The Flag At Lal Chowk

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Is the BJP’s plan to unfurl an Indian flag at Lal Chowk a political stunt? If a “political stunt” is defined as a strategically-planned event, of almost exclusively symbolic value, whose sole purpose is to get attention for a political cause, then a political stunt it is. Will it cause unrest? Oh yes it surely will. So should it not be done then? Well, my answer is in the form of a question—“Do you think the Dandi March was an undesirable act of provocation—-after all it too was a political move, of purely symbolic value (like the flag-hoisting), one that everyone knew would cause trouble, whose express intent was to aggressively mobilize public opinion?”

“Wait wait”, you say. “Are you comparing Sushma Swaraj et all to Gandhi?”  No not at all. No equivalence between the nobility of the principals of the two acts is being assumed. Neither is their significance in history being equated.  I am not crazy. All that is being compared is the principle behind backing away from a legal act (to be honest raising salt was illegal as per British laws but we can all agree that being draconian it was morally legal to raise salt) on the grounds that it may cause trouble.

At this point, I expect the “you”s to be split into three groups.

Group A will say “Raising the Indian flag, while legal under Indian law, is not legal in Kashmir. Being part of Pakistan/ an Islamic state, the Indian flag is an affront to the local population.” To them, I say “I see your point. Then yes what BJP is doing is untenable. Please do not bother with the rest of the post.”

Group B will say [and I faced one today, as those who follow me on Twitter would know] “You are a BJP supporter, people see the world through saffron glasses when you stay outside the country.” To them, I would just say “I am not a BJP supporter.I disagree with Hindu right wing activists on most issues which is why I have been called “confused Hindu” on this blog and have been proudly put in Twitter lists that tag me as pseudo-secular, which to the Hindu right wing activist is the worst abuse you can give to someone. My support has  always issue-based, and does not come from any deep well of blinding political/religious conviction. As to the whole “staying outside the country” thing….ahhh……I thought we had moved beyond Manoj Kumar rhetoric.” Perhaps not.

Now Group C will stay silent for a second. Then they will recover their voice.

“Principles-shinciples are all right. But what the lives that may be lost? BJP is willing to put blood on their hands for politics……” To them I ask “Why will there be violence?”  If you think violence at the Indian flag being unfurled is justified, you then are in Group A. If you think it is not, then it is not the BJP’s fault. If violence results from a legal act, the responsibility of that cannot go to those who are “in the right”. As an example, if a woman walks in a short skirt and gets molested, is it her fault for “provoking” men? Or would you say that the illegal act here is the molestation and not the wearing of the short skirt?  Which is why it is the perpetrators of the molestation who are at fault and should be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. Not the woman. To carry this analogy forward, in many cities, women participate in “Take Back the Night” initiatives where intentionally they walk the streets in clothes they chose to, make eye-contact with men, with the intent being to show, symbolically, that they will not let fear inhibit their own lawful behavior? Would you call such “Take Back the Night” programs as incendiary abuses of personal freedom, like “crying fire in a theater”, a dastardly act whose sole purpose is to provoke a rape and a consequent standoff?

“But still you ask why? Why this symbolism? What purpose will it serve?” To this, I repeat what I said in my last post. There are many, in Kashmiri politics and in the media, who have held Kashmiri Pandits responsible for their own exile and who say that Pandits are craven in not going back. Well if the mere raising of a flag is cause for violent provocation, how would the influx of Hindus (who, having been gone for a generation will be looked upon as outsiders in every way), looking for their jobs and businesses, be perceived ?  If a piece of cloth is such a grave affront, what would these people be, who would be competing for scarce resources? Would they not be considered as the advance guard of “Indian colonization”?  Looking forward, would they have the independence of flying an Indian flag? Would they be able to walk down Lal Chowk wearing an India jersey? In that context, the effort to put the flag in a public place (as opposed to the highly-secure, hermetically sealed government organized events) by non-Kashmiri Indians takes on great significance.

“No no. The Indian flag is different than Hindu Pandits. The Kashmiris hate India but love their Hindu Kashmiri brothers and sisters. The two things are not comparable”.  What? Is that what you said? Well, how about “Kashmiri” protesters hoisting the green flag of Islam in Lal Chowk ? Where in that flag is even symbolic room for their Hindu brethren? Or room for pluralism and recognition of alternative religious identities in their Islamic chants? In contrast, the Indian flag is an inclusive emblem where all religions of India are accommodated. How come then one becomes “the color of defiance” (Tehelka uses these words) and the other “the color of provocation?” How come flying one is a genuine expression of dissent while the flying of the other an act of grave provocation? The only way you can resolve this logical conundrum is to accept that the Pakistani flag is the “local flag” and the Indian flag “the foreign flag” and so they cannot be compared.

Once you say that, you belong to Group A i.e. who those who believe that Kashmir should be an Islamic nation or Pakistani vassal. And didn’t I tell you that you should not bother with the rest of the post?

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139 thoughts on “The Flag At Lal Chowk

  1. Great post, with absolute clarity. Was unable to conclude on what is happening is justified or not. Thanks for structuring my thoughts :).

    Cheers!

  2. Some specious arguments raised in NDTV (Nidhi) are: it will distrub fragile peace, embolden separatists etc. What they ignore is: these things have been happening irrespective of several overtures made till now, we should not be afraid to hurt the sentiments of separatists. As we allowed people to practice their faith in Kashmir, Indians interested in hoisting their flag on their republic day should be allowed and govts should encourage that in the spirit of democracy.

  3. With you. Had a similar conversation on Twitter yesterday.

    The motives of the BJP do not bother me. That is another issue, and another debate. What matters is whether they have the right to hoist the flag.

    Legally the government can justify blocking the BJP – on the grounds of maintaining peace, etc. But then legally, on the same grounds, the government can justify just about anything.

    There is no difference, in principle, between blocking the BJP (because others will get violent) and banning a book (because , yes, others will get violent) or censoring a film (because, yet again, others will get violent).

    If others are going to riot, the job of the government is to prevent/catch/punish the rioters. Not use their force to stop people from exercising a constitutionally guaranteed freedom.

    But then if you really look at it, all this is probably because over the years, the “checks and balances” added to our constitution have completely stripped it of any strong principle. Which is why we end with arbitrary powers to the government of the day.

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  5. I don’t see the point why Indian flag cannot be unfurled at Lal Chowk if Kashmir is part of India. If the Government, our so called secular media and rest of the secular people are so opposed to this whole notion then that makes me think if Kashmir is truly a part of India. I do not think that they are going to coach the separatist on how to be tolerant towards Indian flag. If they think that flag shouldn’t be hoisted there, then I feel that they also think Kashmir is not a part of India. If so, then what’s the fuss all about- come out of the closet and tell us what’s there in your mind. Why waste so much of money and all and give trouble to our soldiers in not letting Kashmir go.

  6. I agree with this post. The only thing that bothers me is that is it too much to furl Indian flag in Kashmir. If at all Kashmiris care for their Pandit brethren who might have settled amicably in other part of India, they would want it to be unfurled.

    Again if separatists can come to delhi, indulge in provoking dialogue, that sometimes divides our society and we don’t lambast them , hear their views and ask them to come back. We get them admitted to best hospitals of Delhi, Mumbai when they get sick at India taxpayers’ expense (prob because in their cause of “freedom” they don’t allow hospitals to function in Kashmir), I think we must be allowed one symbolic act of expression, a view, albeit may be of a limited section of people who may have political ambitions behind it.

    People may point out that Geelani has been heckled sometimes but we welcome Arundhati Row, Geelani in all organisations, hear them rant again India and ask them to come again, don’t think this open dialogue is promoted in Pak or even Kashmir as yet.

  7. @GB,
    Great job!!! Followed you a bit in the twitter and saw the fight you were fighting. Who cares for phony intellectuals like Burqa and their view of nationalism and flag? For ‘lohe kaa swaad lohaar se naheen, ghode se poochho, jisake munh mei lagaam hotee hai’ (credit to Mr. Uday Prakash). These are the people who have access to people and money, they would not mind if Kashmir pays for their award, we would be the ultimate sufferer.

    But then, this one is interesting.

    “You are a BJP supporter, people see the world through saffron glasses when you stay outside the country.” To them, I would just say “I am not a BJP supporter.I disagree with Hindu right wing activists on most issues which is why I have been called “confused Hindu” on this blog and have been proudly put in Twitter lists that tag me as pseudo-secular

    Rest assured, the supposedly “right wing” Hindu support to you is issue based only. However, every time I see your struggle to show yourself as separate from supposedly “right-wing” Hindu movement, I feel sad. Do you know why? Because, for seculars, this is a well known and well tested covert bullying technique. Anyone who has seen your writings and twits knows that you are immersed in your liberalism, likes of Burqa or Gul Panag should know it. Yet they will repeatedly use it for anyone who disagrees with them. That is their technology. It is necessary to destroy that technology for there are millions who fell prey to that. I have no imagination that you will join a movement to stop myriads of Deganga, you are too refined and intellectual for that.
    But, please think. A proud Hindus is an asset regardless of their opinion about supposedly “right wing”. A bullied Hindu, on the other hand, only reinforces the stereotype and thus is a liability.

  8. How come showing MNIK in movie halls is the duty of the government? That disturbed peace in the city so they should not have done it. But there Rahul Baba came and went in local trains to show his solidarity. But now the same soldout media says we should show sensitivity to peace. Stinking yellow media.

