Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Perhaps, it may be a bit early to write a blog when obituaries and eulogies have not totally ceased. Nevertheless! The guy is dead and gone and he had left a decent bounty that he would not have made if he had not chosen politics as a career.

How far did he get in up the ladder? Well he was the councilor of a city ward. That is a not an awfully exalted position by the way. If you ask about his education, I seriously doubt if he reached near matriculation.

He was born to poor subsistence labourer parents in a hamlet few kilometers to the north, outside the city. I guess he lost his father very early, for when I saw him first as a boy of ten or eleven he and his mother had moved into a single room –makeshift home in a rundown apartment  near my house in the town. She eked out living by doing menial work and chores at different homes in the neighbourhood.
He was certainly unable to cope with school and was an indifferent student. Later when he dropped out of school, or as some say when he decided that he cannot pursue school exams with moderate marks to pass, his distant uncle took him into his fold as an errand boy at the Lawyer’s office where the former was an aid.

He was dark skinned and was muscular for his age. Even at the age of thirteen or fourteen he had strong limbs and broad chest. He excelled in Kabaddi kicking opponents down and tackled mercilessly and roughly while playing football. Kids, skinny as I was stood not even a fortuitous chance confronting him at Football or Kabaddi. He simply elbowed us down, jostled us flat as a beaten pan. I remember he was merciless. His career graph I presume was aided by that quality, to take his rivals head on and bulldoze his way. He must have been tactful in later life. Some say, people preferred to not confront him and let him have his run.

The eulogies that came from political bigwigs who flocked to his house hearing his sudden death was enviously rattling and umbrageous too. “His early inspiration for public service came while he was a student”, the State president of his party, clad in white spotless cotton fabric remembered him. “That was when he joined the student wing of the party and became an active and dedicated party loyalist.” Some spoke about his foresight, his uncanny acumen, his passion to toil for the needy, the poor and the marginalised. The paeans seemed endless. Every day after he was dead, local vernacular dailies carried his picture and a glowing obituary.

When he died he was on the director board of a cooperative bank, (what he knew of banking and the cooperative movement is mystery. His middle school education was not a constraint. But then we have a plus two dame running the country’s Education and Human resource ministry), he was the party district secretary, he was nominated to the University senate (again defying the pathetic limit of his education), and he was the president or treasurer of the local temple (where, locals allege in almost muted tone that he was in cahoots with God and made enough from the temples revenue). Above all he had always put his money on the political party horse that won. He, in the little world of politics that he could travel, always ensured that his finger was in the pie.

If he did not achieve greater success or amass more wealth than he did, it must be because that there were bigger chisellers in the party than he. It is astonishment unrivalled that if an ordinary political party member who could go no farther than being elected councilor of a ward, could generate as much wealth as he could, the extent of booty that bigger sharks in politics siphon off is impossible to gauge.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Much has been spoken about the richness of Indian culture, tradition, values and so on. The subject, in recent times has been more out in the open, now that a rightwing party has its wings spread wide and almost everywhere. Erosion of values, of ethos, of true Indian culture due to the malevolent influence of alien culture and faith….! The list of angst is fairly long. ( But it is much ado about nothing when one looks back to the fact that 90 percent of the present day Indians are descendants of migrants and the original inhabitants of India where aborigines or “adi dravidas”).

I wonder what is it great about the culture and tradition that we claim to uphold and bray often, beating inflated chests, with incessant eloquence and hysterically. What is it perse?

The Prime minister proclaimed from the Red Fort that he looks forward to leave behind an India that is clean- “Swach Bharat”, he said. He chose to sweep the streets on October 2, Gandhi’s birthday as an ostensible act, hoping the message percolates; that, the idea touches the chord of an India that is downright filthy. His act was obediently aped by his ministers, and bureaucrats – clad in pristine white. The custodians (sic) of Gandhi (sm) – the Kadhi clad Congress men were caught off guard! Government employees of Banks and PSUs were ordered to their offices on October 2 and ordered to swear oath and pledge on civic duties. Perhaps a shade of Soviet Union era here!

The visuals of ministers scraping about streets with brooms was replayed seemingly forever on television. Did that make any sense? Did it prompt you and me to bend our backs and knees to pick up the stray crushed cigarette pack on the street, or the empty coke plastic container left casually on the path? Did it stop the ones who throw away nonchalantly on to the kerb garbage piled from their homes? To desist from making streets and bus stations receptacle of spit and human waste? No. I think it will not. For, Indians are wanting in civic sense. Guess this must be the culture and tradition that some bray about proudly? The hyped, publicised images on televisions were for public consumption. Something we have been fed with every year on the day Gandhi was born. And only an obstinate person who refuses to be cynical would swear otherwise.

Well, one can say that the PM means business and intends good.

What is swaccha Bharat about? Is it just clean streets and building a few thousand toilets (which eventually will be veritable filthy, disgustingly dirty dumps)? From what it is made out to be, it seems so.

I guess we need to define what amounts to cleanliness.

