Saturday, December 13, 2014

जिन्दा हूँ मैं।

जिन्दा हूँ मैं।

हर रोज़ लड़ता हूँ,
खुद की अकांक्षा के बोझ से,
दिन की नीरसता से,
रात के अँधेरे से.

हर रोज सोचता हूँ,
क्या है कल में,
हक़ीक़त और सपनो के अंतर में,
जीवन से सफर के अंत में,

हर रोज़ कोशिश करता हूँ,
आज को जीने की,
गलतियों से सिखने की,
आज को कल से बेहतर बनाने की,

जिन्दा हूँ मैं; क्योंकि,
हर रोज़ लड़ता हूँ,
हर रोज़ सोचता हूँ और
हर रोज़ कोशिश करता हूँ।

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Glimmering through the tree leaves,
Drenched in the moon light,
I walk on the country road.

Away from the city light,
And the perpetual city noise,
I listen to the nature.

Chirping cricket and croaking Frog,
Moon lit lonely road,
I hum the old song.

Peaceful mind and dancing heart,
Lost in the hustle of city,
I feel my heart beat.

Like another of me arguing with me,
Debating the decisions yet to take,
I realize myself.

Heart and mind communicates,
Clearing the unclear thoughts,
I promise myself more rendezvous.


Thursday, November 27, 2014


A bad day; Or so I say.
Little realizing what bad day actually is.
That charming batter had bad day,
God called him to show the cover drive.

I kept cribbing of my problems,
Popping out all the time.
Too busy to see,
I lived one another day.

Let me live,
Among peace and harmony,
A quick smile,
To the fellow commuter.

The look of your face,
Calling me fail and,
Chiding me as unworthy,
Take my smile.

For I believe in God,
Who wants me happy,
Caring for me always,
With infinity as boundary.

A happy day, I did not fail.
I will try once more,
One more step,
Just one more step.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Wondering How Many Years

As I got up one morning,
A day less in my life,
Wondering how years have passed;
Silently, Just the other day,
I was small.

A sudden fear dawned,
If the years pass this fast,
Wondering how many years will pass;
Silently, Just the other day,
I will be old.

I have worries now,
Many How and What unanswered,
Wondering how many years have passed;
Without answers, Just the other day,
I survived happily for so many years.

These worries are futile,
Really? Heart asked gently,
Wondering how many years will pass;
Winning over worries, to find new worries,
I will survive happily all the years to come.

I fear old age.
The weak bones and sinking mind,
Wondering how many years have passed;
Running after the last bus in a crowded bus,
I  will prefer comfortable seat in my car.

I am content.
Mind says run and heart says okay,
Wondering how many years will pass,
To run mind and heart in unison,
I will be happy and satisfied.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Oh you!

There I was, on my way home.
Drowned in melancholy reflections;
Of my days at college and with her.
Windows promptly shut;
Wind you know, was so chilly.

I made up a world in my mind,
Without her presence and,
Like gold without lusture,
I was a king without kingdom.

Anxious, annoyed and helpless,
I tried cheering myself with,
The rains outside and shimmering lights,
from big buildings and street lamps.

Ugly real world, I avoided.
At least I was trying to.
The familiar tone woke me up,
and the name cheered me up.

I talked and talked, I smiled and  laughed.
Oh you! the smile on your face,
Makes my world happy and windows open,
As wind was so refreshing.
And I was a king with kingdom once again.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Romancing Bangalore

Coming to a new city is like  running after a girl whom you don't know at all. You have heard about the city from your friends much the same way as you get updated from your friends as soon as you tell them that this girl is your new crush. Some friends tell you about the good things. Like some said "Bangalore has got excellent breweries", "Bangalore has amazing rock culture" or "Bangalore serves you with great filter kappi". Some people complained.  They said, "Bangalore has worst traffic; you end up half your life in bus", "Bangalore is very costly" or "Auto wallahs never agree by meter". 

 Okay! Like a new found crush, I had my own ideas about Bangalore. I stalked the city on Quora; reading answers about how they started this city as IT hub, and how is transportation..blah...blah..
I started looking for check-in by my friends at different places in Bangalore. I must admit that I was still in relationship with Pune then. I lived for one year in Pune. My relationship with Pune was very casual one. I liked Pune, but I was not ready to settle with Pune. Something was missing. Something made me felt that,"Its not for you, bro." You know how it feels. So, finally we broke up happily. 3 months after breaking up, the only thing that I miss of Pune is vada-pav. 

My first few days in Bangalore were tough. I did not understand what Bangalore said. Neither did Bangalore understand what I want to say. Few more days and I was finding this city difficult to talk, let alone romance. I was thinking to forget the crush and get back to my ex or better find some desi to romance like Delhi, Noida or Gurgaon. Sometimes I got puzzled in bus numbers and other times the name of places slipped off my mind. I tried looking at the address below the shops but alas the hyperbola and parabola did not mean anything to me. I realized that Chennai Express is mere fiction. And it's very difficult for a tamilian to date punjabi in reality. I don't care what Chetan Bhagat says.

There were bad days, when I was unable to find a place to live. I paid money to reality agents and it almost felt like being looted. I was thinking to charm Bangalore. My friends took me to Toit, Fenny's and other places which they thought will introduce me better to Bangalore. They bought me a ticket for Davis cup match on the coming sunday and CSK's Champions trophy match on 27th. Mutual friends so want to set you up with your crush. I dont know what kind of kick they get out of it. I think they get new topic to pull your leg and ask for treats and things like that. Nevertheless, I think Bangalore started liking me. Rather I found safe topics to play with Bangalore. Bus Pass helped a lot.  I found Bangalore completely opposite to me. Bangalore loves cold. It is always clouded. I am connoisseur of sun light. We fought. I got cold. I am coughing while I am write this. Now you must be judging me. That I am one of those complaining types. I am not. I love many things. I like AC buses. I like technical people here. On my way to work last day, fellow passenger was reading architecture of pentium processor. Such things are cool. I totally love it. And I have more friends in this city than any other city in India. Of course, many of them are now leaving for US. By the way, I like how they write name of MNCs in kannada. And few days back, I went for coffee. And beside my table, there was one guy in old worn out tshirt explaining his product to a well dressed man and the demo of his product was running on his laptop.

 Some more charming. Some more appreciation. Some more understanding. And I think we can go a long way.

Monday, September 8, 2014

No IT company in Bihar?

 Is there any scope of IT industry in Bihar?

Obviously! There is plenty of scope. But first let's investigate how Bangalore become what it is now. How did Bangalore become the biggest IT hub in India and why was no other Indian city able to compete with it ? 

They say Texas Instrument was the first company which wanted to set up their office in India due to the high percentage of Indians (South Indians were dominant) working in TI, US office. They visited Mumbai and Chennai, but bureaucratic hurdles stopped them from doing so. When they visited Karnataka, R. Gundu Rao, then Chief Minister came personally to receive them as well as provided them all kind of support they needed to establish themselves. Furthermore, He sanctioned many engineering colleges which helped in creating an environment for development. Jamshed Ji Tata founded IISc in 1899 which is the top center for research and development with its well equipped labs and well qualified teachers. Furthermore, many government companies which had technological root like ISRO, BEL, HMT, HAL were already setlled in  Bangalore.

