Saturday, 31 January 2015

Dr. Faust
Dr. Faust is a figure in German legend, who is also the central character in the plays of the English playwright Christopher Marlowe and the German playwright Goethe.
 Faust is a person who, for getting worldly pleasures, sells his soul to the devil.
  He is symbolic of ambitious people who surrender their moral integrity to achieve power

Why Delhiites should vote for AAP

Delhi is basically a city of shopkeepers and traders, that is, of small and middle businessmen.
 Earlier, broadly, in India the Congress used to be economically the party of big businessmen, while the Jan Sangh, which later became the BJP, was the party of small and middle businessmen in many parts of India.

  Now the Congress stands decimated, and the BJP has broadly become the party of big business  in India, or at least a section of big business whose interests it represents and promotes. The Aam Admi Party, at least in Delhi, now represents the small and middle business class.

 This being so, it is clearly in the interest of Delhiites to vote for the Aam Admi Party in the coming Delhi Assembly elections

 My impression of its leader, Arvind Kejriwal, is that though he had some defects ( he was impulsive and impatient ) he is a man of integrity, and has learnt from his mistakes, and is removing his defects. He will work for the interests of Delhiites who have been plagued with exorbitant electricity and water bills and other woes

Friday, 30 January 2015

What is wrong with some of you people ?

What is wrong with some of you people ? Can't an old man like me admire a beautiful woman ?
 By admiring a beautiful flower I am not plucking it, and by admiring a beautiful garden from a distance I am not tresspassing onto it.
 Similarly, if I admire a beautiful woman I am not misbehaving with her, or taking liberties with her.

Went for a walk in the morning.

 I was about to cross a road when I saw a big car coming down the road at high speed. The car stopped. i waved at the driver requesting him to proceed. He smiled, and waved back at me, asking me to cross the road first. Only after I had crossed the road did he move his car.

 The respect given to pedestrians in America is amazing. I have seen a whole cavalcade of high speeding cars come to a grinding halt just because a single old white haired lady was standing at a zebra crossing to cross the road. They proceeded only after she had crossed the road. Does this ever happen in India ?

 The respect given to the handicapped is also amazing. People in wheel chairs in America have special parking spaces, special toilets, etc

 In this respect we have to learn from Americans.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Subhash Chandra Bose

One cannot doubt the bravery and integrity of Subhash Chandra Bose.
 However, the truth is that he became a collaborator with the Japanese imperialists and fascists in the Second World War, and for this he has to be condemned.
 The Japanese used him as a tool for their imperialist aims, and the moment his utility was over they would have bumped him off.
 If he and his 'Azad Hind Fauj' had real independent strength, why did they surrender when the Japanese surrendered ? They should have carried on a guerilla war against the British army. This shows that without Japanese support the ' Azad Hind Fauj' was only empty gas.
 I know that many people will strongly attack me for this statement, but I am not a popularity seeker. The truth must be said, even if it makes one unpopular.

Mr. Xi's drama

President Xi Jinping of China enacted a farce by presenting a peace award to the sister of Dr. September 2014 in Delhi.
 In the 1930s and 1940s the Chinese had bravely fought against Japanese imperialism, a fight in which Dr. Kotnis gave his life.
 Today the Chinese have themselves become imperialiasts, they want to dominate other countries and capture their markets, thus destroying the indigenous industries of these countries and increasing unemployment there. Thus the Chinese of today have disgraced their ancestors, and have fallen to the lowest depths.
 The drama enacted by Mr. Xi will fool no one

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

‘The Court of Last Resort’

I have felt for quite some time that injustice is being done to a large number of people in India who have been languishing in jail either as undertrials whose cases have not been heard for several years, or who have unjustly remained incarcerated, either because:
(1) The police appear to have fabricated evidence against them, e.g. Sadhvi Pragya
(2) For want of proper legal assistance
(3) Who have had to spend many years in jail and ultimately found innocent by the court, e.g. Amir
(4) Who have already spent long periods in jail, and deserve to be released on humanitarian grounds e.g. Abdul Qadir in Hyderabad
 (5) Whose conviction appears to be on the basis of weak evidence evidence, and hence they deserve to be pardoned e.g. Devinderpal Singh Bhullar
Many of such persons in jail belong to minorities who have been accused only on suspicion and on pre-conceived notions that all persons of that community are terrorists. Whenever a bomb blast or such other terrorist event occurs, the police often is unable to trace out the real culprit, and yet it has to show that it has solved the crime. Consequently very often the police rushes to implicate and charge a large number of youths of that minority community on mere suspicion, whose bail application is very often rejected as the public prosecutor says that the accused is a terrorist. Consequently the accused have often to spend several years in jail, though many of them are ultimately found innocent found innocent by the Court.. In such matters either the police often fabricates evidence against them to justify their acts and secure conviction, or the cases result in acquittal of innocent accused persons after they have spent several years in jail. A classic case is of that of a young boy Aamir who was 17 years of age when arrested, and who spent 14 years in jail after which he was found innocent. How will these 14 years of his life be restored ?

In the 6th April 2013 issue of a national weekly there is an excellent article entitled, ‘The Fight for Muslims is fundamental for the survival of Democracy’. In this article it is stated that over the past few years  journalists of this weekly have documented hundreds of stories of innocent Muslims languishing in jail after being brutally tortured on flimsy or false charges. Each case hides hair raising stories about prejudice, incompetence and deliberate malafide, and also mentions stories of pain, destroyed lives and hollowed futures.

The weekly journal wrote that innocent Muslims have been often jailed with impunity in India over the past decade because it was easy to jail them. Within hours of any terror attack, a bunch of Muslim boys would be arrested, and their names aired in the media as ‘Masterminds’. Their guilt was assumed, it did not need to be proved.

Since 2001 a terrible maxim had seeped into the Indian mainstream: All Muslims may not be terrorist, but all terrorists are Muslims. It did not matter if you caught the wrong ones. Everyone only wanted the illusion of security and “action taken”. Those who raised hard questions were scorned as ‘anti-national’.

In my interview with Karan Thapar on ‘Devil’s Advocate’ I said that within hours of a terrorist attack in India many media channels start showing that an email or SMS has been received from ‘Indian Mujahideen’ or ‘Jaish-e-Muhammad’ or ‘Harkat-ul-Jihad’, or some other organization having a Muslim name, claiming responsibility. Now an email or SMS can be sent by any mischievous person. But by showing this on TV screens, and the next day in print, subtle message is sent that all Muslims are terrorists, and thus the entire community is demonized.

All this is triggering new cycles of hate and revenge. Despair turns citizens into perpetrators, from the hunted to the hunter. Young men who have spent long years in jail cannot find jobs or houses to rent even when acquitted, their families are ostracized, and sisters find themselves unmarriageable because their brothers have been branded as terrorists.

Unless this cycle of hate is now reversed we are heading for terrible times, for injustice breeds hatred and violence

Criminal investigation is a science, but unfortunately in our country the police usually is not trained in scientific investigation nor does it have the equipment for the same. If we read the stories of Sherlock Holmes, we see how Holmes investigates a crime by promptly going on the spot and studying the finger prints, blood stains, soil, ashes, handwriting etc. before coming to a scientific conclusion. In recent times it has been shown on Discovery Channel etc. how the American police investigates a crime. The police reach the spot and collects the traces of the material there including blood stains, fingerprints, ashes, fibres, etc. The finger prints are fed into a computer which is connected to a national computer network, which can often lead to the discovery of the criminal. The blood stains etc. are taken to a laboratory where they are tested for DNA etc. Even a few microscopic fibres can lead to the discovery of the culprit by testing them in a laboratory and thus finding out his identity.

All this is usually absent in our police set up and yet the police has to show that it has solved the crime, otherwise the investigating officer fears suspension for incompetence. Consequently  he either implicates people on suspicion or resorts to the time honoured method of torture or third degree methods to obtain a confession.

All this is leading to injustice on a large scale. I am not blaming the courts for this because they are handicapped due to the enormous burden of litigation for which cases linger on for years and years. Also, unfortunately nowadays the real eye witnesses are afraid to give evidence out of fear of threats or harassment, and hence the police often fabricates evidence.

The result of all this is that in our country gross injustice is often done to many persons, and the time has now come when this great wrong must be set right. Our country is a country of great diversity and therefore no community must be made to feel that it is being selectively victimised.

This being the situation it has been decided by a group of people headed by me to set up an organisation called ‘The Court of Last Resort’.

The concept of this idea has come from an organisation founded way back in 1948 by the eminent American criminal lawyer Erle Stanley Gardner, who later wrote the Perry Mason novels. In his book ‘The Court of Last Resort’, Erle Stanley Gardner mentions about the organisation which he set up consisting  mainly of lawyers, who took up cases of persons whom they thought  were wrongly accused or unjustly convicted. The organisation which we are starting in India will bear the same name ‘The Court of Last Resort’ and have its headquarters in New Delhi, and will have state units in all states of India. Such state units could be authorised to appoint district units.

