On Hero Worship

blind faith

I am APOLITICAL.

I was born a Hindu. I love being one, not the “My Gods need me to protect them” kind. My religious outlook is pretty simple and straightforward, practical if you must: Respect life.

I am very much a Buddhist, the philosophical outlook that is. I love some aspects of Christianity and Islam. I have spent 10 of my childhood years in a missionary-run boarding school in India. No one tried to convert me.

I spent my last ten years in an Islamic nation, worked in an office surrounded by Arab colleagues. No one wanted to convert me.

I felt safe in both scenarios.

But not anymore. Back in India, reconnecting with old friends, I seriously feel insecure, unsafe, scared for my life, in my own country! So much hatred among communities, many think they are safeguarding a culture that is based on tolerance by being senselessly intolerant to anyone who doesn’t adore the politicians they worship! Hero worship has acquired a new meaning, and post-truth the new religion.

Increasingly, I realise our world is going downhill, culturally, spiritually and emotionally. Harmless conversations, even in  the social media and private groups , are impossible. This is no way to live.

One of my old classmates even told me today that half of my name is in Pakistan (Sindh-u). What was that? I asked him if he wanted me to send half of me across the border?

Seriously, is this a progressive nation?

And by the way, I WILL NOT HATE anyone, based on religion, politics, gender or whatever else fancies anyone. YOU SHALL NOT CORRUPT MY MIND. GET LOST, hate-mongers…

Money is what money does

I do not know the economics of money. But I still remember the definition of money I had learned 30 years ago: “Money is what money does.”

So if the money we earn has a habit of getting devalued day after day, our quality of life also gets devalued with it. In such situations, what are we supposed to do? Why is the government not telling us the measures to adopt to tide over this crisis comparatively unhurt?

I do not understand how and why currency value rises or falls.Image

All I understand at the moment is that it has something to do with the regional conflicts, strategic power shifts, covert oil wars, money laundering etc. I have a limited grasp on financial matters. 

But from what the Indian news channels tell us, it is bad news: $1 is equal to almost Rs68. No wonder we haven’t managed to get the rupee sign on the keyboard :(. Or have we?

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Anyway, according to the financial smarties, this means bad news to the common man, who will not be able to send their children to study abroad, to invest, make foreign trips, or buy imported stuff, among others. But I never thought the common man was up to all this! 

I was also impressed by the cheerful Finance Minister Mr P. Chidambaram asked us to be patient, as if it was an option (!). But why was he grinning? Has he lost it? Or is this “economic emergency” in the country and the expose of hormone-driven “God-men” part of some political strategy?

To top all that, this morning news tells us an Indian Lawmaker was caught in a Goa hotel with five (!) call-girls celebrating his birthday. Wow.

And the ruling party is blissfully running its propaganda on television “Gareebon ko bhukke sone na dega” (Won’t let the poor sleep hungry). Maybe what they actually mean is “Won’t let the poor sleep by keeping them hungry”.

I am amazed at the way my country is falling, faster than our currency.

We really need (as Ratan Tata mentioned on a TV show this morning) Leaders who can LEAD, not follow.

Param Pujya Sant Shri Asharamji? I doubt.

“Param Pujya Sant Shri Asharamji” is on a fast cum meditation in his ashram, while the policemen who are there to arrest him are waiting patiently for the “holy-man” to come out and surrender. Image

The allegation is that he sexually assaulted an underage devotee, even demanded a blow-job (!!!), according tot he victim. Can’t believe this is happening! How? Why?

Can’t also believe Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had indeed referred to him with utmost reverence ‘bapu ji’ in the parliament. Is India truly a ridiculously secular democracy? Or is it that we only have morons holding power in the country?

Shameful.

“Param Pujya Sant Shri Asharamji, endearingly called ‘Bapu’, is a Self-Realized Saint from India. Pujya Bapuji preaches the existence of OneSupreme Conscious in every human being; be it Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh or anyone else. Bapuji represents a Confluence of Bhakti Yoga, Gyan Yoga & Karma Yoga. ”

Thus says his website: http://www.ashram.org/PujyaBapuji/AboutBapuji.aspx Image

As they say any accused is innocent till proven otherwise, I cannot say more on this case. But I think when it comes to contesting elections politicians with criminal cases filed against them should not be allowed unless proven innocent by a court.

Go going GONE

Another gang-rape in India within a year, this time in Mumbai, unceremoniously interrupting another poor girl’s life, her dreams and hopes crushed.

Eight months after the brutal Delhi gang-rape, in a similar incident, a 22-year-old photojournalist, who was on an evening assignment was gang-raped by five men, and is now in hospital with multiple injuries. The girl was gang raped while her male colleague was tied up and beaten in an isolated, overgrown corner of India’s business hub.Image

Police have released sketches of the four men. Police said the men may have been local drug dealers.Image

It has taken me a few days to react. Firstly, I thought: How could people be so careless? Among them, the editor who assigned the job, the young girl who risked her life, the colleague who accompanied her, all of them living and working in Mumbai! How could they not see danger hidden in every corner of the city, a criminal round the corner, every corner around? Perhaps when you are in the thick of something, you don’t see what’s coming!

During, my recent visit to India, when I spent about a month in Mumbai itself, I saw in person, the dangerous lives ordinary people are left with.

Without exaggeration, during my stay at least four house break-ins took place in our colony itself, with dozens of other burglaries in the area.

There was a general sense of desperation and insecurity in the working class and business class alike. You have poverty and crime on your face. The private sector employees, in particular those in the service sector, who once used to accept tips gracefully, were seen aggressively demanding, some begging. It made me shudder at the prospect of returning to this city, country, a year later. I need to rethink, if things don’t change for the better, I guess.

India might be gearing for another election and politicians busy warming up to vote banks. The life of common man is rapidly degenerating and my country heading for a definite state of anarchy.

Something has to happen urgently, a revolution of sorts, cultural, social, political, economic…

India has been abused beyond repair, but antisocial elements, selfish pockets, like the two young girls whose lives have been sacrificed by our apathy.