Under the leadership of Shri Nitish Kumar, Bihar Government was very keen to develop IT in Bihar. Okay! Government made 20 km free wifi zone near IIT Patna and on the day of inaugration of free wifi service, he stated,"It will be a 20 KM wide free Wi-Fi zone, which would run through  IIT,Patna in Bihta to Saguna More in Patna. I have been informed that it  will be the biggest free Wi-Fi zone in the world. It also shows how  serious we are for promoting IT and ITeS industry in the state. We have a big digital divide to fill and we are leaving no stone  unturned to do so. Delhi-NCR, Mumbai or Bangalore may have taken a lead  in this sector, but as they are getting dearer by day, you should come  to Bihar."

Nice thing that they are providing free wifi. But I think more concrete steps are needed in the direction to make things more feasible. First thing is infrastructure. Roads in Patna or any other town of Bihar is so narrow that government can hardly run intra-city buses. Companies would not set up their offices until they are very sure that their employees can reach on time. Most of the roads are in dark except for the few in Patna. How do you convince companies which are already apprehensive after so many bad news reports all these years that their employees are going to be safe after doing night shifts? Currently Bihar is not self sufficient for its electricity requirement and is dependent on central pool. Though many mega thermal projects are coming up and  we may see handsome production in coming years. If IIT-Patna lives upto the expectation, I see no reason that a creative and professional environment that promotes start-up culture can not establish in Bihar. There is also need of better law and order condition which acts as catalyst in creating an investor friendly relation.

I can sum up the answer with a yes. Yes that there can be an IT hub in Bihar provided government shows determination that is needed to compensate all the years of indifference and negligence. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Making of India as we know it

How many princely states were in India at the time of Independence?
V P Menon
V P Menon

They were so many in  number that historians are not even in agreement about their number. Some histroians claim 521, while others say 565. But certainly they were more than 500 and varied widely
in terms of size and status. Kashmir and Hyderabad were larger in size than many countries of the world whereas some were just combination of dozen of villages. British created many proposals which allowed them to control many important aspect of Indian princely states like military, succession at a hefty fee without taking any responsibility of welfare of its people. (Parallels may be drawn to last government where Manmohan Singh was prime minister while decisions were taken somewhere else.) These states had their own railways, currency and stamps, but as aptly pointed by one British observer,"The states were sinks of reaction and  incompetence and unrestrained autocratic power sometimes exercised by vicious and deranged individuals". Indian National Congress was more or less shared the same view.

Congress had assigned the problem of states to the pragmatic administrator Vallabhbhai Patel. He threw a series of lunch parties, where he urged his princely guests to help the congress in framing a new constitution of India. And at the same time, Patel wrote to influential chief ministers of the princely states urging them to convince their rulers to come to terms with the party which would now rule India. One of the first princes  to come over to Patel's side was  Maharaja of Bikaner. His dewan was K. M. Pannikar who could see that force of nationalism was irrestible. And if one did not compromise with them, one would be swept away. On 27 June, a new States department was set up by the government of India under the leadership of Sardar Patel. He chose V. P. Menon as his secratry who had, unlike other secretaries to Governemnt of India fromIndian Civil Service, joined the governemnt of India as a clerk and steadily worked his way up. Credentials of V. P. Menon included his role as reforms commissioner and constitutional adviser to successive viceroys, and
his key role in drafting the Indian Independence Bill.

On July 5, Patel issued a statement appealing to the princes of India to accede to the Indian Union by transferring control of defence, foreign affairs and communications to the congreess government. Mountbatten was a key player in the whole effort. Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and Patel met viceroy Mountbatten and asked him to bat for them against the states. This he did effectively by advising them to forge raltions with the new nation closest to them. As author Ramchandra Guha puts his act,"In my opinion it ranks as the most significant of all his acts in India. It finally pursauded the princes that Bristish would no longer protect or patronize them, and that Independence for them was a mirage." By 15th of August virtually all the states had signed the instrument of Accession. Meanwhile the popular sentiment of people was for full democratic government  in the state. Patel used the threat of popular protest to make the princes fall in line. They had already acceded; now they were being asked to integrate, that is to dissolve their states as independent entities and merge with Union of India. In exchange they can keep their titles and an allowance will be paid to them. V. P. Menon describes in detail the torturous negotiations with the rulers. One ruler claimed descent from Lord Rama, another from Sri Krishna. In exchange of their land, each rulerwas offered a 'privy purse', its size proportional to the revenue earned by the state.

Travancore's dewan (chief minister) made clear as early February, 1946 that after British, Travancore would became a 'perfectly independent unit'. Travancore was located at the southern tip of the subcontinent, it had the most highly educated populace in India, a thriving maritime trade, and newly discovered reserves of monazite. One other state was Bhopal. Nawab of Bhopal was a bitter opponent of congress. He communicated with Lord Mountbatten reminding him of Baroda's devotion to His Majesty's Government and asked for his support for independent Baroda. At last Nawab asked viceroy to press Patel to extend the deadline by 10 days so that his accession would be announced after 15th August. By the way, Nawab of Bhopal is maternal grandfather of Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, former captain of Indian cricket team as well as Sharayar Khan, former foreign Secretary of Pakistan and great grand father to Saif Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan.  One another funny case was of Jodhpur. Where Maharaja of Jodhpur was supposedly convinced that since his state shares border with Pakistan, he could get better deal with that dominion. Some say that Jinnah handed over a blank sheet to Maharaja and asked him to fill the conditions himself.

Nawab hmidulla khan.jpg
    Nawab of Bhopal

Juagadh consisted of mainly Hindu population ruled by a Muslim king. The Nawab decided to accede to Pakistan which afterd few days Pakistan agreed to. Though It made little sense geographically as well as culturally. Sardar Patel supported Hindu chiefs of Junagadh who wanted to join India. He suppoerted them with a small military. Samaldas Gandhi led provisonal government of Junagadh was set up in Bombay. This 'government' became the vehicle of popular agitation against the Nawab. In panic, Nawab fled to Pakistan and Indians organized  a plebiscite with 91% percent of the electorate voting for accession to India. Its important to mention that Nawab of Junagadh is known for his pioneering effort to save Asiatic Lions.
The Nawab of Januagadh
Nawab of Juagadh
 Hyderabad was another state which did not accede to any of the two dominions as of 15th August 1947. Nizam controlled the 10% of the land of Hyderabad and he earned around Rs 25 million from his land holdings as well as 5 millions from the state treasury. He was one of the richest man of the world but also one of the most miserly. He was usually dressed in unironed pyjama and shirt and a faded fez. He never offered any kind of hospitality to a visitor and drove in an old car.There were three party in Hyderabad's causse; Hyderabad State Congress which sought Hyderabad to join India; Communista Party of Indiawhich ran a parallel government in many parts of Hyderabad. They first siezed all holding in access of 500 acres, bringing the limit down to 200 and then 100 acres; The third party was Ittihad-ul-Muslimeen which was loyal to Nizam and founded to safeguard the muslim
pride in Deccan. Kasim Rizvi was the leader of Ittihad. Ittihad promoted  a paramilitary body called the 'Razakars', whose members marched up and down the roads of Hyderabad, carrying swords and gun.Nawab was encouraged by Coservative party of Britain. They presented Congress as Hitler and Hyderabad as Poland and wanted to protect the interest of their loyal friend Nizam. In late november 1947, Nizam signed a 'Standstill Agreement' under which agreement between Hyderabad and British Raj would be continued with its successor government. On 21st June 1948, Lord Mountbatten resigned from office of governor general.  Many requests and mediators failed to change the mind of Nizam. on 13th of September, a contingent of Indian troops was sent to Hyderabad. In less than 4 days, they had control of full Hyderabad. Later, Nizam was rewarded for his final submission by being made governor of new Indian state of Hyderabad.