  9. If Kashmir is to remain a part of India , BJP or anyone else for that matter should be allowed to unfurl the national tricolour anywhere in JK. In recent times with all the pseudo-seculars/pseudo-intellectuals we have an argument that we should not do something(even though its morally and legally right) to avoid violence at any cost. This actually is a policy of appeasement which will lead to more violence and bloodshed in the long run(You can see a parallel in Chamberlain and his appeasement of Hitler or Gandhi and Jinnah).
    If we are afraid of hoisting our own flag in our own territory , what message are we sending to the world. Do you think that anyone will ever take us seriously after that, never. We will be the laughing stock of the world. The GOI wants to have a permanent seat in the UN security council,who and why should someone offer us that seat.
    The current scenario is that the Indians cannot buy any property in Kashmir, we have to offer loads of cash to “aid” Kashmir. Also we are afraid to have our national flag in the city because we are afraid of the separatists.
    Why would the world respect someone who has no self respect and will never stand up to something which is right.Respect and freedom has to be EARNED not begged for. Just my 0.02$

  10. @Sagar
    If the BJP shoulders responsibility for the resulting riots, then they will have attained a facepalm-worthy level of idiocy. The rioters and the rioters alone are responsible for the riots. This is true in any case, whether it is unfurling the national flag within territory that is supposedly part of the country, or whether it is the release of a movie. If this country had even semi-competent law enforcement groups, rioters would be rounded up and jailed (as they are in other democracies). Support for censorship unavoidably includes a tacit admission of the police force’s impotence. By preventing groups from raising the tricolor _within_ the country, the government validates the thuggery of the separatists. Appeasement hasn’t worked for other countries with similar problems, and it won’t work for India.

  11. Just one question to the government/opponents of the symbolism behind the rally (keeping apart the questionable accusation that BJP is doing this just to get mileage) – is J&K a part of India? If yes, is it actually under Indian rule (at ground level)? If the government is unable to ensure that constitutional rights cannot be exercised in J&K why isn’t the government under fire for not being able to administer well and as an extension isn’t the central government culpable since it seemingly remote controls the state?
    To those who agree with this and still play the ‘lets avoid unnecessary violence’ card – isn’t this similar to the sentiment when Hitler was on rampage against East European states and most European governments were reluctant to man up and confront him? At what point do we as common men stop shirking our responsibility of thinking straight and taking the easy way out of blaming the BJP for stoking passions. What would you do if a member of your family refused you access to a room for reading a book? There are more questions to be asked to the J&K government and the central Government than the BJP here. For those concerned about the peace process, the current government has done a great ham-handed job of undoing everything that Vajpayee built during his tenure. This won’t disturb the peace process simply because there is no peace process in existence any more. If there was, they wouldn’t take affront at something so simply symbolic in nature as a flag unfurling. For the extremists – its important to show them the book before its too late. For the neo-liberal sloppy thinkers – please stop clouding our thinking. And for god’s sake – please stop playing the ‘I’m a more patriotic Indian because I live in India card and you enjoy in US’ card. By saying this you admit/say that you are suffering in India and in a way wouldn’t mind changing places. The only thing that matters in an argument/debate/discussion is the quality of the points made and not where they come from and Arnab has excelled here. Good post Arnab!

  12. You needn’t be suffering from Polio to suggest a good cure/vaccine for it. Similarly I needn’t be spending every day of my life in India to observe,analyze, debate, discuss and put forward my solutions for the problems faced by Indians in any sphere of life.

  13. Classic catch-22 situation this… But a win-win for BJP if they manage to unfurl the Tri-color at lal chowk their street cred for pop patriotism sky rockets if they are unable to they can call the center as unpatriotic! But such selfish childish stunts and despite the legality of their actions do not change the ground conditions in the valley which lets face it are far from ideal… The Trioka of BJP fat cats will do the flag hoisting and leave by a jet plane but the separatists will rake up this matter and few more people will die… I guess it is a price that BJP is willing to pay… Blood of a few innocents for their fame-whoring!! If BJP needed to display the newly acquired shiny balls they should insist on doing the deed in a more militant hit area with little chance of a quick getaway… Then in the next elections they would have my vote!!

  14. Nipun,

    The Trioka of BJP fat cats will do the flag hoisting and leave by a jet plane but the separatists will rake up this matter and few more people will die…

    So if you know this for sure and you have such a concern for human life, why do not you go there to save those people? You have a choice you know. While you are making the preparation to go there please explain people that why were you not disturbed when “few” lives were lost in Kashmir every year.
    Theater of absurdities rise high when commies think they can cover every stupid argument under the cloak of all-purpose humanism.

  15. Arnab, does Indian nationalism need regular provocative acts such as hoisting the flag at Idgah or at Lal Chowk? Or singing Vande Mataram? In what way will the hoisting of the national flag help promote national integration? Of course there are ample arguments in favour of hoisting the Indian Flag anywhere in India, but why not try the same in NSCN-controlled territory of Nagaland or other such areas in the North East, or the totally Naxal-controlled areas of Chhattisgarh? Are these regions not parts of India? Why concentrate on areas where muslims are involved? Is it not apparent that a significant proportion of the Kashmiris does not identify itself as Indian? Of course what happened to the Kashmiri Pandits was reprehensible, and the subsequent treatment meted out to them only reinforces the absolutely cynical politics we practice in India. But the NDA was in power for six years and did not do anything to help the Pundits. Making them a pawn in this cynical game is nothing more than furthering their misery without putting forward any solution. To me, the BJP gambit is nothing more than a cynical ploy to attract the ‘nationalist’ vote to itself, and love for India does not figure anywhere in the party’s calculations.

  16. I’ve been to Kashmir twice and there are two things I want to stress here.

    1) Kashmiris are among the gentlest and kindest people that I’ve ever met in my life. We were in Sonmarg and getting lunch at a place. An old woman (a pilgrim that was there for the amarnath yatra) was begging for money outside. Like most Indians we simply shoo’d her away. The Kashmiri hotel owner, however, invited her in, had her sit with all the other patrons, gave her as much food as she wanted, packed up some more food for her and then sent her away with 100 Rs. Yes. She was Hindu. When I asked him why he did all that, he simply said : “Hame kisi ki bad dua nahi lagni chahiye”

    2) The atrocities committed by the Indian army against Kashmiris are unimaginable. I can’t begin to describe to you what ordinary Kashmiris go through on a daily basis. Please go to Kashmir and talk to the people there. No. They will not kill you. If you want to say that they have simply brought this upon yourself, I’d simply say that you don’t feel the pain of a fellow human being.

    I’m not anti army. I’m not anti India. The soldiers of the Indian army are brave and are simply doing the job they have been sent to do. I have a problem with why they’re there in the first place.

    Any why is everyone so interested in hoisting the Indian flag in Kashmir? I seriously want to know this from all the commenters posting here. What purpose will it serve. I can’t but see it as an assertion of Indian imperialism and jingoism.

    Do you think of Kashmiris as your brothers; as your fellow Indians?

    If you do, don’t reduce the issue to whether a flag should be hoisted there. Of course, the Kashmiris don’t want a flag there. They don’t consider themselves Indian. They want independence. Address the *root* cause of the issue. Look inwards and do some soul searching. And they way you want to solve that is to shove Indian-ness down their throat?

    If anything, the desire to hoist the Indian flag should come from the Kashmiris themselves. If they don’t want to for now; so be it. If we really want to change something; get the army out of there; work with Pakistan and the Kashmiris to *SOLVE* the issue once and for all. Convince the Kashmiris that they’re better off being with India. This is something that I’m convinced of myself.

    Should a flag be hoisted there? Ask the Kashmiris will you?

    I’m really not left wing, anti-india or whatever tags you want to attribute to me. I just am. I have a strong opinion on the issue though.

  17. Does the flag of “independent” flag of Kashmir have a crescent on it and is green in colour? Either declare Kashmir not as part of India and get our soldiers out, or if you stake claim to it, show that it is your country. How can you have a 50-50 status?

  18. The tricolor was unfurled at Lal-Chowk every year since the 90s. The government decided to stop this last year, because it was seen as (and I quote) “needless provocation”, because it was a site of regular terrorist attacks. (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/After-19-yrs-no-Tricolour-at-Lal-Chowk/articleshow/5502781.cms ).

    The BJP picked up the issue, and started the Yatra. The government, instead of clarifying that the tricolor is hoisted on all government buildings, and at the national functions, went about declaring the intent to stop the BJP.

    If the government had given the reason that since that site is vulnerable to terrorist attacks a yatra would be a security hazard, so the BJP can send a group of 20-40 people to hoist the flag, and can take the yatra elsewhere (may be the more peaceful Jammu), or just cancel it altogether that might have actually worked. But by talking about ‘provocation’, ‘communal disharmony’, they have dug themselves in a hole. I just hope there’s no blood shed tomorrow. Just wish we had more statesman instead of politicians…..

  19. Shameful to know the actions of Congress and Railway..
    They have already cancelled trains from Raipur to Jammu in which loads of BJP supporters from Chhattisgrah were to embark to Srinagar for the flag hoisting.
    Do they fear another Godhra??

  20. For me, if the Constitution still recognizes Kashmir as part of India (which it does) anyone has a right to hoist an Indian flag over there…..end of discussion. If there is violence then its the violators fault because after all this was a peaceful exhibition(seeing that all other rights of an average non-Kashmiri Indian are curtailed in Kashmir)

  21. Many years ago there was a school boy bullied in school. The peace was maintained as the boy took the humiliation and kept quiet. Then one day, he had enough and hit back, harder than he dared. Then on the bullies behaved themselves and never harassed anyone again. Point is, there are two ways to maintain peace: a) by agreeing to be humiliated and b) standing up for what is right.

