Truth about Diwali Pollution

For quite sometime we have been hearing of Green Diwali, No Cracker campaigns in schools, colleges sponsored mostly by non governmental associations. It was all good as long it was voluntary. People rightly objected to high decibel levels or problems that arose due to high concentrations of cracker smoke. Many societies started curbing celebrations within a particular time and place and that was being appreciated. Yet a PIL in the Supreme Court of India for an outright ban and the subsequent diktat regarding banning of sale of fire crackers upset a large section of society and if data shows rightly. We heard bytes on TV studios that made it sound that the sole cause of pollution was that night of Diwali in remembrance of Ram returning to Ayodhya. So was perception and not data that led to the drastic ban?

I asked many children in top schools what was the leading cause of pollution in a city like Delhi and most gave me Diwali Crackers as an answer. So certainly the perception seems warped as data shows Diwali is hardly a major cause of pollution in the city. The bigger causes persist without much focus and endless debates on Diwali pollution serve little purpose to solve the the problem. So let us see what are the major causes of pollution in a city like Delhi that hardly find time in main stream media studios for discussion and rational debate.

In reality the main causes of pollution that cause severe deterioration of PM (Particulate Matter) can be very broadly listed as follows:

  1. Burning of Garbage dumps: Natural or artificial. There are few dumps all over Delhi where garbage is just dumped. The non segregated garbage includes everything you can imagine, toxic plastics, food, chemical, industrial waste. This is being dumped for decades. A city like Delhi produces millions of tons of garbage every year and the garbage mounds have become mountains. The garbage produces methane and combusts spontaneously. Powered by winds particulate matter mostly toxic floats to surrounding areas causing huge deterioration of air quality. Any random day PM figures will show high levels around these dumps. Ghazipur dump area The figures here are for Nov 9th a good 10 days post Diwali. The area around garbage dumps show almost double the PM levels than areas around. For guidance remember 100 is the benchmark alarm by Indian standards. 300+ are extremely high levels. World class cities usually have 20-40 PM levels!
  2. Vehicular traffic: Delhi has to bear the burden of very heavy vehicular traffic. Trucks hardly follow any pollution norms. Most trucks are allowed post 9 in the evening. Along the two major routes they take pollution levels remain extremely high all year round. Solutions are to create bypasses and the Easters and Western bypass when ready will make a significant impact. High levels are seen areas where flow of traffic is jamming up.
  3. Construction dust: A large many projects in and around the capital throw up huge quantities of particulate matter that remain suspended in the air. This is a very significant contributor to heavy smog and PM levels.
  4. Thermal Power plants: A number of them in and around Delhi contribute about 11 GW of power but also a significant about of Sulfur oxides and NOx as secondary particulates in the atmosphere. An excerpt from the IIT Kanpur study is shown:Pollution ACT 8

There ate other significant factors that need expert level investigations, but the three above would possibly be accounting for 90% or more of the PM levels that we see. On the other hand Diwali pollution is hardly a blimp. Check this for 2016 for example. Two major locations show PM levels actually went down post Diwali day!

Diwali pollution data

Pollution ACT 7 Pollution ACT 6

Above pics from independently collected data depict further how many pollution peaks occur well before Diwali.

Pollution ACT 1

Pollution ACT 2

According to the study by IIT Kanpur major sources of pollution have been identified and tabled as above. A more concise screenshot is available here, conspicuous being Diwali does not figure:

Pollution ACT 3

The campaign against Diwali crackers thus is not based much on facts, but lies possibly in motivated agenda. Schools have long been fed with “Say no to Pollution, No Crackers” This has created an adamant mindset that pollution problems are due to Diwali, Since Diwali falls at the beginning of the smog season, it gets an unusual amount of blame. Some of this is acknowledged by the hon. Court in its judgement for example:

Pollution ACT5

Pollution ACT 4

So what possibly could be the rational solutions to this issue now:

The solutions to letting people enjoy traditional Diwali obviously lie not in outright bans but:

  1. Controlling or substituting Perchlorates in the chemicals and associated heavy metals.
  2. Making ‘Green’ crackers, auditing and enforcing decibel level rules.
  3. Encouraging only community based bursting of crackers.
  4. Local monitoring of pollution levels.
  5. Acknowledging high levels of pollution while burning crackers and in vicinity, keeping elderly and children well protected.
  6. Safety precautions and responsibility in purchasing only crackers that confirm to a given set of standards and operating only in allowed environments.

The idea should have been enjoy a Green Diwali but be ready to pay more for more environmentally friendly chemicals used in crackers. But that neither was attempted nor thought of. Truth and Data will eventually show Diwali is hardly a contributor to overall pollution problems prevalent in India or the NCR region. But by then lot of legitimate questions on why so much rigidity in some judgements coming out will be raised.

Credits and References: 

Hariprasad N. @pranasutra

Ashish Naredi @naredi

Note: Will request people with some time to also go through the excellent IIT Kanpur report on Delhi pollution above in pdf. 