Foremost, shouldn't we realise that cleanliness is not next to Godliness and it is and has to be a few yards before Godliness? Isn't this a country where people cried foul, offended, when a former minister suggested that we need more toilets than temples? Alas most temples in north of India are spittoons. Benares is a holy slum with filthy streets, cadavers floating down the mighty river Ganga that sustains the town. half-burnt corpse pushed into the river and half submerged they seem to float down like orphaned souls. A river that is the source and sustenance for half of the country’s population is relentlessly raped and violated by man. What have the puritan Hindus who claim sacredness for the river, call her “Mother Ganga” done all the while, the factories that spew sludge and sewage into its waters? The RSS who claims to be the bastion, guardian , caretakers of Indian culture and whatever greatness that was identified with her in the ancient, should rather use its cadre to cleanse Ganga , the slums, rivers and nook of India than unleash its frenzied volunteers to demolish ancient structures to build temples.

The wholesale give away of pristine forest lands to commercial interests? Driving away native dwellers to oblivion? Watering down a well-researched and empirical report on the Western Ghats to appease vested commercial interests? Are these acts too part of “Swach  Bharat”?

There was a report on the capital of Sweden, Stockholm. The city recycles 90 percent of the garbage it produces. It is evident from this that the technological wherewithal to sustainably dispose or recycle garbage is available. But we differ from the Swedes in the mindset and civic sensibilities to use it.

Hysterically braying about a rich cultural past and heritage is naïve and useless while we nervelessly rape our land, air and the water. It only emphsises the fact that we have done nothing to deserve a rich past and has no right to deny posterity a meaningful life.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Blaspheming Mortal Gods

Indians are a nation who seems to be lusting, esurient, desperate and yearning for Gods and demi gods. We make Gods out of stone, marble, drift wood and even mortals- lucky are the ones amongst us upon whom we thrust that status often to their glee. These idiosyncrasies are a lesser matter when compared to the outrage we express over iconoclasm and even honest analysis and discussion about the human Gods we made. Their infractions are seldom examined or condemned.

Recent times have seen a liberal dose of critical analysis of Gandhi -bashing as some call it -   Mahatma ‘bashing’ (sic) criticism. We thrust upon him a status akin to God’s, the most  revered, the infallible mortal, the holy man, Mahatma, the spartan saint, who lived in our midst. The eulogy in the words of Albert Einstein, and which strikes reverberantly, “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this in flesh and blood walked upon this earth”. Correspondingly there has been fierce defence of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi- vociferous indignation of any criticism of Gandhi, his utterances, philosophy,or his life.

Why Gandhi alone, we have other mortal Gods to whom we prostrate, let us be hugged and kissed, watch them agape and resent bitterly and sometimes hysterically when they are criticised. We automatically are tuned to become agitated, flustered and resent when our beliefs, faith and fantasies are questioned, are seemed to be threatened by scholarly dissection and argument. We fret and accuse of betrayal, irreverence and rudeness when the comparative cocoon that we built is exposed or threatened.

We made a living God of Sachin Tendulkar the cricketer. When an international Tennis player innocently admitted that she is not aware who this Tendulkar is, cudgels where raised in India and virtual stones were pelted at the tennis player for her audacious admission. Remember cricket is played by a miniscule number of countries when compared to the vast appeal of Tennis. We let Tendulkar hijack a whole nation and cricket insisting and wrenching what he wanted- a farewell series a swan song. And like Nehru’s famous “tryst with destiny” speech, we broadcast live Tendulkar’s 45 minutes grandiloquence from the stadium. We even recast the stands at the stadium to accommodate his mother so she could watch him play from a comfortable vantage point. We awarded him the responsibility as the Member of Parliament and he rubbished it with callousness.  We seem to believe that other countries and people are not blessed with legends.

We cast away old and disenabled parents in the streets of farway strange towns and in the insensitive cruelty of  temple towns and run after fat over fed cow like women and men whom we elevated to pedestals and anointed them as living Gods. We run to them hallucinated and gets intoxicated when they hug us supposedly washing away our sins and agonies. We resist any probity in their lives and in the conduct of the vast empire they deftly built and sustain out of our imbecility and blindness.

Arundhati Roy’s recent comments on Gandhi in a lecture led to hoarsely resentment and accusations of blasphemy. Poet and respected social & environmental activist Sugatha Kumari, a Gandhi fan herself shot off a center page article in a daily rebutting Arundhati’s irreverence of the Mahatma and demanding, even pleading kindness, respect and an iota of reverence are shown to Gandhi; his life be seen as a beacon of unflinching struggle in the path of truth and nobility.

Why do we make Gandhi a saint and God? Why is it blasphemous if we dissect his life, analyzing it, page by page, word by word, deed by deed? Why do not we accept and understand that he was a mortal like any and was infallible? Why do not we understand that he may have erred, had weird beliefs and even seedy behavior, which he claimed was his way of understanding his limitations and cleansing his sinful thoughts  etc.
Arundathi based the lecture on the lengthy forward she wrote for the book of unpublished historical speech of Baba Saheb Ambaedkar. The quotes, anecdotes and incidences where borrowed from archives and facts. 

Gandhi’s reluctance and stubborn fire-walling of the abolition of caste in Hinduism, his opposition to the agitation of the untouchables of Mumbai- the Mahad satyagraha when untouchables resisted the ban that was slapped on them from sharing waters of the public well; Gandhi’s parsimonious attitude to the Vaikon sataygraha when untouchables objected to the cleansed area around the Vaikom temple where they were banned; Gandhi’s opposition to the labour strike against the Mill owners in Mumbai when he ranked their satygraha as “duragraha’ – greed- devilish force,(possibly because the Mill owners were Gandhi’s staunch financiers). Gandhi’s attitude towards the blacks in Africa is bailed out by Sugatha Kumari as an aberration She uses his comparative young age as an excuse for his mindset towards ethnic blacks and the socially marginalized.She often in the article states that Gandhi's life as the title of his autobiography was "An Experiment with Truth".

