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Truth and Narrative- New York Times fresh Salvo and interest in Love Jihad

For last week or so, New York Times has been desperately seeking first hand account of those who were in Inter-faith relations in India. A news medium is usually supposed to pursue the news, not create them. In this case, NYT first made up its mind that it needs to write on Inter-faith marriages in India and somehow create a narrative how poor and innocent Muslim men are falling prey to the belligerent, bigoted Hindus who are not allowing their women live with those they love. Having decided the line of argument, they set about creating the articles and two initial Essays have come up- Are You in an Interfaith Relationship in India? and another How New Laws Across India are Seeking to Ban All Interfaith Marriages ,  both published on the same day, linked to one another.  As they had put the cart before the horses, it is no wonder that the carriage tumbled the moment it started moving. Incidentally, it seems those who run things at New York Times that a spate of articles, suddenly comi
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The Great Shake in Governance- New Modi Cabinet- My Take

This week, the Narendra Modi government was expanded. However, as it turned out, it was not merely an expansion, rather complete rehash of the cabinet, with many faces, widely believed as non-performers eased out of their positions.  The expansion came with the dropping of some key names, much famed and widely seen on TV Channels, perceived to me closest to the leftist media houses. Prakash Javadekar was shunted, Ravishankar Prasad was dropped, so was Ramesh Pokhariyan Nishank. Apart from the worthies of Ministries of Information & Broadcasting, Law and IT and HRD, Dr. Harshvardhan was also dropped from health.  Before we look at the addition, it is pertinent to look at the deletions from the earlier Cabinet. Prakash Javadekar, as I&B Minister was expected to take strong stand, make statements, blast the inane propaganda in key policy initiatives that the Modi Government was taking. From Land Acquisition Bill to Demonetization to GST to Triple Talaq to CAA to Farmer's Bill-

Pandemic, Politics and Propaganda

  There is an interesting episode in Mahabharata , in Drona Parva . Mighty Drona, the teacher of Kaurava and Pandavas took charge after the great Commander of the Kaurava Army, Bhishma had fallen. There was a huge battle and Krishna predicted complete routing of the Pandava forces if Drona was to fight even for half a day. To circumvent this, Bhima was to make an announcement that Drona's son Ashwatthama was slain. This would have led to a dejected Drona surrendering his weapons and thus could be killed, unarmed. As Drona  did not believe in Bhima, he called upon  Yudhisthira, the eldest of the Pandava to confirm.  Yudhishthira, the righteous one, than famously said that  Ashwatthama was dead, not the man but the Elephant. It is then mentioned in before now the Chariot of Yudhishthira had remained at the height of four fingers' breadth from the Earth's surface; but after he uttered the lie, his steeds touched the Earth.  There is a certain glory and lightness of spirit in s

Book Review: The Sanghi who Never Went to a Shakha- By Rahul Roushan

'There is a crack, A crack in everything; That is how The Light gets in.' Wrote Leonard Cohen, in his song Anthem. I have been meaning to write a review of the book by Rahul Roushan called Sanghi Who Never Went to a Shakha. I was not getting around to it, the dark shadows of deaths floating around in this resurgent wave of Corona Pandemic, where each man has been reduced to an isolated island of life in the middle of a dreadful sea of unknown. Apart from that it was the structure of the book which was confusing me. Is it a memoir? or a non-fiction tome of political history?  It would come across often that Rahul does not want it to be taken as a memoir. But then he also does not want it to be taken as a political history of say, India since the Nineties. It is in a sense both. Is it a beautiful book? Is the prose enchanting, the structure captivating? I would say no. But then a memoir is not supposed to be beautiful. It is supposed to be brutal. A memoir is not a reflection of

पुस्तक समीक्षा: Book Review - Katra Katra Dhup by Akshini

 पुस्तक समीक्षा: क़तरा क़तरा धूप - कविता संग्रह  कवयित्री : अक्षिणी भटनागर  मुझे भय और संकोच होता है जानकारों के लेखन की समीक्षा करते हुए, पुस्तक के प्रति आशंकित होता हूँ, और अपनी साहित्यिक सामर्थ्य को ले कर आतंकित रहता हूँ। अक्षिणी जी से परिचय ट्विटर से है। पुस्तक प्राप्त होने के बाद मैं लम्बे समय, कोई महीना दो महीना, इसे देखता रहा और इससे भयभीत होता रहा। यदि कविता पसंद न आयीं, तो क्या समीक्षा करूँ और यदि पसंद आयी तो क्या मेरी योग्यता होगी एक अकवि होने के नाते उसकी समीक्षा कर पाने की। एक समस्या और रही आधुनिक कवियों के हर दुर्घटनाग्रस्त गद्य को कविता कहने की ज़िद, जिसमे आम तौर पर तमाम प्रचलित भावों को भेलपुरी निर्माता की कुशलता से जोड़ कर, यहाँ वहाँ नारी-मुक्ति, भूख, निर्धनता और कुछ अचंभित कर देने योग्य नग्नता को ठेल कर कवि निर्विकार भाव से कविताओं की रचना करता है।  बहरहाल न पढ़ने के अपराधबोध ने पुस्तक को उठाने का साहस दिया, और जब पुस्तक के पृष्ठ पलटे तो पाया कि सारा भय निरर्थक था। पुस्तक अपठित छोड़ना असंभव हो गया। ऐसे कवि और लेखक कम हैं जो इस कारण से लिखते हैं क्योंकि जब तक ह्रदय के सरोकार

Common Man's View on Budget 2021

  Today Narendra Modi Government has its second Budget in the second term. Through the day, I was watching the Business Channels and the general consent was that under the pressing circumstances post-Pandemic, this was a great budget and experts who have their skin in the game have given it between 8 out-of-10 to even 11 out-of-10. The markets responded by saluting the Finance Minister, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman by rising to the occasion by an extent which was highest since 1997. However, by the time, the dusk descended, I logged on to the usual News Channels. AajTak, which has been blatantly propagating Communist propaganda surrounding the fake Sikh Farmer Protests, decided that the Budget discussion needs to have Farmers' angle. Congress, which ruled over India, by proxy with a PM with fake residential Address, fielded the Economists. Yesterday, there was Nobel Laureate Economist Abhijit Banerjee who quoted Oxfam report on rising inequalities globally in the aftermath of COVID, as a

Judicial Overreach- How Far is too Far?

  Supreme Court bunched together various petition with the primary petition seeking direction for the Government to get the Delhi roads blocked by various Farmer Groups, mostly from Punjab. These five-star protests blocking the streets, after refusing to move to designated protest sites are reportedly funded by foreign entities and political parties. The farmer leaders keep on claiming the protests to be apolitical led by poor farmers, and the left-leaning anchors allow them getting away with their lies when there have been proof of people like a 600 Crore High Networth Individual VM Singh, an ex-Congress and Ex-TMC leader (and running his own Political outfit now, having contested recent UP elections with 35 Contestants and losing all seats), Hanan Mollah , an 8-times MLA of CPI-M from West Bengal, an MP and also Waqf Board member, Rakesh Tikait, who fought 2014 election on RLD Ticket and lost, and Darshan Pal, an Anesthetist and founder member of PDFI banned by Congress-led UPA Gove