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Are Brahmins the Dalits of Today?

Are Brahmins the Dalits of Today.png

At a time when the Congress government wanted to raise the quota for Other Backward Classes to 49.5 per cent in private and public sectors, nobody talks about the plight of the upper castes. The public image of the Brahmins, for instance, is that of an affluent, pampered class. But is it so today?

50 Sulabh Shauchalayas (public toilets) in Delhi; all of them are cleaned and looked after by Brahmins (this very welcome public institution was started by a Brahmin). A far cry from the elitist image that Brahmins have!

There are five to six Brahmins manning each Shauchalaya. They came to Delhi eight to ten years back looking for a source of income, as they were a minority in most of their villages, where Dalits are in majority (60 per cent to 65 per cent). In most villages in UP and Bihar, Dalits have a union which helps them secure jobs in villages.

Did you know that you also stumble upon a number of Brahmins working as coolies at Delhi’s railway stations? One of them, Kripa Shankar Sharma, says while his daughter is doing her Bachelors in Science he is not sure if she will secure a job.

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Decolonizing the Humanities

Decolonizing the Humanities

Humanities are the foundation of any society. National leaders and thinkers must be schooled in the humanities, with deep roots in the nation and the society they seek to lead.

And Indian humanities have deep spiritual roots.

While India is politically free, it remains spiritually colonized. The problem lies in the failure of humanities educations. Science and technology have no political or cultural boundaries.

The humanities on the other hand are intimately tied to a particular culture and civilization. Imposing an alien set of values and measures on Indian culture lies at the heart of the failure of the humanities in India: it is essentially a borrowing from India’s most recent colonial experience—the Islamic and the European.

The Indian elite is applying largely materialistic values and measures borrowed from these alien civilizations to study Indian history and culture. This can be compared to applying European music theory to the study of Indian music. The result is grotesque.

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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.

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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.

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Are Hindus Cowards?

Are Hindus Cowards

In the wake of Al Jazeera Channel – قناة الجزيرة الفضائية’s shameful interview of Ram Madhav RSS, where they tried to equate Narendra Modi & Hindus with ISIS, with hardly any protest from both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian Media, the question needs to be asked again:
ARE HINDUS COWARDS ?

“Muslims are bullies and Hindus cowards”, the Mahatma Gandhi once said. He may be right – at least about Hindus: there has been in the past 1400 years, since the first invasions started, very few Shivaji’s and Maharana Pratap’s to fight the bloody rule of the Moghuls, or hardly any Rani of Jhansi’s to stand against the humiliating colonial yoke of the British. If a nation’s soul is measured by the courage of its children, then India is definitely doomed: without the Sikhs, whose bravery is unparalleled in the more recent history of India, Hindus would have even lost additional land to the Muslim invaders and there would have been infinitely more massacres of Hindus by Muslims during the first weeks of Partition.

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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.

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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.

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