Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kashmir A Fire Ball In The Making!

From time to time in history there has been a call raised by people who cared (or seemed to care) for Culture, Architecture, Language and even Religion. The call has always been, “back to basics”. This call can be heard in Kashmir these day’s, in fact the tone of the call is too aggressive to qualify to be called a “Call”.

Kashmir has always presented itself as a place where religious tolerance is taken seriously, even Mahatma Gandhi accepted this when during partition riots he said that he saw the only ray of hope coming from Kashmir.

During Ramadan this year I was in Kashmir after a long duration of almost five years. When Iftar time (time for breaking fast) came I realized a lot had changed since the last time I was here during Ramadan. I was confused about when I was supposed to break my fast, on hearing which azaan (call for prayer) was I supposed to allow my lips to touch first drops of water for the day. Later I was to discover that this was just the tip of the ice-berg. The whole Kashmiri society was subtly in conflict with itself or to put it more appropriately, it is in conflict with a younger self (the generation-next, mostly).

Kashmir has been centre or hub of Suffism for centuries (most refer to suffism as the moderate form of Islam), it has had its effects on how the people of the valley perceive & practice Islam. There are certain practices [like Duaye Subuh; special morning prayer supplement etc.] prevalent in Kashmir which can not be found in any part of the world. All (majority of) such practices can be traced to some suffi saint. Now the new generation (a sizeable number & growing continuously) with all the worldly knowledge at its fingertips, thanks to internet and other technologies, is kind of rebelling against all these practices and are even declaring these un-Islamic. This has created kind of rift among the old and young. Old people are of the opinion that the younger generation doesn’t respect them or the suffi saints and the younger generation feels that the older generations were sheer ignorant with little or no religious knowledge, what ever they had been practicing for ages is un-Islamic. Thus leading a call for back to basics from these energetic young people, so as to correct all that has been going wrong.

People who are well versed with Islamic history know that this is not something absolutely new, from time to time there have been similar calls but the only thing that seems to have changed are the people and their way of approach. The religious scholars of the earlier times would bring the conflicting parties together at a single platform and try to discuss the problem, if possible hammer out a compromise (that is how the Sunni's became the largest firqa/ sect amongst Muslims). currently in Kashmir with this conflict raging on subtly (for now), are there any scholars or intellectuals of such intellect and caliber who can facilitate this discussion in a proper and appropriate way, so as to stop the intoxication of young minds with hatred against fellow Muslim brothers and avoid a blood bath in future (as we are seeing happening in Pakistan on daily basis; bombings of mosques and other religious places).

With no one seemingly concerned about this, thus avoiding acceptance of existence of a problem in society, the future doesn’t seem to be too bright. We can only hope that the scholars and intellectuals realize the gravity of the situation and decide to address it other wise the ray of hope which had given Ghandi hope, may be soon turned in to a big fire ball!!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Country where Chetan Bhagat is known as a writer

Strange how in a country there are people who consider Chetan Bhagat (1) an extremely good writer and at the same time there are others who wouldn’t even trust him with dictation. Such is the country and such are its extremes.

The country boasts of its diversity. Diversity in weather, which goes from freezing cold (almost -50 degrees) to frying heat (above 50 degrees)! Diversity in topography & geography (has Deserts, green meadows & even snow clad mountains). It has Diversity in Culture, Diversity in language, and diversity of Religion. The diversities are so intense and diverse that if you travel in any direction, it seems as if you are watching a non stop marathon show, with artists wearing colorful dresses, speaking varied array of languages. In short I can say you are in for an entertaining and enthralling ride.

But still it is the same country where Minorities are confused whether they are followers of an independent and unique religion or their religion is just an offshoot of what the majority follows, thus they end doing what every body else is doing & celebrating what every one else is celebrating (2). Recently a leader of a political party publicly called for Muslims to be made to proudly pronounce their Hindu linage otherwise not to be allowed to vote in elections! (3) It is country which is a regional (somewhat international) economic power & strong contender for permanent seat at UN security council and at the same time the condition of women is appalling, second only to Afghanistan! (4) The country has more than couple of people who figure in the list of worlds richest people and still we find farmers who can not make ends meet and thus are forced to put an end to their lives only. It is country with Freedom of speech as one of the six fundamentals rights granted by constitution, countless news channels and news papers seem to validate this and still it is the same country where a whole region is blocked unlawfully for more than 100 days and no one bother to report (5). It is country where a newly born baby girl in the family of super stars (Actors) makes headlines and trends on twitter but discovery of mass graves in a disputed part of the country doesn’t raise any eyebrows forget about getting covered in mainstream media (6).

