Enron & Political Corruption

Dabhol Power Project at Night

Deep inside one of today’s newspaper pages was a small report about the closure of corruption case of Enron’s Dabhol Power Project. As per the report the case has been closed on an application moved by the BJP-Shiv Sena led Maharashtra State Government. What an Irony!! https://epaper.bhaskar.com/detail/300915/04120254190935/0/12042019/18/image/

I remember this controversy vividly as it was during that time I had moved to Mumbai in 1993 for my further studies. NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar who was then in the Congress had just been moved from the Defence Ministry  to take over as the Maharashtra CM to control volatile situation post the Babri Masjid demolition riots and the Mumbai bomb blasts.

Indian Economy was then just opening up and the Government had got a major FDI for a Power Project in Dabhol, Maharashtra which was to be set up by Enron Corporation. Reports started coming out about opacity and underhand dealings in this project. The opposition led by Shiv Sena Supremo Balasaheb Thackeray went hammer and tongs about this alleged corruption and his newspaper ‘SAAMNA’ was filled with stories about it. He went so far to say that if his party was elected to power he would throw the project in the Arabian Sea.

Balasaheb Thackeray with Enron’s Kenneth Lay and Rebecaa Mark at his residence ‘Matoshree’ in Mumbai.

Riding high on this above point besides the Hinduvta card the SS-BJP combined formed the government for the first time in the State and guess what nothing like promised ever happened to Enron’s Power project. Balasaheb went on the entertain Enron Chief Kenneth Lay and the alleged face of everything wrong with Enron deal – Ms. Rebecaa Mark at his residence. The controversy was soon put in the back burner and twenty years later it has died its natural death.

Our political discourse is filled with narratives like these that the political leaders use as a stepping stone to power. Hearsay, without sound legal backup, playing the emotional card, blaming the other side and playing holier than thou!!

From The 2G Scandal’s absurd loss figures that were dismissed by the Special Courts, to tall claims of putting the entire Congress Leadership in jail in 2014 election rallies the list is endless.

The current NDA government is once again asking for mandate on these very alleged cases without acting out on its claims in the last 5 years or managing to get even a single conviction by the courts. For they know it makes out for an excellent vote catcher but a really bad legal case.

Till we have people who are constantly fed on propaganda and are ready to lap it up, we shall have cases like ENRON whose initial wildfire quickly turns in cold ash and helping bring political gains without ever managing to jail a single alleged culprit.

ADVANI JI

भारतीय जनता पार्टी ने आगामी लोक सभा के लिए अपने उम्मीदवार हाल ही में घोषित किये, चर्चा टिकेट मिलने से ज्यादा जिनको नहीं मिला उनकी थी, मुख्यतः आदरणीय लाल कृष्ण आडवाणी जी की!!

उनके बारे में आज कल कम ही सुनने और पढ़ने में आता है जब से उनके शिष्य और हमारे देश के प्रधानमंत्री मोदी जी ने उनको मार्ग दर्शक मंडल में डाल दिया है. कभी कभार आप श्री के हाथ जोड़े वाले विडियो ज़रोर वायरल हो जाते हैं.

लेकिन पिछले दो दिन से अडवानी जी सुर्ख़ियों में नज़र आ रहे हैं जब से उनकी पारंपरिक सीट पर मोटा भाई को लड़ाने का निर्णय लिया है. कारण कोई भी चाहे उनको टिकेट नहीं दिया या उन्होनें स्वयं मना कर दिया , एक बात तो पक्की है की वाजपेयी जी के युग के नेताओं का युग का समापन. वह युग जहाँ राजनेताओं में थोड़ी बहुत आँख की शर्म और आपसी सामंजस था और अब की तरह विषैला, संकीर्ण और कटुता भरा नहीं था.

एक बात कुछ दिनों से ज़रोर सुनने को आ रही है की उन्होनें अपनी पुत्री प्रतिभा जी को अपनी जगह टिकेट देने से मना कर दिया क्यूंकि वह वंशवाद नहीं फैलना चाहते. आशा करता हूँ की इस सिधांत पर उन के परिवार जन हमेशा द्रढ़ संकल्पित रहे क्यूंकि यह भले ही सुनने में अच्छा लगा लेकिन सत्ता के मीठे फल को छोड़ने का मन आज तक इतनी आसानी से आगामी पीढीयों में देखने को नहीं मिला.