    India has to decide how it wants to maintain peace, the method it chooses will determine how it projects itself to anti-nationals where ever they exist.

    –As an aside, so what if your glasses are saffron tinted (I am not saying they are, just “so what if”). Why should you be apologetic about that by giving an explanation. Hindus’ say “Ekam Sat, viprahah bahuda vadanti” (the truth is one, people know it by different names). I’d rather people be tinted by these glasses than my-way-is-the-only-way glasses or other-religions-of-the-devil-glasses or convert-submit-die glasses.

  22. Great post arnab! Its blogs like urs tht help to change the still-colonized mindset of Indians. 60 years after Independence we are still subjugated by our own past. What’s wrong with hoisting our national flag in our own country? Keep it up!

  23. Anon,
    Well if one hotel owner who was kind to a hindu beggar everyone kashmir has to be a good peace loving person?. What you don’t understand is that you “visited” kashmir as a visitor.

    Hence no one should give two cents to what you think? What about the views of the people who live(d) there?Kashmiri pandits, massacre. Ring any bells?

    The beef of kashmiri’s is that they want an Independent ISLAMIC STATE where they want sharia law to be implemented.
    Why are we giving impunity to the root cause which happens to be religion here? Its a blog post after all.

    As eric cartman would say the kashmiri’s are choking on the sweet breath of freedom and securalism. We must allow the sorry state to adopt to a reign which is based on Islam and they believe that it would prosper.

    Like the beautiful and peace loving pakistan has.

  24. “Well if one hotel owner who was kind to a hindu beggar everyone kashmir has to be a good peace loving person”

    I don’t get this. So you think most Kashmiris are assholes, but goddamn it they’re Indian. And if they think otherwise, we’re going to fuck them up. Awesome. I find this colonial to say the least. No different from the british.

    Also, the BJP manipulated a whole nation during Ayodhya. Why don’t you fools realize that they’re doing the same thing now?

  25. Great post GB!Just to put more analogies for this event..In Maharashtra Shivsena tries to stop celebration of valentines day..the govt does not stop young people for celebrating it but put the Shiv sainiks in the jail. Same should also heppening here…But we have different set of laws for different people.Just like Suresh Kalmadi is sacked from CWG games after games are over, RAJA is still not behind bars and enjoying the Media venom!
    I think in last 10-20 years so, Indian society has become very sensitive and intolerence in various matters…they have forgot which things should be banned( various movies, books banned in last 20 years or so ) and which should not. Here the so called secular media and so called kashmiris are trying to ban an activity which is related to nation’s flag not BJP’s flag.
    I think we are sure for heading towards BANANA republic..In SRK style.. agar apne hi desh me..tiranga pheherana gunaah hain..to woh gunah maine kiya hain…
    GB thanks for giving voice to MINORITY of India..

  26. I have one question: Are Indian citizens legally allowed to hoist the National Flag in public places? Also, corollary to this question, if they are, then does the onus of ensuring that the flag is not disrespected lie with them?

    If the answer to the first question is yes (which I doubt. As far as I know, citizens can hoist the National Flag at their residences but for a public flag hoisting, permission/clearance/authority is required), then I guess BJP activists are not breaking any law. They just have to ensure that they don’t disrespect the Tricolor.

  27. I guess our generation was born at a wrong time…. BJP was in power when I was 9 years old and its rule ended when I was 17. After the present gov. came to power, I’ve witnessed a drastic curbing of constitutional rights and degrading quality of life and impractical & divisive policies being implemented. My opinion has been strengthened further after I came to US and have witnessed how a real democracy is supposed to work….

    My parents seem to be undisturbed by the policies of the present government, I guess because they have already seen greater atrocities like the emergency during their childhood……

  28. Hi Greatbong,

    Your comparison of Dandi March and Flag hoisting at Lal Chowk was an interesting read. Just to stretch the same logic, Gandhi atleast had planned the next 2 to 3 levels post dandi march and what would that be by BJP post flag hoisting? If BJP alteast has a credible plan post flag hoisting for creating a peaceful Kashmir, I am game for a flag hoisting. The issue here is that many of us believe that BJP is not true in its intentions. Having lost th chance to put the Government in the dock despite the multitude of scams, BJP is back in its game of polarizing the rest of India to reap electoral benefits in rest of India. My take is that this is a classic strategy BJP has perfected. Both ways it wins. If the government stops the trip, then the government is painted as anti indian and non patriotic and if doesnt and if something unfortunate happens, then again it is blamed as weak and timid. Ground reality is that the writ of Indian Government doesnt run completly in J&K due to what ever reasons. Weakening it further is only detrimental in India’s interest. Assuming that BJP will come back to power post UPA 2.0, it will only have a much stronger monster to deal with.
    Despite the rule by 2nd Iron man of India, terrorism and India’s grip in J&K only decreased further during the 6 years of BJP rule. And not to forget the parliament attack and the Kandhahar episode. Pitching one case of failure against another is not going to solve the issue. Unless BJP has a plan to prevent Kashmir descending into chaos, I feel that the idea is not worth it.

    Sunil

  29. Great post. I think there is nothing wrong in hoisting Indian flag in Indian terrain. If this is not done, then indirectly we (includes every citizen of India, boundaries no bar) are telling China, that they were / are right to issue the stapled Visa for Kashmiris and Arunachal pradeshis.

    In the midst of all the corruption, scams, gates we have entering, I not sure what will be the future of our country. 😦

    Even a smaller country like, Srilanka, is getting advantage of our internal mess and issues. Srilankan army is killing indian fishermen. Our Govt. can just sit and condemn the act, unlike other countries, they do not do enough to provide security to citizens.

  30. this event marks the start of undoing of india as we know it. it is not yet irreversible … but with the famed legendary spine of manmohan, there is no hope.

  31. I am just shocked that we are even having this debate. The country really has come to a level where so many people do not see the inherent craziness of having to debate the unfurling of the national flag anywhere in the nation.

    If we dont unfurl the flag in Kashmir tomorrow people in Azamgarh will say we dont want the flag, then malegaon, kerala, nagaland, mizoram…how far is the government going to bend. Tomorrow we may have another shah bano case, section of the population may then demand public flogging of women who are not wearing clothes that the section does not like (basically anything that exposes the wrists can be deemed objectionable as its in Saudi Arabia).

    While many may think I am stretching the argument too far, I am not. This is a reality of not implementing laws. Implementing law entails enforcing it despite what a few people think. Once the government admits that it is afraid of implement a law ‘x’ in Kashmir, people in another part of the country know that they can do the same with some other law. Why just minorities, the khap may bulldoze the government into some other draconian law. The government has a moral call here, either we enforce all laws equally well or be prepared to implement none. If the BJP is not breaking a law (which it is not), then the government should support them however distasteful the Congress may find BJP’s actions.

    Just because the Congress has cultivated a vote bank for 60 years doesnt mean it should let go of sanity and the Constitution.

  32. What is ppl there raise this argument, if tricolor hosting is legal right of and symbolically justified so is peblisite…..
    Leave it to BJP to undo the basic identity of Indian nation.

  33. There will always be some percentage of people who will criticse every damn action. If BJP decides to unfurl the flag, there will indeed some gents who would doubt the purpose.

    Let’s put the party’s intentions in parking for some time. If you view unfurling flag now, is it illegal/seditious/illegitimate? If not, they why the pseuso secular section opposes this act? If BJP is playing ‘voting’ politics, i can’t fathom how different is Congress govt. than BJP – in that respect, is it not playing vote politics to please the ‘minority’? Some of the leaders in key position like Digvijay Singh aren’t vouching for ‘minority’ votes by repeatedly using the term ‘Hindu Terrorism’? If Diggi is so concerned abt Hindu Terrorism, why doesn’t he give the fuck abt ‘Muslim’ terrorism? The two terrorist (muslim and hindu) are in 99:1 proportion. So instead of targetting 99% portion, this dumbass is hell bent on screwing the remianing 1% only. How heroic is that!

    Coming back to the point: instead of shoving the BJP people back from this side of the border, UPA govt should show some spunk and put that force on other side of the border – in preventing any mishaps which it is assuming to happen after unhurling the the Indian flag.

    This has been by far the most weak and timid government India has ever witnessed with a puppet leading the show. The puppet can’t do anything until it’s master approves it.

  34. In US they say “Bringing knife to a gunfight”
    In India we should say “Bringing flower to a gunfight”
    We should even be having this debate.
    This is classical salami tactics. Slice by slice || slowly and surely
    Separatists will have what they need.

  35. Just saw the link to this blog on facebook and as i was having the same discussion with a friend of mine, felt compelled to put in my two cents.
    I have nothing against the Indian Flag being unfurled in kashmir. Indeed i believe no sane minded person would have.
    But when you begin to pool in thousands of activists from various parts of the country rather than involving whatever number of local youth you can motivate, then i don’t trust you.

  36. @ Dhanesh
    You do know that Jihadis in Kashmir actually want to fly of Islam in Delhi too? What are you thoughts on that?
    How old are u?

  37. Kashmir is a part of India Goddammit!! how dare “they” not allow us to unfurl the national flag there. Send the Army in and sort it out .. oops we have already sent the army in. That has not worked.

    So who are the “they” opposing the unfurling of the flag? is this something new?

    While on the face of it, it seems reasonable to wonder why the Indian national flag cannot be unfurled in the country, it is equally pertinent to wonder as to why such a simple act has become an issue.

