Glimpse of Yogi – KYC (Know Your CM)

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” – Plato

Yogi Adityanath as UP CM is painful, it’s painful because he is popular, because he has a strong backing of MLAs. It is painful when educated (and well meaning) people support such people, maybe in ignorance (maybe because they believe he is right? 😦 ) or because they are disconnected with what Yogi Adityanath represents and don’t want to get into details. So two types of people still support this- 

1. Type 1 – The well meaning secular people

Their arguments- 

Argument 1- After all we have a strong PM who supports Yogi. He’ll handle it. And they have put up two deputy CMs, they will keep him in control? Won’t they?

Response- Why to put such a person in power that you need to control him? Will the PM control it in the same way he controlled it in Gujarat? (sorry to bring this sore point up again). And we and Mr Modi will just stand by as spectators? (just like the germans when jews were attacked)

or

Argument 2- Yogi is not that bad. Find me one video where he says something like that.

Response- pls go through the list I could compile in a very short while –

yogi wiki

2. Type 2 – The not well meaning

Their argument –

In short they want a mandir, Ramrajya and those kinda things. Water, elect., education can be sorted out later acc. to them.

I believe the type 2 type of people can be corrected only through the means of education and we have long passed that stage. It seems the governments want to keep large sections of populations uneducated, so that they can be fooled repeatedly in the name of religion. Government schools are still full of apathy and are breeding ground for disgruntled and angry youth that turns out to be jobless. The only way forward is to pick a leader who is able to control them. What we really lack is a good orator on this side of politics, who can connect to the masses.

What are your thoughts about it?

 

Advertisements

Crime and Punishment- Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Review)

The review is not exactly structured, though an attempt has been made. Its mostly just random praise for a brilliant book that has really surprised me. I never knew one book could incite so many thoughts and emotions. Its full of deep philosophical thoughts….a level-II kinda book.

Who should read it?

Absolutely everyone capable of reading it, should do it. Specifically I am sure the book will be a delight for psychology students and for lawyers and for those who have a habit of overthinking. Of course someone about to commit a crime could also read it.

Comments

This book was totally planned, just like the crime that it describes. Beautiful attention to detail on the chronology of events in the book, makes you stop every once in a while and admire the intelligence of the author.

All characters (especially Rodya’s best friend) of the book have been beautifully painted. Even characters with devious intentions look like they have been derived from the author’s life (not to insinuate the author). Because of this the characters retain a touch of reality. The usual bad habits of normal human beings (those we encounter in our lives) have been exaggerated and written down in a manner that makes them look bad. I wish I could describe and examine each of the characters in much more detail, but that would be a futile effort.

Specific Parts I liked

One of the best parts that I enjoyed in the book was when Rodya confessed to her (not taking any more names). It covered almost all ranges of emotions possible and felt so real and plausible. Like in all masterpieces, there is also a beautiful understanding of how people (men & women) judge each other (refer the part where Rodya’s sister and her stalker talk). The book is also a delight for feminists. I read multiple times and relished the part when Rodya’s sister rejected a particular person’s hand.

Conclusion

I was fortunate to read this book at the right age (not too late at least). It reiterates an important fact that we all know, at least intuitively- Man is a social being and that sharing grief and pain makes it less of a burden. The guilt factor reduces in case of crimes.

Despite all the gloom that this book evokes in the one who reads it, it is in the end a happy story. It is heartening that Rodya and his family stick together and understand each other. The love between characters totally makes the pain sufferable. The book asks a pertinent question any sensible person with a loving family asks of themselves at some point of time, “Why are they fond of me?”.

This book is not an effort by the author; it is a masterpiece of a genius. It is effortless on the part of the author, it seems.

A line that I loved (apart from many other)

“Life had stepped into the place of theory and something quite different would work itself out in his mind.”

It beautifully sums up the futility of careful planning and logics that we sometimes apply on life (which many a times Rodya did too).

Too long did not read (TLDR as they say it)

I have not yet read a better book. I may, after this, but that too may be written by Dostoyevsky. This was his first book I read.

भावुक होना …

कुछ दिन घर से बाहर निकले

जी भर के तमाशा देख लिया

क्या क्या फिर से याद करें

अब भावुक होना छोड़ दिया

 

ऐसा तो हरगिज़ न था वो

हमने ही कुछ काण्ड किया

हाथ में रेती सा फिसला तो

भावुक होना छोड़ दिया

 

बात बात पर किसको बोलें

किसने क्या नुक्सान किया

अब तो सबको कह देते हैं

भावुक होना छोड़ दिया !

Dolores-Irani & Jawahar-Hogwarts & James Potter

I have been thinking of writing a really long post for a really long time now. This could actually be a book review or a personal comment and view on the political situation plaguing JNU.

