India

Islam, Where are your Role Models?


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Every now and then, a terror attack is reported, and newspapers flash names of organizations like Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko-Haram, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-dawaa and many more. After every Peshawar, Mumbai, 9/11, Charlie Hebdo etc., wherever and whenever Islam is discussed, I see only stories of despair and pessimism. Thanks to “Messiahs of Terrorism” like Laden, Kasab, Hafiz Saeed, Dawood etc. who are discussed with disgust every nook and corner of the world. Meanwhile, every philosophy which has villains must have heroes too. But here’s my question to every Muslim, where are your role models?

Muslims, followers of Islam as faith are going through internal conflicts and social turbulence. Amongst wide-spread fear and hatred, through killing humanity and dissent, these terrorists are defaming the religion by calling themselves Muslims (also architect of Sufism philosophy). An average Muslim ends up proving and convincing others, its loyalty to the country and commitment to non-violence! One commits a heinous crime and millions face the brunt by being tagged as terrorists too! But if an average Muslim kid wants to follow the paths of any living role model in your faith, who are they? I am sure Ladens of the world aren’t. Where are those heroes, who can inspire millions to be like them? Where are your living legends, whose action ignites optimism and hope? Where are your Mahatma Gandhis, Martin Luther Kings, Lincolns and Mandelas? Where are your Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sachins and Federers? If there are any, this is the time for them to be counted! If they aren’t any, it’s time to build one and many!

I believe that behind this dearth of modern Muslim heroes, is lack of education. More the education seeps into the each and every member of this faith, more and more success stories would emerge. On a global platform, I can see Malala in the making of a role model for Muslim young women! Another reason I believe, is minimal participation of Muslim Scholars in public and political space. It’s time for the educated Muslims to jump into the political foray and create name and fame. It’s time for them to step up and be the torch-bearers of Muslim faith. So that no more Hate-ranter Owasis, Fatwa-generators Imams and terrorist organizations of the world can claim to be your leaders.

Indian sub-continent is still lucky to have local role-models in the past and present, though very few! We had greats across the era like Maulana Azad, Ashfaqullah Khan, Azim Premji, Yusuf Hamied (Cipla) and Dr. APJ Kalam etc., whose stories still inspire many. From glitterati world, we have AR Rahman and Aamir Khan, who have been and can be change-agents, thanks to their body of work and popularity. At present, Indian political space is crying to have popular, good and statesman like leaders from Islam.

Finally, hope this message reaches especially to the Arab world! Remember, until new global role models don’t emerge from the shackles of conservatism; until new heroes don’t spread their reformist vision in the public space, sadly (and unjustifiably) till then, Islam would remain tagged as a fundamentalist and a terrorist-breeding religion!

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“Modi – The Marketer” in USA – A Report Card !


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After noteworthy interactions with Bhutan, Nepal, Japan, China and Afghanistan, “Foreign Policy Champion” PM Modi recently concluded his all-important trip to USA. With the background of Visa-row by Obama Administration and enthusiastic support of NRIs for Modi, this trip was surely an important event, if not historic. Sycophantic Indian media celebrated this event with full-time live coverage of PM Modi’s trip. Rather reporting unbiased and important news from all across the world and India, they chose to be cheerleaders! Nevertheless, contemporary Indian media has been an “Epitome of Exaggeration”. Meanwhile, after keenly following his itinerary, it seems, he had 3 major agendas to push through.

Firstly and importantly, the major agenda was of marketing the “Brand India” to the US Business Community. He scored full marks by meeting the top brass of the world’s biggest corporations in US. Through this effort, he may have induced some optimism into these corporations to come and “Make in India”. Although, Mr. Modi has been trying to allay fears of these investors, he has still loads of work pending, in creating a comfortable business environment in India. I think, that all these corporations will have now huge expectations from the next budget session. They will look forward to important policy changes in India and till then, they will “Wait and Watch”.

Second Agenda, was to step up the “Brand Modi” into an important International Icon. Like Nehru, Indira, Atal and Manmohan, he wished to make a mark by being a change agent in world politics. He failed miserably with that, but he should be excused as this being his first attempt. His fluttering speech at UNGA went unheard in an empty hall. Although it was very unlike Modi, but it seems that the formal setup, global platform and a written speech format got better of him. He did come to his own midway and made some important points, but who doesn’t. Remember even Manmohan Singh recieved much adulation from its international counterparts, previously at UNGA. Funnily, Indian media lost it senses and sensationalized his speech by equating it with National pride. Indian PMs have been speaking at this forum since ages, had put better points with higher impact. PM Modi also unsuccessfully tried his hand in reaching out to US youth at “Global Citizen Festival” rock concert, but ended up boring them.

Third agenda was about International diplomacy and to revive relations with US Government which were turning sour in last couple of years. Mr. Modi averagely performed as we weren’t able to make any new breakthroughs in our relationship with USA. His dialogue with Obama was not even note-worthy by US media. But again, Mr. Modi can be excused as realists weren’t expecting anything from Obama-Modi meet. Breakthroughs like “The Nuclear deal” don’t happen every day as it requires heightened levels of diplomatic mutual trust. US is also on the verge of electing new government, and India may have to wait for their new government to up-rise the relationship.