इतिहास उन के राजनीतिज्ञ के रूप का आकलन कैसा करेगा? एक ऐसे नेता के रूप में जिसने १९८४ की 2 सीटों वाली पार्टी को श्रीराम के सहारे मात्र एक दशक में सत्ता के करीब ले आने वाले या एक लौह पुरुष के रूप में जिसने कंधार में आतंकियों को छोड़ा था ??

या उस व्यक्ति को याद रखेगा जिसने भारत को धर्म के नाम के दो हिस्सों में बंटवारा किया और जिनके मकबरे पर आपने उनको सबसे बड़ा धर्मनिरपेक्ष व्यक्ति कहा, मैं बात कर रहा हूँ क़ैद-ऐ-आज़म मोहम्मद अली जिन्नाह की.

मेरे लिए अडवानी जी हमेशा वोह व्यक्ति रहेंगे जिनकी सोची-समझी रणनीति के तहत निकाली रथ यात्रा जहाँ जहाँ से निकली दंगे और समाज में अविश्वास फैलाते चलती गयी. ऐसी रथ यात्रा जो शरू तो हुई थी १९९० में लेकिन जिसके पहिये ना जाने कितने घर दबाये आज तक हमारे दिलो में एक दुसरे के खिलाफ शक और पूर्वाग्रह लिए निरंतर घुमती जा रही है. मैं उनको हमेशा याद रखूँगा जिनके कारण मैंने पहली बार मेरे शहर में कर्फ्यू लगते हुए देखा 6 दिसम्बर की घटना के बाद. जहाँ तक मुझे याद है तब शायद ही मेरे शहर में कोई दंगा हुआ था, शुक्र है उस समय व्हात्साप नहीं था वरना ना जाने मात्र अफवाहों से कितनों की जानें और चली जाती.

आशा है की अब सार्वजनिक जीवन से अलविदा ले अपने सगे-सम्बन्धी और शुभ चिंतकों के बीच सुख-समर्धि से रहे.

Dear Mr. Kejriwal

Dear Mr. Arvind Kejriwal,

I write this letter while you and some others are busy in back room maneuvering to have a tie-up with my party i.e. The Indian National Congress.

I do not know what my party’s Central and State Leadership is going to decide on this tie-up but what certainly I do now know is that you are no different from the others you so vehemently criticized from the grounds of Ram Leela Maidan and can henceforth take no moral high ground on the basis of principles, ethics for being a party with a difference.

In not so distant past you had painted the entire political class with one stroke of brush as Corrupt, inept, inefficient, unprincipled etc and garnered these anti-establishment votes to a spectacular win in Delhi Assembly. A model you tried so hard to replicate pan-India but failed with most of your candidate forfeiting their deposits in Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections barring a few exceptions.

I was never a fan of your kind of politics because you offered the people of India Utopia when you yourself knew there was none. One by one people started leaving or were made to leave the movement that Anna Hazare had started and whose fruits you were the only one left to devour and relish.

From swearing on your children never to have a tie-up with the Congress to actually doing it and now bending over backwards to accommodate them is not surprising to those who have watched you closely. Let the truth be told you are a Delhi Centric Party with an influence over 7 Lok Sabha Seats and 70 Assembly Seats, other than that it is just an exception.

During the heydays of the Lokpal Movement I was made to feel guilty about being a Congressman by your fans and now when I see your antics I feel sorry for them.

I just hope my party leadership listens to Ex. CM Shiela Dixit ji who successfully led the state for a record three terms and hope you too focus on your core competence i.e. Delhi and not spread yourself too thin !!

Regards,

A Congressman

SHAADI MUBARAQ

Ambani-family-at-Akash-Ambani-wedding

प्रिय नीता भाभी,

सर्वप्रथम आकाश बाबू और श्लोक बिटिया की शादी की बहुत-बहुत मुबारकबाद !!

दो दिन से नवदम्पति की फोटो देख-देख कर मलाल हो रहा है की काश इनकी शादी में आ के उस फूलों वाली फोटो वाल के आगे अपनी तस्वीर खिंचवा पाता, पर यह हो न सका !!

खैर आपके परिवार की दो शादियाँ छोटे से अंतराल में सम्पन्न हुई. एक की वैभवता तो उदयपुर वासी होने के नाते करीब से देखी और अब यह वाली सोशल मीडिया के माध्यम से.

