Independence Day

173 Comments

Independence Day is here. So people, let’s get out our India-colored bandanas, paint our faces (and bodies) with the colors of our motherland, drink a bottle of Zinda dil Pepsi, listen to the Prime Minister’s soul-stirring call to the nation not to get down on its knees for terrorists, cheer for the “Men In Blue” against Sri Lanka ,SMS “Go India” to Bharat TV for a chance to win a year’s supply of Pizza Hut pizza, watch the DVD of “Gadar” if the cricket match gets washed out and then, no matter what happens, go and watch “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna” in the evening (since it’s a crime to waste a holiday without Karan Johar).

I am an Indian. A real Indian. A patriotic one. I support the Indian cricket team regardless of whether Ganguly or Dravid is the captain (unlike some people who shall remain nameless). Whenever I hear “Aye mere watan ke logon” I stand up and try to hold the hand of the person next to me. Hell sometimes I get so emotional that I don’t mind if it’s a guy’s hand I am clasping. (Needless to say, a girl is always preferable simply because her soft hands remind me of my desh ki mitti dharti …the one that ugle heere moti). And I invariably have a Raymond’s “complete man” sensitive moment as tears flow down my cheeks to the tune of the song, my mind awash with the memories of all those jawans and kisans who have laid down their lives for their country. I make it a point to forward any mail I get about the achievements of India, speeches of Narayana Murthy, anecdotes of our President and 1993 Toyota Corollas on sale. And for independence day, I play only patriotic songs on my IPod—-only not Anu Malik’s “We love you Oh India, tujhe na chorenge” cause that’s so horrid I believe that the Pakistani ISI paid for it.

However even on such a nice day, some people just don’t “get it”. You know the type—those that try to find logic in Hindi movies, who think Manoj Kumar hams, who write ” rescue” instead of “resQ”, those that wear an underwear a size too short (restricts the flow of blood you see). These people, while acknowledging the economic progress India has made in 59 years, put the fly in the ointment by pointing out that 600 farmers committed suicide in the Vidarbha region last year (a fact that the media and Indians in general doesn’t really seem to care about) and idiotically ask if this is the caring India our freedom-fighters (even the word “freedom fighter” gets me teary-eyed) fought for. Farmers dying–who cares—I prefer to see a boy being resQued from a well, thank you.

Now, Kisans—they a different thing—I can lay down my life for them. Smiling like Aamir Khan’s character in “Rang De Basanti”.

These “kabab-main-chaddi”s also question the fact that we live in a truly independent country— a country where the government can ban media they feel target their ideology and where the government can seize the equipment of broadcasters they feel are not transmitting in the “public interest” (i.e. their interest). They feel it reminds them of the 1920s/30s/40s when the Queen’s government imposed media blackouts and used draconian sedition laws on anyone who disagreed with our masters. Frankly if you ask me, as long as the government does not censor “Kkusum” and “Kahani Ghar ghar ki” and allows me to vote for my favourite “Indian Idol” I think it is doing more than enough to maintain my freedom and my ability to exercise free will. The so-called doubters can kiss ma ass.

Of course there is much not to like about India. Don’t get me wrong—there are still injustices. Like how Indians are treated shabbily by these bastardly NRIs —-see how Bipasa Basu was “physically and mentally” harassed by two organizers of the India Day parade at Edison (link courtesy: Rajeev). A keen student of history, I am reminded of the time one Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was physically and mentally harassed by a racist ticket collector in South Africa. And how he reacted ! By stripping down to a langoti, quitting his profession as a lawyer and arousing the nation into revolutionary action. I sincerely hope that this experience triggers something similar in Bipasa i.e. she stops wearing clothes (except a tri-coloured thong) and renounces acting. The nation will be aroused automatically.

The other problems about India I can think of, off-hand, would be how our cricket team lacks a genuine all-rounder, the endless traffic jams and bad road conditions (Shayan Munshi also thinks this is India’s No 1 problem) ,snotty desi girls who don’t reply to my offers of “franship” and traitor Indians who don’t “report as bogus” all those “I hate India ” communities on orkut despite my repeated mails.

I mean how any Indian can tolerate an insult to his motherland and not try to stifle the voice of her enemies, by twisting their windpipes, is just beyond me.

Whenever I say this, my “friends” tell me that it is precisely because of this attitude (i.e. of banning and muffling any voice that we don’t like to hear), that we as a country have not been able to become as “independent” as we should have been.

But as I said before, these people just do not understand the “passion” behind being Indian. Obviously, they deserve to be shot.

Anyways forgive my display of emotion. After all it’s my country. And today is the day it became independent.

Jai Jawan. Jai Kisan. Jai Hind.

And don’t forget the Pepsi.

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173 thoughts on “Independence Day

  1. How can we forget Pepsi? After all, on India’s independence day, they promoted Indra Nooyi to CEO, and still I’m sure some pests will keep reminding us of pesticides.

  2. You didn’t have to put that disclaimer about Bips in the end, it kinda spoiled the effect.

    We freed ourselves from the Brits nearly 60 years ago but when are we going to free ourselves from the ignorance and apathy that keeps us from realising our destiny, is anybody’s guess.

  3. Arnabda, I have been lurking around far too long, but this post seriously is one of the best you’ve ever written. After listening to inane songs and dedications to Bharat Mata on fm radio all night and watching versions of “India Shining” (minus the carefully removed saffron taint), and then watching with horrified disbelief as Pepsi guzzling youth of today fail to answer what the colours of the tricolor stand for, I think we’ve finally managed to turn Independence Day into something not much better than Valentine’s Day, namely, a jingoistic chest-thumping exercise in self-aggrandisement, bereft of context,history or meaning. I remember your post about your grandfather and feel that no one of his generation would recognise in this India what they had dreamt of so many years ago.
    someone needs to speak out the ugly truth. Thank you for having courage enough for all of us to do so.

  4. Good post, It has been 59 years and our only noteworthy achievement as a nation is that we exist (it would be really difficult to ignore the largest democracy in the world,that is one billion people and still counting).

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  6. Happy Independence Day, Greatbong.

    If we look at our objectives since independence and how far we have come despite our MONUMENTAL hurdles and centrifugal forces, I would say we have done pretty well! Lesser people/states would have laid down and died or mutated into terrible genoicidal/tyrannical entities while we still retain the rights 5 billion humans would give their right hands for. Sometimes compromises and hard choices have to be made to protect our security and this might go against personal liberty and rights… but as the Supreme Court rules- “all rights have to be in tandem with Directive principles of State Policy (if not supersded by them)”. I feel things like our socialistic phase, measured liberalisation, media control, control of capital institutions and reforms and this statism we see is designed in this light…… and not to oppress Indian citizens.
    I do not agree with your take on the Broadcasting Bill (but I do feel the blog ban was ill advised) for I believe it is designed to restrict the media psy-ops now that almost all media outlets are commandeered by “journalists/mediamen” of dubious loyalties and agendas. The “social awareness” clause in the bill is inserted precisely to highlight the facts like mass farmer suicides which are conveniently relegated to the back pages by the media… If you remember, before Liberalisation the Govt owned DD had done commendable effort in bringing poor and rural India into every household…. Now, no channel or magazine/paper follows a sustained policy in this regard and we shun DD precisely ‘coz it has “boring, preachy programs”.Look at Bollywood, the only poor people in Bollywood are the audiences who are beyond the 4th wall! Moreover, the anti-establishment (not anti-INC) slant in the media and scare-mongering and cat’s-paw shenanigans (observed since Mushy’s Agra visit) are spinning out of control these days…
    IMO it might be simplistic to ascribe things like this to pure malice….. there is a method behind this “madness”. But I must say there is a bonus for the babus and netas ‘coz they can misuse the law for their security! Then again, there are watchdogs to which we can complain…..

    Just My Thoughts.

    PS: Aahaaaa….. Nazim Hakeem’s Frianship and Lovship Orkut Community membarship, eh? I am also a membarship too. Vunderful, Arnab mans…. simbly dangarfuls! Thij calls for celebrashionships, right?!
    Still, sorree onlee to say your blogifying ij not as the phunnyship as the threads in our frianship circle. 😉

  7. Its really a sad and depressing feeling to even think about where are we heading towards…. 59 years of independence, and still the capital city has to go without power for 12 hours… can you even imagine what is the situation like in the smaller towns/ cities? Its complete chaos out there… no infrastructure to call ourselves even remotely modern.. Yes, as you pointed out , life revolves around those stupid and senseless K serials and the idiotic Hindi movies. BTW any idea why these hindi movies are shot in Europe or US though they are supposed to be connecting with the Indian audiance? or is it just to fool the people that india is shining, somewhere !!

  8. The comparison between Bipasa Basu and M.K. Gandhi is too good. What is the source of such brilliant ideas?
    i see that all the comments above are quite serious. such things keep recurring with a period of 1 year. am I forgetting jan 26th.

  9. Yes yes yes. Let’s make fun of people who organise ID parades to celebrate and showcase the glorious hour that India was independent. Let’s make fun of national integration public services messages. Let’s make fun of LBS’s inspirational ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kissan’ motto but let us take great offence when us precious bloggers with our precious self-righteous pious and vainglorious blogs are banned thereby depriving the poor masses from getting their daily dose of edification. Let us highlight our nation’s shortcomings and downplay our achievements. Lets us wallow in our pessimistic mires and jeer at any individual who shows the slightest optimism he or she places in their India and let us lampoon the poor buffoon for being patriotic about a country that has no future according to us highbrow individuals. Let us not shed our cynical aura lest we become less cooler in the eyes of our blogging illuminati.

    Where the mind is lead forward by thee
    into ever-widening thought and action-
    Into that heaven of freedom, my Father,
    let my country awake.

    Let us also make fun of the misguided fool who wrote the above stanza. What was this dude on? LOL.

    Jai H…nah. That is way uncool.

  10. I tend to agree with Wanderer.I think we had great expectations of our present PM and president and somehow things just seem to have gone off track lately.I think there is an increasing sense of disillusionment and betrayal.

  11. Commenting after a long time here.

    Brilliant stuff, of course. But I was wondering – when did we become so cynical ? Is it us or is the the world changing around us ?

    (Btw, not disagreeing with what you are saying – just wondering).

  12. “I sincerely hope that this experience triggers something similar in Bipasa i.e. she stops wearing clothes (except a tri-coloured thong) and renounces acting. The nation will be aroused automatically.”

    — Yes. I hope Priyanka joins her as first disciple 😀

    BTW, Sonu Nigam is going to perform in D.C next week for Independence Day celebrations I think – the concert is called “Simply Sonu”. Wouldnt we want to be there to see “simply sonu” and exhibit our desh bhakti?

    Suyog

  13. Aslam bhai, mere Aslam bhai Hey, Aslam bhai, Aslam bhai, Aslam bhai Dubai ka chashma, Cheen ki chaddi, aur Irani chai, Aslam bhai..

    On a serious note, It’s really a great post by GB and IMO doesn’t sound pessimistic in anyway. If Independence day is a time to celebrate then it is also a time for retrospect and more so when 15th August is being sold to us in the name of patriotism. If it is a time show what we have achieved, it’s also a time to realize what we could have achieved…

    Anyways..will let GB reply to you and end with a nazm that Great Sahir Ludhiyanvi Saheb once wrote…

    “….Zara is Mulk Ke RehbaroN ko Bulao
    Ye Kuche Ye GaliyaN Ye Manjar Dikhao
    Jinhe Naaz Hai Hind Par Unko Lao
    Jinhe Naaz Hai Hind Par Woh KahaN HaiN
    KahaN HaiN, KahaN HaiN, KahaN HaiN….”

    Those immortal lines….

  14. @Ashish Gupta: Indeed I did forget the ‘Jai Vigyan’ chant.

    @Dipanjan: We shouldnt forget Coke either. After all red is the color of passion.

    @Arin: Totally.

    @Dwaipayan: Bows..

    @Noop: The reason I did was to pre-empt a deluge of comments about my so-called misogyny. (ref: Rakhi Sawant post) by making my position crystal clear.

    @Mou: Independence as a concept is something which I am afraid many Indians don’t take seriously or even wonder to think about. For them patriotism is like a gulp of Pepsi—empty calories and a lot of fizz. Our I-day should be a time for introspection and understanding—rather than a lot of flag-waving and jingoism.

    @Ferrari: And the Hindustan Times Indian too..

    @Sudheer: Our noteworthy achievement is that we have managed to remain a democractic, (albeit an imperfect one) pluralist society when so many other countries in the world have not been able to.

    @The Wanderer: Happy independence day to you too. We shunned DD because it was PR TV for Rajiv Gandhi and the Nehru family. 600 famers dying I would think is sensational news—–if not for anything else than because it strikes at the very foundations of our pride of being an emerging superpower. However we as a people are just not interested in it because farmers are not glamorous. Incidentally, do you think carrying news about “dying farmers” is the “public service’ that the Bill alludes to? No. Public service might very well mean government propaganda, coverage of ministerial visits, sound bytes of Priya Ranjan Das Munshi….

    Nazeem Hakeem is a genius.

    @Rick: Well not having power means we haven’t advanced economically. My point is ” are we the nation our forefathers wanted us to be?”. For instance 600 farmers committing suicide is one thing. Quite another thing is the fact that we “patriotic” Indians don’t even seem to care. Maybe our forefathers wouldnt have minded the 12 hour powercuts…what would displease them is how, we as a country, despite the “Jai Jawans Jai Kisans'” uttered ad nauseum are so unconcerned about the suicides of those whom we claim to worship….in short we care for our farmers as much as the British used to. Then what good has freedom done?

    @Yossarian: My demented, cemented mind.

    @Kishor Cariappa: I dont doubt that.

    @Aslam: I dont see where I have downplayed our nation’s achievements. I just do not endorse the headless, product-driven flag-waving and jingoism that passes for patriotism. As to quoting Rabindranath Thakur, how is that in any way relevant to even your argument?

    Do you think Rabindranath Thakur was talking about today’s India as embodying the “heaven of freedom”? Considering the great man died before India became independent and was extremely cynical of Gandhian methods and what that would mean for an independent India (read “Ghare Baire” for that), I fail to see how that quotation in any way buttresses your point. Unless of course you wish to impress the blogging illuminati with your eruditeness.

    My point is that we as a country have not become that “heaven of freedom”. Because we ban any and everything which we do not agree to. Because we live in an atmosphere of competitive intolerance.

    @Arunavo: Yes perhaps. But the issues raised in the post go deeper than Manmohan Singh..

    @BongoPondit: Cynicism. I wouldnt think so. I would call it pragmatism. I totally believe in the concept of India—-elsewhere on my blog I have been accused of being a jingoistic war-mongerer. All I want is for people not to get carried away with the flag-waving and the hymn-singing and instead introspect and ask uncomfortable questions. After all, that’s the least we can do as independent beings.

    @Suyog: Sonu-rific !!!

    @Amit: Thank you

    @Sanjay:

    If it is a time show what we have achieved, it’s also a time to realize what we could have achieved…

    Absolutely. This is exactly the point I sought to make.

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  17. Arnab,

    Have been visiting your blog for the last year, but posting for the first time now. What got me hooked to your blog was the letter re your grandpa, it was truly beautiful! Keep up the good work, enjoy reading your posts. The sarcasm is overwhelming at times 🙂 but always well researched and make for very interesting reads.

    Cheers

  18. GB, you are having one big great whinge about the Indian media and how they market ID. Sure, I agree with you on some level but you do downplay India, her struggle and achievements in the last 60 years by making one big joke of this monumentous day.

    Banning a few blogs for 2 or 3 measly days has got you so worked up. Our country is one of the most liberal in the world when it comes to freedom of speech and has been the vanguard of freedom in Asia. As I and someone else mentioned, your words are soaked with cynicism. Our country is not perfect. We still have a long way to go. But to sit down and whinge about our shortcomings, especially on this day, is seriously sad. Instead, this day is about showcasing our achievements thus far, and highlighting the progress our great nation has made, especially of late.

    Quoting RT was to show you that there are still some among us who are as heady with optimism as he was about our country and that we believe his dream will come true.

  19. Once again, an amazing post. When will the main stream media carry articles like this?

    Aslam, there is not one sentence in Arnab’s post where he downplays India’s achievements. If you were not so in love with the sound of your own voice and bothered to “read” what this man has written in his previous posts, you would see how much love he has for the country (a love he got from his grandfather, a man who really suffered for the country). All that he asks for here (as he himself mentions) is introspection and not the laudatory “Mera Bharat Mahan” backslapping which passes off for patriotism.

    Regarding the Tagore quotation, Arnab’s point was exactly that the “independent” India we have now is not a place where the “mind is without fear”. Of course I won’t expect you to understand that.

  20. One thing that always baffled me, do i really have to be proud about something that i had absolutely no say what? After all i didn’t chose to be born in india, it just happened. Had i been born in say uganda or rwanda or pick your place, should i be singing songs about how great the country is? Reminds me of a saying “patriotism is a feeling where you think your country became great just because you were born in it”

    Quicksilver

  21. GB,
    It is quite sad to spend this Independence day in Uk where I am for my studies.
    However, I would like to bring to note the fact that your post is quite rightly cynical. The India I have in mind when I sleep here is still the one I had in mind three years back. Sure, there have been cultural injections of blogging, page 3, celebrity (by the way if you hate Indian celebrities..you gotta watch these UK cele-idiots)and the so called’ new wave’.I remember someone saying ‘I love India but I hate Indians’, it is sad that such people can’t get into the flesh and bone of the country that India really is.
    There are things in India (golgappas, bhel-puri, pav bhai) that alone can shake the world order.
    Who has times for moaning celebs, metrosexual men and the like? Not me, that’s for sure. So I guess I’ll just sit back and watch the show for a while.

  22. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB:As usual a fantastic post. I hope Bipasa doesn’t read your post lest she being a bong and an ardent patriot will take your suggestions to heart. I don’t think our govt is equipped to deal with the enormous consequences of the ‘climax’ of the nation!

    Happy Independence Day to all.

  23. Wow, great article. You really have potential to become an eminent writer.
    “If it is a time show what we have achieved, it’s also a time to realize what we could have achieved… ”
    That’s the way we should be thinking!!

  24. A nation demands a flag, and a flag demands to be waved.

    If having a fatherland (Germany) gives rise to patriotic feelings, should we not invoke matriotic emotions as “India is our motherland and all Indians are my brothers and sisters (ooh! what incestous exitement producing the generation next!)?

  25. Actually I don’t think being patriotic actually means anything. I think patriotic feelings are totally stupid.And I am a total individualist.That is I don’t care if farmers die in vidharbha or whatever.As long as my alcohol supply is not cut off I don’t really care. What the hell I was partying when the tsunami happened. I don’t really care about the poor farmers. If they die it is their fate.

  26. good god, what an amazing post…

    I dont think this post is anything but cynical buffoonery. Theres no “what we could have been” in the post.

    you say: “My point is that we as a country have not become that “heaven of freedom”. Because we ban any and everything which we do not agree to. Because we live in an atmosphere of competitive intolerance.”

    Which country’s even gotten close to be called the “heaven of freedom” in 60 years? What ban are you talking about??