What else do I need to say than that it is a country where Chetan Bhagat is known as a writer and it is the same country where another writer raises her voice against government and its modus operandi she is declared a traitor and ant-national(7). Once it was this country only that lead the Non-Alignment movement and now its foreign policy lacks vision and spine. That is India shining for you my dear friends and sold to you as Incredible India.


1. Would like to clarify that I am not trying to pass any judgment regarding the writing skills of Chetan Bhagat, in fact have never read him. Used him as an example only due to the extremely different (apposite) emotions that mere mention of his name induces people to express.
2. Until Chandragupta’s reign (of Gupta dynasty) Hinduism (religion of majority) did not have idol worship. One more thing to take notice of is that during that period the more favored religions where Buddhism & Jainism and these continued to grow stronger and stronger because of their simple teachings. So as to counter this growth Chandragupta introduced idol worshiped and many scripture (which Hindus hold pious) were written or edited. Both the founders of Buddhism and Jainism wanted to take their followers as away from Hinduism as possible so the question of these being two religions being off shoots of Hinduism doesn’t arise. Same applies to Sikhism.
3. Dr.Subramanian Swamy (the party president of Janta Party) had made these comments in a very inflammatory write-up an open-ed in DNA news paper, which even made minority commission to send him a notice. The write-up was so inflammatory that Harvard chose not to renew his contract as visiting faculty.
4. A recent report on woman welfare ranked India just above Afghanistan.
5. The state of Manipur had to face road blockage for more than 100 days which led to commodities prices sky rocketing, shortage of essential supplies thus endangering lives.
6. In Jammu & Kashmir recently about 3000 mass graves were found and there is certainty that these number are going to increase, Human Rights groups are calling for international impartial probe but the government is hiding behind one after other smokescreens. What was more appalling was the way the media took the whole incident, as if nothing had happened. And the same media went gung ho over the coverage of birth of Abishek & Ashwariya Bachan’s daughter.
7. Miss Arundhati Roy was poster lady of India till she began asking uncomfortable questions and thus became anti-national

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Open Letter

on 15th of $eptember 2011 the British Parliament is going to discuss Kashmir for the first time after partition of India in 1947. Mr steve Baker an MP for Wycombe recently prapossed this dicussion before Parliament’s Backbench Business Committee and was supported by Jason McCartney MP, Andrew Griffiths MP, Denis MacShane MP and Nic Dakin MP. Argueing for a debate on Amnesty International’s recent report on human rights in Indian-occupied Kashmir (East Kashmir). With these developments in hindsight i was forced to write this open letter to Mr. Baker and the British Parliamnet.

Dear Mr. Baker,
Thanks for taking notice of what is
happening in East Kashmir (which
you prefer to call Indian Occupied
Kashmir). It seems that our body
count has finally become worthy to
be discussed.
With the two countries (India &
Pakistan) happy with the status quo
it has become necessary for the
world powers to intervene but alas
their attitude towards kashmir
made us (kashmiri’s) wonder if even
we were considered human. But thanks to
your initiative we are seing a
change in the making but yet are
forced not to hope for anything
(learning from past experiences).
Even with many UN resolutions
regarding Kashmir nothing has
changed (infact it has worsened)we are still being
butchered unabated in broad day
light thanks to world community
which is acting like an ostrich.
Let me try to answer the question
”why the two countries are happy
with status quo and why there is
need for the world to intervene at
earliest.” Well kashmir has become
the stick with which both beat each
other. In addition to this both the
countries are sharing (plundring)the natural
resources of kashmir otherwise to
which they have no legal or moral
ownership. With these things in
mind do you think that the two
countries would want to resolve
the issue with out any external
pressure, i don’t think so. But till
the world powers decide to
intervene , one thing for sure is
going to change that is our body
Now its upto you people how large
a tophy (of human bodies) you want.

Resident of
East Kashmir

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Prisoner of Fate

Hi, hope you all are doing well. Has been a long time since my last update and you people might have sighed a relief thinking finally we get rid of this weirdo, no more receiving updates from this blog. But here comes one more update.

Leaving apart all the other things and coming to the point, from past couple of weeks, unintentionally, have been reading some literature which one way or the other way had something do with topics like fate, destiny. To put icing on the top it, met couple of people talking with whom ultimately led to the discussion of fate or destiny. I don't know whether it was fate or destiny at work trying to prove its presence to me.

