हे भगवान् – हमने यह दुनिया कैसी बना दी?


(यह सच्ची कहानी या कहानी जो इंसान को (उस इंसान को जिसकी अंतर आत्मा अभी जिन्दा है) रुलाने के लिए काफी है – हम साभार “डीआईजी नवनीत सिकेरा” से यहाँ पोस्ट कर रहें हैं)
एक *जज अपनी पत्नी को क्यों दे रहे हैं तलाक???

⚡कल रात एक ऐसा वाकया हुआ जिसने मेरी ज़िन्दगी के कई पहलुओं को छू लिया.
करीब 7 बजे होंगे,
शाम को मोबाइल बजा ।
उठाया तो उधर से रोने की आवाज
मैंने शांत कराया और पूछा कि भाभीजी आखिर हुआ क्या?
उधर से आवाज़ आई..
आप कहाँ हैं??? और कितनी देर में आ सकते हैं?
मैंने कहा:- “आप परेशानी बताइये”
और “भाई साहब कहाँ हैं…?माताजी किधर हैं..?” “आखिर हुआ क्या…?”
लेकिन
उधर से केवल एक रट कि “आप आ जाइए”, मैंने आश्वाशन दिया कि कम से कम एक घंटा पहुंचने में लगेगा. जैसे तैसे पूरी घबड़ाहट में पहुँचा;
देखा तो भाई साहब [हमारे मित्र जो जज हैं] सामने बैठे हुए हैं;
भाभीजी रोना चीखना कर रही हैं 12 साल का बेटा भी परेशान है; 9 साल की बेटी भी कुछ नहीं कह पा रही है।

मैंने भाई साहब से पूछा कि “”आखिर क्या बात है””???

“”भाई साहब कोई जवाब नहीं दे रहे थे “”.

फिर भाभी जी ने कहा ये देखिये तलाक के पेपर, ये कोर्ट से तैयार करा के लाये हैं, मुझे तलाक देना चाहते हैं,
मैंने पूछा – ये कैसे हो सकता है???. इतनी अच्छी फैमिली है. 2 बच्चे हैं. सब कुछ सेटल्ड है. “”प्रथम दृष्टि में मुझे लगा ये मजाक है””.
लेकिन मैंने बच्चों से पूछा दादी किधर है,
बच्चों ने बताया पापा ने उन्हें 3 दिन पहले नोएडा के वृद्धाश्रम में शिफ्ट कर दिया है.
मैंने घर के नौकर से कहा।

मुझे और भाई साहब को चाय पिलाओ;

कुछ देर में चाय आई. भाई साहब को बहुत कोशिशें कीं चाय पिलाने की.
लेकिन उन्होंने नहीं पी और कुछ ही देर में वो एक “मासूम बच्चे की तरह फूटफूट कर रोने लगे “बोले मैंने 3 दिन से कुछ भी नहीं खाया है. मैं अपनी 61 साल की माँ को कुछ लोगों के हवाले करके आया हूँ.
पिछले साल से मेरे घर में उनके लिए इतनी मुसीबतें हो गईं कि पत्नी (भाभीजी) ने कसम खा ली. कि “”मैं माँ जी का ध्यान नहीं रख सकती””ना तो ये उनसे बात करती थी
और ना ही मेरे बच्चे बात करते थे. रोज़ मेरे कोर्ट से आने के बाद माँ खूब रोती थी. नौकर तक भी अपनी मनमानी से व्यवहार करते थे
माँ ने 10 दिन पहले बोल दिया.. बेटा तू मुझे ओल्ड ऐज होम में शिफ्ट कर दे.
मैंने बहुत कोशिशें कीं पूरी फैमिली को समझाने की, लेकिन किसी ने माँ से सीधे मुँह बात नहीं की.
जब मैं 2 साल का था तब पापा की मृत्यु हो गई थी दूसरों के घरों में काम करके *””मुझे पढ़ाया. मुझे इस काबिल बनाया कि आज मैं जज हूँ””. लोग बताते हैं माँ कभी दूसरों के घरों में काम करते वक़्त भी मुझे अकेला नहीं छोड़ती थीं.
उस माँ को मैं ओल्ड ऐज होम में शिफ्ट करके आया हूँ. पिछले 3 दिनों से

मैं अपनी माँ के एक-एक दुःख को याद करके तड़प रहा हूँ,जो उसने केवल मेरे लिए उठाये।

मुझे आज भी याद है जब..
“”मैं 10th की परीक्षा में अपीयर होने वाला था. माँ मेरे साथ रात रात भर बैठी रहती””.

एक बार माँ को बहुत फीवर हुआ मैं तभी स्कूल से आया था. उसका शरीर गर्म था, तप रहा था. मैंने कहा माँ तुझे फीवर है हँसते हुए बोली अभी खाना बना रही थी इसलिए गर्म है.
लोगों से उधार माँग कर मुझे दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय से एलएलबी तक पढ़ाया. मुझे ट्यूशन तक नहीं पढ़ाने देती थींकि कहीं मेरा टाइम ख़राब ना हो जाए.

कहते-कहते रोने लगे..और बोले–“”जब ऐसी माँ के हम नहीं हो सके तो हम अपने बीबी और बच्चों के क्या होंगे””.

