Tuesday, April 29, 2014

3 quotes worth thinking about


A wise man changes his mind sometimes, but a fool, never. 

- Spanish proverb 


No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows 

- Robert Oppernheimer 


The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of the wise man is in his heart 

- Benjamin Franklin.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Know Modi before condemning him

Please do read and learn about next Prime Minister of India. It is your duty to know about him. 

Dr. Kumar Arun
Some of India's most eminent lawyers, journalists, senior security experts, and a handful of statesmen/ politicians, including former cabinet ministers will be packaging this information for mass consumption post the elections. Much of it is in fact already available in the public domain, albeit piecemeal.
Their unanimous assessment, derived from a vastly greater repository of information than any of us ever could have at our disposal, is that these elections are about trying to stop Narendra Modi (not necessarily the BJP) at any cost, but for fundamentally different reasons to those most of us may assume.
Below is the much diluted summary of those reasons:
There is a colossal criminal nexus in India, chaperoned (I use that word advisedly) by key figures within the country, which brings together;
  1. A multi-trillion dollar illegal mafia network (including food, water, power, natural resources, currency, stamp paper, animal slaughter etc). The 'black money' issue is one visible symptom of that.
  2. A giant industry of forced religious conversions.
  3. Communal politics of divide & rule (which continues similar pre-Independence policies used to subjugate Indians).
  4. A number of other subversive activities related to the territorial integrity of India, which is best left to Mr. Modi & co. to explain and handle post-elections.
Narendra Modi broke the legs of the first three of these sets of activity in Gujarat, which in turn is the lifeblood of the fourth and ultimate series of objectives. He also decimated the VHP/ Bajrang Dal/ Congress as well as the local BJP old guard's riot-and-hate politics in the state; this was a bedrock of both Congress and the pre-Modi BJP's electoral strategy in Gujarat, and Mr. Modi single-handedly orchestrated their annihilation. Within this brief explanation are the first set of reasons as to why Mr. Modi created so many enemies throughout the country, as well as within the Gujarat BJP.
Read: The Great Thorium Robbery
By 2002/3, when it became clear that Mr. Modi meant business, the vested interests who support such activity on a national scale, to put it succinctly, noticed him. To put these scams and activities into perspective, from the relentless, deceptive religious conversions throughout India, to the North East, where Naxals are flourishing and over 35 million illegal immigrants are being regularised as Indian voters partly through a key national biometric scheme, to the South East, where almost a trillion dollars of India's thorium resources (depending on exchange rates) have been stolen from under our sleeping noses, the activity that took place in pre-Modi Gujarat is still taking place throughout India, on a gigantic scale.
If Chief Minister Narendra Modi could put an end to this in Gujarat, a Prime Minister Narendra Modi could evidently do the same throughout India.
Read Philip Goldberg's article, 'Missionaries in India: Conversion or Coercion?'
When Modi broke the terror networks within Gujarat, banned religious conversions, wiped out the fake currency and stamp paper scams, banned illegal animal slaughter (but not the eating of meat or even beef as some suggest) and dealt hammer blows to the various other mafias, he became Enemy No. 1 to the centralised vested interests controlling these activities throughout the country.
Even the humblest student of history will tell you that when a challenger to established vested interests emerges who is both good enough, popular enough, and crucially, strong enough to take those interests on, no effort is spared to de-legitimise, malign or even neutralise such threats. History is replete with such examples; I need not remind you of the pre-public-acceptance demonisation of Lincoln, Gandhi and Mandela.
In a democracy, the control of information and manipulation of voter sentiment is key. Many highly intelligent, incorruptible and well informed stalwarts of public life - as well as from our intelligence community - have been crying themselves hoarse that the targeting of Modi is an orchestrated smear campaign; the biggest and most ruthlessly savage in Indian independent history.
Listen to Tavleen Singh's Summary of the Demonisation of Modi
Consider the flow of information centred on Mr. Modi, and the manner in which he is targeted (for pretty much everything); there is so much deceit, so much misinformation about Modi in the public realm that even the best of us fall for it. Smriti Irani, MJ Akbar, former Prime Minister Vajpayee and countless others all initially declared Mr. Modi guilty in their and our minds due to the very reasons that many of us (including many of my highly learned friends and seniors) still do today; the consumption of publicly available information.
Watch MJ Akbar Talk About The Failed Witch-Hunt Against Modi
I was reviled by and abhorred Mr. Modi too, with passion, and for years, because I genuinely believed that he had blood on his hands (as far as I am concerned, good roads and economic growth be damned if they come at the price of bigotry or bloodshed).
Books, news programmes, articles, so-called sting operations, supposedly credible reports, new media organisations, 'neutral' investigative blogs and websites, our democratic institutions, and a series of NGOs and human rights organisations have either been paid vast sums or been unwittingly sucked into the coordinated campaign that Minhaz Merchant refers to as 'Target Modi'.
Read Minhaz Merchant's TOI Blog, 'Target Modi'
Recall how Lincoln was demonised during his time, and why. Remember how even harmless heroes like Alan Turing had Britain's 'most respected' journalists and 'thought leaders' busily and unforgivably dehumanising him because of the narrative that those who wished to smear Turing led with; such 'truth seekers' didn't target Turing because they were evil; they did so because in spite of their intellect and education, they were still foolish and fallible enough as human beings to be sucked into the state's propaganda to denigrate that one man.
The story of our Jewish brothers and sisters throughout human history (other than, I am pleased to write, in India) provides another historical parallel; Jewish communities regularly faced the injustice of organised propaganda, and good people like us were always sucked into such wars of perception.
The history of India, Africa, and China and the narratives of our respective cultures provide yet another insight into the effortless power of organised propaganda. Any unbiased historian worthy of his role and responsibility will tell you that Indians were world leaders for the majority of recorded human history until a short arm's stretch of history ago; yet Mill's fabricated, racist and absurd counter-narrative persists to this day, and still shapes our views of history and our current reality. The same broad logic applies to African and Chinese history.
Where there are sinister and deeply entrenched interests to protect, history tells us that black can easily be converted to white, and white to black, with well-meaning consumers of information (i.e. voters) being effortlessly absorbed into the relentless churn of disinformation, without even knowing it.
If we put the above into perspective today, and recognise the truer realities of 21st Century India, the context of the desperate calumniation of Mr. Modi is clear; the almost amateurish (but worryingly for democracy, much believed) distortion, magnification, amplification and worldwide projection of even the most innocuous deed of Mr. Modi by news channels, academia, the internet, a new 'sting' or a new 'report' should raise at least a modicum of incertitude in those blessed with even the faintest powers of perception and critical thinking.
Modi's aggressive speech attacking Musharraf after a terror attack in Gujarat, for instance, has been portrayed as a hate speech (listen to the whole speech, understand his perspective, and decide for yourself if it really is anything close to one); a few words of Modi vowing a 'response' and 'the severest of consequences' after Godhra have been edited and made viral on YouTube/played endlessly on TV out of the context of a much longer speech where he repeatedly added 'UNDER THE RULE OF LAW';
Here is Narendra Modi's full and real speech that has been maliciously edited and propagated on TV & the internet for over a decade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CiuBBKJ30Q
Commentary from former Prime Minister Vajpayee castigating (rightly so, given perceptions of the time) Modi after the despicable 2002 riots has also been widely shared on YouTube; however the intelligent do-gooding genii who share such videos (close friends included) fail to realise that the last, crucial 6-7 seconds of that video have been edited out, where Vajpaayee states that he is sure that Modi is doing the right thing!
Here are those last few crucial seconds from Prime Minister Vajpayee:http://youtu.be/x5W3RCpOGbQ?t=1m8s
That's how deeply incisive, how focussed on the truth some of us have been in seeking to 'nail' Mr. Modi. There are countless other examples, from the denigration of hisrevolutionary work in Gujarat (from the realms of water and power, to school enrolment and village healthcare), to the way in which he talks that are incessantly taken out of context or repackaged deceptively. As usual, we simply lap it up.
Watch the Cleric Mehbub Ali Chishty, Who Has Joined the Post-Modi BJP, Talk About The Skull Cap 'Controversy' and Muslims Flourishing in Modi's Gujarat:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o0pct-CxT4
Another sign of our utter intellectual delinquency, rational feebleness and spiritual barrenness as arm-chair prosecutors is exemplified in another monumental lack of attention-to-detail; the very Western journalist who actually interviewed Mr. Modi herself challenged the mischievous misinterpretation of Mr. Modi's 'puppy dog' statement during that interaction.
Rather than even bother to find out her perspective, the vast majority of us chose to be 'outraged' by Mr. Modi, and comfort ourselves with such lazily reactive default responses that as a matter of course, assume the worst of him; it behoves us to remember that this is the same Mr. Modi who himself replied to the petty insult of essentially being called a 'dog' (a relatively mild insult by the standards of the past 12 years) by saying that he perceives that to be a compliment, given the loyalty and companionship of dogs.
Modi's 'puppy' remarks were 'misinterpreted', says reporter who interviewed him:
By 2006/7, when it became clear that Mr. Modi could become a national contender, the efforts to malign him/remove him were ratcheted up. They have obviously become shriller and more vicious with time, and are of course at their zenith, their most brutal at present.
The news of just two of the assassination attempts on Mr. Modi in the past few months indicates how desperate his enemies are to stop him. Dr. Swamy, a friend/confidant of former Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and PV Narasimha Rao knows what many don't, and has also faced assassination attempts because of the people he has dared to take on. Again, Dr. Swamy, Mr. Modi & co. will be able to explain in depth after the elections what I am cursorily highlighting here; in addition to being fearless, like few statesmen before them, they also refreshingly believe that the nation has a right to know what it needs to know.
In essence, this election is not what most people, including Mr. Modi's supporters, believe it to be; in addition to Mr. Modi wanting to revive and revitalise India, it is also about Mr. Modi vowing to put a handful of people in India on trial for high crimes against the nation, and them trying to save themselves by gunning (literally) for Mr. Modi at all and any cost. India, in the process, be damned.

