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“Look at the Darkness, giving
birth to the Sun” - Gujarat
Gujarat will soon face elections, Though this is not a matter
that should lead to much conjecture, as the other political
powers wane more and more, and people in the state consider
the ruling government to have made Gujarat a prosperous state,
it does raise issues. The opinion about the Muslims in Gujarat
will make a decisive difference. Will it polarise views sharply
enough, especially within the non-Muslim voting sector, which
is what matters, as the Muslims so far abstain from taking an
active part in the State’s politics, to make the ruling party’s
and more importantly ‘Hindutva of the 2002’ variety take a
permanent backseat in the state?
Meanwhile, what do the Muslims themselves want now and
what are they trying to do about it? What should they do?
Muslims are not monolithic anymore than the others and
they could try not only voting, but contesting as members
of different parties, and not just of the Congress. This would
break a great breach open for them into progress in Gujarat.
Ghettoisation must be fought against more actively, and land
acquired for the increasing population needs to be distributed
equally somehow (despite the known difficulty that land is not
sold to them), improved education must be the main focus, the
fight for justice must continue as well as the growth of business,
industry, employment and wealth generation. Fortunately, on
172 | WAKE UP, INDIA! Essays for Our Times
all these fronts except that of land, ghettoisation and politics,
there seems to be much progress. The recognition that one has
to come out of the Muslim mentality of being only victims, as
seen in Sagarika Ghose’s TV show, is a welcome one. Time’s
wheel rolls on and one mustn’t be too much caught up in the
past if change for the better is to come.
If one considers Rawls’ ‘A Theory of Justice’, principles and
problematics of justice are defined totally in relation to perfectly
just institutions, though the norms or right behaviour in moral
and political contexts remain variable. I feel that the needs and
demands of a just society ploughshare the common aim of
identifying just institutions and just rules. But here in Gujarat
and some other states in India, we see a blatant departure
from this, though there can be serious differences between the
principles of justice that have stood the test of time and the
society that runs to achieve political gains and mileages.
On a Meta-analytical front, one must not view the problem of
Gujarat much talked of here and elsewhere as only as Hindus
and Muslims, without looking at its inherent structure. The real
structure is that, if a religious community that is majority in a
certain geographical area, in a place and space and time, takes
the virulent strains in its teachings as excuse to use force towards
the minority in its vicinity, such things as happened in Gujarat
and elsewhere too in the country and the world will occur and
(when twenty-seven or may be more ongoing conflicts exist
in the world) have occurred before and now and heretofore.
The pogroms against Jews, the present Israel-Palestine issue,
the invasion by the US of Iraq after 9/11, Hindu and Christian
persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kashmir, and the
cruel Crusades etc., etc., – not to mention the new politics
led democratic, fascist and communist outrages against the
non-adherents, are all examples that show us that the roots of
almost all conflicts lie in human nature, and the disintegration
is in the wrong interpretation of texts or violent texts and in
31. “Look at the Darkness, giving birth to the Sun” - Gujarat | 173
not being able to see the larger picture of humanity or that love,
peace, selflessness and compassion that are absolutely essential
cornerstones of survival. Education in its true perspectives can
bring about a big change. As can what Kahlil Gibran said long
ago, if made a prophecy to be held on to steadfastly, in one of
his parables of peace, referring to mankind’s chequered past
“Look at the Darkness, giving birth to the Sun.” – Kahlil
Is Arvind Kejriwal
an Aam Aadmi?
Arvind Kejriwal is, presently, the most famous anti-corruption
social activist in India, along with or maybe after Anna Hazare.
‘Born on 16th August 1968, he was an Indian Revenue Service
official before joining social and political activities.’ He is now
CM of Delhi.
His recent political work has two strands – one the sort set into
motion long ago by people like Arun Shourie and continued
by Tehelka-like media – if one remembers the famous Antulay
cement scandal articles long ago in the Illustrated Weekly of
India, then edited by none other than Pritish Nandy. Kejriwal’s
‘exposures’ through media, of shady tie-ups are much more
broad based, with a masses-backed frontality to them, which
gives his attacks a new twist. However, one also has to look
back and see to remember that nothing much really happened
to Antulay, in the long run. Arun Shourie profited as did Nandy
too, and so did the magazine’s shareholders from massive sales.
One also remembers Harshad Mehta, and Bofors.
The other strand is his Aam Aadmi party initiative. In November
2012, he launched the Aam Aadmi Party, claiming that the
party’s vision is Swaraj. This has become a bit worrisome to
many and a total nightmare for a few. But it is good for us to
look soberly at Kejriwal. One cannot dismiss his efforts at all.
156 | WAKE UP, INDIA! Essays for Our Times
(only half the Kejriwal essay is shared as a teaser...)
Fellow Poets -
We have published the following ,both on our Site and on the facebook page for Destiny Poets.Please visit both and leave your comments.
We are pleased to announce the names of the Winners and of those Highly Commended in our Annual International Community of Poets' Awards ,now in their third year.
The three Awards Categories are ,for ; ICOP Poet of the Year ; ICOP Poem of the Year ; ICOP Faith-Centred Poet of the Year. Each of the Categories is listed thus,firstly the name of the Winner followed by the names of the Highly Commended tabulated alphabetically.
