Did Animal Sacrifice really exist in Hindu tradition?

Many Vedic traditions and practices have been misinterpreted or deliberately appropriated and infused with a lot of lies. One such lie that is repeated time and again is the practice of animal sacrifice in the Hindu/Vedic rituals.

While liberal historians reiterate that the Vedic people were meat eaters, the Vedas clearly condemn the killing of animals and the intake of meat especially of the cow. Rig veda reveals that most of the people were vegetarians and not meat eaters. While the practice of meat eating could be debated, clearly no Vedic scriptures advocate meat eating or animal sacrifice in any of the ritualistic practices. All those stories of horse sacrifice in Ashwamedha Yagna and animal sacrifice for religious celebrations is a white lie by the white man and his brown anti-Hindu brigade.

Yagna is all about worship, reverence, honoring and offering of devotion to the deity by sacrificing of the vices within before the Agni devata as Agni or Fire, the all purifying, is considered a holy witness and an interfacing deity between humans and God. It is for this reason that during marriage ceremonies Hindus take oath in front of Agni.

Yagnas are usually done for fulfilling a particular wish or the overall wellbeing of mankind. The offering/oblations mostly include ghee, rice cakes and such other non tamasic items. Meat or Animals were never offered!

During ancient times, the sovereign kings performed the Ashwamedha Yagna to declare their supreme sovereignty over other kings where a horse was set free to traverse across kingdoms and if anybody desired to challenge the supremacy of the king they had to stop the horse and fight the king lest they concede to be a vassal of the sovereign emperor. Steeds were symbols of war and victory, they were loved and revered and treated royally. Just before setting the horse free, a Yagna was performed to announce the sovereign challenge, and this had nothing to do with killing the horse or throwing it in the fire as an offering, the Aswamedha Yagna was just a symbolic ritual adopted by Deva kings before setting out on conquests. Ashwa means horse and medha has three meanings:

1.to enhance intellect,

2. to kill,

3. to inculcate love

Medha does not always mean killing but when translators with half-baked knowledge of Sanskrit began calling themselves as Sanskrit scholars, they wily and selectively translated the Ashwamedha Yagna literally as ‘horse sacrifice’, now there is something called as Gomedha Yagna, Purushamedha Yagna does that mean we throw some cows and men into the Yagna kund? similarly Ashwamedha Yagna was a ritual just before the conquest and had nothing to do with sacrificing any animal into the Homakund but unfortunately today many Hindus are led into believing that Vedic practices included indulging in abhorrent killing of animals and this ignorance is a crying shame today.

(For some insightful information on the Ashwamedha Yagna read here)

During the imperial regime of the Magadhan kings(686BC-320BC) kings mostly focused on war and expansion and delegated administration to a senate of knowledgeable elders took care of the welfare of people through Sabhas. Those days amidst frequent warring conquests it was important to build and maintain a large army but funding their sustenance was a challenge hence in order to generate revenue for the maintenance of large armies, the kingsmen collected contributions from the people which was then popularly called as ‘Bhaaga’ or ‘Bali’.

Bhaaga in Sanskrit and Kannada means ‘segregated share’, the usage of the word Bali to symbolize sacrifice(sacrifice here is not killing but to forsake something) could perhaps be inspired from the story of Bali Chakravarthy from the Puranas.

Few Indian languages like Bengali and Odiya use the Ba sound for Va, if I were to compare this with Kannada which is closer to Sanskrit.

(Bali) Vali in Kannada which means to please or to pay tribute.

In those days the Bhaaga was often referred to as the King’s share of produce or as a tribute to the king by the commoners and it was mostly given in kind such as grains and rice or milk and milk products. Usually it was fixed at 1/6th or 1/4th produce of the soil.

Bali was the import tax levied on the tracts for subsistence of certain officials. In many cases land tributes were given as everything belonged to the crown.

Soon tyrant kings started imposing taxes such as milk money which the subjects had to shell whenever there was birth in the royal family. State dues included cattle from herdsmen, prescribed services from traders, revenues were collected for birth and death in a family, tithes and fines were levied on sales. The rural taxes were called Rastra Bali or Samaharthri and the Urban taxes were called Durga Bali or Sannidharthri (Durga means fort, most city dwellers or kings’ people lived in forts and those who cultivated fields lived near their fields)

This practice under some ruthless rulers where cattle were also given as a state dues, later became an imposed tyranny on the subjects, people began to associate the Bali collectors as a ‘man eating demons’ or ‘man eaters’.

Some Taxes that were introduced in the Magadhan/Mauryan empires:

Kara              Extra cess

Visti              Forced Labor

Pranaya       Benevolence tax

Bali               Tribute

Sulka            Duty

Bhaga           King’s share of produce      

Essentially surrendering/giving away of cattle was also a part of the tax system that was classified under Bali system of tax. This was perhaps later concocted as a system of animal sacrifice that never existed in our Hindu customs.

To bring into context how our deities and belief systems have been concocted I shall narrate the story of Banashankari Devi.

The Banashankari Devi temple located in the heritage town of Badami was the revered deity of Rastrakutas and Chalukyas. Bana or Vana means forest, she is regarded as the deity of the forests who safeguards vegetation. She is also called as ‘Shaakaambari’ which means the one who wears a garland of vegetables

The locals offer her 108 vegetables and regard her as the Kula Devi who protects them and the forests. But the irony is that today most devotees no more offer vegetables but offer animals for sacrifice without knowing the meaning of ‘Shaakaambari’.

Even in Soundha or Sodhe Mutt there is a practice called Bhootabali where a demon like cake is made out of Kumkum to symbolize blood for an offering to the presiding deity but who will bell the cat by questioning the priestly practices that has come from generations. Likewise there are many temples today that offer animals in sacrifice, there are movies like Bahubali that show animal sacrifice as a ritualistic custom but remember the tittle of the movie itself is Bahubali, so if Bali only means sacrifice, are they going to sacrifice the Baahu? For all you know one thing is clear, there was no concept of animal sacrifice _ no horse, no goat not even a hen in our dharmic rituals and all such propagations and beliefs are absolutely concocted and needs to be retold and revised.