वैसे पहले वाली जैसे चर्चे इस बार नहीं!! ना ही इस बार बादशाह, शहेंशाह और भाई को बैकग्राउंड में नाचते हुए देखा, ना ही इस बार पुरुस्गारी / मेहमाननवाज़ी करते दिखे और ना ही इस बार आपके नृत्यकला और मुद्राओं को देखने का मौका मिला.

वैसे कुछ सवाल जिज्ञासा वश मेरे मन में उठ रहे हैं जैसे की :

  1. यह जो सेलेब्रिटी आप बुलाते हैं यह फ्री में आते और परफॉर्म करते हैं या कुछ मेहनताना लेते हैं ??
  2. अपनी संतानों की शादियाँ कराते हुए जो ख़ुशी आपके चेहरे पर दिखती है वह शायद हर माँ के चेहरे पर दिखती है, लेकिन कई बार ऐसा मुझे क्यूँ लगता है की they all dwarf in ur shadow, क्या आपको भी यह लगता है?
  3. घर घर माटी चूल्हे वाली कहावत तो आपने सुनी होगी, क्या आपके यहाँ भी फूफा / मौसा / देवरानी / ननद का रूठना मनाना शादी में चलता रहता है ?
  4. क्या आप डिज़ाइनरज़ मुख्यतः सब्यसाची को पाबंद नहीं कर सकते आपकी शादी में पहने हुए कपड़ों का सेल्फ-प्रमोशन करने का, बहुत ज्यादा इन-योर-फेस टाइप लगता है मुझे ?
  5. हमारे यहाँ बहु से सबसे पहले लापसी बनवाते हैं, आपके यहाँ क्या बनवाते हैं ?
  6. क्या नव-दम्पति पर अपनी दादीजी को सोने की सीडी चडाने का प्रेशर है ?

खैर सानू की ? आपकी शादी, आपका घराना, आपका धन मुझे क्या ??

अभी आप से इज़ाज़त लूँगा क्यूंकि अभी-अभी मेरी शरीक-ऐ-हयात (बीवी) ने आकाश बाबु के फेरों का सात मिनट का विडियो व्हाट्सएप पर भेजा है जिसको तुरंत देखना अति आवश्यक है.

सासू माँ को अनेकों बधाइयाँ,

आपके परिवार की हर शादी को बारीकी से देखता एक भारतीय

PS : पिछली बार जब ईशा बाई सा की उदयपुर में शादी हुई थी तो एक मेरी FB पोस्ट पर टिका-टिपण्णी से उखड़े एक जानकार को अन-फ्रेंड करना पड़ा था. आशा है की इस बार ऐसा नहीं करना पड़ेगा.

War

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My heart goes out to our Brave hearts – Our Soldiers who lost their lives for our country. More than 40 soldiers were martyred by the dastardly act of terrorist organisation that is sheltered / promoted and trained by our neighbour – Pakistan.

It is time we must all stand behind our Government for it to take whatever steps necessary to give a befitting reply. The government has definitely acted swiftly by withdrawing the Most Favoured Nations Status granted to Pakistan, security to separatists and killing the mastermind of this act.

rama sea.jpgThere is this famous doha of Tulsidas ji in Ramcharitra Manas-

बिनय न मानत जलधि जड़, गए तीन दिन बीत।

बोले राम सकोप तब, भय बिन होय न प्रीत।।

This incident happens when Lord Rama after requesting and waiting for the 3 days for Lord of the Sea – Varuna to make way for Him and His army to reach Lanka does not relent and then He threatens to use his arrows forcing Lord Varun to finally relent. To put my point across there can be no peace without fear and this has to put forward in no uncertain terms to Pakistan that we have defeated them in wars earlier and can do the same again if need be.

There has been an outpouring of emotions and rightly so – from rage to grief to sadness. In times like these it is difficult not to vent out emotions but this clarion call for war is baffling, it has to be thought over and then waged. I am sure that our armed forces are fully capable to give it back to Pakistan but this jingoism is certainly uncalled for.

हम अमन चाहते हैं, मगर ज़ुल्म के ख़िलाफ़,

गर जंग लाज़मी है, तो फिर जंग ही सही …

But let this call be taken by the highest echelons of our Military, but not on TV News Shout Matches, not thru Self Promotion on Social Media, not by having one to prove their patriotism and most certainly not via making videos on Tictoc app !!