‘The Court of Last Resort’ will have the following objects:

(1) To ask the concerned authorities in various states about details of prisoners languishing in jails, particularly those who have been in jail for long periods, including both under trials and convicts. The R.T.I. Act can be used in this connection.

(2) To examine the cases of persons, whether of our own accord, or on the representation of someone, and find out whether there has been injustice in their case, either by the delay in holding the trial, or by a wrong conviction, and do the needful in this connection, including applying for bail.

(3) To apply for pardon, respite, suspension or reduction of sentence   to the President or Governor as the case may be.

(4) To create awareness in the public about this gross injustice which is being done to a large number of people.

(5) To educate the police about this state of affairs and change its mentality.

(6) To approach the other concerned authorities with the aim of rectifying this injustice to a large section of people.

(7) To do such other acts as may be necessary for this purpose.

The organisation appeals to the like-minded people among the public, particularly to lawyers, retired judges, academicians, students, social activists, professionals, media persons, etc. to help and get associated with this enterprise

It is made clear that this is being  done for no personal benefit to any  body but purely because of a sincere desire that justice should be done to everybody, and no section of society is made to feel that it is being discriminated against.
 It is also made clear that the ' Court of Last Resort' will not really be a Court in the judicial sense but only a fact finding body whose aim will be to secure justice for all.
 To begin with, we may take up the cases of Sadhvi Pragya, Abdul Qadir and Bhullar

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Getting kicked out of China

 I have never been to China, but if I ever go there I will probably be kicked out of China within 24 hours of entering it, because I will certainly speak the truth there publicly, namely that you Chinese have become arrogant and want to dominate other countries like imperialists and capture their markets, which people like this humble self will certainly oppose.
 And this will certainly entail being kicked out of China

Kicking a Donkey

I must be the most abused person in India. Many people, particularly many mediapersons who want to raise their TRP ratings by ' mirch masala ', revel in attacking me, twisting my statements, putting words into my mouth which I never used, and other devious means. I  have been described variously as a crank, a megalomaniac, a maverick, a publicity seeker, a man with a hidden agenda, a wild man, a loose cannon, a man with a foot in mouth disease, a misogynist, a homophobe, a madman, and even a dog ( by a Chief Minister ).

 My usual response to most of these vicious, and often motivated, attacks, is to ignore them. As the great Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib said when asked why he does not respond to his critics " If a donkey kicks you, do you kick it back ? "

  However what really took the cake, and made me respond was a vicious attack on me by an anchor of a well known T.V. channel in connection with my blog ' Katrina Kaif for President of India ' ( see my blog ).

  This was written in lighter vein, as I even clarified later in another post, and in fact anyone with the slightest commonsense and even a little sense of humour would have understood that it was written in lighter vein. I would request the readers of this post to read my blog again and verify whether what I am saying is correct.

 But now see how the anchor of that  T.V. channel viciously distorts what I said and paints me as a misogynist

My views about women are well known, and are on my blogs ' On Womens' Emancipation ' , ' Rapes and other Crimes against Women ', etc which had been posted a long time back. There I had strongly argued for women's equality and womens' emancipation, and had said that the hallmark of a healthy society is the respect it shows to women. Can such a person be a misogynist or a sexist ? My judgments calling for death sentence for dowry deaths ( Satya Narain Tewari vs. State of U.P.), honour killing ( Bhagwan Das vs. State ( NCT) of Delhi), etc are available online and may be seen. I have repeatedly said that treating women as inferior is part of feudal mentality, which has to be destroyed if India is to progress.

  I may here mention that the anchor of the T.V. show, who repeatedly described my statement as ' shocking ', said several times during the show that we should give Justice Katju a chance to respond, but he never had the decency to do so. If he wanted to attack me, did journalistic ethics not require that he should also have included me in the show, or even after the show asked for my views ? Evidently journalistic ethics for some mediapersons is at a discount these days.

 I may mention that even before the T. V. show was put up in the evening, Mr. Sumit Nagpal of newsx channel had come to my residential flat in Noida in the afternoon and had taken my video interview of about 10 minutes on the subject. In that interview I clearly said that my statements about making Katrina Kaif the President of India, etc were in lighter vein.  Mr. Athar Khan never mentioned in his first show that I had earlier told Mr. Sumit Nagpal of his own T.V. channel ( newsx ) that my statements about Katrina Kaif, etc were in lighter vein. It was only in his second show, probably many days later that my interview with Sumit Nagpal was shown partially.

  The anchor called several persons during the T.V. show, who all attacked me, but I had no chance to defend myself. I do not know whether these callers were pre-selected, but certainly not one of them made the obvious remark that my statement was in lighter vein.

One lady politician said that people like me should be ignored. My reply to her is : Madam I would be quite happy to be ignored, and I have never sought publicity ( though I have sought publicity of my ideas ), but politicians would certainly be finished if they are not in the limelight constantly.

 Some of the callers said that I was mentally deranged. Well, well, such barks are not new to me. And anchors who publicize such remarks are also not new to me. Others commented on my remarks about gay relationships. I have repeatedly said in that connection that I am against criminalizing such relationships as it is one's private affair, but I certainly regard them as unnatural. Am I not entitled to express my view ? Those who attacked me claim to be supporters of freedom of speech, but they would deny me the same right. Wonderful logic !

Monday, 26 January 2015

Indo-China relations

China has accumulated about 3.5 trillion dollars foreign exchange reserves, most of them in the form of U.S. Treasury bonds.
This is a huge amount of hot money, looking for areas of investment. This inevitably makes China an aggressive, imperialistic country looking hungrily for colonies.
 So we should forget all ' Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai '  rhetoric and defend ourselves economically and militarily. The economic attack by China on India has already started, with the Chinese entry into our markets. The military attack may not be immediate, but is bound to come one day.
 I would like to make it clear that I am not against the Chinese people, the vast majority of whom are good people. But there are certain ' iron ' laws in economics, which govern the action of men. And politics is concentrated economics.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

25.1.2015, Fremont, California

Went out for a morning walk ( it must be night in India )
The sun was shining. A cool breeze was blowing. There was a lot of oxygen in the air ( I call it air-conditioned air ). Wonderful for health.
The houses are mostly single-storeyed with tiled roofs. The streets are spick and span. There is vegetation everywhere. I do not know the names of the green trees, but they are probably birch, fir, pine and/or palm trees.
 One can see the green hills in the background. The sight is like a beautiful painting, and I wish I was a painter
 I want to get back to India fast, but my relatives won't let me. They probably want to keep me away from harm's way, as they perhaps think that what I say on fb and on my blog may get me into trouble.
California, is of course, paradise, but I have ' promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep'.

Republic Day

Tomorrow is Republic Day for India.

I never celebrate Republic Day or Independence Day.

I regard it as a cruel farce and an insult to my people to celebrate them when over 75% of my countrymen are living in horrible poverty, when half our children are malnourished, when there is massive unemployment and lack of healthcare and good education for the Indian masses, when there is discrimination against women, dalits, minorities, etc, when there are atrocities against women, starting from even before their birth ( female foeticide ),  dowry deaths, etc,when barbaric social practices like ' honour killing ' still continue, when farmers are regularly committing suicide, when corruption is rampant despite all talk of ' good governance ', when our netas bluff our people with false promises of ' vikas', etc with no intention of ever fulfilling them.

You all may participate in this farce, but please don't expect me to join in it.

 My Republic Day and Independence Day will be celebrated when the Indian masses are having happy prosperous lives with a high standard of living. I am quite sure that day will come long after I am dead. But on that day I will be showering flowers and rose petals on my motherland from the skies

We must respect all religions

I have repeatedly said that we must stand up for freedom of religion, and respect all religions.
At the same time, my own personal belief ( and I am not trying to impose this on anyone ) is that there is no such thing as God or soul or angels or ghosts or fairies or witches or resurrection or transmigration. These are all figments of the imagination, and have no real existence. The only reality is matter, which is in motion according to certain laws which can be discovered by scientific research ( see my article ' Religion and Science' on fb and on my blog )

 To those who ask : who created matter ? the answer is no one created it. Matter came from matter.

  I believe that all religions are superstititions, and the truth lies in science, though it is still developing.

 Now many people may find this contradictory. On the one hand I say that all religions are superstitions, and on the other hand I say that we must respect all religions and insist on religious freedom.

 However there is no contradiction.

