Over the few days that followed Wing Commander Abhinandan’s capture by the Pakistani army, I was added to a WhatsApp group by a friend who promised me that I would enjoy the kind of political discussions taking place on that platform. It turned out to be an echo chamber of ring-wing propaganda, where conspiracy theories and pseudo nationalist agendas found a home. Apparently, the Congress was responsible for the Pulwama attack and Rahul Gandhi had himself drafted the plan to kill those 40 chaps. Oh, and there was someone on the group who thought that the name ‘India’ was ‘sickular.’ The fact that the terms India and Hindu both have a common genesis and share etymology was lost on this erudite crowd. Continue reading
When a system fails the very people it is meant to govern, it becomes imperative that it be replaced by a structure which works and protects society. History is strewn with examples of uprisings, rebellions, and revolts – a direct consequence of the discontentment and displeasure of the populace over systematic administrative and social failures. The inability of a government or any system of administration to recognize and respect the fact that it exists simply to protect and serve its people, combined with methodical abuse of the exclusivity of power, will lead the masses to rebel and repel the established order. It is in this context, that I believe the Jan Lokpal movement has opened a new chapter in India’s history. I do not know if the Bill will become a reality or how effective it will prove against corruption, but this movement has issued a stern warning to the political clique, one that gently reminds them of the neglect and disdain with which those in the corridors of power in New Delhi have administered this nation.
The promenade at Worli was swarming with people in blue waving the Indian tricolor. There was chanting and jeering as bikes and cars passed the sea-front, slowing down to partake in the revelry and boisterous merry-making. The vuvuzelas could barely be heard over the shouts and whistles of policemen trying to control the traffic. As the queues outside wine-shops and popular eating joints grew larger by the minute, the sky was set ablaze with fireworks by enthusiastic fans. One could be forgiven for thinking it was Independence Day. Continue reading