That is the crux of the 2014 battle, and one should not be surprised if certain people flee the country as soon as the election outcome becomes obvious (those in tune with the laws of Satya (the truth) and karma would already know that outcome). So whilst Mr. Modi is fighting for us, we're busy hating him, and the nation's real enemies are busy deceiving us of our votes - and getting away scot-free.
If you view the 2014 elections in context, other events of the past few years also make more sense: the EVM fraud that Dr. Swamy has challenged in the courts; the alleged subversion of the CBI/CAG and even the EC in their heyday of Modi-targeting, the 20+ tutored witnesses who testified against Modi and were subsequently declared unreliable; the plainly obvious Modi-centricity of the AAP core's strangely desperate and one-sided 2014 election strategy; the relentless attacks on the Supreme Court after a number of verdicts went against certain interest groups in Delhi, and in favour of Modi; the desperate creation of, and vote-grab attempt from Andhra-Telangana; the blacking out of Lok Sabha TV during that vote; the bringing into disrepute of the office of The President of India in previous years; the scapegoating of decent Congress leaders such as Dr. Singh and Speaker of The House Meira Kumar, and so on and so forth.
Congress Propping AAP to Counter Narendra Modi ?

The fabricated depiction of Mr. Modi as an authoritarian Hindu fanatic, as well as the ill-informed trashing of any Hindu organisation, guru and the RSS should also be seen in this context. There are perverted religious leaders in every community, but only Hindu miscreants are targeted and made an example of. Why ? 95% of the RSS serves as a lifeblood of India, and flatters any government in the way in which it provides social security for ALL Indians of all faiths; Hindus, Muslims, Skihs, Christians – everyone. Two of India's greatest Prime Ministers, Mr. Rao and Mr. Vaypayee, and one of its most successful Chief Ministers, Mr. Modi, are all products of RSS training; in fact a casual glance at the success of Indian Prime Ministers since 1947 indicates that RSS training appears to be a far greater guarantor of (rapid) national progress, communal harmony and poverty alleviation than a Harvard or Oxbridge degree.
However, because a visible minority of murderous fascists happen to be affiliated to the same organisation, as well as because of a chequered past steeped in the tumult of 20th Century India, a vastly evolved RSS as a whole is still denigrated in 2014. That's akin to labelling all boy scouts groups or Christian social organisations and members fascist. There are other organisations in our country who do far more harm than even the RSS' fascist fringe groups, and little or no good for people at large, yet they are not even on society's radar.
The sole obsession with the RSS, and the reason that eccentric (to us) but essentially decent gurus are savaged so frequently is because their grass-roots members support Mr. Modi, or rather the most capable opponent of the country's deeply entrenched criminal interests. When the same RSS had buttressed Congress, that was of course not communal and entirely acceptable, but in supporting Modi, a genuinely secular man, it becomes an issue. Why ?
Our family links have nearly always been with the Congress, which still has a handful of fine people within it, and as a community (Sikhs), we have known people to have been harassed and some even killed by right wing fanatics - the point of explaining these two details is for you to understand that I do not ever view things from my personal or community/ perspective, but from what I believe is a fair and objective view of any issue that affects all of us, and more importantly, what I believe is the greater truth; I have no time for clannishness, especially if that may obscure an understanding of broader truths.
In a nutshell, it is wrong to judge an entire organisation because of ill-informed prejudices or even personal history. Objectivity is far more important, and 95% of the RSS cadre are not bad people. Those who are, the minority who are truly fascist are the ones we should strengthen Modi's hand in dealing with, as that is exactly what he has done in Gujarat as I will explain below.