    This post scales the greatest heights of travesty. Had some racist radio station drawn braindead buffoonery out of the Bipasha incident, lot of us would have been seeking an apology. Here, this person not only trivializes the incident to comedy – but all that spin on Mahatma Gandhi…..seriously, keep enriching your brain, someday, all that biogas might just light a candle.

    “If it is a time show what we have achieved, it’s also a time to realize what we could have achieved…
    Absolutely. This is exactly the point I sought to make. ”

    Not at all!!! theres that huge post which says nothing of what we have achieved!But for the asswipes here, i dont think any sane head will buy that! theres very little of what could have been achieved either.

    and yeah sure, Gandhi bashing is “cool”…that Rabindranath chap is the “great guy” as he wrote poems lauding the Queen of England. and mahatma gandhi can be trashed around like this??!!! ya well, it was one of us that killed him after all.

    all this banter about “fore-fathers dreams”…..did these cited fore-fathers have nightmares with the population problem/terrorism etc? India is on her path to becoming a great country – with braindead cynics like this person here..that is just 1 of the N problems on its path.

    Its the Independence day today, ppl celebrate the day as a century long struggle bore fruit. India could get out of that mess and flourish. Theres several widespread problems that are pretty much on the path to complete eradication!! CELEBRATE that! Had the freedom fighters been cynic idiots, we would have been another somalia.

    Its stupid to expect a country to evolve along the lines of any script/anybodys dreams, however great the person who wrote/dreamt it. Theres no such thing like a “heaven of freedom” utopia on this planet. there are enough humans on it.

    Pragmatism can never be confused w/ cynicism. Pragmatism here would be respect for the past and objectively look at current problems. no such thing with this post.

    DD was not at all just PR for the INC. It had a “Krishi Darshan” showing every other day (? or some such frequency..) and i am not aware of any Gandhi in any agricultural business. If you think 600 farmers dying is sensational news that current media will pick up – WITHOUT – any corrective measures…well, then why hasnt it?

    oh..but dont get me wrong, i agree w/ you. you are demented.

  27. Nice post. I’m very happy our country is progressing, but I wish we would stop basking in the glory of our achievements at least long enough to take stock of things that need to be improved.

  28. @Kaunteya, Wriju, InkKognito: Thank you and a happy independence day to you.

    @Aslam: No I dont make a joke of it. Jingoistic people like you are the ones who are making a joke of what our freedom fighters fought for. Our country is liberal ! Wake up and smell the napalm ! The first country to ban “Satanic Verses”…the list of bans and fatwas and hooliganisms committed to stifle the voice of that we don’t like is endless.

    @Rohan: Well…

    @Quicksilver: Why not? If we can look beyond individualism, sure.

    @SirPyscho: I disagree. I like India and Indians. I just dont like people getting blinded by email forwards that’s all.

    @Yourfan: Only Amar Singh as our PM can handle a cataclysm of this magnitude.

    @Golmaal: I wish I was this thin and wiry !

    @Right: Thank you

    @Mohib: Happy independence day! Happy kababing.

    @Turrtle: I have. Now if anyone comes calling me a misogynist and what-not, then you will have to answer for it. Incidentally Bipasha has retracted the statement that she was molested. It seems she is pissed off at being ignored by the organizers. The organizers have cited non-professional conduct from Bips as well as non-compliance with contract.(http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1047391)
    @Swati: Hmm….point.

    @Anonymous: Suit yourself.

    @Soubhagya Dash: Just a point. Rabindranath Tagore wrote “Jana gana Mana” not to King George but to the “motherland” as a *protest* against the Congress/British which wanted a hymn to King George. This is the same Tagore who gave up his knighthood for Jalianwala Bagh and who donated his Nobel money to start village banks and went around doing plays to raise funds for improving the condition of tribals.

    That’s real patriotism for you.

    Rest of your rant I shall not reply to cause I wont feed the troll. However feel free to consider yourself the victor.

    Read this to lighten up the ignorance in you.

    From here:

    The event was reported thus in the Indian press:

    “The Bengali poet Babu Rabindranath Tagore sang a song composed by him specially to welcome the Emperor.” (Statesman, Dec. 28, 1911)
    “The proceedings began with the singing by Babu Rabindranath Tagore of a song specially composed by him in honour of the Emperor.” (Englishman, Dec. 28, 1911)
    “When the proceedings of the Indian National Congress began on Wednesday 27th December 1911, a Bengali song in welcome of the Emperor was sung. A resolution welcoming the Emperor and Empress was also adopted unanimously.” (Indian, Dec. 29, 1911)

    Unsurprisingly, the belief gained ground that the poem had been written in honour of the visiting monarch. Others aver that the newspaper reports cited above were misguided, the confusion arising since a different song, written in Hindi by Rambhuj Chaudhary, was sung [2] on the same occasion in praise of the monarch. However, the two poems were written in different languages; Tagore already enjoyed much fame in India, and newspaper reports are both consistent and categorical on the point of Tagore having himself sung his composition on the occasion.

    Nevertheless, other explanations for the motivations that informed the creation of the poem have been proposed. On a visit to India, The poet Yeats received a visit from an Indian admirer who was also, in Yeats’ words, “an Indian devotee” of Tagore. In a letter to a lady friend, Yeats quoted this unnamed devotee as giving him a ‘strictly off the records’ version of events dealing with the writing of Jana Gana Mana. That version, as presented in 1968 by the Indian Express newspaper, was this:

    “He (Tagore) got up very early in the morning and wrote a very beautiful poem…. When he came down, he said to one of us, ‘Here is a poem which I have written. It is addressed to God, but give it to Congress people. It will please them.” [3]

    Thus, Tagore is said to have written the poem in honour of God. In a letter to Pulin Behari Sen, Tagore himself wrote:

    “A certain high official in His Majesty’s service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata [ed. God of Destiny] of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India’s chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense.”

    @Ch@ry: Totally agree.

  29. God! What an outpouring of people up in arms against Arnab’s “Cynicism!”

    Sure we’ve progressed a lot since 1947. Obviously we could have done more. We need to remember our failures when we celebrate our success on a day like this.

    Or else the leaders will tell us what a great job they have done and get away with doing even less. Or patriotism will be cynically used to sell electronics, cars and soft drinks.

    Come on guys! What’s wrong with introspection? Don’t you think we do need to stop and think if we are heading the way we should, or if we are ‘progressing’ towards perdition.

    What’s annoying is the TOI/ HT culture which makes people lazy and unwilling to think about what patriotism really means, or what is the value of our freedom.

    It’s an era when people cry for “Bread & Circuses” that the nation forgets to prepare for barbarians at the gate. Especially when the enemy might be within, anyway.

  30. @gb: Sure, RT’s contribution to literature is great. as you cite, he gave away his noble prize money and gave up his knighthood (oh my!) ….. otoh, how convenient is it to forget all that MG did for the country, he gave his LIFE for it……on the independence day, such ridicule is drawn on MG!!

    feel free to get me wrong, but i didnt mean to say that RT’s was a life wasted. my point was, such ridicule of MG on the ID, is SAD. NO introspection of ANY kind can excuse that.

    besides, there was no introspection to begin with.

    @sayon: Do you think verbiage of this post promotes introspection? Its throwing up ones hands for no reason..with utter lack of faith/respect in the country.

  31. @Soubhagya Dash:

    that Rabindranath chap is the “great guy” as he wrote poems lauding the Queen of England

    This above is what you wrote. And now that Arnab has pointed out what an ignoramus (for your benefit that means an ignorant person) you are, you try to shift goalposts as evident from your above comment where you say: “feel free to get me wrong, but i didnt mean to say that RT’s was a life wasted. my point was, such ridicule of MG on the ID, is SAD.”

    And yes there is introspection in what Arnab wrote. A lot of it. Again cannot expect an ignoramus (which, in case your 1-bit brain forgot, means an ignorant person) to understand and appreciate that.

  32. @Rohan: ah..the sugarr guy!

    The motivation behind JMG was TOTALLY beside the point. Every ignoramus knows the controversy behind JMG. I could argue that the fact that RT accepted the knighthood blurs his claims of hatred towards the English monarchy. But i wont, JMG is a good enough national anthem and RTs contributed well to literature.

    Some intelligentia dont get it. The point in the sentence you quote is that MG is being ridiculed while RT is termed a “great guy”.

  33. @Soubhagya (member of the “intelligentia” (sic))

    If Jana Gana Mana was TOTALLY besides the point, I wonder why your intelli-genitalia [intentionally misspelt, Mr. Dash] sputtered out: “poems lauding the Queen of England” (ahem…you don’t even seem to know that George was a “king’) in your first comment? And yes there are some ignoramuses (like you) who keep on believing that there is actually a “controversy” behind Jana Gana Mana in spite of the fact that this myth has been debunked many years ago.

  34. GB: “Just a point. Rabindranath Tagore wrote “Jana gana Mana” not to King George but to the “motherland” as a *protest* against the Congress/British which wanted a hymn to King George. This is the same Tagore who gave up his knighthood for Jalianwala Bagh and who donated his Nobel money to start village banks and went around doing plays to raise funds for improving the condition of tribals.”

    That’s baloney. Who is the “Jana gana mana adhinayaka” and who is “bharata bhagya vidhata”? . Whatever his intentions were, it’s not a song about a person praising a nation but it’s a song about a nation praising a person(George). Now you are probably going to say he was forced to write that song. Ignorant are we, that we chose that song without really understanding the meaning of it. Vande mataram should have been our national anthem *sigh*

  35. Rohan, are you GB’s secretary and/or his lawyer?

    GB, admit to it or not, you post was an extremely flippant one that intentionally/unintentionally triviliased this great day. Sure, you got a few cheap laughs and pats on the back but that does change the fact that I just stated. And your post was not about instropection as you claim. Least you could have done was to appreciate this day. The day the sacrifices of our brave brave freedom fighters bore fruit.

    You talk of the Satanic Verses banning. What about Mein Kampf that is subject to stringent printing/selling/copying laws in Europe? What about Yahoo being ordered to remove all Nazi memorabilia from it’s site? What about the US justice department trying to boss Google? What about the FBI hauling an Indian guy for abusing George Bush on an internet chat site? Is that liberal? How about you wake up and smell the smoke coming out of your ears? But no. You will turn a blind eye to that and will continue your India bashfest on the day she unshackled herself.

    Your ire and extremely distasteful attempt at lampooning this historic day boils down to the blogspot banning. And that barely lasted a week. Man, if Bhagat Singh, Netaji or Bismil were like you, we would have been singing “God save the queen” until today.

  36. @Sayon: Agree.

    @Happy-Go-Lucky: Thanks

    @Quicksilver: You are right. I stand corrected. Rabindranath Tagore was lying in that correspondence and you have got him by the straight and the curlies. And if you think that “Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka” and “Bharata Bhagya Vidhata” can refer to ONLY King George and not the “motherland” entity then surely you must be right . And when you say “ignorant are we” kindly excuse yourself from that “we” —cause you sure are not.

    Before I forget, Tagore’s selfless donation of time and money to build up an alternative education system, uplift tribals and promote Indigenous culture was “baloney”. Before your comment, I used to think that these were acts of “true” patriotism (someone who constructs) . However I now am wiser.

  37. PS – GB is right about the Jana Gana Mana myth. RT never wrote it for King George.RT was a man of vision and one of the countless who fought valiantly for our freedom.

  38. This is not a discussion about Tagore the philanthropist, i would never argue about or contradict what he did with his nobel prize money. I am not even saying he was not patriotic. But to say he was referring to the ‘mother’ land when he said “Bharatha bhagya vidhata” or “Adhinayaka” is a little too much for my small brain.
    So in your opinion, india is praising itself, what a boisterous country, since in the next line some thing like “dravida uthkala vanga, ….gaaye thava jaya gaatha”.
    Why do you think he didn’t mention any of the regions controlled by portugese in the song?

  39. @Aslam: Yes. I am GB’s lawyer. Now any more insinuations borne out of the fact that I do not support your point of view? Are those all the examples of censorship in the West you could come up with? Mitesh (I think) has an excellent post about the things that are/have been banned and it is one eye-opening list. In India, you have to show a villain looking like Bal Thackeray and presto you have hooligans descending on your theatre while the administration looks the other way. As to that Indian guy from Indiana, threatening to rape and kill someone is a crime (I hope you realize that) while showing a villain who looks like the Balasaheb is not.

    I also don’t agree to your assertion that Rabindranath “fought” for independence. He never “fought” in the sense of Gandhi. He sought to build the nation through education and tribal upliftment.

  40. @gb: !.!. again, the motivation behind JMG is debatable and the jury will forever be out on that. *interpretations* of literary works at best – has evolved with whatever suits it best. as an aside, adhinayaka & vidhata are used for males.. also..RT was knighted about 2-3 years after JMG happened….given the abundance of intelligentia (& the variant w/ rohan) – theres abundant room to speculate..

    again, what RT was or wasnt was besides the point…as you hail RTs..”selfless donation of time & money..” it is ridiculous to see MG being ridiculed otoh.

    go poor little thing…hide behind the stupid stance of “….however now i am wiser..”.

  41. Quicksilver: You are right. He also didn’t mention Chandannagore(French colony)…as a matter of fact in the original director’s cut of Jana Gana Mana, Rabindranath Thakur whispers: Utkala, Banga (in whisper: minus Chandannagore). The theatrical version had that part edited. Some may say that Rabindranath was writing a song and not taking roll call (because of which he may have missed Goa and other European holdings) but I am sure you know better.

    And the reason I mentioned the philanthropy part was simply because you had quoted the entire paragraph and labelled it as “baloney”.

    @Soubhagya: And now that you have come down to abuse like ‘stupid’ can’t you do better?

  42. @gb: “now…abuse like “stupid”.. ” ROFL!!! 😀

    oh at some level i do feel sorry for you. its not a crime to be mentally challenged after all.

    read! i am pretty certain that i havent “come down to stupid *now*”…. LOL!!

  43. :))!!! @rohan:

    how about clicking on that link, and discovering that intelligentsia is basically derived from the latin original intelligentia.

    oh you poor little things….imagining spelling errors…and getting touchy about “stupid” ROFL…

    I am not sure if you guys should be treated as adults!

  44. Oh yes so sorry. I didnt notice that you were typing all your sentences in “Latin”. I would have expected that as an English-speaking person you would be using the English spelling. Pretty fortunate that your misspelling turned out to be the Latin root…isnt it?

  45. @Quicksilver: Hmmmm, you got me thinking with this:

    “So in your opinion, India is praising itself, what a boisterous country, since in the next line some thing like “dravida uthkala vanga, ….”.
    Why do you think he didn’t mention any of the regions controlled by portugese in the song? ”

    And then i figured out ! It was not- “gaaye thava jaya gaatha”- it was meant to be “GOA thava jaya gaatha”.

    Relax folks- who cares how “relevant” Indian Independance Day celebrations are ? The best way to make those celebrations look perfectly justified is to work 10 hours a day for the remeining 364.

  46. @rohan: as much as i loathe educating you here, i guess its necessary & was having fun after all. FYI, theres plenty of Latin words used as such in english. Ever used etc? done w/ you.

  47. Yes indeed I know of a few. Except that they are not spelt following the Latin rule when there is an English word already derived from it.(example: “etcetra” does not have an English analogue, “intelligentia” does.)As I said, lucky you that the wrong thing you knew to be right was the Latin word.

    I am also sad to see that your concept of “fun” means trolling on other people’s blogs.

  48. Ha ha !! Such brouhaha over one post…no offense to either debating group, but you folks reminded me of Amartya Sen’s “The Argumentative Indian”

    @GB: Great post mate !!

  49. PROUD TO BE INDIAN!! JAI HIND! VANDE MATRAAM!!

    Whenever the Day of August 15th comes, it reminds me the power of people – a nonviolent struggle led to the independence of the world largest democracy. August 15th symbolizes the power of people, the power of humanity, the power of good, the power of wisdom, and the power hope! Lets salutes the people of India for their struggle, their confidence, their courage of survival, their wisdom to keep secularity and plurality alive against all odds!!

    Long live the power of people!!

    Happy India’s Independence Day!!

    Be Happy to be Lucky to be Indian!!

  50. I doubt if being pariotic means that i have to wear filtered glasses.

    There can be no day other than the Independence Day to retrospect on what we have acheived and not acheived as well.

    And why do we need to justify what is done by referring to other countries which do the same. I think we can judge by ourselves what is right and what is wrong.

    “We the People of India constitute a Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic”.
    The last time i checked the word Socalist is still there in the Constitution i believe.

  51. GB,

    Wonderfully written. I have told you in chat about my thoughts were on the aspects that your post hinted. I also wonder how many people got the message behind this ‘Dr. Strangelove’ kind of post. That guy ..dash surely has not. Well thankfully there arent too many people like him – there would not be nothing called dark humour in this world if that were the case.

    The Bipasha analogy was demeaning to Gandhi…huh…how? You never even mentioned Tagore. So who is the parochial person? Is there a jury out there? That guy’s comment actually kinda exemplified the kind of modern day pseuo-verisimilitude of patriotism that you had a dig at (whatever the word patriotism may mean :)- there were many interesting defintions above). Then there was this useless questioning of the motives behind the national anthem. The excerpt that you gave (the Wiki link) was excellent, and to be frank with you, that director’s cut bit about Dutch colony was as humourous as anything on this page 🙂 ….actually I had similar thoughts.

  52. GB, it takes some balls to come up with a post that, instead of taking the usual low-brow, high decibel approach to Independece Day talks about introspection and is not afraid to be sarcastic. There are people who will never get it. As schoolkids, all of us have been through the stage where we hold tricolours and feel all mushy and chant slogans. But some of us have the smarts to get past that stage and have a more pragmatic and no nonsense view of things. Evidently, some of us still prefer to be schoolboys. Good for them. They’re the ones who come up with stuff like Mera Bharat Mahan, without ever realising what we really need to do to become Mahan.

    You pointed out rightly that we don’t value our freedoms enough. In fact, most Indians do not understand why it is important to have more freedoms. They are happy to have thought control imposed on them, because often times it only affects someone else – directly. I looked at that rediff link regarding the Bipasha story, and there are comments like “a sultry siren like Bipasha doesn’t deserve respect”. Yeah, a very liberal society indeed.

    And why can’t we have a dig at our leaders, however great they may be? Isn’t that what democracy is supposed to be all about? I long for a day when the majority of Indians get that into their brains.

  53. The last time i checked the word Socalist is still there in the Constitution i believe.

    Sandip, given the current political dynamics, it will forever be there. And we will continue to be a ‘developing’ country unless the real issues are taken care of.

  54. how many of us can really look at ourselves honestly? see through our little pretentions and many harmless lies?

    greatbong u just held up a mirror to our indian face. and i admit it, we see a lot of false patriotic zeal, a lot of childish and emotional ‘love’ of bharat.

    but then that was what we were brought up on. our generation had it all so easy. we didn’t have to toil around like our grandparents. we didn’t have any real value system. the post independent india honestly had very few challenges for this generation. other than the economic stability we all strive for there was no real obstacle to tide over, no common enemy to conquer.

    corruption has seeped in so deep that ‘its a way of life’

    terrorism in j&k doesnot elicit any passionate outbursts. we have come to accept that terrorism will always be there.

    the truth , the sad truth is that the legendary INDIAN VALUE system is only practically appilcable to the FAMILY VALUE SYSTEM.

