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Monday, 21 April 2014

Mr. Giriraj, will Pakistan approve my citizenship ?

As somebody who has written many anti-modi articles, this piece doesn’t come as a surprise. When i read about Giriraj Singh’s opinion on people not supporting Modi, i was stunned. Surprisingly not by his statement but the fact that i was a Hindu. While i am not somebody who considers her religion her dignity, i was quite confused. Hours of thinking made me realize that Pakistan would possibly deny my entry. 

Considering my concern over my religion, i would like to ask for Mr.Giriraj’s help in seeking permission for my stay in Pakistan. I have always wanted to visit Pakistan for its cultural and geographical connection with India, his demand has now given me a chance to fulfil my wish.Now that i am mentally prepared for my tour, i wonder how my fellow beings must be taking it. A mascot of Hinduism, i would also expect Mr.Giriraj to have a word with Pakistan government and make sure that i am not forced to change my religion.

Now that i have established my wish and made my request, another question seems to have made way into my mind. Is the option available to Muslims only? I hope not because that would strip me from our right to choose.

When i told my friends about my decision, they were furious. Disappointed  by their reaction, i decided to write this article to finish the hullabaloo over my change of citizenship. While i have received many reactions over my decision to move, neither of the political parties cared to contact me. Though i expected a call from Mr.Modi, my heart yearned to hear the voice of Rahul Gandhi, sadly neither of that happened.

India-the five letter word has defined my existence since time immemorial. While i might be leaving my country in few days, i would always remember it as my birth place and not as a place of maniacs like Mr.Girija Raj who mistake freedom of speech to freedom of blabbering.
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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Evolution of the word idiot and its NOTA Connection

India has delivered many intellectuals in the veil of idiots. Politics is one area where the statement applies most accurately, the other being bureaucracy. For a country which warrants individual freedom and diversity, definition of the word idiot become even more important. 

While the fifth phase of 2014 general elections saw high voter turnout , there were few who found their dining halls more comforting than the voting booths. The word 'idiot', here concerns them.

In ancient Greece any person not found voting would be publicly marked and labelled an idiot. It might be a myth as claimed by many but it also describes the word idiot in the most liberal sense. Elections are the essence of democracy, any person denying his right to vote doesn’t just insult democracy but also undermines the importance of rights he possess as a result of it.

Considering the importance of vote and issues citizens have with voting, the Election commission came out with the "none of the other option", NOTA which gives them the right to register a negative opinion. While NOTA doesn’t give you the right to reject all the candidates it enables you to establish your dislike for them.

The connection between idiot and NOTA seems absurd but so does the existence of India which had been ticked off by Englishmen who considered Indians infants in terms of governance.Reflecting upon the nature of Indian political system and its impact , it is time we realise the importance of voting. It might not give us an alternative but it does provide us with a choice.  

Note : The writer isn't crazy
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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Gum ka fasana

PC :
dil-e-khwahish yeh thi ki unse guftagu kare 
kuch hum kahe kuch unki sune 
li karwat aisi vaqt ne ki sabh kho gaya 
yaadon ki bheed mein dil akela reh gaya
ab toh voh mausam bhi na raha
jisne hume unse milaya tha 
bachi toh bas kadwahat jo aaj bhi panapti hai 
jab yaad aate hai voh lamhe , voh jazbat 
jiski fariyaad kar yeh lab muskurate the 
ab aankhe nam ho jate hai 
khamosh raatein ab unki raah dekhte hai 
aise gae voh ki khawaab bhi soone lagte hai 

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Friday, 11 April 2014

Is it only about Modi vs Kejriwal for AAP ?

A party conscious of its pitfalls, Aam Aadmi Party's page 49 chapter finished long back. Rediscovering the importance of a reasonable spectator, 'the party of aam' has attempted to strike a chord with the least approached set of population-the middle class. 

Corresponding to celebrating the political revolution in India, Aam Aadmi Party has set a new standard for political celebrities. The party's journey from a need of the middle class to the demand of the elite is not just surprising but also riveting.