Modi is the Liberal, Not the Lutyen Elite

Liberalism graphic

Liberalism can be defined as a political philosophy that arose with the clamor and desire to achieve Liberty and Equality against the wishes of well entrenched dynastic despots that denied them both. While Classical Liberalism veered towards Liberty and was supportive towards anything manifest that increased an individuals liberty vis a vis an established authority, social liberalism advocated Equality more than Liberty. It is another matter that historically social liberalism was more used by despots as a popular plank to power than those that advocated a mixture of both the social and classical approaches.

PM Modi

In a present context real Liberals using a mixture of both approaches should advocate a healthy dose of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to practice ones beliefs, individual rights, gender equality, a government generally indifferent to religious contexts except where religion or its zealots trample on individual rights and democratic norms for example. Thus in the Indian context it is important we look at these ‘liberal traits’ in particular with respect to the self styled Indian Liberal elite claimants today. Who exactly claim that mantle, who do they usually represent or rather what kind of political forces do they represent and who they consider their antithesis.Also with respect to those broad traits that define who makes a liberal today, how would we qualify this Secular Liberal Indian Elite.

At present the loudest claimants to this Liberal legacy happen to be rooted in and around the bungalows of Lutyens Delhi. A media which has fed of them, moulded public opinion as they wished, spoke with as refined an oxford accent as they could pass muster. Liberalism became associated with traveling ‘Phoren’, speaking in an accent, drinking at star hotels, womanizing all traits one was unlikely to find in native villages across the country. Thus a true liberal, open minded Jat villager from Chaprauli would always be ‘liberally’ inferior to that Che Gueverra T-Shirt sporting St Stephens guy drinking scotch at Le Meridian whose father is a Businessman and had family contacts with Rajiv Gandhi’s PA in the PMO. However much the Jat was open minded it just does not match to the ‘liberalism’ that the St Stephens dude exudes. The Che Gueverra T Shirt irony is lost here as it simply does not arise. Elite rules implied that Jat deserved the excesses of an emergency not this dude.

Modi changed this equation. In a very sophisticated but unsubtle manner he kicked the butt of that dude, literally called his dad a good for nothing dalal, and to top it all called them illiberal in comparison to this ‘theth’ Gaon ka Jat! Now that just did not apply to this dude, it applied to the media that fawned the connections, loved the scotch, the women that flowed in this circuit and the political setup that sponsored this club. Modi told the Jat and millions of others that this was a setup that kept them from achieving their dreams, that this setup was responsible for the emergency and the corruption prevailing all round the country. The English brew that this elite was drinking literally spurted out of their mouths. They could not believe the attack coming from someone who hardly could speak a polished sentence in English, had hardly any degree from a Padre saintly named institution.

With the advent of Vajpayee’s term in the late 90s, the elite was determined to crush any notion of liberalism that the village ‘aam’ kinds tried to exert in any form. 2002 was an ideal start point. With the panning of events recently it was this elites misfortune that the man at the helm was Narendra Modi. Almost 10 years they could hold him. But the more they held him his base consolidation kept increasing. 2013 events just took over. Modi was bursting that chimera of liberalism this elite had nurtured falsely for so long. Modi was telling them liberalism is not about how you hold a wine glass in your hand, but in giving opportunity to all citizens irrespective of gender, race, color, religion. This was now breaking the vote banks of those that banked on community, caste and religion to nurture their constituencies. The Media which had developed many cosy relationships with business, political elite was lost. It however gathered every bit of resource to try and malign the man. But the man was one step ahead and was communicating the message directly to the people using all possible technological innovations and resources and the media itself got maligned and mauled beyond credibility. The dude in the Che Gueverra T looked now backward and dumb in comparison to some of Modi’s own cheerleaders. The tables had turned.

People saw through that this elite espousing social equality from the ramparts of 5 star bars created nothing but inequality in the 60 years they had ruled the country. People saw that the liberal elite political tables were loaded against the tolerant and benevolent majority. People saw they were being divided by a loathsome and selfish media. People saw themselves in a man working selflessly and tirelessly 18 hours a day for the country and related and voted. He gave vision, he gave hope, he gave all his effort. He didn’t hide behind vote banks of caste and religion or trepidation at taking hard decisions. The facade of liberalism from this elite started slipping. The hypocrisy of a bogus campaign against intolerance was nurtured a year ago and it failed miserably in that it exposed the inherent hypocrisy of most who took part in it and exhorted it.

When the intolerance bogey failed the elite took up cudgels for those that advocated breaking India. The ‘Bharat ki Barbaadi tak Jung ladenge’, ‘Bharat Tere Tukde Tukde honge’ brigade. The Jat villager who may till now have thought his upbringing did not make him liberal enough as the Scotch sipping dude, now was fully aware and alert that Modi that his liberalism was different from those that supported such language. While he still tolerated that vile gang, he would never vote for those that supported and gave those same people a political backing. True Liberalism would have at the maximum “tolerated” such acts not exhorted or given massive political patronage as did the Lutyen elites. The liberal mask had all but fallen by then.

Whether it is freedom of the press, freedom of faith, individual rights as the Govt is taking up on the Triple Talaq issue, people began to clearly see that the principles of true liberalism are better represented by a Gujarati and Hindi speaking PM Modi than this selfish elite. Social media and in print too now the excesses of the emergency have been roundly getting exposed to the new generation. Nehru’s curtailing of the 1st amendment also has been widely circulated in different forms of media now. The cookie has crumbled and in what spectacular style. And now after Modi’s magnum opus in UP, it is not going to return to be the same ever. Let the elite know it is Modi the Liberal as opposed to the Lutyen Fascists is what is now evident.