हम जिनके शरीर के टुकड़े हैं,आज हम उनको ऐसे लोगों के हवाले कर आये, “”जो उनकी आदत, उनकी बीमारी, उनके बारे में कुछ भी नहीं जानते””,
जब मैं ऐसी माँ के लिए कुछ नहीं कर सकता तो “मैं किसी और के लिए भला क्या कर सकता हूँ”.

आज़ादी अगर इतनी प्यारी है और माँ इतनी बोझ लग रही हैं, तो मैं पूरी आज़ादी देना चाहता हूँ
.
जब मैं बिना बाप के पल गया तो ये बच्चे भी पल जाएंगे. इसीलिए मैं तलाक देना चाहता हूँ।

सारी प्रॉपर्टी इन लोगों के हवाले करके उस ओल्ड ऐज होम में रहूँगा. कम से कम मैं माँ के साथ रह तो सकता हूँ।

और अगर इतना सब कुछ कर के “”माँ आश्रम में रहने के लिए मजबूर है””, तो एक दिन मुझे भी आखिर जाना ही पड़ेगा.

माँ के साथ रहते-रहते आदत भी हो जायेगी. माँ की तरह तकलीफ तो नहीं होगी.

जितना बोलते उससे भी ज्यादा रो रहे थे.

बातें करते करते रात के 12:30 हो गए।

मैंने भाभीजी के चेहरे को देखा.
उनके भाव भी प्रायश्चित्त और ग्लानि से भरे हुए थे; मैंने ड्राईवर से कहा अभी हम लोग नोएडा जाएंगे।

भाभीजी और बच्चे हम सारे लोग नोएडा पहुँचे.
बहुत ज़्यादा रिक्वेस्ट करने पर गेट खुला. भाई साहब ने उस गेटकीपर के पैर पकड़ लिए, बोले मेरी माँ है, मैं उसको लेने आया हूँ,
चौकीदार ने कहा क्या करते हो साहब,
भाई साहब ने कहा मैं जज हूँ,
उस चौकीदार ने कहा:-

“”जहाँ सारे सबूत सामने हैं तब तो आप अपनी माँ के साथ न्याय नहीं कर पाये,
औरों के साथ क्या न्याय करते होंगे साहब”

इतना कहकर हम लोगों को वहीं रोककर वह अन्दर चला गया.
अन्दर से एक महिला आई जो वार्डन थी.
उसने बड़े कातर शब्दों में कहा:-
“2 बजे रात को आप लोग ले जाके कहीं मार दें, तो

मैं अपने ईश्वर को क्या जबाब दूंगी..?”

मैंने सिस्टर से कहा आप विश्वास करिये. ये लोग बहुत बड़े पश्चाताप में जी रहे हैं.
अंत में किसी तरह उनके कमरे में ले गईं. कमरे में जो दृश्य था, उसको कहने की स्थिति में मैं नहीं हूँ.

केवल एक फ़ोटो जिसमें पूरी फैमिली है और वो भी माँ जी के बगल में, जैसे किसी बच्चे को सुला रखा है.
मुझे देखीं तो उनको लगा कि बात न खुल जाए
लेकिन जब मैंने कहा हम लोग आप को लेने आये हैं, तो पूरी फैमिली एक दूसरे को पकड़ कर रोने लगी

आसपास के कमरों में और भी बुजुर्ग थे सब लोग जाग कर बाहर तक ही आ गए.
उनकी भी आँखें नम थीं
कुछ समय के बाद चलने की तैयारी हुई. पूरे आश्रम के लोग बाहर तक आये. किसी तरह हम लोग आश्रम के लोगों को छोड़ पाये.
सब लोग इस आशा से देख रहे थे कि शायद उनको भी कोई लेने आए, रास्ते भर बच्चे और भाभी जी तो शान्त रहे…….

लेकिन भाई साहब और माताजी एक दूसरे की भावनाओं को अपने पुराने रिश्ते पर बिठा रहे थे.घर आते-आते करीब 3:45 हो गया.

👩 💐 भाभीजी भी अपनी ख़ुशी की चाबी कहाँ है; ये समझ गई थी 💐

मैं भी चल दिया. लेकिन रास्ते भर वो सारी बातें और दृश्य घूमते रहे.

👵 💐“”माँ केवल माँ है”” 💐👵

उसको मरने से पहले ना मारें.

माँ हमारी ताकत है उसे बेसहारा न होने दें , अगर वह कमज़ोर हो गई तो हमारी संस्कृति की “”रीढ़ कमज़ोर”” हो जाएगी , बिना रीढ़ का समाज कैसा होता है किसी से छुपा नहीं

अगर आपकी परिचित परिवार में ऐसी कोई समस्या हो तो उसको ये जरूर पढ़ायें, बात को प्रभावी ढंग से समझायें , कुछ भी करें लेकिन हमारी जननी को बेसहारा बेघर न होने दें, अगर माँ की आँख से आँसू गिर गए तो *”ये क़र्ज़ कई जन्मों तक रहेगा”, यकीन मानना सब होगा तुम्हारे पास पर “”सुकून नहीं होगा”” , सुकून सिर्फ माँ के आँचल में होता है उस आँचल को बिखरने मत देना

Worrisome State and Fate of Sindhi Language after 70 Years of India’s Partition


India’s Constituent Assembly Debates – Need to Read Again!


