Friday, June 12, 2009

CHINDIA

I do not understand the obsession of Indian media with China. Every other day in one or the other leading daily or website there is news about India's perceived Chinese threat or the competition between the two Asian giants.

In May of 2007 I spent one whole month in China, and to my surprise there wasn't the remotest mention of India in any form of media. The people that I met and interacted with over my entire course of the month long stay were from diverse walks of life; from a cabbie to a President of leading Chinese multinational firm. The few from amongst the Australians, Europeans,Indians, Africans and Turkish that I met were all in awe of the China's rapid all round systematic growth.

For the Chinese, India-China comparison is akin to Bangladesh matching itself up with India. India seemed nowhere to be China's scheme of things, they were more eager to be counted amongst the South Korea's and the Japan's of the world, not India for godsake.

Unlike Indians, Chinese are not known to express their views openly. So, when I plodded and pushed a few Chinese to opine about India, the only thing they had to say was China was a friend of Pakistan and, that India according to what they knew, was trying to disturb peace in Pakistan and a war-monger. A few of them had also read that everyday some tens of thousands in India died of starvation and it was a very-very poor country.

So, If there is anything my interactions with an average Chinese tells me it is for us Indians to get over this Chinese obsession and move ahead. Ignore China, let it be. The day is not far when China will crumble under the weight of its own created expectations.

Indian media should instead concentrate on improving relations with our immediate neigbours namely; Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Highlight achievements and accompalishments of people from those countries, win confidence and trust of their people. Rather then foster hatred and fear, create a positive feeling amongst us Indians about our neighbours. This will help wean them away from the Chinese clutches and create a sense of level-play for them. Lets work off the ghost of partition, we have come a long way since then.

We as the most powerful presence in the region should make our neighbours feel secure. Because with power comes responsibilities.Let not China or any other nation of the world use the disharmony that exist between these SAARC countries to their advantage against India.

Its high time we ignore China and concentrate on people with whom we share history and common heritage. A time will come when, let alone China the whole worlds eyes will be on us. And that day is not too far.
Ekla chalo re.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

MUSLIM AWAKENING

A couple of months ago there was this video www.dailymotion.com/video/x93z5p_i-am-a-muslim-ben-bir-muslumanm_people doing rounds of networking sites such as Orkut and Facebook. I found it rather peculiar and funny.


Instead of espousing Islamic cause; which I suppose the original intentions of the maker of the video were, the video ended up mocking at islamic practises and rituals. I dont understand why the stereotypes associated with Arabs was linked to Islam? Why the anchor had to time and again reiterate how not arabic he was? Is being Arab so degrading and deplorable? Does one need to make a mockery and distance one self from ones culture just so that you are accepted by so called civilized western world? Does washing your hands and feet in public restroom make a religious statement?


From the response to this post it was very obvious and clear that this video was a big hit amongst the so called educated and civilized Muslims. They thought this video absolved them from being projected as a stereotype. This clearly shows how insecured the new breed of Islam's followers are about their own faith. They want best of both the worlds; the material success of the Western world and the religious insularity that their faith affords. The founder of Islam Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H.) surely did not have this in mind when he set out to propogate the word of god as revealed to him. He wanted the disparate arab clans to come under one umbrella of common faith and practise.


I am sure he didn't do a thing or act in a way so that his philoshophy stood out or thumbed nose at practioners of other faith. Islam was suppose to be amalgamative all absorbing and elevating. Not crude, in your face and insular as it is practised today. I know most Muslims dont like been advised by people who do not profess to their faith and even from within that, those who dont subscribe to their particular form of practise.


Islam which means peace, purity, submission and obedience is amongst the most abused words today and all this can be attributed to some of its followers who have brought disrepute and ill name to this otherwise most pious and elevating philoshopies ever known to mankind.


This video rather then having furthered the Islamic cause has made it a butt of joke and ridicule for westerners to scoff and laugh at. It is high time Muslim's gel with the rest and realise and try to understand philoshopies and concepts that are diverse from theirs. Keep an open mind and try to imbibe best that other faiths have to offer.


Beyond just praying five times a day and going on a month long fast, there are many more unaccompalished duties that they need to observe. And the most primary amongst them is to respect diversity in the society and accept that GOD did not create all of us out of one big mould. Everyone of the soul on this earth is custom made to fit and gel with the rest.


Amen!

VEGAN ATTACK

Last week myself and Lucky (Lakshmi) went out for all out Vegan dinner with our musician friend Ben Perkins his opera singer wife Laurie Styran, filmmaker couple Michael Dunne and Sussan Muirhead to this comfy little place called Chicago Diner on N. Halsted a few blocks north from where we live.