    There are no right or wrong answers here. Instead lets first care about how to save lives not sacrifice more lives over a symbolic act. Secondly, the govt should actively work to rehabilitate Kashmiri Hindus. Let the army protect these families.

    Then lets see..

    You can call me a Pseudo secularist or a right wing hindu.I dont care.. I am an Indian and this is what I feel.

  38. @Aman
    I look forward to your suggestions, on how we can get the local youth to move from hoisting the “flag of Islam”, to hoisting the flag of India?

    4 Rupees kilo Basmati rice and allowing murderers of Kashmiri Hindus to walk around freely hasn’t worked, so far.

    Have you read the Bhagavat Gita?

  39. I too am in favor of hoisting the Indian flag in Kashmir. It is a constitutional right, if Jammu and Kashmir is supposed to be part of India.

    And I do not think it equates to pushing anything down the throats of the Kashmiris. When they are allowed to protest by exhibiting pro-islamic green flags, why should’nt anyone be allowed to unfurl India flag????

    And ours is supposed to be an secular country, hmmmm….

  40. Pingback: Must Read: Top 5 resources on BJP's Ekta Yatra || Yesterday We Said Tomorrow

  41. Good post. I’ve kind of moved to your point of view from the other side, but I can’t still trust the BJP’s motives. I mean all this about the Indian flag being hoisted anywhere on Indian territory is all right, but nobody seems to be paying attention to what the BJP hopes to gain out of it, because rest assured none of us commenting/tweeting are going to gain anything other than a misplaced sense of national pride. Yes, misplaced. How many of you have attended a flag hoisting in your neighbourhood during the Republic Day. Not many. But when it comes to Kashmir, oh yeah “you the man”.
    And again, when you add the words BJP and Yatra, I can’t help but wonder..

  42. @Anon
    .
    Kashmiris are among the gentlest and kindest people that I’ve ever met
    …because you once saw a hotel owner feed a poor woman. Likewise, there are many Hindu temples and charities which feed poor people, which “proves” that Hindus are the gentlest and kindest people. Christians also participate in lots of charities, which “proves” that they are also the gentlest and kindest people. On similar lines, I can “prove” that every group, Muslims, Rastafarians, and Scientologists and the gentlest and kindest people. All of these are non-sequiturs, like your original statement about Kashmiris being gentle people.
    .
    .
    Please go to Kashmir and talk to the people there. No. They will not kill you.
    .
    I bet they said the same thing when they drove out their neighbours of the wrong religion out of their homes.
    .
    .
    I can’t but see it as an assertion of Indian imperialism and jingoism.
    .
    Imperialism? Give me an example from history where citizens of an imperial power A were not allowed to own land in colony B, but citizens of B were allowed to own land in A. One tragedy of this whole issue is Indians wrongly believing we are being imperialistic wrt Kashmir.
    .
    .
    They want independence.
    .
    Their independence is a pipe dream. Even if we give them independence tomorrow, there is no way a land-locked nation in such a strategic location and between Pak, Ind and China, will ever remain independent. Best case, it will become a banana republic, worst case it would become happy hunting grounds for religious extremists and the venue for the next great game of Asia. We’ve seen this movie before, last time it was called Afghanistan. If you think they have it bad now, what will happen after their independence will replace Pak as the world’s new migrane.
    .
    .
    Address the *root* cause of the issue.
    .
    We know the root cause. Kashmiris have already done their bit to address it by kicking out the wrong type of people.
    .
    .
    get the army out of there; work with Pakistan
    .
    Yes indeed! Let’s bring those Indian army guys back from Kashmir. The Pak Army won’t come marching in to Kashmir like they did last time, right? Pak and its army has always been so worthy of our trust, right? This is why they say that those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
    .
    .
    Should a flag be hoisted there? Ask the Kashmiris will you?
    .
    Do you ask Kannadigas before hoisting an Indian flag in Bangalore?

  43. The comparison of the flag hoisting at Lal Chowk to the Dandi March is preposterous, not because of any putative comparison between Gandhi and Ms. Swaraj, but because it places the Government of India in comparison with the British Empire! And Ms. Swaraj is the Leader of the Opposition in the 15th Lok Sabha!

    So yeah, it a political stunt, because it has not been thought through by the BJP. It’s purpose is not to draw attention to a legitimate political problem – i.e. the fate of the Kashmiri Pundits in J&K, but to undermine the credibility of the Government, in much the same way that the Tea Party has been doing in the US since Mr. Obama got elected. It is the BJP’s way of making a claim along the lines of “Taxation without Representation”, from a position in which they can see every mole on the face of every member of the Treasury Benches!

    If all that is required for a political stunt is that it should gather attention, maybe Ms. Swaraj should pursue an old idea and shave her head again. At least that would not endanger the lives of innocent people.

  44. China time and again intruding into our sovereign territory…we do nothing about it.
    Pakistan sending their messengers of piece at regular intervals…we do nothing about it….we dont even hang the guilty.
    Sri Lanka killing our fishermen….we do nothing about it.

    Now are we so weak that we have to think a 100 times before we hoist our national flag in our own country?

    Step by step we are just playing into the hands of the separatists…first the forced exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits..now so much debate about whether we should hoist our national flag.

    One should look beyond the motives of a particular party and look at the broader picture. Surely the BJP is trying to gain political mileage out of this campaign. But what is the congress trying to do? Seperate Kashmir and gift it to Pakistan?

  45. I’d love to be as a “Hindu nationalist” any day ! Who knows someday I can get international recognition if Diggy Dadu gets to know me, LOL!

    @Mithun: Have you ever attended a flag hoisting at your school or you were busy enjoying a lazy winter morning?

  46. @Chiron,
    You do not get the agenda of people who use ids like “Anonymous”. It is very difficult to take GB’s argument head on. So it has to be started with a feel-good story. Then this must be followed with the story of how army is responsible for everything as if Kashmir was a center of peace and justice before army was sent. Then he thinks that he has prepared enough ground work to lead dhimmis to condemn the flag hoisting and then started his usual rubbish. The very fact that fear psychosis led some Indians (including Indians in Kashmir, not Kashmiri) to buy into his line is reason enough that we deserve what we get from Islamists.

    @Anonymous,

    Do you think of Kashmiris as your brothers; as your fellow Indians?

    After knowing how Muslim Indians in Kashmir displayed brotherly love for the KPs you actually should pray that they are not called brothers because if we show the same brotherly love they would not be called Kashmiris, they would be called mohajirs.

    Also, the BJP manipulated a whole nation during Ayodhya. Why don’t you fools realize that they’re doing the same thing now?

    When these “fools” do not realize how they get manipulated by paid Islamists in media and passionate Islamists like you in the internet every day, BJP does not stand a chance.

    @To the rest of “flag-is-good-but-BJP-is-bad”,
    Whether anyone is communal (your perception, nothing illegal about it) or not, politician or not, activist or not they should must not be stopped by anyone to stop hoisting the flag in any part of the country. But that basic right is violated. That is what enraged a lot of people. Is BJP playing politics? Probably they did. But who gave them the chance to play it? Is government’s action apolitical and patriotic? That should be the focus.

  47. @ Kartikeya

    “So yeah, it a political stunt, because it has not been thought through by the BJP. It’s purpose is not to draw attention to a legitimate political problem – i.e. the fate of the Kashmiri Pundits in J&K…”

    Response:
    An therein lies your delusion.
    Kashmiri Hindus are a victim of a religious cleansing, and that is a Human Rights issue in itself that needs addtention from the whole world.
    But that is not why BJP is doing it.

    BJP is doing this to draw attention to the fact that – the current Government is so emasculated, it does not have the ability to allow its own citizens to raise the National flag on the Republic day, within the India’s sovereign boundaries.

    “… in much the same way that the Tea Party has been doing in the US since Mr. Obama got elected.”

    Response: I dont know how long you have lived in a democracy, but apparently you do not understand how a democracy works. Tea Party or Moveon.org are perfectly legitimate opinion-making forums with the aim of creating awareness on issues they care about, whether it is for, or against the Government, which at this time happens to be that of Obama in the US.

    @ Readers here advocating “restraint”
    “We” look forward to seeing the same restraint if and when, “WE” (those like myself in the “ultra-right” Hindutva activist category) are forced to take extreme measures and extra-constitutional means to counter the Jihadis.

    As you do not respect the constitution of India, and since your lot has been bending over backward for a millenia in the face of Radical Islam, you should not have any problems allowing “us” some leeway in dealing with it. At the least “we” would be saving you sorry behind.

  48. You got to give it to the BJP – they’ve re-used the ‘Rath’ once again and given a great example of recycling! Absolutely valid in such times of eco-activism 🙂

    Jokes apart, I seriously hope the re-use does not result in the what the country had to witness the last time they used it!

  49. @Anon: “Kashmiris are among the gentlest and kindest people that I’ve ever met”.

    Mate you are drawing inferences from a sample size of 1 (one hotel owner helping a poor woman) and trying to make judgements about the entire population of the Kashmir valley.

    Using your own brand of logic, I can point to the numerous humanitarian activities undertaken by Indian Army (they’ve built schools, carried out relief work during earthquakes, floods……..) etc; and state that Indian Army has the most humane, gentle and kindest people anyone has ever met.

  50. @Kartikeya, Prabhuji,
    “If all that is required for a political stunt is that it should gather attention, maybe Ms. Swaraj should pursue an old idea and shave her head again. At least that would not endanger the lives of innocent people.”
    “Jokes apart, I seriously hope the re-use does not result in the what the country had to witness the last time they used it!”

    I fail to get it. This is the national flag we are discussing. And the last time I checked it belonged to every citizen and community of India. So why would the hoisting of the national flag result in endangering innocent lives?