By: Dr. Kishore Dere (PhD)

(Independent analyst of  International Relations and International Law)

On 19th of August 2016, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy had organised an interesting lecture by Vikram Raghavan on ‘Why should we read our Constituent Assembly Debates?’ It was held at the prestigious India International Centre in New Delhi and well-attended by students, professors and lawyers among others. The lucid style of Vikram Raghwan’s lecture had naturally evoked a large number of thought-provoking questions.

Raghavan, trained as a lawyer in India and the US, has co-edited a volume of essays entitled Comparative Constitutionalism in South Asia (Oxford University Press 2013). He had earlier delivered lectures on ‘Granville Austin and the Making of India’s Constitution’ and ‘George Gadbois and the Judges of the Supreme Court of India’.

In his talk, Raghavan used archival material and photographs to draw attention to the initial neglect of the Constituent Assembly Debates in the 1950s. He then referred to the ‘turning points’ on the use of the Debates in the 1960s and 1970s as a tool to interpret key provisions of the Constitution by judges and lawyers. He then analysed the need to read Constituent Assembly Debates, and how such exercise can help resolve various constitutional predicaments and anxieties that we face from time to time.

It is indeed crucial to remind ourselves of the pertinence of such crucial legal and constitutional developments in the history of our republic.

One of the points made by Vikram Raghavan was that rise of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar as a national icon in the context of resurgent Dalit politics contributed to growing recourse to Constituent Assembly Debates by social science scholars to analyse a variety of socio-economic and political matters in Indian society. This rapidly happened mainly in 1990s.  Before that the main users of the debates were Supreme Court judges. In fact there also exists a series of judgements on the utility of reading the Constituent Assembly Debates in interpreting the Constitution of India. The use of these debates was so rare that it was difficult to find publications of those proceedings. Libraries of universities, law schools and public libraries hardly had copies of these voluminous proceedings. Subsequently, many publications came out.  Nowadays, these debates are available online besides being there in hard-copy.

Today as one reads them, one gets an opportunity to comprehend complexities of the subject matters discussed in the Constituent Assembly. It was an era of turmoil and turbulence in the life a newly independent nation. It was a period of joy of independence marred by sorrow and pain of partition and accompanying violence, migration of people from both sides, and widespread suspicion, rumour-mongering and hatred.  Right from who should be the citizen of India and what should be the form of government to the Consolidated Fund of India, and judicial independence, a vast range of subjects was critically debated and analysed by the Constituent Assembly members. Of course, there were many informal and formal parleys that took place outside the Constituent Assembly as well. All those discussions of course do not figure in the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly Debates. In order to fully grasp the constitution-making process in India, one should also read biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, interviews of those involved in this marathon process. These should be further supplemented by critical analysis of the multi-volume Transfer of Power. By now there are also Supreme Court judgements along with writings and commentaries by constitutional experts on these and allied matters. Undoubtedly Constituent Assembly Debates are not perfect yet they are the most authentic source available to know the subject as it evolved.

After all, today we are living in an era of law firms and corporate lawyers. Outsourcing of work to law firms has become order of the day. The trend is so dominant that even Constitutions of certain counties are said to be written by national or international law firms. It is a kind of ‘outsourcing’! by the legislatures and lawmakers if one may term it so. To call it a ‘delegated legislation’(?) would be tantamount to either abusing the term or regressively redefining it. It will be a travesty of justice.

This, however, does not apply to the Constitution of India and its framers. The Constituent Assembly took almost three years (two years, eleven months and seventeen days to be precise) to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India. During this period, it held eleven sessions covering a total of 165 days. Of these, 114 days were spent on the consideration of the Draft Constitution.

As to its composition, members were chosen by indirect election by the members of the Provincial Legislative Assemblies, according to the scheme recommended by the Cabinet Mission. The arrangement was: (i) 292 members were elected through the Provincial Legislative Assemblies; (ii) 93 members represented the Indian Princely States; and (iii) 4 members represented the Chief Commissioners’ Provinces. The total membership of the Assembly thus was to be 389. However, as a result of the partition under the Mountbatten Plan of 3 June, 1947, a separate Constituent Assembly was set up for Pakistan and representatives of some Provinces ceased to be members of the Assembly. As a result, the membership of the Assembly was reduced to 299.

So it would be a worthwhile exercise to read the proceedings of such a democratically elected serious body of eminent and dedicated public representatives. Most of them had sacrificed their lucrative careers and plunged into the freedom struggle. They had the vision, statesmanship and commitment to make India a democratic and sovereign republic. Their vision was not blurred by dogmas of ideology, compulsions of electoral politics, blinkers of partisan politics or any other narrow-minded, short-sighted parochial consideration and primordial loyalty. By reading the Constituent Assembly Debates, all of us may be reminded of our rights as well as duties as citizens of India. That in turn would help develop the spirit of responsible citizenship across the length and breadth of India.

Sheldon Pollock: Shows his true color! Anti-India politician in the garb of a scholar!