Gully Boy

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A story of a slum dweller who refuses to give up on his dreams in spite of all his hardships with a little push from his mother, his over possessive girlfriend, his questionable neighbourhood friends and a Tiger Mentor – This is Gully Boy for you when the sum total of all this adds up into a perfect weekend watch.

I have a confession here that I am tone deaf, do not understand English Songs and only Baba Sehgal comes to my mind when I think of Rap but this film has already made me read about the artists involved in its music, for the film’s music genre is something that no filmmaker has tried exploring and that also so brilliantly.

There are 4 major stand outs apart from the music for me :

  1. Ranveer Singh – As the underdog who refuses to give up on his dreams, this is like never before Ranveer Singh. downloadThe last movie he portrayed such a calm character was in the boring film Lootera. He is shy, non-confident but with the fire simmering within and his eyes speaking volumes. With a shade darker of his skin and bereft of any flamboyance he is the perfect Gully Boy.
  1. Alia Bhat – She portrays the possessive Girlfriend who has no inhibitions fights for and with her man. 3gtnlsno_alia-bhattinstagram_625x300_05_January_19Belonging to a conservative Muslim family but who has her own ambitions, desires and dreams which she isn’t ready to give up for anyone. Like someone recently said that she is truly the Meryl Streep of India. She slays it with her performance.
  1. Mumbai – This is a film that shows where actually Mumbai lives and how it commutes. Living in the slums travelling in the locals, the BEST Buses, sweating it out to survive in this City of Dreams. Some living after suffocating dreams, while others living to make their dreams a reality. imagesOne can actually smell the garbage, the sweat, the hot and humid Mumbai. The Mumbai lingo is pitch perfect.
  1. Zoya Akhtar – She is the perfect example of parents passing on their genes to the kids. All her three previous films have been different and brilliant. If nepotism gives us filmmakers like her and I am all for that. Long Live Nepotism !! More Power and Glory to you.

 

My verdict is very easy on this one – There can’t be anything better to do this weekend than catch up on Gully Boy unless you are going to go one a date with the leading pair of this film. You can select any one according to your preferences for Iove is gender neutral.However considering this scenario is highly unlikely considering their current relationship status : GO WATCH IT !!

UNDERMINING INSTITUTIONS

There is a famous Latin phrase “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” which means “Who will guard the guards themselves?”

The last few days are nothing but playing out of this above phrase in the premium investigation agency of India i.e. The CBI. As the CBI files FIR against its own and the head of the Bureau asked to go on leave. All this is as some leaders like to say ‘happening for the first time in 70 years’.

The moot question that needs to be asked is it just this one off case or there is a pattern in all of this. Is there a pattern to undermine Institutions, to scuttle divergent idea or for that matter to push an agenda through their own man??

Some examples over the tenure of the current dispensation of the BJP led Central Government happen to reinforce the above view:

  • 330px-Raghuram_Rajan,_IMF_69MS040421048l.jpgRBI – The post of RBI Governor is usually overboard and beyond politicking however in the case of Raghuram Rajan with an increase personal attack by the maverick BJP MP Subramanium Swamy, he choose to vacate the post rather than face the usual Mr. Swamy’s unsubstantiated charges. The Central Government didn’t come out in support of him or reign in their MP to undermine the office of the Governor of Reserve Bank India.
  • Niti Aayog – One of the most vociferous supporter of Shri Narendra Modi ji before he became the PM in 2014 download.jpgwas Mr. Arvind Pangaria – Economist and Professor at University of Colombia. He was well rewarded and aptly appointed as the Vice-Chairman of Niti Aayog in 2015. A tenure that is usually concurrent with the Central Government. However in just two years he chooses to resign from this post to go back to teaching. A person of his stature and knowledge could have been put to better use to drive the engine of Indian Economic Growth but the nation lost out on that due to as some reports are to be believed due to differences with the Finance Minister.
  • Supreme Court – Never before in the history of Independent India have the sitting senior most Judges of the download (1)Supreme Court of India has held a press conference to air their dissatisfaction with the functioning and interference in the working of the courts. To quote Justice Chelameswar “The administration of the Supreme Court is not in order. Many things that are less than desirable have happened in the last few months. Unless this institution is preserved, democracy will not survive in this country.”
  • FTII – download (2)The premier institute in India for film and Television was saddled with a Chairman whose minor claim to fame was being part of the Epic Mahabharat TV Serial and major claim was that he is card carrying member of BJP. The students went on strike, film fraternity objected to his appointment but again who can protest against a brute majoritanism?

