Plainspeak
In J&K, Sri Sri Does a Gandhi PDF Print E-mail

In a move strikingly reminiscent of Gandhi in riot-torn Bengal in 1946-47, which he visited a full three months after Direct Action day when jihad had burnt itself out, to realize his very own peculiar and unrealistic Hindu-Muslim unity, Sri Sri Ravishankar announced his intention to travel to riot-torn J&K to “bring back peace by mediating between communities”. Some of us have not forgotten Sri Sri’s previous visit to the Valley and his most lasting achievement – the best-selling picture of his hugging Yasin Malik, one of Kashmir’s arch jihadis who presided over the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus in the 1990s. A week ago, the ubiquitous Jesus-look-alike ‘de-religionised spiritualist’, whose Dallas disciples recently declared that the Art of Living movement is not Hindu, who therefore by the definition of his own disciples is not a Hindu religious leader, expressed agreement with “hurt Hindu sentiments” and in the same breath gratuitously advised the Hindus of Jammu to shun violence and fight for their rights through ahimsa (what else). Sri Sri is stirring spittle in an issue which is nothing but politics of religion; Muslims have been made to look past masters at this game only because the self-elected players on the Hindu side were not hard-headed kshatriyas with a thorough understanding of the one-sided rules, but Gandhian woolly-headed pacifists peddling ahimsa and sugary platitudes. The de-religionised spiritualist also advised Indian parliamentarians to support the Indo-American nuclear deal, from Seattle of all places! Who, we wonder was his audience just as we are left wondering who is going to listen to him in J&K and who is going to live by his prescription for peace?

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The Nation as Draupadi PDF Print E-mail

Parliament on 22nd July resembled the court of the Kauravas with the Speaker playing Dritharashtra. Every individual in parliament on that day, notwithstanding the party to which he or she belonged, was someone in the shameful court and I was the nation. When the Prime Minister scornfully tabled his written response to the two-day debate with the Speaker instead of facing the Members of Parliament and addressing their concerns verbally, he was only underscoring parliament’s irrelevance in concluding international agreements and treaties. This is a serious deficiency in the country’s democracy in theory and in practice because when parliament is rendered impotent to influence government decisions impinging on national security, it amounts to disregarding the sense of the House and the will of the people. It is a chilling truth that on that fateful day not one member in the august house, in the treasury or the opposition, faithfully represented the voter who put him or her there. As the end results proved, many of them were disloyal even to the party to which they belonged.

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