As for Modi being a religious fascist himself; if you can't come to terms with the notion that Modi may actually be passionately secular, even Gandhian, and vehemently anti-fascist (it is of course far more comforting to simply hate him), please research his demolition of hundreds of illegal Hindu temples in Gujarat (they broke the law/encroached on roads), his organised renovation of Islamic shrines in Gujarat and their conversion into global tourist attractions, the reverse migration of Muslims back into Gujarat under his watch, the way he protected Advani's pro-Jinnah freedom of speech in Gujarat despite disagreeing with it personally, the way he has locked up VHP/ Bajrang Dal/ BJP/ Congress hate-mongers, and the no-nonsense manner in which he has banned communal speeches in Gujarat. In fact if real trouble makers and bigots ever wish to abuse each other, they choose a Congress state in which to do so (where they are rarely restrained). In Gujarat, they have no chance.
Mr. Modi has even stuck his nose into the more modest details of the lives of Muslim villagers where locals were even denied grass for their livestock under previous governments; Mr. Modi made sure it reached them under his. I say this advisedly; Mr. Modi is a very fair, sensitive and kind man, not the devil you think he is. If you respect our courts, he is certainly not a murderer, and if we actually study facts on the ground in Gujarat, there are endless affirmations of his profound and sincere secularism.
We hate him not because he is worthy of that hate, but because he has been smeared relentlessly and fashioned into an acceptable object of hate, because we have succumbed to that conditioning whether we have the humility to accept it or not, because we don't fully understand what he says half of the time, because we are not aware of the life he has lived for the last 12 years and how much of that life has been survival, absorbing abuses and fighting back, and because his naked aggression (against criminals) and his old world Indian mannerisms do not always sit well with us. Yes, he looks and sounds rather frightening at times (mainly at rallies) - but he's addressing /targeting his opponents or the injustices that he perceives, not us. Watch Mr. Modi speak at the 2013 India Today Conclave or in the April 2014 Aap Ki Adalat interview to understand him better as a person.
Mr. Modi's BENIGN assertion of cultural nationalism should also not confuse the understanding that he is inherently secular; it is entirely possible to be a proud Hindu, a nationalist (aka Mr. Vajpayee, Mr. Rao or better still, Mahatma Gandhi) but also sincerely secular (in the Indian definition) - the three are in fact mutually inclusive in the Indian context. And I should not need to explain this, but I am not a Hindu; nor are numerous respected individuals attempting to enlighten us with the truth about Mr. Modi, such as MJ Akbar, Minhaz Merchant, Lord Adam Patel, Barry Gardiner and the heads of churches and mosques in India, news of whose support for Modi we are seldom able to easily access.
Would Church Leaders Support Modi If He Were Not Secular ?http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140103/jsp/nation/story_17747123.jsp
I know some of us may find this difficult to stomach, but if we simply wish to hate somebody for the 2002 riots and for communalism in general, let us not fall for the oldest trick in the book by still channelling that ire at Modi; that is how the real culprits will get off the hook. Not just the ones who really did fashion the tragedy of 2002, but those who exist and subsist by subverting the destiny of India's minorities year after year, riot after riot, subsidy after subsidy, and bribe after bribe under the shamelessly deceitful garb of secular polity.
If one wishes to simplistically attribute blame for 2002, it is clear that it cannot be attributed to Mr. Modi, and that we should consider looking in the other direction, and take succour from the fact that this is the first time in Independent India that so many of the real criminals have actually been sentenced (why do some of us forget that important detail in our haste to nail only Mr. Modi ?).
One cannot repeat for the nth time how much this (at that time new and inexperienced) Chief Minister did to stop that violence; riots are huge, dispersed, diabolical events, and they cannot be controlled easily. In India, they have a pattern of being politically organised/facilitated – that means Modi, a new CM at that time, was sitting amongst numerous civil servants and even ministers who were from the criminal old guard, the pre-Modi system. He took two years to cleanse that system and weed them out (another reason he has so many disgruntled local enemies within the BJP).
In spite of the reality of that time, Mr. Modi still managed to bring c.90 per cent of the bloodshed to a halt within a week - quicker than the entire British government was able to bring the far less deadly London riots to a halt in 2012 - but lies persist that they raged on for months (skirmishes and localised incidences of violence continued, and the remaining 10% of deaths occurred over this consolidated period). This and many other lies were reconfirmed as so on 26th December last year, but as usual, the detail that mattered has been accorded scant regard in the public realm, most of all by those who have a moral obligation to know it.
When prominent Muslim figures speak out in favour of Mr. Modi's upliftment of all communities, especially Muslims, in Gujarat, there must be a logical explanation as to why they are so desperately shouted down. If one researches the comments of Lord Adam Patel, Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed from Kashmir, and Maulana Madani Ji to name just three, one sees a regular pattern; they praise Mr. Modi for his inclusive growth and polity, but are then attacked for speaking their minds and sometimes forced to retract their comments. The latest incidence of silencing/ rubbishing Mr. Modi's supporters took place a few days ago, with noted Tamil Christian novelist R N Joe D'Cruz being threatened and abused for speaking his mind. Why does this keep happening ?
Recall how Zafar Sareshwala had suddenly become a 'spineless crony' just because he passionately supports Mr. Modi (the fact that he was a victim of the riots and was planning to take Mr. Modi to the UN-affiliated International Court of Justice with the highly respected Lord Adam Patel of the UK before they both understood the reality of Gujarat under Mr. Modi suddenly becomes irrelevant; slap a court case on him to make him look like an evil crony and job done, another Modi supporter is discredited). I recently met Mr. Sareshwala whilst researching this subject, and I found it refreshing how he has the backbone to fight for the truth as he does; he takes his role as a voice of that truth of Gujarat very seriously. Ditto Asifa Khan, a former Congresswoman and Gujarati caught up in the 2002 riots, and many others, who know the reality about Modi's Gujarat.
When Madhu Kishwar, a credible and much respected activist and darling of civil society (until of course she reversed her initial anti-Modi position), tried to launch her new book in Delhi last month titled 'Modi, Muslims & Media', she was mysteriously denied access to numerous pre-booked venues for her book launch, even after receiving confirmed venue bookings. Her book catalogues interviews with countless Muslim Gujaratis over a 14-month process and allows them to explain their perspectives on life in Modi's Gujarat. Why is such positive news such a threat to some ?
Haren Pandya is readily quoted by those making the case against Mr. Modi as an example of his ill intent and complicity in the riots. But it is Pandya who was one of the real butchers of our brother and sisters in the riots, and it was Mr. Modi who took him on. How do these two facts reconcile themselves with each other? And what does it say about the many of us who must have, at some stage, 'shared' one of those 'see, Modi's guilty' masterpieces on our timelines which almost always quoted Pandya ?