  51. There is a basic difference even between the principles of Dandi march and the flag hoisting- The purpose. Gandhi mobilized the masses, but the aim was the overthrow the Raj. What is the aim of BJP’s flag hoisting? Is it to promote Kashmir’s complete integration into India? By these actions, are we alienating the moderates, or are we winning the hearts of the separatists? Take Omar Abdullah- he is no separatist, and he doesn’t like this.

  52. “Take Omar Abdullah- he is no separatist, and he doesn’t like this”

    ha ha.. LOL!! when did we decide that whatever done in Kashmir has to get Omar’s approval or should make him happy ? Its the flag dammit.. As a CM, his only duty is to ensure it happens safe and securely.. If the seperatist elements are not happy, take action against them.. the same f**tard sat simply when Pak flag was hoisted in the same place.. Did that make him happy ?

    “By these actions, are we alienating the moderates”
    Who are these so called moderated anyway ? Those who remained silent when KPs were cleansed from the valley ? Dont worry. let them remain silent even now. They are tailor made for silence..

  53. @Chiron – “Even if we give them independence tomorrow” When did we become the ‘thekedar’ of their independence ?

    Whatever way you look at it this whole Kashmir business is of security for both India and Pakistan and this act will destroy whatever little peace left in that place.

    And for the Author and Ramesh Srivats : there was a little discussion between both of you when the prepaidphones/SMSs were banned in the valley. At that time Ramesh was not happy with the violation of human rights, and Arnab’s argument was some steps taken for ensuring safety was justifiable.

    So why we are not applying the same principles here ?

  54. @Chiron – “Even if we give them independence tomorrow” When did we become the ‘thekedar’ of their independence ?

    Whatever way you look at it, this whole Kashmir business is of security for both India and Pakistan and this act will destroy whatever little peace left in that place.

    And for the Author and Ramesh Srivats : there was a little discussion between both of you when the prepaidphones/SMSs were banned in the valley. At that time Ramesh was not happy with the violation of human rights, and Arnab’s argument was some steps taken for ensuring safety was justifiable.

    So why we are not applying the same principles here ?

  55. History repeats itself.

    For those who have ever studied history (not the Nehru-ian type school book history but factual history), a few lines from wikipedia would probably set things in context.

    “Syama Prasad Mookerjee opposed the Indian National Congress’s decision to grant Kashmir a special status with its own flag and Prime Minister. According to Congress’s decision, no one, including the President of India could enter into Kashmir without the permission of Kashmir’s Prime Minister. In opposition to this decision, he once said “Ek desh mein do Vidhan, do Pradhan and Do Nishan nahi challenge” (A single country can’t have two constitutions, two prime ministers, and two National Emblems)…. Shyama Prasad was arrested on entering Kashmir on May 11, 1953 …. ” You may read the rest of the wikipedia article or any book on history (if it’s not been banned) to understand the chain of events which transpired subsequently to Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s arrest.

    Things like appeasement, easily avoidable demarcations, considering this Great Nation as their ancestral property (jageer) has been a trait of post-independence pseudo-monarchy politics, and it continues till date.

    As an Indian and as a Nationalist, I firmly believe that if someone wishes to hoist the Indian flag anywhere in India including Kashmir, they should do so by all accounts (be it the BJP or the DMK or CPIM or whoever), but (they should) also be adequately prepared to face the wrath of those who have made a mockery out of democracy and consider Our India (including Kashmir) their private property.

    Because History always has, and invariably does, repeat itself.

  56. Lal Chowk turned into a fortress to prevent the Indian tricolour from being hoisted on Republic Day…

    http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-lal-chowk-turns-fortress-to-keep-off-bjp-men/20110125.htm

    But the same authorities were bending over and moaning pleasurably, when the Pakistani flag was hoisted at Lal Chowk in Eid.

    Wah Re Wah ! Mera Congress Mahaan .. Isliye Aam Aadmi Pareshan !

    The popular Kaangress slogan for the next elections is going to be:
    “Desh Ke Neta? Sonja Gandy
    Mahilaon Ke Neta? Bianca Gandy
    Pappuon Ke Neta? Raoul Gandy
    Bhaad Mein Jayein Mahatma Gandhi”

  57. Rathesh,

    Yes some steps are needed to be put in place when safety is at sake. In Kashmir, terrorist activities were being coordinated over phone. Hence it was needed to prevent unlawful activities. Last time I noted (and in your mind it may be different no doubt), raising the Indian flag was NOT a terrorist activity. And oh as I mentioned in my post (and you read it no doubt) if the government were concerned about public safety, why was not the Pakistani flag taken down?

    The point I am making would be evident to most, except of course the severely indoctrinated. I am sure you are not one of them. Right?

  58. Greatbon, Someone who reads your post for the first time, it is overwhelmingly hilarious. Somewhat reminds reading Shibram Chokkoti for the first time.
    But after a while when you really start dive into the posts, the lack of layers in the writing, lack of sensitivity and a kind of “chest thumping” makes it utterly superficial. My intension to write this is to just let you know that there is a section readers who are silent , they do not read your post to debate in this forum, but read your post to satisfy the cerebral hunger. and it is disappointing for them to read day after day these articulate bubble, more so because it promises on the very first sight that we will be having a banquet for brain.
    These days your writing reminds me of Satyen Dutta.. whose obsession of sticking up to the label “Chhonder Jadukar” took away the soul of his poems.

  59. @ Lopa
    about Gb’s writing
    “But after a while when you really start dive into the posts, the lack of layers in the writing, lack of sensitivity and a kind of “chest thumping” makes it utterly superficial.”

    Response:
    Aww! That hurts.
    You need to take a few more puffs from your Bong to see feel the “layers” in Greatbong’s writings.

    As for the “chest-thumping part, Oh well! It takes more conscience and less of pretention, to feel its depth.

  60. BJP doing the Tiranga yatra is politics.

    But congress raising communal every time an election comes in NOT.

    Raise up you psuedos stop believing everything congress serves you and introspect yourself.

    People usually dont react unless they are affected. Traidtional mentalility of anyone in our country.

  61. The whole thing about law and order problem is a farce. That this threat is by separatists and our government supporting them makes it even more shameful for us, Indians.
    If a legal work enrages a mob (or separatists or party), it is the mob which should be controlled and the honest, law abiding citizen. This is the basic rule of democracy and Supreme court rules across the world have added a lot of literature along this thinking.

    Why BJP is doing this?
    Because couple of years back, government inked a deal with the Pak government allowing self government (aka Islamic theocracy, pakistani vassal state, etc etc) in Kashmir. This was done in secrecy. No doubt the government would have announced it a day after CBI(no not the congress beaurau of Investigation, the Central one…both are same? sorry I didn’t know) raids on all top leaders of BJP.

    Secular media would have had shrill coverage of raids and the Kashmir news would have been blacked out. Couple of years later, the same story would have been repeated about how minorities in Assam (Muslims are 60% there) are being treated and why they need ‘autonomy’.

    BJP is doing all this to educate the Indians about what the government is upto and hoisting is a master political strategy. You can call it stunt, drama, communal, partisan, casteist, whatever, there is one thing that cannot be taken out of it

    ‘ They just want to hoist their own flag in their own country. What the f can be wrong with it’

  62. GB, what is going on man? First Gul Panag goes all crazy over you on Twitter. And now women are pulling at your honor, asking you to satisfy their “cerebral hunger”. Female Shakti Kapoors I tell you.

    Brilliant brilliant post by the way. Lopa dear, you sound even more wannabe than Rakhi (forget Satyen Dutta). For instance the word is “babble” not “bubble”

  63. For most of the people who are terrified by the prospect of BJP coming to center after UPA 2 should know that:

    BJP will never form a government at the centre. Never Ever.
    It might support some other non-congress party from outside sometime in distant future. Its just not practically possible for them to increase seats given the changes in demographies and indoctrination in the schools and media. Actually they will wither away little by little in next couple of decades. And who knows, if India will enter history books by then or remain in geography with soul sold out to the highest bidder.

  64. http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/24/stories/2011012453261100.htm

    “..the BJP’s proposed flaghoisting is not just an exercise in naivette or cynicism. It is the product of a mindset that considers Kashmir to be terra nullius, an empty landscape to be coveted and possessed rather than a land with a people and soul who acceded to India in 1947 on the basis of a covenant which must be respected in full measure and who have as much right to a life with dignity as those elsewhere in the country do.”

    Dont know to which greatpong ABC category Mr. Varadarajan belongs.
    I only guess that there are few Indians who agree with this view, else it doesnt get published in the opinion page of a major newspaper.

    As far as analogies go, maybe there is another one a bit Kanti Shah-ish which involves a Dandi as well.

    An arranged marriage doesnt click.
    Maybe because the wife had an affair going before they fixed the marriage, or maybe because the guy was never attentive enough. Or a mix of both.

    Well it never looks manly if the girl leaves the marriage and elopes with the former lover.
    But to shoot a POV video and spread the MMS doesnt prove the manliness, or make the marriage any better.

  65. An arranged marriage doesnt click.
    Maybe because the wife had an affair going before they fixed the marriage, or maybe because the guy was never attentive enough. Or a mix of both.

    Who will decide if the wife really had an affair or is it entirely the rumor spread by frustrated ‘other guy’?

  66. @Anon

    When did we become the ‘thekedar’ of their independence ?

    The fact that they ask us for “azadi” shows that while we may not be the thekedaar, we do have a say in whether they get their so-called independence.

