of Narendra Modi

The great Hindu revolution

All these clever journalists got it wrong: true UP voted for Narendra Modi – but more than anything, they voted for a man who works 17 hours a day, who puts the country before himself, who is bold enough to take a huge gamble- demonetisation- because he believes it is necessary for India. A man who fights against corruption without fear and is the Prime Minister of all Indians, though once more, it is the Hindu vote which elected his party the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

This election may also have signalled the beginning of the end of caste politics, another cancer that gnaws at India’s entrails – and Mrs Mayawati had become a champion at it, taking a leaf from the Indian National Congress, who for 70 years, mostly got elected on the Dalit & Muslim vote.

Many newspapers and television channels blazed across the headline: “Saffron wave in Uttar Pradesh”. This is another ill-advised coin word, that wants to sensationalize and demean, but which falls flat. What does ‘saffron’ mean? First saffron is mainly cultivated in Kashmir – and that by Muslims – so it’s a wrong comparison. Secondly, in Hinduism, saffron is the color of renunciation, a beautiful and noble tradition, that has been followed all over the world, by Buddhists, Jews, or Sufi saints. Mr. Modi and many of his ministers, such as Manohar Parrikar, have renounced many of the worldly pleasures to work for their party and their country. When will Indian journalism stop being small, petty, untruthful, without any depth or vision? The mastery of English does not make an Indian better than a simple country folk of UP or Tamil Nadu, who lives more in his or her heart than these arrogant journalist and intellectuals. I was most of the day, when the election results came, on the WION TV studio, with different panels of journalists. Most of them were of the old Nehruvian-Marxist mold, dinosaurs, who do not realize that they are out of sync with reality and are clinging to an obscure and anti-evolutionary path. One of them, from the Hindu newspaper, even said that demonetization was ‘communal’! Can you imagine how biased the guy can be?


London Terror: To Win The War, The West Needs To Empower Reformist Muslims

London Terror

By giving ordinary Muslims the option of convincing themselves that they are victims rather than perpetrators, we are essentially disempowering the rational voices in the community.

It is this group that needs empowerment, so that Islam rethinks its history and reworks its own imperialist tendencies.

If the world is to become a saner place, it is Islam that needs to be secularised, and this task can be done only by Muslims.

The London terror attack yesterday (22 March), which is likely to have been prompted by Islamist rage andjihadiactivity, is one more proof that the world has not got its anti-terrorism act right. The world is losing the “war on terror” because one cannot win against shadowy combatants who believe in asymmetric warfare.

Terrorism is a tactic in Islam’s cosmic war against Christendom, and no strategy can win permanently against opponents who deploy flexible tactics, asDaniel DePetris, wrote inThe American Conservativesome time ago. You can crash aircraft into the Twin Towers one day, you can blow yourself up against a military target, you can run over and kill ordinary citizens on a promenade by driving a truck into them (or a car, as in London), or, as in India, you can kill people by trying to derail trains. There is little that anti-terror warriors can do if a terrorist is willing to die in the process of killing others. Islam has an inherent advantage in this tactic, for Muslims seem more willing to kill themselves for uncertain gains in the afterlife than most other people.

Against tactics, you can prevent some horrors, but you can never win.