Do we even know who Pandya really was ? This question is directed to my experienced journalist friends who have written about him, as well as the rest of us who have cited such articles. In fact most of us must have quoted him at some stage in the context of the hero that he was made to be (for the specific reason that he made accusations against Mr. Modi). That's how mindlessly, robotically uninterested in the truth some of us have actually been. Our demonisation of Mr. Modi is not, on so many levels, a quest for justice or truth, but an irrational decade-long hatred of a man which is worthy of the greatest shame and introspection.
I'm sure many of my peers still believe that slandering Modi is the socially conscious, right thing to do for we, the self-righteous arbiters of truth and dispensers of justice who know more than our courts, security experts and finest legal minds put together. The Pandya episode in isolation is enough to show us all how little our understanding of the reality of Gujarat 2002 and India 2014 actually is, how shockingly insincere our quest for answers may be, and how unfair we might have been to Mr. Modi.
Let's also quickly take a look at another murderer, Maya Kodnani - how many people know that she pleaded her innocence with Mr. Modi, after which he allowed her to continue in office whilst still on trial and in anticipation of a verdict (as someone who has been abused as a murderer for a decade, one could understand why Modi may have had some (misplaced) sympathy for her). However, once it was proven by the courts that Kodnani was guilty of atrocities, Mr. Modi asked for her sentence to be increased to the death penalty. Why aren't people interested in that important detail ? How many other leaders have the courage and propriety to accept they were wrong for years and then act upon that despite the fallout from one's own party and allies ?
Further, take the case of the Godhra massacre itself; this has been proven to have been a pre-planned massacre of innocent men, women and children, yet the anti-Modi brigade still mindlessly regurgitate an older (politically instructed) report which declared it to be an accident! The proof is out there, yet people still quote old, discredited reports; my highly educated, accomplished, successful friends in media and on Facebook are guilty of this. A three year old child, if presented with the basic, verified information on Godhra, wouldn't make the same mistake, yet some of the world's most accomplished journalists and authors have.
Mr. Modi is also supposed to have allowed the parading of the bodies to stoke tensions, butthose bodies were cremated before the riots even broke out (if such detail actually matters). Godhra was a planned event - the riots the despicable aftermath; Mr. Modi was caught up in these chain of events, did more than anyone ever has to stop those riots, and has ended that legacy of riot politics in Gujarat; yet he is the only one who carries the baggage of it. How does that even begin to make sense ?
The point here is that so many of us are constantly, mindlessly criminalising the wrong man. If we actually care for justice or truth, how many names do we even know of the real culprits who have been jailed other than Kodnani and a few others who we reactively associate with Mr. Modi ?
Even the much circulated investigative 'sting' into Mr. Modi's supposed role in the riots have been universally discredited on multiple counts; one of the bigoted, murderous thugs who boastfully claimed (to a hidden camera) that he had supposedly received Mr. Modi's 'blessings/instructions' to riot and kill had never even met or spoken to Mr. Modi. There is a good reason why no court of law has ever accepted such an abysmal quality of 'evidence' for almost a decade, but yet again, that doesn't seem to be important to many of us.
Even the denigration of the Gujarat model is a series of (very obvious) lies and distortions, and the allegations of crony capitalism nonsensical; Gujarat's land policies and fairness in dealing with farmers' interests has been lauded by the Supreme Court of India; the Tata case is of a soft loan (used throughout India and the world, but only Mr. Modi is targeted for it); the Adani land deal is standard PPP practice in most countries - it is how much of our national infrastructure (such as roads) are built, and is in line with the cheap land deals offered in the UK or the US to generate economic growth in underdeveloped areas (there are one pound/one dollar deals given there); the Reliance gas issue is a national one with an international pricing dimension, but of course only Mr. Modi is blamed; and the comparisons of figures denigrating the Gujarat story are unfair and distortionary (and sometimes very stupid).
Read Minhaz Merchant's article, 'Gujarat's development model: Separating fact from fiction':
Yet we lap it up, again and again! We are also probably very impressed with Silicon Valley, or gleaming new SEZs in the West – but when Modi emulates similar PPP models in Gujarat, he becomes corrupt. When he uses APCO for PR that he has every right to pursue (especially in the face of a colossal smear campaign), he becomes a dictator; by that logic, does that also mean that the Clinton Global Initiative, which has saved hundreds of millions of lives around the world, Mercedes Benz, universities and flood control agencies, all of which also hire APCO, are also evil dictators ? Is this the analysis and sense of objectivity that our education provides us ?
As a student, I had the honour of driving the then British Prime Minister John Major's brother, the late Terry Major Ball, back to a train station. I knew at that time and remember to this day how the Majors defined true 'class' - Mr. Major would never use a single penny of taxpayers' money for personal or family benefit. The much maligned Dr. Manmohan Singh is another such man of principle and integrity; and so is Mr. Narendra Modi.
As with Mr. Major's and Dr. Singh's families, Mr. Modi's family, the humblest of them all, still live the lives they traditionally did before Mr. Modi's ascent to and within office; Mr. Modi's mother still lives in a small, humble room with Mr. Modi not providing for his family beyond the means of his meagre salary. Contrast this to the monthly jaunts and joyrides Mr. Modi's opponents freely take at Indian taxpayer's expense without us even knowing about it.
Given the mind-boggling shamelessness of hypocrisy in this regard, the personal jibes directed at Mr. Modi, a scrupulously clean man, are the most tasteless and offensive of all.
The high crimes that I referred to at the beginning of this piece; the use and abuse of the votes of our Muslim brothers and sisters, the stripping of national assets, deliberate inflation-linked corruption in food, water and power, deliberate provision of poor roads and public goods, the dilution of our territorial integrity, the sickening reality of riot politics - these are the real issues that we are all blissfully ignoring in our trance-like obsession with just one man. And the one man who has defeated all of them in Gujarat and made a template for a revitalised India devoid of them, is the one we today view as our enemy, and love to hate.
If the above analysis appears too far-fetched, it is in fact barely scratching the surface. Please wait and observe events as they unfold after the elections for a fuller picture. For further clues, if one listens to Mr. Modi carefully during his rallies, his aggressive barbs are nearly always aimed at the same people in Delhi; he openly threatens to put them behind bars after the elections, to 'cleanse' them for their crimes, and vows to bring back India's black money to the country (estimated to be between $1.2 and 1.4 trillion).

