Sunday, 24 February 2019

EWS quota: Excellent move to curb the evils of identity politics

PM Narendra Modi has brought an excellent provision to restate the theory that economic backwardness affirmative action. Now, all believe that social identity or say caste and religion, alone that determines the backwardness, needs to be changed. It is absolutely outdated and divisive in nature. This is a very bold and much-needed step.
All welcomed this move. The people from all sections, carry flags with a poster of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, marched and celebrate the reservation bill passed in the Parliament, on January 10.
The controversial terms socialist and secular were inserted into the Preamble of the Constitution, during the dark Emergency days, by the 42nd amendment to the Constitution, passed on November 11, 1976. The basic aim of this amendment was to appease the Muslims and scheduled castes. Due to fear of Emergency, no discussion and debate were held for these amendments.
The insertions of these two words are only academic discussions and hollow hypocrisy. It has harmed enormously the society and is the heaviest legal-constitutional terms with no benefit. The Congress and the secularists claim them as the crowning achievement for the nation to slot in the two principal catchphrases of their idea into the Preamble.
A member of the constituent assembles KT Shah had supported for the inclusion of the words socialist and secular during the Constituent Assembly debates. But ironically, the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, BR Ambedkar vociferously opposed this controversial supplement, saying “...What should be the policy of the State, how the Society should be organised in its social and economic side are matters which must be decided by the people themselves according to time and circumstances. It cannot be laid down in the Constitution itself, because that is destroying democracy altogether.” He advocated leaving this for the people to decide.
The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru’s ideological attraction towards these terms, ensured the secure space for these words, after Independence. In a paradoxical twirl, his penchant for caste-religion based laws and rights, rather than equal and collective individual rights, twisted the secularism and social justice into a euphemism for unequal dealing of citizens based on religion and caste. Subsequent Congress, socialist and Communist governments, followed the same politics.
The lack of equal opportunities due to socialist economics twisted the foundation for dividing the citizens into caste and religion groups, guided by secular and socialist parties, capturing power and accommodating the caste and communal identities, to their power journey to New Delhi. The results of this mutual power sharing are very bad for the nation.
The 103rd amendment to the constitution, providing reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) by the Narendra Modi government, is a landmark move to cure the ills and evils of caste and religious base quotas. Now, the nation believes that the idea that economic backwardness is the best idea for government authorization for affirmative action.
After independence, the politics and ideology were controlled by left ideologues, Church and Islamists. So they made social and religious identity to determine the benefits. Now, OBC is practically, not the Other Backward Classes but castes. Although, all blame the Hindus for the castes but for grabbing  the quotas a number of the Muslim castes are also included under the OBC quota, and the creamy layer omission criteria within the OBC quota is almost fake and farce. However, even this creamy layer exclusion is not applied to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribe. It is the only caste identity-based criteria for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
Yet it is very necessary to have income cutoffs across all quotas for all the castes. There is no point to give these benefits to rich scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Only poor scheduled castes and scheduled tribes should be given such benefits and freebies. Today, there are millions of rich scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
According to Justice Rogini Commision, out of around 300 thousands castes in the list of ONCs, only 50 castes have been grabbing around 90% of all the quotas. Almost the same is the fact about scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. All the benefits have been grabbed by a few castes.  Social justice has become a social injustice for a large number of castes.
Now, the caste and minority groups have been demanding to force the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, OBC and EWS quotas in the private sector including, all private universities and all the political parties have been supporting this demand, and the government preparing to impose the quotas, all the sectors and the institutions will be on the same plane. Only the minority institutions have very strongly resisted all the pressures from the pro-quota lobby.
These omnipresent quotas will demoralize and dent the excellence and merit over the long run. This has failed the liberalisation and reforms in higher education. So many institutions have highlighted the negative impact, a very high percentage of Indian graduates are not employable, and they have failed to face the challenges of technology in already expanding supply. To avoid the caste groups the government and the private sectors have done well to recognise the role of online learning and online business by inviting top ranked institutions to commence online programmes.
To attack, the roots of the Nehruvian identity-caste-religion based welfare replaced by need-based welfare socioeconomic model is the need of the time. This is the significant facet of Modi’s move.  There has been an unequivocal affirmation that a very poor Brahmin, or Muslim, deserves positive action while a rich OBC does not.
The political vote bank politics of India’s parties on this problem set down the essential faultlines of Indian politics. They have become the extension of Khap panchayats and Sharia Jamats. The so-called progressive Nehruvian mission relies on dividing Hindus through on caste, class, region or language while strengthening the religious minorities; especially the Muslims votes even at the cost of appeasing the caste and communal elements and mocking the liberal-minded sub-minority within the religious minority. This parody is branded as secularism and social justice today.
It is the noteworthy and striking story that only three MPs opposed the amendment in the Lok Sabha, and all three were from communal parties or Muslim-oriented parties: two from the Indian Union Muslim League and one from the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. These elements always demand quotas for the Muslims but are not ready to give quotas to anyone, not even to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBC, forget about EWS quotas.
All must support the 103rd amendment with Modi’s endeavour to drive direct benefit transfers, private-public partnership-based reforms, economic condition based welfare schemes as well as a dedication to reform the evils of Islam and Muslim practices and laws.  The nation will soon see the shape of a new Indian state that respects the individual identity while distributing welfare through market-driven apparatus.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Nation Salutes You: Lachhman Singh Rathor-A Soldier’s Father