    Whatever way you look at it this whole Kashmir business is of security for both India and Pakistan and this act will destroy whatever little peace left in that place.

    If “this act” refers to granting them independence, I agree with your statement.

  67. Arnab,

    “(and in your mind it may be different no doubt) , ‘except of course the severely indoctrinated’ “!! so you can also be sarcastic when it suits you !

    I am not a supporter of any Azad Kashmir campaign or any other doctrine, just like you and BJP, it’s more issue based.

  68. @the writer of the article

    Dude you should have written this article as a way of “pacifying” the random members of the public .
    what you actually did is written this article as a way of “pacifying” the “HINDU” members of the public .

    so two thing are inherently wrong with the article (if we dont assume that “you are just putting you point of view forward”)
    1. write a secular article (i am a hindu in a hindu dominated country; but we all need to grow up!!)
    2. write a real article ie dont try to “pacify” or “justify” anything. say what you need to say (state facts) and let the reader decide for himself/herself

  69. @Ritwik: First: This is the writers opinion so he wrote it

    Second: If you believ in facts then you should write the same article

    Oh great soul. Wake up from your slumber.

  70. Why doesn’t Omar Abdullah himself as Chief Minister hoist the tri-colour at Lal Chowk and end the matter there?

  71. @Utsav

    You Think! Intriguing.

    @Anonym,

    Dear, I meant “bubble” and by that I mean the following (see bellow). Hope it will be clear to you now.

    btw, Do people get Ipad for defending GB? 🙂

    Jokes apart, To All GB Fans,
    1. My comment was towards GB to let him know perception of a general reader, not to you.
    2. by defending belligerently are you not showing your distrust on GB’s writing abilities?

    bub·ble (bbl)
    n.
    1. A thin, usually spherical or hemispherical film of liquid filled with air or gas: a soap bubble.
    2. A globular body of air or gas formed within a liquid: air bubbles rising to the surface.
    3. A pocket formed in a solid by air or gas that is trapped, as during cooling or hardening.

  72. We are divided on the basis of religion and cast. Now are we are divided because of politics. Every Indian should question why the Tiranga was not allowed to be hoisted at Lal Chowk. Let us appreciate the one who has taken the initiative with a view to show that Kashmir indeed belongs to India. Many princely States ceded with India during Independence but except Kashmir none of them got special status. May be we can collectively represent to the Union Government to introduce a bill to cancel this special status?
    Jai Hind!!

  73. @Lopa,

    As for the “chest thumping” – I made the following comment in an earlier GB post and doing it again here.

    “Real liberal view is something that is hard to maintain for a long time. The mind naturally swings to a steady state. And to confront the liberals then, the other liberals resort to fundamentalism. If GB is displaying fundamentalism here, it is right and very much needed. Just hope that when time comes, the balance is restored.”

    GB wrote both superficial pieces and many deeply insightful articles as far as I have read. He maintains no intellectural mask about his over-the-top love for Mithun Da or B-grade bollywood movies.

    What I find interesting in this blog is not only GB post but the discussion he generates. He never misses to write a “timely” blog and create an awareness. That is praiseworthy.

  74. I will absolutely support the Govt., the PM, HM, all our “liberals” and also our absolutely secular media folks when they lambast BJP for this “Tiranga tamasha”. BUT why is the same standard not applied to the other side as well? Why do we have to suffer from selective amnesia? NO ONE and absolutely NO ONE in the media-congress-liberal axis of evil mentioned even once that the hoisting of the Pakistani flag was a heinous act. And C-Grade actress Gul Panag branded Greatbong a saffronite NRI for asking that valid question.

    I see that many commentors here are going “BJP and Yatra….hmmmm…..the saffron crazies are at it again”, “BJP scumbags are once again trying to polarize for electoral gains”. Please. This won’t fetch them any electoral gains anywhere since the voter today votes almost entirely on development issues, I see it as an emotional step taken by them.

    Also on Twitter I see that many “liberal” young people lambast BJP as if its the symbol of all thats rotten. I fail to find the logic. The BJP with its charismatic CMs and better governance has turned around “BIMARU” states like Chattisgarh and MP and also played a role in Bihar. And what Narendra Modi achieved in Gujarat is more than a miracle. And while in Centre Arun Shourie revolutionized Indian Telecom forever and they gave the National Highway network which will overtake the US equivalent in 10 years. Of course there are corrupt people in BJP as there are in Congress. But can Congress point to any notable achievement in any of the States they rule or in the 7 years at Centre? The ONLY achievement of UPA would be India US nuke deal and they almost got toppled while at it.

  75. @Nipun: At least the troika had the spirit , guts, moany balls call it whatever you damn well like to brave sniper fire or a popped up grenade from nowhere to go inside that hell-hole. People like you, would poo in their pants just at the mere thought of it and anybody can have my 100 Rs. on it …

  76. @ Lopa
    Yes Lopa. I think.
    And would expect you do some of that at some point too.

    Looks like the Yatra was never allowed near Srinagar.

  77. What has happened is finally for the good! There have been no riots but everyone has agreed that the govt was wrong in preventing the hoisting of the flag. I think BJP has won this round.

  78. @Dhopa,

    See if you used the word “bubble” then the juxtaposition of your words (Articulate bubble) made no sense, even though “bubble” is a valid English word. I just called you, as an example, Dhopa (which means washerman in Bangla). It also has meaning but perhaps may not be an appropriate thing to call you (or perhaps is) since I am using it in the wrong context. I know reading Chetan Bhagat and great authors like him does handicap your knowledge of English and your knowledge of what big word follows the other.

    Why do you believe GB needs to pay me to defend him? Are you the kind who thinks “payment” for every action of yours? Who paid you then to write your comment?

    It is curious that none of you could take GB on his logic. None. All you can do is say “you chest-thump” where all GB has done is present a logical argument.

  79. The problem is much more complex. GB is approaching it as a though the Kashmiri politics is a rational beast. There exists a significant population in Kashmir (lets say x%) who wish to establish an islamic state. The islamic state or ‘independent’ state is not acceptable to most of us.This x% is happy to indulge or support in ethnic cleansing and terrorism.

    A triranga yatra will result in this separatists indulging in inflaming passions (a la Amarnath controversy) which will result in a x% + some additional supporters to support terrorism.

    Now BJP is within its right to hoist the Indian flag wherever it wants. The UPA government has no right in stopping it by diverting trains etc. But, in the short term atleast, the UPA action is putting India in a stronger position whereas BJP actions put India in a weaker position.

  80. Dark Lord,

    1. Do you think if somewhere Hindus are “inflamed”, then the government should stop a legal act? Or would you call that a craven caving in to majoritarianism then? Say in a certain state, majority Hindus become inflammed if Muslims celebrate Eid. Would you say the government should stop the celebration of Eid by fiat? Do you think that would make the nation stronger or weaker?

    2. When Pakistani/Islamic flag was unfurled, no one was inflamed. Right? So can we assume that when Indian flag is unfurled and a certain person, for whom the Pak flag was fine, is inflamed, he in any case belonged to x% in the first place? In other words, if the mere act of an Indian flag being unfurled is given as the reason for someone to become a supporter of an Islamic state, he was already a supporter of an Islamic state?

  81. Lopa,

    Ever heard of metaphor used in wrong place? Somewhat (not exactly) like “guruchandali” (a concept I think will be easier for you to understand).

  82. @Anonym,

    Just for your info, “Guruchandali” has a great use in literature. Try reading Michael Madhusudan for the literal use.
    And you can survive, then try Garcia Marquez, for more refined use.

  83. Lopa,

    Michael Madhusudhuan Dutta is criticized for his Guruchandali, use of words like “khandeilen”. As to Garcia Marquez, did you read him in Spanish or in English? Guruchandali in Spanish???

  84. I haven’t gone through the comments but I’m sure they are as if note more interesting as the blog post itself. Of course, this and the frenzy over the actual event leads me to only one conclusion: Benedict Anderson is a bloody genius. 🙂

  85. “My support has always issue-based, and does not come from any deep well of blinding political/religious conviction” – I find it hard to justify this. People accuse you being confused/having double standards. Although to me its the only rational way of conducting yourself.

  86. whats wrong in getting over with it by just giving Kashmir independence and demanding an astronomical price for the properties of the Hindus? China and Pakistan can pay for it, I guess. Its not as if the whole India would collapse if Kashmir or parts of north-east becomes “free”

  87. Lopa seems to be a Bengali lit grad who knows very little about current affairs and hence can only correlate to all Bong poets…LOL…where are the references from Vidyapati, Chandidas,etc etc?

  88. I am assuming that Lal Chowk is a public place and govt permission is required to unfurl a flag there. As such, govt is within its right to refuse permission if it thinks such an act is likely to disturb peace (and yes, if they think unfurling a Pakistani flag is not likely to disturb peace, then they are free to allow that too). Wonder why BJP didn’t choose a private building owned by them, say the building housing their office in Srinagar (assuming they have one), to hoist the tri-colour. They would have been on a much firmer ground in that case.

  89. @holi_cow,

    Or may be Lopa is a hugely paid software professional in one of the world’s biggest investment bank .. :), whats the point? am I not in my rights to let my favorite blogger know my disappointment and expectations as a reader?

  90. Good and timely post. Everyone has their own viewpoint. However, the government also has the right to stop any march / “yatra” if it thinks that it will hamper local law and order. The situation in Kashmir is delicate, (lets not go into arguments over why or who is responsible for that) and the state and central govt. has to ensure that it is not disturbed. I believe that the BJP is not a party of local hoodlums, as it has formed central goverments and should behave responsibly. There must be other ways to ensure the rise of Indian Nationalism in Kashmir. BJP should concentrate on finding such ways and should stay away from such programs that merely attract violence and cheap propaganda. Without proper and mature leadership BJP has become a party of “yatrawalas’. Speaking in Bengali this program was nothing but “public-er sentimente shurshuri deoya”.