I can’t help but compare Professor Umbridge to Smriti Irani in the present scenario. Our HRD minister’s indulgence with the educational institutions across India is alarming but is at the same time hilarious. Her attempt at interference has met stiff resistance in the form of Kanhaiya, who I would like to compare with Harry Potter. I would, going ahead with my fantastical assumptions also like to compare the bold Shehla Rashid with Hermione (beautiful and intelligent) and Umar Khalid with Ronald (same rashness and thoughtlessness in actions minus the red hair). The minister’s motherly treatment towards full grown adults is quite similar to how Umbridge tried to contain groups and ideologies within Hogwarts. To her dismay however the Dumbledore’s army flourished with a greater zeal.

The final moral of the story towards which I am trying to drive is that, restricting and strangulating dissent is always the worst way to handle it. When has it actually worked in history? Does anyone really need examples from numerous stories in fiction and real world to tell that crushing dissent will not work?

This kind of alienation from the elected government is very common during adolescence, because this is the time when we form our own opinions. This is the time when young minds challenge past heroes. I have seen people criticising Nehru and Gandhi without even reading about them, praising Godse after watching a choreographed and dramatized video version of his last speech in the court (YouTube video -quite popular with the orange people:). All these ideas ultimately give way to truth, through debates and discussions. An excellent example of this can be found in the James Potter series’ first book “Hall of Elder’s Crossing” by G. Norman Lippert (free e-book). After Harry’s son James joins his school, a particular group of students emerges which believes that Voldemort was the actual victim and that the Ministry of Magic and Harry Potter vilified Voldemort and killed him, kind of in a fake encounter. This group called itself “The Progressive Element”. James is pained to see all this slander going against his father, when heroes are made villains and terrorists are made victims.

The Progressive Element-

According to the Progressive Element, “Lord Tom Riddle” was nothing more than a revolutionary and misunderstood wizard who went to extreme, but not downright evil as history states, measures to pursue equality between the wizarding world and the Muggle world. As such, they go on to call Harry Potter and his Auror team liars for saying otherwise. It rallies under slogans such as “Progressive Wizarding Against False History,” “Question the Victors,” and “Tell the TRUTH, Harry Potter!”  

Source- Harry Potter Fan Wiki

As shown in the book, this particular movement of the students against Harry Potter gains ground, so much so that when he visits Hogwarts, he is protested against by some students. What is the method to deal with such situations? As pointed out rightly in the book, debate is the only medium. The sides, one for Harry Potter and one against him conduct a debate. People get to listen to the other side. People take sides and ultimately the side with the least no. of loopholes in their story wins. Every human being carries on an internal debate within his/ her mind, and even if a false idea plants itself in a mind, one day the fallacy is exposed because the facts will not agree with the lies, there will be incongruences in the lies, they will not fit. But all this happens over time and with constant debate and an open mind.

It is for this reason that I would strongly recommend the James Potter series. It is as good as the original father series, if not more. The author has touched upon issues in the world which can only be observed by a very keen person, politically aware and having a deep understanding of human nature. As it turned out this was more of a book review.

Bol ke Lab Azaad hain Tere
Bol Zabaan Ab tak Teri Hai – Faiz

Speak for your lips are free
Speak for your tongue is yours

#StandwithJNU

Both images are from Wikipedia (Image 1, 2)

Deriving Anklets- aesthetic or misogynistic; & other related issues

It was some months before when I was at home, that I was irritated beyond my own belief at the sound of anklets. I mean who told them (our ancestors) that we needed to incite and excite this sense of sound when women walk in households, and in the process maybe disturb someone.

Is it just a pronouncement for the female character or a symbol of a misogynistic society? Commenting on what women and girls choose to wear is definitely not the intention or even mandate of anyone. What I am thinking about is the origin of this accessory.

Not to pull off a VK Singh here (Link), but cows and buffaloes in villages have bells tied around their neck. It is probably there to easily find them when they wander off.

Is this why anklets were worn by women, i.e. to warn the male members of their coming and to stop discussion on any important issue.

1
Ghungroo- bigger version of Payal (anklet)

This practice of wearing anklets is now fast losing its attraction in urban India (personal observation which may vary from truth). I personally feel it is heartening that symbolically also these chains which have been binding our women in society are being broken. Being bound by any aesthetic accessory in this sense seems like being bound by chains which stop progress. It is as if by diverting our attention to how we look, we are ignoring the essence of the real beauty of who/what we are.

This is of course not limited only to anklets to which a disproportionately large part of this writeup has been dedicated. It is also true to presentations that we give. It is also related to the political campaigns that parties are running.

