Friday, July 5, 2013

Three young lives,cut short by the flash floods-Can we help their poor families please?

It rained for most part of Saturday of 15thJune and those three kids were tired of walking their ponies uphill amidst heavy downpour. As they reached Ghendurpanee- the place of their night halt- they tied their ponies at the designated spots and decided to cook their meals. While one of them was given the task to knead the flour, other two took the responsibility of preparing the fire and cooking vegetables respectively. They were busy sharing their day experience with each other, cracking jokes every now and then; while anxiously waiting for cooking to get over- for hungry they were!

But destiny had something else in store for them and all of a sudden, water came gushing down the slope. Scared kids began to run helter-skelter, towards higher slopes of Garurchatti. As they were trying to save their own lives, their eyes were on their ponies. They could see water and rocks, which flash floods brought with it, hit their ponies to wash them of their feet. Ponies were all gone in a matter of minutes.

River was in a murderous mood but the desire to live kept them going. They were crying for their ponies but no help was forthcoming; everyone else was busy saving their own lives. Dark night, extreme cold and hunger were busy conspiring with each other; the sole aim was to defeat their innate desire to live. Horrified and poorly clothed, all three hid themselves in bushes; waiting for rains to subside. They knew that the night is going to be long and lonely and will test their zeal for life to the limit. It was raining very heavily and the shock of flash floods washing their ponies was still afresh in their minds. Gathering their courage, they waited for dawn to break. But, dawn-break wasn't what they thought it to be; for it brought with, more horror and devastation.

And, the zeal for life began giving way to helplessness; hunger and thirst was sapping them out of whatever was left inside their frail bodies. All three of them were walking together, trying to find their way out of their misery, pain and suffering. But the situation they were in, got better of their desire for life and they became unconscious; to die after few hours because of hypothermia, hunger & thirst. Three young lives were nipped in the bud, their dreams remained dreams and so did aspirations. Those three young lives belonged to Kuldeep, Sumit and Bipin. Kuldeep- youngest of the three-was just 13 while Sumit and Bipin were 15 years old. Kuldeep and Sumit had joined Bipin, only two days prior to that fateful night. Kuldeep’s mom wasn’t in favor of sending him, but her husband-Vasudev-prevailed upon her as he had work back home in village. But she agreed to send him on the condition that someone will accompany him. That’s how Sumit, Vasudev’s nephew decided to accompany Kuldeep; never to return again!

I spoke to father of all three of them while we were at Raelgaon, building a wire-bridge atop river Mandakini to connect that village and 10 other villages to Phata, in collaboration with Shri Shailesh Pandey of Kashi’s Sakaar Seva Samiti. Moved by the plight of villagers of Raelgaon, Shailesh had arranged for material to be delivered to Guptakashi and was actively involved in laying the bridge. You can hear Vasudev speak about his son here.

The idea behind sharing the tragic story of Kuldeep, Sumit and Bipin is to request folks to help their families. All three of them were from poor families- who have not only lost their young sons but also their income sources-ponies- in this tragedy. It would be great if some monetary assistance can be provided to their families. Anyone willing to contribute to this cause can write to me at I will provide them the numbers of their parents, for you to speak with them. Alternatively, I can get their account number and bank details and you can deposit money directly into their account.

Had our government been responsive and caring enough, there wouldn’t have been any need for this request; sadly they don’t care for loss of lives in this tragedy. Please do help families of Kuldeep, Sumit and Bipin. We know that they won’t come back but at least they can see from above that there are unknown people who are willing to stand behind their beloved families, in their hour of need.

Here are pictures of father of Kuldeep, Sumit and Vipin in that order!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Music Sees No Boundaries!

What better proof can you ask for but this song- "Kalinka"; a Russian song written in 1860 by the composer and folklorist Ivan Larionov and first performed in Saratov as part of a theatrical entertainment that he had composed. Soon it was added to the repertory of a folk choral group...After travelling from Serbia into neighbouring countries, the song has reached India courtesy Vishal Bhardwaj's Saat Khoon Maanf.....check it out-

The Indian version

Russian Version-

Russia dancing to its tune

Russian Folk Version-

Russian Army-

And now German version

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dantewada, Arundhati, State and 76 Men!