That is the crux of the 2014 election battle.
Whether we appreciate this sentiment or not, Mr. Modi certainly believes that it is his purpose in life to rid India of these criminals and to do justice to the country. That is what those noisy, clumsy 'trolls' on the internet who support Mr. Modi understand and feel strongly about. They are the ones, however crass, frustrated and boorish they may sometimes be, who know what's happening. We, with our impeccable English and our international degrees are the real idiots whose ignorance is seldom questioned because we just 'sound' right (but in fact re-define daftness).
The reason that Mr. Modi has projected himself as a presidential figurehead is because he knows he needs to be bigger than his party, for now at least; Arun Shourie once touched upon a deeper truth about how cross-party cooperation has always maintained the status quo in India. In other words, the natural forces of opposition that should exist in any country don't actually exist where it really matters here. That is one of the reasons why Mr. Modi knows he has to be bigger than his party, and that is partly why he is dispensing with some of the old guard. Key members of that old guard have never truly challenged the crimes of the people Mr. Modi is gunning for, other than via the usual affectation of 'good cop, bad cop' public semantics; for that cross-party dynamic to change, both parties need to be reformed, and Mr. Modi knows that.
The internal party opposition to Mr. Modi's elevation to Prime Ministerial candidate last year should be partly seen in that context; there are still people within Mr. Modi's midst who are akin to those he had in his cabinet in Gujarat in 2002 (the dynamics of course are different, and complicated by personal egos and ambitions).
I laud the fact that Mr. Modi is very clear (far more than even Vajpayee Ji) about what he wants and is extremely determined to ensure outcomes that he desires; given the state of our nation and his party, he needs to be. Such strength, vested in just one person, is seldom healthy for democracy, but there are always times in history when such decisive unity of command actually needs to be entrenched for real democracy to re-assert itself.
However, Mr. Modi, if you understand his politics, is a stickler for the rule of law, a genuine democrat in any case – he may well assert himself as an individual in government/party matters, but the end result of his work in Gujarat has been a leaner, cleaner, more systemised democratic interface, and a more institutionalised grass-roots democracy. Steve Jobs may provide a decent analogy; he was similarly assertive within Apple, but the end result was a high quality of product that we ultimately had the choice to accept or reject.
Women, and our Muslim brothers and sisters in Gujarat, have been the greatest beneficiaries of Mr. Modi's imprint on his party and the state's systems. He has a credible track record of quashing the abuse of democracy by negating the foundations of riot and communal politics, streamlining interfaces between government and citizenry, and neutralising most of the corruption that bedevils the rest of us in India. If that requires an iron hand, which it does in his and India's context, that is not something to be afraid of (unless we had good reason to doubt Modi's intentions). Thankfully, because of the vibrancy of the 4th pillar of our democracy and the flourishing anti-Modi industry within it, Mr. Modi will be kept in check throughout in any case; he'll in fact have more checks and balances than any other Prime Minister in history.
Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it. 
Blaise Pascal