    FROM THE ETHICAL PERSPECTIVE OF A PATRIOTIC REASPONSIBLE CITIZEN/INDIVIDUAL THE INDIAN VALUES CONTRIBUTE ZILCH.

    it’s sad sad truth. we are the set of idiots that we are because we dont have any real values.

    now dont give me shit about our indian culture. i agree it teaches u about living a average existence but doesn’t go any further.

    how many of us educated women SORT OUR GARBAGE?

    How many of us dont use plactic bags?

    how many of us donate to social causes?

    how many of us are responsible citizens?

    IAM NOT.

    but the POSITIVE THING ABOUT OUR GENERATION IS THAT WE CAN LOOK AT THE MIRROR AND ADMIT OUR FOLLIES.

    we have a long way to go but beleive me we have made a good start.

    this frustration within us, this unrest, this critical eye reassures the patriot in me.

    reaffirms the hope that we will make it very soon. that we can contribute to the world. that we can be powerful enough to impose our religious tolerance on others. that we would be the torch bearers of peace in the generations to come.

    till then lets be true to ourselves. sort our garbage, use paper/cloth bags, never misuse our office, clean our own toilets…..

  55. I don’t think patriotism is important. Just live your life and party.That is real fun, not feel proud of something as meaningless as being born in some country.

    We don’t have to care about this country. This country means nothing to me. The only disappointing thing is even after 60 years in India we don’t have strip clubs.That is the real tragedy of independent India. I don’t care about the people who are in no way related to me(farmers and so on).

  56. This was our 59th independence day, and we still have

    a. Close to 400 million people below the poverty line
    b. Close to 100 million Child Labors in our country
    c. Close to 350 million illiterate people in our country
    d. Close to 100 million unemployed youth in our country
    e. Close to 200 million don’t have safe drinking water
    f. I can go on and on…

    But let’s ignore all that with a drink of Cold Zinda-dil Pepsi and get the saffron out of the closet and join the Ho Hum.

  57. Nice post. I share your distaste towards the flag-waving jingoists who think cheering for the “Men in Blue” while guzzling Pepsi and munching Lays makes them patriots. However, I don’t consider the issue of censorship is as serious as you make it. I have already disagreed with you on the broadcasting bill in an earlier post. I would anyday trade these sensationalistic 24×7 private news channels for a government-controlled DD. I regularly listen to government owned AIR while driving to and from work (ie anywhere between 2 to 4 hours a day!) and the kind of holistic programming that they provide including news, current affairs, developmental programs, music (classical, film-based etc) is unmatched by any of the private media outlets in radio, tv or print.

    Someone said our forefathers will not recognise the present day India. Funny, because I was thinking about the very same thing while watching Manmohan Singh speak from Red Fort yesterday. For some reason, a thought popped up in my mind – what would Nehru have thought if he were watching this address. I figured that a lot of things would have seemed familiar to him – Kashmir issue, problems with Pakistan, rising prices, poverty etc. But I think he would also have been proud of lot of things – to see a highly educated person like Dr. Singh at the helm of affairs, our progress in the field of Information Technology etc. The rising trend of consumerism in urban areas would probably have displeased him a bit, but overall I think his reaction would be more positive than negative on the general state of affairs.

    Regarding Tagore and Jana gana mana, thanks for posting that letter. So basically, he wrote a poem which in his mind was addressed to God, but gave it to the government to be used for King George. While it is a clever ploy, it still doesn’t totally absolve him of the charge of being obsequious to the British monarch. After all, he could have outright denied to write anything, couldn’t he? Note that he had to use some unnatural constructs to pull off this ploy – while it is natural for us to think of our land as female (“motherland”) he chose to address it to a male. And we usually pray to God or at best express our love to him/her, but don’t sing “jayagaatha’s” in his praise. That is usually done for Kings.

  58. Nice Post but
    he must first come to india and work here rather sitting there in US and lamenting on the situation in India
    and there was also someone who was saying abt millions poor and millions job less yes there are those people but he has not mentioned India 4th in Purchasing Power Parity
    and list can go on
    we have achieved all this in 59 years only i am not saying i am stisfied lot need to be done which will be done. So stop lamenting on the ills that we have and come here and try to make some change.

  59. “However even on such a nice day, some people just don’t “get it”. You know the type—those that try to find logic in Hindi movies, who think Manoj Kumar hams, who write ” rescue” instead of “resQ””
    Guilty

    “..These people, while acknowledging the economic progress India has made in 59 years, put the fly in the ointment by pointing out that 600 farmers committed suicide in the Vidarbha region last year (a fact that the media and Indians in general doesn’t really seem to care about)..”
    Guilty

    I guess I deserve to be throttled too..

    Extremely well-written post..Happy Independence Day..Let the light shine on..

  60. great post…

    however, we could have done without some sarcasm towards India. Bongda – India as a country is just 59 years old. There was no real India till the firangs left. What was USA after 60 years as a country? Or for that matter most of the other countries?

    I feel this is a question we can ask ourselves and find a little solace before critisizing.

    Vivek

  61. @ kshitij shukla and patriot with a view:
    and why exactly should he come back and do something…
    am i to assume that all of us who are here and therefore ‘more’ or ‘better’ indians have done their bit for India

  62. Nandini, well atleast most of us pay our taxes and hence do our bit for India. No, I don’t agree with Kshitij that nri’s shouldn’t comment about India until they “come back and do something”.

  63. I havent laughed so much in a long time – what a brilliantly truthful, cynical, above all FUNNY post! Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! 🙂

    er – just one trivial point.. wasnt it “mere desh ki dharti” (not mitti) that ugle-d the heere moti? 🙂

  64. @Mohan,

    And what about the $$ that these non-caring NRI’s send back home which gets again invested in the local economy???

    What about the direct lobbying that some of them do to make some companies invest in India. ???

    Cheers,
    HP

  65. After more than a year of reading, I am finally provoked to comment. (Must admit, I came close once before, during one of your Ganguly rants).
    Soubhagy Dash and his/her comments are a symptom of the new emerging world. A world with more terrorists than there are guns. I’ve seen this breed elsewhere too. eg. Your “Concept of Equality’ comments section. It seems every contrary point is reacted to with violence, rudeness and a pompous display of alpha-maleness.
    A debate ceases to be about the points that matter – it becomes a bunch of rhetoric. In fact, I think nobody wishes to debate at all – ‘here’s my point and if you don’t agree I’ll wipe you out in a flurry of words.’
    I blame you as well, Greatbong. Despite the nature of Soubhagya’s comment, you could have chosen to not use the ‘lighten up the ignorance in you’ part. (After all, you are the wise, gracious host?) Maybe, though I doubt it, it could have been a real debate from then on and not an ego clash.

  66. Panic what panic –
    http://telegraphindia.com/1060815/asp/sports/story_6614083.asp
    Speaking from the Taj Samudra, on Monday evening, he added: “There’s no panic… We’ve had a team meeting and I briefed the players and fellow officials about my discussions with our diplomats and Sri Lanka Cricket…”
    …….

    But then the cowardly South Africans think otherwise

    S Africa pull out of tri-series
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/4790923.stm

  67. @Mohan – “well atleast most of us pay our taxes and hence do our bit for India”

    What nonsense ? You pay your taxes for using the resources provided by the govt. of India and not some sort of charity. Not to forget only 2% of Indians who live in India really pay any taxes and majority of those 2% have LIC, NSC and various other means to avoid paying taxes.

    Please desist from making such chest-thumping Self-absorbed, egoistical proclamations.

  68. “What about the direct lobbying that some of them do to make some companies invest in India”

    To extend this a bit, it’s not just lobbying, some of us work more even more directly to create jobs and investments in India. It is the talent and hard work of NRIs in top US universities, research labs and corporations over the last 10-15 years that made those institutions comfortable enough to set up R&D divisions in India, partner with Indian consulting firms and outsource their critical business operations. A lot of those NRIs are driving these processes – going out of their way to ensure success, sometimes working all night to be in synch with the Indian teams. Yes, it’s not just patriotism, there are personal career goals and business goals involved, but they are not necessarily contradictory. Main point is in today’s world, it’s dangerous to presuppose one’s allegiance from their physical location. Another example is global terrorist networks like Al-Qaeda.

  69. I call this the NDTV syndrome. Ever since Barkha Dutt , Rajdeep Sardesai and Co made it fashionable to have opinion on everything under the sun, lot of RANG-DE-BANSANTIs and Times of Indians have made it their hallmark to argue,debate and opinionate on almost about everything.
    I think it’s the fun of engaging in these mindless and often irrelevant points and counter points that give some people the much needed relief from daily boredom. You need more work guys. Stop using official resources for debating mindlessly!]

    Most people like to have the LAST word on any subject. And even if they are no subject matter experts, it almost gives them an orgasm to have scored that point on someone. Off course, that they come out as idiots in those arguments is lost on most.
    The victim usually is the actual topic on hand. It’s just about scoring that brownie point.

  70. Commenting here after a long time…A great post, GreatBong, one of your best and of the level we expect from you. Happy Independence Day! 🙂

  71. @Aravind: Illuminating link. Funny isnt it—-how “banning sting operations” is an issue that cuts across party lines?

    @Shekhar: Thank you. Unfortunately, this debate is not in the spirit of what is talked about in “The Argumentative Indian”.

    @Vandish: Whew. Now let me take a sip of Pepsi (diet).

    @Sandip: Yes it is. Whether it is a good thing is of course open to debate.

    @yourfan2: Actually Srirampore was a Danish colony and I have made the correction by putting in Chandannagore instead. Yes I also wondered how I had demeaned Gandhi….it seems we have what Nitin called “competitive intolerance”—if Gandhi and Bipasha Basu occur in the same paragraph, Bapuji must have been insulted.

    @Nanda Kishore: Totally agree.

    @Hariprasad Poojary: Thank you..

    @From a Patriot’s Point of View: I dont think that we need a “common enemy” to be coherent as a country. I also don’t think our generation, as a whole, lacked a value system our forefathers had. Littering the streets isnt something that came into our culture post-independence right?

    @Vignesh: Yes I agree. No strip clubs is an abomination. I request you to wait till Amar Singh becomes PM….then there is a real chance of your desire coming true.

    @Sanjay: Again whether it is saffron or the charka is irrelevant.

    @Mohan: Holistic ! I grew up watching DD1 and Rajiv Darshan……and while I may have found many “holy” things, there was nothing that was “holistic”. The thing is this. In US, people watch private cable channels. However if 2 farmers commit suicide in Kansas from poverty, these private channels will stop everything else, throw in dollops of sensationalism and US will forget the world around them as live news team park outside barns in Kansas. The government in US does not need to intervene to make sure coverage occurs. In India, farmers’ deaths just don’t move people—-as someone pointed out, life is cheap in India. People are more concerned about AB’s stomach ache. However the solution is not for the government to step in and “force” people to see what they don’t feel interested in. Cause they will just turn off the TV. And because it is not the government’s role to act as the ‘school principal’—-this is exactly the attitude that prevents us from being “truly independent”.

    In Bangla, the distinction between male and female isnt as rigid as it is in Sanskrit. Secondly, it is indeed sad to see you use the word ‘obsequious’ with respect to Rabindranath and not with respect to the “Congress party” that included Motilal Nehru which wanted a song to be written in praise of the British King. I don’t know whether you know this: but in 1905 when Bengal was going to be partitioned, it was Tagore who went out on the streets, tying rakhis on Muslims and “protesting” in a constructive way (as opposed to bandhs which Tagore felt was destructive) and along with other intellectuals starting small factories making soap and cloth as an “alternative” to British goods. I could go on and on and tell you about “Ghare Baire” and how Tagore foresaw the alienation of Muslims from India because of Congress policy many years before “Direct Action Day”. But since you have already labelled him as “obsequious” I fear that my trying to convince you otherwise would be a waste of time.

    BTW, “jayagatha” can also be sung for the nation—-wonder where you got that from !

    @Kshitj Shukla: I was just waiting for the NRI barb. Since (I presume) neither Aslam nor Soubhagya are in India, the barb did not come from them. However I totally understand your point. My question is: “What do you do in India for the good of the people?” Mind you, I never say I am a very patriotic person and do good for the nation. I don’t. I do my bit for charity in India and that’s it. However I also claim that ,barring a few exceptions, even those of you sitting in India do the same.

    @Anon: Indeed.

    @Sharmistha: Thank you..

    @Vivek: There was no sarcasm directed towards the country or its achievements. Instead all of the sarcasm was targeted at our jingoistic flag-waving and our lack of stifling whatever we do not agree with.

    @Mohan: Pay taxes? Is that the most you do? Well I send money to India that increases our forex reserves. I go and spend money in India which boosts our economy. I am not saying these are “patriotic” acts of mine—-I do it because I need to. Just like you need to pay taxes.

    @Shyam: Senility ! Thanks for pointing it out…have corrected it.

    @Django: Well this guy has exhibited troll-like behaviour before and I am sorry I am not the typical, “turn-thy-other-cheek” gracious host. I am all for debate but when someone says something which is “totally wrong” I do think that “lighting the lamp” is the very least I can do.

    @Anirban: So it is.

    @Hawkeye: Thanks..I think that bar a few “usual suspects”, the audience has been mostly supportive.

    @Shashikaran: Am desperate to see it. However no theatre in Maryland is showing the movie.
    @Kaunteya: Or the Rang de Basanti effect?

    @Mystic Margarita: Happy Independence Day to you too…and thanks.

  72. @Kaunteya: I thought a large part of the fun of Arnab’s blog was the ‘meaningless’ debate. I find it great fun that there are so many who have opinions vehemently & violently different from that of others – and that none can convince the other.

    Arnab seems to have no hassles with us filling up his comment space – so I see no reason for you to complain of wasting ‘official resources’. If you dont enjoy the endless arguments, skip the comments section. Arnab’s posts are great even without them. Of course, it also means you would not get your two bits in either. Pity!

    BTW – Reverend John Smith once saw two women hurling abuses at each other from their houses across a street. He remarked to his companion – ‘They shall never agree – they are arguing from different premises.’

    Verbum sapienti sat est.

  73. Batman,

    Exceptional.

    I moderate a community dedicated to Indian Politics on Orkut, and each of those comments was so true. “To all true Indians – ban this community”. Ha! Maybe they’ll link to your blog and ask “true” Indians to boycott it.

    And you should be proud. Being flamed by people on both ends of the political spectrum is irrefutable proof that you are fair.

  74. @Sayon: good for you. Keep enjoying these meaningless arguments. I have other means to enjoy.
    And btw, i was only referring to endless cycle of counter-arguments which some of us indulge in. I know greatbong has no hassles with comments occupying space. You needn’t tell me that.
    And just so that i practice what i preach, i won’t counter you next time 🙂
    Have a good one.

  75. @GB,

    “In Bangla, the distinction between male and female isnt as rigid as it is in Sanskrit.”

    Which is moot, because Tagore himself has translated Bhagya Vidhata as Lord of Destiny in that letter you quoted and not as Godess of Destiny. So it is obvious the song was addressed to a male God. Which is odd, because we usually think of the land as female – motherland, Bharat Mata etc. I don’t think there is any doubt that Tagore wrote it in such a way that it was applicable to King George. It had to be, because after all according to Tagore himself, that was the purpose of the song, even though in his mind he was addressing it to God.

    As for labelling Tagore obsequious and not Congress Party, note that the debate here was about what Tagore did. Congress Party at that time was a loyalist as a matter of policy, so I don’t know why you want me to reiterate the obvious, especially when that is not the point of discussion. My only point was that Tagore did *not* address the song to “motherland” as you claimed. I fully believe Tagore when he says that he addressed it to the God of Destiny but gave it to the government official for using it to address King George. However, I just noted that he had to use some unnatural means to achieve that purpose and it would probably have been better if he had just declined to write any poem at all to be used for the monarch’s visit. Anyway, I don’t think it takes away even a little bit from any of Tagore’s immense achievements (as a nationalist, philanthropist, philosopher, literary figure, musician and god knows what else), so I don’t see the need for being so touchy about it.

    As for DD/AIR, it looks like you have made up your mind and all I see is blanket assertion that “there was nothing holistic about it”. I too have grown up watching DD and listening to AIR and I can tell you that it is any day better than what we get on 100 cable channels these days. On the way to work today I listened to some light music and then half an hour of highly informative talk on a Kannada literary figure followed by a program on rural development. I can sit in front of the TV for days together without getting even a fraction valuable as that. It is not about government forcing us to watch what we are not interested in. It is more like if you leave it to market forces, they are always going to cater to the lowest common denominator. Because it is easier to make money that way. There is a reason why Britain has public funded BBC to provide news. And oh, let’s not start projecting US news channels as role models.

    No, paying taxes is not the most I do, it is the least I do. Note that I didn’t agree with the poster’s remark about NRI’s commenting on India. I was just replying to someone who asked what do we contribute to India. I agree with Dipanjan that in this globalised world physical location and allegiance aren’t necessarily related.

  76. I have been reading your blog for sometime now (I really admire your style and sense of humor) but am posting a comment for the first time. A couple of points I wanted to make –
    1. I feel that “Independence day” for all Indians is like any other national festival e.g. Diwali, Holi etc. which is meant to be celebrated with the same religious fervour and passion. The fact that it is a compulsory holiday for all the people and many times results in a long weekend is a big big plus :-). This is also a day where most of the Indians in my opinion experience an ounce of patriotism. This feeling is good and necessary (even though is for a small period of time) for a young and fledgling nation like us. We are a nation of multiple cultures and religions and me thinks that some amount of flag waving and jingoism does help in reinforcing the concept of “Unity in diversity”.
    2. The second point I wanted to make is regarding the politician bashing that we usually enter into. In a democracy it is after all the people who elect their own representatives so if our leaders are not good it is directly or indirectly our fault. The question is how many of our so called middle class educated people exercise the right to elect their own representatives. I would say the percentage is very less. So instead of blaming our netas it is best to indulge in some self introspection to see if we really care!

    And inspite of all the shortfalls we have as a nation we have progressed a lot as a nation. I am sure all of us agree on that. So if on our independence day we focus on all the positives it is not such a big issue.

  77. Well written post, but completely meaningless….sometimes humour can go overboard so much so that it clouds the actual intent.
    From what I understand, you are trying to raise ‘pertinent’ questions about how much India has progressed and how much it hasn’t, so where did the Bipasha incident come into it all…or was it written as a ‘playing to the gallery’ syndrome?
    The reality is GB, and all other NRIs who are feeling so ‘depressed’ about India’s non progress – You don’t live here, you do nothing for the country except convince yourself that you are doing a lot by sending a few dollars sometimes to India. You show off a lot about how ‘It is the talent and hard work of NRIs in top US universities, research labs and corporations over the last 10-15 years that made those institutions comfortable enough to set up R&D divisions in India, partner with Indian consulting firms and outsource their critical business operations. ‘ (as pointed by Dipanjan)
    Crap…R&D divisions were opened because the companies found it was cheaper to open these divisions than outsource to existing Indian companies. And it were these existing Indian companies, in which residential Indians worked, which showed that Indians could work in R&D divisions.

    And what is it about: A lot of those NRIs are ……. sometimes working all night to be in synch with the Indian teams. ????????