Like what  most of us have been fed about Gandhi, he was not evicted off the train at Pietermaritzburg when he asserted the non-whites right to travel  I class. Gandhi was not endorsing the right of the blacks, but for equal status of  passenger Indians – the elite and middle class Indians like he. Gandhi’s attitude towards caste is perplexing. While he maintained that caste and discrimination was unjust and untouchability was evil he steadfastly endorsed the division of labor based on caste. He refused to admit that caste was the evil cloak of Hinduism.Imagine division of labour in today's world based on caste in which one is born- something not of individual volition!

Gandhi was a wile politician. He was perhaps the first Indian politician to ostentatiously play the communal card with his egregious “Khilafat Movement”. Goodness, Mother of God what had Indian Muslims got to do with the abolition of the Caliphate and the end of the Ottoman Empire in faraway Turkey?
His blatant blackmail with the weapon of satayagraha proclaiming fast unto death until the award of separate electorates for untouchables was withdrawn was perhaps the most cruel and unkind slap on the very same people he ceremoniously elevated as “Harijans”, ironically meaning “children of God”! He used satygraha s a potent black mail to even foster his autocratic views.

Why was SugathaKumari mute in her article about Gandhi’s infamous experiments with celibacy when he slept naked with his two young nieces? Because he was Gandhi and had the halo Indians gave around his being, he escaped criminal censure and was not accused of being willy. Yes that may have been a great experiment on self-control for him and his faithful. But do we care to ask what the poor, helpless young girls had to go through- their state of mind?

Is it not time we chastened and saw icons and great men as mortals and as people who would err, stumble and yet walk through like many? Are we not trivialising their lives when we give them a doughnut – halo and elevate them as Gods? What is blasphemous if we critically dissect their life- be it Gandhi, Christ or Mohamed? 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Myth of The Holy Cow

A couple of weeks ago in the Facebook post of a gentleman where he expressed satisfaction that the new BJP dispensation in New Delhi will enact law banning cow slaughter and cow meat. I opined in my comment asking him why it is so, is it because the life of a cow is more sacred and important than that of a fowl, a goat or a swine? However though the gentleman choose to reserve his reply a young fellow and a FB friend of his from Haryana- Mohit Dutta took umbrage at me and were vile in personal comment. He seemed to be seriously rabid in state of mind. He referred to my Sur name which incidentally happens to be the eponym for the mythical hero Krishna, who is also revered by Hindus as the avatar of Vishnu of the trinity. He asserted that I have no right to retain that name and should feel abased. He accused me of being morally lost and stated that I must be like most Keralites a converted Christian who has no reverence to Hindu Gods or things Hindus consider sacred and the cow is holy and sacred to Hindus. His diatribes was fascinating and of an imbecile mind. I guess standing up to a rabid beast when it is after you is a stupid exercise and futile. I restrained from commenting further.

Mr. Mohit Dutta and his ilk must know – being a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, or a Buddhist is not firstly of one’s volition. Mohit Dutta is a proclaimed Hindu because he was born to Hindu parents. I suppose. If my parents biological or by fatalism adopted were to be Zoroastrians, for instance I might have been a Zoroastrian. I am Hindu by birth because I was born to father and mother who were Hindus. And I chose to be so because I was never forced to believe in a doctrine nor was I indoctrinated to rubbish what others believed. Hence I metamorphosed into a person who is not touched by fanatic philosophy and bigotry like Mohit Dutta and his kin who claim to be Hindus but who certainly have not read the Vedas, the Gita or even the Ramayana the Hindu texts of philosophical wealth, to name a few. His infantile or screwball knowledge of what he claims to be Hindu beliefs is nothing but scraps licked up or stuck upon him from history lessons in middle school. If you’re a Hindu and you don’t eat meat, particularly beef because of a religious sentiment, I respect that completely. But to those like Mohit Dutta who say they are doing it because Hindu scriptures censure it, I urge you to read the ancient Hindu texts and decide for yourself. 
His comments about Keralites being a bunch of infested christian converts is puerile and nonsensical. His knowledge and erudition , even basic commonsense is alarming.
To arrogate that Hindu texts and scriptures forbid you to eat beef is rubbish and malarkey. For such an argument is on quick sand. I suggest you again, read the scriptures, if not the scholars who wrote thesis after learning them. Foremost do not try to force feed your morsel as I did not demand that of you.