  91. “1. Do you think if somewhere Hindus are “inflamed”, then the government should stop a legal act? Or would you call that a craven caving in to majoritarianism then? Say in a certain state, majority Hindus become inflammed if Muslims celebrate Eid. Would you say the government should stop the celebration of Eid by fiat? Do you think that would make the nation stronger or weaker?”
    If the Hindus are inflamed in India or indulge in ‘irrational’ politics, we would have been an Hindu state by now. The Indian state currently survives because the Hindu’s are sacrificing/giving concessions to others. It will be craven craving to ‘majoritarianism’ which is want the government did for the yatra. So, the Hindus being inflamed will make India weaker but the government action would make India stronger (because majority of people will be happy with the decision – its a hard fact of life in India).
    Eid situation – I would say that if the church in Tirupati is a reason for Hindus being inflamed, it would make sense to remove the church.

    What we want is a liberal state ie freedom of speech, no restrictions on movement, lower taxes and smaller and less obtrusive government. We are at a situation where freedom of speech is heavily curtailed through legal as well as illegal means, movement restrictions governed by local politics, high taxes and a government which seems to be bigger than ever. The government policies are rational considering the situation we are in but will never get us close to where want to be.

    “2. When Pakistani/Islamic flag was unfurled, no one was inflamed. Right? So can we assume that when Indian flag is unfurled and a certain person, for whom the Pak flag was fine, is inflamed, he in any case belonged to x% in the first place? In other words, if the mere act of an Indian flag being unfurled is given as the reason for someone to become a supporter of an Islamic state, he was already a supporter of an Islamic state?”

    Not really. In India (including Kashmir), the propensity is to blame the law enforcement agencies. The x%, when they indulge in stone pelting etc, not many blame them. When the law enforcement agencies react, let me assure you, majority of people will not sympathize with the law enforcement agencies. Would you not say the separatists popularity increased after the death of 100+ protestors?

  92. This has been blown WAY out of proportion by both sides. And from a purely venal political perspective, both sides have made very stupid moves.
    Let’s say the hindutwits did manage to hoist the flag at Lal Chowk and some religious fundie blew everyone around him to atoms in retaliation. What do you think would happen? Just another plank for the CONgress to claim moral superiority over the BJP with an “I told you so” attitude. But no, this clown Abdullah decided to do an Indira Gandhi and put the BJP “leaders” (*snicker*) in protective custody. So out come Jaitley and the Aunty the next evening, feeling all warm and fuzzy about being just like their freedom fighters.

    They should’ve stopped their march at Delhi, Abdullah should’ve kept his trap shut and it would’ve been all good. But NOW, if you please, we’re going to have another protracted “debate” over an issue which is a non-issue which everyone is hell bent on turning into an issue while crucial reforms are put on the backburner (as usual).

    Patriotic chest thumping isn’t going to help anyone. An incredibly wasteful republic day parade is quite enough, isn’t it? Cut the crap and get to work.

  93. Good post.I’m with you.

    If we can’t hoist Flag in our own country, where else should we hoist it?

    1 thing still troubles me. Taking symbolism too far.
    In Karnataka, BJP wanted to hoist National Flag in Eedga Maidan, near Hubli Bus Stand. It was a ground under Muslim Wqqf Board & each year between 1990-1994 (Independence Day & Republic Day), BJP would cause tension & Section 144.
    BJP did this all, not for the love of Flag (symbol), but for electoral gains. It had no qualms in ditching the issue, when it suited to show off sec-credentials.

    It took the Wily guy CM Ibrahim to cool down the tensions, by getting the Waqf people (Abdul Kalebudde) to hoist the flag in 1994.

    It keeps searching for mosques, open-fields & etc., as it;s green-field projects.

    Hoisting the flag & Saluting it are all symbolic gestures.
    Anything more than gestures, something that would make a difference (like coming with ideas, implementing some stuff) in any walk-of-life… Can BJP think on those lines?
    Some thing like their Golden Quadrilateral Roadway, Linking Rivers, ………

  94. @Natasha,

    Cut the crap and get to work.

    Ironically, that is the point you should remember before writing such “crap”.

    @Mallikarjuna,

    BJP did this all, not for the love of Flag (symbol), but for electoral gains. It had no qualms in ditching the issue, when it suited to show off sec-credentials.

    Yes, very correct. It is their constant flip flop that makes them loose huge votes. It has become like a Congress without the family loyalty part.

  95. The “Take Back the Night” analogy doesn’t really hold water. What the BJP are doing is not equivalent to a bunch of empowered women wearing what they like and making eye-contact with men. It’s more like a crazy woman walking naked through an open prison full of rapists. The reason I say this is because, like it or not, Kashmir is NOT the same as the rest of India.

    The situation there is unique. It’s even treated differently by the constitution. That’s not to say I’m happy about it. It’s just the way it is after all that’s happened there. Yes, a lot of bad things happened, most especially to the Pandits who have been subjected to nothing short of genocide. They have become refugees in their own country. But the time for a rapid response to genocide is long past. The separatist movement has been growing for a long time, aided in no small measure by our friends across the border.

    So what should be India’s response? Do we forcefully re-relocate the Pandits back to Kashmir? Do they all even want that? Do we compensate them with money and land? Do we declare a state of emergency in J&K and give free rein to the military? Do we treat every stone-thrower as a terrorist and terminate them “with extreme prejudice”? And, to take a bigger-picture view, what is the long-term solution? What happens when a country is divided into those who want a secular state and those who want an islamic state? We’ve been here before – in 1947. Is partition the only solution?

    My answer is simply: I don’t know. It’s a complicated situation. But I don’t think that the BJP’s latest stunt is helping in any way. Just like the naked woman in the prison, she has every right to be unmolested – and the rapists would be breaking the law if they attacked her. But they’re already in prison! The separatists are already attacking us. We’re not gaining anything by proving them to be law-breakers. We’d just get fucked. Again.

  96. Lopa at GB’s comment space = Mandira Bedi at post-match analysis. They have very little “subject matter value”, although may have some “entertainment value”…

  97. Silence, Holy Cow !

    Madam Lopa is a self-professed “hugely paid” software professional, who never thumps her own chest but accuses GB, possibly one of the most self-effacing men in the Indian online world, of chest-thumping. Next you know she will be writing comments in Ada. Hope for the sake of her “hugely paid” job, that the computer training institute she went to gave her a better knowledge of Java abstract syntax than her high school gave her of English.

  98. I volunteered and served in Kashmir at the peak of insurgency. I have walked the streets and the villages in Kashmir and yes lost a few brave men in the course of my tenure there.

    The truth is, there is more peace in Kashmir then it was 5 to 10 years back. The infiltration is down and terrorists are on the run. The army is mainly back in the barracks. The time I was there almost every terrorist that was killed was a afgani or a pakistani. They were paid mercenaries, a far cry from the paid stone throwers that we saw few months back. Fact is Kashmir is much closer to India today than it was a decade back.

    To understand Insurgency in Kashmir read Zia’s Operation Topac in Kashmir.
    http://www.kashmir-information.com/Miscellaneous/OperationTopac.html

    While we may not accept it openly, it was brilliantly successful.

    Also connect the timings,

    Phase I starts 1987-88 – End of the Afghan war. Afghan Mujahideens in surplus, plenty of arms and money at disposal. Punjab insurgency nearing its end. All of 90s Kashmir was overflowing with Mujahideens.

    Phase II – 1999 – Kargil war.

    Phase III- Thankfully will never happen.

    So if we think that this was just home grown insurgency – It was not. Just like terrorism in Punjab, Kashmir was also fueled and funded by Pakistan.

    I was in Kashmir when things were quite bad and that was also the time when there were elections. You don’t see successful elections if the people did not feel as part of India. Last two elections also saw total boycott by the separatists. Fact is, the separatists never fight elections. Cause they know they can’t win. They are a minority and on pay rolls. But they make all the noise, throw stones. The media never shows the silent majority in the homes. Why should they? Is that news?

    The majority in Kashmir are normal peasants trying to make a living. They are silent, scarred and in desperate need of healing. It is not easy when almost every family has someone killed in the near relations. The civilian deaths in Kashmir far out number the death of forces. The industry in Kashmir has ground to halt. Unemployment very high. Ideal catchment for provocation, paid insurgency and stone throwing.

    Even when things were bad every school in my area celebrated the Independence day and the Republic day. I never needed to force it. I was always invited.

    Yes, there were and still are separatists and jingoists who flew the Paki flag at many times. They were a minority. That act of flying the Pakistani flag at Lalchowk did not make Kashmir part of Pakistan as much as BJP’s flying the Flag would have made it part of India.

    India’s flying of the flag at Tiger hill and Tololing were great moments of pride. We recaptured those peaks. The army units who raised the flag shed blood and lives for it. They deserved that moment of pride and joy.

    What was BJP trying to do at Lalchowk?

    Lead a procession of 50000 to the heart of Lalchowk to claim it as India’s? They expected that crowd to be peaceful? Whom were they kidding? Which mob of that size will stay in control? Were they trying to re-capture Lalchowk? What did their slogans of ‘Kashmir hamara hai’ mean? Is there a doubt that Kashmir is not ours? Do we really believe that this act would have magically made kashmir ours and win the heart and soul of the Kashmiris? I have no doubt that it would have only worsened the situation and the many lives that were lost would have gone in vain. To win Kashmir you don’t go and capture the land, you win the people. I don’t remember their leaders mourning the daily death of the jawans and civilians in Kashmir. But suddenly you remember Kashmir to raise a flag?