    Rubbish with a capital ‘R’. It is the other way round, with the residential Indians staying awake all night so that the NRIs can work with them…and sometimes these NRIs are not even as thoughtful about timings as an actual US or UK guy is…strange!!!

    Bottomline…everyone has a right to crib about everything in this world, but when you have run away to seek your fortune elsewhere, you have no right to criticize the existing system….it is like me sitting here in India, and getting depressed by the US traffic system, which doesn’t influence me in any way. It’s ditto for you NRIs.

  78. @apu,

    I have posted some thoughts as to why NRI’s are generally more negative on India than resident Indians. You might want to take a look at it.

  79. Apu: and sometimes these NRIs are not even as thoughtful about timings as an actual US or UK guy is…strange!!!

    The part I love the best is when you tell the NRI at the US headquarters that 15th Aug is a holiday and they go “Why”?

  80. While I got good laughs, I have to agree that ID is not the day to be cynic. ID should be for achievements and celebration and recharging – the rest of the 364 days are for problems and solutions.

    Also, it’s condescending to the dead to suggest that pepsi guzzlers (those dumb asses) for the not solving farmers suicides. If the pepsi drinkers drink tea instead, will they solve farmers’ suicide issue? Crass commercialism is the hallmark of capitalism – we have been socialists too long to get used to it just yet, I guess. In any case, I think India now is more than just being in one piece. The country still a teenager at 59 but has come a long way since 1947, IMO.

  81. I was willing to go along with everything you said, after all we had patriotism as a separate subject in our CBSE syllabus in school (we called it Civics, but it taught us all our duties, including how to treat the national flag and anthem) — but then it struck me, you live abroad, so how do I know you’re not actually a dreaded terrorist mocking my patriotic sentiments? Or a shameless brain-drainist (I actually heard that term, I promise)?

    You can’t be a true patriot and live abroad. Since I live in India I’m qualified to make these judgments. 🙂

  82. @apu and sue: When you say that you have to be resident to be patriotic that really hurts.Beleive me a vast majority of NRIs given a choice would rather work in India than otherwise. Do you know that a lot of people I know (the most famous example is L N Mittal) still cling on to their Indian passports despite being out of India for a quarter of a century. Remember this is before the era of dual citizenships. Besides if the whole of the NRI population decided to ship back to India where would the country be? Wonder if you could have a look at the following post. http://silenteloquence.suryaonline.org/2005/03/06/nri-the-non-returning-indian/

  83. @Sanjay, when you say:
    Not to forget only 2% of Indians who live in India really pay any taxes and majority of those 2% have LIC, NSC and various other means to avoid paying taxes.

    Do you really know Indian tax rules?
    Do you understand how much tax many of us pay?
    LIC, NSC- huh….they don’t even constitute 1/4 of the tax many of us pay.
    And yeah, we pay them because we use the country’s resources, but so did the NRIs before they migrated….so what have they given back?

  84. @Gamesmaster G9: Indeed I am. As long as I get flamed by everyone, I am being decently fair and consequently unacceptable to all.

    @Swapna: Thank you

    @Vijay: Thank you too.

    @Mohan: Yes Mohan so he did. Maybe he should have said Lord/Lady of Destiny but maybe he didnt live in politically correct times nor could he ever have imagined that he would be called “obsequious” by an inheritor of his legacy. You may believe that Tagore ‘did not address the song to the motherland” (despite him saying he did). And you believe he was obsequious.  Since you “believe” them (just like some others believe there are 72 virgins in heaven waiting) there is not much left to argue is there?
    Coming to the rest of your comment. If we leave it to the market forces, they will cater to lowest common denominator. Totally agree with that. The solution to that is to raise the LCD and not  force the people doing the “catering”. And as for those krishi programmes on DD, they never highlighted what was going on, in say, Kalahandi. Oh no no. So how were they any better than NDTV/CNN-IBN?

    I don’t mind the GOI funding broadcasting agencies like a BBC. But the British government does not make ITV carry stuff that British govt. wants it to ! Actually neither does it ask the BBC—-if you know the history of BBC, the BBC has a long-running feud with the British government because the government feels the BBC is always “against” it. That’s the kind of autonomy BBC enjoys. Unlike DD whose primary role is to bootlick the PM and the I&B minister.

    @Rahul:

    1. No I do not believe that some amount of flag-waving and jingoism promotes “unity in diversity”. Why? Because nothing tangible ever comes out of a few hours of heightened emotion.

    2.Second point I agree.

    @Apu: Totally meaningless with a capital M. Absolutely. As to why the Bipasa issue came in…where’s the gallery ma’m? I could explain what kind of rhetoric style that was but I am afraid it would be kind of lost on perceptive people like yourself. (with a capital Y).

    I am absolutely bowled over by your depth of understanding. Here I write a piece about the denial of freedom to individuals  because of our tendency to ban anything we don’t like and the nation’s lack of concern for the people it claims to worship and you interpret it as a “depressive post about India’s non-progress“.

    Bravo.

    With people like you, displaying such astute capability for understanding something that is not  even alluded to, sitting in India how can I ever think that India would not progress?

    I understand you have been deeply hurt by NRIs who have shaken you up at odd hours of the night but why take it out on me?

    It would have been nice to know how you staying in India has helped the country in any way. Other than you paying taxes which I am sure you pay voluntarily and even add a 10% tip for the farmers. I am always curious as to how you people who havent “run away” (needless to say all of you had the chance but didnt) think that you do more for the country than “NRIs” (incidentally I don’t even know how you define that)

    @Mohan: Very nice.  How do you know that NRIs do not enjoy themselves in US? There are many many people here who live a fulfilling community life and those who visit India on a regular basis to touch bases with their loved ones. In other words, they hardly feel any sense of “loss”. There are many who do but again I am against your gross generalization.

    On the topic of  ascribing motives, it’s a 2-way street. It is also possible to ascribe motives to why you and people like Apu have a chip on your shoulders about NRIs. But that doesnt make for debate—-it makes for personal attacks.

    Let me make it clear. I do not think NRIs are any more/any less patriotic (in general) than those in India. There are many “NRIs” who do excellent work in India: volunteers of organizations like AID and ASHA who not only raise funds here through programmes like “Shramadan” but also go to India and oversee the disbursal of the funds, working with NGOs there. There are many people in India who are also doing excellent work. Then there are NRIs who do nothing. And there are people in India also who do nothing but who keep slapping their chest saying “I am patriotic. I am in India”.

    Staying in India does not make you “patriotic”. It’s doing something which does. Regardless of where you are.

    @Tanu: Indeed. How horrible these NRIs…really.

    @Chandra: Ooh geez. When did I say that “pepsi guzzlers” are expected to solve farmer’s issues? I am saying they arent even aware of them. And they don’t even care—-though they will shout out “Jai Kisan” at every opportunity.

    @Sue: Exactly so you are. :-). BTW good to see you back after a long time.

    @Arunavo: I think Sue was trying to be sarcastic.

    @Apu: Again what have you given back? Your taxes? But you dont give them out of your own volition, you are forced to pay them ! Where’s the patriotism?

    And Sanjay, for heaven’s sake, do get a tax lawyer before you tangle with super-patriots like Apu.

  85. @Apu “Do you really know Indian tax rules?
    Do you understand how much tax many of us pay?
    LIC, NSC- huh….they don’t even constitute 1/4 of the tax many of us pay.
    And yeah, we pay them because we use the country’s resources, but so did the NRIs before they migrated….so what have they given back? ”

    You pay couple thousand rupees as taxes and you pore your anger out here on this forum. Take your anger somehwere else or go find another way to steal government money to make you feel better. When I was in India and used the country’s resources, I paid my taxes and I didn’t cry like you. I still own property and investment back home and still pay taxes on that and dont cry like you.

    In terms of giving back, before you demand that of NRIs, Ask yourself, what do you give back to your country apart from paying your taxes which you pay for the resources you use and not as some sort of charity as you and Mohan may want to claim ?

    Btw, here is some information for you “…..Persons of Indian Origin send back more money to the mother country than any other people in the world. In fact, they send as much as 15 per cent of the world total. The money coming back to India is seven times that of China according to a survey conducted recently. (Figures from January to September last year show that NRIs sent $13.3 billion, which is much higher than Mexico’s $9.9 billion and China’s $1.9 billion). This is made possible not just by the large number of NRIs (20 million) but also by the high average amount sent back by them…. ”

    Oh and I do know a little about Indian taxes, I lived in India for close to 25 years and majority of my family still lives there.

  86. do people like Apu really exist? seriously do they read their own post and go “oh my god i cant believe how stupid I am” . even if tried hard I could not have written a more stupid comment. i thought you would need some minimum threshhold intelligence to come out of a cave and type something on a computer. apparently i was wrong.

    go and suck up to your TM Apu – you may get the onsite opportunity you have been begging for so long.

  87. I must say I am very amused by the way someone passes a blanket judgement on all NRIs, research in US universities, and set up of R&D in India; only to end it up with a mere grudge of having been kept awake at odd hours on a private job! I have always been trying to gauge where India stands and here comes an oracle who opens my mind – calls it all crap !!
    I wonder where does this person stand – saying that NRIs don’t know what’s going on in India, or agreeing that whatever is going on is rubbish, only those living outside are not allowed to say that.
    But then, when he/she defines patriotism as merely living in a country and paying taxes (gasp!) I don’t see why even merit an explanation as to what it means to do something for your country.

  88. Poor Apu. Serving the country thanklessly by answering calls of insensitive NRIs at night, paying high taxes and attacking expatriates who don’t say Mera Bharat Mahan. And most importantly not running away from the country despite countless calls from US/Europe/Somalia/Antarctica. Deeply sympathize.

  89. gb said: “@Chandra: Ooh geez. When did I say that “pepsi guzzlers” are expected to solve farmer’s issues? I am saying they arent even aware of them. And they don’t even care—-though they will shout out “Jai Kisan” at every opportunity.”
    What soda do you drink? Dont you have “jai kisan” in your post? Are you aware of the farmers plight? Do you care?

    If your answer was yes to any/both of the latter questions – what makes you think that the “pepsi-guzzler” in india, is any less aware/cares any less????? What makes you any better qualified to say jai kisan?

    gb said: “1. No I do not believe that some amount of flag-waving and jingoism promotes “unity in diversity”. Why? Because nothing tangible ever comes out of a few hours of heightened emotion.”

    How is unity promoted then? Long hours of meditation with Rabindra sangeet on – only tangible thing off that gets flushed usually! (kidding, dont jump off the tracks!). Agree that introspection and planning is in order, as is for all countries always. However, your post had nothing to do with any of that.

    gb said: “@Mohan: ….You may believe that Tagore ‘did not address the song to the motherland” (despite him saying he did). And you believe he was obsequious. Since you “believe” them (just like some others believe there are 72 virgins in heaven waiting) there is not much left to argue is there?”

    whhat…thats CONVOLUTED (all letters in caps! no less) discussion! whats a certain religious belief (no less “ridiculous” as many other such in other religions) got to do with the point here? dude, RT may be religion to you, not to others!! as i had mentioned earlier, interpretation of creative work changes to suit ppl best. his saying what he meant will defy gravity on earth.

    @sanjay: relax. how many ever figures we dig up, fact remains that the countrys running because of the RIs! both camps here are right in “thumping their chests” on how they are contributing. sadly however, i do agree w/ Mohan on his assertion that NRIs have skewed ideas on the ground realities there., just an artifact of humans staying away..we may be pumping into forex reserves there, helps the economy, sure, but does not make me better aware OR allow me to be disdainful of the ground issues there.

    gb said: “….If we leave it to the market forces, they will cater to lowest common denominator. Totally agree with that. The solution to that is to raise the LCD and not force the people doing the “catering”.”

    Whoa!! thats revolutionary. How do you propose the govt “raise the LCD”!!

    gb said: “….the BBC has a long-running feud with the British government because the government feels the BBC is always “against” it. That’s the kind of autonomy BBC enjoys. Unlike DD whose primary role is to bootlick the PM and the I&B minister.”

    Did you know that BBC is totally funded by licence fees, it does not air any commercials…something india cannot/has not been able to afford thus far. When it can – it will be a more pertinent demand of it to be as public catering as BBC is. As for your contention on bootlicking, sure .. theres evidence of star plus/zee etc to also be doing no less such. This is part of the much larger issues plaguing media and the broadcast bill could fix some of those.

  90. @Saubahya “sanjay: relax. how many ever figures we dig up, fact remains that the countrys running because of the RIs! ”

    Well, IMO the country is running despite those chest thumping Tax payer resident patriots and definately not because of them. Fact is that even Somalia is running on its own. 😉

    “both camps here are right in “thumping their chests” on how they are contributing.”

    Sorry to dissappoint you, but I dont belong to any camp nor am I chest thumping. I dont think of myself as any less patriot because I live in the ‘USA’.

    “i do agree w/ Mohan on his assertion that NRIs have skewed ideas on the ground realities there.”

    Speak for yourself, I feel I am as much(if not more) aware of the ground Realities of what is happening in Kalahandi as the guy who is living in Banglore, Hyderabad, Mumbai or even Bhubaneswar.

    ” just an artifact of humans staying away..we may be pumping into forex reserves there, helps the economy, sure, but does not make me better aware OR allow me to be disdainful of the ground issues there.”

    On the same note, it doesn’t make someone better aware of ground issues in India just because he/she is paying taxes in India.

  91. @sanjay: I said the country was running because of the RIs, regardless of whether its the chest-thumping-tax-paying-kind or no-chest-thumping-but-tax-paying kind of RIs..

    it does not make any RI any more of a patriot. i never said that.

    Neither did I say that someone Bangalore/.. is bound to know better about Kalahandi than you. My point was, someone in Kalahandi will definitely know better than what you do. If this is not true, pls share your sources of information!! If there were any such media that were reporting ground realities with such clarity, ahh..we would have been lot better off!!!!

    Kalahandi has an unique local problem. Given sad-media standards, only ppl directly concerned with Kalahandi will know best. Other issues pertaining to all of India will definitely be better known by ppl *IN* india. Much of this is common sense.

    as for your comparison w/ somalia…speak for your own standards.

  92. @sanjay: correction – the poorer classes who dont pay taxes, but work, are also playing a HUGE role in keeping the country moving. Regardless of whether they practice any form of thumping.

  93. @Soubhagya:

    Dont you have “jai kisan” in your post?

    That’s sarcasm ! Gawd. The fact that the pepsi-guzzler in India is concerned less is borne out by the fact that there was little mention of farmer suicides in the mainstream media. Why so? Because the market doesn’t care. They care for Amitabh’s stomach ache though ! Hence the live-coverage and blow-by-blow details. And please government intervention wont help. The government will say “Don’t cover AB cause he is now Samajwadi Party” but do cover Govinda (I hope he doesn’t fall ill) cause he is Congress.”

    Yes certainly my post has nothing to do with introspection. Since you say so, I have to accept. Despite the fact that others seem to agree with me. But they are just backslapping idiots…unlike you of course.

    Of course interpretation of creative work is left to people like you. And your barely-concealed prejudice…which from your joke of passing stool from listening to Tagore is pretty clear. Now I am sure if I made a comment remotely similar about our Bapuji (which I wont because though I personally have a lot of misgivings about what he did and how he did them I would not be disrespectful to him) you would be passing stool all over my comments section. Talk about religion.

    As to “how do I propose the government raise the LCD”? Where did I say the “government” has to do that? The government isnt supposed to DO ANYTHING in this regard. Its we as Indians who, through education and sensitivity, have to raise our LCD. It’s we who have to care. The GOI cant step in and make us care. Is that very difficult to understand?

    The broadcast bill will fix bootlicking? Heh. The government regulating the broadcasters will make them LESS bootlicking to the government? And though it is true that so-called private broadcasters do have their agenda, at least its not like Rajeev Darshan days where the news broadcast used to be a daily video blog of what Rajeev Gandhi did from morning to evening.

  94. @gb: It must take intense intelligence to see that this is a chicken and egg problem. ppl dont make media aware, its the media that makes ppl aware. how do you know some other pepsi-guzzler in india is also not blogging about media problems, and doing a better job with it by keeping the cynicism and sarcasm out????

    as for what the govt will/wont do with the media, is pure speculation. its not a dictatorship there back home, if any such thing happens ppl are free to make corrections next time around..

    As for whether others felt there was any real introspection or not – you sure have some fan following that goes like .. “great post but i think ….. but dont worry, i still think it is the best thing to happen this century”. Their opinion can float around where space starts along with RTs claims.

    I have a lot of respect for RT. His contribution to literature was phenomenal. that does not make him God. What “Bhagya vidhata” means, remains despite whatever he might claim. As anyone else, he is entitled to covering up!

    It is not true that DD during late 80s was all in all rajeev-darshan. Thats just plain wrong dude. sure, as even now, the govt owned media does not perform public service as say BBC does, but thats going round the circle, BBC is autonomous and licence funded. Such is/has not been possible for india. All laws have loopholes…some exploit those. The same may happen here too….but overall, some “raising LCD” is also bound to happen. Overall, it will be positive effect.

    This govt might fool around doing things you claim it will. but it is not so stupid to take all that effort in creating a weapon and leaving precedence of misuse. When its the BJPs turn, where will Govinda go?!!

  95. @Soubhagya: No the people don’t make the media aware. I never said that. What the people do is that they they show their interest. Media conduct market surveys and study TRP. They know what people want and what people don’t. And that gets reflected in the programming.

    BBC’s license fees are fixed by the British government and intense lobbying goes to raise that (ref: Yes Minister) or to keep it fixed. Government pressure they too succumb to but far less than DD whose news bulletins, at least at one point of time, had to be vetted by the Ministry.

    The government creates instruments it can manipulate. This is not party-specific, but class(politician) specific. Govinda might be out of flavour when Amar Singh comes to power but wait for a few years and Govinda will be back. That’s the way the thinking works.

    As an example, look at “sting operations”. Recently a Congress minister was caught in a sting operation talking to the mafia. It was the BJP which joined voices with the Congress, shouting for a ban on sting operations. Why? Shouldnt they be happy here at the Congress scandal?

    One thing Soubhagya. While I am fine with opposing views and debates (after all I am not the government of India), personal attacks and abuse is not kosher (asswipe, biogas in my head etc). This space is for discussion and debate and tolerating opposing viewpoints. So I expect you to tolerate my viewpoints, especially since this is my space. And this tolerance is manifested in civil language.As a result, I wont reply to any further abusive comments (I am not saying ur last one was) from you. You can call me whatever you want but that’s just the way things are.

    Again if the language is civil, I have no problems in replying.

  96. @gb: you said: “No the people don’t make the media aware. I never said that. What the people do is that they they show their interest. Media conduct market surveys and study TRP.”

    people show their interest ..hm… isnt that the same as “making media aware”?? Is there any evidence of instance of *good* media getting bad TRP??

    As much as I am entertained by sting operations, I am not sure I trust all of them. Ppl could “really” be set up for them as well. besides, there can be tampering too. If the politicians, God forbid, try to sqash “ALL” of sting operations..and not try to address issues with them, then ppl can go to court. Sure, they can take turns in manipulating things, but that can never cause significant damage…whose stint at the hospital gets covered does not matter as long as the farmers get some screen time as well.

    point taken about language, I correct myself every now and then but..it happens – and i am not particularly entertained by them either. About appreciation of opposing views, i feel theres plenty of room for that here. Sure, you may not think so. but a lot of civility goes for a toss when theres little to no reception of others points.

