Afghanistan – A Century in turmoil

This is an interesting story of a country that was moving towards enlightenment and true democratic system of governance but slipped on its way into deep chaos and turmoil. Contemporary historians blame US- USSR polarity and rivalry for this but you may find insight and glimpses of a different nature to the build up to such catastrophic fall.

I call it into two phases – first phase being, In my view, the rich-poor divide, democratization of polity by Daoud Khan, the successor to Zahir Khan and aggressive influence of communist all culminated into an era of soviet occupation.

The second phase was the soviet occupation and the disenchantment and fundamental malalignment of human endeavor associated with bolshevik philosophy and the succeeding revolt (supported by US led capitalist) to throw the Russian. This second phase saw the rise of radical muslims (the poor muslims transformed into Taliban). That heralded the third phase, which is currently ongoing.

… I am still reflecting on how unfurling events, if not controlled, can immerse a country and its generation, into deep chism and chaos. Any thought?

 

A short history of Life: Afghanistan’s lost magazine
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-42878241

#Me Too in India – Long Awaited Movement

On religion and worship, a facet of Sanatan Dharma (colloquially Hinduism) characteristically stands out, all mother Goddesses are in the Sanctum Sanctorum, all are depicted at the same level as Men Gods. Let us revisit and understand the sanctum sanctum in the temples of Lord Ram and Sita or Lord Krishna and Radha, we notice that both the male and female deities are at the same level. Lord Shiv goes a step further, he says he is incomplete without Lord Parvati. Such is the legacy we all inherit, wherein religion has built our ethos to respect ladies with that adoration and equal respect. Just to highlight the contrary, I haven’t seen a single temple wherein the female consort is outside Sanctum Sanctorum.

Not sure at what point in time have we mutated this legacy but irrespective of when it happened, we dealt a severe body blow to our culture and heritage. I am not a well read person like several of you are. However, I can see a transition of another facet, the Ghungat/padar/burqh. If you observe carefully, you will notice it prominently in Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. As you go south towards Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, you see that size of Ghunghat decreasing. Not sure if you guys concur with me?

Sometimes that makes me wonder, has it changed after the Mughal onslaught? Those barbaric marauders attacked the western border and we see that tradition more on that side. They had least respect for the land, ladies or the people and they pretty much plundered heinously everything. That might have changed our custom and culture.

But again, second citizen treatment for women has its genesis on the nature (of procreation), their intrinsic physical vulnerability and men’s attitude to dominate with coercion. It is an exploitation that we embedded and ritualized.

Just look at our Hindu Temples, men can visit temple anytime but women cannot, while they are menstruating. We consider that less spiritual time. Never understood the logic. Aren’t we all born out of that physiologic process? Why consider it lesser (and probably dirty)?

A lot has to do with women’s own submission. They should support their own equality. They should break those taboos created as aberrations over a period of millennia. Just assert and walk confidently. Men will simply follow.

==

What is wrong with us? Despite our value system and religious ethos, we such heinous crimes? Of course, this is an outlier and can be counted as rarest of the rare reporting by the open sensationalizing media. However, even if we bar this incidence, crimes against women are much common place in India, compared to western standards though we are a shade better than Muslim world. How can we as a doctor community help this problem?
India outcry after eight-month-old baby raped
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-42869010

 

Republic Day – A Mirage or Illusion

Below, I have taken a clip from a movie, wherein Sunil Dutt sang a song that remains an apt as a vision for india.

 

Another is a satire, that is circulating on the internet, though sublime, provides a vitriolic criticism of a India as a nation and the general psyche.

(Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to convert it into a format to upload)

 

 

The last one is the Jana Gana Mhana… a poem written by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1911 and first sung at the Indian National Congress (except for name, no relationship with Indira Congress). Apart from its rich lyrics, exceptional creativity in articulating the vision in verbs that is easily understood by the common man, it provides the ethos and captures the essence of the conceptualizing nationality. This song will remain eternal in the minds of generations to come.