It is important that we don’t blindly follow rituals nor believe the popular propaganda but engage more in deciphering and exploring our cultural and religious practices.


Koregaon-Engineered Dalit Riots?

A 200 year old alleged historical win of British over the Peshwas in the Anglo-Maratha war is being celebrated in Bhima Koregaon as a commemoration of Dalit victory over Brahmins as many Mahars sided with the British army against the Peshwas even when some of the historical journals  reveal that it was more of a retreat on both sides. It is a known fact that until Independence most kings and communities either sided or fought against their local rivals by aiding or aligning with the British/Mughals in various permutations and combinations which had been the reason for a prolonged British rule but to milk it now for political mileage by casting cards of divide amongst communities  under the mask of fighting for Dalit rights and honor is not only shocking but simply alarming as these acts of deliberately instigating communal hatred and rioting is nothing but absolute ideological terrorism in the name of political narratives. Even if the Dalits had been oppressed as repeatedly alleged by historians and history text books how does it help restore their social dignity by instigating them against another caste or resorting to violence and damaging public property? By provoking and pitching the Dalits of the nation against another community the organizers of the protests are only creating a reverse oppression where the so called oppressed are instigated to turn oppressors. This is only becoming evident in the unabashed predatory polity of the Congress and all its subsidiary alliances that engage in rabble rousing speeches which are nothing short of hate speeches that are detrimental to our pluralistic society.

The British Army was mostly reluctant to recruit Dalits in their armies as they deemed them as non-martial races hence Ambedkar who belonged to the Mahar community had highlighted this aspect of Koregaon where Dalits too had fought along the British and that they should not be castigated as non-martial races. He had sought the inclusion of Mahars in the British army who were otherwise reluctant until the world war when they were forced to recruit them in order to save some white lives.

It’s been 7decades since the British left and in all these seven decades mostly Congress rule in its varied Avatars with their many populist schemes and caste reservations, and all those chants of ‘Garibi Hatao’, if Dalits are still feeling neglected and discriminated then there needs to be a serious reflection into the aspects of providing reservation systems based on castes as these quotas have done more harm by pinpointing their caste than uplifting their social status in the society.

Amongst the many Anglo-Maratha battles fought, Koregaon is one of the last few battles before the end of the Maratha regime and all Maharastrians take pride in being a Maratha but for anybody to be celebrating the defeat of the native rulers against foreign invaders in these contemporary times is a new low in the vulture polity practiced today. That the Congress party supports and outsources the riot mongering protestors at the cost of disrupting communal harmony and breaking the social fabric of the nation is telling of the ideological terrorism that is brewed today in the name of rights and honor of the oppressed. A closer look at recent riots, be it in the Una, Pattidar or Jat reservation riots or Panchkula riots and now the Chembur protests blaringly reiterates one aspect _ that that these engineered social disorders have mostly occurred in BJP ruled states making it for an open case of suspect on the Congress party’s role in it as it has been very vociferously supporting any and all forces that could embarrass or oppose the BJP in the most vicious form even at the cost of breaking India. For all their temple running attempts at transforming to shun the ideological image of a Congress that is apparently soaked in a history of minority appeasement politics with an obnoxious manifesto of communal and caste divides often cheering by the side of anti-India elements like Umar Khalid, one wonders if there really exists any ideology at all in this melee of political hooliganism that gets passed off as political strategy in the erudite corridors of English speaking hubs and concocted media panels. What is even more shameful in this whole episode is that the rightwing is naively engaging in rebuttals of egalitarianism and reiterating real history when the fact of the matter is that the Koregaon protests is no protest for Dalit integration or Dalit celebration but a blatant ploy to break India along with some vote shares if possible, and all those lengthy academic English pieces of history and rebuttals do not reach the Dalits on ground. The larger point is this_ a Congress with a miniscule parliamentarian presence still owns and runs the entire political ecosystem with no obligation towards nation building hence there is an urgent need to conceptualize a constitutional legislation extending the virtues on the lines of prevention of atrocities act against SC/STs to all other communities and criminalize the use of the word ‘Dalit’ or any other suggestive caste names by media and political parties and precautionary arrests of riot causing forces. The Koregaon incident is a deliberate attempt to break Shivaji’s legacy of Maratha pride which is almost synonymous to the Maharashtrian identity irrespective of whether one belongs to Dalit or any other community, and the presence of the Muslim Personal Law Board member Moulana Abdul Hamid Azaari and anti-India elements like JNU student Umar Khaled along side Jignesh Mevani in the rioting platform should ring a bell.

In the wake of upcoming elections in Rajasthan and Karnataka the hate brewing industry will only grow shriller in its political splitsvilla of casteist divides unless they are dealt with iron hands of law much against political correctness.

The origin of Neech Politics

The election fevers are soaring high in Gujarat and the Hindu heartland is witnessing a gale of newfound Hindu enthusiasm from its otherwise bespectacled secular saints who are now working overtime to resuscitate their gasping Hindu image! Be that as it may, as one can only attribute such last minute hitchhike pro-Hindu gimmicks as a political Ghar Wapsi stunt but what explains the callous dysphemism (this word is exclusively for the Farrago or Dichotomy types of kale angrez who have made a career out of complicated English words with no obligation to use their brains) of Mani Shankars and all their Neech politics that they now, know not, what could come from what goes out of their mouth! Whether or not he intended to say that the prime minister belonged to a low caste, but surely the Congress in its subconscious slip of tongue or a conscious clutter of borrowed mouths has not only revealed its lack of civility or respect for constitutional authorities but has also exposed its own intolerance and incompetency to counter productively in the interest of the nation or state for that matter. But a sneak peek into history only reaffirms and reconciles that the narratives of today’s Congress is no different from the past!

