British and Post-Independence governance in India…

Come to think of governance of post independent India and one thing is pretty evident, India is still being governed by “Divide and Rule” policy. Now I don’t really have to explain why I used “still” in the above statement, but still I will go ahead and explain the cause.

It is a well known fact that British entered in India via Bengal route and with a cause of running “East India Company”. And soon it became clear that they wanted to rule India but the then India was divided in so many small dynasties that little could have been achieved to stop the course of action. And the rest is history.

It is very interesting to know that British didn’t just come to India because they felt like it. They were prepared and studied. They studied about the “social built-up” of India and used it to their benefit. They suppressed those who had might to fight back and encouraged those who had no idea what this could lead to and would be loyal to them. British were very cunning in using Indian “class” based setup to capture India.

They knew “Marathas” from Maharashtra were already fighting the “Mughals” on the basis of ideologies and were quite successful in the same. So basically people from “Konkan” side and Maharashtrians were “threat” to them. Bengalis later joined the Maharashtrians to fight the British, but it’s a different subject altogether.

What British did was suppressed the brainy, rebelious people from entering their armed forces. They wanted loyal soldiers and hence they selected people were completely oblivious to what was happening in their surroundings. Thus using “Divide and rule” strategy British captured India.

Now coming back to post-independent India, what we see today isn’t different from what British did to us. Today too, Indian bureaucrats are using this “Divide and rule” strategy to rule India. Since some years it has been obvious that the government, though from behind the curtain, are straining Hindu and Muslim relations to create a divide and capitalize on it.

Is it any different from what British did?

The answer is NO and YES at the same time.

NO – because we see the same traits in governance that we saw in British governance.

YES – because British actually did something good while ruling India. They brought railway in India. They built dams and canals to spread the water in a better way. They built strong buildings and bridges that helped India in growing. Not just infrastructure but they even tried to bring developments in India. They eradicated some of the ancient and troubling laws/customs in India.

Do we see the same happening post independence? I know it is not that easy to bring about changes in the society and it’s a long, cumbersome process to bring them, but we don’t even see the government taking steps towards it. What we see is, they are taking step towards making bigger and bigger scams of lakhs of crores of rupees, to create even bigger divide in Indian caste system and religions, to exploit the people in various ways, no steps towards creating a better infrastructure and the list is never ending.

Some people, of course those who have seen British rule (and now even those who studied history) say that British rule was better (even if you say a bit better than current Indian rule). And we can see why they would make such a statement.

Disclaimer: These are my own views. Also I am not saying this post-independence governance is a complete crap. They have done some good work too, but the amount is very small is what I mean. And instead of moving towards stable and better India, we are going moving backwards again.

Advertisements

Lessons from Past…

Indian mythology is full of miracles, supernatural and marvelous phenomenon, which cannot be justified with the common knowledge of Science. But every tale (not almost but every) has something or the other to teach us. The teachings mostly being about moral and ethics, what is righteous and what is wrong. In short how to behave as a human being. Indian mythology is overwhelmingly full of such tales and incidents.

One of such incident is of Sant Jñāneshwar.

Sant in Marathi means saint. He was a 13thCentury (1275-1296) saint, poet, philosopher and much more. His

Sant Dnyaneshwar

contribution to Marathi literature and overall history of India is something inexplicable. He wrote a commentary and critic on Bhagvad Geeta, known as Bhavartha Deepika, at the tender age of 15. Today, that Bhavartha Deepika also known as Dnyaneshwari is considered a milestone in Literature World. He had one elder brother (Nivrutti – who was also his Guru/teacher) and 2 younger siblings (Sopan and Mukta).

Now he (Dnyaneshwar) being very pious, soft spoken, ever calm and composed, often did some or the other miracles like, asking a male buffalo to read out the Vedas loudly and cooking bread on his sister’s back etc. But the most talked about miracle is of he and his siblings sitting on a wall and making it fly.

The story may be true, may not be true. I, however, believe that the story is true. But keeping aside the practical part of it, we have a huge lesson to be learnt from this incidence. It often happens that we get into the fight of deciding whether it is correct or not and always keep aside what we need to learn from it.

Coming back to the story, there was another learned person and a saint himself named Changdeva Maharaj, who was a mystical yogi. He had control over the “Classical Elements” and used to perform supernatural acts with his this control.

It so happened, that Changdeva Maharaj came to know about Dnyaneshwar and his sibling’s prowess over Vedas and wanted to test them. So he sent a blank note/paper to Dnyaneshwar Maharaj. On receiving this blank paper, Dnyaneshwar Maharaj and his siblings started laughing at this gesture and wrote back a 65 verse quintessence on Vedas back to Changdeva Maharaj. Changdeva Maharaj, though being highly learned and so much powerful, couldn’t understand anything out of those 65 verses and decided to meet these children in person and show the greatness and power of his. So he rode a huge tiger and carried a venomous Cobra as a whip. Dnyaneshwar saw a big procession coming towards their village and spotted Changdeva Maharaj riding a tiger. These siblings then sat on a wall and made it fly towards Changdeva Maharaj.