  97. If someone is not ‘receptive’ then thats really no reason to send civility for a toss. What’s receptive? Do you expect me to change my opinion because of what you said? (despite the fact that the overwhelming majority supporting me). Why dont you change your opinion and show you are “receptive”(Not that I am asking you to)?

    Civilized discussion does not mean one or both parties have to be ‘receptive’. But it does mean that they do not use words like ‘asswipe’ and ‘head full of bio-gas’.

  98. @gb: by receptive, I did not mean being in “agreement”. I meant allowing room for a discussion. that does not happen here. thats my perception. and also perhaps of some others here. regardless.

    and by taking your point from your earlier comment, i meant i was *in* agreement on this issue.

    if moving forward this is going to digress to a course on civility…then…well sure, why not!

  99. Well if there is no room for discussion, then dont you wonder why so many people including you come to discuss here? It’s indeed puzzling why places which have comment moderation/no comments policy are considered to be ‘more conducive for discussion’. Again let me point out, your very first comment on this post started out with calling my head full of biogas and demented (in a pejorative way) and using the word asswipe—–now tell me again is that conducive to discussion?

  100. “@Mohan: Yes Mohan so he did. Maybe he should have said Lord/Lady of Destiny but maybe he didnt live in politically correct times nor could he ever have imagined that he would be called “obsequious” by an inheritor of his legacy.”

    GB, where is the need to say Lord/Lady? If he had motherland in mind, then surely he would have translated it as Goddess rather than as Lord? I can’t imagine a person of Tagore’s intellect making such a blunder – it was his poem, he would have been absolutely clear in his mind what it was about and he is not going to casually say Lord of Destiny if he had a feminine figure in mind.

    “You may believe that Tagore ‘did not address the song to the motherland” (despite him saying he did). ”

    I don’t see anywhere in that letter where he says he addressed the song to the motherland. He says it was addressed to Lord of Destiny, Reader of People’s mind, etc. Do you have any other source where he said he addressed it to the motherland?

    “And you believe he was obsequious. Since you “believe” them (just like some others believe there are 72 virgins in heaven waiting) there is not much left to argue is there?”

    oh please! I am sure you can differentiate a conclusion based on facts and logical argument from blind belief. I said, “it doesn’t completely absolve him of the charge of being obsequious” *because* he could have refused to write anything at all but he didn’t.

    As for raising the LCD of the public, yes I agree with you there. But I believe government has a large role to play in doing that, especially in a country like India where education levels are low. If government doesn’t do it, who else will? Market is not going to do that – they will just show what people want to see, so if people are interested in Rakhi Sawant, they will show just that. Yes, NGO’s etc could play some role, but government is in the best position to do that. And that is precisely what they did/are doing through DD and AIR. They showed us award winning movies, documentaries, classical music concerts, discussions with eminent people etc to enrich our knowledge. How else do you think I sitting in a small town in Karnataka got to know about Tagore and his Robindra Shongeet? Or Satyajit Ray or Ritwik Ghatak or Bimal Roy etc. If it was left to the private channels, I would have grown up watching Rakhi Sawant’s jhatka’s and David Dhawan movies. I mean, why is it that Sony and Zee can come up with these lavishly produced, but meaningless Ghar ghar ki Kahani’s and Indian Idols, but not a simple Darpan or Katha Sagar based on excellent thought-provoking short stories from around the world? Yes, like everything else in India, DD/AIR was far from perfect, but they are still much better than anything that private channels have done.

    You said DD didn’t talk about Kalahandi, so how was it better than NDTV/IBN? I will give you couple of examples off the top of my head. In today morning’s AIR news bulletin, second headline item was possible floods in Godavari. I had not heard about it in all my news watching on IBN last night. Thinking maybe Godavari’s level suddenly rose last night, I went to ndtv.com and ibnlive.com and still no mention of Godavari in the top headlines. There is an item about Shahrukh doing some biscuit ad (IBN) and some condom party for truck drivers (ndtv), but no mention of possible floods. But make no mistake. If the floods do happen and hundreds of people die, then both these channels will be there with their cameras and the brave reporters asking the survivors “how do they feel” and blaming the government for not doing anything. But now that it is just a possibility and doesn’t have sensation value, it doesn’t come into their radar. Another example is from Padma awards function many years ago. While DD mentioned the awardees in the order of their honour (Vibhushan, Bhushan, Sri etc), giving a brief bio of some of the top awardees (a musician, a scientist, a social worker etc) on NDTV on the same day headline news was Tendulkar getting Padmasri (the lowest of the Padma awards) and their entire report was focussed only on Tendulkar. They didn’t even mention any of the awardees.

    Anyway, it is getting too long, so I will stop here.

  101. @Saubhagya Das :- “Other issues pertaining to all of India will definitely be better known by ppl *IN* india. Much of this is common sense.”

    Really ?? Care to explain how this is ‘common sense’ please ?

    Couple of years ago there was workers strike in TISCO, since I am from Jampot and have a no. of family members working for Tatas, I knew every little detail about it(despite being Saat Samundar Paar), otoh my friends in Patna, Delhi, Dhanbaad, Mumbai etc had no clue. I fail to understand how a guy in Banglore or Silchar would know more about Floodings in Mumbai than the guy sitting in NYC ? I have access to 10-15 Indian channels which show pretty much everything live and I would like to believe that Internet access in USA is a lot easier(and better) than it is in India.

    If I am in India (in my backward industrial town of Jampot aka Tata) and I want to read ‘The Telegraph'(from Kolkata), I have to wait until the afternoon or have to go to a Internet cafe, wait for my turn to get a computer and only then I can get access to my fav. newspaper. Otoh in US, I dont have to go anywhere, it is right at my desk@work or home all the time. Infact most of the time I get the news before folks in India do.

    So please think before you post anything furthur on this else you will make a joke of yourself by continously harping on this.

  102. @gb What I meant was that India is a diversified country in a true sense where all the states have their own languages and cultures. Many a times we see regionalism being in the forefront as opposed to nationalism. So occasions like this where we celebrate as a nation forgetting these differences is a sure example of “unity in diversity”. IMO all the Indian community festivals do that, increase the bonding among Indians.

    @Sanjay I feel that being an NRI/RI does not determine whether one is a patriot or not. Residing in India does not automatically guarantee a patriotic certificate as neither does living in US, UK… make anyone unpatriotic. Saying all that your figures on money being sent by NRIs does not make too much sense. Do you mean to say that money being sent by them is an act of patriotism? I am sorry but this makes me laugh. NRIs invest in India because the returns are very high especially in areas like real estate. India is one of the biggest market in the world with a lot of untapped potential. Also your comment on country running despite the taxpayers is also not very correct as I see it. IMO the country is running because of the rich wealth of human resources that we have be it RIs or NRIs. So in a sense the taxpayers do run the country as do the people who go abroad and prove it to the world that Indians are one of the Human Resources available.

  103. @All: IMHO, I think there are as many ignorant Indians as there are NRIs when it comes to affairs and issues of the country. Also, in a global age, I believe NRIs like Arnab are actually doing quite a bit for the country by bringing up important issues on a widely read blog, so stop attacking one single person as ‘you NRIs..’. Generalizing such opinions will do no good.

    Also, Tax paying in the Indian context is NOT patriotism!! Sure, there is a sense of responsibility that comes with it, but these are different issues. Any Indian, resident or not, cannot claim patriotism based on his tax bills. Patriotism is a sentiment that needs to be expressed by acts that would actually be beneficial for the country AND are part of a greater vision for the country AND done on one’s own initiative. Patriotism is paying tax not when you are asked to but because you want to.

  104. @Sanjay Read your last comment just now and I think just as you are asking people not to harp about things, you are also going overboard with your comments. Your comparisons about US and India are needless and in some cases outdated. I am from Ranchi which is very near to Jampot and I am very pleased to tell you that the days of waiting in queues in Netcafe are long over there. Most of the people do have a decent broadband (oh yes not dial up but broadband!!!) connection at home where they can browse the “Telegraph” whenever they want. So next time you are in Jampot do get a broadband connection and you will not have to wait anywhere 🙂

  105. I knew my comment will invite flames, but never thought it will be this pathetic.
    @Hawkeye: You say I am stupid because of my comment, I say you are stupid because of your comment…the arguement continues…without logic, and simply personal name calling…but then, that is something you won’t understand…because it must have been very normal to you to ‘suck up to your TM’ for an onsite????? Gosh…is that how you landed up there?

    @Rohan: Thanks for the sympathies. And I of course sympathise with you NRIs who are oh-so-concerned about India and doing so much in spite of being away from home…sniff sniff…wish every country had a son like you. However, your synpathies are a bit misplaced as I have never needed to answer a single call from US/UK/wherever…the call I alluded to are conference calls which, just to enlighten you (as you really need it), are calls which are scheduled to discuss between people working in different locations, and I have seen my friends being inconvenienced by those late timings, esp when the caller from US/UK is a NRI.

    @GB:
    Here I write a piece about the denial of freedom to individuals because of our tendency to ban anything we don’t like and the nation’s lack of concern for the people it claims to worship and you interpret it as a “depressive post about India’s non-progress“.

    You mean, your post was only about ‘denial of freedom to individuals’? Then how is it that you mentioned ‘600 farmers committing suicide’?

    It’s all very well to be ‘aware’ of a country’s problems, and it is also very well to ‘do a lot’ for a country, but if that were the only criteria to post cynical comments about a country where you don’t live, then we should be asking all the CEOs of multi-national companies who invested in India, on their opinions about India, and act on them.

  106. @Sanjay:
    You pay couple thousand rupees as taxes and you pore your anger out here on this forum.

    I did not ‘pore my anger’, I simply replied to your warped observation that : Not to forget only 2% of Indians who live in India really pay any taxes and majority of those 2% have LIC, NSC and various other means to avoid paying taxes.

    Hope you get that, somehow.

    And GB:
    And Sanjay, for heaven’s sake, do get a tax lawyer before you tangle with super-patriots like Apu.

    You need not be patronising just because one comment didn’t tell you that you have written a great post. And, I never ever mentioned anything about being patriotic. All I did was mention that as you guys don’t live in a country aka India, you have as much right as commenting about a country, as any other non-indian in the whole world.

  107. @Apu Even though the cynical comments are definitely not in order, your comments do provoke a strong reaction. NRIs have definitely pumped in a lot of money in India (for their own interests surely) but it has boosted the economy. And that goes a long way in helping India grow. Also the conference calls you mention are not always related to NRIs are they? I have been in a lot of telecons and mostly it is the US and UK ppl who create issues because they are not willing to work late/early. Indians on the other hand are much more helpful when it comes to such calls in my experience.
    To reiterate what I have been saying, it is not fair to make a blanket statement about NRIs/RIs on any issue. Patriotism should be attributed to individuals and not to specific class of people.

  108. @gb: ok. lets try this a 3rd time. I take your point on my choice of words. its *understood*. if you want to avoid answering questions raised…hey thats cool too! your life.

    as for me accepting your points, sure, answer the questions I raised- over a discussion, and i shall sit corrected. with gratitude.

    @rahul: agree totally.

    @sanjay: “Really ?? Care to explain how this is ‘common sense’ please ?”

    nope, sorry! but for everything else…when was the last time you went to india? and your point assumes that these 15 indian channels (what package do you have!) that you receive are perfect in reporting. and if that is true, that sort of blows the whole point of the discussion. same for the news websites. As requested before, pls share your sources that keep you better informed.

    besides, your example falls short of saying anything. like i had mentioned, local issues are only known by ppl directly concerned..so just as Kalahandi-issues may not be known across the country – your strike info was not as well known to ppl elsewhere….so what was your point again?

  109. Rahul, I agree with you about not being fair in a blanket statement. But, I really don’t like the way the NRIs go on and on about how India could not have done without their money, efforts, etc. And also, the way, most of them are so cynical about India.
    However, about concalls…it was written simply in an answer to the statement:
    A lot of those NRIs are ……. sometimes working all night to be in synch with the Indian teams by Dipanjan.

    Hope that clarifies my stand.

    And, as I stated before, I was not commenting about patriotism, I was simply observing about the cynicism in a post by a person who does not stay in India.

  110. GB,

    “@Mohan: Very nice. How do you know that NRIs do not enjoy themselves in US?”

    Know as in know it for a fact? No, I don’t. As I said, it is based on my observations – of some of my close relatives (brother, sil, cousins), friends, classmates, co-workers etc who are living there. I myself have stayed there long enough to know what life is like there and what one feels. So, based on talking to these people and also on my own experience, I do think that this sense of loss does exist to a large extent. Some of them admit it openly, some you glean through the comments they make, the kind of things they long for etc. It becomes more acute at times of family functions, festivals etc. I don’t know about you, but in my circle there is usually atleast one function every other month and probably 5-6 major festivals a year, which means they have this acute sense of loss for a week every month or so.

    “Let me make it clear. I do not think NRIs are any more/any less patriotic (in general) than those in India.”

    Actually, I disagree with that. Feelings like patriotism etc can come only when your stomach is full. Since half the Indians are too preoccupied with where their next meal is going to come from and don’t have time for all these hi-fi concepts like patriotism, I would say that on average NRIs are likely to be more patriotic than resident Indians. As I said in my piece, I don’t think NRI’s have anything against India per se. It is just that because of a combination of factors (heightened sensitivity, distorted view through news media and having a negative image helping them feel better about their decision), they tend to have a negative image of India.

  111. GB: Here I write a piece about the denial of freedom to individuals because of our tendency to ban anything we don’t like and the nation’s lack of concern for the people it claims to worship

    Apu: You mean, your post was only about ‘denial of freedom to individuals’? Then how is it that you mentioned ‘600 farmers committing suicide’?

    The sentence you are responding to has an ‘and’ in it. ‘600 farmers committing suicide’ relates to the second part of that sentence.

    My original comment, if you re-read, was a qualified one. In response you blast all NRIs without defining the term. Just to take the example of US, a NRI could be on F1,L1,H1,H4,permanent resident, US citizen and dual citizen status with or without an intention of returning to India. In a lot of cases, they themselves are not sure about their long-term intentions and sometimes those intentions change over a period of time. It is a very large and complex demographics. On the basis of your limited interactions, if you shout, resort to extreme generalization, define their rights to comment about India, you are not likely to get the most reasonable responses.

    A couple of personal tech industry anecdotes I alluded to in my original comment.

    I worked for Microsoft Windows 2000 dev team in Redmond in late nineties and have first-hand experience of how the old-timer Indian devs and dev managers influenced the decisions of setting up Microsoft India and the decisions to move which product lines at what pace. No, they did not go through an outsourcing company. BillG, SteveB and BrianV had their trusted Indian aides hired in Redmond in late-eighties and early nineties. Those guys had proved themselves at a time when India was primarily a land of snake-charmers in American mindset. Some of them relocated to India, some of them continued to stay in Redmond and manage the teams remotely.

    I am in bay area now and manage an engineering team for a mid-size software company. Half of my team is in India and right now I am on IM with them. Do you want a screenshot? My wife has worked for Oracle and Cisco in bay area and I have friends in most of the major bay area tech companies. It’s not just me who work late to stay in touch with India teams. Even if you look at the business models of the consulting companies, bulk of their businesses come from US and the account managers are often NRIs. Narayana Murthy was a NRI in France for years before he founded Infosys. Most of the smaller tech consulting and product development outsourcing companies had initial NRI connections to secure overseas customer accounts and maintain onsite technical presence.

    As I said before, one could argue how much of this, if anything at all, has to do with NRI patriotism, what kind of patriotism is that – pop/feel-good or constructive, whether India would be better off if all of these people decided to stay in India. But you are not setting the right tone for that kind of discussion. If you think by shouting, you can stop us from commenting about India when we still carry Indian passports and our family, investments and direct reports are there, you are mistaken.

  112. @Apu I tend to agree with you mostly but I would like to make a different point too. If you look around you, you will find that not only NRIs but also many of the RI population being cynical about India. I remember numerous such discussions with my friends related to the shortfalls of this country. So is it wrong that the same people talk about patriotism? IMO not in all the cases. Sometimes this cynicism stems out of the love for one’s country too. The desire in one’s mind to see a better India which it definitely deserves to be. Just a thought…

  113. All this “NRIs come back to India, work here” is bullshit. As one of my friends pointed out in his broken english, “Today lot of Indians, America has a mini India, tommorow many more Indians, America becomes India. So keep going to America.”

    The concept of nation-states have failed. I think it never made any sense, too much of power is placed in the hands of too few. There was no India before the British came, north east was never a part of India, they are a different people, different race. It is time that we stop thinking about how great a nation we can be, how powerful, how rich. Start thinking about people, people are dying here in India and people die there in Rawanda too. Are they suffering any less than us, maybe we don’t have enough resources to help all of them, but that should be our goal . Why stop at India, why not see the whole world as our own. If a developed India is our final goal, then what is wrong with the terrorist who sees J&K as his nation, he wants it independent from India. He is in war with rest of the India.

  114. Soubhagya Dash :

    What was your point after 10,000 lines of rant ?

    Is it :

    1. The govt., media, the Congress Party all are great and we should not write blogs criticizing them.

    2. RT was praising King George and therefore not that great.

    Now we have heard that in another GB’s post as well. So would spare us your repetitative rants in future.

  115. @Mohan:

    Read kindly:

    In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata [ed. God of Destiny] of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India’s chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George.

    This “age after age” refers to pre-British times….I hope you understand. And then Tagore makes it clear that it cannot be ANY George. Now by steadfastly keeping on saying that Tagore composed this song for King George is basically saying Tagore is a liar. As to Godess, God etc Tagore himself belonged to Brahma Samaj where the concept of God was gender-neutral, omniprescent, a powerful being who controls man’s destiny. Which is what “Bharata Bhagya Vidhata” is.

    Again no matter how many times I say this, you are not going to accept. Not that I expect you to. And yes you “believe” so because what you say stands directly against reason. Just like the 72 virgins. Which however may be true. Just like Tagore’s obsequiousness.

    Government raising the LCD? How? Education–perhaps. But the issue here is not education: it is sensitivity. It is to feel the pain of others. Dont think the government can instil that. Nor should it try to.

    DD didnt talk about Kalahandi because it was a political issue that’s why. Internalizing Amartya Sen, famines are often as much caused by shortage of food as by lack of information flow. Now about the floods and Padmabhushan, all that I can infer is that there were two items that national radio covered that the private channels did not.

    So?

    I am not arguing for pulling the plug on DD. Let DD transmit flood-warnings and details of ministerial activity. However it should not force others to carry the same thing or try to “regulate” what the free Indian people can see or not see.

    @Rahul: I am not saying Independence Day is a sham. I am just saying jingoism is bad especially when we utter “Jai Kisan” without really understanding what it means.

    @Ali: Totally agree about the tax part. My point exactly.

