THEY WANT TO HAVE THE CAKE AND EAT IT TOO
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 | Sandhya Jain | in Edit (The Pioneer, New Delhi.
Leaders of Muslim and Christian communities must answer how and when they decided to accept caste discrimination within their fold, to the extent that they now wish to institutionalise it
In his magisterial commentary on the Constitution, DD Basu emphasised that the State cannot make reservations on communal lines as this infringes clauses (i) and (ii) of Article 16. Initially, the larger political minority (Muslims) accepted this as an inevitable legacy of Partition, while Christians preferred a low profile as the colonial power departed. In recent decades, however, both groups have been chafing at their "theoretical egalitarianism" being cited to deny them reservations as Scheduled Castes.
This is now the holy grail of their political desire. Given the huge controversy over Sonia Gandhi's food security Ordinance, and her known ambition for reservations for minorities (Sachar Committee, National Commission for Linguistic and Religious Minorities), there are concerted moves to push the Congress in this direction in order to secure the combined minority vote-bank as the next general election threatens to be highly contentious, with every political party hell-bent on increasing its vote and seat share.
The temptation to woo minorities will be high as the storm over Raj Babbar's 'Rs 12 buys a good meal' has inspired the Opposition to seek ways to deflate the destructive food security legislation. They should begin with their sums. If we take an average poor family of eight (couple + four children + parents) and accept Rs 12 per meal per person as the baseline, we need Rs 96/day for one meal and Rs 288 for three meals/day for one family (Rs 8,640/month on food alone). As even the Congress accepts this estimate as insulting, a realistic assessment is needed, a task best left to the next Government.
To return to the issue of politically driven reservations for minorities, a former Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities claims that Indian-style secularism appeases the majority at the expense of the country's two largest minorities —Muslims and Christians. He argues that at the time of its adoption, the Constitution neither declared any state religion nor proclaimed India a secular state. By pronouncing 'equality before law and equal protection of laws' as fundamental rights, it mandated the state not to discriminate citizens 'on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them' in respect of public places and employment or appointment under the state.
Ostensibly, this made the country 'secular'. But several specific provisions for certain groups, incorporated in the Constitution from its inception, or inserted later, benefited particular religious communities. Thus, Sikhs won the right to carry the kirpan, and the Governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu were asked to pay substantial annual annuities to dewasom temples. Moreover, Scheduled Caste reservations were specific to the Hindu community, though Sikhs managed to get included six years later, and Buddhists after four decades.
Both monotheist groups claim that they share the same castes as Hindus, and that their global character has not been able to protect Scheduled Caste converts from discrimination within the respective faith communities. They resent that when a Scheduled Caste Hindu, Buddhist or Sikh embraces Christianity or Islam, he loses his SC status and privileges, which are restored on return to the original faith. Muslim and Christian leaders now want reservations extended to Scheduled Caste converts in their respective religions.
This is political gimmickry at its worst. Muslim and Christian leaders know that to amend the Constitution to extend recognition to the existence of caste among them amounts to inserting a Hindu institution into two monotheistic religions that do not recognise caste, and in fact invite conversion to overcome caste disabilities in Hindu society.
Many issues arise from this. First, leaders of both communities must answer how and when they decided to accept caste discrimination within their fold, to the extent that they wish to institutionalise it. Why has the cash-inundated Church, which is the largest landowner and runs the largest number of educational, including professional, institutions in the country, been unable to uplift converts from marginal sections of society? Why does the Church resist demands from lower caste converts for financial scrutiny and accountability of funds received by the Church and affiliated institutions and NGOs run by it? Christian medical colleges recently fought to free themselves from the nationwide entrance examination. Given that they are making money hand over fist, there is simply no excuse for their inability to uplift the former scheduled castes.
Muslim organisations are similarly well-funded by their global co-religionists. Moreover, Islam has a movement, tablighi, which focuses on removing all traces of pre-Islamic traditions and culture amongst the devout. It is amazing that the tablighi movement has failed to address the issue of eradicating caste and racial distinctions among believers; this is obviously an urgent priority.
The flip side of the move to get caste-based reservations for monotheistic religions is that this would be a form of religious aggression on the part of the Indian state, as it amounts to legislating Hindu institutions and practices into their basic structure. It is true that both faiths are demanding this to improve their access to Government quotas via Scheduled Caste converts, but if the doors to Central legislation to reconstruct the very form of a religion are thus opened, it could have unintended consequences.
Christians may ponder if they are open to Government by law reserving promotions in Church hierarchy for members from the Scheduled Castes, who have long been clamouring for upward mobility. Can the Indian Government, like the People's Republic of China, decide the appointments of Bishops and Archbishops?
Similarly, Muslims may consider if the Government should henceforth legislate to undo the havoc wrought on poor Muslim women by Rajiv Gandhi's disgraceful Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986? After all, the move was opposed by several respected jurists from the community itself.
Islam and Christianity are both religions of the Book. If they want to amend their character in India for a political advantage or any other reason, then, as non-natal faiths, they must first amend their scriptures and insert the recognition of caste and caste-based discrimination into the Quran and the Bible. Only then can the Constitution extend caste-based recognition to underprivileged castes in their midst.