    See through the gimmick and you’ll find a short term selfish goal. This was another rath yatra -Polarise the nation on a very sensitive issue, gain sympathy, chant jingoism. Damn if they cared that the country went up in flames and riots or lost many lives. Chant the nation’s pride, show them an enemy, whip up a frenzy and let them loose. Read history and you’ll find, Hitler, Saddam and Kim Jong all did the same.

    We have the right to raise the flag in any part of the country. Of course we do!

    The men at Tololing and tiger hill earned the right to raise the flag. They shed their lives and blood to raise it. Do the Sushma swaraj’s and Jaitleys come any where near?

    Of course, all of us have the right to hoist a flag. Do that with pride, its solemn – respect it, be responsible about it. The flag represents the idea of India. Use that to unify and glorify that idea – not break it.

    Using the flag for narrow political gains is as much an insult as burning or desecrating it.

  99. @ Jaimon Jose

    Thanks for your service to the nation. Many gratitudes.

    So you do think that the flag hoisting would “Polarise the nation on a very sensitive issue, gain sympathy, chant jingoism. Damn if they cared that the country went up in flames and riots or lost many lives.” (your words)

    I can see one of the “poles” being the “nationalist”, “jingoists”. What exactly is teh other “pole” representing?

  100. it isn’t the act, it’s the manner in which the act is being carried out.

    the dandi march was a way to show displeasure at British made rules.

    whereas, here, we have people responsible for Ayodhya, taking the lead, ostensibly to plant a flag. whether it is a political stunt or not is irrelevant, all politics is a stunt, what’s important is that the point of this act – and the way it is carried out – is to stir up Hindu pride. okay? it isn’t to show Kashmiris that “we love you guys, really, see we came all the way…”

  101. My only question… did the BJP think so much…
    My issue with them is that one leader would have said lets do this anyways we have so much to spank the government at this time, yeh karke aur mileage lete hai…

    why suddenly this only this year…it is a stunt because its just been taken to complement their sudden burst of ‘responsible oppositioning’!

  102. @UC: what he is trying to say is that the intention was short term… very very short term…
    To gain mileage in the face of an increasingly paralysed government.

    Otherwise why had this thing not been done before in the manner and dedication it was tried out now, or is it suddenly they developed the love for claiming as ours, what is already beyond doubt OURS

  103. Such an act might lead to violence and it is logical to avoid it. It might be craven and unpatriotic but I think the state should be given time to heal naturally and intelligent, well thought out steps need to be taken. There are innocent people involved. The Pakistani flag unfurled there hurts but I do not think this is the right way to correct it.

  104. Few more points I would like to add regarding the Tiranga Debate which happened on news channels (esp. English News Channels).
    Various points were raised by Left Liberals which caught my attention:

    Many debaters raised the following points to discredit the Tiranga Yatra.
    1] Why Lal Chowk ?
    My Counter Point : Why not Lal Chowk? Isn’t it part of India. Why didn’t anyone say anything to those few thugs ( Kashmir Separatists ) who unfurled an Islamic Flag on Lal Chowk.

    2] Unfurling a Tricolor is symbolic. Don’t give it more importance because its not the real thing.
    My Counter Point : I say Unfurl the Tricolor at Lal Chowk because it is SYMBOLIC.
    Explanation : Say symbol X stands for Y. Then it means X is not actually Y. And the commentators on TV stressed on this meaning and called citizens to reject BJP’s Ekta Yatra. I am stressing more importance on the meaning. i.e Y. What does Tricolor actually stand for.
    It resembles our aspirations, our culture, our unity. Many people have laid down their lives to protect the TRICOLOR.
    If we can’t even provide security to our leaders and cower down when few hundred thugs take to streets and give you “DHAMKI” of violence/bloodsheds, all these are sending wrong signals to the masses.
    This makes me think why are we even bothering about United Nations Security Council Seat if we can’t even handle a simple
    LAW & ORDER situation within our own borders.

    Major point : Why are the commentators (mostly left liberals) making above arguments which can be very refuted easily? These are diversionary tactics employed by them to take viewers’ attention from the main issue.

  105. @Amit,

    The arguement of why it was not done earlier does not hold much water – it is more a case of better late than never. Perhaps the BJP is not filled with intelligent folks who would have all the ideas the very first moment. Perhaps they are slightly dumb and took so many years to realize that they need to do this. Does that mean you stop them from doing a perfectly legal action?

    @K if it was done to stir Hindu pride, they would have hoisted the Hindu flag (the “Bhagwa Dhwaj”, as it is called). How do you know that they did it to stir Hindu pride? There were Muslim BJP members too in the yatra . They hoisted the Tricolour to stir national pride, what is wrong in that?

    @Nishant: Screening MNIK in Mumbai had the potential of leading to violence with the SHivSena goons on the rampage and a lot of innocent people were involved there too. The govt. chose to offer protection to MNIK and promised to maintain law and order and rightly so. I see no difference between the Sena goons and the Kashmiri goons. It is the govt’s responsibility to see that the citizens indulging in a completely legal act are not obstructed by some lunatics / terrorists / etc.

  106. @Everyone: Go get a life. Religion was but a manipulative tool used to control u guys and am sorry to say u fell for it face down!!! How many of u really cared to wake up that morning and go for the hoisting to the nearest possible place. I and you both know the answer irrespective of what you post here. I mean common petrol at 65 and onions at 70(yea smelling of onions is a matter of pride suddenly!!)

    Guys show ur patriotism where it really matters. This is a mere ego boasting thing that we talking about. Half the nation doesn care and switched the channels when there were hundreds of death in the valley and now suddenly everyones hypocritical about what happens at lal chowk. Dont make an ego issue out of this. Ask yourself have u really cared for the lives of the ones living there and you will get an answer for yourself.

  107. J&K cops ‘offered urine for water’ to Ekta yatris

    January 29, 2011

    Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

    When separatist leader Yasin Malik and others marched to Lal Chowk with black flags, the police offered them hot tea and cigarettes. But we were arrested for trying to hoist the National Flag… When we asked for water, the police offered us urine.”

    Dozen of BJP youth wing workers who have returned to the Capital — with fractured limbs and numerous wounds — narrated the story of brutality unleashed by the Jammu & Kashmir Police in Srinagar on January 26.

    These youth leaders had to sneak into Srinagar and hide in small groups to continue with the plan to hoist the National Flag at Lal Chowk, after threats by separatists and prohibitory orders by the State administration.

    While Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) chief Anurag Thakur and BJP leaders were arrested upon entering Jammu & Kashmir, a couple of youth wing workers made an attempt on January 26 morning to hoist the flag at Lal Chowk.

    KK Upadhyay, an engineer from Gurgaon, was the first who tried. He was beaten up. The next group of workers came as close as 20 metres from Lal Chowk. No sooner did one of them take the flag out of his pocket and wave it, that several policemen pounced on him, snatched away the flag, tore it (the National Flag) into pieces and beat him up, fracturing his left hand in the process.

    “J&K Police personnel were carrying posters — ‘Indian dogs, go back’. The arrested BJP activists were forced to take off their clothes in sub-zero temperatures. Third degree torture was meted out. Does Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have any explanation for this kind of an action? He should apologise to the nation,” Anurag Thakur told The Pioneer on Friday.

    Bhrigu Bakshipatra, Rajesh Chowdhary, Mohan Reddy, Suresh Bagashia (office-bearers), Shyantanam Basu (executive member), Jitendra Meena, Virendra S Khinchi, Lokinder Singh Rajawat, Vijay Upadhyay, Vinod Rawat, Bhupinder Chowdhary, Ashok Bhati (from Rajasthan), RP Singh, Shikha Rai, Hiren Mishra (from Delhi), Pradeep Singh Vaghela, Harsh Sanghavi, Alpesh Sashikant (from Gujarat) and Jitendra Gupta (from West Bengal) had to be admitted to a local hospital after they received serious injuries in a police lathicharge.

    The State Police, Thakur said, not only tortured party workers but also used obscenities against the BJP national leaders. Maintaining that his yatra was a success – as party workers managed to hoist the flag so close to Lal Chowk despite police cordoning off the area – Thakur said his next plan was to reach out to the people, students in particular, and expose the UPA’s pro-separatist polices.

    “We have been successful in our endeavor to excite and rejuvenate India’s youth into proactively taking the cause of national integration and sovereignty,” he said.

    http://www.dailypioneer.com/313950/JK-cops-%E2%80%98offered-urine-for-water%E2%80%99-to-Ekta-yatris.html

  108. ..BJP needs to call up Nira Radia ..and let let her talk to Farookh/Omar Abdullah through Barkha Dutt / Vir Sangvi / etc to allow them to hoist the tricolour in Srinagar ….and then maybe a phone call from Obama to Manmohan singh to allow that might help…but by then Indians in Lahore might hoist up a triclolour there ..

  109. Really good piece GB.for me your article was more than just about the flag hoisting.it made me think that has the psedu secular become the new secular?has common sense went down the gutter so hard that it is no longer applied?if bjp’s action has political undertones (which i definitely feel) doesn’t the congress’ response to it?I am a bigger fan of you now GB even in the non satirical department that is.keep up the good work sir.

    @chiron @siddhart thanks for raising equally valid points and talking some sense to anon.must say your comments complete the already to the point article.

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