 

India – an emerging reality

An interesting clip, possibly a revelation of emerging cohabitation. Below clip was shared by Dr. Evelina Mujumdar.

The speaker is Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, President, All India Imams Organisation
This clip is from the function of the launch of a book, encyclopedia of Hinduism was held in Oct 2014.

These days, unlike our childhood, it is unheard of. Deep rooted secularism and accommodation of varied perspectives (that includes faith) is a true characteristic that distinguishes this magnificent land. It is irony, India is fast losing this perspective since pragmatist label this tenet of Indianness as idealism or liberalism.

As the speaker mentioned, we all belong to one common ethnic stalk (that also includes Pakistan) and appreciating that solidarity is the only way towards nationhood. This Muslim speaker is walking the true path of pragmatism, maybe there is a deeper realization of coexistence as the only option. However, the majority of faith should not disavow this idea of coexistence.

While this is true for the majority faith, the minority faith has a reflection to do and adjust. As I said earlier, there is a great deal of resilience built in the ethos of this land. However, while the greater majority is asserting itself, Muslims should reconcile and acknowledge this element of Indianness. There is a deeper acceptance of diverse perspectives within the ethos of this land and it is the trait that has primarily lead to a proliferation of Islam.

Peace and prosperity go both ways, it is built with efforts and all these spiritual leaders are taking one step at a time, in that direction. As individuals, our contribution towards this growing philosophy is supporting to the momentum that these religious leaders are gradually building.

Message from my friend, Dr. Anand Kawade, “Good message from Imam Umar,

धर्म शब्दाच्या मुळाशी “धारणा” आहे.आणि ही धारणा मानवाच्या अस्तित्वाशी निगडित आहे.
जेव्हा ती तुमच्या स्वत़़च्या अस्तित्वाशी निगडित असते त्यावेळी तो तुमचा धर्म होतो.सहाजिकच तो धर्म दुसऱ्यांचे अस्तित्व नाकारतो. ज्यावेळी ही धारणा दुसऱ्यांच्या अस्तित्वाशी निगडित व्हायला लागते,मान्य करायला लागते त्यावेळी तो धर्म inclusive व्हायला लागतो. Dr. Anand Kawade

मग तुमच्या श्रद्धा, lifestyle,वर्ण, रंग काहीही असो. हिंदू धर्म, बौद्ध धर्म, जैन धर्म

यांच्या बाबतीत हे already झालेले आहे. Pope Francis यांचे विचार हेच दाखवून देते की ईसाई धर्माची ही प्रक्रिया चालू झाली आहे आणि ईमाम यांचे भाषणातून दिसते की इस्लाम धर्मात नवी पहाट झाली आहे.
आपण सगळेच एकाच परब्रह्माचे अंश आहोत हा अनुभव निरंतर येऊन तदनुसार वागणे यालाच आध्यात्म किंवा spiritually म्हणतात.बाकी सगळं मग “बोलाचीच कढी आणि बोलाचा चालू भात” Dr Anand Kawade

Korean Peninsula – an yearning to unite

Problems are always complex to discern and resolve, but it is the zest and passion that drives one towards resolution. Koreans are divided by political fortitude but they inside, they still have the longing to stand as a single nation. Germany had similar fractions that sounded like stitching a broken china (ceramic-ware).

If there is one thing that can guide us towards that visions, it would be the ability and capacity to rise above ourselves. This feature is dispersed amongst the common masses but is lacking in our collective conscious and actions. The day we cross those barriers, all prophesies of doom and revolt will disappear, and we should see a rising nation. It is equally true that we won’t see any radical change happening overnight. Historically, as the Indian social order and polity stands, radical changes are unlikely as there is tremendous resilience that is inbuilt. However, pressure from disruptive changes (business, technology, rising democratization and population pressure) may all fast forward some these changes. Polity with an alacrity to understand and adapt will bring this order.