The alternative is to apologise to the former Scheduled Castes for the centuries of neglect, social abuse, and economic deprivation, and urge them to return to their natal faith. There cannot be any 'protective discrimination' for those who have cheated and betrayed the most vulnerable of their flock.
This is blog of Dr Jayanti Bhadesia about religious, patriotic, inspiring and human heart touching things to share with friends
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Fwd: Muslim and Christian leaders resent that when a Scheduled Caste Hindu, Buddhist or Sikh embraces Christianity or Islam, he loses his SC status and privileges, which are restored on return to the original faith. -Sandhya Jain
Fwd: [Uttishthata] Daily Bhaskar insults Hinduism- Agniveer’s Response [1 Attachment]
Daily Bhaskar insults Hinduism- Agniveer's Response
Thrashing Hinduism is no more a tool for appeasement in India. It has now ascended to the level of being prerequisite to become 'intellectual' and the part of 'civil society'. Being 'intellectual' means to swim upstream, to go against the popular narrative, to take position that is against the faith of common masses, to attack sentiments of people in the name of freedom of expression and openness. And this freedom is used very selectively by some media stalwarts. While questioning Hindu faith, existence of Ram, mockery of Hanuman- 'the monkey god', criticism of Ram for Sita's Agnipariksha, questions on Krishna for having affairs with gopis and thousands of wives etc (all false allegations, rebutted on agniveer.com way back) make you an 'intellectual' and a champion of freedom of expression, questioning miracles, prophets and their personal lives of Abrahamic religions (minorities in India) is highly communal and makes you fascist.
We recently came across a piece of work titled as- Ancient sex cultures in Mahabharat, Rig Vedas and religious scriptures published in Daily Bhaskar, kindly find it here http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/JM-ancient-sex-cultures-in-mahabharat-rig-vedas-and-religious-scriptures-4265737-PHO.html. Author seems too intellectual to give his name anywhere in the article. Post is full of innovations on sexual relations and can put even pornographic content to shame. For example, the author 'proves' from scriptures that, in ancient times, even mother and son used to do sex. People used to enjoy animal sex. Anyone could do sex with anyone anywhere, even in open when thousands others were watching.
Perverts were, are and will be there in society in all eras. We don't bother if one of them stands up one day and publishes stories of his experiences and fantasies in newspapers. But what bothers us is the attempt by a pervert to justify his own shameful acts by dragging in religion and holy texts of Hinduism.
This article seems to be a way to promote pornography and use denigration of noble Hindu culture as a ploy to increase hits, confuse devout Hindus, create hatred for Hindus in minds of non-Hindus and in process, further their own selfish goals. After all what is more welcoming to a media house than something that brings controversial popularity. Sex being considered the strongest drive among materially inclined humans, and religion being strongest influence on typical majority of Indians, there can be no better formula for publicity than linking the two. Anyway, here is the point wise response
Author: There was a stage in our history, when there were no social rules formed for sex between men and women. That was the time when no one would care about the relationship they share with other human beings before having sex with them. This is because there were no such relationships back then.
Having sex with any woman, having open sex anywhere anytime like animals, having sex with young girls and even sex with animals was a common thing with humans. Sex was wayward that time.
With the development of civilization, relationships, social practices and ethical standards developed. We can understand it in historical sociological context.
To know how sex was an integral part of our society, click on this slide show…
No one knows how the author jumped to these conclusions. These are just claims made by author. The author does not even state which era of history is he talking about. As we will see in next slides (with vulgar images put for obvious reasons), he is inclined to give sexual colors to anything Hindu irrespective of how far or near to present it is. As we will also see, these claims are based on most silly and unverified 'facts' known best to the authors.
There have always been criminals and perverts and even sex-maniacs like the current author in all eras of civilization. If someone reads author's post in Daily Bhaskar and looks at right hand side, there are links to pictures/news (screenshot attached) of semi nude prostitutes. So according to author, Daily Bhaskar is all about prostitutes and their whereabouts!
If someone reads about the recent ghastly Delhi Gangrape case and concludes that "Once upon a time, raping women and killing them was a common thing with humans. Rape was wayward that time. Rape was an integral part of our society.", what would you call that person. Either too dumb or too perverted! If there is a third option, let us know.
Author: In chapter 63 of Adiparva in Mahabharat, open sex between Rishi Parashar and Satyavati Matsyangandha has been described. Also, in the 104th chapter of Adiparva, it is mentioned that son of Utthat, Dirghtama started having sex with a woman in front of all the people.
1. Firstly, the context of Rishi Parashar issue has been misquoted. Author has lied blatantly because the verses clearly state that there was complete isolation, there was none around. On top of it, whether one endorses it or not is left to individual's analysis. Further, the conditions and situations of the story are unknown. Even more, whether the verses are fully authentic is also a question mark. Because the same Mahabharat says in Aadi Parva, Chapter 1, verses 81, 101 and 102 that the original Mahabharat consisted of only 8800 verses which was expanded to the one with 24000 verses first and later it became the book with more than 1,00,000 verses. It is common with all history books.