And yes beyond all this, Mr. Modi, held a “Tamasha” at Madison Square for his supportive NRIs, who left India for greener pastures. He acted upon previous government’s recommendations and appreciably promised important benefits to them. In his traditional style, Mr. Modi ended up entertaining usual narcissistic Indian audiences across the world, through his influential speech.

To conclude, I would say, I am little vary of aggressive marketing of “Brand Modi” and “Brand India”. A overly-hyped brand with no real actions or performance, crashes faster into unrecoverable troughs. “Reel Intentions” are commendable but India need “Real Actions”!

100 Days of Obsolescent Congress !


While the TRP-hungry Indian media is busy analyzing the meagre 100 days of the mighty Narendra Modi Government, I decided to look the other side of the coin. Indian National Congress, as a political organization, also completed their 100 days of devastation, powerlessness and cluelessness.

The lethargic Congress Working (pun intended) Committee has neither shown any zeal nor any intent to reinvent themselves. They have still not even hinted their sympathizers, on any alterations, either in their leadership, or structure or communication etc. It seems, they are neither planning, preparing nor willing to win the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, and later in J&K, Bihar and UP. Another washout for Congress in these elections would not at all be surprising.

Even as an opposition, be it in parliament, news-channels, social-media or streets, Congress finds itself unnoticeable. Congress representatives (barring Tharoor’s of the world) still witless and sometimes regressive, though mostly humbled (thankfully), after massive defeat. Spokesperson, still spoon-fed by the Old Guard, are surely “Young” but they do not represent the “New”. They are “Fossiled” to past, both in content and in person! Although the BJP Government (and not Mr.Modi) and their mouthful friends, have provided enough political opportunities to latch upon, yet Congress failed to materialize any issue.

If things remain the same as they are now in Congress, very soon, the political prowess of Modi-Shah duo, will be penning down the last chapters of Indian National Congress, a political organization, which once existed.

Breed of Online Political Activists !


Indian democracy was in shambles in the 1975 Emergency Era. Tsunamis of Indian, led by Jai Prakash Narayan, were on the streets protesting against the autocratic regime. The movement fought on streets against the darkest phase of independent India, led to the dawn of first breed of political activists post-independence. The long list included Atal, Advani, Modi, Nitish, Jaitely, Laalu, Mulayam, Sushma, Rajnath etc., who in future were the shining stars of Indian political spectrum.

India is yet again, echoing the history. New breeds of political activist are getting life, this time not on streets, but through social media. India was still the place where patience resided till 2009. Social media was distant tool and was best consumed in the form “Orkut”. The mutiny against the corrupt regime, was fought on “Facebook” and “Twitter”, and was led by Aam Aadmi Party and Narendra Modi led BJP. Facebook and Twitter gave a platform to urban India to voice their opinions. Facebook and Twitter allowed resentful Indians to protest anytime, anywhere, against anybody, without disconcerting their comforts or by shouting their throats off.

Emergence of social media hustled the emergence of newer breed of political activists. Not debunking it as a fad, but by considering it as accelerating activism, Indians would express their opinion more actively and prominently in days to come. Who knows, with continuous progression, 20 years ahead of today, you, me, he or she, may make mark in Indian political spectrum.

Mr. Kejriwal – Its High Time…


Dear Mr. Arvind Kejriwal,

This is to inform you, that we Indians are tired of your flip-flops and dramas, to keep yourself relevant in politics and media. Though I don’t doubt your intentions (say thanks to my generosity), but your methods have been ridiculous to the core. Believe me or not, but your over-the-top actions and reactions have the hurt the “Aam Aadmi Party” the most. You have been demoting yourself from “A Political Revolutionary” to “A Political Terrorist”.

Emergence of AAP is key to Indian electoral politics, and just for myopic success, don’t let the “Idea of AAP” get killed. Take my suggestion, resign from all party-posts in Aam Aadmi Party, and let statesman-like Yogendra Yadav take the rein.

From,

A “Saamanya” Aadmi

(Aam Aadmi being your patent)

Good Days Are Ahead ?


Don’t Give Me “Reasons”, Give Me “Results”! The mentioned phrase is commonly used in most business organization to keep pushing their employees, for higher sales, revenues and profits. UPA II led by Indian National Congress, in their last leg, provided all sorts of excuses for policy paralysis, but results. Indian voters, hungrier than ever for growth, will not tolerate any more excuses for failure. Neither the “Indian Growth Story” can afford any reasons for derailment.

With high hopes, a decimated opposition and a mammoth mandate, India has chosen Mr. Narendra Modi, as their infallible CEO. Indian voters have brought necessary change in guard, with almost everyone voting for them, farmers, laborers, middle-class and the richest too! India expects their “Super-Hero” Prime-minister, to propel Indian growth engine to newer orbits. And this time, unlike UPA I and II, they wouldn’t have any excuses, for not achieving it.