These are just few examples for I am sure there are more that quietly die down never surfacing on the forefront. Are these the promised ‘अच्छे दिन’ that the people of India voted for in 2014 ?

A JOURNEY TO REMEMBER

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आज दिनांक 31.7.2018 को हम सब आधुनिक राजस्थान के निर्माता एवं पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री स्व. मोहनलाल जी सुखाड़िया की 102 वीं जयंती मना रहे हैं और इस से बेहतर और क्या दिन हो सकता है जब उनकी धर्मपत्नी एवं पूर्व सांसद स्व. इन्दुबालाजी सुखाड़िया के योगदान को भी याद करें.

इंग्लिश के एक मशहूर कहावत है की – ‘Behind every successful man there is a woman’ यानी एक सफल पुरुष के पीछे हमेशा एक महिला का हाथ होता है और यही बात स्व. मोहनलाल जी सुखाड़िया पर भी लागू होती है. उनके व्यक्तित्व, उनके कार्य, उनके स्वाभाव और उनके राजनैतिक सफ़र के बारे में बहुत कुछ सुना, देखा और पढ़ा गया है. लेकिन कई अनछुए पहलों ऐसे है जो सुखाड़िया जी के संघर्षों में उनकी भार्या के योगदान को समझने का मौका देती हैं.

सन 1942  पर गांधीजी का “करो या मरो” का नारा और जेल भरो आन्दोलन अपने चरमोत्कर्ष पर था. सुखाड़िया जी के विवाह को मात्र 3 वर्ष ही हुए थे. तब उनकी 3 माह की एक बच्ची थी. एक दिन अचानक रात को 1 बजे पुलिस जा धमकी , घर की तलाशी ली गयी. श्रीमती  सुखाड़िया ने उन्हें तिलक लगाकर नारियल देते हुए हँसते-हँसते विदा किया. सुखाड़िया जी को इसवाल जेल में बंद कर दिया गया. अन्य राजनैतिक कार्यकर्ताओं की भांति चंदाश्रित श्रीमती सुखाड़िया को पसंद नहीं था. वे उदयपुर दिल्ली गेट स्तिथ पाठशाला में अध्यापिका बन अपनी आर्थिक आवश्यकताओं के समाधान का माध्यम स्वयं ही खोज लिया.unnamed (3)

तब सुखाड़िया जी को पथ विचलित करने के लिए तत्कालीन पुलिस अधीक्षक सुन्दरलाल त्रिवेदी ने सहानुभूति का नाटक रचा और इन्दुबाला जी को कहा की इतने कम वेतन में कैसे काम चलेगा ? स्तिथि विकट है उन्हें सुखाड़िया जी को समझाना चाहिए , शायद सारी उम्र जेल में कट जाए या राष्ट्रद्रोह के अपराध में फांसी हो जाए. उन्होनें पुलिस की सलाह मान ली लेकिन शर्त राखी की वे अपने पति से अकेले में बात करेंगी.

जब वह उनसे मिली तो सुखाड़िया जी ने पूछा “ तुम क्या चाहती हो? क्या तुम भी सरकार के सामने समर्पित होने को कहती हो?” वह क्षण ऐतिहासिक था, बड़ी सहजता से उन्होनें कहा “आप मेरी औए बेबी की चिंता न करें. मेरे मोह में पड़ कर विचलित हो गए तो इससे बड़ी पमानजनक पीड़ा मेरे लिए और कुछ नहीं होगी. मैं आपसे सिर्फ यह कहने आई हूँ की यदि फांसी पर भी झुलना पड़े तो भूल जाना, लेकिन पथ से डिगना मत.” सुखाड़िया जी गर्व से अभिभूत हो उठे, इन्दुबाला जी उनके इरादों को और पुख्ता कर आयीं थी.

घर की चौहद्दी के अन्दर मुख्यमंत्री स्व. इन्दुबाला जी बनकर ही रहती थी. उनका कठोर शासन सुखाड़िया जी को शिरोधार्य करना पड़ता था. जब सुखाड़िया जी ने स्वेच्छा से मुख्यमंत्री पद से त्यागपत्र दिया तो कई राजनैतिक मित्र, कांग्रेसी विधायक आदि उनको समझाने के लिए आये की वे त्यागपत्र ना दें. तब इन्दुबाला जी द्रढ़ हो गयीं की त्यागपत्र किसी हालत में लौटाया ना जाये. तब सुखाड़िया जी ने चुपके से मुस्कराकर यही कहा की इसने तो साक्षात रणचंडी का रूप धारण कर लिया है.