Sant Dnyaneshwar humbles Changdev Maharaj

Changdeva Maharaj was stunned to see an inanimate wall being used as a vehicle. His false pride and ego was crashed in an instance and he suddenly alighted from the tiger, sat on his knees to salute Sant Dnyaneshwar. He then became one of the disciples of Sant Dnyaneshwar.

Lesson:

Just because you are older than others, doesn’t mean you are of higher stature. (Dnyaneshwar was just 12-13 years of age and Changdev Maharaj was more than 50 years when this incident took place.) As we know, capabilities bring more responsibilities. The more learned you are the less should be your ego and false pride. Rather, a learned person should never have an ego. Changdeva had so much power, but he had ego, and that was the worst part of it.

Ego kills the knowledge you have. Too much boasting on knowing something is very harmful. You are not the only one who knows things; there will always be someone else who knows more than you. If we have to take recent example, we can think of Sachin Tendulkar. Even after spending 23 years in the game of cricket, he is not complacent about his batting and playing prowess.

In short, a learned man should always be humble 🙂

Book Review – #1 — Hello Bastar

I have been thinking to write reviews on the books I read, but couldn’t do that previously because of some reasons. But from today onward, will write my take on the books I read. I will also include the books I have already read. Today I am writing my take on “Hello Bastar – The untold story of India’s Maoist movement” by Rahul Pandita.

————————————————————————————————————-

Photo courtesy: Google

I came across this book “Hello Bastar” on flipkart website. Read a little bit of synopsis on the book and decided to buy it. The book got delivered the very next day and I started to eat the pages.

The book is written in very lucid manner. The typography is simple and well spaced so as to cause no trouble while reading. But what caught my attention was the detailed study of the author regarding the subject. Right from the page one, Rahul Pandita speaks with authority on the subject. And why it won’t be? He has spent some years to live with the Naxalites and have done extensive research on the subject.

He has put forward the views of Naxalites and why the Naxal groups have started in first place. We get the inside view of Naxal camps and more importantly Naxal thought process. According to me, Naxals have ideologies just like our government does. But the action plan both have is different. Government goes too much on defensive side and Naxals the other way round. As Rahul has mentioned, Naxals have come into existence because of the void created by Government policies and its execution. Politicians have always wanted to fill their pockets and never cared about those suffering from it.

The book tells in details how government has tried to suppress the Naxal movement. Without understanding their ideologies and trying to touch bases, government sees them as threat to internal security. I too was having strong reactions against Naxals till I read this book. After reading their ordeals and hardships they have lived into, government and we people are only to blame for not understanding or listening to their side of story. Government has always proposed to listen to them and whenever those people came above ground to talk, they were captured or encountered.

But the story now can be a different one too. From where Rahul has started this book, Naxal movement was really for betterment of tribals. But internally we don’t know what’s cooking between higher authorities of Naxals and government.

The book includes afterword by Kobad Ghandy, a Naxal leader who was captured and is now in Tihar jail. I can understand his pain of losing his wife – Anuradha Ghandy. But the way he has started his afterword is something I couldn’t digest yet. He says in UP a girl was raped and murdered. This has happened in the region where Dalit are in power. This has happened because Dalit have no power to fight against upper caste. This is completely wrong. Kobad mentions inhumanity because of superiority of upper castes but fails to mention inhumanity because of political support. This inhumanity is not just against a Dalit girl/woman but this happens with girl/woman from any caste. He didn’t need to bring caste in this issue, even after considering that he and Anuradha worked for Dalit people. Inhumanity doesn’t have any religion or caste.

 But in all, the book is informative and insightful. It gives details about why Naxal Movement started actually and where it stands as of now.

Cycle Rickshaw and Destiny…

Courtesy: Google

The most common sight in Gurgaon or for that matter Delhi is a *Cycle Rikshaw*. Being from a part of India (Maharashtra) where cycle rickshaws are obsolete, we now call auto rikshaw as “rikshaw”, or simply rikshaw. So whenever I say rikshaw, an auto wala also doesn’t turn back and give a look. That’s pretty embarrassing let me tell you. 😛

So, cycle rikshaw henceforth referred as rikshaw only, is the most common mode of transport here, apart from a six-seater. Rikshaw comes in cheap also. Where an auto charges 50-70 Rs. a rikshaw charges your meager 25-30 Rs. So with such a difference in charges, anyone would want to go for rikshaw, and so the people here choose the same.