Dwijendra Narayana Jha, was a distinguished professor who read history at the University of Delhi. He authored the book, “The Myth of the Holy Cow”. He received death threats when he tried to publish the book in India. One of the Indian publishers backed off after menacing warnings from the Hindu contemporaries of the ISIS and the Al Qaeda. His second publisher had to back out like the publisher of Wendy Doniger after the fanatic group got a restrain order from the courts. The rabid Hindu group declared the book blasphemous, a strange word that is seldom seen in any context in Hindu religious literature and mythical treatise What Jha has done was to bare and document in great detail the fact that in medieval times Hindus and Buddhists ate beef. The most ancient text of the Hindu faith -- the Vedas dating from 2500 BC to 600 BC, clearly mentions that the eating of flesh, including beef, was common in India. Rightwing Hindus have argued that cows were first slaughtered in India only after the Muslim foray into the subcontinent. However there is ample documentary proof that the extreme opposition to beef eating came about among a section of Hindus only in the 18 th century and the cow became a sacred animal.  The thesis is backed by plentiful footnotes and a bibliography in many languages. But unfortunately extremists and bigots in all religion are moved to rabidity in the face of such scholarships and evidence.

The nomads and pastoral dwellers who migrated from Eurasia and settled in the North of India in the 2nd millennium BC, who created the Brahminic religion Hinduism, were herdsmen and agriculturists living upon land, bovines and fowls. For them cow was not a sacred creature. The Vedas that was compiled then did not ban cow meat or proscribe meat eating. There are ample instances in them that categorically state the fascination of Gods for cow meat. “The Vedic gods had no pronounced dietary preferences. Milk, butter, barley, oxen, goats and sheep were their usual food, though some of them seem to have had their special preferences. Indra had a special liking for bulls. Agni was not a tippler like Indra, but was fond of the flesh of horses, bulls and cows.”
“Although the ancient law giver Manu extols the virtue of ahimsa, he provides a list of creatures whose flesh was edible. He exempts the camel from being killed for food, but does not grant this privilege to the cow. On the contrary, he opines that animal slaughter in accordance with Vedic practice does not amount to killing, thus giving sanction to the ritual slaughter of cattle. He further recommends meat eating on certain religious occasions.”

Pandavas during their exile sustained on liberal diet of meat and cow meat was not an anathema in the times of Mahabratha. In fact cow meat was served to guest in ancient India as a token of respect and display of wealth. In ancient India the culmination of the“Ashvamdhayagna” was with the ritual killing (albeit sacrifice) of more than 600 animals of which the final ritual is the killing of 21 cows.Ashoka the emperor who embraced Buddhism did not ban cow slaughter. Nor was it banned during the reign of Guptas’- the golden age of Hinduism.

Hinduism and Indian philosophy after the Vedas have rejected the ritual slaughter of animals. This may have inadvertently saved the cow, though beef eating was not a sin. The influence of Jainism might also have contributed to the disagreement for the meat. The multifaceted historian Damodhar Dharmananda Kosambi states in his work, ‘Ancient India’, "a modern orthodox Hindu would place beef-eating on the same level as cannibalism, whereas Vedic Brahmins had fattened upon a steady diet of sacrificed beef".
It was Ambedkar who rightly said that “for the Vedic Brahmins everyday was a beef steak day”. For the ancient Vedic people cow was a prized possession not sacred as it is made out by Hindu zealots now. It was a sign of wealth and their sustenance. Hence the prized possession was offered to their Gods as sacrifice and the priests and the laity consumed the left over.

It has been revealed and also not refuted by Swami Vivekanda that he used to eat beef and he did not have any need to express remorse.

Titus Lucretius Carus, the Roman Philosopher, poet who lived in the2 nd century BC stated, “What is one man’s food is another’s bitter poison”. I do not disagree with this because I see no reason why I should. It is common for people to disavow certain types of meat, food on the grounds of religious sentiments. I respect that. But for them to dictate and demand that I follow their chosen food is unacceptable. Their religious beliefs cannot in any way hinder my personal life- what I eat. And I have no intend to thrust upon them what I believe and stand for. If they can accept my reason it is fine if not it is not my problem.
Intolerance, bigotry and obscurantism are great threats that are rabid in all faith. It has manifested menacingly in Islam and unfortunately the change of government in New Delhi seemed to have emboldened the rabid who claim to be Hindus.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Economic Jugglery sans Compassion

This is a tiny article that I wrote for the Assisi Magazine of August 2014 & published (translated into Malayalam). 

Even if you can never for real quantify happiness and satisfaction as exactly as you could quantify GNP, is it not better to be vaguely right than incisively wrong?
My apologies to you who may be reading this if you felt that this question was directed at you. No, certainly not, this is what I would ask the economist Dr.Chakravathy Rangarajan who brought out the startling and enlightening report on the poverty level of the population of this country. Startling more than enlightening, because this wisdom comes from a person who possesses scholarly pedagogy in economics and social awareness as the economic adviser to the Prime minister!