    @Apu: You didnt think it would be this pathetic? Nawwww……

    Now since you think others like Rohan need to be enlightened let me , (copied from Dipanjan’s comment), point out what I said:

    GB: Here I write a piece about the denial of freedom to individuals because of our tendency to ban anything we don’t like and the nation’s lack of concern for the people it claims to worship

    APU: You mean, your post was only about ‘denial of freedom to individuals’? Then how is it that you mentioned ‘600 farmers committing suicide’?

    Did you notice, amidst your hysteria, the word AND ?

    This below is what you said.

    APU: And, I never ever mentioned anything about being patriotic. All I did was mention that as you guys don’t live in a country aka India, you have as much right as commenting about a country, as any other non-indian in the whole world.

    Now I hope you understand short sentences without the use of conjunctions. So here goes:

    I am an Indian citizen.

    An Indian passport holder.

    I have every right to comment upon my country. Same as someone like you.

    The fact that you sit in India makes you in no ways different from me. No matter what you would like to believe.

    Capiche?

    And to end it all: I, an NRI (by your defn), used to have telecons with people in India where they would take the calls at 5 in the afternoon and I take them at 7 in the morning on cold Michigan mornings. Not from the goodness of my heart. But because that what was done in the company.

    And when you say that its the evil NRIs who schedule telecons to inconvenience your “friends”—you only reveal a loathing of NRIs which I can only believe originates not from logic but from something else. Hawkeye thought it is “the green-eyed monster” aka jealousy. I consciously desist from affirming that (it’s Hawkeyes POV) but do repeat that it does not stem from logic.

    @Dam: Cant agree that the concept of nation states has failed. However that’s a big orthogonal discussion in itself.

  116. @GB: Apu indirectly uses ‘qualification to talk about xyz issue’ argument. why by definition is used by retards and lacks logic inherently. I wanted to point out this lack of logic in Apu albeit less politely than you have done. I have seen people like Apu, who would have moved from a ‘village’/native place to a city for work and would assume all right to comment on the state of their native place. But will not have the sense to apply similar logic to other similar transitions.

    The bottomline is Apu wants exclusivity to comment on ‘India’. He/she will do anything, use any loophole to get him that right for such exclusivity. In this case it happened to be ‘u dont live in india at the moment’ kind of ‘qualification’. if Apu were talking to movie actors, he would use the ‘u dont pay taxes/ u dont know the travails of the common man’ argument.

    My views on qualification are fundamentally different. What Apu says I translate to this logic – the Apus of the world will ask if you need to be an eye doctor (if u need to comment on india) you need to wear glasses (u need to be in india), otherwise how will you know what the problem is (ditto)

    this argument leads to obvious self-defeating corrollary if are an eye doctor with glasses – if u can’t cure yourself – how can you cure others (if u cant see from-an-other-country POV how will you evaluate Resident-Indian POV – aka if u cant see dark how will u know light)

    Its like mutating qualifcations. I have to be like Lord Vishnu with one leg on the earth, one on the sky and one on apu’s head to be fully qualified to answer him. Or at least an eye doctor with contact lens who can lie at will.

  117. @Rahul “I am very pleased to tell you that the days of waiting in queues in Netcafe are long over there.”

    I wish I coule say that about Jampot when I was in India in early 2005. Ranchi being the state capital has its own advantage. And you are quite wrong on “we send money to India because returns are higher” – Sorry it is true only to some extent and not entirely. A lot of us send money so that our family back home can spend it. 🙂 Same goes for real-estate.

  118. To quote Ravi, “Where’s KANK review?”
    Not being part of the “intelligent/siya/ia/sia”, we tend to focus on the bigger issues.
    Leave GB alone. He needs all the energy to endure another SK hamfest.

  119. @Apu,

    Bottomline…everyone has a right to crib about everything in this world, but when you have run away to seek your fortune elsewhere, you have no right to criticize the existing system….it is like me sitting here in India, and getting depressed by the US traffic system, which doesn’t influence me in any way. It’s ditto for you NRIs.

    Brilliant Analogy!!!

    Cheers,
    HP

  120. hello NRIs!

    I envy that you live in a better environment — aesthetically pleasing workplaces, maybe a wonderful residential neighbourhood, a 18 hole golf club for weekends, supermarkets and malls where your paycheck allows you to pick up beluga caviar and Hermes scarves…. and last but not least– terrific schools for your kids.

    I am stuck with potholed roads, daily worries about cooking gas and how to make the money go further.

    But in my heart of hearts I know that people like Gb made it out there ‘cos he had superior grey matter and the tenacity to work.

    And why can’t he criticize his country of origin?

    It is like because I now live in Barrackpore, 35 kms from Calcutta, I should not deplore the waterlogging in Taratola (I used to live nearby)?

    I think that, whether we want it or not, an informed person IS a global citizen.

    It is the media that brings horror stories to the attention and makes us aware of the fragility of our daily existence.

    I am glad I am not an Iraqi mother
    I am glad I am not a Hutu/Tutsi living in Rwanda.
    I am glad I do not live in Lebanon.
    I am glad I only have to worry about potholed roads and money.

    Should I not celebrate Independence Day?

  121. @Apu,

    Bottomline…everyone has a right to crib about everything in this world, but when you have run away to seek your fortune elsewhere, you have no right to criticize the existing system….it is like me sitting here in India, and getting depressed by the US traffic system, which doesn’t influence me in any way. It’s ditto for you NRIs.

    The analogy is meaningless… Its like a person sitting in Hyaderabad (and eating local biriyani), tries to read anandabazar or thinks about his/her parents – he would be called a fool. .. Is that what you mean Apu ?

  122. Wow! Arnab man, thats a huge load of comments!
    The Indian is Argumentative for sure!

    You are a very patient man ( bordering on masochism in the case of this particular blog entry )

  123. I dunno if I am late to the debate, just have a few points to make :

    Brother Apu:

    NRI, RI – I dont understand what the fuss is about. People just want to make a living. Whether they are NRI or RI is immaterial. As long as they follow the laws of the land, whatever that land may be, thats good enough for me. India’s enemies are muslim separatists, rabid socialists, militant trade unionists, leftist extremists and most of all, the jholawalas from JNU. Last heard, they were all RIs. Apu, my fellow RI friend, I hope you realise that. Fight the real enemy. NRIs are our friends, as long as they are not commies.

    —-

    Greatbong/Arnab :

    While I have complete contempt for the RI vs NRI debate, your commet about ASHA and AID caught my eye :

    “I do not think NRIs are any more/any less patriotic (in general) than those in India. There are many “NRIs” who do excellent work in India: volunteers of organizations like AID and ASHA who not only raise funds here through programmes like “Shramadan” but also go to India and oversee the disbursal of the funds, working with NGOs there.”

    No Arnab, you are not helping India by donating to ASHA and AID. ASHA and AID make no secret of their leftist leanings, are known to fund naxalites or leftist terrorist organisations working to create a liberated ‘Red Corridor’ through middle India, stretching from Nepal to Hyderabad. Recently the folks supported by AID/ASHA money killed 40 tribals for collaborating with the hated Indian State. Less said about Sandeep Pandey, the head of ASHA, the better. The dude wants freedom for Kashmir, liberation of the North-East, forceful eviction of MNCs, banning of private enterprise and stuff like that. AID is also known to be full of christian fanatic volunteers, whose main purpose is soul harvesting.

    Look – if you NRIS (or RIs) really wanna help out poor kids in India, donate to IDRF or hindu organisations such as Ramkrishna Mission, Chinmaya Mission, okay….. or keep your money in our pocket. Most NGOs in India are corrupt and exploitative, run by ant–national, anti-hindu commies.

    There is a lot of material on the internet about the anti-India, anti-hindu proclivities of AID, ASHA, CRY and like minded leftist NGOs. You guys can get that with a little google searching. If you want me to get you the links, I will be happy to do so next time I log in.

  124. Swati : “But in my heart of hearts I know that people like Gb made it out there ‘cos he had superior grey matter and the tenacity to work.”

    Swati – I hope you realise what a self-loathing argument that is. Flawed as well.

    Perhaps what you say would be true in the 1960s and 70s, during the dark socialist era, when the cream of the crop in India used to migrate abroad because of lack of oppotunities. But that is no longer the case. Technology has made geography redundant, especially in the hi-tech industry.

    Just like there are all sorts of RIs Swati, there are all sorts of NRIs. Some smart, others dumb. You would be insulting a lot of my fellow RIs here in B’lore if you tell us we are in any way inferior to the folks across the 7 seas with who we interact on a daily basis.

    I hope you will grow out of your inferiority complex some day. I have a problem with people like Apu – who thinks NRIs are scum, and also with people like yourself, who think NRIs are some how innately superior.

  125. one more thing… i have lost touch with the discussion but…. india is not perfect, far from… neither are all the countries where NRIs have seen fit to settle… we don’t live in a perfect world… so there…

    n yes, happy independence day

  126. Raj: I totally agree with the unnecessary conflict part
    But in your argument, where you say that AID India and ASHA are corrupt and *hindu* NGOs are not, you begin to sound sectarian yourself. So yes, do provide the links.

  127. GB,

    “This “age after age” refers to pre-British times….I hope you understand.”

    I do.

    “And then Tagore makes it clear that it cannot be ANY George. Now by steadfastly keeping on saying that Tagore composed this song for King George is basically saying Tagore is a liar.”

    Except, I am not saying that. All I am saying is Tagore may have had his God in mind, but he wrote it in such a way that it is also applicable to King George so that it can be used to wlecome him. Are you saying the song doesn’t make sense if we read it as addessing King George?
    It makes perfect sense. We run into difficulties only when we try to make sense of it as being addressed to God. Is it Bharat Mata? No, it is addressed to a male. Ok, it must be the Brahmo concept of God then – an omnipotent being. But then why sing jaya gaaatha’s to God? (Note that silkboard blog also raises the same point). And if it is a genderless nameless being, then where does “tava shubha naame” come into picture? And also, does Tagore seriously believe that entire India is siging praises of this Brahmo God?

    I seriously object to your characterisation of my argument as a religious belief. Being an atheist I have no beliefs, no articles of faith that I won’t give up if persuaded by facts and logic. So, I don’t see why I should hold on to some belief about an unimportant matter like Tagore.

  128. Sach : “But in your argument, where you say that AID India and ASHA are corrupt and *hindu* NGOs are not, you begin to sound sectarian yourself. So yes, do provide the links.”

    My knowledge and opinion of NGOs like AID, ASHA, CRY – which are left leaning, are influenced by my study of the material pertaining to them on the internet, which is enormous. Nobody fed the links to me, nobody fed the information. I used simple google search.

    Instead of asting my time and yours by calling me names, (sectarian ?) , you will be better served by doing dome google searching yourself. Internet is free for all.

    But here are a few links to set you off. :

    —————

    Visit this site for a primer on AID :

    http://www.aidindia.info/
    —————————

    http://communismwatch.blogspot.com/ is a source I like a lot. Lots of info in that particular blog, go through it at leisure.

    >>
    Several findings have clearly demonstrated that Association for India’s Development (AID) is in fact a left leaning, virulently anti-Hindu and a politically steered orgnization.

    Most of its student run chapters have unsuspecting volunteers, being (mis)used at the hands of AID leadership.

    From raising money for Pakistan visits to providing relief ONLY to Muslim Gujrat riot victims without donating a even a penny for Kashmiri terror victims, to organizing “Allah will destroy India” campaigns to demonizing India in the International media – all are spearheaded by AID and affiliate ASHA leadership.

    Moreover, these organizations are guided by all the known ultra leftists Indo-American/UK political outfits.

    ———-
    http://tinyurl.com/88nws

    Open letter to Dr. Sandeep Pandey
    – Anonymous Former AID donor.

    I am not a rich person by any standards. But like most Indians, I was (and still am) concerned about the plight of the millions in India further down on the economic scale. When I first came to the US for grad school, my earnings were by no means substantial, but I felt that it was important to contribute towards India’s development and did not think twice about foregoing my own comforts. Like many of my colleagues and friends, I decided that rather than complain about the problems facing India, I would try to do something about them. I volunteered my time and donated a part of my earnings to local charity organizations including AID and ASHA, two of the most active organizations on campus that I believed were doing development work in India. Although I no longer contribute to these organizations, I am distressed to hear reports that AID has been diverting funds for other purposes, including funding fundamentalist and political groups in India.[1] There is more to be said about these groups and their activities, but that is not the focus of this article.

    Dr. Sandeep Pandey probably needs no introduction. The founder of the US-based ASHA for Education (ASHA), Dr. Pandey moved back to India in the 90s to take up social work full-time. He is the recipient of the Magsaysay Award and has traveled far and wide throughout India as well as the US, campaigning for various causes that he supports and helping raise funds for organizations that he supports, which include the Association for India’s Development (AID) and ASHA. He is also prominent on the lecture circuit in the US and is currently on one such tour, speaking at various AID and ASHA chapters, among other engagements, including one in the Bay Area. It was listening to people like Dr. Pandey and reading about organizations like AID and ASHA that motivated me to start thinking about my fellow citizens back home and got me interested in volunteer work.

    Dr. Sandeep Pandey, to whom my questions are addressed, is considered by many to be a true Gandhian devoted to the Mahatma’s ideals of peaceful co-existence and non-violent struggle.

    In the past few years, I have been disturbed by reports of Dr. Pandey’s association with terrorist groups and shady organizations. I have been disturbed to note that ASHA and AID have been sharing the stage with obscurantist Muslim organizations in the US and fundamentalist left-wing groups in India. I am distressed to hear reports that these organizations have been diverting funds. Much of this has been under the guise of promoting “secularism,” although strangely, ASHA and AID rarely work with Hindu organizations in India, even though Hindus form more than 80 percent of Indian population.

    As a past donor to ASHA and AID, two organizations that Dr. Pandey works with, I would like to take this opportunity to ask him some questions. I have observed that most volunteers of ASHA and AID are decent people, truly interested in the development of India and the upliftment of its poor and downtrodden. But I also know that several of them share my concerns and have questions similar to mine. Several donors to these organizations have also expressed similar sentiments. I am sure all of them would also like to hear Dr. Pandey’s answers.

    1. Dr. Pandey, who is sponsoring your present tour of the USA? How much expenditure does it incur? Don’t you think that the money spent on this tour could have been better used to help poor people in India instead?

    2. Dr. Pandey, you participated in a meeting honoring Naxalites who have murdered law enforcement officers and civilians.[2] CPI-ML, which organized the meet, has also announced in its publication that you attended the meet and called for revolutionary fronts like CPI-ML to unite.[3] You claim to be a Gandhian. Could you please explain how a Gandhian could support Naxalite terrorist organizations?

    3. Dr. Pandey, CPI-ML, whose conference you attended, calls for armed revolution and for raising an army.[4] Is it not hypocrisy to claim that you are a Gandhian but still attend CPI-ML conferences that call for armed revolution?[5] How does the violent and fundamentalist ideology of groups like CPI-ML fit into your self-professed Gandhian ideals? Do you wear one mask in front of American donors and volunteers and another in front of violent CPI-ML activists?

    4. Dr. Pandey, many ASHA donors and volunteers live in America and some are even US citizens. You have called America “the biggest evil power on earth”[6] and “the biggest terrorist state.”[7] If so, why do you and ASHA, which you founded, raise funds from the USA?

    5. Dr. Pandey, while you have no qualms about calling a democratic state like America terrorist, you have never used such words for real terrorists like the Al Qaeda and Taliban. In fact, you turned into an apologist for Al Qaeda in an interview you gave to a Muslim newspaper in the aftermath of the 9/11 massacre. Even though it had been proven that it was Al Qaeda terrorists who carried out the attacks you claimed that nobody knew who perpetrated the crime.[8] Could you please explain why you chose to whitewash a terrorist crime but didn’t take side with American victims?

    6. Dr. Pandey, in the same interview, you also expressed support for Kashmiri separatism. But you have never expressed your support for and sympathies with Kashmiri Pandits, who are victims of Islamic terrorism. The entire Kashmiri Pandit community of more than 700,000 was ethnically cleansed from Kashmir and nearly 400,000 of them languish in refugee camps. Why did you not ever support the victims but instead supported the oppressors?

    7. Dr. Pandey, the newspaper mentioned above has sympathized with the Taliban.[9] Do you agree with their Taliban sympathies? If not, why would a person like you, who calls himself a Gandhian, disseminate his views through such media channels, implicitly giving them credibility?

    8. Dr. Pandey, recently you wrote an opinion editorial for Al Jazeerah, where you demanded the release of an alleged Muslim criminal charged with abducting a woman.[10] Would you please explain why you opted to associate with a media outlet that has openly expressed anti-Semitic hatred and has been credibly accused of being connected to terrorist groups including Al Qaeda? Al Jazeerah has no circulation in India. Yet you chose it among several possible venues to publish your opinion on an issue concerning an alleged petty criminal from India. And perhaps even more surprisingly, Al Jazeerah published your piece. Which audience were you appealing to? What is your connection with Al Jazeerah?

    9. Dr. Pandey, you have participated in several conferences and meetings organized by ASHA and AID in support of Muslim victims of the Gujarat riots. AID and ASHA have never organized any meeting, seminar, conference, or campaign in support of Hindu victims anywhere, but several other groups have organized such events in solidarity with victims of Islamic terrorism in Kashmir. Why have you never participated in or even expressed your support for such events? Do you think Hindu victims do not deserve sympathy? Would you urge ASHA and AID to make amends and sponsor events to express support for the Hindu victims of Islamic terrorism in Kashmir and Bangladesh?

    10. Dr. Pandey, as mentioned above, ASHA and AID have never sponsored an event in support of Hindu victims of terrorism and ethnic cleansing. But they have sponsored extremely sectarian events in association with groups such as the Indian Muslim Council USA (IMC-USA).[11] One of the key speakers in one such convention was Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqi who founded the banned Islamic terrorist organization, Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).[12] Would you be willing to publicly state that ASHA and AID should not associate with such organizations?

    11. Dr. Pandey, would you be willing to ask ASHA and AID to co-sponsor events with Hindu organizations like the Ramakrishna Mission, Sathya Sai Organization, and ISKCON Bangalore which do exceptional charitable work all over India and serves poor people everywhere without regard to religion, caste, or language?

    12. Dr. Pandey, last but not the least, do you unequivocally and without reservation denounce Communist and Islamic terrorism? Will you publicly denounce Communist and Islamic terrorist organizations?

    13. Dr. Pandey, during the tsunami fund raiser, AID channeled funds through the Democratic youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which has been implicated for fomenting violence.[13] The AID website also reported this. However, when the news became public, and people started to express reservation over AID’s funding of communist outfits like DYFI, AID started removing the references to the diversion from its website.[14] Do you think what AID did was ethical? Would you publicly condemn AID for diverting charity funds to outfits that engage in violence?

    Politicians mouth vacuous platitudes and resort to high-pitched rhetoric when confronted with difficult questions that raise specific and serious concerns. I hope Dr. Pandey will provide honest and direct answers to all these questions, and not evade them like a politician who has something to hide. He should do so, if not for my sake, at least for the sake of volunteers and donors who are concerned about where their time, dedication, and hard-earned money are going.

    Most importantly, please do not repeat your evasive reply that had you been a Communist, Magsaysay Foundation would not have conferred the award on you. These awards do not negate such associations. After all, you would agree that Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Prize for peace despite his track record as the leader of dreaded terrorist groups. Please answer the questions honestly and directly so that the volunteers and donors of ASHA and AID could evaluate you.