The latest incident in Dantewada have left me shell-shocked & numb......horrific is the sight of those grieving family members whose boys/husbands/brothers have lost their young lives to fight an enemy who people like Arundhati Roy calls "beautiful young boys and girl"....In her latest essay in the Outlook magazine, I don't know how many times she have used the word "beautiful" in the context of naxalites while justifying their acts/struggle in the name of rape/murder and attrocities....(used in general sense as she has not mentioned a single incident and have only quoted it to buttress her arguments).....Either her sense of meaning of the word "beautiful" is flawed or she writes only to further her commercial interests by playing to the galleries......In my opinion, it is both.

Writers, just because they have a fan following and a skill need to be objective in their writing.....I know she will not speak a word now when 76 men were butchered and murdered in broad day light, were kicked and beaten when they were already dead......(even enemy forces give respect to the fellow comrades, albeit from the other side as per Geneva convention) .....Everyone says naxals are misguided youth and our own boys and girls; but given what they have just done in Dantewada and the manner in which they did it; I have no doubt about naxals being worse than our so called enemy across the border........I still remember the hue & cry we have made, and genuinely so, when Captain Saurabh Kalia and his patrol party of 5 was butchered by Pakistani men at the start of Kargil war...........That one incident led to a full blown localised war....Here they have butchered 76 and ones who did it are our so called own men as per Arundhati Roys and Binayak Sens of the world....... Shouldn't this call for a war as well.....

If our forces are at disadvantageous position and the enemy is shooting to kill, shouldn't we use full might of the forces we have at our disposal....why should we hestitate in involving air power support to neautralise the enemy to help our ground forces fight an equal battle......If unarmed supporters of naxalites get killed in the process, so be it as an enemy supporter is nothing but an enemy.....This is war that has been thrust upon state/commoners by so called beautiful boys and girls of Arundhati and everything is justifiled in war.....I am sure everyone would agree that people who have been left grieving for 76 men were nothing but the supporters in one way or the other- some were partners for life, some were hope while some were future of/for slain men.....and now they will die every moment/day till rest of their life.....If naxalites didnt think of these grieving men/women and children, then why should state think of enemy supporters........"Four and not two eyes for an eye should be the resolve"

I am wondering where is Arundhati now, why cant she speak for the rights of the next of kith & kin of those 76 men.....why cant she write essays for her contacts in naxalite movement telling/explaining to them what have they done.......If she has a freedom of speech, it doesn't mean that she will use it selectively so.....either she should use it objectively or do a favor on majority who doesnt agree with what she says biasedly.

Last but not the least, how about Arundhati Roy visualising herself in place of Meena's wife or many other young wives who were left grieving by her so called "beautiful boys and girls".......she cannot feel their pain as she has lost her mental balance which is required for any objective assessment.....please stop writing and do us a favour.

I have to literally stop myself from using choicest of words for her as I can't fathom this dichotomy in one's behaviour- writing long essays about beautiful naxalites, speaking for their rights but then at the same time keeping mum about the action of her so called "beautiful girls and boys" who have mercilessly butchered 76 men ......As mentioned above, she needs to answer the grief of Meena's (and many other wive's, brother's,sister's, son's, daughter's); who are left to mourn for their boys/fathers/brother/husbands........and will have to do it for the rest of their lives.......what has she got to say about the tears that are rolling down the cheeks of many family members of slain men......aren't those greiving men/women beautiful by her standards.

Arundhati- your ability to use words in an eloquent manner doesn't give you an authority to say anything and get away with it.....