If one genuinely believes that Mr. Modi is guilty for 2002, one would of course respect that sentiment and be happy that good roads or economic growth are not placed above human life and love of mankind.
However, let's assume that all of these court, SIT and independent report/ commission verdicts/ findings are NOT all bunkum as some suggest; that Muslim clerics and Church leaders aware of Gujarat's true story are not all influenced by APCO; and that the stalwarts who have reversed their positions on Modi have not all sold their souls - how then does posting Facebook comments, sharing half baked articles, books and edited videos that supposedly 'nail' Modi as a murderer sit with one's conscience ?
What happens if he is innocent, and what does it say about us if we don't actually expend the same energy as we do to defame Modi to identify who the real butchers of 2002 are/were in the first place ?
And now what happens if you take that same level of analysis and depth of understanding to the ballot box, thinking that your vote for an anti-corruption party really is for them; or if you think your vote against a supposed bigot/murderer will be diverted to a truly secular force, or that your choice of a corrupt but at least a secular force will not actually go to the most anti-national and insidiously communal forces of the lot ?
Read this Review of Madhu Kishwar's new book 'Modi, Muslims & Media'; With Half Truths & Lies, Let Us Nail Modi http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/edit/with-half-truths-and-lies-let-us-nail-modi.html
Character assassination is easy to achieve these days; one only needs to sit on a chair, paste a link, call someone a murderer/ bigot/ 'insert other abuse here', then ask your friends to share. And there you are – you've been a socially conscious, good citizen. Job done. The gross injustice of information that you may have promoted and the incrimination of an individual who may be innocent does not even enter your consciousness.
Voting with the same paucity of rational analysis and love for the truth is far more dangerous for the nation, and for all of us, than the mere injustice of character assassination.
I consider it a personal duty to write in support of a good man who has been relentlessly and unfairly dehumanised and abused by all of us, and I do so with my heart and soul (and brain). Even more importantly, it behoves us to get to the bottom of what is actually happening in our country, and why Modi is so important for our collective future, and for the dignity, empowerment and strength of ALL of our people, most especially our used and abused minority and Muslim 'vote banks' (otherwise known as fellow human beings).
Falsehood exhausts itself; the truth ultimately prevails.
Guru Nanak Ji.