Aam Aadmi Party's decision to field a Bollywood actor against BJP President Rajnath Singh has raised many eyebrows. For a party which is as sweeping as its rivals, an experiment like this seems quite intriguing.

Not ruling out the question of 'comprehensive reasoning’, one can't help but wonder why AAP chose an inexperienced; non political face against a veteran. Not one of those to consider their oppositions only 'rivals', this decision of Aam Aadmi Party might downplay its role as the opposition.
The party was crafted to empower the common man, influence the moderate voices to nullify the odds of a democracy then why such a premature decision? At a time when the party is churning out to be a wave by beating various election statistical analyses, any decision of AAP can become a cause for its diminution.
Conceivable that sympathies may arise in particular set of population, Aam Aadmi Party has been on an experimenting spree since the beginning. Refusing to address the ambiguities emerging among the population, is the 2014 elections for AAP only about Modi vs Kejriwal ?

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Monday, 17 March 2014

When Benaras became VAR-NASI

The kaaba of Hind has fiddled with many secrets before, architected many arrivals but never did the city witness such attention over administration. Untouched by political sympathies, Varanasi, the city of idols has become the centre of scrutiny for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Rediscovering the cultural diversity of the city, Arvind Kejriwal agreed to contest from Varanasi, embarking the Modi V/s Kejriwal battle.

The antiquity of Varanasi is a witness of BJP’s bastion in the city. Known as the favorite city of Lord Shiva, the ‘shiv nagari’ plays more on religion than on progress. Taking into account the demographic audience of the city, victory of Naredra Modi seems intuitive. What appears to be a confrontment of past with the future is just an ephemera of the magic of democracy. And yet the hope of survival makes the battle more terrible.

Arvind Kejriwal

With BJP announcing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its candidate from Varanasi, there isn’t much for other parties to do. Annunciating his willingness to fight from Varanasi, Arvind Kejriwal said that he was ready for the “big challenge”. Unfazed by the challenges ahead, Aam Aadmi party leader Arvind Kejriwal will hold a rally in the city on 23rd March.

As Kejriwal and Modi immerse themselves in the battle of Benaras, chances of a third party taking away the crown is huge.  With Muslims constituting 16% of the population, dismissing Mukhtar  Ansari, a candidate of Quami Ekta Dal would be a great mistake. Known for his Robin Hood style, Ansari is extremely popular among Muslims of the city. Earlier Ansari’s wife was supposed to contest from Varanasi but on learning that Modi will be fighting from the city, Mukhtar Ansari stood in the race. Undermining a candidate with such political record would be an extensive mistake for BJP and AAP. 

Mocking its survival, Congress announced that it would give a good fight to Modi. At a time when the focus of the entire country is on Modi vs Kejriwal, Congress’s claim of giving a tough fight is ridiculing. While there are questions over Narendra Modi fleeing from his own state, fighting from a safe seat; it cannot be denied that the fate of BJP depends on this constituency.

It was Kanshi Ram’s lost battle in Allahabad that brought Bahujan Samaj party into light, chances of Varanasi doing the same for AAP is huge. While Benaras is a battle already won, it will get Aam Aadmi Party the required attention. As a party which has a huge base in metros, Varanasi would provide AAP with an opportunity to establish itself in inner cities and towns.

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Thursday, 6 March 2014

This means war

PC :

The time has come and the song has begun
people cheer while women fear 
it is war time , oh dear 
barrels are ready and so are swords 
the guns seem busy and so do guards 

eyes see no life as blood spill with little mercy
children wail but men , oh they don't fear 
come what may, they will march ahead 
as its time and dare can anybody stop them 

bows and arrows are a thing of past 
bullets and tanks buzz with command 
let the bravery veil upon
for there would be no peace 

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Sunday, 2 March 2014

Not a Nayak,he is a 'Baazigar'

"Themselves they are still infants as regards governing or statesman. And their so called leaders are the worst of the lot" 

Cricketer and tea planter by profession, this anonymous British man knew India too well. India has come a long way since its days of incongruity and divisions, yet it continues to a country deep rooted in historical blunders. As leaders turned into politicians, three major problems of governance fell into a single category, politics. 