2. We don't know what made author bring stories of an almost unknown person and then prove that Mahabharat sanctions adultery, that too, in open. He could not give any Shloka in his support. Now see this! Here is the same Dirghtama, son of Utthat in the same chapter 104 in Adi Parva saying- it is not lawful for a woman to have connection with a man other than her husband. And she who may have such connection shall certainly be regarded as fallen…
Here, Dirghtama unequivocally states adultery as sin. Now even if he practiced it in the verses best known to author, it is his moral weakness and not a principle of Mahabharat! But these verses being contrary to what the author was searching (pornography) in highly titillated state were ignored completely by the author.
3. Author is hell bent in proving that in Mahabharat and ancient times, there were no rules for sex. Anyone could be with anyone anywhere for this purpose. Sex was wayward… Author could not give a single proof of what he claimed. But here are some examples that prove otherwise-
a. Man who is respected most in Mahabharat after Shri Krishna is Bhishma. Do you know why, Mr/Ms/… Author? Because he was a Brahmchari, a celibate, who was respected by Rishis and masses for his self control. His vow- Bhishma Pratigya- of being Brahmchari is considered as the greatest resolve in Mahabharat and even till today. This indicates that whatever the behaviour and conduct of common masses be, self control was always considered as the greatest virtue in ancient Hindu history.
b. Mr/Ms/… Author! Bhagwad Geeta is the most popular literature known to mankind on spirituality and self/mind control. "Be master of senses, not slave" remains the core essence of Geeta. And coincidently, Geeta is the part of Mahabharat- Bhishma Parva, same Mahabharat that, according to author, taught author's ancestors to do sex with anyone anywhere!
c. Mr/Ms/… Author says that there were no relations in the time of Mahabharat and anyone could …. anytime anywhere with anyone, even in front of everyone. But we all know the reality. Author does not know that Arjun went to a self imposed exile for few years during Vanvaas of Pandavas. Why? Because of the sin he committed. What sin? Sin of entering the room of Yudhishthir and Draupadi when they were discussing some matters alone! And since Arjun thought that he has violated privacy of the two, he went to exile of few years! Leave alone sex, standards of morality were so high in those times that Arjun considered it sin to even listen to the discussion of a couple. But the shameless Author found pornography in Mahabharat!
d. In Mahabharat, no relations would matter in those times, sex culture was all pervading, says the author. But reality was diametrically opposite. When the king of Matsya Desh gave marriage proposal of his daughter Uttara to Arjun, Arjun denied forcefully and said that how can he marry Uttara, his disciple whom he has always considered as his own daughter? Arjun, then, had Uttara married to his son Abhimanyu!
e. People used to…. anywhere with anyone, says the author. But he forgets why whole Mahabharat took place in first place! Foundations of Mahabharat war were laid down the day Duhshasan dragged Draupadi in the court and tried to do what author foolishly believes was a custom in those days. Had it been a custom in those days to…. with anyone, anywhere, there would be no Mahabharat in first place!
Author: In modern history, it is described that Maharaja Ranjit Singh used to have sex in a place where his elephant used to be tied for everyone to see him. In the times of Bajirav, a game 'Ghatkancuki' used to play in Pune.
Also, some chosen elite men and women were made to have sex for others entertainment. The men used to first pull the women's dresses and then have sex with them in public. The sexual game would continue until every man would have slept with every woman.
Agniveer: Hatred of author for Hindus-Sikhs is now exposed. He/she started with ancient history and Mahabharat and suddenly jumped to Maharaja Ranjit Singh whom most of Hindus and Sikhs love so much. And there is no authentic reference to this claim is given by author. And this time example is from Modern History. But author himself stated that"With the development of civilization, relationships, social practices and ethical standards developed. " Does it mean that these developments happened only in last 100 years?
It is clear that fake references from equally dubious sources are being used to impose sexual perversion of the author on the Hindu culture. Even if the author is able to prove that in history, some X, Y or Z persons used to do A,B or C, that no way proves that A, B or C was commonplace and endorsed by religious norms. In matters of Hinduism, the norm is Vedas. Unless something is proven there, it has no significance.
Author: In Karnataka, until independence, people used to organize group sex. Here, age was not a concern at all. It is believed that in ancient times, Tamilians too used to have sex in front of everyone. One can find in Vedas that people used to have open group sex in yagya bhoomi.
a. Who in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu? In USA, many people are in asylums. In Pakistan, many are throwing bombs. In Delhi, many rapes are happening. What does that imply? That mental diseases are common in USA? That all Pakistanis are terrorists as a rule? That most Delhites are rapists?
b. In last line, reference to Vedas are given. Kindly provide which verse in Vedas state so and what is the evidence that your translation is correct? On contrary we can provide innumerable examples from Vedas that extol that women should be respected as mother, self-control be followed, monogamy be way of family, and sex etc be private matters not to be done in public. Here are few Mantras from Vedas that expose author's lies
- In Atharva Veda 7.38.4, wife says that "You should only be mine. You should not even discuss about other women."
- Atharva Ved 3.30.2 and 14.2.64 appeal husband and wife to be devoted and faithful to each other.
- Rig Veda 10.105.8 compares existence of multiple partners with multiple worldly miseries.
