Saturday, December 31, 2011

Caution Against Premature Optimism

The performance of the government at the center has been pathetic and there seems to be no sign of improvement. There is agitation by Anna Hazare. And there also seems to be a realignment amongst the so called Hindutva forces with the news of Subramanian Swamy's joining the NDA.

However, this should not make us unduly, and more importantly prematurely, optimistic like the NDA was in 2004. Recall that NDA ate a humble pie in the later elections. Further, we as Hindus must not assume any party to be pro-Hindu for none are. We must focus on getting pro-Hindu (pro Sanatana Dharma) policies to be implemented.

For example, if Swamy joining NDA is another opportunistic self-seeking tactical move, then even before the 2014 elections, the whole aggregation will disintegrate. S-Swamy will point out that Nitish Kumar is Secular (which is true) and Nitish will leave (to establish his Secular image) and join the Congress (or the third rate front). The old wind-bag Atal B will conspire against S-Swamy, while S-Swamy will focus on getting even with his erstwhile foes. And then, understandably, the prognosis is abysmal!

The NDA has been functioning more as Naturally Dumb Alliance against the present Evil governing coalition which has rather been Uncontrolled Pilferers Alliance. So any members of these alliances should be taken in, for example, only when they openly and definitively take a Pro-Hindu stance, are corruption-free, and have no criminal cases against them.

We have mentioned earlier that it would be a nice idea if people like Bal-Thackeray (with his courage and wisdom), Subramanian Swamy (with his astute shrewdness and perseverance) and Narendra Modi (with his determination and diligence) join together and start working towards a Hindu-Rashtra, it will be a great beginning. This is not to undermine BJP or Raj Thackeray and so on. Their contribution will also surely be significant and welcome.

However, these three need to guard against certain specific pitfalls. Bal-T getting carried away by Marathi-Manoos emotion, S-Swamy falling prey to opportunism and N-Modi favoring Secularism. In addition they must guard against quibbling because of fragile and over-sized egos. For example S-Swamy needs to discover his greatness in belonging to Hindu civilization rather than by his erstwhile position at Harvard! This is a great opportunity. These individuals can really make best of it by openly and humbly seeking cooperation from all willing groups while not compromising even the least on core principles (Sanatana Dharma). They and their group also need to develop imbibe a spirit of self-sacrifice for the Hindu-cause. If these things happen, we could be doing quite OK.

It is important to remember that we are not glorifying individuals by mentioning names. Rather, we are pointing out that we need a leader who is Wise and Courageous to work as a guardian, a leader who is Sharp and Foxy to work as the chief-Legislator, and a leader who is Devoted and Hardworking to work as the chief-Executive. We also clarify that we do not imply that Bal-T lacks Sharpness or N-Modi lacks Wisdom or that S-Swamy lacks Devotion to the Hindu-nation. We have used the names of these personalities along with their associated public images as suggested abstract symbolism.

What happens to Anna and Baba then? In our opinion, they must continue to do what they are really good at, and that is inspiring and educating the people with patriotism as well as functioning as peoples' watchdog over the formal government. However, that is not enough. For example, Anna needs to disabuse himself of his aversion to RSS and "politics" and similarly Baba needs to clip his tendencies to flirt with Muslims.

So the perils are many although there is a glimmer of bright possibility. Thus we must be cautious against indulging in premature optimism. There is many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Learn Your Lesson Shri Subramanian Swamy

There is an old saying, those who live by sword, die of sword; we could paraphrase it to "Those who live by pride, die of shame". In the present context It would translate into "Subramanian Swamy has been, for so long, proud of being on the faculty of Harvard, however now he must be shamed of it!"

On December 6, the anniversary of demolition of the structure rightfully belonging to the Hindus, the Harvard University showed Dr. Swamy the door!

Indians, and Hindus have been suffering from deep rooted inferiority complex for a long time. We value only those who have been valued by our hallowed erstwhile masters! People think Manmohan Singh is good because he was at London School of Economics. People thought highly of Rabindranath Tagore because he won the Nobel Prize. Even the noted director Satyajit Ray felt he got his true recognition in India only after he got an Oscar.

We never recognized our own Ram Swarup, Sitaram Goel, even Swami Vivekananda!