It is no secret that Mountbatten found in Nehru a British heart, beating beneath his brown exteriors, who dreamt of ruling an India, for whose freedom many fought and died but with middlemen like Gandhi and Nehru, freedom had to be ultimately negotiated!

Here is an incident that happened on the Indian Independence day celebrations in New Delhi August 15th 1947

Pamela Mountbatten, the 17 year old younger daughter of the Governor General, arrived with two of her father’s staff. The venue was jam packed and with great difficulty she worked her way towards the wooden tribune where Nehru and Mountbatten were to address the crowds. But at a 100 yards away they came on an impassable barrier of people, all seated tightly with hardly any space to breathe. Spotting her from his place on the tribune, Nehru shouted at her to cross over the people to the platform.

“How can I?” she shouted back, “I’ve got high heels on”.

“Take them off”, replied Nehru.

Pamela couldn’t dream of doing something as undignified on such a historic occasion, “Oh”, she gasped, “I couldn’t do that”

“Then leave them on” said Nehru, “Just walk over the people, they won’t mind”

‘Oh’, replied Pamela, ‘the heels will hurt them’

“Don’t be silly girl, take them off and come across” Nehru had said!

The daughter of India’s last Viceroy had treaded over the carpet of gleeful human beings who helped her reach the platform allowing her to tread on their bodies.  (Ref from Freedom At Midnight _ Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins)

Nehru with his elite English mannerisms was a darling of the British, as he was very much like them, he neither had concern nor connect with the villages of India or its people. The above incident only shows how he treated and thought of the poor masses of India _ as indignant and worthless enough, to be treaded upon and how he still bent back to worship and accommodate imperialism, it is past seven decades of this incident but the fact that the Congress of today is still smitten by the same white imperial arrogance with epithets like ‘ Neech’ is telling of their rigid feudal mindsets.

But the unfortunate irony is that the masses who came to celebrate India’s Independence from the British had allowed the British Viceroy’s daughter to tread on their backs on the very day of Independence forgetting the Battle of Plassey, forgetting the 1857 mutiny, forgetting the brutal lathi charges, the treacherous usurping of land, treasury and faith, the killing and hanging of many freedom fighters and their divisive politics but will the masses in Gujarat that are backing the white face of imperialism even today allow themselves to be trampled at the feet of communal dynastic politics and forget and forgive the nincompoops of Neech politics who were and are no different from the East India Company or will they ever realize and realign with India in heart and soul is something only time will tell!


I Got My Khata Without A Bribe!

If you are a Bangalorean the most frequently used word in your circles would be – ‘Khata’! And it is often made out to be a premium document, procuring which is again made out to be an uphill or an impossible task without a bribe!

But what is a Khata?

A Khata is basically a Persian word which means Account, the use of the term came into being during the regime of rulers like Tipu Sultan but is still prevalent in the real estate lexicon as it is a livelihood giving word to many touts.

A Khata is a revenue document which facilitates assessment and calculation of your property taxes. It records details like – size of the property, location, built up area and identifies the actual owner of the property who is liable to pay property taxes. Essentially it is an account with your municipality that identifies you as the owner liable to pay property taxes. As per definitive rules on paper it is deemed as a must have document for applying for Bank Loans, getting Electricity and Water connections etc but in today’s world where we are paying property taxes online with or without a Khata and even able to procure electricity, water connections and bank loans without the need to furnish a Khata makes the very concept of Khata obsolete and irrelevant. Also a Khata does not have anything to do with ownership as the tittle deeds take care of it. In this digital age where we have already aligned our Aadhar card with Banks, pay online property taxes without a Khata or E Khata and importantly the sale deeds have our pictures on it, makes the Khata an archaic headache of a practice that our Governments must soon shun.

But since this dated paperwork is still not revoked most of us are smitten with it as if to a sought after commodity procuring which is made out to be an arduous task by the touts and mythmakers. Hence most people are trapped into paying some Bribe to procure this document called Khata which is deemed important when you are selling your property.

Since I had no plans of selling my property nor was I desperate to procure this document by paying up a Bribe I had decided I would never apply for it in the first case until it became completely online and stabilized at a stage where the Khata would be couriered home to me. Even the PID generated in an E Khata is of no value addition as we are already paying our taxes online without any PID and the E Khata is of little help as of now as ultimately one has to still see those beautiful BBMP faces while physically collecting the Khata from your nearest BBMP center or Kiosk!

I had expressed the same sometime back to a few fellow residents in my apartment who shared similar thoughts during times when many others in the community had opted to get it done by paying a bribe. In fact all that Bribe giving was facilitated and organized as if it was some Khata Mela! And this kind of unabashed display of moral unconsciousness, openly normalizing a corrupt practice had shocked us!

We decided we shall apply together, individually and make sure we do not succumb into paying any bribe

Sometime later, we got together, one of the senior gentlemen got the application forms from the BBMP office, after duly getting the forms filled, signed, attested and attached with the respective DD’s(2 nos) addressed to the Commissioner BBMP along with the 2%tax on stamp duty mentioned in your sale deed and the Khata charges of Rs.125 along with the latest tax paid receipt, we set out to hand it over to the Tappal (the clerk).

On seeing some 10 of us approach together, the clerk smelt the abnormal attitude. Thanks to all those people who have normalized Bribe giving as just another transactional obligation and see ‘exercising your basic right’ as activism! Stockholm syndrome perhaps!

It was around 12.30 in the noon 21July when we reached the BBMP office and it was not an unusual site at all to find the ARO and the center head missing in action leaving the place with a bunch of clerks who were determined to non-cooperate with us, however even we were equally determined to counter that noncooperation with absolute patience and insistence.

At first he said that Khatas are not being issued individually for apartments and that they would only issue in bulk as per the new circular. We then asked him to show the circular and he was quiet horrified when we insisted on seeing that circular and even looked it up online. There was no such circular. Since it was not pasted anywhere he realized he could not play around. Then he said your DD amounts may be wrong and asked us how we had concluded the respective amounts. He asked us to checkup and submit it at a later date, to which we said that the amounts were calculated as per the information provided by the BBMP office earlier and also the BBMP website and if there was any wrong it was for him to inspect and reject!