- Rig Veda 10.101.11 states that a person with two partners is pressed from both sides and weeps like a horse that neighs when pressed from both sides by spokes while driving a chariot.
- Rig Veda 10.101.11 state that two partners make life aimless.
- Atharva Veda 3.18.2 prays that may a woman never face threat of another co-wife.
Author is suggested to stop searching for porn in religious texts. He may do it better elsewhere. And yes, if he/she/… wants to know real meanings and importance of Vedas, Agniveer is ready to offer authentic translations which can be ordered from our Vedic store- Agnikart!
Author: Kautbik sex (incest) is mentioned in ancient texts. It is mentioned 'Harivansh' that the daughter of sage Vasishta, Shatrupa believed him to be her husband and therefore used to have sex with him. In the same grantha it is mentioned that Daksha gave her daughter to his father, Brahmadev and Narada was born.
As mentioned in Haribhavishya, Indra dev had sex with his great grandson's (Janmejay) wife Vapushtma.
What is Harivansh? Which chapter and page of which book? What is Haribhavishya? The author does not even know names of books he is quoting. No such books exist in Hindu library.
Author: In Mahabharat's Adiparva, it is said that if an unmarried woman expresses her desire to have sex, it should be fulfilled. If her wish is not fulfilled, it means death of religion. Ulupi clearly says to Arjuna that to satisfy a woman, it not against religion to sleep with her for one night.
Who is saying to whom in Mahabharat? Is it Lord Krishna saying in Geeta? Or Rishi Ved Vyas talking to author? Mahabharat even has characters like Duryodhan who said that women were his slaves. Does it mean that Mahabharat considers women as slaves? Just think of it. Author is referring to Ulupi. Was Ulupi a sage to be able to state what is right and wrong? On contrary, author is referring to a woman who is mad in love and hence has her senses blurred to decide what is right or wrong.
If Dharma-Adharma were so clearly understood in Mahabharat era, how would one explain role of Lord Krishna. Millions regard him as an incarnation to protect and establish Dharma. If everyone was so Dharmic, why would Krishna have been an incarnation.
Further, if free sex was so commonplace even in that era, why Arjun refused her wish? Why would Ulupi had to justify her stand? She would have done what she wanted to do without even mentioning a word and forgetting it later. Further, it should also be known that Ulupi belonged to current Mexico region and not Bharatvarsha. Different societies have different cultural norms over different periods of time. History books would only tell you about people. For principles, one needs knowledge books like Vedas.
Author: When Urvashi told Arjuna that if the Paurva Vansh'a any son or grandson wants to have sex with any woman of her family including her, it is not insulting religion. However, Arjuna did not accept it and Urvashi called him impotent.
It is also mentioned in religious scriptures that sage Agastya had kept his daughter with the King of Vidarbha and when she reached age of marriage, he married his own daughter.
Agniveer: Again is Urvashi a sage? She was supposed to be a dancing girl. And this story proves exactly opposite to what author's pervert mind wants to infer. Arjun refused Urvashi's wish! This example is quoted in Mahabharat to showcase what ideal religion is – to consider women as mother irrespective of her status and profession – the way Arjun did. Even when Urvashi insulted Arjuna, he did not deter from his stand.
Arjuna stood to his stand of respect for women. He had to face curse of Urvashi for this. But even then, he turned this curse into an opportunity. Thus, message is that under whatsoever pressure, one must respect women. And even if one has to face problems due to that, it will turn into opportunity.
Which religious scripture is second story from, is unknown. For Hindus, the only reliable texts are Vedas. Everything else is to be understood, interpreted and accepted in lines of Vedas. There is a mix of facts and allegories in Hindu texts. They are not to be taken literally. The language, era and society keep changing from time to time. But what is important is that they all point to noble tenets of Vedas as elucidated in texts like Gita and Ishopanishad.
Author: In the tenth mandal of Rig Veda, the sexual conversation between Yam and Yami is mentioned. Here, Yami expresses her desire to have sex with her own brother. When Yam refuses to do so, she insists and says that a sister remaining unsatisfied despite her brother being around, so what is her brother's use?
This clearly signifies the sexual relationship between brothers and sisters in ancient times.
a. Firstly, Yam Yami is a deep concept referring to certain fundamental principles of nature applicable in all situations. Basically they say that complementary entities emerging from same source must not complement each other and instead seek to spread in world. For example, if I have a shop selling orange juice at Rs 10 and my brother has a shop selling mango juice at Rs 10, we should not buy and sell from each other. In that case, each day we can keep drinking glasses of juice from each other and transfer only Rs 10!
This moral has been put in allegorical language in this sukta. The essence is that regardless of whatsoever pressure, one must respect and protect dignity of entities coming from same source without using them for personal gains. What this sukta signifies is that relationships between such entities (that also includes brother and sister) is strictly prohibited as per Vedas – oldest text and foundation of Hinduism. The beauty of Hinduism is that it does not impose blanket rules. Instead it provides logical intuitive reasons – the why – so that instead of being blind followers, each of us becomes an enlightened master. This is what this sukta aims. But perverts only see vulgarity is purest of things.
b. Even if this Sukta be considered as discussion of brother and sister, a BIG NO from brother concludes it all and establishes the rule that such relationships are not acceptable!