I am RW and say: Don’t Hang Yakub Memon

It was late 11th March 1993 and me and one of my roommates had decided to go the Worli Passport Office for some official work. Next day however plans went awry and i got stuck in a different engagement and my friend made it alone to Worli. Even at the last minute he asked me come along, but i decided not to. Somehow the urgency of the task i at hand seemed more important and i stayed put. My friend left and it was only late afternoon news began filtering in about the devastation in Mumbai, Worli PPO included. It was late evening and we didn’t still hear from our friend. Meanwhile the CM had addressed the city, people were lining up blood banks in true Mumbai spirit but we were searching for news of our friend. Those were the days when Mobiles didn’t exist and for that matter even landlines hardly existed in India. The good part was we heard in person from our friend next morning. By providence he too had skipped the Worli PPO for another urgent matter in another Churchgate Office. I visited the devastated PPO later and saw with horror the kind of damage these dastardly attacks had caused. Shaken like everyone else i felt that the perpetrators must not be let off and mercilessly hounded to the ends of the Earth. Individual Officers and men of brilliance would lead us to the right track i was sure. But bringing total accountability also required resolute and a determined Political vision, that was where i was a little skeptical.

Within days Police and intelligence had pieced together evidence that directed the trail to the Pakistani Intelligence, Dawood and Tiger Memon in Mumbai. Fact is days before they had even arrested a man who had been trained in Pakistan for exactly this act. While he revealed that the plan was for April, the masterminds decided to speed it up to the day i was deciding to visit Worli, 12th March 1993. Not many are aware of the scale of the 1993 Mumbai blasts. The logistics involved were huge. If a weapons cache came in and was to be stored, the person in whose house it would be stored would not question, nor even want to know what was in it or what was the purpose. Airport Security may ask us these questions on how we packed our luggage, but when you know known criminals openly operating without fear of law, asking you “Hey i want you to keep 3 suitcases”, you don’t refuse and run to the nearest Police Station to report. With an ineffective and disinterested State, apathetic Officials it would be a death warrant for not only self but family too in many cases if one was to do that. For the sake of Justice it would also be important to understand this aspect in many of the cases pertaining to the 1993 blasts. However i would leave Sanjay Dutt out, as he was so well connected that would leave him being at the mercy of apathetic officials and a disinterested State as null and void. In fact his family was itself a part of the State and so thus his involvement was indeed of a much diabolical nature.

WIth this background will ask readers to look at the whole thing from this angle here too:

Imagine ISI planning the blasts with Dawood.

ISI: Listen Dawood, this is the biggest you’ve ever done till now. Who is the Man you have on the spot to coordinate selection, training, receiving cargo and final execution? 

D: Tiger. 

ISI: Will he be able to keep it secret?

D: Yes. Modus operandi is goods will be received, shifted, stored without anyone really knowing what is happening. The people doing so will be too afraid of questioning what is in the boxes or what it is for. 

ISI: Maybe Tiger can organize, but what about his family, they may leak it somehow, we want it very quiet, not a whiff should get about.. 

D: See everyone in his family knows he’s basically connected to Bhai. They will never question him the why or what of it. They will do what he tells them you think families of  politicians ask them what is in that suitcase which some Mehta or the packet that Industrialists give daily? 

That indeed is the tragedy of a Mafia don. Everyone knows something is being done, but the end purpose is no ones business. That is a reason why many of  Tiger Memon’s family came back and tried and cleared their name. Yakub was married and had two children. His dealings with Tiger apparently were very minimal. That would be easy to establish. If they were indeed minimal, it would be highly unlikely he would be a co planner/ co conspirator, and at max possibly a safe asset to store suitcases, shift stuff, even get bikes etc. All this he may even have done dozens of times for his brother without question on many occasions, and that was pretty much even what Sanjay Dutt also did.  But one thing doesn’t make sense. The 1993 tragedy was on such a massive scale, certainly for those times, it would be impossible for an active planner/ conspirator to ever think of coming back to the country. It would be impossible and an incredibly stupid thing to do.

If one wants punishment to deter, then hundreds ought to be hanged for helping ,store, shift and plant arms and ammunition particularly after knowing it is deadly stuff. One of them is the famous actor mostly out on judicially granted bail. Actually hanging even a hundred of those types and dispatching people to eliminate the planners whether in Karachi, London or Dubai would be a deadly deterrent. But that we do not expect for some reason from our Govt., so we leave that train of thought alone. But why not hang the foot soldiers, the ones who went and trained in Pakistan, came back to knowingly plant the bombs etc. What sense does it make not to punish them, (a stance taken by our Judiciary)? The Army doesn’t fight the enemy saying hey lets leave the Privates, Captains and Lieutenants of the enemy, we will only target the Generals and Brigadiers. It doesn’t work that way. Here we have absolved the Privates, Captains, Subedars of the Enemy but got the Brigadiers younger brother and want to hang him. We have to revisit this aspect then too.

