Does Congress really care about freedom of expression?


Since Modi government came to power and started suppressing voices, emboldening fringe elements involved in killing innocent people in the name of religion, the main opposition party, standing at its weakest ever, has projected itself as the torchbearer of freedom of expression. Congress claims to be everything BJP is not, it’s a general belief among current generation that they are secular, liberal and balanced in their political ideology. But are they really?

It’s noticeable that in his first trip abroad after taking over the reins of AICC, Rahul Gandhi addressed a convention of NRIs in Bahrain, saying, “Today the only thing India talks about is what you are allowed to eat, who is allowed to protest, and what we can say or rather what we cannot say. Activists and journalists are threatened; they are shot dead for expressing their views.”

Now shift your focus to the recent controversy around the Netflix show ‘Sacred Games’ that was released in nearly 200 countries and earned rave reviews. Directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, two filmmakers who represent the changing face of mainstream Hindi cinema, the series soon landed into controversy. Several complaints are being filed, alleging some of its content are inappropriate and derogatory in nature and harm the reputation of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. So a great hue and cry has been raised by Dynasty devotees and sycophants, the Grand Old Party of India is full of. Also a plea by a Congress leader has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking removal of some “offensive scenes” from the show based on a book written by celebrated Indian author Vikram Chandra of same title.

Congress even defended the move saying there is nothing wrong in a party functionary filing a police complaint against the show’s producer.

So what is the thing that has offended Congress and their planet-sized ego. All Politicians have inflated egos, Congressmen are no exception. The show has scenes where the former prime minister is referred to as fattu in one of the scenes. While the word “fattu” was initially subtitled as “pussy”, it has since been changed to “wimp”. It has also been alleged that the show is “misrepresenting facts during Rajiv Gandhi’s regime”.

The debut season is riddled with events that proved to be turning points in the history of the country. The narrative goes back and forth in time and remains parked in Mumbai, the ruling government’s decisions and slips that shaped the crime world and political scene in he Maximum City during that period are unabashedly referenced in the eight episodes.

With episodes such as the 1975 Emergency, imposed by Indira Gandhi, and the government’s forced sterilisation plan to the Bofors scandal and Rajiv Gandhi’s gaffe in the 1985 Shah Bano case, when he was accused of choosing politics over women’s rights, neatly stitched in the narrative, the script has been unsparing in its scorn. In one scene Siddiqui’s character says, “Shah Bano ko alag jalaya, desh ko alag. She took her husband to court and won. But the prime minister told her to shut up and overturned the court’s judgement.”

It’s a bitter truth that Rajiv Gandhi the amateur politician, played a dangerous game that later resulted into Babri Mosque demolition. And about Bofors, everyone having even little knowledge of Indian politics, knows Rajiv was, if not directly, indirectly involved in the scam.

Rajiv Gandhi came to power gaining sympathy votes after his mother Indira Gandhi was assassinated. He was a novice and soon his historic blunders and inefficiency in administration made him unpopular. During those times several jokes were made on him. There was a catchy line from a song by a village poet: ‘Italy ke damad, tere bas ka Hindustan nahin’. (Italy’s son-in-law, how will you ever understand India/handle her). Also a very popular joke that taunted Rajiv by saying that Jawaharlal Nehru was sending his grandson a warning from the heaven that he would face defeat in the coming elections. It was in Bhojpuri, an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Northern-Eastern part of India and the Terai region of Nepal. It went like this: ‘Swarg se nana ki aayi pukaar, ab ke naati tu jaibe haar’.

Are they not funny? Imagine those jokes start playing again, will the Congress, go after every person laughing over them.

It was Rajiv again whose goverment banned Salman Rushdie’s book ‘The Satanic Verses’ and it was much before the Iranian fatwa. I don’t know how much Congress cares about the freedom of expression, it seems, they do care, only when it suits them. Congress just like other political parties, does things as per their own convenience, based on the gains and losses in the elections.