Author: About sexual relations, ancient historian Cipeve Lerhuno wrote that people used to occasionally have sex with their mothers, sisters and daughters.
a. Did this historian mention Hinduism ever? It is quite possible that he might have written about his own family or society and the author has superimposed his confessions on Hinduism for ulterior motives.
b. Who is this historian? We request everyone to google this name and see what comes!
c. Anyway, why should we care about him? How is his word a gospel for us? Maybe the author is trying to defend some sins he may have committed in a freudian manner. Nothing else explains such baseless reference less, vulgar allegations on Hinduism.
d. And now author writes- 'occasionally' which denies it to be a custom which is contrary to what he/she/… wrote in previous slides that anyone could do anything to anyone like animals, there were no relationships at all!
Author: Mahabharta mentiones in Adiparva that having sex with any women is not bad and is a normal behavior. Relationships are names given to know people.
Who said to whom and in what context? Just blanket claim. I may say that Author mentioned in 2010 that he was a psychopath and should be thrashed whenever he denigrates Hinduism. Should we take my statement as seriously as author wants us to take his vulgar allegations? Anyway, enough has been discussed on Mahabharat above.
Author: Duryodhan had made Karna the king of Angdesh. In this desh, woman and children were sold.
a. Any reference? And neither Duryodhan nor Karna was supposed to be a sage. In fact Duryodhan was considered the main villain of Mahabharat. If Ajmal Kasab wanted to kill Indians, that does not make all people in indian-subcontinent terrorists.
b. If this is true, then this would be another reason why Mahabharat happened. So say thanks to noble characters in Mahabharat for fighting against slavery instead of proving them and society guilty of same!
Author: Clearly, regulation of sexual relations came into our society sequentially with the development of civilization and culture. However, the primitive desire to have sex from time to time in humans is strengthened. That is why even today we hear about such sexual relations, which are illegal and immoral. Such relations are wrong to a civilized man, but it is also true that sex is a primitive instinct.
No denying the fact that sex is a primitive instinct. That is why Hindu Dharma aims to reform primitive savages into sensible humans who realize purpose of their actions and act responsibly to maximize bliss for entire world.
Questions for author
- Why were only Hinduism and Sikhism targeted in the name of history? What about other religions that have a far wider spread and a more thoroughly documented history in modern and middle era?
- Author hurled abuses on Hindu scriptures like Vedas and Mahabharat and role models like Arjun and Maharaja Ranjit Singh without a single reference. Why single out Hinduism and Sikhism for this affection? Why no analysis on other religions? Does it not amount to religious fundamentalism to target one single religion – the religion of majority – in a secular country and allow no space for other religions?
Do you think attacking Hinduism in India is nice job to do since Hinduism neither has apostates nor infidels nor blasphemy laws? Does all this not smell of bias and hatred against Hinduism?
Please note that we do not intend to target any religion. We respect all individuals and their freedom to choose and respect whatever faith they prefer for themselves.
After all, Hinduism, by its very nature, is a forgiving and tolerant faith open to harshest criticism.
But be brave not coward. Respect the culture that gives you freedom. Love it like Mother.
May the truth prevail!
PS: Hindu Janajagruti Samiti has decided to take up this issue. In fact they had apprised us of this article and had requested us to write our views. We thank them for this and request all to support them in this cause.
We also request all to take whatever legal or social action as required to be taken against Daily Bhaskar as per law of the land so that they apologize and publish our response.
Thanks and Regards
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Arise Awake! And stop not till the goal is reached.
- Swami Vivekananda
Bhag milkha Bhag (final)
' Bhag Milka Bhag' - Meaning of that backward gaze.
"Bhag Milkha, Bhag" – Value of a fraction of second .
1960 Rome Olympics. Stage is all set to witness 400 meters finals. All eyes are on the man who will start his race from the 6th track. He is the world record holder in 400 m category; ray of hope for India, to win a medal in the Track and Field events ever in the history of Olympics. Yes, he is none other than Milkha Singh - the man with golden spikes. Experts and media already declared Milkha as the winner. India toobelieved that Milkha will create history for India and our national anthem will echo in the Olympics arena. World record holder Milka Singh crouches at the starting line along with the best athletes of the world, his face set in utmost concentration, shoulders hunched as if the weight of anticipation of an entire nation was on his shoulders. The roar of the crowd reverberates and through it the muted ' bang' of the starting gun. Milka comes out of the crouch with an explosive burst of power. Each of his long stride end with his toes barely, reluctantly touching the ground. His arms are pumping, aiding the forward movement in perfect synchronization with his legs. It is halfway, and Milka , as expected, is in front of the pack.
Suddenly, over the roar of the crowd, Milka distinctly hears an exhortation like the sound of rolling thunder, - ' Bhag Milka Bhag' ( Run Milka Run) . And behind him, hehears the clatter sound of horse hoofs, clash of naked swords, loud feeble cries, roar of rage, right behind him. The sound is overwhelming advancing closing on him. Will Milka look back? Will he, a world class sprinter, commit the error which even a school level competitor would not do? But, Milka does, just for a moment, a millisecond, turn his head to gaze behind him. And the level of competition assures that that second is adequate for the others to bypass him and Milka is pushed to the fourth spot.