On the concluding note, Guha says that Patel's guiding hand was indeed wise and sure. Even Nehru might not have supervised the princes extinction with such patience and foresight. But he could not have done his job woithout V.P Menon who made hundreds of trips to the chiefdoms. 
Nizaam of Hyderabd
This blog post is based on the third chapter of "India After Gandhi" by Ramchandra Guha.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Somebody down the street plays,
Delilah don't you worry.
And how I wish, somebody say;
Its gonna be all right.

Escape was long gone option,
Convinced that its all for comfort,
I think of pain, grief and sorrow
of separation and distances.

And when finally when, to you;
The picture looks complete,
Things come uncalled for,
You whisper, Life you bitch.

Its midnight, chilly wind,
and scattered city lights;
You make patterns of them,
streaming your inner voices.

Rolling on the bed,
customary good nights untold;
Hope; They say, makes you see
the light, amid all darkness.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Divison: India and Pakistan

Recently Google made a series of videos describing close relations between commoners of India and Pakistan. The second chapter of India After Gandhi opens with very valid question:

Did India have to be partitioned?

The nostalgia of undivided India has been mostly manifest among the people on Indian side of the border. But there has sometimes been a sense of loss displayed in what has become Pakistan too. There are three main explanations behind the above stated question:

  1. Congress Leadership underestimated Jinnah and the Muslim 
Nehru and Gandhi made major errors of judgement in their dealings with the Muslim League. In the 1920s, Gandhi ignored Jinnah and tried to make common cause with the mullahs. In the 1930s, Nehru arrogantly and what later elections showed, falsely, claimed that the Muslim masses would rather follow his socialist stands than a party based on faith.Meanwhile, the Muslims steadily moved over from the Congress to the League. In the 1930s, when Jinnah was willing to make a deal, he was ignored. In 1940s, when Muslims were solidly behind Jinnah, he had absolutely no incentive to cut a deal. The onset of modern electoral politics encouraged the creation of community vote banks. Muslims were increasingly persuaded to think themselves as "Muslims" . This is supported by the fact that Muslim League had a mere 1300 members by 1927 which shot up to more than a half a million in Bengal alone and 200,000 in Punjab. Muslims of all classes joined League and rallied against prospect of 'Brahmin-Bania' Raj in United India. 

2. Jinnah pursued his goal of separate country

It is also true that some of the Jinnah's political turns defy  any explanation other than that of personal ambition. He was once known as "ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity" and a practitioner of constitutional politics. Even after he re branded himself  as defender of Islam and Muslims, he liked his whisky. He started stirring religious passion and he concluded with his calling of "Direct Action Day", the day which started long chain of violence and counter-violence that made partition inevitable.

3Divide and Rule policy of British

In March, 1925; secretary of state for India wrote to the viceroy:

"I have always placed my highest and most permanent hopes upon the eternity of the communal situation."
Most British officials were predisposed to prefer Muslims, for compared with Hindus, their forms of worship and the ways of life were less alien. Overall, colonial policy deepened religious divisons, which consolidated British rule in India.

Now, we have explored the explanations which pertain to the division of India. In early 1940s, it was almost certain that United Independent India would not be a reality. Let's explore a little about the division itself.

The Divison

After second war, Labour Party came into power in England. They regarded themselves morally committed to cause of  Indian Independence. In the beginning of 1946, a three member Cabinet Mision was sent to India to negotiate the terms of Indian Independence. Sir Stafford Cripps was a part of the mission and had close ties with Indian Congress Leaders. A note prepared by a member of Indian Civil Service, Penderel Moon summed up the situation in the country:

"There is more likelihood of obtaining Hindu consent to Divison than Muslim consent to Union."
Early in 1946, elections were held to the various provincial assemblies. These were conducted on the basis of franchise restricted by education and property. About 28% of the adult population was eligible to vote which amounted to about 41 million people. Congress asked for mandate on the agenda comprising land reforms, worker's right and such. Muslim League on the other hand, asked Muslims to vote for them. For if they don't, they would not get a homeland of their own and they will be crushed by the more numerous Hindus in a united India. The election results brought embarrassment to Congress. Across India province after province, Congress did exceedingly well in general category, but the Muslim seats were swept by the Muslim League.

ProvinceCongressMuslim LeagueOther partiesIndependentsTotal
Assam5831Europeans 9
Others 3
Bengal86113Europeans 25
Others 12
Central Provinces92137112
Madras16579Communist Party 2[9]19215
North West Frontier Province30172150
Punjab5173Akalis 22
Unionist Party 20
United Provinces15354714228
The mandate bestowed upon Muslim League was more than enough for Jinnah to call a meeting for 425 legislators of Muslim League on 10 April 1946 and reiterated the call for independent Pakistan. Jinnah met Cabinet Mission in Shimla where attempts were being made by Cabinet Mission to find unitary solution. By the end of June 1946, it was clear that no settlement could be reached. The leaders of League again met on 29th July and called for Direct Action. Two weeks later was Direct Action Day and a train of violence and rioting started ending the dream of United India.

Labour government in Britain announced that British would quit India by July 1948. The viceroy, Lord Wavell was replaced by a new Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten. After talking to congress leaders, Lord Mountbatten found them accepting the reality of Pakistan. Gandhi made one last effort by asking Jinnah to head the first government of free united India. But Gandhi's offer did not have backing of Congress, and Jinnah did not accept it in any case.After several redraft, plan of partition was sent to London. At one point Jinnah even asked for a 800 miles road through India connecting eastern and western Pakistan.  On 3 June 1947, Viceroy announced the partition plan and next morning he announced that British would leave by middle of August. Lord Mountbatten's biographer justified his decision as follow:
"Once the principal of partition had been accepted, it was inevitable that communalism would rage freely. The longer the period before the transfer of power, the worse the tension and the greater the threat that violence would spread." 
 However many journalists as well as British officials accused Mountbatten of being unwilling to crackdown
 effectively on communal violence, and understaffing Punjab Boundary force and not supplying them with air cover. Many were convinced that hasty withdrawal led to more death. Governor of undivided Punjab Sir Evan Jenkins asked for more troops and for a Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. But there were too few troop available as most of them were busy protecting white people. Protection of British was top policy of state as they were convinced that British civilians will be attacked as soon as decision to leave was made public.

Lord Mountbatten instinct of self preservation was evident by his decision to postpone Punjab Boundary award after 15 August as he said:
"Without question, the earlier Punjab Boundary Awards are published, the more the British would have to bear responsibility for the disturbances which would undoubtedly result."
To conclude the Division, One Punjab official told a social worker from Oxford:

'You British believe in fair play. You have left India in the same condition of chaos as you found it.'

Read first part of the essay series. Click here.

This essay is based on the second chapter of the book "India After Gandhi" titled "The Logic of Division" by Ramchandra Guha.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Birth of India: Tales of 1946-1947

On 31 December 1929, Congress President Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted Indian Flag on the banks of Ravi River during the Lahore session of Congress. Lahore session saw Indian National Congress resolved for Poorna Sawaraj. Congress asked Indian nationalist to celebrate 26th of January as Independence Day.
Freedom came to India after about 17 years of their first "Independence Day" on 15 August 1947. British chose to handover power on 15 August 1947 as it was the anniversary of Japanese surrender to the Allied forces in the Second World War. Even the Independence Day of India was not escaped by the Indian habit of horoscope matching as apparently due to some astrologers declaration of 15tth of August as an inauspicious day, special session of Constituent Assembly was held on 14th August.