Although I am an atheist, I also know that 99% or more people believe in God. Why do they believe in God ? It is for two reasons :

1.Poor people believe in God because their lives are so miserable that they find temporary solace in religion. Without religion to give them some comfort and psychological support they would go mad

2. Even people who are not so poor, e.g. businessmen, need religion because the chance factor is so powerful in our lives that we can never be sure of the future, and cannot control our lives.. We often plan something, but something else happens. The cause for this is the low development of science till today, as compared to what it will be 100 or 200 years hence. So we start believing in some supernatural forces which control our destiny.

 Religion cannot be abolished by decree. In fact religious persecution makes people more bigoted.
The need for religion and God will disappear when the social and economic factors which give rise to religion disappear. And this will only happen when science is so highly developed that we are able to control our lives. Then there will be no need of God or religion.

 Till that happens, and that will take a very long time ( maybe 100 or 200 years from now ), we must insist on religious freedom, tolerance and secularism.

 So when I say that we must respect all religions, I do not mean that I believe in the metaphysical truth of religions. I mean that since most people are religious we must not hurt their religious feelings, and insist on freedom to profess or practise any religion, but with the  
proviso that the state will have no religion.

The Modern Mir Jafar

A person was offered the lollipop of Chief Ministership of Delhi by the party which she had repeatedly called corrupt during Anna Hazare's agitation, but which she has now willingly embraced, and whose leader she has described as having the most beautiful face in the world.  She had condemned Kejriwal for entering politics, an act which she has now done herself.. Her rank and crass opportunism reminded me of Mir Jafar and Robert Browning's poem ' The Lost Leader '
Now she is promising the moon to Delhiites
 Boojho tu jaani !

Economic Humbug

 Some people say  that the Indian economy is growing, as shown by the fact that the stock market is booming, the IMF has projected that the Indian economy is poised to become the world's fastest growing economy in 2 years, an economist from MIT and another from Harvard Business School have predicted that India would overtake China, etc.

All this is humbug.

Firstly, I am not at all impressed by economists, whether they come from MIT, Harvard Business School or the London School of Economics. A lot of nonsense is taught in these institutions, instead of treating Economics as a science, and a lot of people from these institutions are arrogant fools instead of genuine scholars. What is important is what one has in his head, instead of displaying degrees from Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, etc. I am least impressed by such degrees in Economics, which is a science which has been perverted by hirelings of the establishment posing to be scholars.
Secondly, I have repeatedly said that the basic problem of the Indian economy is not how to increase production but how to raise the purchasing power of the masses.

  We can increase production of any commodity any number of times because we have thousands of bright engineers, technicians, managers scientists etc, and we have immense natural resources. The problem, however, is that 75% of our people are so poor that they have no purchasing power. And even the 15-20% Indian middle class is having its purchasing power rapidly eroded by skyrocketing prices of foodstuffs, etc Foreign markets are saturated with Chinese consumer goods, and the Chinese have even penetrated a section of our markets. So how will the goods produced by this ' growing ' economy be sold ?

Thirdly, it is not enough that there is economic growth. The further question to ask is : who is getting the fruits of this growth ? Is it only a handful of big businessmen, or the Indian masses ?

Monday, 19 January 2015

Appeal to the Prime Minister

Sh. Narendra Modi
Hon'ble Prime Minister of India
South Block,
New Delhi - 110001

Sub. : Release of Prime Minister's Special Scholarship Scheme Funds to the students of J&K studying outside J & K.

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to you in connection with the Prime Minister' Special Scholarship Scheme for J&K students studying outside the state of J&K. 5,000 Scholarships were to be granted every year to the students who opted to study outside the state for different courses.

For Academic year 2014-15 till date no Scholarship has been granted to any student of J&K. For '2013-14 about 3,500 Scholarships was granted but 1,500 (approx.) have yet not been granted, though the students were verified by the concerned authorities twice.

For 2012-13, only about 1,500 students of J&K opted to go outside the state for studies and all were granted scholarships.

The Chinar Foundation (an organization recently created which works for the welfare of the people of J&K), of which I am the Patron, in a meeting held in Delhi on 15.01.2015 resolved to appeal to you to look into the matter and release the Scholarships at the earliest. as almost all the students concerned are from poor families and far flung areas of J&K, and are suffering due to non-receipt of scholarships. The students are otherwise entitled and fulfil all the criteria mentioned in the Prime Minister's Special Scholarship Scheme.

It may be mentioned that one of the office bearers of the Chinar Foundation recently met the Union Home & Finance Ministers in this connection. The Hon'ble Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley told him that the funds have already been earmarked for the scholarship scheme, and it has only to be released by the Union H.R.D. Ministry after due verification. The Hon'ble Home Minister also endorsed the view that it should be released at the earliest because it is for the welfare of poor students who want to study and build their careers by studying outside J&K.

Unfortunately and regrettably, the Union HRD Ministry is sitting tight over the matter. Therefore, please do the needful at the earliest, so that the students of J&K may get relief by way of getting scholarships and thus continue their studies without any mental and financial pressure.

Thanking you,
For Chinar Foundation

(Justice Markandey Katju)
former Judge, Supreme Court of India
& Patron, Chinar Foundation

& Patron, Chinar Foundation

Rank Opportunism

In an earlier post I had said that I was told by someone once that if you do not have anything good to say about someone do not say anything at all. And I added that in fact I have nothing at all to say about Kiran Bedi.
 I would have left it at that, but what has impelled me now to be more explicit  is a statement of Kiran Bedi which really takes the cake.
She has said that " the world's most beautiful face is of Narendra Modi ".
 Well, one is entitled to one's opinion. But what is one to say of a person who thought earlier during the India Against Corruption movement of Anna Hazare that the most beautiful face in the world is of Anna Hazare ( not exactly in those words, but the purport was the same ), and who called all political parties, including the BJP corrupt ?
 Kiran Bedi had strongly criticized Modi several times. Thus, she once tweeted " One day Namo will have to respond with clarity about the Gujrat massacres, despite the Court's clearance so far ". What has Bedi to say about this now ?
 When Kejriwal wanted to step into politics and create the Aam Admi Party, Bedi was vehemently opposed to it, and said she would never enter into politics. But now she has suddenly plunged into politics when the BJP has apparently promised her a high position.
 No wonder Anna is refusing to take her telephone calls ( see Express Online of today, 19.1.2015, and The Hindu, page 10 ). It is reported that Anna has told his assistants not to take her calls as he did not wish to talk with her ( Express Online of today ).
 Is this not crass, downright opportunism on your part Ms. Bedi ?


To all you unmarried young men my advice to you is : get married.
 Marriage is a great institution. You get love ( and all that it entails ), companionship and friendship. There is someone to greet you and prepare a cup of tea for you when you get home after a hard day's work, someone to talk to, someone to take care of you when you are unwell, someone to prepare good food for you, and someone with whom to share your thoughts, worries, and aspirations.
 Women are beautiful and wonderful people. Of course not all of them. So you must do a background check about the nature of your future life partner. In my opinion the nature of the young lady is more important than her looks. I know of some very beautiful women who had a terrible nature, and made their husbands' lives hell. On the other hand, I know of many plain or even ugly looking women who had a such a good and kind nature that they made their husbands' lives heaven. So check up from some people about her nature before you marry her.
 You should also check up about her academic qualifications and work experience. This is important because in these days of high prices it may be necessary to have a working and earning wife, because your own income may not suffice for two persons and for the coming child or children ( don't have more than two as you may not be able to afford it ).
 Give the young lady respect, be kind to her,and take care of her, and in return she will make your life full of joy.
 But remember a shloka in Sanskrit about the nature of many women :
 " क्षडें रुष्टा क्षडें तुष्टा रुष्टा  तुष्टा क्षडें क्षडें "
" A woman is angry at one moment, happy at the next, angry again the moment thereafter, and happy again the next "
 So from my own experience of marriage ( and I have been married for over 44 years ), the way to handle your lady is to become mum when she enraged ( Chandi charh jai ), and wait till she is cool again. Thereafter you will find her very sweet and full of affection for you !
 Hari Om