    Yours truly,

    A former donor

    [Name withheld because of security concerns, and given the track record of terrorist groups which Dr. Pandey has been associated with].

    ———————-

    “Sandeep Pandey at Naxalite Conference”:

    http://www.cpiml.org/liberation/year_2003/january/feature.htm

    ————————–

    “Sandeep Pandey and Naxalite Terror”:

    “CPI-ML faction to honour kin of 1000 Naxalites”, http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/nov/15naxal.

    “Caste War and Red Terror”, http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/6253_249856,0009.htm

    ——————

    I can spoon feed you such links about AID and ASHA for eternity. There is no dearth of material on them. I suggest you start looking yourself.

    If opposing blatantly anti-India, anti-hindu bodies such as AID and ASHA that openly support and fund leftist terrorism, which according to the Indian Prime Minister in his latest independence say speech is ‘the greatest threat to India’ , make me ‘sectarian’ or ‘communal’ , so be it.

    Yes. I will always support hindu NGOs or religious bodies involved in social work because my parents are involved in many either as volunteers or donors , and I know first hand what a wonderful task they are doing.

  129. “Sandeel Pandy at AID Retreat”:

    http://www.geocities.com/aid_india_info/doc8.pdf

    “Sandeep Pandey and Naxalite Terror”:

    “CPI-ML faction to honour kin of 1000 Naxalites”, http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/nov/15naxal.

    “Caste War and Red Terror”, http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/6253_249856,0009.htm

    “Yet another report AID admitting to funding DYFI”:

    http://www.geocities.com/aid_india_info/doc9.pdf

    “Yet another claim that it has no long term plans with DYFI”:

    “Letter: Tirade against AID is baseless”, from Indian Herald Newspaper

    “And, AID Does another Flip Flop, says it adopts two villages with DYFI and SFI”:

    “This will also slip away from public memory”, http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/jan/03amit3.htm

    “AID decides to fund Sandeep Pandey’s march to Pakistan”:

    http://www.geocities.com/aid_india_info/IndoPakPeaceMarch_FundingRequest.pdf

    “Sandeep Pandey’s Naxalite/Maoist Group, CPI(ML) talks using illegal and extra parliamentary forms of struggle and organisation”:

    http://www.cpiml.org/pgs/partyprogram/prog.htm

    ———

    Document: Article in a Houston weekly accuses AID of “AIDing & abetting communists””. Link to the article
    Excerpt:

    AID is also working with the Students Federation of India (SFI) to rebuild two villages in Tamil Nadu. SFI is the student wing (not to be confused with the “youth” wing: DYFI) of the CPI-M, and it has been involved in not only violent and criminal activities like DYFI, but has even displayed treacherous tendencies. Here’s another list detailing some of the “grassroots” activities of SFI:

    In December, 2004, SFI voted against a resolution condemning China for repeatedly showing Arunachal Pradesh as not being a part of India at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union meeting. In August, 2002, SFI cadres beat up students belonging to Rabindra Bharati University for being “inappropriately dressed”. In July, 2002, SFI students were allegedly behind an article appearing in a college magazine in Kerala that praised Osama bin Laden as the “crusader of the poor Muslims the world over”. In September, 2001, 31 SFI activists were arrested on charges of “public property destruction, unlawful assembly and violation of the Explosives Act”.

    For more info, visit: http://www.geocities.com/aid_india_info/AID_DOC.html

    ——–

    [e] “AID claims it does not fund DYFI”:

    http://www.geocities.com/aid_india_info/doc6.pdf

    [f] “But, AID Does Fund DYFI”:

    http://www.geocities.com/aid_india_info/doc5.pdf

    and original document at

    http://www.medicointernational.de/projekte/seebeben03.asp

    ———-

    You will like this > AID and ASHA also have a thing for bros across the border :

    AID/ASHA/FOSA stand behind “Allah will destroy terrorist state of India”:

    http://www.friendsofsouthasia.org/events/indpakpeace

    http://www.pakalliance.org/html/ny_protest.html

    “AID with Taliban supporting Islamist, Khaleem Khawaja”

    http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/01032002/0103200254.htm

    “AID with CAIR”:

    http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

    http://www.danielpipes.org/article/394

    http://www.danielpipes.org/394.pdf

    —————————————–

    “Strategic Partnership with CPI(M)”:

    My tour started from Chennai, the capital city of the province of Tamil Nadu. There I met Mr. M.A. Devdas, office coordinator of the Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF) and then with the Director of an NGO called AID India (Action for India’s Development). The groups associated with the CPM and the All India Peoples Science Movement have reached a strategic alliance with AID by implementing relief measures and taking up mid and long term rehabilitation work. While the material purchase and construction is done by AID, the human power is provided by over a thousand volunteers of the AIPSN, SFI (Students Federation of India), DYFI (Democratic Youth Federation of India), AIDWA (All India Democratic Women’s Association) and TNSF itself.

    http://www.alternatives.ca/article1657.htm

    —————-

    Social Movements to Totalitarianism

    The role of NGOs
    http://www.india-forum.com/articles/101/1/Social-Movements-to-Totalitarianism

  130. Raj — “Look – if you NRIS (or RIs) really wanna help out poor kids in India, donate to IDRF or hindu organisations such as Ramkrishna Mission, Chinmaya Mission, okay….. or keep your money in our pocket. Most NGOs in India are corrupt and exploitative, run by ant–national, anti-hindu commies.”

    Right, now comes the hindu brigade. I was wondering where it was after a post on independence and 160 comments.

    And amazing generalizations and logic. Correct my thinking — Let’s say I am anti-national. Ok, so the first thing I do is set up an NGO to help poor kids and tribals. Wow, we need more anti-nationals like these.

  131. Dipanjan : “And amazing generalizations and logic. Correct my thinking — Let’s say I am anti-national. Ok, so the first thing I do is set up an NGO to help poor kids and tribals. Wow, we need more anti-nationals like these. ”

    NGOs that are run by those leaning towards the left like ASHA and AID are definitely anti-national. It is their ideology that drives them to be anti-national. If their intentions were merely to help poor kids and tribals, nobody would have had a problem. But I do wonder who funding maoist extremists and leftist student bodies is ‘helping poor and tribals’. Infact only a month back, 40 tribals in Chattisgarh were killed by naxalites. Do read up the links I have given above that explore the links between NGOs like ASHA (and its hero Sadndeep Pandey in particular) and AID have with leftist extremists.

    The fact that leftist extremists are the biggest threat to India was acknowleged by India’s Prime Minister himself, in his recent I-DAY speech.

  132. Put NGOs under RTI scalpel

    by Sandhya Jain

    The $50,000 Magsaysay Award was recently conferred upon Arvind Kejriwal, a former Indian Revenue Service officer campaigning for the Right to Information (RTI). Though several Indians have received this prize from Philippines, not many citizens are aware that this is actually an American award for Asians. Set up by the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, most of the purse comes from the Ford Foundation.

    The citation does not say when Mr Kejriwal resigned from service, but mentions his association with Parivartan, an entity campaigning for RTI. Mr Kejriwal was in service when he was with Parivartan, which is not a registered NGO (a Society, Trust, or S.25 Company). Under income tax, it is an Association of Persons (AoP), a coming together of persons with a profit-motive so that members can share its income, unlike in a registered society. The Parivartan website conceals its AoP, barring one Manish Sisodia (part-time volunteer, founder-member and treasurer), and terms of association, yet demands a level of transparency from governmental agencies that is not in vogue anywhere in the world.

    In a timely study on some of India’s most exalted conscience-keepers, Radha Rajan and Krishen Kak argue for public scrutiny of those who hold society or government to ransom, usually at the behest of foreign sponsors (NGOs, Activists & Foreign Funds. Anti-Nation Industry, Vigil Public Opinion Forum, 2006). Kak’s meticulous research shows that in FY 2002-03, Parivartan showed receipts for Rs 2,02,489 (Rs 2,01,889 are donations); the total expenditure is Rs 1,88,164, of which salaries take Rs 1,14,000. The only ‘programme cost’ is Rs 35,945 on a ‘jan sunwai’ public hearing), and the rest is standard administrative expense.

    However, Parivartan claims its annual fixed costs are approximately Rs six lakh, and programme costs are “partly funded through collections from the community itself including poor people and the shortfall is made good by raising funds from outside”. Its website does not say if these funds are included in the receipts statement and if receipts are issued for small sums given by poor people. Yet it wants to make the Government of India accountable to itself on behalf of the “people of India”.

    Radha Rajan argues that many high-profile NGOs serve America’s vision of a post-Cold-War world order. Hence they advocate ‘communal harmony’ in India even as jihad batters the Hindu community, and promote ‘peace’ with Pakistan despite its formidable terrorist infrastructure. They are essentially political activists using social activism as a mask for their crusade against an independent nationalist India. Thus they are invariably anti-Government of India, anti-military, anti-police, anti-nuclear, and, of course, anti-Hindu.

    America uses the Magsaysay and other awards to legitimise its loyalists. Indian Magsaysay awardees include Mahasweta Devi (1997), Aruna Roy and Martin Macwan (2000), Sandeep Pandey (2002), Nirmala Deshpande and Admiral Ramdas (2005). Then, Praful Bidwai and Achin Vanaik received the Sean Macbride Peace Prize (2000) and Arundhati Roy the Sydney Peace Prize (2004). In neighbouring Nepal, journalist Bharat Koirala got the Magsaysay in 2002 for unleashing the anti-Hindu process there. Today, a Christian Prachanda has taken over the country by terrorising the effete political parties and the king is a virtual prisoner.

    Krishen Kak’s expose of Harsh Mander (Scoring Against Paganism: Untangling the Manderweb) is a warning to the Government about the monetary subversion of serving officers by foreign regimes. In March 2002, Mander, an IAS officer, became an international celebrity when he attacked the communal violence in Gujarat (after 58 Hindus were burnt alive at Godhra) in an article in a leading newspaper. Feted in the West, he claimed he had resigned from the IAS on moral grounds.

    This was a deliberate falsehood, says Kak, as Mander was serving the politico-communal agenda of ActionAid, his British employer. Mander had managed a profitable deputation to ActionAid, getting part payment in pound sterling in return for scuttling a government enquiry into its communal agenda in India.

    Managing to ward off moves to end his deputation, Mander took voluntary retirement only on completing pensionable service. He sought retirement benefits to the tune of up to a million rupees; the Government stipulated that he cease working for ActionAid; he refused and continued demanding retirement benefits. When Kak publicly challenged the lie that he had resigned on moral grounds, Mander quickly modified his rhetoric.

    ActionAid’s communal agenda may well be the inspiration for the UPA’s Sachar Committee, and shows how foreign agendas are wormed into the topmost echelons of power. It recently initiated a study to sensitise the public and civil society activists about “the dismal economic, educational and social conditions of the Muslim masses”. Of course, ActionAid conducted no similar study about Hindu survivors in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    ActionAid used Mander to connect over 300 voluntary agencies. Its patronage extended to Aruna Roy of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) and National Campaign of People’s Right to Information (NCPRI). The MKSS takes foreign institutional support in kind to evade reporting its funds under FCRA. The MKSS-approved Lok Shikshan Sansthan states that FCRA money can be sent to its founder-NGO Prayas or to the Roy-connected SWRC Tilonia “and it would be transferred to our organisation’s account.” Very interesting!

    Kak’s research has uncovered an hitherto unknown entity patronised by Mander-ActionAid. This is the “unstructured organisation”, which solicits public money but does not say if it is registered and how it banks the money. Shabnam Hashmi’s ANHAD (with Mander, KN Panikkar and Shubha Mudgal) is one such body. So is the Aman Ekta Manch, Aman Samudaya, Aman Jathas, Aman Pathiks. Mander’s Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan, funded by ActionAid, does not reveal the names of the core team of eleven professionals, or its accounts.

    The disturbing aspect of these unregistered unstructured organisations is their complete lack of accountability or legal scrutiny regarding foreign donations. Ex-IAS officers and ex-judges often provide respectability and protection to such dubious bodies in return for post-retirement sinecures. It is a vicious and dangerous circle.

    Russia learnt the hard way that unmonitored West-funded NGOs triggered the spate of revolutions in the former Soviet Republics and out them under the scanner. The majesty of the Indian state cannot be subordinated to hupny-tupny rabble-rousers funded by the West. The Government should immediately bring all activists under the RTI scalpel; this will literally scalp them.

    ———————-

    Four-fold menace – A nexus of enveloping evil-VIII

    V SUNDARAM

    The silent influence of books is a mighty power in the World; and there is a joy in reading them known only to those who read them with desire and enthusiasm �� silent, passive and noiseless though they be, they yet set in action countless multitudes and change the order of nations. The recently published book NGOs, ACTIVISTS AND FOREIGN FUNDS – ANTI-NATION INDUSTRY edited by Radha Rajan and Krishen Kak is bound to have a decisive impact upon government policies relating to the functioning of NGOs in India and the flow of foreign funds to the NGOs sector.

    George Thundiparambil’s essay titled CLOSING WORD: Who is afraid of the Hindu nation? has given a graphic description of how many NGOs in India function as instruments of hate and fratricide. To quote his appropriately lethal words in this context: ‘For Indians who are aware of the anti-Hindu agendas of Christian, Islamic and Communist organisations in India and abroad, it is neither shocking nor surprising that numerous NGOs have sprung up throughout the Country, which act as sole-agent for these alien and hostile organisations.’

    The password to international success in the World of NGOs is to choose the flag of Anti-Hindu. Start your career by unleashing a tirade against the Hindus and Hindu civilisation. In order to become an effective and successful mercenary, start an NGO and visit the USA and tell the Christian fundamentalists there what they want to hear: How evil and backward, how superstitious and ignorant the unconverted pagan Hindus are. Compare them with Nazis and then on the way back home, make a stop over in Pakistan and talk ‘peace’ and mention the ‘atrocities’ committed by Indian soldiers in Kashmir. As George Thundiparambil hilariously puts it: Punch the Hindu on the nose whenever you can, and if you have accrued enough points, you will start winning international awards. When the NGO accounts are in the mess, close shop and start another NGO. Nehruvian secularists with Hindu names are preferred for the NGO Industry. THE PASSWORD IS ANTI-HINDU.’

    Nirupama Rajan and Radha Rajan in their essay ‘ASHA PROJECTS: Where does all the money go?’ have carefully and critically analysed the available descriptive and statistical data relating to 1538 projects being implemented by ASHA in India. Most of these projects appear to be vague, undefined, and mysterious. The only point of clarity is in respect of the exact amount of debasing and debauching US dollars received / allotted for each project! The FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) Department in the Union Home Ministry in New Delhi functions as an executive arm of anti-Hindu and anti-Nation agencies like ASHA which are beyond the purview of all scrutiny by all the Enforcement Agencies of the Government of India!

    Under the heading FELLOWSHIPS, many Fellowships have been handed over to many people by ASHA of whom three are Pandeys. Sandeep Pandey himself, Mahesh Pandey and Vallabhacharya Pandey (page 266 of the book under review).

    YEAR 2005 Mahesh Pandey DC chapter $ 3000 The reason for the Fellowship to Mahesh Pandey is explained as follows:

    Project Description:

    This Fellowship support is to allow the Fellow to focus on region’s development through education, income generation, right to information, projects development and co-ordination, site visits to projects, project accounts and audits and other relevant activities in the interest of ASHA for Education.

    YEAR 2005 Vallabacharya Pandey Silicon valley $ 3000 The reason for the Fellowship is stated as follows:

    Purpose/Grant :

    Fellowship of Vallabhai allows immense support of ASHA India and ASHA for Education activities world-wide. Purpose of this Fellowship is to benefit from his capabilities in Projects co-ordination, projects audits and accounting, and monitoring and evaluation activities.

    Comment: While there is at least a brief account on the purpose of the above two fellowships, SANDEEP PANDEY’S own Fellowship comes with no stated purpose or description: (page 267 of the book under review) Is not Sandeep Pandey , like the king of England, definitely above the Law ?.

    Funding info:

    2001 Silicon Valley $ 800.00

    2002 Silicon Valley $ 800.00

    2002 General Funds $ 250.00

    TOTAL = $ 1850.00

    Comment: This is what the Magsaysay Award Citation for Sandeep Pandey had to say: ‘SHA’s teachers take no pay. Instead, they support themselves with sidelines such as making candles and greeting cards from hand-made paper’.

    Sandeep Pandey is the Fuehrer of ASHA. Sandeep Pandey is to the funds of ASHA what Sonia Gandhi is to the funds of the Congress Party. Radha Rajan pays her inimitable tribute to this pseudo secular, anti-Hindu, anti-Nation cosmopolitan and global Leonardo Da Vinci of India in these words’, Sandeep Pandey is a man of many parts, all of them skin-deep and each of them carefully and calculatedly crafted to feed his gargantuan appetite for Mammon. American greenback Mammon, that is. He walks, he talks, he writes, he protests – for his version of ‘peace’ against Indian mukes, for Kashmiri and other terrorists, for the terrorist state of Pakistan, against Hindus and their nationalism, against Coca-Cola and for the ‘poor’ ‘destitute’ children of India who don’t go to school which fact this IIT graduate confesses in an interview to the Milli Gazette, he came to know late in his life, only during his years in the US from a book published by MIT in 1991 titled ‘The Child and The State in India’ Sandeep Pandey has so far picked only those issues for his money-making activism which will keep him in media limelight. As I said, each one of these many parts of Sandeep Pandey is intended to make money from anti-national disruptive activism.

    Skin-deep San-Deep’s activism is intentionally anti-Hindu and anti-Hindu nation which is why the US and its client States, were willingly deceived into patronising the man with awards, media attention, with talking tours in foreign universities and with Magsaysay award. Only now the US establishment has come to know that he is a stooge of the Communist party. Sandeep Pandey, the pseudo educationist, the pseudo social-activist, the peace-activist, the pseudo anti-nuke activist �� all of these pseudo-beards disguise from public gaze �� Sandeep Pandey, the committed and vocal supporter of Marxist-Leninist Naxal terrorism. And skin-deep Sandeep is mortally afraid the false beard may fall off and that his Naxal proclivities may come under the US State Department scanner. That is why Radha Rajan concludes that he is a communist in Blue Funk. Sandeep Pandey by his extraordinary success in the field of activism of NGOs Industry has proven Winston Churchill right who said – A Master Craftsman indeed!! Craft is common both to skill and deceit’.