Celebrations began at 11 p.m. with singing of Vande Mataram  and was followed by speeches. It concluded with presentation of flag on behalf of the women of India. There were three main speakers: Chaudhary Khaliquzaman (representing Muslims of India), Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (for his work in reconciling East and West) and the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. Jawaharlal Nehru delivered his famous speech called, "Tryst with Destiny" and it has been widely quoted since then. A part of the speech is quoted below.

"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance."

On 15 August 1947, prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru along with 13 other ministers  swore in. Nehru's ministers were across party line and included represntative from the world of commerce as well as Sikhs. Most notable non-congress ministers were Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Shyama Prasad Mookherjee ( member of Hindu Mahasabha).

Gandhi marked 15 August 1947 with 24 hour fast in Calcutta. The last 12 months had seen almost continuous rioting between Hindus and Muslims. The violence had begun on 16 August 1946 in Calcutta and spread to Bihar and then through United Province to finally Punjab. The violence of August 1946 was instigated by the Muslim League. The league was led by Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He was lawyer trained in England and he had once been member of Indian National Congress. By starting the riot in Calcutta, Jinnah hoped to polarize the two communities further and thus force the British to divide India when they finally quit. On the Afternoon of 13 August 1947, Gandhiji set up residence in the Muslim dominated locality of Beliaghata. On 15 August, he declined to make any statement to BBC and fasted whole day. Though reports of Hindus and Muslims together celebrating independence lifted Gandhiji's mood and he addressed a large crowd of around 10,000-30,000 at Rash Bagan Maidan.

By November 1946, all India total of deaths in rioting was more than 5000. According to a statementr submitted to the House of Lords said that 4,014 people were killed between November, 1946 and May 1947. The epicenter of the violence was Bengal and Punjab. Both provinces were muslim majority  and thus
were claimed for Pakistan. But both of them also had millions of Hindus and therefore both provinces were divided with muslim majority districts going to Pakistan and districts dominated by Hindus or Sikhs alloted to India.  On 1 August 1947 a Punjab Boundary Force was set up to control the violence. Head of Punjab Boundary Force , Pete Rees estimated casualties  in  Punjab were estimated at 4,500 civilians dead and 2,500 wounded during March to July, 1947. However official casualties reported by troop were estimated to be around 15,000 killed and actual figure may be two-three times of the reported number.

Ten million refugees were on the move, on foot, by bullock-cart, and by train. This was the greatest mass migration in the history in so few days.  Unfortunately, no Pakistani politician was willing to take on religious
fanaticism.  Jinnah was headquartered in Karachi which was the capital of the country at that time and he visited Lahore in Purdah. This coward attitude of Jinnah was in striking contrast to the brave defence of their minority by Nehru and Gandhi. There were fresh riots in Calcutta which forced Gandhiji to embark a fast. He began his fast on 2 September. By the next day, Hindu and Muslim miscreants were coming to him and laying down their arms.  Mahatma broke his fast after three days when a deputation of leaders representing Congress, Muslim League and Hindu Mahasabha assured Gandhiji that there would be no further routing. Gandhiji left for Delhi on 7 September from Calcutta and visited camps in capital  and outside it. Gandhi's biographer D.G. Tendulkar writes:

"He begged of them all to bring about peace in Delhi so that he might be able to proceed to both East and West Punjab."

Gandhiji also spoke at a camp of Rashtriya Swaymsewak Sangh. Founded by Maharashtrian doctor named Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, the RSS was a cohesive and motivated body of Hindu young men. Gandhiji was impressed by their discipline and absence of caste feeling. Gandhiji urged its member to dispel the notion that RSS was inciting communal hatred and asked them to show by their uniform behaviour that the allegations were baseless. However Nehruji was not inclined to give Sangh the benefit of doubt. He told his home minister Vallabhbhai Patel that the RSS have a great deal to do with the disturbances not only in Delhi but elsewhere. At the initiative of Gandhi and Nehru, the Congress now passed a resolution on the "rights of minority". Its said:

"Whatever be the situation in Pakistan, India would be a Democratic Secular State where all citizens enjoy full rights and are equally entitled to he protection of the State, irrespective to the religion to which they belong." 
However the head of RSS,  M. S. Golwalker was strongly opposed to the idea of secular state that would not discriminate on the basis of religion. Gandhiji's meetings were frequently disrupted by the refugees who shouted slogans asking why he did not speak of the sufferings of those Hindus and Sikhs still living in Pakistan. The biographer of Gandhiji writes, Gandhiji wanted to go to Pakistan. But with what face could he now go there, when he could not guarantee full redress to the Muslims of Delhi. With attacks on Muslims increaing, Gandhiji chose to resort to another fast. One of the precondition of ending his fast was to transfer the money (Rs. 550 Billion), which was Pakistan's share of the money that British owed jointly to both countries on account of Indian contributions during second world war, withheld by India. On 15 January 1948, India decided to release the money. On 17 January, Central Peace Committee was formed under leadership of Rajendra Prasad and had representatives of Congress, RSS, Jamait-ul-Ulema and Sikh bodies. Their joint declaration satesfied Gandhiji to end his fast.

On 20 January, a Punjabi refugee named Madan Lal threw a bomb at Gandhiji in Birla House while he was leading a prayer meeting. No one was hurt. On the evening of  30 January he was shot dead by a brahmin from Poona named Nathuram Godse. He was sentenced to death but before that he made a remarkablespeech justifying his act. There were tributes from Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw and George Orwell except Jinnah who said that the death of Gandhi was a loss merely to the Hindu community. Gandhiji's death could not  reconcile Hindu and Muslim but he did reconcile Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel who were involved in bitter row.

This essay is based on the first chapter "Freedom And Parricade" of "India After Gandhi" by Ramchandra Guha.

Friday, May 30, 2014

चम्पक से वॉट्सएप्प तक

गर्मी की छुट्टी थी,
आम के बगीचे थे,
पेड़ो पर झूले थे,
सूखे पत्तो का ढेर था।

आस-पड़ोस में बच्चे थे,
दादी-नानी की कहानियाँ थी,
नंदन-चम्पक के चीकू-मीकू थे,
लुका-छिपी और साइकिल का शौक था।

गर्मी की छुट्टी है,
कंक्रीट के जंगल है,
हाथ में स्मार्टफ़ोन है,
वॉट्सएप्प और फेसबुक अकाउंट है।

फेसबुक पर ५०० फ्रेंड्स है,
दिल टूटने वाले फेसबुक पोस्ट है,
चम्पक-नंदन वाले चीकू-मीकू खो गए,
लाइक्स और शेयर का शौक है।

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lalu Ji shops!

Flipkart buys out Myntra for $300 m

A big headline appeared in the newspaper. Lalu Ji found the news amusing. Sitting on the charpoy with the newspaper in his hand, he exclaims in dialect of his own.