Mr Home minister- there are enough laws of this land under which she can be prosecuted and should be, rightfully so. Make no mistake, her article glorifying and justifying naxalites appeared in the media few weeks back only and can be used to justify her arrest on the same lines as same establishment arrested Simranjeet Singh Manns, Yaseen Maliks or Shabhir Shahs from the extremist fraternity......Arundhati is sailing in the same boat as the mentioned names and many more alike.

In the end, I have no words left to describe my pain/sympathy for those 76 men and their grieving family members.....I can only lay down my head in shame as it was no one but the state that they were defending who failed them....for doing nothing when those beautiful boys and girls were taking their beauty lessons in the jungles.......state kept mum for political compulsions and they had to pay the price with their lives.....I salute those 76 men and many others who have lost, are losing and will lose their lives in the war against naxalites-a war, that has been thrust upon the state against its wishes......they have started it at the time of their liking, result thereof will that be of our liking.....This war needs to be won for India at all costs and it has been started to rip apart the very fabric of India.....

Mr Home Minister and our forces will have to do Lord Krishna as Draupadi (The State) is calling for help from the modern day Dushasans (Arundhati and her beautiful boys and girls-naxals).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Time to revive this blog

...... or should I say, time to go back to my blog!

I need my own space to express my views.....I have been ignoring this blog for way too long; but not anymore....

I don't want to go into as to what prompted me to revive this blog; but good that finally I did it....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

When India & Bharat Won!

.......I felt motivated to write on this space again. Not that I had stopped writing; rather all this while I posted daily on my daughter's blog ........So what prompted me to write here again today?

It was nothing but the results of badly fought elections. I call it badly fought elections as bitter personal rivalry between politicians was at full display, non issues took centre stage while core issues were relegated to the background, money/caste/ religion/regional cards were shamelessly used.

But then like they say all that ends well is well; as in the end it was the Indian voter who had the last laugh. It showed its might and threw out all the opportunists and handed over a decisive mandate for stability.

Congress has all the reasons to feel good about the final result but Congressmen will do well for themselves by seeing this more as an opportunity rather than an outright win. This is a vote against the opportunistic politics of Left and other regional and marginal parties rather than for Congress or their policies. Having said that, credit must be given to the Congress for projecting a viable option to the voter who was feeling cheated by the Left and opportunistic parties.

Congress will now be confronted with a terrible mad-rush of sycophancy to project Rahul as the final saviour of India- an interpretation of the verdict meant to defeat the ultimate saviour-“Indian voter itself; who remains the undisputed king maker”. What Indian Voter doesn’t want to see is the repeat of what it saw during last 5 years of UPA rule. It needs no rocket science to understand his/her needs- access to uninterrupted power, good roads, water, education and dependable healthcare; basic requirements of human life. It is unfortunate that even after 62 years of Independence his demands remain same. Congress, basking in its present glory cannot shirk away from its failures of yesteryears after ruling India for 47 of those 62 years; make no mistake about it! It has to seize the opporunity and begin rebuilding India in the right earnest; in the way it requires to be done.

BJP, the principal opposition party will have to do a serious introspection on many counts. It needs to re-align its thinking to suit the mood of the voter and can no longer afford to do that. Politics of hate will not bring them votes and sooner they realise it, better would it be for them. They need to reign in those elements in the Sangh Parivaar who can easily be labelled as a Hindu version of the Islamist Taliban. Discipline, their biggest differentiator over Congress has already left them many years back. And, now they have a serious issue about leaders who can appeal an average Indian voter. In my various political conversations with colleagues and elsewhere, I came across a perception that BJP lack leaders who can govern this country. I am still clueless as to how a party that was the cynosure of all eyes over the quality of its second rung leadership few years back has this question staring directly in its face. A clear soul-searching will give them the right answer and it need not look anywhere else for that. Also, it needs to focus on expanding beyond its core vote base and for that they can take a leaf out of Mayawati’s strategy in last UP assembly elections. BJP will do a world of good for themselves by shedding the tag of “communal”.