These are the starting scenes of the movie. The matter of the movie is the search for the meaning of this backward gaze - a search for the nuanced factors which came into play in the athlete's life and that of the nation.
Wonderful portrayal. The Director Rakesh Ohm Prakash Mehra extracted and recreated the Olympic competition of that time (1960) in all its grandeur. Lead actorof the film Fahran Akthar has transformed himself into a professional athlete. In his role he virtually becomes the Milka Singh, not only in his physique but also in his body language, attitude and spirit. As a viewer I could not take my eyes off the screen and was feeling goose bumps many times. The defeat at the Olympics makes demoralizesMilka. He refuses to take part in the bi-national athletic competition with Pakistan. This harsh step sends shockwaves in the athletic community and in order to persuade him to revise his decision, a delegation, led by his former coach, is sent to by the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. On the way to meet him, Milka coach reveals the reason behind Milka's withdrawal from the upcoming athletic event with Pakistan. The story starts from this point.
The next part of the movie shows Milka's childhood home pre-partition, in a village in Pakistani Punjab, a place of peace and harmony. Yet, the Village is the in the eye of a storm, the riots accompanying the partition of the country reaches it with inevitable ferocity. Options left with the non-muslims in the country was either to convert to Islam or die, if they hesistate to leave the country. Milka's father, the 'Mukhya' of the village, is shown exhorting his people to stand firm and defend themselves against the Islamist fanatics who are poised to attack the village. He rallies the villagers reminding them they have the blood of Guru Tej Bahadur and Guru Govingd Singh flowing through their veins, the great souls who offered themselves and their children in the name of the motherland and to protect the Dharma (Righteousness). The boy Milka watches his father, along with others of the village, take up his kripan and prepare to defendthem.
Though the villagers put up a gallant fight, the numerically stronger Islamists overwhelm the villagers and Milka looses everything that he had held dear. Milka sees his father, who has only one leg, being cut down from behind by sword wielding horsemen. Before going down, the father yells to Milka to save himself yelling ' Bhag Milka bhag' (Run Milka run). The child frozen with fear by the carnage is shocked into action, into survival mode, by the scream of his father.
The scenes of the carnage are thus burned into the memory of the 12 year old boy, with it the flames of torches, the burning eyes of the religious fanatics, the cries of the innocent. And that dying father's scream' Bhag Milka Bhag', carrying with it the pain of loss, horrors of that childhood trauma, becomes a mantra for young Milka's. The movie shows the 12 year boy, fuelled by the memories of pain, who saw the dead bodies of his parents in heap dumped in the fields, where he used to play and a burning desire for survival and the desire to redeem himself, growing into the Sikh who would fly without wings.
The movie has young Milka travelling from the blood drenched village to the refugee camp near the border. There he meets his sister to whom he is greatly attached. Here the director again shows honesty to history and effort to put the real picture in to action sequence. Along with the Indian army, Red Cross, RSS Swayamsevaks in theiruniform are shown running the refugee camp, serving food, providing medical facilitiesto the refugees. Being it's a picturisation of a real life incident; the director has portrayed the scenes with 100% true pictures. Recently a movie in Kerala had shown an RSS shakha and on being asked its relevance, the director said that the RSS shakha was a social reality in Kerala that no one could ignore that. It's a fact that RSS has now became a significant part of our society, that no one can ignore while screening a social canvas. Similarly, in the context of the service provided to the refugees during the partition time, the Sangh was a reality and it cannot be ignored. This movie is a reflection of that reality and the director has to be congratulated for this honesty and commitment to history.
The struggle for life takes Milka to narrow dark pathways - to petty crime. It is at this time that he meets his love interest ( Sonam kapoor ) who gradually weans him away from the dark side. It leads to another journey and to a military camp. Milka joins the army. The role of a tamilian trainer Usthaad in the military camp is carried with élan by actor Prakash Raj. His loud 'orders' and flamboyant manner are funny and evoke much mirth in the theatre. His repeated instruction that the soldiers should become an offering in the sacred fire is twisted into a song by the cadets –"Havan Karenge, Havan Karenge".This song has been cited as anti-Hindu by some over enthusiast. Yet, seen in the context of the movie and the manner in which it is presented, the allegation of a religious slight is seen to be misplaced. The song can be best described as 'mischievous'. Here again in the song sequence, actor Fahran generates an ambience of 'energetic youthfulness'. At the military camp, Milka participates in a marathon which he wins earning him milk and this signals the turn to his career as an athlete.
Milka goes through another instructor and finally is taken up by the national coach ( Yog Raj ) under whom he scales new heights of excellence. He becomes the world record holder, but is thwarted at the Olympics by the trauma of the partition violence. The underlying message of this defeat can be that the present failure of the India nation to reach new heights of excellence is rooted in the partition of the country.