In all of this Main Stream Media has done an awful job all these years. Their analysis of what happened has never been rank poor and inadequately conveyed. I have failed to come across a single worthwhile note on exactly the “How and Why” of exactly why Yaqub Memon is being hanged. But from all available resources this is what is available and none point him to be either a General or Brigadier of the enemy:

1. Yakub Memon was a professional CA staying separately from Tiger and worked till late.

2. Yakub had little to minimal contact and closeness to Tiger

3. If Dawood had chosen Tiger, the chances of Yakub his younger brother being a co-planner is even remote

4. Mafia families don’t work with family members knowing what specific job is being worked at.

5. More than 60% of Yakub’s family was in Dubai. Travel to and fro from Dubai was commonplace.

6. Yakub was at Dubai when the blasts took place.

7. The magnitude of the blasts, prevalent anger, calls for nailing those responsible were extremely loud.

8. Yakub would have certainly now known that Tiger was behind this.

9. It would be an impossibility for him to immediately return to India.

10. If he was a Co Conspirator he would never make the attempt to come back

11. His fear on returning would be a Death Sentence using stretched evidence due to relationship with Tiger.

12. Everything Indicates his surrender was based on assurance of no Capital Punishment by the Home Minister.

13. The above point is reinforced by RAW Chief B Raman who was responsible in being able to bring him back

14. Shri B Raman clearly was disgusted at the Death Sentence handed and wrote a specific article on it.

He felt certain “mitigating circumstances in the case of Yakub Memon and some other members of the family were probably not brought to the notice of the court by the prosecution and that the prosecution did not suggest to the court that these circumstances should be taken into consideration while deciding on the punishment to be awarded to them”.

Thus Raman felt  the prosecution had held back crucial evidence to get the maximum sentence for Yakub Memon!

15. Tendency for Political brownie points to show a Key Planner for 93 blasts has been caught and executed was evidenced by the way the Home Minister thumped his desk and lied in Parliament over the manner of Yakub’s arrest

16. It is plain wrong under any civilized and rational Judicial system for someone to serve 2 sentences for the same crime: A Life Term and a Death Sentence.

Key thing is the above will come to light irrespective of rhetoric flourished. And once it does, it will not do the Political System, The PM in power, the Judicial System and most importantly the cause of deterrence any good. This will certainly alienate a lot many. Trust in the Indian Judicial and Political system and their promises will be lost.

For deterrence to be effective for the 1993 blasts two things must be done:

1. Dawood and Tiger must be got in Dead or Alive for trials.

2. Detrimental and hard punishments for the Foot soldiers who knowingly planted the bombs.

Nowadays it has become a farce to show the person who does the killing as an innocent working under the command of evil planners. The Planner and Doer are both evil and need quick and deterrent punishment. In Yakub’s case he may neither be Planner and neither the foot soldier Doer. In Indian Law the two highest punishments are Death and Life Imprisonment. It is strange that Yakub has already served a life term and now needs to be served the highest punishment. This is not justice under any civilized legal system.

Our PM is understood to be RW and hard on Terror by most. Most RW are for heavy deterrent punishments to be handed over. But the RW also must importantly be seen as being Rational though Hard on terror at the same time. If at all Yakub turns out to ultimately not be a Key Conspirator (and he is not a foot soldier for sure), then RW Rationality to deal with Terror will be questioned. All it will take post hanging is a mail from Tiger Memon saying “My brother Yakub was innocent. He never knew what we were up to. They made him a scapegoat” . Every Left wing vote bank socialist and Islamist communal will play this tune to the people. Thus what this Govt does vis a vis Yakub is extremely important. The Prime Minister himself must be involved and make sure this pans out justly. If at all Yakub is not a Co Conspirator and Planner like Tiger/ Dawood, and he urges cessation of the Death Sentence, he will probably be seen as a very tall leader capable of delivering justice to all communities.

Added 26/7: Thinking on this a bit further, let us assume Yakub Memon is a KEY player along with Tiger Memon his brother in planning the 1993 blasts.

1. Why would he then come to Nepal armed with evidence against Tiger-ISI-Dawood in the form of documents, videos, audio tapes just a year post the atrocity? Nepal is RAWs backyard, its the last place he should be visiting! It just would not make sense at all. 

Yet if his role was marginal-innocent and certainly nowhere or NOT as a Key Conspirator, then coming to Nepal armed with evidence makes sense.

1. He tries to negotiate terms for himself and his family to clear up on ISI-Tiger-DI nexus and his own marginal role.

2. Whatever way the intrigue happened, he is in India and now at the mercy of the Indian Legal system.

3. DI-ISI-TM are alarmed. They try and ‘work’ the system to show he is ‘guilty’.

4. Working the system entails a weak defence and witnesses nailing him as Key Conspirator.

5. The Intel team who got many details from him in Nepal/India are a bit surprised at his death sentence and possibly his role at being identified as a Key conspirator. They are confused themselves. Shri B Raman’s letter confirms this.