"Arey RamKhelawan, ee..flipkartwa ka dukaan kahan hai?"
The question was stunning. RamBhulawan stopped milking the cow. Upandar stopped massaging Lalu ji's feet. Bhupendar stopped massaging Lalu ji's head. Ramu, who was preparing tea for everyone, went blank and tea started overflowing. Everything stopped where it was.
"Sab muh ka taak rahe ho..tum sabko kuch pata bhi hai!! Jaldi pata kar ke batao!!", growled angry Lalu Ji.

Suddenly, the house was in commotion which was unseen before. Everyone was on phone. All associates of Lalu ji sat together in cowshed surrounded by Lalu ji's favorites buffaloes and cows. One of the associate's father's maternal uncle's sister's sister-in-law's son was IT professional in Infosys. He was called on. He is Amit.

Scared of wrath of Lalu ji, RamKhelwan shyly pushed forward young Amit.

"aaj kal sab computer le kar samaan kharidne laga hai. Neetish ji kal naya chasma kharide. Kal Rahul baba apna naya ghadi dikha rahe the. Hum bhi soch raha tha ki kuch le lun. Kal meeting hai na. kaise kharide ji."

Oh boy!! That was kind and gentle Lalu ji. Asking for a favor from Amit.

Amit was a bright guy. He pulled out his new Nexus and started showing Lalu ji various products on flipkart, myntra and other e-commerce site. But Lalu ji's mind was wandering somewhere else. Tomorrow, He has meeting with Madam ji and Rahul Baba. He wanted to impress them. Finally, Lalu Ji found one smart phone to be gifted to Rahul Baba. Aptly, Rahul baba is always on phone. I bet he is on 125th level of candy crush.

"Amit ji...Aaj kal naya fashion me ka nahi pata chalega kya..aur uu ka kahte hai, haan trending..aaj kal kya trending samaan hai..e kaise pata chalega..Rahul Baba aur Madam pura updated hai...Out of trend, samaan de denge to dono gussa na ho jayega.."
Amit was up to date about the e-commerce world. He opened . A new cool website which harnesses the social face of shopping with cashbacks and coupons.
As soon as homepage appeared. Lalu ji jumped on his chair and exclaimed in excitement.

" wala chasma to kal Nitish ji kharide hai. Hero ban rahe hai rally me chasma pahan kar. arey wo dekho, Rahul Baba bhi yahi se ghadi kharide hai. Amit bhai, bada accha website bataye ho..kaun ka kharid raha hai..sab pata chal raha hai yahan pe.."

Lalu ji found one Ladies purse on the homepage of Registration on baggout was hustle free and he got Rs. 225 cashback too. Amit showed him the offer zone on the homepage of baggout and also discount coupons on electronics item. He got 30 percent off on the latest best selling  mobile phone.

Amit got a call some days later. Lalu ji was on other side.

"Amit Ji, Thank you. Rahul Babo bole ki agli baar sarkar banegi to Railway Minister banayenge."

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Will Ketki meet Neha?

This blog has not have many visitors in recent days. The reason could be lack of interesting articles in general; and lack of interesting topics for me to write in particular. So, I logged on my blog and was fumbling for something interesting to write. Good for me that after about an hour of struggle, I found one.

There is this girl whom I talk to. Almost regularly. No!! Its not what you are thinking. We are just good friends,  you know! I asked her today how her weekend was. She said she attended some workshop of an NGO where they taught her about captioning photographs. She is an engineer, by default from a reputed college and lives in one of the India's most bright cities. 

There is one more girl whom I know. Normal education. Not some fancy degree. Society would term her average student even though half of the female in India can't read/write despite given free bicycles. She is chemistry graduate from some unknown university named after another random politician and she lives in dusty town with forgettable name of hot northern India.

Now when I have told you about the two girls. Are you interested in their stories? Through their stories, we will together see the world. I am 22, add two months and I will be 23. Being said that, I can safely say that I have been living in this world for the past 22 years (and add two months to that, 23 years). Please pardon me for the "I can safely say" cliche, a coworker uses it zillions of time in a day and its irritating. I hope he won't ever read this. I am not so popular. Hell, where I was. Yes, so for the past some months I have been out of college and I have been exposed to this world which was unknown to me. Thanks to the shielding effect of books, exams and this rat race which did not give enough time to my mind to observe minutely these particularly interesting social norms such as education system, marriages, relatives talking about each other and the list can go on. You may think of some of your own. 

Now, when I have time. I am here with a story which you may find interesting. Let us name those two girls. It is convenient this way. The first girl, say  Ketki and the second one,  Neha. Go to any class in North Indian school, shout Neha and 10 girls will look at you in response. It is that popular name.  Lets name the dusty sweaty town in North India with forgettable name as Ara. This is the place where Neha lives. The other girl, Ketki, lives in Bangalore. 

Ara, 20th of June, 1996   

"Neha, Neha!!! You are going to school today.", said the proud young mother of Neha.

"School!! Like Nilesh Bhaiya goes? ", replied little Neha.

"Of course! You are going in the same school . Papa will drop you there. Get up! You must be excited about the new school uniform and shoes. Are you not? Get up, little doll", said visibly happy mother. 

The young mother helped her daughter bathe. She fed her a tiny paratha which she had made exclusively for her. She put the colourful book with big mangoes, apples printed, in a steel box that Neha's grandfather bought for her. A Milton water bottle is kept along side the steel box. She glanced at her daughter who was struggling with her school belt.

"All set to go", announced Neha's mother after adjusting Neha's skirt which was little large for her size. Obviously that little large was intended as she would grow up in pace and their parents did not want to buy another so soon.

"Come Neha! Let's go."

Neha's father put her on cycle and he started cycling to school. This school, St. Paul's Public School, is just another school named after some St. Paul whom even school founders did not know about. This was the era of start of "English medium" public schools in Tier III towns. Opportunists wanted to sell the schools as English Medium School by aping name of missionary schools and one of the results of the whole process was St. Paul's Public School (English Medium) founded by Bhagwati Prasad. As you can anticipate, this school was English just by the name and there was absolutely no reality behind "English Medium".  A peon escorted the little Neha to class. The class consisted of an array of second hand nonuniform furniture bought by school's founder from another such English Medium School which was closed due to the lack of students. The roof was missing and a tarpaulin was there to act as roof.

While Neha was at school, her mother and father were constantly looking at the clock. Their home had silence whom they were unused to. They were missing the continuous chatter of Neha. Her doll which they bought in local Disneyland was also lonely. Neha's mother picked her doll up and remembered the time when she was like Neha.

"Like mother, like daughter. I had this habit of talking to doll when I was small and I am not surprised that your daughter does the same thing.", said happy mother to her husband with a smiling face.

"My income is irregular. I wonder how we are going to arrange her marriage", unfazed by what her wife said, Mr. Sinha replied.

"I appreciate your concerns as father of a daughter. But she went to her first day at school.We will educate her. We don't even know what society will be like 20 years from now on . These kids wont even ask us. You should thank God that they arranged marriage for you. Who knows if ever you would have got chance to worry for your daughter's marriage otherwise.", chuckled Mrs. Roshini Sinha teasing her husband; mother of Neha who was, obviously, in very jovial mood.

Bangalore, 17th of July 1996

"Ketki!!! Are you up yet?", called a concerned mother.

"Oh dear God! No more sleeping, my angel. You know what its today ? My little angel is going to school today.", continued Mrs Kulkarni while pulling the bed sheet under which Ketki was hiding. She then kissed Ketki's forehead and carried her to bath room.