Next he said that we had to notarize the copy of the sale deed(first sheet of sale deed to be submitted where the name of owners appears) and also provide a copy of EC (Encumbrance Certificate). Although it was not mentioned anywhere in the Khata application or on the BBMP website asking for these documents, the clerk kept refusing to accept our applications without EC.. After haggling in raised voices for half an hour, he showed us some old applications submitted which had endorsed copies of notarized sale deeds(first sheet of sale deed) and EC.

EC is another document which says the property in question is free from any monetary and legal liabilities and it can be obtained from any registered authorities like Notaries. The Notary normally checks the sale deed and stamps his seal. A notarized copy of sale deed along with EC has to be submitted to the BBMP along with your latest tax paid receipts and duly filled Khata application. The Notarization is all about certifying, attesting and authenticating an instrument. In the past many dealings with sub registered offices and other such Government offices, I have got many deeds and documents attested by a Notary but till date I have not understood what the hell does the Notary authenticate from those very documents or copies that I have provided, upon which he blindly stamps and signs for a 50 or 100 depending on how well-dressed you are! In my opinion the concept of notarizing is another useless practice and all those Notaries should be thrown in the Arabian sea!

The next day we got the EC and the Notarization done together for Rs.300 per resident.

And on 24th July our applications were finally accepted with a pink receipt of acknowledgement given. Remember to file and frame this copy till you receive the Khata as this is your magic wand to Nirvana!

After a week’s time we visited the BBMP office again for a follow up, this time the clerk gave his number and asked one of us to contact him and said it was not really necessary for all of us to keep coming. He indicated that he had done his job and that we needed to follow up with the ARO and that the ARO was too busy. We met the ARO who was very rude and yet again told us that he could not Khatas individually and that we had not submitted the information of all the flats, flat nos, their built up area, owner names etc which we tabled and gave him the very next day. We also mailed the same to the ARO but there was no acknowledgement.

The following week when we visited him again, the ARO seemed to be in a good mood and was in conversation with some senior person just outside the office. We quickly approached him and he(ARO) gently promised that he would give the Khata in a week’s time.

After some 4days we called up the clerk and then began the story, he started demanding a bribe in the magnitude of the same amount our fellow residents had made. We indicated that we could not pay him so much and kept the loop open and told him that he had not even come for a site inspection, we were keen to get him for a site inspection first and certify that all documents submitted by us were in accordance to the requirements of the BBMP. Finally in the following days, he made a visit and again opened the talks for a bribe, to which we did not commit anything nor antagonized him.

The next time we called he indicated that he was willing for a negotiation but we told him that we could not pay him anything.

After this incident we had a group meeting and few in the group were going weak to somehow settle it off even if it meant shelling some small amount which I thought was what the delay tactics was all about – to yield us into the Bribe trap. I even thought I will go it alone if need be but then we held on to our original beliefs.

There was silence from all of us for one whole week and then we thought enough was enough and wrote to the higher ups. A written communication requesting and reminding them that a Khata had to ideally be issued in 24days from the time of submission of the application and that now more than 2months had passed and our DDs would lapse soon causing us the inconvenience of going through the procedure all over again. We sent a registered post to the Joint Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and the ARO of BBMP on behalf of all applicants together under one signature.

Almost after some 15day(Diwali holidays included) we got an acknowledgement by postcard from BBMP from the day of the letter. The clerk too called up but we somehow had missed the message. When we next visited the BBMP we were told that we could collect the Khata the following day. It was a pleasant shockJ but the next day 25 October we got our Khatas without having to pay any BRIBE in exactly 3months time!

One last line for those of them who say – people in a working system do not have the time to spare following up with this kind of activism: Each of us make time  for our preset priorities and interests. if shaking a leg at the Zumba class is a priority for some, a few others may find solace in social causes. It is just a matter of how one prioritizes and plans to spend his or her time. And when people say they are busy with their work schedules and unable to make time to seek their right, it is always about their priorities and never about lack of time!


Babas of Philosophy or Politics?

No rapist should ever go unpunished under the court of law, more so when the person claims to be a spiritual guru with a large fan following of gullible devotees! Spiritual Gurus are supposed to be torchbearers of Dharma who effect social harmony in societies but when Gurus take to dramatics and still wield the powers to generate a violent outrage through their devotees, distorting the very idea of devotion, one cannot help but contemplate if such reprehensible reactions are really spontaneous or staged?

It is no secret that politics often takes refuge under philosophical leaders making them larger than life personalities but then for a religious mob to be assembling in such large numbers and resorting to such violence that too on a 15 year old case whose outcome was almost predictable leaves no doubt that this rioting incident was very well-planned and propped up. The recent reports of recovering AK 47, petrol bombs, 2500 Lathis and other such arsenal from the Dera Sach Souda vehicles goes on to prove the same. There is nothing wrong in religious groups forming Mutts or Deras, infact Deras have been regarded as casteless platforms of equality for social bonding and security for the poor but the whole gung-ho about the Dera chief’s dirty department raises questions as to how any religious group could get access to arms and arsenal! Was there any political angle to it? Who would benefit from such mass disruptions and halting of public life? Why would a ruling government willingly let loose mobs to run amok when their own administrative acumen would be at stake and under the hawk eyes of the media?

With some Congress men even tweeting that this violence should go as a warning to the BJP if they even dared to touch the Gandhi or Vadra family, it may not be premature to say that like the farmer’s protest in MP that was hijacked by the Congress goons, even the Panchkula rioting incident appears to be orchestrated by the Congress as their stalwarts are involved in several land grabbing cases here. Apparently the Khattar Government has been pursuing all illegal land grabbing cases of the Vadras, it is another speculative thing if any politician in India will ever go to jail for a full term.

