Last updateMon, 13 Nov 2017 4am

Is it time for India to revisit Reservation Policy ?

Is it time for India to revisit Reservation Policy.png

The intricacies of Indian social setup have always given a tough time to the policy makers of the country to put in place public welfare schemes, which may serve the purpose of one and all alike. Thereon, when the society is already divided on religious, communal and various other grounds, what is the need to divide it further by drawing lines in the name of the reservation? Reservation if on one hand is the only ray of hope for some socially disadvantaged sections of society to move forward in life, on the other hand it is the same reservation, which is preventing a sick and an ailing person from becoming healthy.

The reservation issue raised in Gujarat is a reminiscent of the Mandal Commission Protests of 1989 and reflects the glimpses of 2008 reservation issue, raised then by the Gujjars of Rajasthan, demanding 5% reservation from Rajasthan government. The Gujjar agitation of Rajasthan assumed the ugly shape, the moment Gujjars from the adjoining states started showing solidarity with them and ultimately resulted in the incidents of killing, vandalism, arson and many more.


Sardar Patel’s Foreign Policy

Sardar Patels Foreign PolicyNow that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensured that the country “acknowledges” the contributions of India’s first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel towards the independence and making of “Modern India”, it is worth debating the relevance of the great man, better known as the “iron man”, who could have, had he wanted, become independent India’s first Prime Minister in place of Jawaharlal Nehru. Obviously, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which ruled India for three generations, has underplayed the role of Patel all these years; but that is a different story. 

Commentators have usually focused on Patel’s record in India’s domestic sphere.  And it is understandable as he was the Home Minister. That is why one listens more and more on Patel’s role in the integration of almost all the Princely States, which under “the Independence of India Act”, as determined by the then colonial power Great Britain, were left free to join either India or Pakistan or retain their so-called independence, with what constitutes India today.


Conversion: Is the stage set for the Mother of all Debates?

Conversion- Is The Stage Set For The Mother Of All Debates

“Conversion is destruction of culture, nation and state, while assimilation is construction of all the three. Mahatma Gandhi was as plain as the RSS in his testament Hind Swaraj. In which after three decades, he said, he was unwilling to change a comma or full stop — that assimilation of Muslims was the answer to Hindu-Muslim problem.”  – S. Gurumurthy

If, as reported, the conversion of 350 odd Muslims in Ved Nagar in Agra to Hinduism is the work of RSS, it is clear that the RSS has grown strategic. By a small move that is smart too, the RSS seems to have triggered a debate on conversions which it has been asking for decades but evaded by its critics who merely kept abusing the RSS. Hindus are not best known for strategic thinking, save exceptions like Sri Krishna, Chanakya, Chatrapati Shivaji and Mahatma Gandhi. Lack of strategic thinking among Hindus is no surprise because they did not have any agenda to capture, subordinate and rule the world through their religion, Gods or weapons.

Recently The Economist magazine [March 30, 2013] derided India’s lack strategic culture as the main impediment to its emergence as global power.


4 reasons Lal Bahadur Shastri’s death was suspicious

4 reasons Lal Bahadur Shastris death was suspicious

Jan 11, 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the passing away of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri - one of modern India's icons whose enduring popularity cuts through all divides. What really happened in the wee hours of January 11 in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) in 1966 remains shrouded in mystery, largely thanks to the gratuitous state secrecy resorted to by our government.

Generations have gone by, but conspiracy theories about what caused Shastri’s death have not ceased. In some other country, the strange case of a prime minister’s death would have been inquired into by a high-powered team long ago and all relevant documents placed in the public domain.

After signing the Tashkent accord, around 4pm on January 10, prime minister Shastri reached the villa he was provided by his Russian hosts. Late in the evening, he had a light meal prepared by Jan Mohammad, the personal cook of TN Kaul, the Indian ambassador to Moscow.

There were other Russian butlers at his service in the same villa. At 11.30pm, Shastri had a glass of milk brought by the ambassador's cook. When his personal staff took leave of him at that time, he was fine.


The Battle For Sanskrit book review by Akash Ravianandan

The Battle For Sanskrit book review by Akash Ravianandan

This book review is not by any intellectual but a commoner. However the book strikes some very fundamental notes, that even commoners can understand the central conviction of the author which being packed with sufficient data and reason provokes the reader to ask- Is India on the verge of an intellectual re-colonization? The book provides sufficient reason for us to believe so. In some sense, one can also claim that India is indeed already intellectually colonized in which case the book provides sufficient reason that we are at the cusp of no return. Indeed how we act now, will determine whether Indian civilization will get diluted and reduced to museum exhibits or thrive and truly turn towards standing on her own feet.

The book begins by tracing the history of Orientalism from Sir William Jones to present day Sheldon Pollock. While Sir William Jones was trying to fit India within the Christian Grand narrative and employing the Biblical lens to study India, Sheldon Pollock applies the materialistic (Charvaka 2.0) Marxist lens to study India. Ironically, India lost the Golden opportunity of turning the tide when orientalism was exposed for its racist bias by Edward Said.


Volunteer for a Better India


With a call of “Give one Hour to the Nation” VFABI aims to bring youth together to address the critical issues affecting India like crime against women, the declining child sex ratio, sexual and reproductive health and rights, various issues affecting youth, environmental sustainability, drug and substance abuse, inequality in education and entrepreneurial opportunities, corruption and child protection issues.

Thus sensitizing public through voluntunteerism, patriotism and rekindling hope in people to take charge and responsibility for making a better India. This is an opportunity for making a difference to our city, Delhi-NCR, our country and above all to one’s self. It is a Citizen’s Action Plan. 

As this silent spiritual revolution unveils, scores of activities are being undertaken under 6 themes – Environment, Education, De addiction, Girl Child and Women’s Safety, Senior Citizens and Good Governance/ Voice against Corruption. All this will culminate into a confluence of countrymen in the historical Ramlila Grounds in Feb 2013.

Since sometime, Guruji, (His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji) has been talking about “a silent spiritual revolution”.


Information Warfare

Information Warfare

So the trend continues… Nirbhaya got some award from the US government. Why is it that only negative things about India get awards? Is it a plot by west to glamorize, popularize that only negative things happen in India (and hence make us believe that we cannot be good unless we follow them blindly)? Books - The God of small things, The inheritance of Loss, The White Tiger have won booker prizes and they all portray grossly exaggerated worst things about India. Slumdog millionaire got Oscar award and the name of movie itself shows what it contains. Bollywood makes hundreds of movies every year, couldn't they find a single movie that shows good things about India? The story of the book 'The Inheritance of loss' is based in Kalimpong, a hill station in the Himalayan foothills. When this book came out, the locals of this town protested against the book because it was far from the reality of their town. 

Caste divide, poverty, gender biasing, dirt - that’s all there is in India if one follows India by the western prize winning Indian stories. True, we have these problems in India, but which society is perfect. Teenage pregnancies, teenagers going on shooting spree, broken families, drugs, extra-marital affairs, child abuse - these are rampant in a western society.