इस किस्से को याद करते हुए राजस्थान प्रदेश कांग्रेस की अध्यक्षा स्व. लक्ष्मी कुमारी जी चुण्डावत कहा था की रूप जो भी धारण कर लिया हो इन्दुबाला जी ने यदि सुखाड़िया जी ने किसी प्रकार के भी प्रभाव में न आकर त्यागपत्र न लौटाया, तो इसका एक मात्र श्रेय इन्दुबाला जी को ही था !!

पूर्व सांसद, मंत्री एवं किसान नेता स्व. कुम्भाराम जी आर्य ने उनके योगदान को याद करते हुए कहा था “सुखाड़िया सहनशील, कुशल राजनीतिज्ञ थे. उनकी धर्मपत्नी इन गुणों को पोषण और रक्षण देनेवाली धर्मपत्नी रहीं. सुखाड़िया की कीर्ति में बहिन इन्दुबाला का हाथ कम नहीं रहा.”

मृत्यू के कुछ ही समय जब वरिष्ठ पत्रकार बी एल पानगडिया ने सुखाड़िया जी से पूछा की उनके दीर्घ सार्वजनिक जीवन में सर्वश्रेष्ठ घडी कौन से थी. तब सुखाड़िया जी ने बताया की शादी के बाद जब पहली बार नाथद्वारा आये और वहां के युवकों ने “मोहन भैय्या जिंदाबाद” के नारे लगाते हुए जिस तरह नव वर-वधु का स्वागत किया था वोह उनके जीवन का सर्वश्रेष्ठ पल था.

स्वयं सुखाड़िया जी ने इस घटना का निम्न शब्दों में वर्णन किया है :- “आज में सोचता हूँ की मुख्यमंत्री के रूप में भी मेरा ऐसा भव्य और अपूर्व उत्साहपूर्ण जुलुस नहीं निकला. इस जुलुस ने मुझे भावी जीवन के संघर्ष में आगे बढने की प्रेरणा दी. मेरे इर्द-गिर्द सशक्त नौजवानों की अपूर्व भीड़ थी, इस घटना के बाद में मैंने फिर कभी पीछे मुड़ कर नहीं देखा.”

General Elections 2019

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Immediately after the stupendous success of the BJP led coalition in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections and the dismail performance of Congress, I happened to be at a social gathering. Knowing perfectly well where my political loyalties lay a dear friend walked up to me and said “अब तो हिंदूं की सरकार आ गयी, अब अपने हिसाब से सब कर सकेंगे!”

What left me surprised was not that there was a Hindu Sarkar in place but the latter part of his statement. I did ask him what he was it that the previous governments had prevented him from doing?? He was definitely at a loss of words but was so sure that NDA was all set to empower the Hindus to take on the might of others!! BTW I was having this discussion with a professionally qualified supposedly well read individual.

4 years hence I have come to realise this supposedly well read group of people so vehemently putting across their point of views are PHD holders from the ‘Whatsapp University’; as Ravish Kumar so aptly defines it. Most news channels and newspaper are also feeding such phobia and false ideas about supposedly appeasement of minorities by the opposition parties.

What is the minority appeasement that they talk about?? Facts disprove any beneficial treatment meted out to the Muslims as has been pointed out by the Sachar Committee. Muslims were around 13.4% of the total population as per 2001 Census. However there were only 1.3% of them in the total number of students in all the IIM courses and only 3.3% in IITs. The presence of Muslims was found to be only 3% in the IAS, 1.8% in the IFS and 4% in the IPS. Share of Muslims in employment in various departments is abysmally low at all levels. In no state does the representation of Muslims in the government departments match their population share.

However one thing is for certain they is a mass who now represent a major vote bank that no political party wants to offend. So we have parties playing the supposedly ‘Soft Hinduvta’ and prefer not to be seen to close to the minorities especially the Muslims. We have the Prime Minister of our Country wearing all sorts of headgear but not The Skull Cap. I agree this is just symbolism but why this avoidance with symbols of Islam only??

India is sixth largest economy in the world and having a second largest population of Muslim after Indonesia. No party can afford to be just catering to one section of society and not be the voice of its minorities and in this case the Muslims of India.