Ketki bathed and her mother dressed her up in skirt which was carefully altered according to Ketki's body.

"I am also coming with you to see off ketki.", announced Mrs. Kulkarnni to her husband as he was repeatedly kicking his sccoter which was refusing to start after 12 hours of cold night. He tilted the scooter on one side and kept it that way for good 2 -3 minutes before a final kick which started the scooter with lots of noise.

There they go. Mrs. Kulkarni was holding Ketki's pink bags with big tweety printed. A bottle of cold water hung around her neck, Ketki was standing at front. This was one amazing aspect of Scooters. They used to carry a family, hum do; hamare do; together. After 15 minutes of ride, they finally reached St. Helena School for Girls. A red brick building  of colonial era in horse shoe shape with a basket ball court in middle, Mrs. Kulkarni was very happy. She wanted her daughter to be successful.

Ara, 20th of October, 2007

"Neha, Come here! Help me in drying these clothes.",  Mrs. Sinha shouted from the Veranda.

"Coming! I have just returned from school. You are always after me. Can't you leave me for some time?" yelled Neha who was visibly unhappy after being interrupted in watching TV.

"You are watching TV. If you were studying, I would have loved to not disturb you. Whole day you watch TV, don't you think you should be helping me here. I have been working right from 6 in the morning.", came a calm reply of Neha's mother.

After a little talk which was the daily itinerary in their life, Neha was helping her mother. She was in class 10th then and shewas told to prepare for engineering. In India, where number of good engineering college is scarce; class 10th is one of the most difficult phase of life. There are engineering entrance coaching cities like Kota, Delhi, Bokaro where hundreds of coaching center claims so many confirmed ranks in JEE that if you add them, that would be greater than the total seats available in JEE. After class 10, serious students from tier III towns go to engineering entrance coaching cities.

Allow me to tell more about St. Paul's Public School. Yes, the same school where Neha studies. Dr. Bhagwati Prasad was riding on his luck. Though many so called English medium school sprout up in the town. St. Paul was considered to be the best. Not to mention, the best tag had drawn hundreds of new admissions every day. Bhagwati Prasad, sorry Dr. Bhagwati Prasad as he loved to be called had a Ph.D in sociology which he discovered after he became one of the known faces of the town. An educationalist with vision of opening an engineering and medical colleges in his town, he claimed to be dedicated for the development of the town. St. Paul's Public School used to organize entrance test for admissions, but in reality Bhagwati Prasad, oops Dr. Bhagwati Prasad never used to hurt anyone's hope by rejecting him. He had that big heart. Unfortunately the classrooms of his school were not as big as his heart to accommodate  everyone. Five to six students used to sit on the desk meant for four students. English teacher taught science and many a times generator facilities  were not available. Teachers were so underpaid that they used to advertise for their private tuition in class rooms. Yes, we are talking about best school of Ara. If that was not enough, Dr. Bhagawati Prasad devised a way in which top 50 students (based on academics) of a class remain in one section defying all the socially acceptable norms that kids learn from each other.

I hope after all this you are not hoping for a play ground. There was none. Oh yes! though you would have guessed, still I would love to tell you that there was no music teacher or anything other than academics. No drama! No Dance.

Among all this, Neha was an average student. She loved to dance but never got enough support or direction. Though she had known some after watching television. She was studying but not so serious enough.

Bangalore, 17th of September 2007

"Ketki, You up yet?", said Mrs. Kulkarni.

"Mumma! I was up till late night. Let me sleep for some more time.", Ketki replied in sleepy voice.

"Girl! You have school at 9. Wake up!"

Ketki woke up and glanced at her books nearby. She was studying history last night. She did not like it much. She loved English but parents were insisting her to study engineering.

Last year more than 70 percent of the children got more than 80 percent in class X board. Teachers were teaching at fast pace. They wanted to have some mock exams before boards. Ketki loved crime novels and was a big fan of Agatha Christie. She loved literature.

There was a big felicitation for the students who won a famous quiz contest some days back. She was too bad at general knowledge.

Sitting in hall where the program to felicitate was about to begin; Ketki commented to her friend, Trishala,"Why would someone know so much general knowledge? How is it gonna help me if I know who was the seventh prime minister of India?"

"I wonder the same.", Trishala replied and the two girls giggled.

Ketki was one of the best student of class in academics and Trishala was her best friend. Trishala was the best singer of the school. She had training in carnatic music.

Ara, 13th of May, 2014

Neha woke up with a little murmuring which was annoying her for the past 15 minutes. After she adjusted to morning light, the murmuring was really annoying for her. Her parents were discussing about marriage proposal for her. It appeared that boy's father saw her in someone's marriage few days back. She thought of her life. She had graduated last year in chemistry. She teaches kids of neighborhood for pocket money. Its right time for marriage. Why is she finding it annoying!

She laid back on the bed and watched the rotating fan.

" I have to marry someday...may be this year or the next. If this is inevitable, why not this guy. Her mother was saying that this guy earns good money. Even a mutual relative of us vouched for his character. Everything is perfect. I should probably get going. Maa will be needing my help in kitchen.", thoughts echoed in Neha's mind.

Hyderabad, 13th of May, 2014

"Oh my God!! I am so dying at today's meeting. I did not complete my assignment. Today, I was supposed to submit.", wondered Ketki.

Ketki worked for a MNC which deals in processors which were used in mobile computing devices. She woke up early though she returned late from office today. Hurriedly she called her mother.

"Hey Mumma! Sorry, I did not call you yesterday. I am so busy these days. This is end period of project and everybody is working hard." before Mrs. Kulkarni could speak, Ketki had flurry of justifications.

"You should take care of your health. You work too much. They give you too much work. Don't they?", Mrs. Kulkarni was worried.

"Oh! Mumma! Don't worry. Listen, I have to catch a cab now. I will call you later.", regardless of worries of her mother, Ketki was all set to finish the conversation.

"Take care, Ketki!", Mrs. Kulkarni said and  the call dropped.

"God! I should better take work little lightly now. I don't have time to even talk with Mumma. I should rush now.", Ketki looked at the watch and overcoming the resistance of her mind, she left the bed.

Ketki is in the office cab. It takes her about 45 minutes to reach her office in morning rush. Her phone rang.

"Hey! This is Shekhar from Earth Peace. Is this Ketki? I assume you have volunteered for Earth Peace fund raising activity.", echoed a husky voice.

"Hi Shekhar. This is Ketki. Yes, I was expecting your call. Tell me when do the training begins.", Ketki replied.

" We are organizing training session this weekend. I hope you can make it.", Shekhar replied.

"I am absolutely free." Ketki said.

"Very well, you will get details regarding venue and timing through e-mail. Have a great day, Ketki.", Shekhar said and abruptly disconnected the phone.

"These environmental activist are this weird. Always in hurry.", Ketki thought with a smile on her face.

She again got back to the novel she was reading before the call.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Stop Spitting

So I was traveling in a bus while my way back to home after work. My fellow traveler sitting at window seat suddenly spitted half chewed tobacco on the road. Though he took extreme caution not to shower anyone on road, but It feels bad to see roads defaced by his irresponsible act. Today morning, I was crossing the road when a passing auto driver gargled on the road splashing the dirty water all over road. I wish I had taken picture of this. Recently I was on my way to Goa. While I was waiting for  mostly punctual Goa Express, a tea vendor repeatedly spitted on the platform itself, to be precise near the poles supporting railway shed. There were children playing few meters from the place of his act.
I wonder if the people don't know the health concerns originating from their mindless spitting here and there. Plus the spitting exercise leaves onlookers with a disgusting feeling. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Long long ago


Yes, You.