It is a matter of time before the truth catches up with all of us, that we all understand that our minorities have no greater ally than Narendra Modi, that he is not a murderer, and that most of us have been sucked into the greatest smear campaign in independent India's history.
As MJ Akbar Ji says, if we have erred in our judgement and judgements, we should have the humility to accept that, and correct the misinformation that we may have been unwittingly party to. That doesn't reduce one's professional credibility as a provider of information, it enhances it; most decent people would automatically do that.
But even more important than the vindication of just one much-abused man is to understand what is really at stake during these elections and understand why, even though you may not like him, Narendra Modi is so important to the future of this country.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

नववर्ष (चैत्र शुक्‍ल प्रतिपदा) पर विशेष


भारतीय नववर्ष (चैत्र शुक्‍ल प्रतिपदा) पर विशेष

सूई से कमल के पत्ते में छेद करने में जितना समय लगता है वह त्रुटि है। यह परिमाप 1 सेकेन्ड का 33750वां भाग है। इस प्रकार भारतीय कालगणना परमाणु के सूक्ष्मतम इकाई से प्रारम्भ होकर काल की महानतम इकाई महाकल्प तक पहँचती है।

by बालमुकुन्द पाण्डेय



भारतवर्ष वह पावन भूमि है जिसने संपूर्ण ब्रह्माण्ड को अपने ज्ञान से आलोकित किया है। इसने जो ज्ञान का निदर्षन प्रस्तुत किया है वह केवल भारतवर्ष में ही नहीं अपितु संपूर्ण विश्‍व के कल्याण का पोषक है। यहाँ संस्कृति का प्रत्येक पहलू प्रकृति व विज्ञान का ऐसा विलक्षण उदाहरण है जो कहीं और नहीं मिलता। नये वर्ष का आरम्भ अर्थात् भारतीय परम्परा के अनुसार 'वर्ष प्रतिपदा' भी एक ऐसा ही विलक्षण उदाहरण है।भारतीय कालगणना के अनुसार इस पृथ्वी के सम्पूर्ण इतिहास की कुंजी मन्वन्तर विज्ञान मे है। इस ग्रह के संपूर्ण इतिहास को 14 भागों अर्थात् मन्वन्तरों में बाँटा गया है। एक मन्वन्तर की आयु 30 करोड़ 67 लाख और 20 हजार वर्ष होती है। इस पृथ्वी का संपूर्ण इतिहास 4 अरब 32 करोड़ वर्ष का है। इसके 6 मन्वन्तर बीत चुके हैं। और सातवाँ वैवस्वत मन्वन्तर चल रहा है। हमारी वर्तमान नवीन सृष्टि 12 करोड़ 5 लाख 33 हजार 1 सौ 4 वर्ष की है। ऐसा युगों की भारतीय कालगणना बताती है। पृथ्वी पर जैव विकास का संपूर्ण काल 4,32,00,00,00 वर्ष है। इसमें बीते 1 अरब 97 करोड़ 29 लाख 49 हजार 1 सौ 11 वर्षों के दीर्घ काल में 6 मन्वन्तर प्रलय, 447 महायुगी खण्ड प्रलय तथा 1341 लघु युग प्रलय हो चुके हैं। पृथ्वी व सूर्य की आयु की अगर हम भारतीय कालगणना देखें तो पृथ्वी की शेष आयु 4 अरब 50 करोड़ 70 लाख 50 हजार 9 सौ वर्ष है तथा पृथ्वी की संपूर्ण आयु 8 अरब 64 करोड़ वर्ष है। सूर्य की शेष आयु 6 अरब 66 करोड़ 70 लाख 50 हजार 9 सौ वर्ष तथा सूर्य की संपूर्ण आयु 12 अरब 96 करोड़ वर्ष है।