He was large hearted in the sense that he rubbished the findings of the Suresh Tendulkar committee report on poverty level. Besides that he added eleven and fourteen Rupees to the findings of Suresh Tendulkar and, Ureka the new threshold for graduating from below poverty levels to richness was determined. If you live in a mountain hamlet in the country, like Attapadi you are not poor if you spend Rs 33 a day, because those of you who spend more than that tier must be living like a prince; if you spend Rs 47 a day on living  in Lutyens Delhi , behold you are a prince too.
I’m not an economist and those of you who may read this are not either. Hence we are not in a position of command to criticise Dr.Rangarajan’s findings and in the bargain make ourselves look like nincompoops. But yet, erudition in economics and financial matters are not necessary to become alarmed at the assertion of Dr. Rangarajan and his defence of his discovery.
It is cruelly amazing that the Rangarajan report audaciously seems to claim that man lives by bread alone. This is if you or I can conjure to buy food in Attapadi or Delhi and live through a day with Rs 33 and Rs 47 respectively. Well, presuming that we succeed in the sorcery, mind you we may have to live like early cave men - without a string of loin cloth around our waist and in sewage canals with overhead shelter or inside discarded giant water pipes that are commonly seen by the wayside. You are in for impossible jugglery and Houdini act if you have a spouse and two kids. Assuming that your spouse too has earnings of the threshold sum, ie Rs 47 and Rs 33 respectively, depending upon where you live, you still have two more mouths to feed – your two children. Dr. Rangarajan is somewhat ambiguous here. He expects all of you to be a juggernaut like he.
Dr. Rangrajan reacted to the criticism of his determination and said. “I don’t think that it is conservative (poverty) estimates. In my view it is reasonable estimates. We have derived poverty estimates independently.” Elaborating further he said, “The World Bank also talks about purchasing power parity terms, (the minimum expenditure per day). They are talking about USD 2 per day….. Therefore it (our poverty estimates) is in keeping with the international standards”.  This seems to be an entendre. In the same breath he quotes the WB figure of USD 2 , which translates to INR 120 or thereabout and pegs his poverty threshold at Rs 32 and Rs 47.

Let me come to the direct question to the renowned former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, a question that any commoner will ask. “Can you Sir, if put in a hypothetical situation sustain a family of four including yourself with Rs 47 earnings a day in Mumbai where you lived and worked as the Governor of the RBI?”  One doesn’t have to own a doctoral thesis in Economics and finance to know that there are other things to sustain one self and one’s family besides the barest minimum of a daily square meal. Clothing and shelter; basic medical care; education for one’s children and last if not the least a provision for the rainy day. Am I being saturnine in my comments, pardon me for I cannot help sounding otherwise.
We must extrapolate the findings of Dr.Rangarajan with utterings on similar lines by some political bigwigs, of which one gentleman possessed a plethora of suffix in degree and doctoral thesis after his name, a person nonpareil.
George Bush Jr observed that the food crisis is largely due to countries like India where people have begun eating meat and exotic foods. He was alluding that the miserable Indians have long last found blithe in economic development and gained the resources to eat luxuriously. What would you say if someone who missed the Prime Ministerial chair by a wide distance, Rahul Gandhi blathering that, “Poverty is a state of the mind”? Meaning poverty is illusion or a hallucination. Who seemed hallucinated is worth laughing about if not scorning about. But then how could we forget about the former Prime minister and Doctor of Economics Manamohan Singh who was nonchalant and callous about tons of food grains rotting in FCI warehouse? What was the psyche of these men when they observed as they did, did they believe themselves to be paragons of frankness or did they consider the fact even remotely that their observations where the most of the irresponsible and cruel kind?
Dr.Rangarajan  need not measure the density of happiness or the scale of satisfaction in the commoners face , he need not bench mark gross national happiness instead of GNP. All that he and men who juggle with the economic livelihood of multitude of Indians need to do is only to show an iota, a fair amount of respect and appreciate that there is something called dignity even in a beaten man. And to extrapolate fantastic economic theories and determinations with poverty line bench marks as he has done is simply cruel and breathe of disdain. We do not deserve that. Do we?

Dr. Rangarajan’s poverty line threshold reminds me of William Shakespeare  quote in Julius Caesar, “The most unkindest cut of all”.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

No,I Shall Not Enjoy Raping You

“Why are women… so much more interesting to men than men are to women”? Wondered Virginia Woolf. 

That cannot be true, is not true. Indeed women are interesting to men like men are interesting to women. And the difference is only in the selection process of whom to be interested in. Women choose power and security, while men can be less discriminating. Perhaps they are not tethered to the attributes women get enamoured about.  Can you, a woman, deny that you are not interested in men and do not hallucinate about a Casanova, about the macho quintessential man – the Lawrence of Arabia? I can see your disapproving grimace, the moue. You are offended and outraged by what you may call my crudity. You do often see candour as outrageous. Don’t you?

But I resent your accusations and I ‘m also embarrassed and peeved by your comment that I’m lewd and that I disrobe you, rape you all the while without feeling your skin, your flesh. You say all men are hideous and licentious. You are right in feeling that I’m a rapist even if I have not violated your body by touch. Yes you are right I disrobe you; my eyes can scan the deepest secrets of your pulchritude, your body, the tantalizing beauty of your being that titillates me to no end.  I feel embarrassed when you notice my longing eyes, my skilful glances in the sly at the heave of your bosom, my eyes roving into the deep chasm in them; my gape at the fatal curve of your hip, the irresistibility of your rump; when the puckish gentleness of the breeze gently violates you- blowing aside the pallu of your sari, to feel the enchanting navel; the wheat tanned skin of your nape , and your back that you deftly display with the sartorial skill of your blouse; the low waist jean that clings at the partition of your rump, while you consciously expose the flesh below your navel and the naevus there about  ; the light weight skin thin short knitted top that enhances the contours of your torso, while you wantonly  gives me a peek to the straps of your bandeau and the wealth of your bosom; the contrived innocence in your lovely eyes that bewitches to no end and sometimes the lustful and ravishing glances that you throw at me.