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Gay Marriages
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide the issue of gay marriages in April, and the judgment may come in June.
 Four states in U.S.A., Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky, have banned gay marriages. The Court will decide whether states are bound by the U.S. Constitution to licence same sex marriages.
 I hope that during the hearing the lawyers will read out passages from Bernard Shaw's play ' Man and Superman ' and the Judges will see the film ' Fatal Attraction ', and read my article posted on facebook and on my blog.
 I was told by a friend living in America that if I speak against gay marriages there I may be assaulted. So much for freedom of speech. You may speak in favour of gay marriages, but you dare not speak against them. I am against criminalizing gay relationships, that is one's private affair, but I still say they are unnatural.
 Hari Om
 The Herculean Task
Do you people realize the Herculean task confronting me ?
 I had once said that 90% Indians are fools. This was said not to belittle, disparage or denigrate Indians. I love you, I want to see you all prosperous and happy, I want to see India emerge as a highly industrialized nation,with its people enjoying a high standard of living, so how can I do that ?
 But the truth is that the vast majority of you ( including the so called ' educated ' people ) are mentally very backward, full of casteism, communalism and superstitions. Until this mentality changes India cannot progress.
 I don't want you to remain backward, I want you to become truly enlightened and scientific in your thinking. All my efforts are directed to that end.
 Consider just one example ( and I can give hundreds ). How many of the non  Scheduled Caste people in India ( including the so called ' educated ' class ) marry, or would willingly give their daughters in marriage, to a person belonging to the scheduled castes or scheduled tribes ? Very few. And why ? Because they consider SC people as inferior. Those who undergo such marriages ( and there are very few ) are often threatened, assaulted or even killed (' honour killing ). In a University in Tamilnadu non SC boys attacked SC boys some time back.  When I was Chief Justice of Madras High Court I was told by a non SC lady married to a SC High Court Judge that when she married her husband her relatives performed her funeral rites.
 And this malaise is not confined to Hindus, it is also in Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, whose religions preach equality of all men.
 I know of a SC young man, who was a magistrate, and fell in love with a Muslm girl belonging to a  Muslim community who were Rajput converts. She too was in love with him, and he converted to Islam to marry her. But the girl's relatives refused to let her marry him, saying " humne mazhab badla hai, jaat naheen " ( we have changed our religion, not our caste ). Do non SC Sikhs not look down on mazhabi ( SC ) Sikhs, though the Sikh religion does not recognize the caste system ? And is that not so even among many Christians ?
 Islam, Christianity and Sikhism preach equality. But what happens to them when it comes to marriage between non SCs and SCs ?
 In the American Declaration of Independence of 1776 it was said " We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal--". But 239 years thereafter many Indians regard a section of their own countrymen as inferiors. Is this not a clear proof of their mental backwardness ?
 And do not the vast majority of our countrymen believe in astrology, which is pure superstition and humbug ?
 And do most of you not follow like children some Pied Piper of Hamelin, some ' Sapnon ka Saudagar ' ( dream seller ) in politics ?
 So I have to change the mentality of almost 1250 Indians, I have to remould the minds of this ocean of human beings, and make them scientific and rational. Is this an easy task ?
 What, will I lift up Olympus alone ( Shakespeare : Julius Caesar, Act 3,Scene 1 ) ? Well, when I see no one else doing it, I will sure give it a shot, even if it means I am crushed in the process.
 I know the dangers in this herculean endeavour. There are powerful vested interests which wish to keep Indians backward and feudal. But what of that ? I have a responsibility to my nation, and I am going to discharge it,whatever the personal cost.
As Atticus Finch said in Harper Lee's novel '  To Kill  A Mocking Bird ' : " Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It is knowing you are licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."
 So I know I am licked even before I begin, but I will see it through no matter what throughout the few years of life remaining in me.
Lifting Olympus
Do you people realize the Herculean task confronting me ?
 I had once said that 90% Indians are fools. This was said not to belittle, disparage or denigrate Indians. I love you, I want to see you all prosperous and happy, I want to see India emerge as a highly industrialized nation,with its people enjoying a high standard of living, so how can I do that ?
 But the truth is that the vast majority of you ( including the so called ' educated ' people ) are mentally very backward, full of casteism, communalism and superstitions. Until this mentality changes India cannot progress.
 I don't want you to remain backward, I want you to become truly enlightened and scientific in your thinking. All my efforts are directed to that end.
 Consider just one example ( and I can give hundreds ). How many of the non  Scheduled Caste people in India ( including the so called ' educated ' class ) marry, or would willingly give their daughters in marriage, to a person belonging to the scheduled castes or scheduled tribes ? Very few. And why ? Because they consider SC people as inferior. Those who undergo such marriages ( and there are very few ) are often threatened, assaulted or even killed (' honour killing ). In a University in Tamilnadu non SC boys attacked SC boys some time back.  When I was Chief Justice of Madras High Court I was told by a non SC lady married to a SC High Court Judge that when she married her husband her relatives performed her funeral rites.
 And this malaise is not confined to Hindus, it is also in Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, whose religions preach equality of all men.
 I know of a SC young man, who was a magistrate, and fell in love with a Muslm girl belonging to a  Muslim community who were Rajput converts. She too was in love with him, and he converted to Islam to marry her. But the girl's relatives refused to let her marry him, saying " humne mazhab badla hai, jaat naheen " ( we have changed our religion, not our caste ). Do non SC Sikhs not look down on mazhabi ( SC ) Sikhs, though the Sikh religion does not recognize the caste system ? And is that not so even among many Christians ?
 Islam, Christianity and Sikhism preach equality. But what happens to them when it comes to marriage between non SCs and SCs ?
 In the American Declaration of Independence of 1776 it was said " We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal--". But 239 years thereafter many Indians regard a section of their own countrymen as inferiors. Is this not a clear proof of their mental backwardness ?
 And do not the vast majority of our countrymen believe in astrology, which is pure superstition and humbug ?
 And do most of you not follow like children some Pied Piper of Hamelin, some ' Sapnon ka Saudagar ' ( dream seller ) in politics ?
 So I have to change the mentality of almost 1250 Indians, I have to remould the minds of this ocean of human beings, and make them scientific and rational. Is this an easy task ?
 What, will I lift up Olympus ( Shakespeare : Julius Caesar, Act 3,Scene 1 ) ? Well, when I see no one else doing it, I will sure give it a shot, even if it means I am crushed in the process.
 I know the dangers in this herculean endeavour. There are powerful vested interests which wish to keep Indians backward and feudal. But what of that ? I have a responsibility to my nation, and I am going to discharge it,whatever the personal cost.
As Atticus Finch said in Harper Lee's novel '  To Kill  A Mocking Bird ' : " Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It is knowing you are licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."
 So I know I am licked even before I begin, but I will see it through no matter what throughout the few years of life remaining in me.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

My defect
People often ask me : Justice Katju, why do you create controversies by your statements ?
 My answer has always been :  I have no desire to create controversies. I am not a publicity seeker or popularity seeker ( as some people accuse me of being ). In fact I have a low opinion of publicity or popularity seekers. I have no desire to please you, and do not seek your vote. I will never enter politics, because if I do I will have to enter into compromises ( catering to casteist and communal vote banks, etc and making false promises ) which will be against all the principles I have believed in and fought for, and I would rather be dead than do that.
 But I have one great defect ( if you would call it that ) : when I see my country going to dogs I cannot remain silent. Others may be deaf and dumb but I am not. So i wiil speak out. As the great Urdu poet Faiz said : " Bol ki lab azad hain tere, bol zubaan ab tak teri hai ". And when I speak out there is a controversy. So what can I do ?
 I never seek controversy, but if controversy chases me, what can I do ? Should I too become deaf and dumb ?
Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing
Yesterday's Airtel and Economic Times Global Business Summit in Delhi, attended by the Prime Minister, the Union Finance Minister, the Union Minister of State for Finance and other Ministers, apart from CEOs of big companies and globally renowned economists, was, to put it in Shakespeare's words ( see Macbeth ), " A tale, ( I will not say told by an idiot, because there were many 'wise men' at the function ), full of sound and fury, signifying nothing " ( see page 30 in today's ' Times of India ').
 The Prime Minister said that we can convert our 2 trillion dollar economy into a 20 trillion dollar one, Obviously he has a magic wand or Alladin's magic lamp for doing so. The Finance Minister, another one given to high sounding and irrelevant rhetoric, said that the government is 'committed to non aggressive tax reform'. Vineet Jain said that India can become a 'second engine' in the world economy ( after the U.S. ). Obviously he regards Germany, China, etc as non entities. Paul Krugman,the Nobel Prize winner, said that 'India is a country of the future' ( whatever that may mean ).
 The Prime Minister said " I believe in speed. I will push these changes at a fast pace. Development has to result in jobs. What we need is not mere production, but mass production and production by the masses."
 Very brave words, Mr. Modi, but please see page 13 of the Hindustan Times of today. It is reported there that 10 more farmers committed suicide in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra ( a state now ruled by your party ) in the last 48 hours. There were 29 farmers suicides in Vidarbha in January ( and we are only in the middle of the month ), and 56 in December.
The figures of farmers suicides given above are just in one part of one state. One does not know about the number of farmers suicides in the rest of India.
 Do you call this development Mr. Modi ?
 Mr. Modi is perhaps envious of the rise of China as a manufacturing giant. India has lagged behind for several decades, and he wants It to catch up.
 The problem is that despite all the hoopla and cheering at various functions Modi attends ( like yesterday's summit ), the growth of manufacturing in the July-September quarter was just 0.1%. The growth of fixed investment, the foundation of future production, was virtually zero.( see my articles ' Vikaas ', ' The Dream has Evaporated ', ' Jai Ho ', ' Thumbs Up ', ' The Trickle Down Theory ', ' The Coming Second Emergency ', " The New Janus ', Niti Ayog ', ' Unemployment in India ', ' Malnutrition in India ', and ' Healthcare in India ' on my blog ). It is because fuel prices have drastically gone down that we have not had a major economic crisis as a result result of your moonshine economic policies, Mr. Modi.
 Businessmen are not ' Making in India' nor investing in India. Why should they ? They are working for profit, not for charity. Without proper infrastructure ( roads, electricity, water, etc ) and pro-business, corruption-free environment, who would like to ' Make in India' or invest in India ?
 One industrialist, who did not want to be named, asked " Why will foreigners come to invest here when Indians are not investing ? ". A U.S. businessman said during Modi's U.S. visit " There's a lot of sizzle, but where's the steak ? ".
 The Doing Business Report of the World bank and IFC for 2015 ranks India 184th among the countries of the world in ease of getting a construction permit, 134th in getting electricity connections, 121st in registering property, 156th in paying taxes, 122nd in ease of foreign trade, 137th in resolving insolvency, and 186th in enforcing contracts. The Modi Government  has shown little or no action on these fronts. Many of these issues fall within the jurisdiction of state governments, and  Modi has neither the means nor inclination to impose tough regulations in this connection.
 As regards corruption, it is true we have not yet seen the macro scams which were a regular feature in the UPA regime, but corruption is as rampant as ever in India, as I have been informed by many businessmen I met. Moreover, as the Urdu poet Josh said in his poem ' Rishwat', " Agar hum rishwat naheen lenge to phir khayenge kya ? ".
 But the basic economic problem in India is how to raise the purchasing power of the masses ? Without doing so, there is no question of mass production, which Modi talks constantly about, because how will the goods produced be sold ? Of this, the Modi government has no inkling. All that it caters for is a small coterie of big businessmen who have benefited from his ascent to power