You are not as important as you think you are. Nobody cares about you. Wait! What did you just say? You are saying that those people whom you call everyday; and spill your heart thinking that they are your people really care about you! Look around!!! Everybody is  laughing. Poor you. I guess you should come out of your fantasy. And the reasonable you, have buried in grave dug by irrational and sentimental arguments. Listen to him for some time. Come on, man. Give up your pretended face. Enjoy fresh air and freedom.

Whom are you cheating? No one but yourself.

Tell me when did you last see a mirror.

You don't remember. Right? Because you don't want to face the ugly truth. You are not the one. Believe it.

Long long ago you existed. Long long ago.

Now you are just remembered.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

पोलिटिकल बकवास

चुनाव का मौसम है।   ऑफिस  आते जाते रोड पर चुनाव की चहल पहल दिख जाती है। चंद रोज पहले कांग्रेस के प्रत्याशी का रोड शो था।  शायद मैं उनके काफिले के ५-१० मिनट बाद पहुँचा था।  रोड पर  फूल बिखरे पड़े थे।  अभी शायद कुछ समय पहले वो नेता जी के गले की शोभा बने फिर रहे होंगे।  बचपन में एक कविता पढ़ी थी - पुष्प की अभिलाषा।  बचपन में तो इतने समझने की शक्ति नहीं थी की कवि क्या कहना चाहते है।  तब तो बुरा ही लगता था की कवि क्यों कहते है, परीक्षा में "प्रस्तुत पंक्तियाँ माखन लाल चतुर्वेदी द्वारा रचित पुष्प की अभिलाषा नाम की कविता से ली गयी है। " यहाँ तक लिखने के बाद समझ ही नहीं आता था की आगे क्या लिखा जाए।  खैर मैं वो कविता नीचे प्रस्तुत करता हूँ।  

चाह नहीं मैं सुरबाला के
गहनों में गूँथा जाऊँ
चाह नहीं, प्रेमी-माला में
बिंध प्यारी को ललचाऊँ
चाह नहीं, सम्राटों के शव
पर हे हरि, डाला जाऊँ
चाह नहीं, देवों के सिर पर
चढ़ूँ भाग्य पर इठलाऊँ
मुझे तोड़ लेना वनमाली
उस पथ पर देना तुम फेंक
मातृभूमि पर शीश चढ़ाने
जिस पर जावें वीर अनेक ।। 

अगर कवि सही कह रहे है तो पुष्प पर दया आ रही है क्यूंकि उस पथ पर तो ऐसे लोग आज कल चल रहे है जो "लड़को से गलती हो जाती है" कह कर वोट बटोरना चाहते है।  ये आम जनता सुबह ९ बजे से लेकर शाम ८ बजे तक धुप में बसो में धूल फांकती है, बॉस की डांट सुनती है, और फिर जो पैसे मिलते है; उनमे से आयकर भर्ती है।  इस पथ पर वो लोग चल रहे है, जो ऐसे आम लोगो से जुटाए हुए लाखों-कडोडों रूपए  खा लेते है और फिर भी निर्लज की तरह वोट मांगते है। कैसे?पुष्प पर दया आ रही है। 

एक रोज़  मैंने ऐसे प्रत्याशी का नाम देखा जिसकी पार्टी का भी नाम कभी नहीं सुना।  शायद नहीं जीतेगा वो।  पर ख़ुशी हुयी लोकतंत्र को देख कर।  कम  से कम हमारे सविंधान ने तो सभी को बराबर अधिकार दिए है।   अगले रोज़ मुझे कुछ लोगो का झुण्ड दिखा जो ऑफिस जाने वाले लोगो का लग रहा था।  वे एक कंधे पर ऑफिस वाला बैग लटकाये थे और दूसरी तरफ ढोल।  ढोल पीट कर वो आम आदमी पार्टी के लिए वोट मांग रहे थे।  धीरे धीरे ही सही अब राजनीति आम जनता को भी रास आने लगी है।  अरविन्द केजरीवाल और उनकी पार्टी ने अब आम लोगो को भी राजनीति का नशा लगवाना शुरू कर दिया है।  

कितने भी आरोप लगे हो आम आदमी पार्टी पर, लेकिन दिल अभी भी उनकी तरफ है।  वो कोशिश  तो कर रहे है। कई क्षेत्रीय क्षत्रप मसलन लालू यादव, नीतीश कुमार, मुलायम जैसे नेता हैं।  अपने अपने क्षेत्र के महारथी।  लेकिन अपने राजनैतिक करियर में कोई इतने काम समय में राष्ट्रीय परिदृश्य पर अपनी पहचान नहीं बना पाया। आज "आप " दिल्ली में भी है और केरल में भी, महाराष्ट्र में भी और पंजाब में भी।  ओपिनियन पोल्स में नरेंद्र मोदी,राहुल गांधी के बाद अरविन्द केजरीवाल का नाम आता है।  अगर उन्हें ऐसे पोल्स में १० प्रतिशत वोट भी मिलते है तो वाकई में ये एक बड़ी सफलता है।  अगर आज सोशल मीडिया पर अरविन्द केजरीवाल के नाम का मजाक बनता है, इसका मतलब की दूसरी राजनैतिक पार्टी उन्हें गंभीरता से ले रही है।  

पर इतिहास में अगर अरविन्द केजरीवाल का नाम अदब से लिया जायेगा तो उसका एक महत्वपूर्ण कारण "राजनीति में युवाओं, विशेषकर शहरी युवाओं के रूचि बढ़ाने " में उनके प्रयासों का होगा। आज अरविन्द केजरीवाल जिन दो पार्टी को चोर-चोर बोल रहे है, ऐसा हो सकता है की कल को उन्हें दोनों में से एक का हाथ थामना पड़े। ऐसा पहले भी हुआ है और आगे भी होगा। अगर अब तक आम आदमी पार्टी से की गयी गलतियों को मैं उनके राजनैतिक अपरिपक्यता समझ कर ख़ारिज कर दूँ तो उन्हें इतना समझ लेना चाहिए कि  इस "आम आदमी" की उम्मीदे उनकी पार्टी से बहुत ज्यादा है।  बीजेपी / कांग्रेस  से कहीं ज्यादा।  कल को अगर  बीजेपी / कांग्रेस की सरकार आती है तो ये जनता मान कर बैठी है कि  वे घोटाले करेंगे, पर आप की सरकार से ये उम्मीदे नहीं है।  कल को अगर आप बीजेपी / कांग्रेस की सरकार में शामिल हो कर मंत्रीमंडल में शामिल हो गयी तो हम ये उम्मीद करेंगे की उनके मंत्री अच्छा काम करेंगे। अब उनके बहाने लोग बर्दाश्त नहीं करेंगे, और मैं कतई नहीं चाहूंगा की मैं अपने किसी लेख में  बीजेपी / कांग्रेस के बाद / आप लिखूं।  यहाँ पर इतिहास से एक उदहारण लेते है: 