Didn’t this confession satisfy you? Now tell me why wouldn’t I want you?
I was brought up to respect you, to not abuse you physically and by word of mouth. I have been truthful to my conditioning and what I believe in- not to violate women. Not to force a woman to yield to a wild amorous fantasy that may plow me. I fantasise you as you would me. Can you be honest here? 

I must say that your garb, your sex appeal is hard to resist. Often the empyrean beauty of your being is overshadowed by the voluptuousness of your robes that is aided by sartorial skill and the sparse use of the fig-leaf. Often you barely wear enough and flirtatiously expose. You hide behind the argument, it is your body and you have the sole right over it; you have the right to wear what your are comfortable in.Certainly!  You do that I know to impress, to attract me, to draw you to someone, potently and instantly.  I agree that you and I choose our robes, douse our flesh and skin with fragrances (that begrudges even the Gods) with skillful intent to impress, to appeal. You may be confident but your fig up that often is not in sync, is flirtatious and is universally aphrodisiacal.

I do not ask you to move about cocooned in black cloak, head to toe with tiny vents for your nostrils and your eyes, lest my amour becomes roguish and go berserk. I do not ask you to weave into   cocoon like a pupa. I assured you, I know not to violate a woman. But I refuse to be cowed by your statement that it is your body and you have the right to expose it as you wish. Yes you may. So do me. But when I’m what I’m there is always in the inappropriateness that you show that would make me want you, make me feel that you want to let out the beast in me. Choose your grab to suit the time and place. If you walk in the street square in a high hemmed negligee, that is very silky muslin like outlining your lingerie, sans buttons venting your voluptuous bosom you are only a temptress inviting any. Why do you tauntingly smile at me reclined in from the hoarding aloft the rise in the square tantalisngly  and wearing a casual tee that seems to be licentiously and purposefully pulled down at one shoulder revealing the ivory coloured straps of your brassiere?

You even walked about with in an  organised way as sluts in New Delhi. You called that a “Slut parade”. Didn’t you by using the term “slut” defile yourself and violate the many among you? There and then you told me, you confessed that you are aware that sluts and hussies are dressed in such way that would provoke the carnal beast in me.

You may brand me vile, satanic, and slobbering male chauvinistic squalor swine. Yes you may, but first make me convinced that my statements here are rubbish and are fulminations of a chauvinistic pig.

Believe me your beauty is given to you with unrestrained abundance by Nature and the many artificial gimmicks you borrow to enhance it, to take it to a level where you would succeed to entrance me, to provoke me- might stumble me , might unleash all restraint that I guarded with care. And that thinking you have is naïve, is perilous to you and me.

Believe me, I admire you, respect you but it is you who can make me crave lustfully and it is you who can make me behold you in awe,  in awe of Nature and her creation that is you.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bigotry of Burqa

This is not a post of irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion. In fact this is an earnest attempt to air some point of view as candidly and as succinctly as possible. This is a reply to a Blog commentator by the name Aziz who commented on a Blog post of Retired Justice Markandeya Katju  titled, “Do away with  Burqa” ( . Mr. Aziz was quite upset with my opinion endorsing the Justice’s view and more so to some of my observations and chose to be the jihadi against my views.
I have edited the exchanges (my comments) between me and this mysterious Mr. Aziz and have added more thought to it.

Comment-Anilkumar Kurup
“If a religion that is didactic and stifling with its bigotry decrees, yes Sari, Salwar etc. too may become dresses that will be banned by the clerics. And anyone questioning it will be stoned. Wouldn’t this be the case? Sati was evil and so is any form of practise thrust upon women/people and Burqa is one such. Are Muslim women given the choice? They are controlled, blinkered and choke collared and if they dare resist the Damocles sword of religion is used. Isn't this the real life story?                              
 And famously a clichéd phrase is used by the controlling forces and unfortunately even some women swear by it,'burqa is the expression of Muslim identity" .Identity- my foot.”

Reply -Aziz - June 2014 12:28
First of all there is no difference between burqa,sari and salwar in terms of freedom.                       Second, when you are talking about choice ask the same question to your self, are your women given the choice to follow western fashion? So please don't talk about choices, the only difference in choice is the limit, your limit is sari and salwar and our limit is burqa. And if you are taking about those tiny percentage in big cities and movie industry, Its because being educated they are not following Hinduism any more, after your scriptures have been proven wrong for 1000 times by modern science. But this is not the same with muslims because nor their scripture is incompatible with modern science neither their beliefs became weak.

Anilkumar Kurup12 June 2014 08:49
Firstly I comment not as a Hindu, though I have been born to parents who are Hindus. Mr. Aziz has commented like a typical ordained, indoctrinated Muslim. i.e.” all else and all things other than what Islam say and follow are wrong. All those who are not Muslims are khafirs. And that only Muslims bleed.” It’s a pity Mr. Aziz.
This reminds me of a fascinating anecdote. A Muslim preacher (Mullah) vociferously kept proclaiming that there are all things that pertain to Man and Universe in his holy book. And that every invention has been mentioned in it before it was invented or even thought of as a possibility. An enterprising boy stood up and asked either after becoming unable to tolerate his lopsided claims, "Mullah in your holy book is there something mentioned about Paracetamol and how it can be produced"?
Mr. Aziz until you guys learn to tolerate, respect and accept argumentation and inclusion , all that Islam can produce for posterity is nothing but suicide bombers and violence. You cannot for any reason claim that Burqa is not vile. It is t an archaic form of forced dress code not meant to cover skin but the soul and spirit of women.