  There are so many surveys about social networking sites and all are unanimous that they are the most damaging platform on mental and behavioural health. However, sometimes, all of us see people and read stories, they can make us feel like we are missing out, or not doing enough with our life. They make us realize that we are not perfect and we are doing nothing for the nation and society.
Recently one such story was in circulation on WhatsApp and Facebook.

Shri Lachman Singh Rathore was a very graceful and dignified old man. He was a very calm and composed man. He was standing silently in a corner, a tired old man. He was wearing white dhoti and kurta. His dhoti was tied around his waist, cradled just above his naval area. His black shoes were weary but polished. He looks out at the situation through experienced eyes those have seemed happy and majestic days only known to him. They light up whenever he speaks of the birth of sons, or when freedom and nation are mentioned in any context regardless of the situation.

The helicopter appeared over the late morning sphere.

All were at the airstrip to receive Mr Lachhman Singh Rathore who was coming to our Flight Unit to perform the last rites and cremation of his son, Flying Officer Vikram Singh.

Only the day before, Wing Commander Venki Iyer had sent him the telegram, “Deeply regret to inform that your son Flying Officer Vikram Singh lost his life in a flying accident early this morning. Death was instantaneous.”

It was the first time for Wing Comdr Venki Iyer to face and manage the bereaved next of kin, in this case, the Father of the brave departed officer.

While most of the bereaved family members insist to see the mortal remains of the body, many a time there isn’t a body or nothing to show! Nothing remains…

Flying Officer Vikram Singh’s mortal remains were only a few kilos –scrapped and collected with great difficulty from that was left in the cockpit. The wooden coffin had to be filled with wood and other things.

All the officers and other staff were there at the airstrip to receive Shri Lachhman Singh Rathor. The pilot brought the helicopter to a perfect landing. Soon Shri Lachhman Singh Rathore was helped down the ladder. He was a short stature and frail man, maybe of 80 years, clad in a clean and tidy dhoti.

As Wing Commander Venki Iyer came near to him, he asked in a calm and dignified whisper, “Are you Venki, the Flight Commander?” “Yes, Sir.” “Vikram had spoken a lot to me about you. I’d like to talk to you when you are alone for a minute.”

The ill-fated accident took place at Sarmat Field Air Range, near the Jamnagar Airbase, Gujarat on Thursday, 31 August 2012. In the crash, Flying Officer Vikram Singh died.

All walked silently to the border of the concrete platform.  ‘I have lost my son, and you have lost a friend. I’m sure that you have taken every care in arranging the funeral and last rites. Please tell me when and where you need my presence and what you want me to do. I’ll be there accordingly for everything. Later, I would like to meet Vikram’s friends, see his room and, if it is permitted, visit his workplace. I then would like to go back home tomorrow morning.”

Wing Commander Venki Iyer was astonished to see the clear perception of the old man in that devastating hour. A commander could not have given me clearer directives.

The funeral, with full military honours, was completed by late afternoon. The old man lit the funeral pyre. It was a heart-wrenching scene. 