    The following dangerous conclusions emerge from the point of view of National security from this highly incandescent book NGOs, ACTIVIST AND FOREIGN FUNDS ANTI-NATION INDUSTRY edited by Radha Rajan and Krishen Kak :

    a) The network of anti-Nation, anti-Hindu, NGOs and activists comprising Marxists, Nehruvian Secularists, Muslims and Missionaries is well-entrenched in the US, particularly American universities.

    b) There is a powerful network of donor agencies which include foreign Governments, Foundations, Trusts and other Chuch Charities which work with Marxist and Christian Indian NGOs in India with well-defined political objectives among the Dalits, women and tribal communities within Hindu society.

    c) The Indian Government’s Home Ministry through which all foreign funds must be routed has no fool-proof mechanism to inspect and verify if the projects mentioned by NGOs on paper exist in reality and also to check whether the foreign money received has been used for the purpose for which it was brought in and for no other anti-Nation and anti-social purposes.

    d) The Indian Government has not cared to haul ASHA or Sandeep Pandey over hot Coals for such vaguely mysterious and poor maintenance of their accounts clearly brought by Nirupama Rajan and Radha Rajan .

    e) A safe general inference can be drawn that most of the other dubious NGOs will be no different from ASHA in respect of maintenance of accounts and utilisation of funds.

    f) All these anti-Nation and anti-Hindu NGOs only talk of grassroots activism, which in many cases is only a fig-leaf for political activism. Persons like Sandeep Pandey, Harsh Mander and Aruna Roy, besides the hundreds of Christian and Marxist NGOs associate themselves with several political parties and political agendas, essentially anti-Hindu in character. Foreign funds cannot be used for political activism and there is a Constitutional ban on receiving foreign money for political activities.

    g) If head-count on the basis of religion can be thought of in regard to the Armed Forces, the same approach can also be thought of in regard to the NGOs officially approved by the Union Home Ministry under the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) for purposes of State- sponsored Pseudo-secular Evangelism in India. This head-count will surely bring to the broad sunlight the murky nature of political scoundrelism of the anti-Hindu and anti-Nation UPA Government in New Delhi.

    The Government of India must immediately ensure that a strong and effective organisational machinery is created to keep a continuous watch over the anti-Nation and anti-Hindu NGOs and their cohorts. But to do that, we require a strong, effective and well-meaning patriotic Government �� not the ever faltering and surrogate UPA Government �� that does not depend on these NGOs to campaign in its favour and against its political opponents.

    (Concluded)

    (The writer is a retired IAS officer)

    http://www.newstodaynet.com/2006sud/06aug/0408ss1.htm

    —————————–

    For a highly detailed expose of the anti-national left wing NGO movement, please go through this 8-part series >>

    http://www.boloji.com/analysis2/0128.htm

  133. Raj: you mentioned IDRF in your approved list of NGOs, but according to this ,
    this,this, and this, it too, appears to have some fishy agendas. I say fishy because the actual reporting is less and speculations more.

    At ground level, I am sure that even the volunteers of AID/ASHA do excellent work. So no, this is not a tit-for-tat. I just agree with Sepia Mutiny in that if you have to donate funds, going by the aspersions cast on almost every major NGO here, you better do some research. The point here is that I will have to convince myself when I find some facts. To me more than political leanings of the head of an organization, where the funds go and what are the reasons are more important – it’s India’s development they are concerned about; maybe more like the way human rights function. And thanks, I’ll google them myself.
    Lastly, you will agree that decisions (where should funds go) such as these are not based on a single person’s whims; I am sure even AID/ASHA must be aware of these controversies. I’d like to see what reasons they give before making interpretations.

  134. Put NGOs under RTI scalpel

    by Sandhya Jain

    The $50,000 Magsaysay Award was recently conferred upon Arvind Kejriwal, a former Indian Revenue Service officer campaigning for the Right to Information (RTI). Though several Indians have received this prize from Philippines, not many citizens are aware that this is actually an American award for Asians. Set up by the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, most of the purse comes from the Ford Foundation.

    The citation does not say when Mr Kejriwal resigned from service, but mentions his association with Parivartan, an entity campaigning for RTI. Mr Kejriwal was in service when he was with Parivartan, which is not a registered NGO (a Society, Trust, or S.25 Company). Under income tax, it is an Association of Persons (AoP), a coming together of persons with a profit-motive so that members can share its income, unlike in a registered society. The Parivartan website conceals its AoP, barring one Manish Sisodia (part-time volunteer, founder-member and treasurer), and terms of association, yet demands a level of transparency from governmental agencies that is not in vogue anywhere in the world.

    In a timely study on some of India’s most exalted conscience-keepers, Radha Rajan and Krishen Kak argue for public scrutiny of those who hold society or government to ransom, usually at the behest of foreign sponsors (NGOs, Activists & Foreign Funds. Anti-Nation Industry, Vigil Public Opinion Forum, 2006). Kak’s meticulous research shows that in FY 2002-03, Parivartan showed receipts for Rs 2,02,489 (Rs 2,01,889 are donations); the total expenditure is Rs 1,88,164, of which salaries take Rs 1,14,000. The only ‘programme cost’ is Rs 35,945 on a ‘jan sunwai’ public hearing), and the rest is standard administrative expense.

    However, Parivartan claims its annual fixed costs are approximately Rs six lakh, and programme costs are “partly funded through collections from the community itself including poor people and the shortfall is made good by raising funds from outside”. Its website does not say if these funds are included in the receipts statement and if receipts are issued for small sums given by poor people. Yet it wants to make the Government of India accountable to itself on behalf of the “people of India”.

    Radha Rajan argues that many high-profile NGOs serve America’s vision of a post-Cold-War world order. Hence they advocate ‘communal harmony’ in India even as jihad batters the Hindu community, and promote ‘peace’ with Pakistan despite its formidable terrorist infrastructure. They are essentially political activists using social activism as a mask for their crusade against an independent nationalist India. Thus they are invariably anti-Government of India, anti-military, anti-police, anti-nuclear, and, of course, anti-Hindu.

    America uses the Magsaysay and other awards to legitimise its loyalists. Indian Magsaysay awardees include Mahasweta Devi (1997), Aruna Roy and Martin Macwan (2000), Sandeep Pandey (2002), Nirmala Deshpande and Admiral Ramdas (2005). Then, Praful Bidwai and Achin Vanaik received the Sean Macbride Peace Prize (2000) and Arundhati Roy the Sydney Peace Prize (2004). In neighbouring Nepal, journalist Bharat Koirala got the Magsaysay in 2002 for unleashing the anti-Hindu process there. Today, a Christian Prachanda has taken over the country by terrorising the effete political parties and the king is a virtual prisoner.

    Krishen Kak’s expose of Harsh Mander (Scoring Against Paganism: Untangling the Manderweb) is a warning to the Government about the monetary subversion of serving officers by foreign regimes. In March 2002, Mander, an IAS officer, became an international celebrity when he attacked the communal violence in Gujarat (after 58 Hindus were burnt alive at Godhra) in an article in a leading newspaper. Feted in the West, he claimed he had resigned from the IAS on moral grounds.

    This was a deliberate falsehood, says Kak, as Mander was serving the politico-communal agenda of ActionAid, his British employer. Mander had managed a profitable deputation to ActionAid, getting part payment in pound sterling in return for scuttling a government enquiry into its communal agenda in India.

    Managing to ward off moves to end his deputation, Mander took voluntary retirement only on completing pensionable service. He sought retirement benefits to the tune of up to a million rupees; the Government stipulated that he cease working for ActionAid; he refused and continued demanding retirement benefits. When Kak publicly challenged the lie that he had resigned on moral grounds, Mander quickly modified his rhetoric.

    ActionAid’s communal agenda may well be the inspiration for the UPA’s Sachar Committee, and shows how foreign agendas are wormed into the topmost echelons of power. It recently initiated a study to sensitise the public and civil society activists about “the dismal economic, educational and social conditions of the Muslim masses”. Of course, ActionAid conducted no similar study about Hindu survivors in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    ActionAid used Mander to connect over 300 voluntary agencies. Its patronage extended to Aruna Roy of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) and National Campaign of People’s Right to Information (NCPRI). The MKSS takes foreign institutional support in kind to evade reporting its funds under FCRA. The MKSS-approved Lok Shikshan Sansthan states that FCRA money can be sent to its founder-NGO Prayas or to the Roy-connected SWRC Tilonia “and it would be transferred to our organisation’s account.” Very interesting!

    Kak’s research has uncovered an hitherto unknown entity patronised by Mander-ActionAid. This is the “unstructured organisation”, which solicits public money but does not say if it is registered and how it banks the money. Shabnam Hashmi’s ANHAD (with Mander, KN Panikkar and Shubha Mudgal) is one such body. So is the Aman Ekta Manch, Aman Samudaya, Aman Jathas, Aman Pathiks. Mander’s Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan, funded by ActionAid, does not reveal the names of the core team of eleven professionals, or its accounts.

    The disturbing aspect of these unregistered unstructured organisations is their complete lack of accountability or legal scrutiny regarding foreign donations. Ex-IAS officers and ex-judges often provide respectability and protection to such dubious bodies in return for post-retirement sinecures. It is a vicious and dangerous circle.

    Russia learnt the hard way that unmonitored West-funded NGOs triggered the spate of revolutions in the former Soviet Republics and out them under the scanner. The majesty of the Indian state cannot be subordinated to hupny-tupny rabble-rousers funded by the West. The Government should immediately bring all activists under the RTI scalpel; this will literally scalp them.

    ———————-

    Four-fold menace – A nexus of enveloping evil-VIII

    V SUNDARAM

    The silent influence of books is a mighty power in the World; and there is a joy in reading them known only to those who read them with desire and enthusiasm �� silent, passive and noiseless though they be, they yet set in action countless multitudes and change the order of nations. The recently published book NGOs, ACTIVISTS AND FOREIGN FUNDS – ANTI-NATION INDUSTRY edited by Radha Rajan and Krishen Kak is bound to have a decisive impact upon government policies relating to the functioning of NGOs in India and the flow of foreign funds to the NGOs sector.

    George Thundiparambil’s essay titled CLOSING WORD: Who is afraid of the Hindu nation? has given a graphic description of how many NGOs in India function as instruments of hate and fratricide. To quote his appropriately lethal words in this context: ‘For Indians who are aware of the anti-Hindu agendas of Christian, Islamic and Communist organisations in India and abroad, it is neither shocking nor surprising that numerous NGOs have sprung up throughout the Country, which act as sole-agent for these alien and hostile organisations.’

    The password to international success in the World of NGOs is to choose the flag of Anti-Hindu. Start your career by unleashing a tirade against the Hindus and Hindu civilisation. In order to become an effective and successful mercenary, start an NGO and visit the USA and tell the Christian fundamentalists there what they want to hear: How evil and backward, how superstitious and ignorant the unconverted pagan Hindus are. Compare them with Nazis and then on the way back home, make a stop over in Pakistan and talk ‘peace’ and mention the ‘atrocities’ committed by Indian soldiers in Kashmir. As George Thundiparambil hilariously puts it: Punch the Hindu on the nose whenever you can, and if you have accrued enough points, you will start winning international awards. When the NGO accounts are in the mess, close shop and start another NGO. Nehruvian secularists with Hindu names are preferred for the NGO Industry. THE PASSWORD IS ANTI-HINDU.’

    Nirupama Rajan and Radha Rajan in their essay ‘ASHA PROJECTS: Where does all the money go?’ have carefully and critically analysed the available descriptive and statistical data relating to 1538 projects being implemented by ASHA in India. Most of these projects appear to be vague, undefined, and mysterious. The only point of clarity is in respect of the exact amount of debasing and debauching US dollars received / allotted for each project! The FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) Department in the Union Home Ministry in New Delhi functions as an executive arm of anti-Hindu and anti-Nation agencies like ASHA which are beyond the purview of all scrutiny by all the Enforcement Agencies of the Government of India!

    Under the heading FELLOWSHIPS, many Fellowships have been handed over to many people by ASHA of whom three are Pandeys. Sandeep Pandey himself, Mahesh Pandey and Vallabhacharya Pandey (page 266 of the book under review).

    YEAR 2005 Mahesh Pandey DC chapter $ 3000 The reason for the Fellowship to Mahesh Pandey is explained as follows:

    Project Description:

    This Fellowship support is to allow the Fellow to focus on region’s development through education, income generation, right to information, projects development and co-ordination, site visits to projects, project accounts and audits and other relevant activities in the interest of ASHA for Education.

    YEAR 2005 Vallabacharya Pandey Silicon valley $ 3000 The reason for the Fellowship is stated as follows:

    Purpose/Grant :

    Fellowship of Vallabhai allows immense support of ASHA India and ASHA for Education activities world-wide. Purpose of this Fellowship is to benefit from his capabilities in Projects co-ordination, projects audits and accounting, and monitoring and evaluation activities.

    Comment: While there is at least a brief account on the purpose of the above two fellowships, SANDEEP PANDEY’S own Fellowship comes with no stated purpose or description: (page 267 of the book under review) Is not Sandeep Pandey , like the king of England, definitely above the Law ?.

    Funding info:

    2001 Silicon Valley $ 800.00

    2002 Silicon Valley $ 800.00

    2002 General Funds $ 250.00

    TOTAL = $ 1850.00

    Comment: This is what the Magsaysay Award Citation for Sandeep Pandey had to say: ‘SHA’s teachers take no pay. Instead, they support themselves with sidelines such as making candles and greeting cards from hand-made paper’.

    Sandeep Pandey is the Fuehrer of ASHA. Sandeep Pandey is to the funds of ASHA what Sonia Gandhi is to the funds of the Congress Party. Radha Rajan pays her inimitable tribute to this pseudo secular, anti-Hindu, anti-Nation cosmopolitan and global Leonardo Da Vinci of India in these words’, Sandeep Pandey is a man of many parts, all of them skin-deep and each of them carefully and calculatedly crafted to feed his gargantuan appetite for Mammon. American greenback Mammon, that is. He walks, he talks, he writes, he protests – for his version of ‘peace’ against Indian mukes, for Kashmiri and other terrorists, for the terrorist state of Pakistan, against Hindus and their nationalism, against Coca-Cola and for the ‘poor’ ‘destitute’ children of India who don’t go to school which fact this IIT graduate confesses in an interview to the Milli Gazette, he came to know late in his life, only during his years in the US from a book published by MIT in 1991 titled ‘The Child and The State in India’ Sandeep Pandey has so far picked only those issues for his money-making activism which will keep him in media limelight. As I said, each one of these many parts of Sandeep Pandey is intended to make money from anti-national disruptive activism.

    Skin-deep San-Deep’s activism is intentionally anti-Hindu and anti-Hindu nation which is why the US and its client States, were willingly deceived into patronising the man with awards, media attention, with talking tours in foreign universities and with Magsaysay award. Only now the US establishment has come to know that he is a stooge of the Communist party. Sandeep Pandey, the pseudo educationist, the pseudo social-activist, the peace-activist, the pseudo anti-nuke activist �� all of these pseudo-beards disguise from public gaze �� Sandeep Pandey, the committed and vocal supporter of Marxist-Leninist Naxal terrorism. And skin-deep Sandeep is mortally afraid the false beard may fall off and that his Naxal proclivities may come under the US State Department scanner. That is why Radha Rajan concludes that he is a communist in Blue Funk. Sandeep Pandey by his extraordinary success in the field of activism of NGOs Industry has proven Winston Churchill right who said – A Master Craftsman indeed!! Craft is common both to skill and deceit’.

    The following dangerous conclusions emerge from the point of view of National security from this highly incandescent book NGOs, ACTIVIST AND FOREIGN FUNDS ANTI-NATION INDUSTRY edited by Radha Rajan and Krishen Kak :

    a) The network of anti-Nation, anti-Hindu, NGOs and activists comprising Marxists, Nehruvian Secularists, Muslims and Missionaries is well-entrenched in the US, particularly American universities.

    b) There is a powerful network of donor agencies which include foreign Governments, Foundations, Trusts and other Chuch Charities which work with Marxist and Christian Indian NGOs in India with well-defined political objectives among the Dalits, women and tribal communities within Hindu society.

    c) The Indian Government’s Home Ministry through which all foreign funds must be routed has no fool-proof mechanism to inspect and verify if the projects mentioned by NGOs on paper exist in reality and also to check whether the foreign money received has been used for the purpose for which it was brought in and for no other anti-Nation and anti-social purposes.

    d) The Indian Government has not cared to haul ASHA or Sandeep Pandey over hot Coals for such vaguely mysterious and poor maintenance of their accounts clearly brought by Nirupama Rajan and Radha Rajan .

    e) A safe general inference can be drawn that most of the other dubious NGOs will be no different from ASHA in respect of maintenance of accounts and utilisation of funds.

    f) All these anti-Nation and anti-Hindu NGOs only talk of grassroots activism, which in many cases is only a fig-leaf for political activism. Persons like Sandeep Pandey, Harsh Mander and Aruna Roy, besides the hundreds of Christian and Marxist NGOs associate themselves with several political parties and political agendas, essentially anti-Hindu in character. Foreign funds cannot be used for political activism and there is a Constitutional ban on receiving foreign money for political activities.

    g) If head-count on the basis of religion can be thought of in regard to the Armed Forces, the same approach can also be thought of in regard to the NGOs officially approved by the Union Home Ministry under the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) for purposes of State- sponsored Pseudo-secular Evangelism in India. This head-count will surely bring to the broad sunlight the murky nature of political scoundrelism of the anti-Hindu and anti-Nation UPA Government in New Delhi.

    The Government of India must immediately ensure that a strong and effective organisational machinery is created to keep a continuous watch over the anti-Nation and anti-Hindu NGOs and their cohorts. But to do that, we require a strong, effective and well-meaning patriotic Government �� not the ever faltering and surrogate UPA Government �� that does not depend on these NGOs to campaign in its favour and against its political opponents.

    (Concluded)

    (The writer is a retired IAS officer)

    http://www.newstodaynet.com/2006sud/06aug/0408ss1.htm

    —————————–

    For a detailed expose of the anti-national left wing NGO movement, please go through this 8-part series >>

    http://www.boloji.com/analysis2/0128.htm

  135. sending again…

    Raj: you mentioned IDRF in your approved list of NGOs, but according to this[1] ,
    this, this, and this, it too, appears to have some fishy agendas. I say fishy because the actual reporting is less and speculations more.

    At ground level, I am sure that even the volunteers of AID/ASHA do excellent work. So no, this is not a tit-for-tat. I just agree with Sepia Mutiny in that if you have to donate funds, going by the aspersions cast on almost every major NGO here, you better do some research. The point here is that I will have to convince myself when I find some facts. To me more than political leanings of the head of an organization, where the funds go and what are the reasons are more important – it’s India’s development they are concerned about; maybe more like the way human rights function. And thanks, I’ll google them myself.
    Lastly, you will agree that decisions (where should funds go) such as these are not based on a single person’s whims; I am sure even AID/ASHA must be aware of these controversies. I’d like to see what reasons they give before making interpretations.

    [1]www.outlookindia.com/specialfeaturem.asp?fodname=20021120&fname=irdf&sid=4
    there are more links but I can’t seem to be getting across comment moderation

    GB– sorry for the repeated comment.

  136. GB: after the serious reading in “Comments”, I have a question for you: are you a choromponthi?

    i was trying to read in-between the lines, but the white background is causing some problem today.

    cheers.

  137. Yea i like it wen GreatBong gets sarcastic and then SoubhaghyaDash comes up with a Retort. ya know i hate Gandhi, Congress but still can’t seem to hate SoubhDash. I laugh my ass out at GreatBong’s sarcasm as much as i ponder over SoubhDash’s posts. Its like a David E. Kelley (the Practice, Boston legal fame) production, where both sides of the Case are equally right or wrong. and i wudnt wanna be the judge.

    so i hear Vande mataram is somehow offending to muslims. wow.

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