Aziz12 June 2014 09:58
"You cannot for any reason claim that Burqa is not vile." Its so pathetic that when you have nothing valid to say in support of your argument, you start commanding it. And always alleged terrorism on muslims as a last resort, because thats the only way to escape for you....So pathetic.

Anilkumar Kurup12 June 2014 17:20
Ok friend, my apologise, I rephrase. "Burqa is evil and stiffing of the spirit". It is now a statement and you can refute it with reasons that are not masochist.
The unfortunate fact is, it is in societies where Muslims live that violence is unabated. Though we have problems in all societies Muslims think for them as a class apart. And the Wahhabi form of Islam wants the world for them and them alone.
It is a pity, Mr. Aziz. Why cannot you respect other religions? Why do you want to dominate other societies? There is considerable freedom for all faith in India but even a Muslim cannot breathe without fear in the barbaric country of Saudi Arabia where ironically every word is spoken sworn after your Prophet and God. There Wahhabi Islam is a threat to world order and inclusiveness. They export it through the power of petro-dollars.
The issue here is not just a burka or if a woman wears it of her volition or is forced to. But even educated Muslims such as presumably you, are living with blinkers and shows no mindset to be inclusive and tolerant.
And Mr. Aziz, if you are there please care to answer my two replies point by point. That is what discussion is about isn't it?

Aziz13 June 2014 15:09
“Well, First of all I don't know what you are calling violence, if you mean by wars in syria, egypt and other few countries, then it is because of transitional period as respected justice Katju said, it has happened to all the countries including America, Europe and US. And it has nothing to do with being muslim country.As far as the wahabiat is concern I don't know much about them but they are very few in numbers and almost negligible in India. It is just a perception that muslims cannot respect other religions. can you make clear where are you seeing muslim not respecting other religions. In fact you have problem with burqa,beef and 100 many more things of muslims which is no where violating any right of you. Have you seen any muslim protesting against your sati,cast system or rape and fraudulent acts of some Babas. These misconception are literally created by western media and millions of anti-muslim books written over the last century for their own gain and later on followed by the Indian media as always.Muslims, specially Indian muslims always respected the other religions but unfortunately they have not been treated equally and thats the problem. As far as the wahabiat is concern I don't know much about them but they are very few in numbers and almost negligible in India.”

Anilkumar Kurup15 June 2014 18:19
My friend you have got it wrong. The problems or the gory violent life that persists in the Arab world, in the Middle East is nothing related to transition. Transition can happen only in societies that have institutions that are democratic. The violent saga in the Arab world in the name of “Allah” and his Prophet has been on since the advent of Islam. It is rather ironical that the same God and his messenger could not put to order the perpetual warring Shiites and Sunnis. One can understand the tribal societies in a certain age in history that were perpetually killing and plundering but the same to happen in this era is quite an achievement of Islam or whatever people in the Muslim world makes out of it. Don’t you see? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? Care to enlighten me? Give me a logical explanation. I say that it is because of intolerance of Sunnis and in equal measure the Shiites. These two folks will for another millennia and more kill and maim one another to determine who can be the legitimate successor to Mohammed. And still not find and answer. Reason – intolerance and disregard for another’s view point- the bane of Islam as we can see. However you can find consolation in the fact that the right wing Hindutva groups are now rivalling extreme Islamists to be the custodians of intolerance and bigotry
“As far as the wahabiat is concern I don't know much about them but they are very few in numbers and almost negligible in India.( Quote Mr.Aziz)”                                                               The above statement I’m afraid tells your ignorance. Wahhabism is the brand of Sunni Islam that Saudi Arabia is exporting. And the terror angle in India is funded by this Wahhabi money. What we see in the ideology of Al Qaeda and other terror wings like LET or Jaishe Mohamed and even in the ISISI , now in Iraq is another extreme form of Sunni Wahhabism. They want to create a Caliphate stretching from the Mediterranean to South Asia. Fantastic philosophy of inclusiveness and tolerance! Isn’t it?

“It is just a perception that muslims cannot respect other religions. can you make clear where are you seeing muslim not respecting other religions. .( Quote Mr.Aziz)”
My friend, are you feigning ignorance. Surely you cannot be naïve as you seem to confess through your statement here. Let us discuss examples from history and recent times. Tell me why was the Bahamian Buddha the 6 th century year monolith sculpture, the monumental statue of standing Buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamwam valley in Afghanistan bombarded by the Taliban the neolith faithful’s of Islam? If that was not uncivilsed and abhorrent intolerance then certainly it was also a blatant form of intolerance propagated by Islam. Those criminal, the terrorist, and the thugs- the Taliban tore down the statue with heavy artillery in the name of Allah. Strange if the God of Islam demands disrespect and irreverence of other faith. Do you really believe that there is an Islamic God the only true God, that there is a Christian God a false one at that, and that there is a Hindu vile God and a Jewish God again a false one? Do you insist that people believe in this fairy tale and kill their own? Why is the Muslim foray into India splashed and soiled by blood and aided by sword? Why were the Hindu temples of ancient India deracinated, desecrated and Hindus put to sword? Why were there forced conversions? Look at the biographies of Mohammed of Ghori and Ghazanni for instance. What else were those excursions of terror if it was not intolerance? Rajiv Gandhi buckled and leaked through his trouser like a fool and amended the law under Muslim pressure to circumvent the court ruling favouring a destitute Muslim woman ‘Sha Bano’ who was denied maintenance by her husband sighting the ‘glorious’(sic) but God given Muslim personal law. What was that my friend if that was not intolerance and refusal to heed to civilised norms? My friend do you know which was the first Mosque in India? Do you have any idea? Can you guess? The ‘Cheraman Masjid’ is in Kodungalloor, near Kochin in Kerala is said to be the very first mosque in India, built in 629 AD by Malik lbn Dinar. The land was gifted by the local Hindu ruler.