We think being Professor at an IIT is easier than and inferior to being a Professor at a phoren (foreign) university. We think winning an Oscar is a greater achievement than winning a filmfare, the list goes on and on. So we believe that we are inferior (existentially inferior) to the West. The joker Lalu was immediately thought to be a genius the moment Harvard invited him to give a talk.

Unless we learn to be self confident, unless we learn to recognize the talents that our own people have, and unless we learn to scout, nurture, and reward local talent; we will perpetually face the likeness of the present predicament. If Subramanian Swamy has been great because he was a faculty at Harvard University then he must have done something terribly wrong if he is being shunned by the Harvard faculty! If Subramanian Swamy wants us to believe that it is Harvard which is wrong and stupid then he needs to feel ashamed of the pride that he has indulged so far in having been a faculty at Harvard.

We, Hindus may be good or bad, superior or inferior, but we need to begin with faith in ourselves. This is what Swami Vivekananda reminded us more than a hundred years ago. But we still revel in our old habit of worshipping phoren recognition. The other part is that we are yet to learn to truly recognize and value our own people.

If we want to be worthy successors of our ancient Rishis, we need to begin with Faith in Ourselves, Faith in our Past, Faith in our Ishwara, and so on. We must learn to recognize and appreciate talent in our own neighbors, and for this we need Faith in Our own judging abilities, and therefore faith in our own abilities. This is what we must begin with and inculcate in ourselves.

Don't be proud of being recognized by phoren; be proud of who and what you are. Be proud, as Swami Vivekananda exhorted us long ago, that we are children of ancient Rishis, and we will reach equally great or even greater heights. Let us pray to our Ishwara and obtain our Tathastu.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Solution to the Iran Problem: Persia

The western nations have long been at loggerheads with Iran, blaming it for fomenting terrorism against Western Liberal Democracies. Here we present a Hindu perspective.

Historically a region much larger than present day Iran was known as Persia. Zoroastrianism was the main religion of the population there. Parsis in India are the Zoroastrians from Persia who were forced to flee their homeland in search for safer residence, and the then Hindu king of Gujarat had readily obliged.

According to the legend, when the Parsis arrived to the Hindu Kingdom and sought permission to settle, the king presented the chief (or the wise man) of the Parsis a bowl of milk. The chief returned the bowl of milk after adding a sweetener to the milk, purportedly to signify that their population will dissolve into the local population while also sweeten it. Parsis, in large part, have lived up to their old promise. Certain questions could be raised but we will gloss over them for the moment.

There are two great lessons that both Parsis and Hindus must have learnt together.

1. The violently cruel nature of Islam: Both Persians, and Hindus have lost a very large population and enormous wealth to Savage Muslim marauders and plunderers.

2. The emptiness of the notion of Secularism: Parsis lived for a long long time in Hindu Kingdoms and never faced any persecution, rather they flourished as much as the rest. Similarly, they never received any preferential status (as best as is known) and had to work as diligently as the rest to prosper. And which they surely did, and became one of the very propsperous communities in India.

In this hour of crisis, it will be good if the people of Iran, dug deep into their traditions and re-emerged as the once great civilization they were, to an even greater civilzation in modern times. For that they have to forget and erase their barbaric Islamic recent-past and re-write it with their civilized ancient Persian tradition.

A Persia which emerges from Iran, with Zoroastrianism replacing Islam, will not only be a much more prosperous nation for its own people, in addition it will also be a geo-politically stabilizing entity.

For Hindus, this new Persia could be the Old Sweetener in New Form or should we say, the Same Old Sweetener Again?

Not just that, Hindus must also encourage Arabs to rekindle their Pagan roots and shed their new found evil delirium called Islam.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Anna Hazare - A Shivajian Mohandas or a Mohandasian Shivaji?

Anna Hazare appears to be a simple man. His life seems to be an open book. He has narrated himself how he got alcoholics in his village rid of their addiction. One can vividly imagine scenes wherein people are tied to poles and then beaten black and blue using leather belt. The immense power of non-violence!

Anna criticized Baba Ramdev when Ramdev declared that he would raise an army for self defense in lieu of the midnight attack in Ramlila ground. Anna thought this amounted to violence.

But then a brave Sardar (unlike the timid Sick who passes off as PM) gave a slap to Sharad Pawar. Anna, on hearing of this news, spontaneously asked,"Ekach Marla?" (Slapped only once?). Then Anna tried to regain his ground by denouncing all forms of violence.