From the very young age, I don’t like cycle rikshaw. I somehow don’t like the idea of one person pulling another 1 or 2 people. It seems a little inhuman to me. But recently when I gave it a thought I came to some different conclusion. I mean I still don’t accept man pulling man as a fair deal but have softened my stand a bit.

The other day I was sitting in a rickshaw. And my mind started the same questionnaire again. Why this ordeal? Why a man pulls another man and we accept it? But from ancient times, we have seen bullock carts and horse carts. We have used bullocks, horses and donkeys for carrying human and other stuff. Seen from that point, a bullock is destined to be a puller. It’s his job. That’s why he is here. He is supposed to run in the field and do all the hard work. Similar is with horses. He is destined to run for long distances carrying one of more men/women on his back.

So, why that should be different for a man? This rickshaw pulling well might be his destiny. He earns his daily bread through this job. And he is not stealing anything. He is asking you for the money of his hard work. So seeing from an ethical and moral point of view, he is right on the track. So pulling another man/woman is his destiny. Once this fact is understood, the other things fall in place.

If we stop sitting in a cycle rickshaw citing the reason that this “man pulling” seems little inhuman, how is that person supposed to earn a bread for himself and his family? So why put your elephant foot on his occupation and in turn his stomach. I make it clear here once again, that I don’t feel comfortable sitting in cycle rickshaw and I always sit on my toes, almost always. But at the same time, feel it is also a job. And as long as the person is on right path, we should not obstruct his way unnecessarily.

So henceforth, I will make it a point that if at all I sit in a cycle rickshaw, I will pay him a bit extra. For his hard work and intentions to work hard.

16 July, IT happens in Kolkata. But what???

I just happened to come across a video being circulated on Twitter. Out of curiosity I clicked on the link. The video talked something about “16th July, IT happens in Kolkata“, “Be there in Kolkata“.

The video looks promising. Those of you who can attend whatever this is, please book your tickets, plan your travel and accommodation and participate in what seems like an awesome opportunity and event.

 

The video link is here —> 

Spiritual Path…

Submitted to 3WW

Image Source: Google

 

Disclaimer: This is a true story and sorry in advance for writing a bit long one. But I hope you find this interesting and helpful.

Swami Narayan (1781 - 1830)

Some days back I was in “Akshardham Temple” in Delhi. On a big screen they were showing life story of Swami Narayan (an eminent saint in India in early 1800). The incident was like Swami Narayan at the age of 11 was sitting under one tree. The village was well known for visit of a man eating Lion and everyone used to hide in their homes before it gets dark.

That day Swami Narayan was also asked to come inside home before the lion comes. Swami Narayan denied to hide in the house and stayed under the tree. Lion came after some time but instead of eating Swami he obeyed his orders and calmly sat just like a dog would listen to his master’s orders.

 

People asked them the other morning,

“Don’t you fear?”

“I left the fear when I left my home. Don’t be afraid of anything. If you fear, nothing will work according to your wish. Dare to leave the fear behind you. Dare to think positively at life and you will see difference.

 

This is the essence of Indian Philosophy and Spirituality. Indian scriptures have always advised to be bold and have positive approach towards life. Leave the feeling of fear aside and you will see wonders happening. We fear a lot of so many things. But never think of daring and doing.

 

Even though the practical implementation of making a lion follow your orders is not possible for us, because we are not so much pure for nature to listen to our orders, but practicing spiritual path of truth, righteousness, honesty and humanity is very much possible even today. Follow the simple laws of living and you will see lot of difference in your lives.

Happy 64th Independence Day to all Indians

मुझे शिकवा मेरे देश से नाही है,

वो तो देशवासियोन्से है.

उनकी जाती धर्म से नाही तो,

उनके बर्ताव और नासमझदारीसे है.

उनकी पैसोकी आमिरी से नाही,

तो उनकी दिल की गरिबीसे है.

उनकी जगह या मुल्क से नाही,

तो उनके देश के प्रती अनादर से है.

मुझे फक्र है स्वातंत्रसेनानियोन्पे,

जिन्होने देश के लिये जान कुर्बान की,

मुझे नाझ है उन जावानोंपे

जिन्होने भारत मा को जान नजर की.

मुझे आदर है हर उस इन्सान का,

जो राष्ट्रगीत और ध्वज का सम्मान करता है.

मुझे नाझ है हर उस व्यक्ती पे,

जो मेरे देश का नाम रोशन करता है.

मुझे प्यार है उस छोटे बच्चे से,

जो गरीब हो के भी इमान नाही बेचता.

लानत है हर उस इन्सान पे जो,

देश का नाम मिट्टी मी मिलाता है.

स्वतंत्रता दिन की सबको हार्दिक शुभ कामना.

प्रसाद भ. कुलकर्णी

१५ अगस्त २०१०.