“In fact you have problem with burqa,beef and 100 many more things of muslims which is no where violating any right of you. Have you seen any muslim protesting against your sati,cast system or rape and fraudulent acts of some Babas. ( Quote Mr.Aziz)”
You got it wrong here using me in the first person. (‘…your Sati, your beef etc.”)Yes I was born to Hindu parents and that precisely helped me to respect and tolerate different faith. My friend do you really believe that there is a Muslim God, a Hindu God, Christian God, a Jewish God etc.? My friend I’m not a Hindu as you may believe, and perhaps I will agree if you say I’m a Hindu with no religious fervor and madness like some Hindus and many Muslims and Christians too. I do not believe or see any reason to claim that there is a Hindu God and he alone is great. I see only reasons to rubbish people who say so and Muslims too who claim that only Islam is true. If Muslims did not protest against Sati it shows how barbaric they thought. My friend, Sati was one evil aspect of Hinduism and thankfully done away. Casteism, child marriage, ban of widow marriage etc. are other forms of evil in Hinduism. Like stifling woman in Burqa, like stoning women, like your triple Talq helping men, like polygamy and subjugating women thereafter are vices in Islam. If you do not protest and raise voice against all these evils and  be it in any faith you are a bad Muslim and above all a worst kind of human being, an abominable one. That goes with me and everyone. Understand that. Even though I’m not religious I go to temples, Churches and have been to Mosques too. I find no God cursing me for that. Can you do that with free mind without your mullahs and fellow Muslims kicking you in your arse? My friend it is not Muslims alone who bleed. The colour of blood for you and me is red.

“These misconception are literally created by western media and millions of anti-muslim books written over the last century for their own gain and later on followed by the Indian media as always.(Quote Mr.Aziz)”
Why do you allow for misconception? Have you listened to this Islamic preacher Zakhir Naik? The invective he throws at Hinduism, Christianity and other religions? He proclaims that as I mentioned in my earlier reply to you that Koran has everything truthful. Not only implying but asserting vocally that all other Texts, texts of other faith is rubbish. The silence of the educated among Muslims in the face of the bigotry of Clerics and their perverted ideology is what helps the West talk nonsense of your faith. Come-on my friend Muslims has been allowed to migrate to France, to UK, to Spain and many Western countries. They are free to practice Islam there. They have equal citizenship rights. And you say that there is misconception in the West. This is ungratefulness and nonsense my friend. You will have more freedom and respect in the West if you go there than in the custodian country of Islam Saudi Arabia.

“Muslims, specially Indian muslims always respected the other religions but unfortunately they have not been treated equally and thats the problem.( quote Mr.Aziz)”
Wrong absolutely wrong and your contention is egregious. In fact Muslims in India are a pampered lot, by the Congress rule and their vote bank politics. I do not know what the BJP would do, if they will correct the lopsidedness or go to the opposite extreme. If Muslims in India have not developed they are themselves to be blamed. Their stifling laws, practices and clerics who hold fatwas like in medieval Arabia to silence progressive voices among Muslims are the reason for your backwardness. Why do Muslims in northern district of Kerala want the criminal law to be amended to free Muslim men to marry minor girls? My friend you go to Pakistan, go to Middle East you will then see what it means by freedom of expression and fundamental rights you have  here being an Indian. As for a country carved on theocratic mumbo jumbo look at Pakistan. You will then fall prostrate and thank your God for creating you as an Indian and being able to live in a free country like India. If the Jews were driven out of every land they went to, there must certainly be something unsavoury about their attitude as the guest in a foreign land. But remember they the Jews could find sanctuary, identity, peace and quiet in India and nowhere in the world where they safe-look back into history. Mr. Aziz if you cannot be happy still, I implore you- look within. For the Kingdom of heaven may be within you.
A few years ago the well-known writer, and novelist Kamal Das ( Madhavikutty), turned  Kamal  Suraya after her impetuous conversion to Islam was disillusioned with herself and her capriciousness  and expressed desire to be as she was before the conversion. She was threatened (in her own words as said in her memoir) by Muslim groups of dire consequence to her life if she chose to discard her Islamic conversion. Is this is the mark of Islamic tolerance that many Muslims swear is vouched in their scriptures?

These observations are not to vilify your faith, but to seek civilized responses and answers to my questions. Why, Mr. Aziz, do we not see even feeble voices of protest by learned Muslims against Islamic militancy, terror, injustices and atrocities perpetuated in the name of Islam?