By: Name withheld

Sheldon Pollock ultimately opens his mind. In his talk (HERE) the camouflage of the facade of a ‘scholar on things Indian’ is blown off. His scholarship ranging from Sanskrit, colonialism of this ancient language, Hitler’s inspiration to assert superiority and conquer the world originating in India and her ancient history to current Indian politics, national ruling dispensation in this country, Rashtriya Swam Sewak Sangh and all the political stuff of current India is exhibited in true anti-India color! Let us make him speak in his own words. What he says is this:

  1. A petition was signed by more than 5000 persons of good repute (if one hates to call them persons of eminence) at change.org demanding Pollock’s removal from Murty Classical Library. Just please go through this petition and find out yourself how far Sheldon Pollock is justified in his following outbursts! Quote, “What is it in contemporary India that could produce such an ignorant, hostile document?…. I’m intrigued and worried about the cultural and psychological sources of the anger and shame that are evident in that document. ….There is the shame of, “Oh, here’s this guy talking about power, domination, inequality, and hierarchy, and we don’t want to talk about that, we want to just talk about flying saucers in the Vedas and ancient plastic surgery, but here comes along this mean Orientalist.”  Dear Sheldon Pollock, you are dishonest here in saying that you alone are talking about power, domination, inequality, and hierarchy, and Indians – who signed the petition – don’t want to talk about that! Please be honest, many eminent Indians are talking about what you are saying, Indian Constitution (article 14, 16, 21) is taking about; Indian courts are busy talking about it; Indian politics (political parties rooted in so-called Dalits interests) is talking about it. You are not alone in your perceived crusade.  There are eminent persons who are more concerned and honest than you about these issues and the issues of underlying real motives of people like you – and one among them is Rajiv Malhotra who has devoted a complete book on you. You can’t say you are ignorant of that. Whatever – power or other things – you are talking, Indians are also talking! Never say, Indians don’t want to talk!
  2. You say, “…. more telling point is that the nature of humanities education in India today is disastrously mediocre…..  But I think the events at JNU, Central University of Hyderabad, the Film School in Pune, Jadavpur…across the board there have been the beginnings of a powerful student movement. And I think if it’s not crushed, and if it is sustained, there’s a potential here for something very innovative…. I hope the agitations and slogans are sustained until the universities are seriously reformed so that critical thinking becomes a central part of education.” So, Pollock, you find the solution to the “mediocrity of Humanities education” in India in the students agitations like in JNU, Central University in Hydrabad and Jadavpur! Beautiful! A question to you: Don’t you find the similarity between the Blacks agitations in the US and these students? And, don’t you know that in the US the white cops just shoot a Black who was in the process of taking out his identity document from his pocket and in India we have reservations – more than equality – and cops never ever shoot a person just because he happens to be a Dalit (of which you are hinting in your JNU, Hydrabad and Jadhavpur student agitations)? Or, are you suffering from a ‘white superiority complex’ in alleging things of which you yourself are guilty?
  3. You say, “I would like to see a history book that teaches the struggles over history, one that might begin the section on Mughal history with a statement from the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, National Volunteer Organization] demanding that 300 years of Indian history be erased from the textbook and give their reasons for doing so …. But you know, India is now a state run by the RSS. How do you deal with that? It’s a very worrisome situation. The kind of expressions of rage and delusion that one finds almost every day in India is a result of the space that’s been opened up by the RSS coup. It allows people to say things that they never would have said 20 years ago. It’s sort of like the Trumpian revolution. Hundreds of thousands of members of the Sangh are drilling every day with khaki shorts and saffron flags. This is no joke. The textbooks are just a front in the culture wars that are taking place.” So, dear Pollock, your wisdom to assert that Indian Humanities education is mediocre comes out of your this grudge! And, you want to see that improved in this light! Dear one, where did you find the Rashtriya Sewk Sangh to demand that 300 years of Mughal history be erased? Any statement, any article, any resolution! Do you think Indians are duffer to visualize that a period of history can ever be erased? By whatever means – omitting text book reference whatever. There are historical monuments, places, events that cannot be erased. And nobody has ever demanded to erase them. Of course, in history suppressed facts can be put in their right place. And there is nothing wrong with it. You have rightly said, “…. history is an ongoing struggle and it’s very important that people understand that history is always written from the interests of the present moment and all of us are going to do so from a very interested and partial perspective.” Dear one, your anti-India color is just like the day-light. You have venom for India – India that has ever been harmless to other people and is still so.