Now, in his latest, Anna has justified his spontaneous outburst. In his new definition of non-violence public property should not be damaged. However, Anna reserves the right of righteous anger, with the terms of righteousness to determined by Anna himself from time to time. For example, he has invoked the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji. Anna now says "I have said many times that I consider Mahatma Gandhi as my ideal but sometimes I keep Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj also as my ideal."

We have mentioned earlier that Anna, Baba or for that matter any other amongst us, can not accomplish much without shunning the poisonous ideologies of Mohandasian non-violence and Jawaharian Socialism. And this needs to happen in thought, word and deed. Anna is still playing hide and seek. He has to come out in the open about this issue. Does he think that the end justify the means, or that the means are more important than the end?

We congratulate Anna for introducing the Shivaji factor. Anna needs to seek further inspiration from Samarth Ramdas, and Bhagwan Krishna; and not Mohandas. Anna, Baba are great mass mobilizers, it is important if they get their intellectual and spiritual moorings right as quickly as possible.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Proposal : Voluntary Disclosure of Corruption and Exemplary Punishment Act!

Until just a few decades ago, income tax in India used to be very high; and the government brought in VDIS plans, VDIS standing for Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme. The deal, typically, used to be: Declare your hitherto undisclosed wealth, pay a one time tax of about thirty percent along with some negligible penalty, and the money becomes yours, and "white". This was supposed to be an idea to bring in "black" money into the main-stream market.

In the present hullabaloo of Corruption and Lokpal vs. Jan Lokpal we need a genuinely new idea. Here we present a proposal which is based on the "voluntary disclosure earning some concession" idea. We do not claim that it should be exactly like we are stating it (We are not the adamant Team Anna, LOL), nor do we insist that this is a good idea. It is just an idea that we would like to share with our readers, and we are throwing it open to discussions, criticisms and comments.

Firstly, we need to realize that Corruption has become endemic in our society and system. Though it is true that political corruption is really really huge, we can not ignore the fact that this corruption pervades the whole system and also a large part of society.

Suppose we think that since politicians emerge from the society itself, a corrupt society can only engender corrupt leaders. Also, suppose that we want things to change. As we have suggested earlier, we need to completely overhaul both our society (through education, thus it is a much longer process, may be a few decades) and our system (by enacting a new Constitution, with a possibly new form of government, election, electorate, law, and so on). Overhauling the system by writing a new Constitution too will take, say about, three to five years; and we need an interim government until then.

Secondly, we need to remember that this change can only be meaningful and effective when it is brought about by people of much cleaner character and wisdom. Also we grant, at least for the sake of argument, that there may still be a few people amongst currently practicing politicians who really want to be clean and good, though they have a tainted past.

Thirdly, we surmise that the election for the interim (caretaker) government will take place with the existing system.

Now, suppose we want to give a fair chance to our politicians. In this para, the term "we" means the peoples. Consider the following proposal based on voluntary disclosure. We declare that before the next election, any politician who confesses to his Corruption and deposits all the money that he acquired through corruption into our national treasury, will get the following concession. After the new system (Constitution) comes into place, if he is investigated and it is found that he disclosed ALL of his corrupt past and surrendered all money acquired thus, then he will be left to lead the life of a common citizen, and that he could participate in the political process again. However, if the disclosure is less than the totality, and on investigation this fact is established, then he will face Exemplary Punishment. We also mention that those politicians who confess to their criminal acts will get the concession that they may receive a softer version of exemplary punishment. Also, that this will be the last chance for VDOC. One could also consider making a suitably modified version of this proposal for bureaucrats.

For the purpose of discussion, let us call the proposed as Voluntary Disclosure of Corruption Act, or VDOC Scheme. Please note that this could be combined with the plan that in the absence of VDOC by the currently practicing politicians, we will encourage, support and elect only "newcomers", more specifically "first timers" who have a very clean past. Since the election would result in the formation of only an interim and care taker government which would oversee the writing of NEW CONSTITUTION, NEW LAW, and so on; party affiliation will not be crucial for candidates in winning elections. In the development of new constitution, the "civil society", along with common citizen would (and preferably must) play an important and actively participatory role.

We invite comments from our readers.