Friday, 16 January 2015

Choose your dream seller
All politicians in India are ' Sapnon ke Saudagar ' ( sellers of dreams ). So people of Delhi, choose your Sapnon ka Saudagar ', your Pied Piper of Hamelin for the forthcoming elections
At the BSE Expo function yesterday in New Delhi, the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting ( and Finance ), Mr. Arun Jaitley spoke against the 'aberration' of paid news in the media.
 Mr Jaitley should be reminded of the nazm of the famous Urdu poet Josh Malihabadi ' entitled Rishwat', where Josh says :
" Agar hum rishwat naheen lenge to phir khaayenge kya ? "
" If I don't take bribes, what will I eat ? "
 The entire nazm is recited below :
 Changing Horses
Jayaprada has said she wants to join BJP. She was earlier in TDP, S.P. and RLD.
This reminds one of an Urdu sher :
" Zindagi ka safar hai toolani
Yaan ikraani hai naadani
Jo Shahsawaar maahir hain
Woh raan badalte rehte hain "

"ज़िन्दगी का सफर है तूलानी
याँ इकरानी है नादानी
जो शहसवार माहिर हैँ
वह रान बदलते रहते हैं "
"  Life's journey is long
   To remain unmoved is immaturity
   The expert horse rider
   Keeps changing his steed "
Kiran Bedi has joined the BJP.
I was told once by someone that if you do not have anything good to say about someone, do not say anything at all.
 And frankly, I have nothing to say at all about Kiran Bedi
The Third Meeting of the Chinar Foundation
I had mentioned in a previous post about the third  meeting about the Chinar Foundation. Several people spoke in that meeting. I will briefly mention what I said :
 Friends, let me tell you about myself. I am a creator of ideas, that is my expertise, and without me you are all people groping in the dark, not knowing what to do and where to go. So I will tell you, I will supply the ideas.
You people are practical people, specialized in your own fields, and it is your job to implement my ideas, because while I can create ideas, I do not know how to implement them, as I am a totally impractical person.
  Why was the Chinar Foundation, which is my idea, my brainchild, created ? Because I found people in Kashmir, like the people in India hopelessly divided. I saw Kashmiris divided between Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits, and even Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits divided among themselves. We must unite if we are to progress.and solve our problems. So the thought of the Chinar Foundation occurred to me where all Kashmiris ( and even some non Kashmiris ) come together under one umbrella.
 There are deep wounds among Kashmiri Pandits, just as there are deep wounds among Kashmiri Muslims. The time has come to apply balm and a healing touch to these wounds. As the great President Abraham Lincoln said in his famous Gettysberg Address, the time has come to bind up these wounds instead of aggravating them. The Chinar Foundation has been created for this purpose.
 The Chinar is a tree symbolic of Kashmir. It is a huge tree, which provides shade and comfort to people who come under it. Its leaves and bark have medicinal properties. So the Chinar Foundation will be that tree for all. It will give comfort and supply medicine and balm to the wounds of Kashmiris and others.
  What do we stand for ? What are the objects of the Chinar Foundation ?
 Firstly, on the theoretical side, we stand for and wish to restore the true Kashmiri spirit. What is that spirit ? It is the spirit of the great sufis and saints, the Rishis of Kashmir, who preached harmony  tolerance and love for all mankind, the spirit of the Shaivite Yogini Lal Ded, who had a great influence on the great Kashmiri sufi saint Sheikh Nooruddin Wali, also known as Nand Rishi, Bulbul Shah, Laxman Joo, etc.
 That is the spirit not only Kashmir needs, but also the whole of India. We will therefore introduce all Indians to the true spirit of Kasmiriyat. We have therefore not only Kashmiris as our members, but also people married to Kashmiris and their descendants, and even pure non Kashmiris who subscribe to the spirit of Kashmiriyat.
  You ask what are the rights of the members of the Chinar Foundation ? The answer is : they have none, they have only duties. We are all servants of Kashmir, indeed of the whole of India. All of you are servants, and even I am a servant, and must always regard ourselves as such..
 The great Emperor Jehangir said of the Kashmiri Rishis " They possess simplicity and are without pretence. They abuse no one. They always plant fruit bearing trees so that men may benefit by them, they themselves desiring no advantage "
 So we desire no benefit for ourselves, we only want others to benefit. So we claim no right.
 The Chinar Foundation will not have elections of its office bearers, because experience has shown that elections result in cliques, netagiri, and selfish pursuits, which we have to eschew.  I myself will appoint all office bearers, and in that sense I am a dictator in this organization, though a benevolent dictator who will consult you all before taking decisions. But the buck must stop somewhere, and it stops at me. Though you all are requested to suggest your ideas, I believe in one man command. An army must have one single commander-in-chief, and that is me.
 So far as the practical activities of the Chinar Foundation is concerned, they are broadly (1) to promote Kashmiri culture, its music, poetry, philosophy, etc and (2) to help the Kashmiri people in several ways,e.g. flood relief, sustainable development, providing career opportunities to Kashmiri youth, etc. We are a purely non political organization.
  Mr. Riaz Patloo, who has come from Srinagar to attend this meeting, has pointed out that 5000 scholarships were sanctioned by the then Prime Minister in his Scholarship Scheme for the J&K students studying outside the state, but very few scholarships have actually been released. We will take up this matter with the Prime Minister and Union HRD Minister.
 We have several other plans for Kashmir. At my request Dr. Patel, who is a, internationally renowned Disaster Management and Disaster Disease expert came from England at his own expense to study the flood calamity in J&K., He went to Srinagar where he studied the situation and had extensive interaction with the people and authorities there. He has sent a scheme to deal with the situation, and we have to implement many of his ideas.
 There are many other practical things to do to help the people of J&K ( in which we include Ladakh also ). We have particularly to help the youth of J&K in career advancement, as many of them are without jobs even after finishing their education. Unfortunately, while education was made free in J&K right upto the postgraduate level, no one thought what the youth will do after he/she completes his/her education. We have to urgently think of that now.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Chinar Foundation
15.1.2015, 9.30 p.m.
 Just came back after attending the third meeting of the Chinar Foundation. The meeting lasted for over 2 hours. I will post the minutes after they are finalized and sent to me by Dr.Indira Behara, our General Secretary ( email : ).
 Among others, Ramesh Raina, President  of All India Kashmiri Samaj ( an organization of mostly Kashmiri speaking Kashmiri Pandits), Col. Katju, President of the Chinar Foundation, and also of the Kashmiri Pandits Association ( consisting mainly of non Kashmiri speaking Kashmiri Pandits ), and Riaz Patloo from Srinagar attended.
 Several office bearers from Delhi, Kashmir, Jammu and even Ladakh were chosen. Their names, and the posts they will occupy, will be mentioned in the minutes Indira will send me, and will be posted on facebook.
 In the meeting Riaz Patloo of the J&K University ( who had come from Srinagar to attend the meeting ) pointed out that there was a scheme called the Prime Minister's Scholarship Scheme for giving 5000 scholarships every year to students of J&K studying outside the state, and for this a sum of money had already been sanctioned by the Government of India.  However, presently no scholarships are being given to such students.
 The members of the Chinar Foundation authorized the patron ( myself ) to write to the Prime Minister and the HRD Minister to release this grant immediately, as many of the students are from poor families and are facing great hardship without such scholarships. The letter will be sent by me tomorrow, and also posted on facebook
Christians are fair game in India
On the front page of Times of India today is the tall claim that India's economic growth will catch up with China's in 2 years.
This claim goes beautifully along with another news item published just next to it, stating that in 6 weeks the 4th Church in Delhi has been vandalised
 It seems that Christians have become fair game in India.
 Christians are only 24 million in a country of 1250 million, 2.3% of the total population of India. They are a peaceful hard working community who do no harm to anyone. And yet what is being done to them ? Are they heading for the same fate as the Jews in Nazi Germany ?
Dominic Emmanuel, editor of the magazine ' Word Among Catholics ' has said " Disruption of our prayers and services have become an everyday affair. The silence of the authorities has left the community with a feeling of insecurity "
 On Wednesday ( yesterday, 14.1.2015 ), Our Lady of Grace Church in Delhi was attacked, a statue of the Virgin Mary toppled and a glass cabinet broken.. Before that the St.Sebastian church was vandalized and burnt. But the police have yet to identify the attackers. Earlier, a fire was reported in a Church in Rohini in Outer Delhi, in which a Christmas crib was completely charred. Last month some people threw stones at Our Lady of Fatima Forane Church in Jasola, South Delhi, and broke the window panes during evening mass.
 Archbishop Anil Cuotu says " People have broken down glasses, smashed religious statues, and have torn our religious literature. But nothing has been done to protect us. We wrote to the Prime Minister Mr. Modi, in this connection,but received no reply "
 Father Balraj of Our Lady of Grace Church in Vikaspuri, which was attacked yesterday, said " A clear pattern of orchestrated attacks is emerging as more and more churches are being targeted. "
  Attacking a tiny, helpless community is surely an act of great bravery !