Being a part of the architecture student’s community, I feel a lot of attention is paid to how things look. This of course boils down to the old age debate of whether beauty and aesthetics is important. But I am a subscriber of the philosophy which says that we need some periods in time when we strip some work of all its aesthetic appendages which tend to hide its flaws. Show it as it is. I have seen and done this many times in my design presentations as an architecture student. Hiding flaws in design by good presentation. This is what sells, isn’t it?

3
The Punjab and Haryana Assemblies’ complex by Corbusier

The Brutalist architecture catered to just this problem of aesthetics. It originated because architects were fed up of the external pilasters and heavy ornamentations which did not contribute to the building in any way (functionally). Some of Le Corbusier’s buildings in naked concrete display their magnificence in this style.

At the end of the day, it is people who will decide what they like better and we must leave it to their fine sense of judgement.

Reverting back to the anklets – Has it now become a fashion statement which is out of fashion? Of course some people like them for the sound and beauty. Better leave it to the girls. This post has already taken a lot off my mind.

The first image is from Wikipedia (Creative Commons), the second one clicked by me.

Sayings & Quotes have a life of their own

I am always amused how quotes have a life of their own. Even fools (to be blunt and including myself) look intelligent when they utter them. They are a condensation of beliefs and observations spanning long periods of time. They have a credibility of their own, especially in India, local sayings are guiding principles for simple folks in villages.

It is almost as if some living person guides and comes from the past and dictates the right path. They are deep and talk to a deeper level of our being thereby affecting us. They probably have this power because most of these sayings and quotations are not just a witty phrase or line, they come from extreme emotions. It is joy, sadness, remorse, anger flooding out in words, unbridled by our brain, in the purest form.

I personally consider all of those things quotations which have stayed in my mind, and come to rescue when they are needed. And I have found that most of these come from my teachers, be it my parents, friends or professors in college and schools.

There could be at least two ways we may arrive at a saying/quote – those sayings that were passed on through generations, and those that we form ourselves in our lifetime. I say arrive because quotations evolve and are mostly truthful, they are not random statements; they are a conclusion of a thought process.

In some sense quotations bring in experience, which brings in intelligence and understanding. The quotations are bigger even than their creators for they are usually extended to myriad situations (in which they were not actually uttered or were not designed for) by their followers. I hope they continue to bless us with the compressed, rich and ready to use knowledge which they carry in a few words.

This was all that I had in mind regarding quotes, and I have taken liberty in expressing all of it, however absurd the title may seem. Kindly take the same liberty in expressing yourself through comments.

Unbearable

Written a poem if I could have
For all that I felt
When I saw you smile
It would have been bearable

Sung a song if I could have
For the blows that were dealt
When distances became exile
It would have been bearable

Painted heavens if I could have
From the red that heart bled
When efforts went futile
It would have been bearable

In and Out of Times

Written for my siblings, for all the love that they blessed me with in childhood, and for the constant support that they are in difficult times.

In and Out of Times

So wonderful to have you here
In my life
Like a thousand splendid suns
In the day
And like a Patronus in the nights
In all times
You have guarded and shielded me
Out of misery
You have untangled and saved me
Out of blues
Warm memories flood and fill me
Out of love
It is that I write this to you.

A city for the Honest

This is not another post about a dishonest city and how it has treated me. It is just an idea, a thought which struck my mind while I was going back home on the metro system in Delhi. The metro is stuffed with people, and people pour out like water from an overflowing vessel as soon as gates open at a busy interchange station.

Many problems of crowd management could be done away if we removed the constraints in terms of design that are there to ensure that the thieves in the system don’t have their way. Suppose that no one goes out of the system without paying their dues or ticket cost, we won’t need to regulate the exits at the gate, just put in loads of machines in a line (like urinals in a toilet) and keep the gates open everywhere. Everyone pays for their journey in a separate hall made for it, and just exits at another point unregulated, not in queues.

These kinds of systems which would depend on the honesty of the individuals involved could save a lot of time and energy. Extrapolation of this system in the extremes, led me to believe that we won’t even need governments in such a case. Because everyone would be honest, no need for regulation, just some community groups at the local level to handle emergencies.

Shops won’t have to install all those anti-theft measures, you wouldn’t even have to stand at your own shop, and people will take the product and pay for it. I remember an example for such a system, I had read on Quora. While I searched for it again when writing this, I couldn’t find it, but here’s a link to the same from another source.- Shop without shopkeepers

Of course many have already thought of these things, I just wanted to muse this out loudly, so that I could get your views, what do you say? Do we have the time to sit by and trust in the goodness of honest people, when at the same time we want to get filthy rich? Or should we not harden ourselves for this world, remain honest, but fight for our rights ferociously and not concede defeat against misdoings by other people?