Hypersensitivity vis-a-vis creative cinema from the political class needs to die down. No one here is celebrating abusive language against a former PM, Kashyap is known for over and sometimes unnecessary use of cuss words in his cinema, but that’s his artistic freedom. Artistic or creative freedom is an integral part of freedom of speech and expression. It is a trivial issue, that needs to be ignored. It will cause more harm to Congress than good. By giving it too much attention the party is actually helping the show makers and Netflix. ‘Sacred Games’ is already generating enough curiosity through its content. This hard-boiled fiction, a gangster saga, is energetic and entertaining, and the controversy has given it much more publicity, enough to generate curiosity among masses who either did not hear about it so far or did not plan to watch it. Now the entire nation is talking about ‘Sacred Games’, those who believe in Congress and their political ideology, are actually shocked with the way the party is dealing with the issue. The series has exposed the hypocrisy of Congress, it’s apparent, they do not practice what they preach. ‘Sacred Games’ has actually started a new game, where Congress sucks and Team Kashyap is rocking.

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Two Minutes Hate


Even if you are a ‘Bhakt’, if you believe in sheer evidence, you could not deny the fact that in recent times, since Modi govt came to power, there has been surge in incidents of crime against minorities specially Muslims. Sometimes in the name of cow protection, sometimes in the name of forced and fake patriotism like singing ‘Vande Mataram’ or chanting slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. Prime Minister Modi claims to bring a ‘New India’ and even in his I-Day speech this year he said “violence in the name of faith is unacceptable” and “India is about Shanti, Ekta and Sadbhavana. Casteism and communalism will not help us.” Giving speeches that sounds good to ears and pitch-perfect is an art Modi has excelled in. But in reality these speeches are shallow words only, as even after his speech, there has been no stopping in cases of lynching or mob-justice over alleged possession of beef by Muslims. What does it proves, it proves nothing but Modi’s duplicity and betrayal to people of this country, majority of whom do not want any communal tension and believe in harmony and peace. It is not an unknown fact that the BJP govt has emboldened such fringe elements who claim to save the holy cow and serve Bharat Mata by killing innocent people. The govt is in complete denial that minorities are feeling unsafe under their rule and every thing is alright. But facts says otherwise, since the NDA govt took charge there has been increase in such cases manifold. It’s not that everything was perfect under the previous UPA govt led by Congress, there has been such incidents, but the numbers were quite less. According to a news report by Hindustan Times “Muslims were the target of 51% of violence centred on bovine issues over nearly eight years (2010 to 2017) and comprised 86% of 28 Indians killed in 63 incidents, according to an IndiaSpend content analysis of the English media. As many of 97% of these attacks were reported after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government came to power in May 2014, and about half the cow-related violence – 32 of 63 cases – were from states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) when the attacks were reported, revealed our analysis of violence recorded until June 25, 2017. Of the 28 Indians who died over the seven-year period, 24 were Muslim, or 86%. As many as 124 people were also injured in these attacks. More than half (52%) of these attacks were based on rumours.” Still the govt denies that minorities are feeling unsafe in India. So when outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari on Aug 9 said there is a feeling of unease and a sense of insecurity among the Muslims in the country, asserting the “ambience of acceptance” is now under threat, his comment sparked angry reactions from a section of social media users as well as many BJP leaders, including PM Modi who took a dig at him saying “Ansari is someone with family ties to the Congress party and the Khilafat movement whose prior experience, beliefs and associations were essentially limited to Muslim preoccupations”. And also then newly elected Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu in a veiled attack, rejected the view that there was a sense of insecurity among minorities. “Some people are saying minorities are insecure. It is a political propaganda. Compared to the entire world, minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due”, said Naidu. In that case, Mr Ansari looks similar to Emmanuel Goldstein, a character in George Orwell’s dystopian novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’, who the autocratic state portrays as the enemy of people, saying, he lies all the time and should be detested with utmost intensity. The govt presented it as the ‘two minutes of hate’, where in the novel, people are made to watch a film depicting the state’s enemies (notably Goldstein and his followers) and express their hatred for them for exactly two minutes. This is what BJP officials exactly did when Ansari tried to show us the mirror, to urge us to reflect on ourselves. And we have been so naive, we shy away from the fact the minorities are feeling unsafe and subjected to state sponsored crimes, we are made to believe that everything is fine and we are having ‘acche din’. The govt means to say don’t be a ‘Thought Criminal’ (again a reference from the novel) otherwise we will deal with you and the Big Brother is watching you.