This time, the BJP led government under Mr. Narendra Modi has no coalition pressures to blame to. With fragile opposition, neither they are expected to build consensus first for difficult decisions. The new government has unwavering Industry support too, to take bold decisions. Everyone expects this government to take courageous and necessary steps in next two years itself. This is to counter the electoral impact, as the following 3 years can help cooling off the short-term negative impacts. Moreover, every organization/economy/country experiences inevitable business cycle with crests and troughs. India at the deepest end of this cycle is expected to grow up the ladder anyhow (though better governance could enhance the speed). No new global recessions are in foresight, neither a military war nearby; India is ready to hit its 5th gear. I understand that the expectations are idealistic, but so were the promises!

Also, there could only be two reasons, I can think of, which could trump the performance of the Modi government. First, either lack of talent,skill or integrity in ministry-hood or the second, the social/religious discords in the country, which could create a hostile business environment. I hope neither of them comes true for Mr. Modi, and neither would he fuel them through his actions and inactions.

Visualizing all this, I am assured, that only “Good Days are ahead” for India!

And The Award Goes To…


Congratulations Mr. Narendra Modi, for being voted as the Prime-Minister of India. There was a Tsunami indeed in favor of the “Political Rockstar”, and I hope for the good! Never forget that the India has voted for the “Development Man” and not for the “Hindu Nationalist”. India expects a lot from their “Messiah”, and I hope you are able to match their expectations. Markets seem to surge, hope does the “Common Man” too in times to come! I had an ideological battle with you and your party, and I still stand by to it! Kindly keep proving me wrong again and again, so that the India wins!

Congratulations “The Election Commission of India”, for conducting the largest elections in the World. You did it fairly again, against the rhetoric of being biased to the incumbent. You did it successfully, considering the scale and size of Indian electoral demographics. Unlike the political parties switching governments, you have been proudly sustaining the democratic construct of India.

Congratulations to “Indian voters”, for coming out in large numbers to elect the “First among Equals”. You chose development over caste, perceived merit over dynasty, unidirectional stability over haphazard coalitions and socio-capitalism over entitlement politics. Let’s keep voting, to make our India a pluralist, multi-cultural, patient and prosperous society.

Development, but at what Cost ?


India has been voting on the issue of development since last decade. BJP’s “India Shining” bombed, as back then, India was shining only in Media houses. Atal Behari Vajpayee and his brilliant team (Jaswant Singh, Arun Shourie, Brijesh Mishra) failed into the hands of RSS and Hindutatva agenda. From 2004 to 2009, India grew well both economically and socially under Manmohan Singh, and India voted them back on the agenda of development, with higher mandate. Now, again in 2014, it seems India is again voting on the agenda of development. And the man chanting that word the most is Narendra Modi.

But, I have a question! India needs development, but at what cost? During Congress regime from 2004-2014, India developed, managed recession and brought in social reforms. But we Indians paid a heavy price for it through “Corruption”. India is looking forward to Narendra Modi’s BJP, as he promises to speed up the India’s growth engine and bring prosperity to the nation. Considering his promises to be true, it may heavily cost us Indians into Moral Policing, Conservatism, Non-pluralistic visions and Social Dissonance. And who can guarantee that the government under Narendra Modi wouldn’t indulge in corruption, crony capitalism and scams. In the haste of achieving high sensex figures, lets not lose our ethics and social harmony.

If you and fellow Indians are ready to pay that price for development, go and vote for Narendra Modi.

Also for those, who are voting on the basis of religion, caste and creed, please go find another country for yourself.

(If Narendra Modi becomes India’s Prime Minister, hope he proves me wrong !)

Open Letter to Indian Voters !


Dear Indian Voters,

Hope you are not voting for somebody because you think, everyone is voting for him. Or because there is wave. Or because media, friends, family or society around you says so ! Be not of herd mentality !

Especially women ! Hope all Indian Women eligible for voting, are voting based on their choice and beliefs ! And not because their Father, Husband, Family etc. told them to vote for ! Be Independent !

Just listen to your heart, and vote !

Proud of Your Religion! But Why?


I have always been keen to dwell into the mind-set of anyone, who says, I am a proud Hindu, Muslim or Christian etc.! Most of us haven’t chosen our religion and were just destined to born into one. Moreover, it’s our parents and people around us who train us to follow a particular faith, again not by choice but destiny.

The counter-argument I have received is, that one should be proud of our parents, country and by extending the logic, religion too. Yes, we were just destined to born into our families and country, like our religion. But, unlike one’s particular religion, our parents and country nurtured our childhood. Parents through sacrifices groomed us with values, and the country through governance facilitated us with infrastructure. Religion prospers nobody, as Parents and Country does!

Then, people would argue, that the religion helps us learn values through spirituality. But then, every religion does the same! Then why gratification towards a particular religion, and calling oneself a “Proud Hindu” or “Proud Muslim” etc.?

Also, if anyone considers his/her religion superior to others (basis mythology and history), then that’s sheer communalism. One cannot be both “Proud Hindu / Muslim” and “Secular”. Such non-pluralistic views can be scary for a secular democracy.

Every religion preaches similar morals and principals, and each one of us should respect all religions!

Thus, are you proud of religion? But Why?