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

I had posted a blog ' Katrina Kaif for President of India' on my blog It was purely in lighter vein. However since it appears some people have taken offence I apologize.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Congress : The End of the Road : Not with a Bang, but a Whimper

 Congress Party is fighting for survival in Delhi. Dalits, minorities etc have gravitated to AAP. So Congress vote bank has become zero.

 I met 3 senior Congress leaders at a wedding lunch recently. The 3 were all cabinet ministers in the UPA government, and are now back in legal practice, earning a lot of money ( one of them admitted to me that  he is charging Rs 30 lacs per day for appearing in Court ).

 I told them that Congress will never revive as long as Sonia and Rahul Gandhi remain its leaders. Sonia and Rahul are totally discredited. Scam after scam was taking pl,ace during UPA rule, not of crores of rupees, but of lacs of crores. What were they doing ? They were at the helm of affairs at that time. Surely they would be knowing where all this loot has gone.

 They smiled, but said nothing.

Katrina Kaif for President of India

Croatia, which has an ailing economy, has elected a beautiful woman, Ms. Grabar-Kitarovic, as its President.
 I am always in favour of electing beautiful women, like film actresses, on all posts. This is because politicians will promise the moon, but not do anything for the public welfare. So since you must have  someone, why not vote for a beautiful face ? At least you will get some momentary happiness looking at her face in the media. Otherwise you will get nothing at all.
I suggest we make Katrina Kaif the next President of India,  but on condition, that she sings ' Sheela ki Jawaani' on her Inaugural !
 Hari Om !

Why I will never enter politics

Many of you in your comments on my posts on fb and on my blog  have asked me to enter politics, but I have always said that I am not cut out for it. Let me  now explain.

I have never been a popularity seeker. I do not want to please you, and I do not want your votes. I want to see India prosperous, and for that reason I hate feudal ideas and practices, since they are the greatest obstacles to modernization and progress, and I hate injustice to anyone, which was inculcated into me at a very early age by my teacher, the great French thinker Rousseau.

 For this reason I hate the feudal and backward customs and practices among both Hindus and Muslims---the caste system among Hindus ( see my article on the caste system on my blog ) which is still a curse on the Indian people,, and oral talaq among Muslims ( see my article ' Abolish this Unjust Muslim Personal Law on my blog ) which keeps a damocles' sword hanging over every Muslim wife.

 That is why I will never enter politics, because in politics one has to pander and truckle to caste and religious sentiments and vote banks, which i find disgusting. If I pander and cater to them, I will be betraying all the principles which I have believed in and fought for all my life.

What Saudis and Wahabis have reduced Islam into

Islam had come into the world as a great liberating force. It spread the message of equality long before the American Declaration of Independence of 1776. By treating all men as equal it was a great leveller. That is why it spread from Spain to Indonesia.
  But see what the Saudis and the Wahabis have reduced it to. They have made Islam into an enslaving force..

Global outrage at Saudi Arabian blogger’s public flogging

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is remaining silent in the face of global outrage at the public flogging of the jailed blogger Raif Badawi, who received the first 50 of 1,000 lashes on Friday, part of his punishment for running a liberal website devoted to freedom of speech in the conservative kingdom.

Anger at the flogging — carried out as the world watched the bloody denouement of the Charlie Hebdo and Jewish supermarket jihadi killings in Paris — focused on a country that is a strategic ally, oil supplier and lucrative market for the U.S., Britain and other western countries but does not tolerate criticism at home.

Punishment filmed

Mr. Badawi was shown on a YouTube video being beaten in a square outside a mosque in Jeddah, watched by a crowd of several hundred who shouted Allahu Akbar (God is great) and clapped and whistled after the flogging ended. Mr. Badawi made no sound during the flogging and was able to walk back unaided afterwards.

“Raif was escorted from a bus and placed in the middle of the crowd, guarded by eight or nine officers,” a witness told Amnesty International. “He was handcuffed and shackled but his face was not covered. A security officer approached him from behind with a huge cane and started beating him.

“Raif raised his head towards the sky, closing his eyes and arching his back. He was silent, but you could tell from his face and his body that he was in real pain.” Mr. Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told the Guardian from Montreal on Sunday: “Many governments around the world have protested about my husband’s case. I was optimistic until the last minute before the flogging. But the Saudi government is behaving like Daesh [a derogatory Arabic name for Islamic State or Isis].”

Saudi Arabia joined other Arab and Muslim countries in condemning the murder of 12 people at the Paris satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo but angry comments highlighted its double standard in meting out a cruel punishment to a man who was accused of insulting Islam.

One cartoon circulating on social media showed a man resembling Mr. Badawi being flogged alongside the words: “Saudi Arabia condemns the terrorist attack on freedom of expression in Paris” Another image showed a pencil being flayed by whips.

One woman at Sunday’s Paris solidarity rally carried a placard declaring: “I am Raif Badawi, the Saudi journalist who was flogged.” Others protested at the presence of the Saudi Foreign Minister.

Mr. Badawi was sentenced last May to 10 years’ imprisonment and 1,000 lashes — 50 at a time over 20 weeks — and fined 1 million Saudi riyals (£175,000). He has been held since mid-2012, and his Free Saudi Liberals website, established to encourage debate on religious and political matters in Saudi Arabia, is closed.

He is expected to receive another 50 lashes this Friday.

Mr. Badawi’s punishment is part of a wider campaign against domestic dissent. His lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair, was sentenced to 15 years in prison last July because of criticism of human rights abuses.

— © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2015

Monday, 12 January 2015

Agent Provocateurs

On a previous post I copied a message I had received from someone on facebook ( with his name deleted ), in which it was mentioned that several terrorist acts in India have been committed by Hindus posing to be Mulisms, so that the entire Muslim community is defamed and branded as terrorist, though, as I have repeatedly said, 99% Muslims, like 99% Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, etc are good people.

 Many people challenged this statement that some Hindus pretending to be Muslims committed acts of terrorism.

 Apart from the sources given in the message, let me ask : are there not poor people among Hindus who need money ( just as there are among Muslims ) ? And are there not some ( I am not saying all ) Hindus ( like some Muslims ) who will do anything for money ?

 If the answer to these questions is yes, then it logically follows that some agent provocateurs can hire a poor Hindu in need of money to do a terrorist act, pretending to be a Muslim.