He became the world record holder, and it was at that period he participated in Rome Olympics. But the memoirs of the hoary partition scattered his concentration and it forced him to look back for a while. Milkha and Bharat failed because of that. It is the message which this film intent to part with the viewers, the tragic story of partition still haunts us and it builds all hindrances on the path of our progress. It's like, India as a nation got crippled suddenly as a result of that communal segregation which was noteven in the wildest dreams of an Indian. The India – Pak partition thus doubled the impact, as the British left the administration of India in the hands of some people whocouldn't understand the very soul of this nation and hold the people together as one.As we could see, India took a very long journey to recover or to get back in the track from that shock and to continue in its path to success. We can analyze this fall back of India when we come across the growth and development happened in many other countries which started its journey along with us , after getting Independence or the start of reformation by their respected national leaders. Those countries while singing their victory saga, we are weeping because of this root cause called partition. We lost our identity as a nation and more or less handicapped.
Persuaded by his former associates and coaches, Milka goes to Delhi and, meets Nehru and explains to him why he won't be able to go to Pakistan for the athletic competition. It's a heart breaking scene and dialogue, which he explains his pain of losing his dear ones in that carnage named partition.
"Meim doud nahi paavoonga .
Mere payir nahi hilenge
Mere apnom ka khoon hai voh mitti meim
Meim saas nahi le paavoonga sir
vahaam ke hava me, mere apanom ka Aasoo hai sir
Vaham muchhe mere apnom ka
yaad aataa hai sir, meim doud nahi paavoonga sir"
Sir , I cannot run in that soil, in that land is the blood of my relatives. Sir, I cannot breath in that air, for in that land is the tears of my brothers and sisters, ,....If I go there, I will be overwhelmed by the haunting memories of my family, I cannot run there sir...
It's obvious that a 12 year boys memories won't fade much easily, whose father, mother and relatives were brutally killed in front of his eyes and thrown him over a heap of dead bodies of his dear ones just because they held their land and dharma for survival. That's why those last words of his father, "Bhag Milkha, Bhag" still echoing and piercing his ears. How can he forget his father who stood and fight till the last minute to save his family and son? Farhan Akhtar's emotional delivery of dialogues will bring tears in our eyes. The lines wrote by script writer Prasson Joshi is perfectlysynchronizing with the situation. Director Rakesh Mehra executed it very aptly. Salute for the entire team.
Yet Nehru persuades Milka to go and Milka succeeds in winning the event on Pak soil. Pakistani president General Ayub Khan presents Milka with the title – the flying sikh.
It can be said that director Rakesh Mehra has been very honest with this subject. The reason shown for the inability of the star athlete to qualify in Australia and the scene at the refugee camp which shows the cruelty of his brother –in-law testifies to this honesty. The message that discipline and perseverance can see people through is also given.
Cinematography done by Binod Pradhan is superb. His creative visuals and cutting edge imagery proved once again, that he will leave his mark in Indian Cinema. The historic finish by diving flat which the sports world still cherishing in their memory has been reenacted marvelously. Many scenes in the film is captured amazingly by Pradhan which will took the audience to a new level of visual feast. He has kept his creative talent in this film too like he did in Rakesh Mehra's previous film Rang Debasanti which was also a nice visual experience. Kudos to Binod Pradhan along with farhaan Akthar.
Fahran Akhthar's presentation shows his depth of professionalism and talent. Divya dutta who acts as Milka's sister gives a magnificent performance. In my opinion her effortless performance deserves a national award. The story , script and songs are by Prasoon Joshi. His contribution is exceptional since it has elevated the movie, which might have easily become a documentary, into an entertainer or rather an infotainer. Director Rakesh Om Praksh Mehra has done magic this time also in awakening the patriotic spirit in the minds of audience, which he did in film "Rang De Basanti" also in 2006. Ofcourse the credit goes to the entire team of "Bhag Milkha Bhag" which forced the people calling out "Vande mataram" and "Bharath Mata ki Jai" in the film houses. Speechless in the angle of great Craftsmanship. This movie, like the earlier ' Rang De Basanthi' has succeeded in re-kindling nationalism among its viewers That the theme of the life of an athlete could be used to generate this national pride is a tribute to the skill of Rakesh Omprakash Mehra.
(Sarve Bhanthu Sukhina: )
|| सर्वे भवंतु सुखिनः ||
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Sanskrit: Thailand shows the Way!
Excellence in Sanskrit: Thailand shows the Way!
Visiting the sprawling Campus of Sanskrit Studies Centre under Silpakorn University, Thailand was just awesome. It would not be exaggeration to state that this might be the largest Sanskrit Buildings in the world. What was surprising was its location not in India but inThailand. This Centre blessed by His Majesty the King of Thailand Rama IX Bhumibol Adulyadej whose Chaipattana Foundation provided royal charter for the land. Equally supportive has been Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, who has done her Masters in Sanskrit Epigraphy, who gladly accepted to be the Patron for the SSC.