The speed with which the media demanded Khattar’s resignation when a 14 year old rape case that was dangling in the air under congress rule is taken to its logical end under the BJP makes Congress’s and their lynched liberals’ frustration evident! Remember there was no such ask by the media when Bengal was burning!

Gurmeet Singh the spiritual baba cum actor cum writer cum philosopher cum sportsperson cum social libertarian cum music director cum hero cum Dada Saheb Phalke film foundation award winner for the most popular actor and director is the 3rd chief of the Dera who was given a VVIP status with Z+ security under the erstwhile Congress rule. But when these Babas do not pay political dividends they will be vilified as Hindu Rapist Godmen whether or not they really promote real Hinduism! Not that RamRahim was any holy cow but the issue is about how easy it is for the political chancers to suddenly deem a sect as a separate identity either for garnering votes or for vengeance politics. Whichever way they go they leave no stone unturned to belittle an entire indigenous faith and ridicule all spiritual leaders of that sect when one Baba is caught. Post independent India has been a secular era at the cost of Hindus all along till now, ironically the Dera Sacha Souda that was founded by one Mastana Balochistani in 1948 basing its faith on secularism, quietism, individual and strict social disciplines is today used/misled by shadow clouts of politicians to unleash violent disruptions where lakhs of gullible followers are let loose from the Congress ruled Punjab into Haryana as if to deliberately create a political turmoil in the state of Haryana just before the verdict!

The British encouraged formations of newer cults of secularism all along starting from Bramho Samaj, SaiBabas, Dera etc alongside missionary activities. Whatever be the intentions of such newer introductions and propaganda, Indians have absorbed and adapted them all into their indigenous cultures as their own but what is intriguing is the fact that although India has always been the land of sadhus and sanths who reformed and rejuvenated our societies it is only in recent times that Sadhus are able to mobilize chaotic mobs leading to killings of their own followers.

Such mob mobilizing is witnessed not just for a RamRahim but also on the calls of radical Maulvis or Padres who have in the past instigated riots against the system. Be it the Christian mischief of alleged Church attacks in Mangalore or Orissa or the recent communal violence and rioting in Bengal where instigated mobs stood blindly with their masters who whip their minds and inflict their subterfuge political agenda making it into rabid religiosity.

It is for this reason that the BJP has to forcibly penetrate the ugly communal religio-political empires built during the Congress regimes to neutralize not just political mileages but to contain the separatist dance of division politics from disintegrating the society into warring groups against the system. Since the damage is already done as this identity politics has seeped deep within. It has become a dangerous mind game today as it starts off with the poor and then percolates amongst the privileged, brewing its ugly portion of separatism across all classes. And in this identity politics while the media hyperventilates on only Hindu saints, carefully choosing to ignore all misdeeds of Maulvis and Padres, some right wingers today seem to play down the theatrics of the Baba and deem that he was a centrifugal wall against Christian conversions in the Punjab and Haryana regions, fair enough if evangelical activities are eating into our societies, let us demand for a categorical ban and a strict constitution legislated against missionary activities but until then should we convolute the integral aspects of Dharma fearing Christian conspiracies and stand beside a bogus baba is left for everybody’s introspection.

Punjab and Haryana have always been a concoction of Congress/Akali/regional party strongholds that plunged the state into drugs and cultural debauchery during their regimes largely because of maladministration with no inclusive growth. The lack of opportunities coupled with cultural bankruptcy of an impressionable group has been well encashed by replacing the absence of modern administration and facilities with liberal dozes of celluloid and crass Rap cultures. It is no co-incidence that the all in Baba who donned ridiculous Gladiator like costumes, playing a lover, a macho with those trendy bikes, becoming a hero, a savior in all his avatars via films, sports, music and drama served like a bespoke design to pull and engage those gullible crowds (read vote banks) with absolute ease.

Gurmeet Singh has been an ardent Congress supporter for a very long time and it was only recently during the 2014 change in the political wave that he chose to drift along the sweeping tides of the BJP or atleast that is what was announced although numbers don’t indicate the same. His conviction could have come much earlier during the Congress rule if only there was a political will to duly deliver justice but Congress being Congress can only do what it is best at – to aggravate and orchestrate administrative lapses only to score brazen political miles at the cost of 30lives and 300 innocent injured victims and a whole lot of damage to public property.

But the BJP that is scrambling to contain and cut into a Congress eco system of communal politics and violence will be better off by being equally ruthlessly prepared for all such future charade of chaos with more astute, affirmative and agile administrative demonstrations because we live in interesting times where on one hand we have people taking out candlelight marches to see that the rapist is convicted and then there are those who petition for the mercy plea of the rapist and then there are those who burn down towns when a rapist is convicted!

Spiritual leaders are essential illuminating torch bearers for our societies who aid in upholding the Dharmic quotient without any limelight but when affinities and ideologies of the perpetrator of the crime becomes a determining factor to ascertain the gravity of the very crime then it is evident that there is more politics to it than any acclaimed philosophy. And all such philosophy of Babadom or Maulvidom or phedophile Pastordom should be ruthlessly shunned.

Thy Name Is TROLL!!

The UPA tenure was marred with scams and a series of corruption charges where most news debates revolved around one scam or the other or about 2002 riots, however the 2.5years of Modi government though debated largely, most debates are often not on its deliverance or performance but on issues of seeming intolerance largely orchestrated by using University campuses as political battlegrounds by the opposition! One can ponder if this is an indication of dearth of development issues to debate about or is it a hangover of pre-Modi era to continue with the venomous vilification of Modi or perhaps both!

The time tested tools of communal polarization and customized news is fast eroding away with the rage of social media that leaves no stone unturned in calling out the white lies of the left liberals. The strategy of scoring single runs by projecting individual student victims across university campuses has perhaps misfired by stoking sixes of nationalistic fervor amongst common citizens who are only getting more intrigued and informed about the political scenario in contemporary India by each passing day. The nationalism word seems to have scared many in the cozy elite circles, hence there are rigorous campaigns propagating that “nationalism is not so cool after all’ on one hand while making pawns out of that very nationalism on the other hand!