 In fact this was the modus operandi often adopted by our British rulers in implementing their nefarious divide and rule policy, which was started after 1857 ( see my articles on my blog ). A hired agent provocateur ( who may belong to any religion ) would deliberately play loud music before a mosque when Friday prayers were being said, or throw the carcass of a slaughtered cow into a Hindu temple and write on the wall ' Allaho Akbar '

 Even after Independence some mischievous persons do such wicked  acts to create animosity between Hindus and Muslims, We must expose them, and maintain our unity at all costs

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Delhi Assembly Election

After Narendra Modi's rally yesterday ( 10.1.2015 ) at the Ramlila ground in Delhi, I am convinced now that the AAP is going to get a clear majority in the Delhi Assembly elections next month. This is for two reasons :

(1) Despite all out efforts by the BJP which is in power in the centre to bring huge crowds to the rally ( by reportedly hiring 2300 vehicles and even bringing homeless people by offering them food ), there was a poor turnout, leaving many empty seats, which is said to have angered the party leadership.

According to the estimate of the Delhi police, only 35,000 people attended the rally ( see today's 'The Hindu', page 4 ), as compared to 1.35 lacs in Modi's Delhi rally in September 2013.

  The reason for this poor attendance seems to be obvious: in the 7 months since the BJP came to power in the Centre, people have seen through the emptiness of the magic mantra 'vikas', which won the Lok Sabha Election for it in May 2014.

There was a time when wherever Modi went there were massive crowds. Those days are gone, as people have seen their high expectations dashed completely. The millions of jobs which were impliedly promised in the name of 'vikas' are not to be seen anywhere, and most businessmen ( except a handful close to Modi ) are very worried.

(2)  Modi's speech was basically negative : attacking Kejriwal as an anarchist who should join the naxals, etc.

Thus Modi seems to have himself realized that the slogan 'vikas' no longer works.

 In an earlier post I had mentioned that to win an election something positive has to be offered which the people want.

While Kejriwal is offering something positive i.e. lowering of electricity tariff and bills, and abolition of water charges for the lower segments, etc. which Delhiites are very concerned about, Modi is indulging in only negative talk ( personal attacks on Kejriwal). Of course Modi also spoke of giving 24 hours electricity to Delhi people, but that was more to counter Kejriwal's agenda, and nobody believes it.

 Kejriwal is an impulsive and impatient man, but he is basically honest, and will learn from his mistakes. People of Delhi believe that his good points outweigh his bad points, and have forgiven him

The Paris Attack

I have repeatedly said that all religions should be respected.
The French magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of Prophet Mohammed regarded offensive by many Muslims.
 The question is : how should Muslims react ?
My answer is : just ignore the cartoons.

If such cartoons had been published in India they would have attracted section 295A of the Indian Penal Code which states :
 "Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens of India, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both."

  However, the cartoons were published in France, where Indian laws do not apply  the culture is different, and there is no law similar to section 295A I.P.C.

 Charlie Hebdo has also lampooned other religions too e.g. Christianity. For example, it has published cartoons showing Jesus Christ sodomizing God, and the Pope eloping with a Swiss Guard. There is no law in France making such cartoons criminal.

 While my own personal view is that all religions should be respected, and therefore such cartoons should not have been published, at the same time I am also of the view that the best way to respond to them is to ignore them.

 If an attack is made on the publishers, as was done in Paris, the result will be a backlash against Muslims all over the world, particularly in France, Germany, and other European countries, in which mosques will be burnt, Muslims killed or injured, their houses attacked and their property looted. Surely that should be avoided.

I appeal to my Muslim brothers and sisters to act in accordance with reason, not emotion.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Justice Dattu

The Chief Justice of India Justice Dattu in an interview with journalists said that Prime Minister Modi is ' A good leader, a good human being, and a man with foresight '.

This reminds one of the letter another Chief Justice of India, Justice P.N. Bhagwati wrote to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in which he said : “ May I offer you my heartiest congratulations on your resounding victory in the elections and your triumphant return as the Prime Minister of India...I am sure that with your iron will and firm determination, uncanny insight and dynamic vision, great administrative capacity and vast experience, overwhelming love and affection of the people and above all, a heart which is identified with the misery of the poor and the weak, you will be able to steer the ship of the nation safely to its cherished goal.”

 One wonders whether it is proper for a Chief Justice of India to talk openly like this ? As senior advocate and M.P. Majeed Memon said, such a statement may send a wrong impression in the public.


I was asked my opinion about Tagore.

Let me reply by first asking a counter question ? Why would our British rulers ( and looters ) help him get a Nobel Prize ? Why did they award him knighthood ( which,of course, he refused ) ?
 The correct answer is because the British wanted to divert literature from the direction Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyaya was taking it ( see his Pather Dabi and other works ) to the mystical mumbo jumbo of Tagore.

 Following Tagore, Hindi writers took to ' Chayavaad', which did great damage to Hindi literature. Instead of art for social purpose, like Kabir, Faiz, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Subramania Bharati,etc in India, Dickens, Shaw, Balzac, Victor Hugo, and Maxim Gorki in Europe, and Walt Whitman, Upton Sinclair and Steinbeck in America,  the Chayavaadi poets took to the school of art for art's sake, practised and preached by Tagore, which is really escapism in a poor country like India.

Friday, 9 January 2015

The Jaipur Literature Festival will only be a tamasha

The Jaipur Literature Festival is being held at Jaipur from January 21st to 25th.
 As usual, it will be a big tamasha, contributing nothing to literature. This is what happened last year ( see my article in this connection on my next post ), and this is what is likely to happen again.
In Shakespeare's words in Macbeth, it will be " A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing ".
 I had some time back written an article about the role of art and literature, which I am reproducing. If anyone so wishes, print outs of this article may be distributed at the Jaipur Art Festival

The True Role of Art and Literature
. By Justice Markandey Katju
 Today India is facing gigantic problems . In some States, farmers and weavers are committing suicide. Prices of essential commodities are skyrocketing. 50% of our children are malnourished. Unemployment has become massive and chronic. Water and electricity shortage is widespread. Corruption and fraud are everywhere. Medical treatment has become prohibitively expensive. Housing is scarce. The educational system has gone haywire. Law and order has collapsed in many areas, where criminals call the shots. Discrimination against women, scheduled castes and tribes, and minorities continues.
 One may ask : what has all this to do with art and literature?
To answer it will be necessary to delve into the theories of art and literature.

There are broadly two theories about  art and literature. The first is called ‘art for art’s sake.’ and the second is called ‘art for social purpose.’

 According to the first theory, art and literature are only meant to create beautiful or entertaining works to please and entertain people and artists themselves. They are not meant to propagate social ideas. If art and literature are used to propagate social ideas, they cease to remain art and become propaganda.
 Some of the proponents of this view are Keats, Tennyson, Ezra Pound, and T.S. Eliot in English literature; Alexander Dumas in French, Edgar Allan Poe in American; Agyeya and the ‘Reetikal’ and ‘Chayavadi’ poets in Hindi; Jigar Moradabadi in Urdu; and Tagore in Bengali.

The other theory is that art and literature should serve the people, and help them in their struggle for a better life, by arousing people’s emotions against oppression and injustice and increasing their sensitivity to the people's sufferings. Proponents of this school are Dickens and Bernard Shaw in English literature; Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Harriet Beacher Stowe, Upton Sinclair, and John Steinbeck in American literature; Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert and Victor Hugo in French; Goethe, Schiller and Enrich Maria Remarque in German; Cervantes in Spanish; Tolstoy, Gogol, Dostoevsky, and Gorky in Russian; Premchand and Kabir in Hindi; Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyaya and Kazi Nazrul Islam in Bengali, Subramania Bharathi in Tamil, and Nazir, Faiz, Josh, and Manto in Urdu.

Which of these paths should artists and writers in India follow?
 Before attempting to answer this question, it is necessary to clarify that there have been great artists and writers in both schools. Shakespeare and Kalidas can be broadly classified as belonging to the first school, of ‘art for art’s sake.’  However,their plays serve no social purpose beyond providing entertainment and an understanding of human impulses and motivations. Though he was basically a realist, Shakespeare had no intention to reform society or combat social evils. Yet he is an artist of the highest rank. One is amazed by his insights and portrayal of human psychology and the springs of human action, whether it be his tragedies or histories or comedies. His characters are so full-blooded that we can recognise them from our own experience as actual human beings.

Similarly, Kalidas’s Meghdoot is nature and love poetry at its highest level.  The depictions of the north Indian countryside that Kalidas gives are astonishing in their beauty. Even Wordsworth cannot come anywhere near it. Nevertheless, Kalidas has no social purpose in his works.

On the other hand, Bernard Shaw writes his plays almost exclusively with a social purpose – to combat social evils and reform society. His plays are a powerful denunciation of social injustices and evils. Similarly,Dickens in his novels attacks social evils in England in his time, and the terrible conditions of schools, orphanages, jails, etc

Shakespeare or Shaw, who is greater as an artist? The first represents ‘art for art’s sake’, the second ‘art for social purpose.’ We shall attempt an answer, but a little later.