6. Nationalists bay for his head. The Supreme Court has excellent witnesses against Yakub. 

7. Yakub goes under depression. ISI-DI-Tiger laugh it off and doubly make sure he is hanged. 

Both those options must play up on ones’ mind. The Truth is not out in the open yet. But frankly if the above is the case i wouldn’t want to be baying for Yakubs’ hanging. So maybe a rethink/ execution stay, keeping these points in mind may be of essence. And yes,

I would appreciate people to look into these resources to understand the complete Picture:


Why they label you a Modi Bhakt

In the Media, both Social and Mainstream, there has been much rancour and debate on the terms “Internet Hindu” and “Modi Bhakt”. Both terms are used derogatorily and have implied connotations that some think should fit in their imagery of what exactly constitutes an “Internet Hindu” or a “Modi Bhakt”. Towards that it is creditable, they have come up with a number of articles even in Mainstream publications like the Times of India trying to detail what is a Modi Bhakt. While they have attempted to profile, or rather caricature what a Modi Bhakt resembles (usually the silly imagery concocts itself around a Cow belt type, Hindi speaking, Trishul wielding, Tilak sporting, frothing at mouth, sexually frustrated, brainless retard ready to prostrate himself at Modi’s feet whatever he does or says), it will be an absolute waste of time proving the imagery above as shallow and devoid of any logic. It is of some interest though, to know what is the profile of those who come up with such concocted imagery, despite the fact that PM Modi commands a massive 330 plus seats in the lower house and has a massive groundswell of mass public support for his developmental initiatives.

It is thus logical to assume, this is a small but well entrenched, elite minority completely at odds with Modis mass support base. And the fundamental reason is they lack a similar support base themselves and in recent times a political backing that has a support base that Modi today garners over the country. There is a feeling of inferiority of not having a mass support base that appreciates their English, the largesse that they may throw every 5 yearly mandatory trip to rural constituencies, their foreign trips, their knowledge about Louis Vuitton bags, their concern about how ugly Indian males look at foreign airports and so on. Whatever happened to that humble guy with wide eyes who deferentially said “Yeh England Return Hain”?

So there is a profile for these non imaginative label throwers that is emerging:

1. Unimaginative and prone to sympathising with Leftist rhetoric.

2. Elite and in High positions for reasons other than imaginative or analytical skillsets

3. A very open deferential inferiority displayed towards Native English Speaking cultures in US/UK particularly

4. Dropping terms that Hindu types should (but now don’t) feel ashamed not knowing eg Louis Vuitton stuff.

5. Sadness at Hindi speaking BJP types not understanding inherent inferiority of Native language for picking up women

All the above was expressed in the many apologies issued by this elite to not just the White English Speaking world but also particularly the Islamic world, how sorry for the real India they were, that a crass village Hindi speaking Modi was elected so overwhelmingly. This Header and Editorial after Modi’s historic win on May 17th 2014 in the Indian Express said it all:

sry we tried libtard

Over 60 years of left and ultra left kind Nehruvian Socialism, there grew a large body of Indians that started losing interest in politics. They incorrectly and maliciously labelled Nehru’s Socialist led GDP growth of 1% over decades as a “Hindu Rate of Growth”. Cinema, Institutions, Parties and Politicians instead of fighting poverty romanticized it so people learnt to bear the pain and not question the entire failed Nehruvian developmental model. So there grew an elite that got to the top not so much through hard work, logical and analytical skills but because their so and so was a DD Director or a famous cricketer or was a batchmate at Doon or Stephens and so on. This club was cosy as long as they didn’t disturb the Nehruvian model and his Dynastic clans in power. That is where Modi came in seeking a mandate on Development and “Congress Mukht Bharat”. That shook this cosy elite pretty much like an earthquake 9 on the Richter.

Social Media was meanwhile being harsh on these kind of elitists. Their lack of basic intellect and analytical skills were a subject of wide ridicule on Social Media. It surely hurts when an English speaking, Doon/ Stephens types is called by a KV kinds on intellect and analytical skills. The largely HIndu male, KV educated, accented Hindi speaking types ridiculing those that called them Ugly or dropped terms like Louis Vuitton for a Vimal shawl surely hurt a lot.

Fortunately for them some Bollywood left kind Icons were making popular cinema that called for revolution against politicians. An Anti-Corruption movement confirmed the desire that people wanted a clean Governance. Yet while it was the job of the Media elite to educate people that Corruption is an “effect” of Nehruvian and Dynastic socialism unleashed on India by the INC and not ” the root” cause of much of our hardships, it encouraged a party with no credentials that held the same Nehruvian ultra left socialist principles that engendered corruption in the first place as it’s manifesto. AAP got a large following amongst youth that had been taken in once again by slogans. They were thrust imagery that Arab Spring was a great awakening happening in Islamic states and that was just what India needed. Only problem was Modi and his supporters laughed at this joke. Thus what one may call a Nehruvian-Ultra Left United Socialist front opposed to Modi particularly and his supporters in the social media started appearing.