Social media is a great platform to share views, news and ideas and if one decides to go vocal about their opinions it is only imperative that it is out of their own free volition they chose to be there _ to be heard! And people knowingly share information on platforms like Twitter or Facebook so that people read, like, share or comment on them, that being the normal, now one cannot expect everybody to agree and hail them as there is always bound to be an adverse viewpoint whether in the online world or outside.

And when people choose to talk about the country and take social or political stands they should have the courage and conviction to counter contrary views with facts and reasoning lest they can simply ignore the comment or even block people but to challenge someone openly and then resorting to ostrich syndromes playing victim/women card when met with hard facts is not done! Unbiased debates are an essential part of a democratic society where views are exchanged in a civil way and any disagreement or a counter argument, be it a satire version or humorous take, as long as it is not disrespectful or threatening, it is still a viewpoint. But unfortunately a lot of twiterratis and facebookers today seem to lose it when they find themselves incapable of countering with facts or when they are unable to reason out or articulate enough and when their bluff is called out., they either resort to name calling or play the victim card. So powerful is the ecosystem of the Left-Congress and their newer prodigies like AAP, that any dissenting voice which even remotely appears to be vehemently saner is today branded as Sanghi or right leaning troll and their Twitter and Facebook handles get suspended! But paradoxically it is the Congress and AAP that cry foul about getting trolled when the very jargon social media troll came into being along with the birth of AAP!

Yes the newest and trendiest word in town is TROLLING! And the ugly duckling is always a Troll!

The recent overt coverage of the Gurmehar issue by the media and the full on rebuttal in the social media exposing the orchestrators behind the whole victimhood soap has exposed the osteoporotic ribs of double standards of the left, the whole plot was out in the open when Gurmehar tweeted that she was withdrawing from the campaign and that people could contact @voice_of_ram which happens to be the official twitter handle of Ram Subramanian, the media advisor of AAP! Her older tweets reveal that she has constantly been in touch with senior journalists like Burkha Dutt whom she has declared in her tweets as her inspiration!

To cut the story short it was a well-coordinated drama along with the Main stream media, AAP and the leftist universities to garner media time for yet another intolerance drama. it is a shameful irony that the opposition whose MPs resort to sexist slandering of women cadre of BJP in the parliament house and in the social media with unthinkable filth( like Tehseen Poonawala’s tweet for Smrithi Irani) are today talking about women getting trolled in the online world! And a chief minister of a state Arvind Kejriwal, who starts and ends his day with abusive tweets/rants against Modi by employing the most acrimonious and derogatory epithets certifying others as trolls is when irony just died a disgusting death!

Rape threats are highly condemnable and certainly a grave threat which needs to be reported first and foremost to the law keeping forces, the fact that Gurmehar chose to contact the NCW and the media instead of the police is intriguing.  As always the media was zealously quick with outrage to cry foul that Freedom of expression was attacked and that women were bullied on social media, calling many sane voices as Trolls!

The media might not have taken the issue of trolling earlier but this is not the first time that a rape threat was given to a woman, there have been many cases where right wing women cadre were met with the filthiest abuses and threats thrown at them in the online world, yet ironically there was never a debate on TROLLING on any of our news channels until a left leaning Gurmehar emerged the torchbearer for Freedom Of Expression!

The problem of the left is essentially this _ “My dissent is dignified as long as I get your dignity denigrated but your dissent is simply a dud remark”! And this is what makes even a Virendra Sewag an illiterate or a Sanghi as labelling or name calling is the sharpest retort when unable to retaliate logically in a civil way.

“My dissent is dignified as long as I get your dignity denigrated but your dissent is simply a dud remark”!

Although people are getting labelled as TROLLS only from recent times, the art of trolling itself is not something new as it is not limited to just the online world nor is it gender based. It has always existed in a subterfuge manner but revealed only recently due to a change of guard who are changing the very discourse of debates.

One of the leading national dailies derogatorily referred to Smrithi Irani in a headline as ‘Aunty National’, in the aftermath of the Ramjas college protests many national dailies carried out a picture of the SFI head thrashing another student but labelled him as a ABVP goon, was it a printing mistake? Were they not trying to vilify the ABVP? Does it not amount to trolling?

Trolling is all about vilifying someone or an organization, how is it that when common individuals express opinions it becomes trolling and when established newsrooms and newspaper brands do the same it is categorized and passed off as news?!

It has been a left landscape all along ever since the last several decades and the sudden takeover of the political narrative by the right wing and the total hijack of the very idea of journalism by the social media common folks has skewered and skinned their propaganda that has perhaps shaken their grounds beneath. With a lackluster leadership and lack of credibility and a total lacunae in understanding the mood of the nation, the opposition in spite of fumbling under its own shadow of the past and present, continue with their never say die spirits, as their hunt for innovative disruptions continue unhindered with yet another Dadri, yet another Vemula, yet another Gurmehar but the larger question is whether the BJP will continue with its lame pellet policy or rebut with the grenades once for all by reforming and restoring the constitution to its true secular sense is something to be seen and until then the victimization card is here to stay as we the commoners are left wondering whose troll is it anyway?



Traffic Woes of Bengaluru, Can We Counter It?

Ideally a tar road laid should endure for good 10+years but the current apathy of roads speaks volumes about the sorry state of administration where corruption has grown multifold. Today the perpetrators no more hesitate to wear venality on their sleeves, as being corrupt is the new normal and the more the vice the more powerful the person is perceived to be!