  4. You say, “Issues of gender, exclusion, and silencing-— every culture evinces those, ….. Objectivity remains a non-negotiable value in scholarship, but objectivity does not entail neutrality, as Thomas Haskell said 20 years ago. We want to produce scholarship that is honest, and is as fair to the evidence as it can possibly be. ….You must be as objective as possible, but that does not mean that you have to celebrate structures of domination. You can critique it, you can take sides. Neutrality is not a requirement, nor is advocacy not a legitimate and important academic value.” Dear friend, “Issues of gender, exclusion and silencing” are present everywhere in the world, including India, and of course, in your own country the US, which tops the world in women’s rape! India too is struggling to remove gender discrimination etc. and is making satisfactory progress. See, how many women get elected in India to local self governing bodies, like Panchayat etc.!  This is no reason for you to blame the present political dispensation. Or, RSS, for that matter!
  5. You say, “When I write about forms of exclusion and silencing in Sanskrit tradition, I feel that I can state clearly and plainly that those forms of domination have had very deleterious effects in the long history of Indian culture. I feel that the evidence and the data permit me to make that sort of argument. It is part of one’s obligation, as a global citizen to participate in an oppositional way when one sees oppression. In scholarship one may or may not feel a similar reaction to historical structures of oppression and domination, but the key thing is that if you deal with such materials you must adhere as closely as possible to the highest standards of scholarship. That doesn’t mean that you have to remain neutral in analyzing the construction of inequality.” Dear learned friend, would you permit me to re-quote this statement in reply to your grievance about “exclusion and silencing” but with this little modification that the words “Sanskrit” and “India” are replaced with the words “English” and “Anglo-American”? Let us see, then, how your statement looks! Here I go: “When I write about forms of exclusion and silencing in English tradition, I feel that I can state clearly and plainly that those forms of domination have had very deleterious effects in the long history of Anglo-American culture”. You are wise enough to sense that in the matter of truth, you are beaten by your own argument and by this little substitution you are made to stand where you belong – you are exposed as a racist person with an imperialist intentions under the pretensions of being a scholar! However, the matter (your quote with this suitable substitution) does not end here. But before that, let us deal with this part of your quote. Would you deny, dear Pollock, that your language – English – has the tradition lasting at least 200 years to exclude and silence almost all other languages of our world and as well the knowledge contained in those languages? Would you deny that this 200 years-long tradition of English had the very deleterious effect in the Anglo-American culture? Do you admit this truth, dear Sheldon Pollock? Do you know that I am made to reply in English to your grievances and objections about “Sanskrit” and “India” and you are not forced to put your thoughts in “Hindi”, the language in which this “India” converses today.  Is it not proof enough to establish the “exclusion and silencing” traditions of your language? Please, ponder over why it is so. It is because English has led the world in the last 200 years in enunciating the knowledge. And, please do not stop here, in your thoughts – Sanskrit too for thousands of years had led the world in enunciating the knowledge. As a scholar you must be knowing that in yesteryear Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Afghanistan, Iran of today had something to do with “Sanskrit” and knowledge contained therein – of which some remnants (like Asia out of Sanskrit’s “Ashwa” and royal nomenclatures like Bhoomibal Atulya Tej, Narottam Singh Nukh, Arya Mihir,  etc) still linger on!
  6. Now I go further in quoting your statement and request you to allow me to use your argument in support of my case: “I (and here I means not you but me, dear Pollock) feel that the evidence and the data permit me to make that sort of argument. It is part of one’s obligation, as a global citizen to participate in an oppositional way when one sees oppression. In scholarship one may or may not feel a similar reaction to historical structures of oppression and domination, but the key thing is that if you deal with such materials you must adhere as closely as possible to the highest standards of scholarship. That doesn’t mean that you have to remain neutral in analyzing the construction of inequality.” Yes, dear, there is data and evidence to apply the logic that is hurled against Sanskrit, against English as well; and it is our “obligation” too as a global citizen to participate in an oppositional way, when we see oppression – not only linguistic but cultural as well but the other way round – oppression of Anglo-American language and culture of which you are the chief proponent today. We must adhere to the highest standards of scholarship – and that means adherence to the TRUTH, even if it is against oneself!