The run up to 2019 we are once again seeing the rise of Hindu Identity well I too am proud of my Hindu Identity but my religion teaches me inclusion and not exclusion. There is no either-or for me but rather cohabitation with all the religion that make up India.

We can speculate on the results of 2019 Lok Sabha however what is non-negotiable in this mad rush in the ‘first past the post’ system is our duty to stand up and be the one for its weakest members and that is what the President of Indian National Congress Shri Rahul Gandhi recently said during one of his interactions.

GHALIB KA TASAVVUR-E-NISHAT-O-GHAM

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Mirza Asaadullah Beg Khan popularly known as Mirza Ghalib in his lifespan of 71 years gave the world and connoisseurs’ of poetry works that resonates even today after nearly 150 years of his passing away. In spite of being born into Nobility with a high social status he lived a life of penury and an unhappy marriage. He lived to see the death of his seven children, the fall and the demise of Mughal Empire, the war of 1857 and the rise of the British Empire in Hindustan.

All this made him the person that he was and thus gets reflected in his poetry which offers life lessons that is even till this date can be identified by all sections of society from the nobility to the common man, from rich to poor, from the young to the old and from the believer to the agnostic.

To write anything  that has already not been written about Ghalib is a daunting task and more so over when it is to discuss his imagination of Happiness and Sadness i.e. GHALIB KA TASAVVUR NISHAT-O-GHAM , but such is the magic of his poetry that it offers different insights and meaning to the reader. The valuable life lessons that he offers can be imbibed my each one of us in our daily life. He took life with a pinch of salt, something that need not be taken too seriously like in this couplet:

  • ग़ालिब ऐ खस्ता के बगैर, कौन से काम बंद हैं,

          रोइए जार जार क्या, कीजिये हाय हाय क्यूँ …

  • غالبؔ خستہ کے بغیر کون سے کام بند ہیں

          روئیے زار زار کیا کیجیے ہاے ہاے کیوں

He writes, what is the need for such a hue and cry over him? The world wouldn’t stop if he wasn’t there and for Ghalib himself is in dire condition. What can be implied is that no matter what be the status of someone; however powerful and mighty people would continue to live their lives after they pass away as time and tide waits for no one, what has to happen will happen even in their absence. Ones happiness or sadness is independent of other’s existence the emotions felt will be temporarily but in the long run we all live on.

  • बाज़ीचा-ए-अत्फ़ाल है दुनिया मेरे आगे

         होता है शबो-रोज़ तमाशा मेरे आगे।

  • بازیچۂ اطفال ہے دنیا مرے آگے

        ہوتا ہے شب و روز تماشا مرے آگے

The poet says that world is just a child’s playground in from of him and games are being played daily. He watches the ways of the world and its inhabitants enacting their parts every day, he neither condemns or condones these actions because like the children’s games it isn’t permanent nor it is to be taken seriously thus we should sit back and enjoy the games people play and not to get emotional.

  • काबे किस मुंह से जाओगे , ग़ालिब?

         शर्म तुम को मगर नहीं आती

  • کعبہ کس منہ سے جاوگے غالبؔ

          شرم تم کو مگر نہیں آتی

Ghalib was never a practicing, devout Muslim man. He was an alcoholic and had habits that were an anathema to Islam thus he asks himself, with all this how can he ever make that journey of the faithful to Kabba that is the most sacred place in Islam and doesn’t he have the shame to take the Hajj Pilgrimage. To delve deeper into this couplet it also means that he is aware of shortcomings so to say and have accepted them and that there is nothing hidden from the Almighty. The God knows him and should accept him with all his faults and one shouldn’t moan of feel sad for their actions for God is up their watching all of us.

  • होगा कोई ऐसा भी की ग़ालिब को ना जाने?

         शायर तो वोह अच्छा है, पर बदनाम बोहत है.

  • ہوگا کوئی ایسا بھی کہ غالبؔ کو نہ جانے

          شاعر تو وہ اچھا ہے پہ بدنام بہت ہے

In this couplet Ghalib can be seen asking, is there even a possibility that there may be people who may be unaware of him and further goes on to add that he is good poet albeit with a little questionable reputation. He is aware both i.e. the strength and quality of his literary works and also his infamous and questionable reputation and sometimes this infamy takes precedence over his talent. So if there is happiness over his talent there is also a pang of sadness for his own character faults.