For far too long we have discussed and debated about the pot holed roads, foam filled lakes and its menacing traffic but the influx of more traffic by each passing day seem to be unnerving Bengalureans and it is going to be worse with the current system in place! There are several reasons responsible for the asphyxiation of Bengaluru but the most atrocious one being the mismanagement by the authorities that has led us to witness this unavoidable evil, day in and day out. If the trajectory of traffic woes stem from too many vehicles, bad infrastructure, bad city planning and a dysfunctional municipal body on one hand, on the other hand we have erratic fellow drivers, rashly driven abhorrent BMTC buses that care a damn for anybody or any law, those imbecile unpredictable spooky two wheelers who could creep in or drift from nowhere and keep racing up to the signals to claim their medals until they have completely blocked the opposite side, and not to forget the admonishing attitudes of traffic mates which makes our daily lives nightmarish inch by inch, bumper to bumper.

This kind of menacing traffic woes is reducing our lifespans and productivity. It is also cutting down on the quality time spent with family which might lead to depression and frustration.

The foremost problem leading to traffic snarls today is the sanction of building approvals for big commercial malls right in the middle of already throttled traffic necks, If you take for example the Banaswadi-Whitefield ring road, no matter at whatever time of the day or night one attempts to glide through the stretch, one will invariably end up getting struck in the terribly slow moving traffic there. The major reason being the presence of Phoenix mall whose car happy customers occupy one half of the road as they line up to enter the mall while occupying half of the road, eating into the space of the otherwise broad roads leading all other commuters into desperation. In actuality the Government should impose traffic causing cess on such constructions and the concerned Government officers who sanctioned these types of nuisance projects should be penalized and transferred to the remotest village or should be made to chauffer drive citizens for 5years continuously from one end of the city to other on a daily basis for 8hours.

Another abhorrent aspect is of the never ending surge of apartment complexes where all and sundry are in the spree of developing apartment complexes. And most unfortunate is the springing of clusters of apartment and commercial complexes on narrow roads where hundreds of cars would trickle down from these complexes onto the same narrow lanes choking the traffic. Apparently Bengaluru should stop construction of any new apartment complexes or malls in the interest of reviving the green gardenia that it once was! Or at least the Government for a change should be prudent enough to allow Malls only on the outskirts of the city and put a limit on the upcoming number of apartment complexes and allow it only if the roads connecting them are broad enough to accommodate them all. A huge green lung space was gladed away to make space for Forum Mall on Kanakapura road which is also a highway and apparently many apartment gates open out to this road throwing traffic out of gear.

Who would want to drive amidst the chaotic lanes if ample public transport were available with smooth connectivity? In my opinion the grand metro rail projects are just an eye wash where hundreds of crores of rupees are siphoned off without seeing the light of its meaningful purpose, because all that the citizens needed was a decent connectivity with ample number of buses plying continuously across the length and breadth of the city ensuring that people don’t have to stuff up like cattle to meet their schedules. But the fact is that even after so many years there are not enough buses to meet the growing needs as newer hitech buses are futilely allocated in non-demand areas and to add to it the steep prices of the Volvo/ Vajra buses are anything but at par with Auto fares hence most Vajra buses ply empty as common people would rather opt for hiring a private vehicle from their door step rather than go in public transports when they have to pay the same price. So the very purpose of having additional buses is lost when at the end of the day it does not benefit the common man, which also includes the most harassed IT professional, owing to whose presence, Bengaluru is on the global maps today!

Also till date there is no bus route app or a streamlined chart or digital bus route information board put up at the local bus stops to assist the passenger to ascertain which bus goes where and which are the areas connected from a particular stop and at what time it would arrive, which would help people plan their day’s commute. Maybe it’s time to have an app dedicated to planning local bus commutes.

If the Government is unable to handle the public transport system it should at least aid and facilitate private players to pitch in to compete fairly along with Government transport services but unfortunately any private player who dares to make the price absolutely competitive is unduly harassed at the hands of red-tape and hegemonic government policies with deliberately tedious procedures making it an unfriendly affair altogether for anybody to even venture out there. I use the term deliberate because if consecutive governments ever intended to ease out the operations and encourage efficiency most obsolete policies could have been done with long ago but the fact that such policies prevail reveals the much prevalent intentions of the policy makers and keepers who refuse to make anything worth benefiting the common man.

The recent case of Zipgo, a private startup that took on the challenge of curbing the menace of traffic woes in Bengaluru city was shown the door demanding elaborate documental approvals which is not rocket science to decipher what it meant, the latest addition being curbing the cab pool services of Uber and Ola which effectively are signs that there is no body out there in the ruling state government who cares about the lifestyle disorder called traffic abuse which is costing the common man his time, money and health! If not the Cab pool, the Government could at least make it mandatory for all big private companies to provide compulsory shuttle services to their employees, which is the only way the Government could choose to positively harass the private sector while also benefitting the common man and thereby reducing traffic woes.

As if it were not enough there are those blood sucking banks that loans out lavishly and today Bengaluru is in such a state that even if the Karnataka Government comes up with some unrealistic proposals like odd-even formula, most houses already have two cars _ one with odd number and one perhaps with even! And it is not about elitism or prestige of owning 2cars but it is just that people have given up on getting any kind of bargain from a feeble public transport system endured by a lethargic government and there is little hope from the alternative transports like rikshaws or Taxis who are unresponsive or mostly seen as unreliable and unsafe.

If the idea of public transport were to be revamped in a big way in Bengaluru, then like exams even commuting will be a festivity where the Government could put a cap on the number of new rikshaws, two wheelers and cars hitting the streets. Cars and fuel should be made more expensive so that people compulsorily take public transport and two wheelers should become an absolute luxury like in foreign countries but all this only after a grand revamp with a thoughtfully well-knit network of connectivity and ample number of buses in sight, if at all it ever happens!

And to top the list of woes it is not at all unusual to come across fellow drivers engaging in a brawl right in the middle of the road, over a rear-end hit or crashing of the side mirror. But what is appalling these days is that if you are hit by the Cab driver class types then they will neither stop nor own up or bear the damage costs, instead they may pick up an assaulting tone of fight and flee, even if you report to the police, it is not of much help as such cases are neither filed nor followed up seriously.