In the near future too one must expect nothing but half truths, twists, turns, deception, lies, selective outrage to be their hallmark. They will lose this battle. Many are determined of their own time and energies to battle it out on SM or beyond. The hit jobs in this elite media have hit a pinnacle of deceit and untruth, but the wave of voices against #Presstitutes has just started. Timesnow may have worked hours after maliciously twisting a Gen VK Singh tweet to try trending “#VKDisaster”, instead within minutes “#TimesNowDisaster” was a world wide trend. And here i maintain while MSM might be at it’s hit job peak, the ‘Bhakt’ wave is nowhere at its peak.

The understanding of competing value and ideological systems the average “Modi Bhakt” understands much better than the average cosy club elite that mocks him. This is apparent on SM. That is the reason why some of India’s present top MSM elite would not like to be on SM. They cannot compete on rational and analytical skills. That is why they will conduct hit jobs and when faced with isolated verbal fury will play the victim. While there is a long list of abusive tweets from the ‘elite’ and  so called ‘anti corruption camp’, it is the selective singling out/ mocking of Modi supporters that is covered in the MSM. They forget their Amaresh Mishras and their own tweets of a few months old. Deceit, lies will go only so far, it wages a losing battle against those with rational and better analytical abilities.

Religious Extremism should translate to Peace

I always felt and stumbled on how people understood some basic vocabulary that is pushed around a lot these days. That vocabulary includes words like Religion, Extremism, Radicalism, Hindu, Dharma, Dharmic. The really not so surprising discovery was that different people interpreted all those quite differently and in completely antithetical contexts, but the surprising part is why people are not commonly aware how different are their interpretations of these terminologies. The thrust of this article is not to do a linguistic anatomy of these words, so i will go by the usual loose cliched definitions in vogue today. These basically in the articles’ context are:

1. That Religion is about Peace, Tolerance, Compassion

2. That Extremism in Religion is Bad for the world

3. That Radicals of every Religion are Bad.

Now i am sure many of us would have assorted images of the ISIS, Al Qaeda, Taliban hit upon us and with that micro second attention span would conclude that all the three points mentioned prove the fact that Religious Extremism is bad. Yet if Religion itself is fundamentally about Peace, Tolerance and Compassion then:

Why should being extremely Peaceful be bad?

Why should being extremely Tolerant be bad?

Why should being extremely Compassionate be bad?

So why should being “Extremely” Peaceful, Compassionate and Tolerant be a bad thing? Or why should thus Religious Extremism be a bad thing at all? Mahaveer, Jain, Buddha, Shankara, Chaitanya, Ma Amritandamaya, HH Dalai Lama, Sri Sri, Vivekanada, Ramakrishna all were extremists in their interpretation of Religion. They made the world a better place by their Religious extremism and gave directions and encouragement to us non-extremists that slug out a material life with our attachments, desires without consideration to how we damage the planet and other living beings and so on. Meanwhile we have many Excluvist Religion Saints/ Icons from Middle East origin religions that conducted Inquisitions/ Jihads that plundered, tortured and killed those that followed the extremist Mahaveer Jain, Buddha, Shankara, Chaitanya followers. This only leads us to the fact that either our definition of Religion as propagating Peace, Compassion, Tolerance is simply all wrong and messed or there is a fundamental difference/ conflict in the way we interpret Middle Eastern Religions visa vis the Indic/ Dharmic ones. In that context one must remember Europe embraced Secularism not to keep out Religious Extremists, but to keep out Religious Mainstream doctrine from Governance. Inquisition, Jihad and Sharia are not ‘Radical’ or ‘Extremist’ concepts within ME orthodoxies, they are mainstream concepts.

Dharmic extremists

Mahatma Gandhi was another Indic religious extremist that took extreme pains to prove Compassion, Tolerance, Peace are a part of all religions whether ME origins or Indic.. He went so far as to try convince Jains, Buddhists, Vaishnavs to allow them and their families to be slaughtered because that would usher in compassion amongst those with ME Religious affiliations killing them.

Even if the Muslims want to kill us all we should face death bravely. If they established their rule after killing Hindus we would be ushering in a new world by sacrificing our lives.  ( April 6, 1947, New Delhi, CWMG Vol. 94 page 249)

“I would tell the Hindus to face death cheerfully if the Muslims are out to kill them. I would be a real sinner if after being stabbed I wished in my last moment that my son should seek revenge. I must die without rancour. … You may turn round and ask whether all Hindus and all Sikhs should die. Yes, I would say. Such martyrdom will not be in vain.”

He tried his best propagating a song ” Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram Patita pavan Sita Ram, Ishwar Allah tera naam, Sabko Sanmati De Bhagwan”. It went really well down with a lot of Indics, but not so well with many that swore allegiance to Middle Eastern Religious belief in the sub continent. From the latters POV it is logically only understandable because their definition of Religion does not match with the Indic one.

Meanwhile in the ME Religious inroads into Dharmic lands we have Will Durant in his 1935 book “The Story of Civilisation: Our Oriental Heritage” (page 459) says:

The Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with great glee and pride the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave markets and the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 800 AD to 1700 AD. Millions of Hindus were converted to Islam by sword during this period.”

And Fernand Braudel in A History of Civilisations (1995), that Islamic rule in India as a

colonial experiment” was “extremely violent”, and “the Muslims could not rule the country except by systematic terror. Cruelty was the norm – burnings, summary executions, crucifixions or impalements, inventive tortures. Hindu temples were destroyed to make way for mosques. On occasion there were forced conversions. If ever there were an uprising, it was instantly and savagely repressed: houses were burned, the countryside was laid waste, men were slaughtered and women were taken as slaves.”