The idea of one nation is doomed but the idea of all people under one roof is not. Hope we drive our nation towards that vision like the Koreans (one step at a time) and Germans.

 

Koreas to march under single ‘united’ flag in Olympic Games
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-42721417

Unseating from Grandiose Pedestal

In Mexico, social environments are such that corrupt politicians run away from the populace whom they serve. That reflects the antipathy of the common folks towards such deeds. In India, we see them camouflage while they adopt some social causes as an alibi.

We definitely have to take a lesson from Majico (Mexican call themselves Mahico, J is pronounced like H, so San Jose is pronounced as San Hose) that there should be zero tolerance towards corruption come what may be the social status or platform. Once that message is sent across, we should see enough ramifications.

Mexico fugitive ex-governor Roberto Borge extradited
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-42564581

China – A Rising Nation

US is a classical example of building sustainable governance and later infrastructure that led to the US being considered a safe nation for investment and progress. Nations flocked with either their money or their citizenry, to be part of this emerging cauldron of success.

When others are balking, China is fast encroaching and emulating the model of economic progress. China is fast emulating, however, with a difference. An example in point, a few years back, China started several top-line scientific journals and conferences. The scientific field is not an exception. We see scores of such examples in several fields, especially in trade.

We are still mired in our age-old war of restitute issues admixed with building bullet trains. No centralized policy to build vision except a nation composed of only Hindus, no policy on integration except nominating titular presidency and playing a vote bank of states, pardoning the excesses of stalwart industrialists and ignoring those who work on the bottom line, all adding to fomenting to culminate into a natural revolt.

After 6-8 centuries, we are yet to reconcile the fact that we are a pleural nation but bask in the glory of our great great great … grandfather, who achieved those amazing successes, without realizing that all that progress is historical, fleeting and time-lapsed as a snapshot. We call ourselves intellectuals and indulge in jugad, possibly we can jugado a solution to this chaos. You never know!

China offers 10-year visas to ‘high end talent’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42575436

==

… and China is not as dumb as the US. They are building that Gwadar or Hambantota port under India’s nose, they have started siphoning interest from investment. Just watch Pakistan, roaming door to door for alms and crumbling to internal dissension and collapse.  The case of Sri Lanka is beyond repair, they lost almost 69 square kilometers of land permanently to China after defaulting on those loans. That collapse is not in the best of our interest though, since it creates chaos next door. Chaos next door very likely to have a bystander effect on India.

Dr. Ambedkar

Placeholder – this man deserves a whole lot for lifting humanity. His activities deserves a whole lot of attention. Will write eventually.

It is worth felicitating this man who influenced and changed the life for millions for generations to come.

Ambedkar: The man behind India’s constitution
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-42234642

Pakistan – Rhetorical Democracy

The so called civilian (farce) democracy

They also expressed gratitude to the military for brokering the agreement and thereby “averting a grave national disaster”.

Since 1988, when a form of controlled democracy was introduced in Pakistan, the military is widely believed to have worked behind the scenes to prevent elected governments from making independent decisions on security and foreign policy. Common tactics to challenge the legitimacy of the politicians include corruption proceedings and Islamist street power.

Pakistan Islamists call off protests after minister resigns
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-42133413

India – a reflection through millenia

For seven decades after independence, Indian identity rested on cultural pluralism. Now, the Hindu-chauvinist BJP is seeking to redefine India as a Hindu nation long subjugated by foreigners – not just British colonists, but also Muslim conquerors.

By stoking long-buried resentments and promoting hatred of Muslims, the BJP’s kulturkampf is dividing Indian society, fragmenting its political discourse, and undermining its soft power in the world.

If the BJP is to avoid doing further damage to the Indian nation, it must recognise that the past is not a blunt tool for scoring petty political points. One cannot avenge oneself upon history: history is its own revenge. PROJECT SYNDICATE

India’s siege on Taj Mahal smacks of religious chauvinism
http://bit.ly/2mAqQDF

 

Download the TODAY app at http://www.todayonline.com/apps