Literature – the art of the word, the art that is closest to thought – is distinguished from other forms of art such as painting and music by the greater emphasis on thought content as compared with form. On the other hand, an art form such as classical music may be almost entirely devoted to creating a mood rather than arousing any thought.

For instance, the main form of serious North Indian classical music, which is called Khyaal, has hardly any thought content (since very few words are used in it). But it has an unbelievable power to create a mood and arouse aesthetic feelings — whether it is the raag of the rainy season called Malhar (there are many varieties of Malhars, the main one being Mian ka Malhar, though I am more fond of Megh Malhar), which can make one feel it is raining; or the morning raags like Jaunpuri, Todi, Bhairav and so on, which gently wake you up; or night raags like Darbari or Malkauns (called Hindola in Carnatic music), which gently put you to sleep; or a raag like Bhairavi, which can be sung (or played) at any time and in any season and is astonishing for its sheer beauty. There is a large variety of other raags that create different moods. There are other styles of North Indian classical music like Thumri in which there is more thought content, because they use more words than Khyaal. However, there is no style or raag in North Indian or Carnatic classical music that arouses emotions to fight social injustices. It is purely art for art’s sake, yet it is undoubtedly great art.
 Similarly,dancing styles in India like Bharat Natyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Odisi, Manipuri,etc are only for entertainment or aestheticpleasure, but serve no social purpose.

Art critics often regard the two basic trends or tendencies in art and literature as realism and romanticism. The truthful, undistorted depiction of people and their social conditions is called realism. In romanticism, the emphasis is on flights of imagination, passion, and emotional intensity.

Both realism and romanticism can be passive or active. Passive realism usually aims at a truthful depiction of reality without preaching anything. The novels of Jane Austen, George Eliot, and the Bronte Sisters are examples. In this sense it can be called socially neutral. However, sometimes passive realism preaches fatalism, passivity, non-resistance to evil, suffering, humility, and so on. An example is Tolstoy’s depiction of the meek peasant Platon Karatayev in War and Peace, who humbly and cheerfully accepts his fate. Some writers were initially active but later became passive. Dostoyevsky is an example of this.. On the other hand, Tolstoy was a fatalist in War and Peace but became a social reformer later in Resurrection.

Dickens,  Shaw,Victor Hugo, Gorky, and Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyaya belong to the school of active realists. They oppose fatalism, passivity, and non-resistance to evil. They inspire people to fight against social evils. In the stories and novels of Sharat Chandra, we find powerful attacks against oppression of women and the caste system.

The strength of passive realism lay in its exposure of human motivations and social evils, and its weakness in its lack of positive principles or ideals. This literature was valuable because of its truthful approach to reality, concentrating on the meticulous description of the visible and the real. But it showed no way out to the people. It criticised everything and asserted nothing. And it often viewed man from a fatalistic point of view, as a mere passive product of his surroundings, helpless and incapable of changing his social conditions, as in the novels of Thomas Hardy like 'Tess', 'The Mayor of Casterbridge', etc

Passive and active realism can both serve a social purpose. But passive realism often preaches fatalism, pessimism, and uselessness of endeavours to improve society. Active realism, by contrast, is optimistic, characterised by its solicitude and concern for the people — inspiring them to strive against their plight and improve their social conditions.

In writers such as Shakespeare, Balzac, Tolstoy, and Mirza Ghalib, it is often difficult to define with sufficient accuracy whether they are romantics or realists. Both trends merge in their works. In fact, the highest art is often a combination of the two.

Romanticism, like realism, can be either passive or active. Passive romanticism attempts to divert people from reality into a world of fantasy or illusions; or to a fruitless preoccupation with one’s own inner world, with thoughts about the ‘fatal riddle of life’ or about dreams of love and death. Its characters may be knights, princes, demons, or fairies who exist in a world of make-believe e.g. in the novels of Sir Waltrer Scott ( ' Ivanhoe', Waverly Novels, etc ) or of the Hindi writer Devki Nandan Khatri ( Chandrakanta Santiti, Bhootnath, etc ).. Much of the Reetikal Hindi poetry, mainly written to please kings and princes, and dealing with subjects like beauty (shringar) and love, belongs to this category. Passive romanticism hardly serves any social purpose.

Active romanticism, on the other hand, attempts to arouse man against social evils. It clearly serves a social purpose. Active romanticism rises above reality, not by ignoring it but by seeking to transform it. It regards literature as having a greater purpose than merely to reflect reality and depict existing things. Rousseau’s novels Emile and New Heloise, Schiller's play ' The Robbers ', Gorky's poem ' The Song of the Stormy Petrel '.etc are examples.

‘Art for social purpose’ may be expressed not always in a direct way, but also sometimes in an indirect, roundabout, or obscure way, for example, by satire e.g. Lewis Carrol's 'Alice in Wonderland ',  Jonathan Swift's ' Gullivers Travels ', or Votaire's ' Candide 'or ' Zadig', and Gogol's ' Dead Souls '

Much of Urdu poetry, e.g. of Mir, Ghalib, Faiz, Josh, Sahir, Majrooh, etc serves a social purpose (as it attacks oppressive customs and practices, as in Kabir’s poetry), though it is often  expressed in an indirect way.
 ‘Art for social purpose’ can come in a religious garb too such as the Bhaktikaal poetry in Hindi, e.g. Kabir, Sur, Meerabai, etc

Now, we go back to the question: should artists and writers in India follow ‘art for art’s sake’ or ‘art for social purpose’? Which would be more beneficial to the country today? The question, ‘who is greater as an artist, Shakespeare or Shaw?’ is hence not very relevant.

 In my opinion,In a poor country like India, it is the second school (‘art for social purpose’) alone which can be acceptable today. Artists and writers must join the ranks of those who are struggling for a better India. They must inspire the people through their writings against oppression and injustice.

However, what do we see today ? Today there is hardly any good art and literature in India. Where is the Sharat Chandra or Premchand or Faiz of today? Where is the Kabir or Dickens or Manto of today? There seems to be total artistic and literary vacuum. Everything seems to have become commercialised. Writers write not to highlight the plight of the masses but to earn some money.

Some Indian writers complain that magazines are closing down. Have these people wondered why? Evidently no one is interested in reading what he or she writes because they do not depict the people’s sufferings, and do not inspire people to struggle for a better life.

When Maxim Gorky, the great Russian writer, used to stepped out on the streets of Russia, he would be mobbed by the people, because he  was so much loved by the people as he wrote about their lives and championed their cause. Can an Indian writer today make a similar claim? When writers get out of touch with the people and live in a world of their own, no one wants to read them.

Today the people in India are thirsty for good literature. If someone writes about the people’s real problems, poverty, unemployment, malnutrition,farmers suicides, healthcare , etc it will spread like wildfire.. But are our writers doing this?
 Art and literature must serve the people. Writers must have genuine sympathy for the people and depict their sufferings. They must inspire people to struggle for a better life, a life that can be really called a decent human existence, and to create a better world, free of injustices, social and economic. Only then will people respect them.

The concept of ‘art for social purpose’ in its active sense, that is, in the sense of using art and literature to reform society, is largely of recent origin. It could hardly arise prior to the Industrial Revolution because up to the feudal age the thought that men could improve or change their social conditions by their own effort was rare. The belief then was that whatever has existed or will exist in future is ordained by God or Destiny ( hoi wahi jo Ram rakh raakha ), and man has no role in it. Now that the scientific age has dawned, and human beings can change their social condition by their own efforts, art, too, should help in this historical endeavour.
 In my opinion, in poor countries like India, art for art’s sake only amounts to escapism.

 Before I conclude, I appeal to writers in Hindi, Urdu, and other Indian languages to use simple, colloquial language. Hindi and Urdu should both come closer to Khariboli (or Hindustani), which is the people’s language,and written Tamil should come closer to spoken Tamil ( at present there is a great gulf between the two ). Some Hindi books are difficult to understand as they are written in difficult (klisht) language. The same is true of some Urdu writers. But if what is being said or written is not even comprehensible, what use is there for such literature?
 It is true that a great Urdu poet like Mirza Ghalib wrote often in highly Persianized diction, and was strongly of the view that poetry should not be in the language of the common man.  Ghalib had a horror of the commonplace in writing poetry.
 However, Ghalib, etc wrote for elite audiences e.g.for mushairas in the Court of the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar.
 Today's writers must write not for elite audiences but for the masses. And for doing so they must use simple language which can be understood by the masses..Great literature can be in simple language, like the wartime speeches of Winston Churchill or the stories of Premchand and Sharat Chandra