"In this very short list also appears the name of Madhu Dandavate. When Dandavate passed away recently, the newspapers noted his stewardship of the Finance Ministry in the National Front Government of the late 1980s. That was a job he did honourably and well, but far more significant (though unmentioned by the obituarists) was his stewardship of the Railway Ministry in the Janata Government of the late 1970s. It was Dandavate who first introduced the computerisation of railway reservations, an innovation that greatly reduced corruption and made life less intolerable for commuters.
Dandavate’s second innovation was more far-reaching still. This was to put two inches of foam on what passed for ‘reserved sleeper berths’ in the second-class sections of trains. Many readers of this column know only these new berths; but many others would remember the bad old ones too. Before 1977 (the year Dandavate became Railway Minister), there was an enormous difference between the first-class, where the berths were padded, and the second-class, where they were made of hard and bare wood. If you were lucky enough to travel up front, you slept well; otherwise you woke up with a painful back and (were it winter) a cold in the head as well. "

श्रोत :

जनता सरकार महज २ सालों के लिए थी पर मौका मिलने पर मधु दंडवते ने जो किया वो वाकई में काबिलेतारीफ था।  ऐसा मेरा मानना है की राजनीति में लोग जनता की सेवा के लिए जाते है। अरविन्द केजरीवाल को भी मौका मिला था दिल्ली में सरकार चलाने का।  जरुरत थी उस समय ज़रा परिपक्यता दिखाते हुए लोगो की समस्याएं सुलझाने की। खैर अभी आगे और मौके आएंगे। आप पर कई तरह के  आरोप भी लगेंगे। उन्हें मौका मिलने पर दिखाना होगा की वो यहाँ लोगो की समस्या सुलझाने  के लिए है।  भागने से कुछ नहीं होगा।

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

बुरा भी लगता है।

एन-डी-टी-वी  के रवीश कुमार का एक इंटरव्यू देख रहा था।  हालाँकि आदत है रवीश जी को इंटरव्यू लेते हुए देखने कि पर इस बार वो इंटरव्यू दे रहे थे।  काफी रोचक व्यक्तित्व के मालिक है रवीश जी।  हर मुद्दो पर उनकी राय अनोखी होती है।  अनोखी इसलिए नहीं कि वो कुछ बड़ी बड़ी बातें करते है, या कुछ हट कर बातें करते है।  अनोखी इसलिए क्यूंकि जमीन  से जुडी बातें करते है।  ऐसा नहीं लगता कि सामाजिक - राजनैतिक विषयों का प्रकांड पंडित बातें कर रहा है, बल्कि उनकी बातें हमारी बात होती है।  बिहार के किसी छोटे कस्बे  में चल जाइये, मोहल्ले की कोने में चाय पीते हुए आम जनता सामाजिक और राजनैतिक परिदृश्य की ठीक उसी तरह विश्लेषण करती है जैसी रवीश जी करते है।  

मसलन  रवीश जी कहते है कि मुझे ट्रेन  के खाने से कोई शिकायत नहीं है, कौन सा बार बार खाना है, एडजस्ट कर लीजिये। मुझे याद आती है अपने पापा की, पापा के मित्र की , और ट्रैन के स्लीपर बोगी में चलने वाले सहयात्रियों की  जिनको मैंने ये बोलते सुना है।   

जिस समय में हम रह रहे है, ये समय काफी क्रन्तिकारी है।  बड़े शहरो कि बातें नहीं करूँगा।  अपने शहर कि बात करता हूँ। लड़कियोँ आगे बढ़ रही है।  पहले ट्यूशन पढ़ने के लिए भी जाती थी तो घर का कोई छोड़ने आता था।  आज मेरे साथ स्कूल में पढ़ने वाली लड़कियाँ  पुणे- बैंगलोर में नौकरी करती है। अच्छा परिवर्तन है ये। आज कल दसवी बारहवी के बच्चे बाइक  पर घूमते है।  क्या ये अच्छी मजबूत होती अर्थव्यवस्था का परिणाम है ? ये हमारी सोच बदल गयी है ? साइकिल लोग खरीदते है स्वास्थ  के नाम पर, और वो भी १०-२५ हज़ार की। ऐसा नहीं लगता कि साइकिल इसलिए ख़रीदा गया क्यूंकि साइकिल चलना कूल है? वर्ना ३००० में  भी साइकिल मिलती है।  बनावटीपन बढ़ गया है समाज में। मैं भी इसी भीड़ का हिस्सा हूँ, बुरा भी लगता है।

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

वो (भाग १ )

कहने को तो कई साल बीत गए. बात भी नहीं होती अब तो उस से ज्यादा। हाँ, कभी कभार बात होती है. कुछ ख़ास नहीं, बस दुआ-सलाम और हाल-चाल।  दिल की बातें जुबान से कहीं भी नहीं जाती और मैं क्या कोई भी कह नहीं पाता होगा। पर उम्मीद करता हूँ सब पता ही होगा उसे, जो नहीं कहा शायद वो भी।  समय भागा जा रहा है।  मुश्किल है इसके साथ चलना। पीछे पलट कर देखना तो भूल ही जाओ, बस किसी तरह बस हर वक़्त कोशिश करता हूँ  ज्यादा पीछे ना छूट जाऊं। सिनेमा - कहानियाँ कोई यूँ ही नहीं लिखता। अंदर एक कोने में दबे हुए किस्से होते है, जो वक़्त- बेवक़्त छोटी - छोटी चीज़ों से याद आ जाती है।  और मेरे साथ, शायद ये कुछ ज्यादा ही होता है।
कितने साल से मेरे बैग में उसकी कलम  है।  उसने माँगा भी था कभी, और मैंने वापस करने का वादा भी किया था।  कह नहीं सकता कि मैं भूल गया या भूलने का नाटक किया, पर नतीज़ा ये है कि  मेरे बैग में अभी भी उसकी कलम है।  नहीं देना चाहता वापस।
अधूरी कहानियाँ अच्छी नहीं लगती। बेचैन करती है, अंत जानना जरुरी होता है।  पर क्या अंत होता है किसी कहानी का।  नहीं होता है, बस कहानी का एक भाग ख़त्म होता है।  कहानी के एक भाग से दूसरे भाग में  ज्यादा परिवर्तन नहीं होना चाहिए। अगर होता है तो दुःख होता है जब तक कि आप परिवर्तनो को गले से ना लगा लो। 
ये आदत भी बुरी चीज़ है।  नींद में हाथ टटोलते हुए फ़ोन ढूँढना और खुद बा खुद फ़ोन लगाना।  समय लग गया ये सब छोड़ने में।  अब तो नींद टूट जाती है।  फ़ोन में कुछ फ़ोटो देख लेता हूँ और  झरोखों  से चाँद देखते हुए सोने कि कोशिश  करता हूँ।  चाँद उतना ही खूबसूरत है।  कभी-कभी तो लगता है कि चाँद चिढ़ाता रहता है मुझे।

नादान है चाँद। मैं मुस्कुरा देता हूँ उसकी नादानी पर।
अभी ऑफिस में हूँ।  चाय पीने कि तलब हो रही है।  दूसरे सभी काम कर रहे है। तेज हाथो से कीबोर्ड पर थप्पड  मारती आवाज़ें गूंज रही है।  अकेले जाना होगा चाय पीने। पहले कॉलेज में ये चाय पीने का कार्यक्रम १ घंटे से कम का नहीं होता था।  अपने हॉस्टल से उसके हॉस्टल से जाने में अजीबोगरीब बातें सोचता था और फिर हम दोनों उन बातों पर और कहानियाँ बना कर हँसते  थे।
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