Lachhman Singh spent the evening talking to the Squadron Pilots, after the final echoes of the ‘Last Post’ faded away. He visited Vikram’s room with Vikram's roommate. 

Lachhman Singh wished to spend the night in his son’s room instead of the guesthouse that had arranged for him. Early the next morning after a visit to the squadron area, the squadron chief took him to his office.

A little later, the staff car took Lachhman Singh to the civil airfield that needed two hours drive.
As the staff the car left with Lachhman Singh to the civil airfield, Wing Commander Venki Iyer remarked to his Boss, “A brave man he is. Spoke to me like a General when he told me exactly what he expected from us during his stay here. I have never seen a more composed man on such an occasion. I admire him.”

The Chief responded calmly, “Yes, Mr Lachhman Singh Rathore is a warrior in his own way. He sired three sons and has laid to rest all three of them.

His first son Captain Ghanshyam Singh of the Gurkha Rifles was killed in Ladakh in 1962 War. His second son, Major Bir Singh, died along the Ichogil Canal in 1965 in an ambush. His youngest, Vikram Singh, who had the courage to join the Air Force, is also gone now. This ordinary looking farmer has contributed and sacrificed more to our country, defence forces and people than all of the so-called Bharat Ratnas combined. It seems that Lachhman Singh Rathore and his family belongs to Rajasthan and settled in Jaipur.

It was a very a touching and sombre occasion which left all teary-eyed as Taruma, wife of Vikram Singh, who is also an officer in IAF, saluted the body of her husband, the last time and Varun, his 10-year-old son lit the funeral pyre at the Adarsh Nagar Crematorium Ground Jaipur, and performed the last rites according to Hindu rituals.

The mortal remains of Singh were brought to Jaipur in Rajasthan by an IAF helicopter and senior Army and Air Force Officers (IAF) escorted the body. The wreaths were laid on behalf of Army and Air Force Chiefs. The officers of the district administration also laid a wreath on behalf of the state government.
Truly, Shri Lachhman Singh Rathore is undeniably a valiant Indian; in fact, he is more Indian than anybody else - His sacrifice can never ever be refunded by the country!! He martyred himself by giving his three sons to the defence forces. He is almost a Martyr himself!!

But this the ungrateful nation does not know this great Giant -- India only knows those super-rich and corrupt politicians, cricketers, film stars etc and conferred Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushans and Padma Shree but nothing for these true Bharat Ratnas!!

But what about the ' Losers ' ?? Those who have simply lost their everything for the nation. Like Shree Shri Lachhman Singh Rathore, father of Three Brave Martyred Soldiers and Sons.
This story should be taught in school syllabus ‘A brave father of brave sons’.
How the country could repay its debt to him. Nobody knows. Perhaps, where nobody pays even the bank loans and loan waving is a great national festival. We only pray for them and put a wreath on their coffin and forget.

Please read this story and circulate it widely who love their nation and care their brave martyred soldiers.

It may take time and may not be during our lifetimes but movements produce results to ensure the pride of place to the Defence Services.

Jai Hind 

N.B: This story is based on the story and details mentioned by Wing Commander Venki Iyer in circulation on WhatsApp.  