Solo traveling: a breath of fresh air



I don’t know the meaning of life. I’m searching it everyday and I believe, the best way to look for it, is to travel, to visit new places, to meet new people, to hear their experiences, to see the mountains, to talk to the flowing rivers and to sleep under the stars. So one fine day, I decided to travel to some place not so far, with in my budget and worth going for. And I wanted to travel alone this time, so that I won’t have to convince anyone to go here and there, where I will be my own guide and companion. But then I thought: would n’t it be boring without friends? I talk so much, what will i do to not feel bored through out the journey? hmmmm.. Then I tried to convince myself: lets do it for once, what if I like it. So the next thing was, I boarded the train, reached my first destination and then never had second thoughts about my decision, I was all happy with my decision. I boarded Shatabdi train at New Delhi Railway Station and deboarded it at Kathgodam (a town in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand state of India), then took a taxi and went to Naukuchiatal (or ‘lake of nine corners’ is a small hill station in Nainital district of the Indian state of Uttarakhand) stayed there in a resort beside the lake for one and a half day then took a local bus and went to Nainital city ( a popular hill station in the Uttarakhand and headquarters of Nainital district in the Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalayas). My two days were over now. Then I went to Mukteshwar (a town and tourist destination in the Nainital district), spent one day there, now my three days were over. All these three destinations were within a distance of 50-100 km from each-other and nearly 250-300 kms from Delhi where I stay. Now let me tell you my experience as a first time solo traveler, it was awesome and pleasant. During the entire time I didn’t feel bored even for once, saw mountains, lakes, birds, did trekking, rock climbing, rappelling, zorbing, kayaking, para gliding, met new people, made friends and came back as a different person, as a more confident man, who is willing to take risks, who can travel to any part of the world without any companion and who enjoys his own company. So on the basis of my personal experience, I suggest everyone to travel alone sometimes, at least one solo trip a year. Traveling alone is soul searching and discovering a new, hitherto unknown side of yours. Pursuing a quest can bring a purpose to your life. Remember life is short, we can make it large by doing things we love to do. It’s never too late to start. So let’s do it, do it for our own happiness! 




Cowcracy after ‘New India’


Welcome to ‘New India’, where a cow is more valuable than a human. It’s 2017 and with two more years to go, when the current govt will complete its 5 year term, these years are golden years for cows and quite horrible and petrifying for humans. Quite a tragedy, as humans get lynched in the name of cow protection, feel threatened by the most gentle animal i.e cow. And also while people die due to lack of health care, the health sector, hospitals are getting worse, the govt started ambulance services for cows. First class health care for the first among the animals. What an irony!

So just think what will happen if it continues and the situation gets worse.

Here in an imaginary tale, a satire, based on an Orwellian idea.

2019: after 2 years of hell for humans and heaven for cows

The incumbents came back to power with a thumping victory in the general elections. Now cows are becoming more and more powerful with each passing day.

Cows are first class citizens and humans are second class. Now there are cowlove shauchalayas (it has just replaced Shulabh Shauchalayas), where cows go and urinate, shit and take bath. Sometimes ago the govt, still run by humans, proposed Aadhar-like unique identification number for cows in India and also setting up sanctuaries for cows across India. The govt had also recommended special care for cattle beyond age of milking, launching ‘animal health cards’ for them.

Now all those proposals and recommendations has been accepted and implemented and you know it made cows first class while humans second class citizens. The govt took away voting rights from humans, they thought they do not deserve it, the govt actually did n’t want any sort of opposition that may hurt them.

The govt also snatched away Aadhar cards from humans because they were complaining too much about it, they literally became a pain in their ass. And now you know they are second class citizens.

The govt never ran old age homes for it’s old human citizens not loved and taken care by their children but it established several special care centres for cows beyond age of milking. Again you know humans are second class citizens.

Then cows now so empowered like never before, started plotting against the govt, they wanted to get rid of the govt still ran by humans. They believed why should a certain bunch of humans rule upon them when actually they are running the system, society and the country. They thought again humans are nothing but second class citizens.

Cows after a hell lot of efforts finally toppled the govt and launched a system ‘of the cow, for the cow and by the cow’, they named it Cowcracy, the first in the world. Now they snatched away all the remaining rights from humans and forced them to live like slaves.

The National Cow Party (one party system like neighbour China), soon started running an autocratic system, their cow police and cow army attacked humans, removed them from their houses and forced them to stay in ghettos far from the mainland areas. Now men started living like animals, back to the nomadic ages. They accepted their fate and started believing COWS ARE FIRST CLASS CITIZENS, THEY ARE SECOND CLASS.