A brief meeting with its Founder Director Dr. Chirapat Prapandvidya and the incumbent Director Dr. Samniang Leurmsai was pleasant and refreshing one to listen to their plans for promotion of Sanskrit related studies in Thailand. The towering five storeyed building is looking forward to equip with all the modern facilities for learning Sanskrit. It is expected that this Centre would get about 200 students under several programmes( with the Faculty of Archaeology)in the coming academic year. The Centre is thankful to Govt. of India who initiated its first commitment in 2003 when Dr Amarjiva Lochan as the SSC Programme Coordinator presented the case of financial support before the then Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee. Our Prime Minister happily approved of it. Later on, after pursuance of HRH Princess, the Govt. of India in Bangkok released the amount of 10 Million Baht( Rs. 20 Million) when Ms Latha Reddy was the Indian Ambassador to Thailand. The rest 78 Million Baht( Rs. 156 Million) was contributed by the Royal Thai Government, and the SSC is still looking forward to donations and support of 20 million Baht(Rs. 40 million) to give the final touch to its class rooms, constructing the Auditorium of 300 capacity, and developing its landscape around the Building.
The Sanskrit Studies Centre would be hosting the 16th World Sanskrit Conference in June-July 2015.
The SSC is not only an indicator to the popularity of studying subjected related to Sanskrit and Pali in Thailand but proves the dedication of local Thai scholars to keep the flame of Sanskrit alive. Hope we Indians take the cue from this craving for learning Sanskrit - the mother of all major languages of our Asian neighbors.
Monday, July 29, 2013
We Muslims have to change"
"We Muslims have to change," says Dr. Tawfik Hamid
I was born a Muslim and lived all my life as a follower of Islam.
After the barbaric terrorist attacks done by the hands of my fellow Muslims everywhere on the globe, and after the too many violent acts by Islamists in many parts of the world, I feel responsible as a Muslim and as a human being, to speak out and tell the truth to protect the world and Muslims as well from a coming catastrophe and war of civilizations.
I have to admit that our current Islamic teaching creates violence and hatred toward Non-Muslims. We Muslims are the ones who need to change. Until now we have accepted polygamy, the beating of women by men, and killing those who convert from Islam to other religions.
We have never had a clear and strong stand against the concept of slavery or wars, to spread our religion and to subjugate others to Islam and force them to pay a humiliating tax called Jizia. We ask others to respect our religion while all the time we curse non-Muslims loudly (in Arabic) in our Friday prayers in the mosques.
What message do we convey to our children when we call the Jews "Descendants of the pigs and monkeys" Is this a message of love and peace, or a message of hate?
I have been into churches and synagogues where they were praying for Muslims. While all the time we curse them, and teach our generations to call them infidels, and to hate them.
We immediately jump in a "knee jerk reflex" to defend Prophet Mohammad when someone accuses him of being a paedophile while, at the same time, we are proud with the story in our Islamic books, that he married a young girl seven years old (Aisha) when he was above 50 years old.
I am sad to say that many, if not most of us, rejoiced in happiness after September 11th and after many other terror attacks.
Muslims denounce these attacks to look good in front of the media, but we condone the Islamic terrorists and sympathise with their cause. Till now our "reputable" top religious authorities have never issued a Fatwa or religious statement to proclaim Bin Laden as an apostate, while an author, like Rushdie, was declared an apostate who should be killed according to Islamic Sharia law just for writing a book criticizing Islam.
Muslims demonstrated to get more religious rights as we did in France to stop the ban on the Hejab (head scarf), while we did not demonstrate with such passion and in such numbers against the terrorist murders.
It is our absolute silence against the terrorists that gives the energy to these terrorists to continue doing their evil acts. We Muslims need to stop blaming our problems on others or on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. As a matter of honesty, Israel is the only light of democracy, civilization, and human rights in the whole Middle East.
We kicked out the Jews with no compensation or mercy from most of the Arab countries to make them "Jews-Free countries" while Israel accepted more than a million Arabs to live there, have its nationality, and enjoy their rights as human beings. In Israel, women can not be beaten legally by men, and any person can change his/her belief system with no fear of being killed by the Islamic law of apostasy, while in our Islamic world people do not enjoy any of these rights. I agree that the "Palestinians" suffer, but they suffer because of their corrupt leaders and not because of Israel.
It is not common to see Arabs who live in Israel leaving to live in the Arab world. On the other hand, we used to see thousands of Palestinians going to work with happiness inIsrael, its 'enemy'. If Israel treats Arabs badly as some people claim, surely we would have seen the opposite happening.
We Muslims need to admit our problems and face them. Only then we can treat them and start a new era to live in harmony with human mankind. Our religious leaders have to show a clear and very strong stand against polygamy, paedophilia, slavery, killing those who convert from Islam to other religions, beating of women by men, and declaring wars on non-Muslims to spread Islam.
Then, and only then, do we have the right to ask others to respect our religion. The time has come to stop our hypocrisy and say it openly: "We Muslims have to change".
About the Author
Dr. Tawfik Hamid is an Islamic thinker and reformer who at one time was an Islamic Extremist from Egypt. He was a member of a terrorist Islamic organization Jamaa Islamiya with Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who later became the second in command of Al-Qaeda.
Dr. Hamid, who is also known as Tarek Abdelhamid, has a medical degree in Internal Medicine and a Master's Degree in Cognitive Psychology and Educational Techniques.
Currently Dr. Hamid is a Senior Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and President of the Global Movement Against Radical Islam. Dr. Hamid is also the author of Inside Jihad.
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