Monday, 18 February 2019

Hinduism and the Kumbha

After a Holy dip at Sangam, at Pragraj, one feels as if meeting with divine after the return from a pilgrimage to the Kumbha Mela, the holy convergence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. It is an overwhelming experience. Seeing, such a large number of the gatherings of Hindus, makes one realize to think of the depth and hold of faith, coming down from time immemorial.
An entire amazing township spread over 2,500 hectares has been raised. In 2013, the last Kumbha, it was estimated that 120 million devotees visited the holy mela, with 30 million assembled on the auspicious occasion of Mauni Amavasya, leaving behind all the worldly divisions and making it the biggest human gathering of the world in a single day. This is the strongest testimony that all the divisions among the Hindus are fate and false.
Hindus believe that bathing at the Sangam during Kumbha leads to salvation (moksha). It is for this rationale that Mark Twain – who visited the Kumbha in 1895 – commented: "It is wonderful, the power of a faith like that, that can make multitudes upon multitudes of the old and weak and the young and frail enter without hesitation or complaint upon such incredible journeys."
According to mythology, the gods (devas) and the demons (asuras), churned the ocean in seek of nectar (Amrita), which has the power of immortality. The gods won, and flew off with the nectar, keeping it in a pot (Kumbha), chased by demons who wanted to snatch it from gods. But a few drops of this divine liquid fell on four places – Prayagraj, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik, – at each of which a Kumbha Mela is held at fixed cycles of planets, especially Brihaspati which completes its full circle in 12 years. After every twelve years, Hindus organize the Kumbha Mela on one of these places. 
Hindus are deeply religious. Even the eddies of the material world fail to shake this deep-rooted faith (Aastha). In fact, Hindus are the most harmonious, tolerant and liberal, capable of adjusting in every aeon to another without showing any sprain and disharmony. A highly qualified technocrat working in NASA and ISRO investigating the frontiers of science can also have three rings on his fingers, tilak on his forehead and knowledge Shikha (Choti) on his head.
At the Kumbha, the environment echoes with the chanting of shlokas eulogizing salvation (moksha). A single book or single prophet does not guide the Hindu mind but it is guided by the highest knowledge of the world and century's old ancient religious belief and discourses, preaching renunciation. All this knowledge and wisdom is guided and controlled by the ancient books. This is the reason religious ardour and an inborn perfection coexists and plays out in the everyday life of the Hindus.
Lighting an incense stick on the banks of Holy Sangam all pray for righteousness (dharma) to prevail irrespective of any division and baseness. It does not matter to a devotee what is going on outside. Those outsides must be gratifying their dharma. The real thing is that Hindu mythology is very real and scientific. Hindu spirituality and metaphysics are consistent, balanced, rational and even ascetic.
On the one hand, Hindus have the greatest Upanishads, Vedas, Puranas, Bhagavad Gita, Sutras, Shastras, Samhitas, Brahmanas etc. and on the other hand fables of devas or asuras; their Amrita is what could be the final truth behind our small lives and the puzzling plurality of the universe. Hindus also have six systems of Hindu philosophy – Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Purva Mimamsa and Uttara Mimamsa – five at least can be theoretically classified as an atheist for they do not converse of God.
According to the Vedanta school, the only truth is the nirguna,(without attributes), all-pervasive consciousness, Brahman. They also believe in saguna (with attributes). The rest is an illusion (Maya), a mixture of truth (sat), and untruth (asat). Hindus believe that the ultimate god could be formless and all-pervading, and the empirical world illusionary. However, they see world and humans in their gods and celebrating with the full faith and devotion their birth lives wars and even deaths. Hindus have internalised this tradition at every level of their consciousness.
Hindus believe that their soul is the inseparable part of the super soul, meaning the god. Hindu faith is very consistent since the dawn of time and human civilization. Faith, prayers, renunciation and Vasudev-Kutumbkam- as well as profit: At Kumbha and in everyday Hindu life, religious ardour and pragmatic materialism coexist.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Keeping Non-Violent

 Now we will not count the dead
and we will all follow non-violence
for always on the facade of the nation,
let's not retaliate in any manner;
let's stop forever, and not move our fingers on the trigger.
It would be an exotic beginning to end ourselves
Without the gun, without bullets;
we would all be finished 
in a calculated terror and jihād.
Give a free hand to the killers in the secular land
would get easy prey, no resistance; 
and the men lying dead and smothered,
would not look at their mutilated limbs.
Those who are sermon jihād wars,
wars with hate preaching, wars with the gun,
assured victories with no resistance,
would arm with hate and weapons
and target unmoving  with their fedayeen  
in the open, killing and killing;
What they want to finish us 
with total secularism and non-violence.
Our life has no value and meaning...
If we were not so single-minded
about protecting our lives moving,
and always could do nothing,
perhaps waiting for us a huge silence
might cut short this gloom of inaction
of never kind for ourselves
and of hugging ourselves with death.
Now we'll not count the dead
and you keep quiet and we will slaughter

jihād: Arabic word, literally ‘effort', and struggle on behalf of God and Islam, but now a criminal act, oppressing non-Muslims.
Fedayeen: Arab guerrillas but now criminals killing non-Muslims.