Last updateMon, 21 May 2018 7am

Kar‘natakam’ – The Electoral Drama In Karnataka

Kar‘natakam’ is a witticism (‘kar’, which means, to do, and ‘natakam’, a drama) doing rounds in social media groups, a statement on the spectacle of electoral drama being played out during the run-up to the legislative assembly elections in 2018 in the State of Karnataka in India.

The lively electoral donnybrook is often dubbed as a ‘celebration of democracy’, the battle rink of political ideologies. But with each passing day we witness politics stoop to new lows. Politics has never been an arena of the idealistic and manipulation and power play are intrinsic to the game, has been so since time immemorial. In recent times however we see even the bare veneer of value-based politics on which parties were supposedly founded has been abandoned, all but reduced to unprincipled wranglers of illicit means. This debasement was to be witnessed in its full nakedness in the campaign for the shortly concluded Karnataka elections.

From the time that elections were announced on March 27, all major parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal – Secular (JDS), Indian National Congress (INC), began their pitch to gain an upper hand in the campaign. Parties fielded candidates on considerations of caste, creed, religion, money or muscle power, several of them with cases of corruption and criminal records against them, all but considerations of capability and integrity. There was an unabashed show of opportunistic politics with as many as 30 of the seats being allotted to people who had jumped across the party lines and switched loyalties to different parties just before the election. Since the election code of conduct came into effect, Rupees 81 crores in the form of cash, 65 crores worth other incentives and a further 25 crores worth of liquor were seized, meant to buy votes in favour of some parties. According to the Election Commission,the value of seized goods and cash far exceeded that in the 2013 elections. And according to some projections even these seizures amounted to merely a drop in the ocean compared to the actual amount of money estimated to have been in circulation during the campaign. Obviously political parties have found that siphoning off State funds from the system meant for development works and using it to enrich themselves and as doles to the impoverished, disempowered, unconscious masses to buy their votes and remain in power, a far more profitable enterprise.


AN INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT ROSARIO A Campaigner Against Religion As Mafia

Born in a Catholic Christian family of Mangalore, Robert Rosario was instructed from early childhood in the Christian dogma and earnestly believed in it until his youth. But as he observed the workings of the church more closely and examined the Christian doctrine objectively, he found that there was no relationship between religion and morality. The ‘only true path to God’ claims were but a contrivance to keep political power concentrated with the clergy and control the laity, a design that was and continues to be achieved by the most nefarious means. Since then, Robert Rosario has campaigned indefatigably to create awareness among the community and in the country at large about the dubious activities and machinations of the Christian church and their nexus with evangelists.

He also went on to emphatically expose how the church acts as a subversive institution by fanning elaborate propaganda of persecution at strategic points, by spreading false stories and creating a fear psychosis in the minds of the Christian community, deliberately fanning unrest and ferment against the Indian establishment, especially the role of the Mangalorean Church in this. He has also worked towards bringing out in the open one of the church’s most hideous faces, its historical role in the horrifically cruel persecution and genocide of native Indians, the fact that Indian Christians today are the progeny of the victims of this flagitious oppression of a people and awakening in them a sense of connect with their true identity, tied to the land and civilization of their ancestors.


Declaration of Ceasefire in Kashmir During Ramzan and India’s Official Policy of Wilful Abdication of Sense

Following a suggestion of the Mehbooba Mufti government, the Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday directed Indian security forces to halt operations in J&K during Ramzan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, “to facilitate the peace-loving Muslims in the Valley state.” While the statement from the ministry clarified that “the forces shall reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people,” the reasoning for giving in to the request of the Jammu & Kashmir Government (GoJ&K) ought to be scrutinised.

Needless to say, Mehbooba wholeheartedly welcomed the ceasefire for the period she termed “Ramadan” using the Arabic word (the Indian word being Ramzan), but did not reciprocate with any safeguards from her side that Muslims in her State too would eschew violence. And with good reasons. But before we go into those, let us explore what could possibly be the grounds for the government at the Centre to yield to her wishes, just a couple of days after Defence Minister Sitaraman stressed on the “need to be firm with terrorists.”


Was the concession preceded by any positive gesture from the Kashmiri Muslims or GoJ&K? Not even ten days are past since an innocent Indian tourist was killed by a stone-throwing mob of Kashmiri Muslims in Narbal, Budgam. Even if the scores of military personnel routinely killed and maimed each month by stone-pelters are nothing more than numbers for them, did BJP at least ensure that the culprits who killed 22-year Thirumani are arrested and face prosecution? On the contrary, the J&K CM announced amnesty for them without a murmur from their coalition partners in power at the Centre.


Criminals On The Loose On Streets: Why Stone-pelting Does Not Stop

The killing of 22-year old R Thirumani of Chennai, as a result of injuries sustained when he was accidentally caught in a stone-pelting scene, in Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir, one would think, is the first recorded death caused by stone pelting, that has since become national news. Millions of stones have been hurled over several decades in Kashmir, at our army men, police and innocent people, including children. It is therefore mystifying why after thirty years of unremitting stone pelting on a weekly, daily and sometimes hourly basis, the first death is only now being acknowledged and reported. This calls for some deeper thinking. This could logically mean only two things: either the stone pelters are extremely poor marksmen or suffer from malnutrition, that their favoured projectiles leave their hands but don’t reach their targets, the heads of their perceived enemies. Or that their targets have been so agile that they have been able to see the stones in time and dodge them, time after time and escape death. But what is inescapable is the fact that these stones are meant to kill.