"Choose your love, love your choice." As a country which doesn't have too many national parties to fall in love with, the arrival of Aam Aadmi party was a breath of fresh air. While they couldn't sustain for long, Arvind Kejrival's stint as a Chief Minister for 49 days of winter did manage to persue politicians to reflect upon their party expenditure. Kejriwal might have failed to do a Nayak but his broom lived up to his image by unraveling left over drugs in a rally in Haryana which was supposedly held by its Chief Minister, Bhupendra Singh Hooda. From giving ticket to Jarnail Singh, the man who hurled a shoe at Chidambaram to taking out jhadu yaatra, AAP is doing it all. 

With AAP’s decision to go national, the thrust of reaching beyond the urban population increases. While the party seems quite enthusiastic about the elections likely to begin from April second week, the silence of its leader Arvind Kejriwal has a lot to say. His refusal to speak on the appeal of his members to contest from Varanasi as there is a buzz that the BJP PM candidate will be fielded from the constituency arises a sense of curiosity among people awaiting to hear from their leader who believes in transparency. 

PC :

Anna Hazare’s decision of backing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee came as a surprise to people who had once supported Anna’s Jan Lokpal Movement. Taking into account Anna’s earlier statements on politics and politicians, chances of many of his supporters drifting to Arvind Kejriwal are huge. As they say “It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend,” Anna’s saga of ‘logo ka saath’ is almost over. At a time when everything was going according to an animated by destiny plan, General VK Singh’s decision to join BJP added a twist to the tale. Whether this move of the former supporter of Anna joining a party as corrupt as Congress would turn out to be blessing for AAP remains a question only time could answer. 

Unlike other parties who believe in LRC (Language, Religion and Caste) as the only trump card for winning elections, AAP’s objective is the 'mudda of Aam Aadmi'. By giving ticket to Dr Raja Muzaffar, the most prominent RTI activist and journalist in Jammu and Kashmir, AAP has reconciled for the apolitical statement given by Manish Sisodia on Kashmir.

While AAP might not be as controversial as Congress or BJP, they sure a subject of interest among the youth. With opinion polls predicting BJP to lead the 2014 elections, chances of AAP coming anywhere close to victory is marginal. Kejriwal might not be the ultimate Nayak but his will to sustain and take his party ahead makes him a real Baazigar and why not, “haar ke jeetne wale ko hi toh baazigar kehte hai.”

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Monday, 24 February 2014

The silence between us

The silence between us has silenced me 
dates that had once been special are now just days
the thought of coming closer tingles me
only to be reminded of the decision we made 
of not being together as it is love that brings pain 


time has passed and so have days 
but that one touch still influences me 
our story might not be as beautiful as harry and sally
nor as painful as romeo and Juliet
but its our story , our surreal love story 

100 days of summer might not have got over 
but the pain of being together yet apart is much greater 
i now hesitate to lie on your shoulders 
to hold your hand and wipe your tears 

how much do i wish to be with you again 
to disappoint the courage that holds me back 
painful it is but i wish to be that one unlucky star
who brightens your life and engulfs all the dark

PC  : 

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Saturday, 15 February 2014

It isn't about Modi v/s Islam anymore

“We can't be secular till there is politics because it is a religion that hates every other religion...” . Guided by beliefs and morality, India has become a nation where secularism is looked upon with apathy .With various political parties establishing their definition of secularism , the description of the word becomes even more pivotal. Politicians aren't hesitating in acquiring the kind of  charisma which only Gods dared to posses till today . As religion perpetrates into the well of election , Politics becomes more dirtier and dangerous. 