One author writes success is not just dependent on your hard work and capabilities it also depends on your luck (in the way how your environment supports). The author tries to prove his point by giving an example of father and son who do the same things but father fails and son becomes successful. The author is pointing to an unseen force which lies down the rules such that if we happen to work according those rules we achieve success. But the problem is rules never remain same, if at one time a+b=c but the next time a+b≠c. so if you are trying to achieve c you get lucky in the first set of conditions by adding a and b, but that is not always going to be right. So we can say in some way the rules decide who is going to be successful.
Trying to simplify what I was trying to say above I would like to give another example, that of Bill Joy sometimes called the Edison of internet. The story goes like this; it's 1971 and joy happens to be 16 and time for him to join college. He was a math geek , the kind of student that MIT, Caltech ad university of waterloo attract , in short were the preferred universities of any student. With all these choices available Joy happens to chose the University of Michigan with the intentions of becoming a biologist or a mathematician (computers no where on his mind). In the same year i.e 1971 the University of Michigan happens to open its new computer centre, in a brand new building on Beal Avenue. Because of this new computer centre the university of Michigan had one of the most advanced computer science programs in the world. One fine day Bill Joy while passing through the computer centre where he is awestruck and hooked for life. After that he just drowned himself in computers, him being in the category of "no-date nerd" helped as there were no distractions allowing him to hone his skills in programming. With him there are lot of other things that just happened to be getting to him at the very right moments, to know more about him or similar other stories of success you can read Outliers .

With things in my life going in only one direction i.e fate and destiny, I came to know about a 800 year old document written by Shah Naimatullah wali (R.A). The document is a collection of prophesies that the saint made in a poetic manner (Qaseeda), it is written in persian and it is almost impossible to find an intact physical copy of the same, the prophesies are more specific to the subcontinent but there are prophesies regarding other parts of world as well . The document was banned by British empire, to be more precise by Viceroy Lord Curzon as he couldn't digest the prophesy about the British Empire ruling India for only 100 years! And the current Governments also do not promote its publishing due to some very harsh prophesies for the current rulers of land. To give an example of how accurate and precise these prophesies are am reproducing a translation of couple of stanza related to Mughal Empire :

1. I am telling the truth, there will be a King in this world. Taimur his name and he will be the Conqueror.(l)
2. After Him, Meeran Shah appear in this world who will be the friend of the conqueror Taimur Shah.(2)
3. When he passes away from this world, and then will appear the King of Humans and Jinns (Ginns).(3)
4. After Him, Umer Sheikh will be the King and he'll be a claimer and a very Kind person.
5. After that, Umer Bin Sheikh will be the owner of this land and he'll indulge into a lot of riches and luxuries.
6. After him shall come The King Babar who will be the king of Kabul, later he will appear in Delhi as a ruler of India.
7. After Sikandar [Lodhi], till the time of Ibrahim Shah (King), Behold there will be unrest and discord in his Kingdom.(4)
8. Then the God will appoint Humayun as the King of India but meanwhile an Afghan will appear.(5)
9. Then God will grant kingdom to Humayun. Then will happen an incident in Humayun's life. Meanwhile an Afghan will appear. Afghan's name shall be Sher Shah. Humayun will run to the land of Iran, to the bloodline of the prophet so that they can honor humayun. The Iranian King will help Humayun so that Humayun can be honored as a King. By the time Humayun will attack India again, SherShah will be dead and his son will be ruling the land.(6)
10. So Humayun will conquer India. Then will come Akbar as the King of the land.(7

The above is just an example of the prophesies that the saint has made, I am not pasting any prophesies that you may link to the current scenario as they may perturb and disturb you. But will tell you this that one of the prophesies talks of a great war that is coming (may be world war III) and what has made me more concerned and reinforced my belief on this prophesy is another prophesy made by another saint from my home town about 90 years ago. He had said, " when the bridge would be completed there would be a great war". Now talking about this bridge, he said so, so long back when even the idea of making a bridge at that particular place would be ridiculed. The idea of making a bridge at that place was conceived in around 1980 ( almost after 60 years ). The work on the said bridge started in 1984 and it still has not been completed! Couple of years ago the work was nearing completion but suddenly the whole bridge collapsed. Now it is being believed that the time for the completion of bridge has come and for the war too! Let's hope this one prophesy turns to be wrong.

Reading all this you may say, what is use of doing all the hard work when it has already been decided what we are going to achieve and we will be achieving it any way. I would say, first you don't know what you are going to achieve and secondly your deeds can change your destiny.

Even though one may feel like a prisoner of fate, who can't affect or alter anything beyond the boundaries of his cell. But what one can alter and affect, are the things inside his cell, the way he/she lives his/her life inside that cell. You can call this cell what ever you may like but I choose to call it circle of life. It is in this cell that you spend almost all of your life So the least you can do to make things better in this cell is by being a better human being, by choosing to talk to people in a good way, by trying to be helpful & humble and at last but not the least , by giving importance to your family, the people you love & care for, people who love you & care for you.