Alain Danielou in his book, Histoire de l’ Inde quotes Baburnama::

Alauudin Khilji asked his ‘spiritual’ advisor (Qazi) as to what was the Islamic law prescribed for the Hindus. The Qazi replied:

Hindus are like the mud; if silver is demanded from them, they must with the greatest humility offer gold. If a Mohammadan desires to spit into a Hindu’s mouth, the Hindu should open it wide for the purpose. God created the Hindus to be slaves of the Mohammadans. The Prophet hath ordained that, if the Hindus do not accept Islam, they should be imprisoned, tortured, finally put to death, and their property confiscated.”

Gandhi’s doctrine would have failed against this and so we not only have a contradiction in the very terms that “Religion” is defined and understood, we also have a flaw in the way we define “Extremism”. If we really want to retain the original definitions of “Religion as = Compassion, Peace, Tolerance”, we have to ironically exclude calling some ME origin orthodoxies as Religions. Or else, we should label Indic Dharmic Faiths and not Religions in the ME context. For those whose “Religious” doctrine calls Vaishnavs, Jains, Buddhists, Advaits as Kafirs worthy of killing, enslaving, rape it is only fair for them not to pair their Dharmic doctrines on the same level as the ones advocating Jihad and Inquisition on us as part of their Mainstream doctrine.

It is thus time we reflect on the fact that Extremist Vaishnavs, Jains, Buddhists, Dvaits, Adviats, Chaitanya and assorted Dharmic Bhakts do follow the tenets of Peace, Tolerance and Compassion (generally includes even towards animals) as compared to ME Islamic and Christian faiths that have as part of mainstream doctrine propagated savage Jihad and torturous humiliating inquisitions on us. We need Religious Extremism of the Dharmic variety to guide us in our society, but not Religious mainstream doctrines that emanate excluvism and hatred. We certainly  need more of those who are extremely devoted to the Tenets of Peace, Compassion (includes animals), Tolerance, but catch is they have not historically or in contemporary times come from the Religious backgrounds of the Middle East.

The Religion of Yoga

Yoga 2

In recent weeks there has been much confusion and fog spread about the introduction of Yoga. Much of the fog is created by vested interests that fear dilution of their doctrines if Yoga is introduced. It should be also acknowledged they may have a point there, however it must also be clear what aspects of their doctrines get diluted if their members/ followers take interest in Yoga and its principles. Thus to clear the mist, a few aspects must be investigated.

Primarily the words Yoga and Religion are used quite subjectively and understood quite differently by different people, particularly those from varying backgrounds. Yoga itself comes from Sanskrit “Yuj” to Join/ Union/ Yoke derived) from Yoga itself. Yoga is about the Union/ Joining/ Yoking of what? The Supreme Lord of Yoga Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita uses the word “Yoga” over a 100 times and tells Arjuna:

“He who sees the Whole Universe within that Self and the Self everywhere in the Universe-is the Perfected Personality- The Great Yogi” [Chapter 6:29; Bhagavad Gita]

The Union/ Yoke is ultimately at it’s highest all about the Self Realization that the Individual Self and Supreme are one and the same, the fundamental realization of the oneness of all life. Yoga is the technique that ultimately helps achieve this. Disciplining of the Body, Mind and Self are all part of the process. It is for that reason Lord Krishna urges Arjuna to be steadfast in Yoga. Even Sanjaya at the penultimate chapter of the Gita calls Krishna as Yogeshvara, the Lord of Yoga, in verse 18.75 says:

“By the grace of Vyasa I have heard this supreme secret of yoga from Krishna, the supreme Lord of Yoga,appearing directly before my eyes, speaking it himself”

Disciplining of the Body, Mind, Self by itself isn’t really a ‘religious’ act itself. It is also not an end to itself in Yoga but only a basic launch platform to ultimately realise the Unity/ Yoke/ Oneness of the Self and Supreme. The act of disciplining the Body, Mind for the ultimate Yoke has led to many streams of Dharmic Orthodoxies that have their own procedures and processes laid down. Many of these Processes and Procedures within the norms laid down are nowadays termed as different ‘Religions’. Yet all these different Streams/ Orthodoxies/ ‘Religions’ within the Dharmic streams have no issues to say the introduction of Yoga in Schools or other Institutions. Neither do people who believe disciplining of the Mind and Body or just the Body as many streams of Westernized Yoga nowadays espouse. Many simply practise it for the health benefits its practise provides.

So who should really be opposing it so vehemently and why? The answer may not be too complex. Yoga at whatever level is practised, through it’s breathing, postures and procedures tends to turn the persons’ search inward. It is a subtle process, but the change is transformative. Many orthodox Religious Doctrines from the Middle East discourage looking inward in a meditative manner and the answers are not found in any transformative self disciplinary inward journey but at looking at a Supreme outwardly and completely separated from the self itself. The transformative self discipline is enforced by edicts, harsh laws, punishments and the fear of a retributive, vengeful God. The primary doctrinal clash with Yoga arises in the way Dharmic Faiths look inwards for Transformative change and Abrahmic Faiths where it is discouraged to look in that manner.