While the entire country is confounded in Modi oriented debates, one barely notices the parallelity between two major Islamic leaders , Asaduddin Owaisi and Mehmood Madani. While the former is the Presidnet of  All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) the latter is the general secretary of Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind, an organization existing since 1919. Known for their dubitable and outright annotation, they have made their interest in Modi quite clear. Critisizing the 'secular parties' for suffusing fear among Muslims about Modi for gaining votes , Madani's ideas about the BJP  prime ministerial candidate Modi seems quite clear . Asad on the other hand has never hidden his feelings for Modi . Often referring to him as 'Mozi', meaning verbatim,  he also signed the US Visa Rejection Policy Petition. 

Not very famous among the Muslim minority for his role in the Godhra riots , Narendra Modi has been experimenting with various propositions to woo them. Kalavati did for Modi what Hasiba Amin did to Rahul Gandhi, the latter's strategy gaining more ridicules than applauds. Modi's failure to serve Jassuben as an arrow for attacking Congress coerced the parent party BJP to subscribe for 'secular' strategies. From organizing conclaves for rich Muslim businessmen to distributing skull caps and burqas for attending Modi's rally , BJP has used all the sashtras signifying the secular nature of their candidate. With two major leaders of the Muslim community pitted aganinst each other , the accomplishment of BJP's agenda seems quite evident. 

Controlling the largest seminary in Asia , Deoband , Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind enjoys enormous political support among both minority and majority. With over 125 lakh active members , the organization has huge influence over people. While Madani has shunned reports of him endorsing Modi , his stating of facts on behalf of Modi hasn't gone down well with the majority of the Muslim population. Not one of those to be wooed by promises , Asad Owaisi is a man with his foot in his mouth . Popular among the Hyderabadi Muslims , Asad Owaisi has never hidden his dislike for Modi. Considering endorsement of Modi as a sign of betrayal of Allah , he went as far as calling Salman Khan 'harami' for flying kite with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.


It isn't just Owaisi , Zahid Ali Khan , editor of Siyasat and politburo member of Telugu Desam Party had earlier expressed his discontent towards the party president Chandrababu Naidu for shaking hands with Modi . While the whole nation is embroiled in 'who will become the PM' debate , the Muslim population is in a dilemma over who to follow . The underbelly of India politics has many such incidents to its credit , thanks to our politicians who have made religion a trump cart to woo voters . As the nation awaits BJP to come up with its ultimate 'sashtra' , seculars are going to have a hard time keeping their ideologies intact.

Image courtesy :

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Saturday, 8 February 2014

The street beyond art

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”  Art elicits images, emotions and memories in people. Tagged as visual, art takes different forms including edible and audible. While art is an expression, artist is the antecedent, an eye behind the viewer who doesn't let the art specify itself rather allows it to explore its beauty. An impetus for a bigger platform to showcase art gave birth to street art – an art defining the interests of the common man. 

A nation deeply entrenched in art and culture, Indian street art was mostly about illustration of religious figures. As an anonymous American scholar puts in “India has well established reputation for violating social scientific generalizations”, the modernization of street art in India unlike its being is not unnatural but surely arduous. The confounding thing about Indian men and women who talk about modernity is that they are rooted in their culture, forming one of the major reasons for the existence of street art in India. While street art has become more rebellious and implacable, questioning the fundamental basis of our country, it has lunged in many ways, bringing voices of the people to the streets. Entwined with contributing factors for social and economical issues, India saw many street artists coming up lately.

Sankho Chaudhry :  Profoundly inspired by  Ramkinkar Baij  , a sculpture artist himself whose art reflected the vibrancy of local life , Sankho Chaudhry  was a traditionalist and an alchemist . Born in Bihar, he didn’t follow any specific school of expression but followed his own style of abstract art altering materials into forms defining sentiments and emotions.   Graduating from Shantiniketan, he did his diploma in fine Arts from Kala Bhawan with distinction in sculpture. While assisting his inspiration Ramkinar Baij , he went to Nepal to execute War Memorial where he also studied Nepalese system of Metal casting .   