The picture of Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, consoling the father of the murdered young man (yes, he was murdered) appears as the picture of compassion and pity. She seems to have suddenly discovered that stone pelting can kill people, only when to her chagrin the victim turned to be young tourist, not one among the vile Indian Army or police. All these years when stones were being hurled, the possibility never crossed her mind. It occurred to none from Kashmir. Not the Abdullahs nor the Geelanis. No wonder, only recently she pardoned hundreds of stone pelters and granted them reprieve believing their hearts have reformed (doesn't matter how unlikely a prospect that is!) Her acquiescing, ever obliging coalition partner in the J & K government and at the Centre, also did not think once of objecting to her magnanimous decision. After all, stone-pelting at Indians is Kashmiri youths’ sport, a talent to be honed, a calling to be pursued, taught by the elders in their family to be a sacred and pious duty essential to achieve manhood.


'UDAY' - Dawn Of Light In The Dark Corners

A spate of detracting voices followed the Centre's announcement last week that the target of 100% electrification of the over 600,000 villages of India had been achieved, which brushed off the accomplishment citing this or that figure. But what this meant to the man in an isolated village in India and the magnitude of change as experienced by them is narrated in this account below.

"The last village to be brought on the national power grid was Leisang village in the Senapati district of Manipur.

I share my experience of living for a month in Senapati district. The year was 2007. I had been selected for national internship with 22. Assam Rifles, Manipur.


After a back-breaking train journey that started from Pune via Mumbai and Kolkata to Assam and thereafter a 4-hour bumpy ride on NH-2 Imphal-Dimapur highway, we finally reached the 22. Assam Rifles headquarters at Maram, in Senapati district. At that time, electricity was a luxury, hot water for bath was prepared on wood-fires.

During our fieldwork, we got to travel across the various small villages hidden within mountain tops in Senapati and nearby districts. The areas were devoid of any development or factories. The villages ransacked each-other for resources. People charged their mobile phones paying 5 Rupees at nearby shops. Maoists had robbed Manipur of its development potential. Even on the day of my visit to Imphal, I witnessed three protests. There were bandhs declared every other day, rickshaw strikes that brought life on a standstill, and disruptions were normal. The district collector's office was in shambles and no work ever got done.

People would always ask me and my friend to be careful as Maoists would normally kidnap outsiders - tourists, contract workers from other states and keep them as ransom against the State government. Even though government and maoists had reached a truce and they were given own camps, yet development was scared to enter.


Prakash Raj is a genius! (Satire)

Prakash Raj is a

The Indian populace has recently received an extremely amazing conversational tool discovered and presented by him, to the whole world, in a debate on Times Now.

This brilliant tool is the expression “Kuch Bhi.”

Do note that this expression is a full sentence in itself, and surpasses all syllogisms that have ever existed, and known to mankind.

It can stand on its own with nothing to back it up, other than a full stop, or an exclamation mark or a question mark. Because of this brilliant multi-faceted identity that is thus acquired by its very existence, and its ability to shake hands with any punctuation mark, it does find itself embraced by and for a fascinating variety of conversations.

It can be expressed in soft, hushed tones, as a humble murmur. Or it can be rendered in a deep sonorous voice with a “Hah” before or after, to give it greater heft and feel. It can be dished out as a drawl to show you’re on top, or delivered with glee to declare that the person facing you is stupid. It can be thrown back angrily, or let float in the air with nonchalance. You can make it sound like a laugh, a question, an answer.


'Sita and Rama - The Divine in the Connubial Paradigm'

Sita and Rama - The Divine i

A series of calumnious tweets recently on the ‘Ramayana’ by Audrey Truscke, an author of questionable scholarship and dubious connections, who has built her fame doing hit jobs on Hindus and airbrushing historical crimes against them, once again lays bare the inveterate antagonism that the Abrahamic cults harbour towards naturalistic traditions like Hinduism and seek to destroy it through ceaseless assaults directed towards it. This hostility in case of Christianity has only changed form, from cruel inquisitions and genocidal campaigns of the past centuries to a war of elaborately contrived sophistry to coerce a narrative bound to their predications and suitable to the interests of the Christian world. 

But other than the fact that this fresh bit of scurrility calls attention to repeated such bids at bolstering certain ideological premises by seeking to fit a timeless literary work into themes of oppressive patriarchy and suffering feminity, Truschke’s spurious claims merit little more of our time, repudiated as these have been thoroughly by several reasoned voices in social media, the ones she is wont to promptly label as “Hindutva trolls” and block the moment her bluff is called.

Far more worthwhile it would be to deepen our own understanding about some of these aspects of the epics which appear troublesome when assessed against modernist memes.One such episode is the agnipareeksha in the ‘Yuddha Kanda’ of the Ramayana.

Today is Sita Navami, the day the Goddess Lakshmi is said to have incarnated to unfold the divine play of Narayana in the Treta Yuga conjoint with the avatara of Sri Ramachandra. “The world idea [of the time] is a glorious androgyny. Complementarity is its underpinning. Compliments on the consummation of the praxis in complementation are reserved mostly for her [Sita].” Their eternal story remains imprinted on the psyche of this land as the exemplary humans of their age worthy of emulation, love and reverence.