It is high time that we debate on the issue of communalism and secularism. Raising issues of national importance must not be labelled as communalism citing religious sentiments. Till date, I have failed to understand as to how can Congress which massacred 3000 Sikhs in Delhi call itself more secular than BJP who did the same to Muslims in Gujarat or how does it make Left more secular after sharing dais with Madhani, a known Islamic fundamentalist and a blast accused; or for that matter, politicians like Mayawatis, Mulayams, Lalus or Paswans who talk about Muslims not out of their genuine concern for their betterment but for their votes. When would we learn to call a spade a spade? Why talking of majority is communalism and talking about minority secularism? How does Manmohan Singh’s call to forget Delhi anti Sikh riots acquires more legitimacy than Modi’s same call in the context of anti Muslim Gujarat riots? There are many questions that are left unanswered.

This is no time to look for answers to all those questions but to celebrate the victory of Indian voter; and this time both India and Bharat have won, a double victory!

Monday, March 2, 2009

World's Biggest Democracy Fair

World's much awaited biggest democracy fair opened for public today with the announcement of dates by the organisers- "The Election Commission of India". This fair will be up for display on a convention theatre spreading over 3,287,263 square kilometres. Although this theatre holds 1,100 million people; only 714 million of them will have a right to participate in the fair. The organisers have saved the best of this fair for a 5 separate day’s show- April 16, 23, 30, May 7 and May 13. A total of 543 prizes are up for grabs and the winners will be announced on May 16. Since, the fair organiser’s hold the exclusive territorial right to use the brand “ELECTIONS”; they have decided to name this fair as - “INDIAN ELECTIONS”. Part of Indian intelligentsia however feels that it would be better to call this a “Dance of a Democracy”.

Everyone; including murderers, rapists, dacoits, gangsters, people with twisted mindset or of foreign origins etc, is free to set up stalls in this fair either in partnership or even solo. It is widely expected that most of the stalls will be set up by 3 separate “Conglomerates”; each owned by Congress, BJP and The Left. A new age electoral politics Corporation, BSP is expected to be the 4th biggest player in the fray.....One thing that is common to all the 4 stall owners is their remarkable ability to divide the participants along religious, caste, colour, linguistic, regional lines........All 4 have done an extensive research on the divisive agenda and owns exclusive patents for it........they seldom allow anyone to use their patents.

Just to give you a quick example- Congress Conglomerate has an exclusive patent to the suffix “Gandhi” and the word “Good Governance” while BJP Conglomerate owns a patent for “Hinduism”. Left Conglomerate’s patent exists on the word “Pro-Poor” while BSP Corporation holds its patent on “Scheduled Castes”. In addition to these patents, certain “labels” too are in vogue- All 3, barring BJP have labeled themselves as “Secular” while BJP has a “Communal” label attached to it.

For next 75 days, every single person of those 714 million participants will count and will have a price for it.......people without jobs will be promised decent jobs; one who doesn’t have basic amenities will get a hope; downtrodden will hear as to how their future will be brighter than before; landless will receive a hope for land; education for all; on and so forth. In other words-hope, ambition, aspiration, expectation, desire, faith, religion, caste, language, region etc of every single person belonging to the 714 million block will be traded in the market......
Come 76th day and a completely different style of horse-trading will begin........Old Conglomerates will break and new ones will form, new Corporations will be incorporated. Suddenly, a consensus will emerge around one name and Government will be formed.....543 winners will again win. News channels, newspapers, power-brokers, psephologists etc will rake in the moolah all through the fair.....

Alas! People of India will again lose............However, one thing they will not lose is “HOPE”-the biggest dividend of a democracy.....In the end, Democracy will be the only real winner.....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Disclaimer

I want to add following as a postscript to my last two posts-

  1. I am not a US basher; rather I strongly feel that answer to most of the problems faced by mankind lies in a cocktail of capitalism and democracy; of which US is the giant lab....It's an altogether different matter that the question of the type of democracy and capitalism is still open and needs comprehensive answers.......
  2. Last but not the least, these two thoughts took shape during my conversation with Rakesh, my best friend.....