Some of his best work include a 5’ Bronze sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi for Copenhagen in 1986, a 5’ marble sculpture for UNICEF in New Delhi and a 4’.6” marble sculpture for habitat in Nairobi . His work for All India Radio, a sculpture name ‘Music’ is an inspiration for music lovers. For his excellent work in the field of art and culture, the President of India awarded him with the fourth highest civilian award, the Padma shri. Recognizing his work as meritorious, The centre of Escolar University, Philippines honored him with D.Litt. Visva Bharathi University honored him not just once but twice, presenting him with Aban Gangan award and Desikottama , an Honorary Doctorate . For all the stellar works he did in the field of art, he was honored with the Life time achievement award, Legend of India in 2004.

Nalini Malni : A leading Asian artist , she has been internationally acclaimed for her outstanding works . Influenced by her experiences as refugee of the partition of India, her art goes beyond the boundaries of stereotypical emotions and conventional narrative. Her works are initiated towards international collaboration, new media and expansion of art as an open space. Her focus on women by highlighting their roles in the Indian society from their emotional and sexual point of view alienates her from other artists. Combining light with shadow in her installations, her interaction with colours intertwines all layers. First woman to receive the ‘Arts and Culture Fukuoka Prize’ she put together the first exhibition of Indian female artists in Delhi in 1985. A writer at heart, she illustrated short stories for newspapers in the later 1920’s and also wrote two books –‘In Search Of Vanished Blood’ and ‘Listening to the shades.’ One of the few artists to have films made on her, she has a lot of exhibitions to her credit. Her interests also include Ephemeral wall drawing, installation, shadow play and multi projection works

Jas Charanjiva:  Having developed an affinity towards art at an early age, Jas Charanjiva, born in UK spent her entire life abroad before settling in India. Considering art as “a creative form of amplified communication”, she believes that graffiti artists can be found only on streets. A lady of her own virtues and principles she believes in authenticity and considers replicating art incorrect .Inspired by David Bowie, every blank space becomes a source of new art for this young artist. Walking around in Mumbai, one can see her quirky characters scattered on the walls, her murals dominating locations like Bandra CafĂ© and The Bagal Shop. She owns a company called ‘Life On Mars’ and is looking forward to ‘Kulture Shop’ , a merchandising store that promulgates art by some of India’s best graphic artists . As an artist having certain perspective on art , she has a lot of works to her credit , including Graffiti Stencil Workshop, Hyderabad, The Rolling Stones A Bigger Band Tour , New York , Mumbai Wall to Wall Love , The Art Conspiracy and Underground Art Festival , Bandra . A self thought street artist, she believes that street art has a long way to go.

Roy Sanjib: Roy Sanjib , popularly known as Yantra (machines) is a budding street artist . Inspired by Hindu imagery, his work revolves around a sense of freedom. ‘Free artist’ as he calls himself, he admits that art cannot be restricted. Breaking the limitation of two dimensions in his painting, he loves dabbling with colours, creating a three dimensional effect. While his shelf isn’t filled with major awards , he has many solo exhibitions to his credit , few of them include Academy of Fine Arts , Kolkata , Gallery Zen , Bangalore and Two man show at Artists Centre , Mumbai . 

Somnath Hore: Born in 1921 in Chittagong, Somnath Hore lost his father at a very early age.  Influenced by socialist ideas in the early phases of his artistic career, his sketches, sculptures and prints are mostly based on unbending subjects of human affliction and emotions. ‘Mother with child’ is one of his most colossal sculptures, orbiting around the subject of American war in Vietnam.  Most of his works were a reaction to major historical crisis and events in 20th century Bengal (Bengal Famine 1943 and the Tebhanga movement).  Recognizing his love for art, The Lalit Kala Academy honored him with National Award (Graphics) for ‘Dream’ and ‘Birth of a white rose’. He was also honored with LN Gupta Memorial Award.  He died in 2006, leaving behind a tale of beautiful sculpture making and art.

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” While Thomas Merton defined art on the lines of time, street artists believe that defining art would restrict them to the four letters, disabling them to expand beyond their capabilities. Taking into account the ardor of modern street artists, unbound by any religious or political boundaries, Indian street art has a long way to go.

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