It was helluva experience. For once I was almost sold out on the vegan way of living. But, come morning, I was back to my usual self, I walloped 4 boiled eggs and turkey breast s/w for my break fast.



Ben and Laurie are avowed Vegan and religiouly promote vegan lifestyle and over the years have managed to convince most of their friends to convert to it. I am sure, I am next on their hit list. Though born to a strictly vegetarian mother, I am a serious meat-eatarean espousing meat culture to all and sundry. I just cant come to think of giving up meat even for a day leave alone for rest of my life. Yet, I kinda enjoyed the meal and the discussions that involved all us for rest of the evening.



Michael has just finished his final draft for an horror flick and is busy sourcing buyers for his creation. Sussan is into initial stages of scrpting her magnum opus. Ben is busy fine tuning his rudra veena and sur bahar while Laurie is busy with her non-profit fund raising project. That leaves two of us Lucky and me doing nothing, completely wasted and idle.


So, I do exactly as an idle mind would; deconstruct and dissect the world and form my own views and opinions regardless of the fact that, I am my only follower. Lucky does peep in for a quicky once in a while but, for most times she leaves me alone; to unearth an Aristotle, a Pluto or a George Bernard Shaw in me.


I revel in the isolation as it leaves me to explore and tune into my true calling. I am not exactly a loner but, then there are times I like been left alone. And now is that time, I need to build a solid defense against Ben & Lauries vegan onslaught. I need to brace myself for a long and hard vegan v/s meat battle ahead.


Reluctantly though, I would like to confess that I truly enjoyed the Radical Reuben and the wonderful Soy thick-shake, as that would give them sufficient reason and purpose to further espouse their cause. I have to be vigilent always on gaurd lest they launch a surprise attack.


So, now is the time for me to bring to life the genius of Aristotle, Pluto and Shaw that lie buried in me and offer a valid argument that will withstand their vegan blitzkreig.


HAIL!Meatytarians






Lets leave Islam alone

In last couple of days the cross section of media has been obsessed with President Barrack Hussein Obama's appeasement of the Muslim world. What is all this about the western worlds pre-occupation with muslim's and the nations governed by them.? It is rather surprising, I have never heard of western world reaching out to the Hindus or the Buddhist or addressing their followers in the similar fashion.So, why muslims now? Is it because of the fact that rather late in the day, the so called civilized western world has woken upto the fact that the Frankenstein they created in form of muslim jihadis is getting better of them? Or is it because, most mulim nations in the world have the control of the most precious commodity in the world today; OIL?

Islam like most religions practised today in the world has its fair share of rights and wrongs. Of course, it does come across as radical, unbending and barbaric when compared with others. But were any of the Islamic nations involved in the first 2 world wars? The answer is no, has anybody wondered why? Because, their oil reserves were still waiting to be tapped then.

I was born and raised a Hindu. For as long as I can remember, I was a radical rightist, a RSS sympathiser. I believed that Muslims were responsible for all the evils and wrong doings on this earth. I had to learn to live and deal with this neccessary evil. That was until a revelation dawned upon me in form of a friend called Munib. Munib is a devout and pious Muslim; never once in my interactions with him and others those that I met through him, over the last ten years have I felt that I was in the company of the barbarians. Infac,t I am amazed by the feeling of brotherhood and common social cause that bonds all of us togather, irrespective of our religious beliefs.

I realized that the problem was not with Islam per se, but with the medieval arabic traditions and cultures that have slowly but, surely seeped into the religion. Most customs and traditions that muslims around the world today follow have no mention in the Holy Quran e.g. Naqaab or Purdah system or for that matter the form of attire or appearence. All this has been imported from Haddith, that documents the Prophets life and is blindly aped by the practioners of the faith. Such blind moorings are not uncommon to other faiths. Hindus, Christians and Jews each have their fair share of frozen-in-time mind set too. It is just that the followers of Islam have been more obvious and blatant and their acts have caught the media's attention.

Hence, I would sincerely request honorable President Obama to leave muslim's alone to deal with their issues and resolve it in the best possible way that they can. A lot of harm has already been done in the quest for global supremacy and the US has had to pay its price for been too nosey and interfering. Appeasement only furthers the Islamic worlds claim that every ill that befell upon them was US doing.

Even if it is so, then it is wee too late for the US to dress the Islamic wound. Its best to let time do the healing and make a resolve that no further injury is inflicted to aggrevate this disease.