 

India’s Soft Power: Buddha to Bollywood


 
By: Dr. Kishore Dere (PhD)
(Independent analyst of International Relations and International Law)
Professor Daya Kishan Thussu, an erudite Kashmiri Pandit, currently serving at Westminster University in London, on 18th August 2016, delivered a highly stimulating lecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. It was on the topic ‘Communicating India’s Soft Power: Buddha to Bollywood’. In fact this very topic also happens to be the title of his scholarly book published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013.
The lecture covered a wide range of topics. It was an interesting analysis of how India’s soft power i.e. cultural, institutional attractions and diaspora contributions were shaping and moulding the image of India in the minds of international community. He was, however,  worried that no concerted efforts are being made to project Indian achievements. The world does not know what is an Indian view on WTO, United Nations, or for that matter any burning issue that affects the larger international community. He pointed out that most of the Indian newspapers, TV channels do not have foreign correspondents across the world. It is not due to lack of resources but due to lack of willingness. If there is BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera (Arab world), Press TV (Iran), CCTV (China), Deutch Welle TV (Germany), TV5 (France), and Russia TV among others to articulate a particular viewpoint and are accessible the world over, Door Darshan (DD) of India does not have any presence or influence abroad. Nor does it have any specific view or line of thinking.           
 
Professor Daya Kishan Thussu argues that the concept of ‘soft power’ coined by an American political scientist Professor Joseph S. Nye at Harvard University in a particular geo-political and socio-cultural context needs to be de-Americanised. He cited a number of such projects in various countries including the People’s Republic of China to redefine ‘soft power’ from their own perspectives. It was his lament there were no concerted institutionalised efforts by Indian government to look after this valuable dimension of public diplomacy.          
Daya Kishan Thussu, calls his work a transgressive analysis, crossing the disciplinary boundaries between the fields of international communication and international relations. He attempts to refine and ‘de-Americanise’ the concept of soft power. He does this by focusing  more on the modes of transmission rather than substantive effects of soft power: on the ways in which India’s diaspora, information technology (IT) industry, cultural establishment and brand marketers, both public and private, contribute to India’s soft power of attraction.
He argues that though Indians are the inheritors of an extraordinarily rich cultural heritage, the Indian state struggles to utilise these resources to build ‘soft power’ and to leverage it in world politics. Thussu highlights both ancient and contemporary aspects of that inheritance: India’s Buddhist tradition and its intellectual wealth, its capacity to generate ‘composite culture’ out of Hindu, Islamic and other religious thought, its democratic politics, its media and IT assets, its cuisine and cinema. He concedes that that these attractive attributes are balanced by the persistently unattractive features of Indian society – especially the poverty, deprivation and inequality in which so many continue to live – but still finds it hard to understand why the state cannot make more of India’s soft power assets.
Thussu began his analysis with two scene-setting chapters, one on the advent of the concept of soft power and its adaption by Asian states, especially China, and the next on the historical development of India’s soft power resources. Both are necessarily fast-paced, as Thussu covers an extensive conceptual literature and then some two and a half thousand years of Indian history, from Panini’s systematising of Sanskrit grammar to Nehru’s ideas and practices of nonalignment. He notes in passing the differences between the more corporate conceptions of soft power and public diplomacy in the USA and tenaciously state-centric Chinese ‘soft propaganda’ (p. 37), implying that India might prefer the former to the latter. And he well captures the sheer range of ideas that India might try to leverage, from ancient Indian philosophy to Rabindranath Tagore’s syncretic globalism.
The remainder of the book explores the different channels of communicating India’s soft power to the contemporary world. Thussu examines in detail the impact of India’s diaspora on their host societies – and the ways in which the Indian state has wooed that diaspora since the 1990s, seeking their capital for inward investment and their know-how for innovation. He then turns to ‘software for soft power’ – private sector assets and ‘intellectual infrastructure’ (p. 126) – and their uses in India’s nascent aid and development assistance programmes, and in official public diplomacy. The final two chapters look at culture and marketing. Thussu provides a fine-grained analysis of Bollywood’s influence not just in Asia, but in Latin America, where the Brazilian soap opera India – A love story ran for 206 episodes and won an International Emmy in 2009. Finally, he examines the ‘nation branding’ of India by organisations like the India Brand Equity Foundation, and the branding of specific practices: cricket, yoga, food, democracy and nonalignment.
Thussu rightly criticises successive Indian governments for not taking public diplomacy as seriously as it might and observes that the size of the Indian Foreign Service, by far the smallest of any major power, is partly to blame for this and other diplomatic failings. But he also notes that the Indian state is generally bad at communication, with its own people as well as foreign audiences. He has doubts too about the further involvement of the corporate sector in nation branding and public diplomacy, suggesting that India’s business elite is more interested in Western ideologies than the Indian people and their inheritance. Thussu hinted that a partnership with China to redefine international norms and ‘change the discourse on global affairs’ could be a preferable option.
His rich analysis offered the detailed analysis of Indian soft power and its constant evolution, and in an innovative way, especially in its conclusion that ‘Chindia’ might seek the ‘de-Westoxification’ of Asia and the wider world.
By the way Indian soft power is a relatively less explored academic theme and therefore happens to be a highly promising topic for research scholars. The possibility of collaboration between India and China has been talked about by a variety of people although it tends to be frowned upon by many a realist.
One may still peruse the work of political leader Jairam Ramesh along with veteran commentators like Kishore Mabhubani and Prem Shankar Jha in this context. One does not necessarily have to subscribe to their views. Yet it may worthwhile to at least know the possible areas in which India and China can work together. After all that is what soft power is all about. Hardening of diametrically opposite views may continue while soft power also can be made more lucrative, remunerative and attractive to work. If soft power succeeds then it is always a win-win solution instead of the dominant zero sum game model in which only one view prevails while the other one is dismissed and discarded. If possible, realism be avoided and soft power approach be favoured.  

Dear Donald Trump, How to ‘Make America Great Again’?


By: Name withheld

Donald Trump has a mission, vision and strategy. He has a mission to make America great again, and, before that, to make America safe for Americans. He is obviously much occupied in his presidential campaign in clarifying his vision and strategy for this priority. In his vision, Islamic Terrorism is the greatest threat to the safety of his country and his strategy to avert this threat is to “ban” the entry of Muslims to America (in the first phase of his campaign, which is now lowered to the level of ‘making the scrutiny of every Muslim intending to enter America’).

Just see the folly of this vision and strategy. Today our world is an interconnected one unit thanks to technology. The strategy of Trump is like a person who has his house in the burning woods and shuts its door in the hope that the fire would not touch it this way! You don’t want to come out of your house to see what is happening in the woods and what can be done of it. Thanks to this vision and this strategy and thanks to Donald Trump for his “ingenuity” in making America great again!

This presidential hopeful is as naïve in his understanding of the militant Islam as in his strategy to deal with it. He doesn’t even have an idea that what he is faced with is not a religion but a military ideology disguised as religion – a military ideology more potent in planning, strategy and goal than the military ideologies of Nazism and Communism, which the world had to deal in recent past.

It is a military doctrine that has all the required elements of “recruitment, strategy, motivation, deterrent and goal” of such an enterprise. These elements – recruitment, strategy, motivation, deterrent and goal – superbly ensure a perennial source of an inflow of soldiers into the army and put this army into an impregnable iron-walled cage. How the army is recruited and put in a cage?