Many in the West only take to Yoga for Bodily discipline and understand it as such. However the healing benefits of Yogic techniques many of which have found acceptance within the Scientific community of late, also contribute in its spread much to the chagrin of many Middle Eastern orthodox doctrines. With this spread also come large numbers of people who take with Yoga an inward journey and way of looking at the Self. This change in thinking is fundamental for many people leaving their Orthodox outward looking faiths and adopting Dharmic centered ones. There is also an associated abandonment of Excluvist thought (If you don’t worship my God X, you go to Hell) and subsequent development of a more Pluralist approach to the concept of Faith itself. One would have hardly heard of Yoga groups contemplate suicide bomber squads for grieviances. Possibly even the community of those that have embraced Yoga even in its most basic forms would be amongst the most tolerant, humanist and peace loving groups world wide.

Yogis in Himalayas

True Humanist Faith must seek the Oneness between all. The practise of Yoga even at a basic level helps subtly enhance the desire to seek that oneness. It subtly opens doors and prepares the body and mind to accept a plurality hitherto not compatible with much of Middle Eastern origin Religious Doctrine. No Humanist Faith must in reality oppose Yoga for this very reason it is being opposed. BG 6:29 once again, as it is of utmost fundamental import to understand where Yoga ultimately leads to:

sarva-bhuta-stham atmanam
sarva-bhutani catmani
iksate yoga-yuktatma
sarvatra sama-darsanah

Sarva (all) Bhuta (beings) Stham (situated in the) Atmanam (Supreme Atma)

Sarva (all) Bhutani (living beings) Ca (also) Atmani ( in the Self)

Iksate (does see) yoga-yuktatma ( united/ self realized in Yoga)

Sarvatra (everywhere) sama-darsanah (seeing things equally)

Above is the “Religious” Doctrine that is fundamental to Yoga. One can appropriate a few procedures from Patanjali, but one must never call that Yoga. There cannot be a Christian or Islamic Yoga as the above Sloka contradicts the very fundamentals of Islamic and Christian doctrine as we know them today. So whatever Faith or Orthodoxy one may be, surely take to even basic Yoga for all the health benefits it can help derive, but its no harm looking inside and being a part of the ecosphere where one tries to transformatively see the oneness of all life.

A Special Diwali Message from Vicharprachar

A Special Diwali Message from Vichar Prachar

Dear Reader,

Wish you, your family and loved ones a Happy Diwali.

Diwali is the festival of lights and Bharat is a state of mind among people which spreads light, dispels darkness. An illumined mind is the abode of Maa Lakshmi. An illumined mind is the highest treasure for all humanity and I wish that we all attain higher states of illumination this Diwali. Bharat Varsha happens spontaneously when a people group with illuminated minds. May the light spread and may the Bharat-varsha state of mind spread globally. That is India’s unique destiny and it needs to make a start from its homeland first.

Spreading light also means actively dispelling darkness and protecting the source of illumination – your conscience and the path to your Atman. It is everyone’s Dharma to remove darkness from themselves and others. We need to battle demonic designs on humanity, on our planet & its innocent, fragile eco-system and on the re-establishment of Dharma.

Yet, Dharma followers are caught in a trap of inaction. They hesitate and restrict themselves even when they see acts of brazen outrage by the forces of adharma. Mahatma Gandhi and Buddha’s messages of non-violence and the middle path come in, creating a confused conflict within our minds. This conflict causes inaction in situations which the forces of adharma exploit relentlessly and ruthlessly. It is a weakness that has been patched on the Dharmic frame so that Dharma can be weakened. India has allowed it to happen to itself for nearly 1200 years. It needs to come out of it – that will be our real
liberation and moment of getting illumined. In this context, it is worthwhile to quote what Osho says. I reproduce it below:

“We would not have been so impotent if our country had understood Krishna rightly. But we have covered our ugliness with beautiful words. Our cowardice is hiding behind our talk of non-violence; our fear of death is disguised by our opposition to war. But war is not going to end because we refuse to go to
war. Our refusal becomes an invitation to others to wage war on us. War will not disappear because we refuse to fight; our refusal will only result in our slavery. And this is what has actually happened.

It is so ironic that, despite our opposition to war, we have been dragged into war again and again. First we refused to fight, then some external power attacked and occupied our country and made us into slaves, and then we were made to join our masters’ armies and fight in our masters’ wars. Wars were
continuously waged, and we were continuously dragged into them. Sometimes we fought as soldiers of the Huns, then as soldiers to the Turks and Mughals and finally as soldiers for the British. Instead of fighting for for our own life and liberty we fought for the sake of our alien rulers and oppressors. We really fought for the sake of our slavery; we fought to prolong our enslavement. We spilled our blood and gave our lives only to defend our bondage, to continue to live in servitude.

This has been the painful consequence of all our opposition to violence and war.”

Spreading real Liberty and Light starts with us being illuminated by the right knowledge.

Once again, Happy Diwali – and make a change by understanding Krishna better to establish Ram Rajya and Bharat Varsha.