Like he was aware of his shortcomings and habits that were prohibited in his religion he was equally sure of his art i.e. poetry. When someone asks about him, he seems astonished and seems at a loss of words, like in this one:

  • पूछते हैं वोह के ग़ालिब कौन है?

         कोई बतलाओ के हम बतलाये क्या ?

  • پوچھتے ہیں وہ کہ غالبؔ کون ہے

          کوئی بتلاؤ کہ ہم بتلائیں کیا

He is amazed at the ignorance of the person for asking about him, for his works had been read and spread across the region and to answer such a question would be boastful. There is an element of ego, self appraisal and spite. He seems to be asking his followers what to answer to such a question?

When someone reaches exalted status in society it’s a presumption that the masses are supposed to have heard about him and to having to introduce oneself,   is task that gets difficult with rising popularity and on the corollary irrespective of one’s popularity there will be people who are still unaware and indifferent to your fame. In a way he is happy about the status that he achieved thru his poetry which has given him recognition.

  • हैं और भी दुनिया में सुखनवर बोहत अछे,

         केहते हैं ग़ालिब का है अंदाज़ ऐ बयाँ और

  • ہیں اور بھی دنیا میں سخن ور بہت اچھے

         کہتے ہیں کہ غالبؔ کا ہے انداز بیاں اور

Again in this one Ghalib is on self appraisal mode. He says that there are many great poets in the world but still people say his work is a little different. People following the same passion and art form need not be alike, each creates his own niche and his own followers and one should be aware of their strength to find happiness.

Ghalib though born in aristocracy lived a life full of struggle living off the grants of others. He travelled all the way up to Kolkata to claim his pension shared an uneasy relationship with his wife and survived to see the death of his children. He was imprisoned, condemned but still had the gumption to retain his feudal lifestyle. He is aware of his peculiar conditions and hardships.

  • हमको मालूम है जन्नत की हक़ीक़त लेकिन

          दिल के ख़ुश रखने को ‘ग़ालिब’ ये ख़याल अच्छा है

  • ہم کو معلوم ہے جنت کی حقیقت لیکن

          دل کے خوش رکھنے کو غالبؔ یہ خیال اچھا ہے

In this couplet he is aware that only solace he can get now is when he is set free from this life and reaches heaven. He knows the truth or the imagination of this promised heaven but that is the only comfort that is helping him lead this miserable life. In life sometimes only happiness that one can hope to achieve is the one imagined or a promise of a better life. Sometimes the present is so painful that an uncertain future is the only hope.

  • दे वोह जिस क़दर ज़िल्लत, हम हंसी में टालेंगे ,

         बारे आशना निकला उन का पासबान अपना

  • دے وہ جس قدر ذلّت ، ہم ہنسی میں ٹالینگے

          بارے آشنا نکلا ان کا پاسباں اپنا

Again in this one he is aware of being ostracised and being thrown out of his beloved’s place but again he finds solace or rather consoles himself that at least the gatekeeper is his friend. Even in difficult circumstances there is always a ray of hope and it is this silver lining that helps to tide over the difficulties.

In these two couplets the poet talks of hardships that one must get used to and have a steely attitude to face any adversity that they stop to matter anymore. One must face the obstacles in life.

  • इशरत-ए-क़तराहै दरिया में फ़ना हो जाना

         दर्द का हद से गुज़रना है दवा हो जाना

  • عشرت قطرہ ہے دریا میں فنا ہو جانا

          درد کا حد سے گزرنا ہے دوا ہو جانا

It is the destiny of a droplet to merge into the water and loose its identity and it shouldn’t moan about it as that is its destiny. The pain sometimes is so much that you tend to live with it and the absence is what makes life uneasy.

  • रंजसे ख़ूगर हुआ इंसाँ तो मिट जाता है रंज

          मुश्किलें मुझ पर पड़ीं इतनी कि आसाँ हो गईं

  • رنج سے خوگر ہوا انساں تو مٹ جاتا ہے رنج

         مشکلیں مجھ پر پڑیں اتنی کہ آساں ہو گئیں

Similarly in this one the pain once acknowledged gets easy and he faced so many hardships that it seized being a botheration anymore. He says we should face the adversities in our life head on and once we do that the sadness or the pain stops being impairment.

These above couplets fits into the dynamics of any relationship that is bound on the foundation of love be it that of romantic liaisons or the one with the almighty himself and the happiness and sadness is a part of life that we all have to live with.