This is how it is done: “Here is a message. Though it is uttered by a human being but it is a word of God because it is spoken to him by God himself; being a word of God, no human has a right to challenge this word; being the word of God, it is eternal for all times to come and unalterable with the passage of time, and it is the supreme duty of adherents to obey this word; an attempt to question or challenge this word of God is a crime of the highest degree and the penalty for this crime is death; this word commands (and this word being the word of God, God commands) the adherents to make everyone on Earth to adhere to this word, by persuasion if possible and by force if need be; one has the freedom to become this word’s adherent but forbidden thereafter to leave the ranks of adherents and the penalty for attempting to leave is death; it is a war between us and the rest of the world, and in the war command is to practice all forms of deceit – make aggression, when strong; lie low, when weak; tell lie, when necessary; pretend, when needed – till this war is won; in this word God assures that if a faithful succeeds in his efforts to bring others to his ranks, he is rewarded here in this world plentifully with women and loot but if he dies then he is rewarded in the next world more plentifully with women and pleasures.”

There are a number of ways one can find himself or herself in but once he or she is in there is no way to get out. It is a clever trap and a perfect cage for ordinary humans, innocent billions!

In this cage you can go in but once (gone) in you cannot come out – a cage where if you accept once, you cannot question ever again; a cage where you have enough worldly and heavenly enticements to go in but once (gone) in, you are made to face mortal deterrence against coming out; a cage where you may be forced to enter to save your life but you will lose your life if you try to come out.

It is the perfect way to raise an army – an army of duped innocents; an army of zealots; an army of humans who are motivated to make the supreme sacrifice by happily laying down their lives; an army of humans who have nothing to lose by their missionary acts in this world or in the next world (to which they may be dispatched) but only to gain both in this world and in that next world! In psychological make-up this standing army is unparalleled in human history and in comparison thereof Nazism or Communism are not even its pale shadow.

Unfortunately, we are living in an era of atomic weapons and this military doctrine has acquired now additional capacity to bring this world into an atomic confrontation. While the rest of the humanity shudders at the thought of such confrontation, this standing army is psychologically ready to kill or die in an assured hope of a life in the next world better than they lead now in this world.

Genetics is occupied with the foundation of building blocks of organic body of living beings and neuroscience is similarly concerned with (human) brain’s functioning as mind. We know very well today that it is possible a human body may be afflicted with a kind of genetic defect and also a brain may have some neurological disorder. In a person these disorders of body and/or brain can be identified and detected, though may not yet be cured fully. Is it possible that the mental cage of this standing army could be diagnosed as some kind of disorder? Is it possible for science to cure this ailment? The time will tell.

Is there any solution to the problem, till then?

Let us be objective. The people in this cage need all the sympathy and help of humanity. They are the victims, victims of circumstances. It is the moral duty of humanity to give them a helping hand to come out of this cage. But, how one can help them?

Give them the way – the way to come out! The way to come out to those who want to come out – the way of liberalism, Sufism, Baha’ism, the way of atheists, of agnostics, the way of ex-Muslims – anything under the sun but the cage. Encourage the groups in them to identify with their local ethnicity, culture, nation, tribe, language, anything but the cage. They key is to encourage the units – units of people, units of lands, units of language, units of culture – to assert their identities; the key is to give these units a helping hand – a helping hand in all manners and by all means. A collective action of humanity has eradicated polio – the collective action has the efficacy and can save this part of humanity from the plight they are in.

Dear Donald Trump, if you ever become the President, please don’t bar the entry of all Muslims to your country – don’t shut the door for it is no strategy to make America great again!

Thank You PM Modi for Supporting Strategic-Orphans of Balochistan, POK and Gilgit!


 
By: Dr. Kishore Dere (PhD)
(Independent analyst of International Relations and International Law)
 