विश्व की प्रचलित सभी कालगणनाओं मे भारतीय कालगणना प्राचीनतम है। इसका प्रारंभ पृथ्वी पर आज से प्राय: 198 करोड़ वर्ष पूर्व वर्तमान श्वेत वराह कल्प से होता है। अत: यह कालगणना पृथ्वी पर प्रथम मानवोत्पत्ति से लेकर आज तक के इतिहास को युगात्मक पद्वति से प्रस्तुत करती है। काल की इकाइयों की उत्तरोत्तर वृद्धि और विकास के लिए कालगणना के हिन्दू विषेषज्ञों ने अंतरिक्ष के ग्रहों की स्थिति को आधार मानकर पंचवर्षीय, 12वर्षीय और 60 वर्षीय युगों की प्रारम्भिक इकाइयों का निर्माण किया। भारतीय कालगणना का आरम्भ सूक्ष्मतम् इकाई त्रुटि से होता है। इसके परिमाप के बारे में कहा गया है कि सूई से कमल के पत्ते में छेद करने में जितना समय लगता है वह त्रुटि है। यह परिमाप 1 सेकेन्ड का 33750वां भाग है। इस प्रकार भारतीय कालगणना परमाणु के सूक्ष्मतम इकाई से प्रारम्भ होकर काल की महानतम इकाई महाकल्प तक पहँचती है।

पृथ्वी को प्रभावित करने वाले सातों ग्रह कल्प के प्रारम्भ में एक साथ एक ही अश्विन नक्षत्र में स्थित थे। और इसी नक्षत्र से भारतीय वर्ष प्रतिपदा का प्रारम्भ होता है। अर्थात् प्रत्येक चैत्र मास के शुक्ल पक्ष के प्रथमा को भारतीय नववर्ष प्रारम्भ होता है जो वैज्ञानिक दृष्टि के साथ-साथ सामाजिक व सांस्कृतिक संरचना को प्रस्तुत करता है। भारत में अन्य संवत्सरों का प्रचलन बाद के कालो में प्रारम्भ हुआ जिसमें अधिकांष वर्ष प्रतिपदा को ही प्रारम्भ होते हैं। इनमे विक्रम संवत् महत्वपूर्ण है। इसका आरम्भ कलिसंवत् 3044 से माना जाता है। जिसको इतिहास में सम्राट विक्रमादित्य के द्वारा शुरु किया गया मानते हैं। इसके विषय में अलबरुनी लिखता है कि "जो लोग विक्रमादित्य के संवत का उपयोग करते हैं वे भारत के दक्षिणी एवं पूर्वी भागो मे बसते हैं।"

इसके अतिरिक्त भगवान श्रीराम का जन्म भी चैत्र शुक्लपक्ष में तथा वरुण देवता (झूलेलाल) का जन्म भारतीय मान्यताओं के अनुसार वर्ष प्रतिपदा को माना जाता है। आर्य समाज के संस्थापक स्वामी दयानन्द सरस्वती के द्वारा आर्य समाज की स्थापना तथा राष्ट्रीय स्वयं सेवक संघ के संस्थापक प.पू.डॉ0 केशव राम बलिराम जी का जन्म 1889 में इसी पावन दिन (वर्ष प्रतिपदा) को हुआ था।

इतने वर्ष बीत जाने के बाद भी भारतीय नववर्ष उसी नवीनता के साथ देखा जाता है। नये अन्न किसानों के घर में आ जाते हैं, वृक्ष में नये पल्लव यहाँ तक कि पशु-पक्षी भी अपना स्वरुप नये प्रकार से परिवर्तित कर लेते हैं। होलिका दहन से बीते हुए वर्ष को विदा कहकर नवीन संकल्प के साथ वाणिज्य व विकास की योजनाएं प्रारम्भ हो जाती हैं। वास्तव में परम्परागत रुप से नववर्ष का प्रारम्भ चैत्र शुक्ल प्रतिपदा से ही प्रारम्भ होता है।

-बालमुकुन्द पाण्डेय
(लेखक अखिल भारतीय इतिहास संकलन योजना के राष्ट्रीय सह-संगठन मन्त्री हैं)