Now if you reverse the situation and it is you _the salaried slightly educated idiot who has been taught to be nice and law abiding who cannot think of getting into a physical fight nor know the tactics to get the cop on your side, who bumps or even touches caressingly, the rear end of a cab or their likes, then chances are that you will be surrounded by a big group as it doesn’t take them much time to gather fellow folks around to aggravate things to the extent of using slang epithets or engulfing blows or threaten and make sure that they relieve you off from all cash. To counter such hooliganism you will get no recourse from the cop as he is mostly cognizant of such loots and knows for sure that he will get his fair share. The cops usually side with them and worse you may end up being harassed by the cop for questioning. If the intruder has given a phone number and left, chances are that he will never attend your call! The concept of amicably settling and agreeing to seek third party insurance claims is still a rarity. Setting up complain help desks or call centres for the same will be practically of no use, installation of more CCTVs and an additional deployment of a patrolling cop with more decision making powers across every street would perhaps help ease ugly tiffs but with current police forces facing shortage of staff maybe the states could consider recruiting eunuchs as traffic woes’ attendants or traffic managers and make their lives more meaningful relieving them of their horrendous routines of begging and harassing citizens in signals and shops.

Essentially our traffic woes are a culmination of lack of good public transport system, lack of good connectivity, lack of urban city planning, inept government bodies filled with crimson red-tape, an ineffective and ill-defined law which is not fool proof when it comes to traffic related woes, rampant corruption, lack of genuine concern among leaders and cops for the welfare of the common man, apathetic citizens and ever growing urbane challenges of fitting the classes of law abiding and the impatiently lawless, together!

Is the Bengaluru urban development department listening!!



Life is a quest!

There are no boundaries that the mind cannot cross

And no quandaries that the heart does not toss,

Each day is a struggle to decipher the dogging mind

Each experience an enlightening strife

To seek and understand the purpose of life,

To set the paths simple and straight

You never knew was such a tightrope walk of fright,

Until awakened from your disillusioned best

Calming tumultuous thoughts is no tryst,

Life’s sessions of learning and unlearning

Are indeed tough lessons from unforeseen churning!


Lights Camera Action!

Celebrations and ceremonies are an integral part of our lives that form the dynamics of socializing, shaping minds and memories that we take home and cherish.

With the advent of science and technology and of course the social media, today, memories are no more, that merely something to be carried in our hearts or treasured in our secret troves but something to be worn on our sleeves and flaunted on our social media walls! Not that we at any point of time would be very comfortable putting up our personal pictures on concrete compound walls but somehow our perception of a memory or a memorable event has certainly evolved over times.

Capturing candid moments of our life in a camera has certainly charmed us by making memories more memorable. It has converted every small occasion into a grandiose affair, but perhaps the evolution of the ways of capturing a memory has definitely altered the perspective of living the moment itself! And in many ways has diminished the very idea of a ritual or celebration today, as it has become more about coverage by the cameraman than the connection with the moment!

From the black and white wedding pictures or gothic frames of graduation galleries hung like winning trophies in yester years, that were captured in weaponry like traditional roll cameras, where the camera man literally struck his head beneath a black sheet of cloth, we have come a long way in today’s digital world. It is just that today, the cameraman sticks his butt out on all auspicious occasions for all stage performances that too right in the center of the stage like a constant creative backdrop raging and kindling everyone’s imaginative fervors high as they struggle to get a sneak peek of what really is going on the stage!

People have always endured with enthusiasm and believed in reliving those assurances of cherished clicks of print and digital memories that one may mostly never look up a second time! Nevertheless a few shots or even some extra indulgence doesn’t really hurt but I cannot fathom the idea of buttcentering in this age of drone cameras and candid photography! And I can only hope there will be some buttless cameramen just like wireless, cordless or perhaps a Buttfree recording just like hands free gadgets!


Anything but no center stage butt ery blocking please!

I very enthusiastically attended an annual day fest recently, in spite of the elaborate stage arrangements, I was struggling to get a glimpse of the performers all along as the performers were mostly drowned and camouflaged in colors by the glaring LED screens and covered behind the omnipresent cameraman whose debatable butt catapulted many thoughts in me finally prompting a post on the futility of his butt and our bizarre obsession for the same from decades together!

But it is time, that truth be told!

People have silently borne the brutality of these butts for far too long ever since the onset of video cameras and camcorders.  People have been forced to witness more pairs of butts than the actual married pair sipping Coca Cola from the same bottle.

These obnoxious camera butts have been the melting pot of makeup where people have often paid with their sweat and synthetic smiles and have even postured like plastic bunnies as per his schizophrenic whims and fancies.

Perhaps the silhouette of these opaque butts are the very inspiration that keeps  overly dressed and decked up people motivated enough in marriage halls to stand endlessly and pointlessly in long queues to pass the parcel(gift) that they received in their previously punished posturing affairs!

Even those long rails and tails of shouldered camera equipment do not help much as they are again assembled on top of a towering grid where the indispensable butts block the audience view yet again!

The last time I saw some meaningful gathering was at a cousin’s wedding reception where she personally greeted every guest and mingled freely with the crowds, the couple strolled away from the dais, taking blessings from the aged and elderly who sat gleefully in their respective places enjoying their soups as the candid photographers clicked without interrupting those real moments she could cherish for a life. That was the best wedding I witnessed where she had taken the wedding oaths at home in a traditional way with just the close circles that mattered most and with just those members who were interested in the rituals and threw a five star party for the rest of us.

I do not know if I am growing old or is it increasingly becoming an obnoxiously synthetic society with each passing day where social events, celebrations or ceremonies are fast losing its intended aspects of living and celebrating the moment but then as the cameraman walks in gloriously like a gladiator with all his celebrated paraphernalia, we cannot help but adjust our sarees and hairstyles, waiting for him to proclaim his takes and retakes with some Lights, Camera and Lots of Fake Action!