Although professional dissidents and compulsive detractors of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have lost no time in mercilessly (and also blindly) criticising him for his comments on Balochistan issue, history will judge him otherwise and that too in a better way. It is for the first time since the violent creation of Pakistan by brutally dividing India in 1947, that the voiceless, helpless and hapless people of these areas have been sympathetically represented at an international forum by a foreign head of state.
Day in day out, Pakistan waxes eloquent about human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India on the basis of concocted and fabricated stories. Yet, Pakistan is a country that is notorious for perpetrating broad daylight robbery of Baloch natural resources. It is this very dangerous country that relentlessly oppresses, represses and suppresses the pro-freedom people in Pok, Gilgit, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Pakistan also supports terrorism against Iran, Afghanistan, Western world, Israel and last but not the least India. It remains a mystery for many people of the world as to why Pakistan maintains stunning silence on human rights violations in its own jurisdiction.  It is indeed well-known that Balochistan is the province with enormous deposits of natural resources. Yet Punjabi-dominated Federal Government of Pakistan in Islamabad routinely discriminates against Balochistan. Thus, PM Narendra Modi deserves kudos for taking up the cause of orphans in international community.         
There is no dearth of self-styled and self-proclaimed pacifists and so-called peace lovers in India and elsewhere who want India to perennially remain subservient to Pakistan. A critical analysis of Indian pacifism is bound to show that Pakistan has been emboldened by such timidity and cowardice. Therefore, the much needed and new-found policy dynamism in Indian foreign policy initiated by Modi needs to be welcomed.   
Following an all-party meeting in New Delhi on 12th August 2016 on the issue of violence in Jammu and Kashmir and during his address to the nation from the ramparts of historic Red Fort on 15th August 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a historic initiative to articulate the agony and anguish of the helpless and hapless people of Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) or what Pakistan shamelessly refers to as ‘Azad Kashmir’. Modi alluded to blatant human rights violations of innocent and unarmed civilians by Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its instrumentalities. His comments on Balochistan offer voice to voiceless, and help to helpless and hapless.
A self-confessed sponsor of terrorism like Pakistan needs to be paid back in its own coin. It ought to be made to realize deadly consequence of its deliberate actions against others. It has the audacity to term ‘terrorists’ as its ‘strategic assets’.
In the tit for tat world of international politics, sovereign nations often rely on realism than idealism as their foreign policy determinant. For example, in 1923, the-then US Secretary of State, Charles Evans while countering President Woodrow Wilson had said, “Foreign policies are not built upon abstractions. They are the result of practical conceptions of national interest arising from some immediate exigency or standing out vividly in historical perspective.” (Glenn P Hastedt, Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, 2002).
Dogmatic adherence to abstract principles, doctrinal monotonousness or isolationism have hardly ever served India’s national interests during last 70 years. Nor are they likely to do so in the rapidly changing geo-strategic affairs. India’s peculiar geopolitical position means that the hostile environment in which New Delhi pursues its vital national interests will become increasingly more complex.
India shares borders on one side with a country that uses terrorism as state policy. Another powerful neighbour of ours wants to radically overhaul the world order to undo what it calls injustice done to it in the past. It is a highly subjective interpretation of history by China on the basis of which it displays greater assertiveness as well as aggressiveness and abusiveness. It is only because of this idiosyncratic ‘world view of history’ of one and ‘strategy of terrorists as national assets’ of another that China and Pakistan have become fond bed-fellows in today’s world politics.  True, not just Pakistan and China alone, every country always acts according to its own interest but nations must not be oblivious of the larger picture of the world where we live and our common interests of peaceful co-existence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at Red Fort on Independence Day is indeed remarkable. A career diplomat and former national security advisor Shivshankar Menon had stated in his speech at the National Law University in Delhi in November 2015, despite their avowed intents “Russia sells arms to Pakistan, the US supplies arms and discusses Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and China has committed $46 billion to an economic corridor and Gwadar in Pakistan. India urges the West to refrain from supporting Pakistan, but countries will act according to their own interests. So long as Pakistani terrorism does not harm them, they will not expend blood or treasure eliminating Pakistan origin terrorism for India”.
What does all this mean?
It undoubtedly means that India cannot afford to define its strategic policies solely on Nehruvian ideals of pacifism, non-alignment and disarmament. This does not necessarily mean that India should develop an appetite for interventionism anywhere and everywhere. Yet India ought to look for using bargaining chips to overcome the challenges posed by a deepening Sino-Pakistan strategic partnership. It is in this context that one must place India’s latest shift.
Modi’s overtures to Balochistan are an acknowledgement of the state-sponsored atrocities unleashed by Pakistan on its own people. Far from weakening our moral position, this gives us leverage in dealing with Pakistan and exposes it as an occupying force, an imperialist power. By publicly acknowledging the struggle of the Baloch people, India has made a very new political statement.
It is worthwhile to look at what Modi he said from the ramparts of Red Fort in his speech to mark 70th year of Independence. He said, “Today, I want to especially honour and thank some people from the ramparts of the Red Fort. For the past few days, the people of Balochistan, people of Gilgit, people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the way their citizens have heartily thanked me, the way they have acknowledged me, the goodwill they have shown towards me, people settled far across, the land which I have not seen, people I have not met ever, but people settled far across acknowledge the Prime Minister of India, they honour him, so it is an honour of my 125 crore countrymen, it is respect of my 125 crore countrymen, and that is why, owing to the feeling of this honour, I want to heartily thank the people of Balochistan, people of Gilgit, people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for having an expression of thankfulness”.
Kanwal Sibal, former Foreign Secretary, told PTI that Modi deserves praise for delivering a direct response to Pakistan’s provocations: “By raising the Balochistan issue, Modi has changed the rules of the game. From the PM’s point of view, this is a warning signal to Pakistan”.
Former High Commissioner to Pakistan, G Parthasarathy said it was a “long overdue” and a “necessary step… there has to be some inducement for Pakistan to fall in line”.
“India has been more restrained than necessary despite Pakistan constantly carrying out propaganda on Kashmir, calling it the legacy of Partition. If that’s the case, Balochistan also is a legacy of Partition,” said Parthasarathy. He also recalled how Jinnah recognised Balochistan’s independent status before Pakistan procured and secured its accession.
Going by Pakistan’s sharp and pungent reaction, it is obvious that Pakistan has realised what it is doing. Besides the diplomatic leverage, India has a moral obligation to stand by Balochistan, Gilgit, PoK, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. India should help the needy who have been neglected by selfish and self-centred world powers.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that PM Modi has added a new leaf to Indian strategic thinking. This is indeed a new direction in which Indian foreign policy should move, at least occasionally.

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