I.C.O.P. Poet of the Year 2014 :- ** WINNER :- Reena Prasad **
* HIGHLY COMMENDED ** are ...** Rahul Aithal **....** Witty Fay **....** Iulia Gherghei **....** Ampat Koshy **....** Gopal Lahiri **....** Joel Ogunjimi **....** Jan Christian Sorensen **....** Nalini Srivastava **....** Neetu Wali **....
I.C.O.P. Poem of the Year 2014 :- ** WINNER :- Autism - Neetu Wali **
** HIGHLY COMMENDED ** are... ** Blank Diary - Maaya Dev **....** Fakery - Reena Prasad **....** Golden - Witty Fay **....** Not This Song Never - Marieta Maglas **....** (The) Picture - Sana Rose **.....** Seashell - Rahul Aithal **....** Weighed Against the Ashes and the Tears - Keith Wallis **....** Wild Meadows - Sunita Prasad **....** 1947 - Sarita Jenamani **....
I.C.O.P. Faith-Centred Poet of the Year 2014 :- ** WINNER :- Keith Wallis **
** HIGHL:Y COMMENDED ** are.... ** Elizabeth Esguerra Castillo **....** Maaya Dev **....** Elizabeth Hexberg **....** Jan Phillips **....** Tapeshwar Prasad **....** Ramesh Rai **....** Shamsher Singh **....** Lata Tewari **...** Sharon Elizabeth Walker **.....
Louis Kasatkin , Founder & Editorial Administrator
Monday , 5 January 2015 .
Review by Shruti Goswami (writer) of Wake Up, India Essays for Our Times by Dr A.V. Koshy & Dr Bina Biswas A Review: I have been asked by Dr Koshy to read and comment on the book Wake Up, India Essays for Our Times by Dr A.V. Koshy & Dr Bina Biswas joint...
I have been asked by Dr Koshy to read and comment on the book Wake Up, India Essays for Our Times by Dr A.V. Koshy & Dr Bina Biswas jointly .While going through the book the first thing that came to my mind was that both in our schools or colleges, we have been mugging up the same syllabi and most of the teachers and professors have been passing on the same notes down to us over generations with little or almost no updates to them. Here, I felt we need more teachers like Dr. Koshy who dares to think out of the box and also dares to implement them in his own way.
I am not much of a reviewer. However, I found almost all the topics in this book related to my interest areas, either personally or professionally or as a mere reader who takes interest in a variety of things. In this book, a variety of subjects ranging from population to poverty to land to autism to planning to politics and politicians to environment has been dealt with in a new way. For example, in the chapter where Dr Koshy addresses poverty and creates a new index for it, far removed from what we know as the standard parameters for determining poverty, namely, clean air, potable water, access to health care etc as against the calorific measure of food intake is an idea worth pondering. Similarly,Dr Koshy in his attempt to rationalize the fact that we must be informed enough to oppose development, mainly in moving from the primary to the secondary and tertiary sectors, and that blanket opposition without even knowing the pros and cons of a particular development does more harm than good,is something I heartily agree with. India, as he rightly points out, is a fertile land and most states have double cropped land. Since land is an essential component for any development, crying hoarse at every instance some double cropped land is taken in public interest isn’t really conducive for development and people should be well informed before opposing such a cause. The case in Nandigram is one such glaring example where neither the car factory came up nor the land could be returned to the land owners due to land policies that exist.
Since Ananya has already touched on the autism project which is also very close to my heart due to personal reasons, I would just like to mention that people need to be more sensitized specially in respect to differently abled persons. That, to me is proper education. Dr. Koshy has started an excellent job regarding this and I wish him all success. The plans for his Autism village are an excellent one and I hope it translates his dream into reality. His take on Mahatma Gandhi is also different and while I would say he was a great politician, I am not very sure about him being a great person, having read his book My Experiments With Truth. But then very few people in India actually can dare to bare all in their autobiographies. His take on black and white money and gradual loss of faith in politics and keeping faith in humanism only is something I can identify with and yet, it is educated people who should foray into politics and not goons and muscle men if we are really to have some work done for the people of this country.
I found one thing lacking in areas where Dr Koshy has proposed new ideas. It is the lack of statistical backing of such ideas or the quantification of those ideas. Many a great idea never translates to reality or is not executed due to lack of statistical parameters. I would request Dr Koshy to look into this area in his next edition. With proper quantification, they might well turn into some path breaking ideas.
Dr. Bina Biswas's writings are very concise and a pleasure to read. The feminist in me could well relate to the struggle of the Irom lady and admire and look up to the life and deeds of An Sang Su Kyi. Most people turn the word feminism as a tool to ridicule the fights of women for other women. Feminism is not demeaning the rights of others. It is to restore the rights that women have as human beings and they are for nobody to give. Sadly, most men don’t realize it. Dr. Biswas has also rightly pointed out the plight of the North East people and how they are discriminated against. The issues of E- waste are a burning issue and it’s an irony that countries like USA who are among the leading ones to produce it did not sign the treaty. Another topic, the loss of honesty in today’s world is something I can well relate to. The moral fibre of the citizens of a country very often determines its progress. If each and person decides to be honest, we wont need god men and god women and corrupt people preaching about honesty. Honesty is imbibed during the formative years, and then thrown for a toss because people have started measuring success in terms of money and power and not by the kind of person he or she is.
The book is a must read for people who want to have a different perspective of the same problems we face and for students who are tired of reading the same text books that have seldom anything new to offer.
- poetrypoet, 1968 - present
- nowherenothing, 1964 - present
- Radhika Darbari's site (current)
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