The Swamis Throw in With Modi

November 03, 2017:  Former  Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi finally returned to Akshardham temple in his bid to raise votes for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the coming assembly elections in the state.

In a speech of extraordinary significance, he paid glorious tributes to the temple, the Swaminarayan Sect,  its Pradhan Pramukh, himself, his role in the Ekta Yatra which he had actually organized for then party president Dr Murali Manohar Joshi from Kanya Kumari to Kashmir (KK to K).

The significance lies not so much in the speech but the venue.

It signals the Sect’s open allegiance to Modi and the possible affect it might have on the voting by Gujarati Patels and therefore on the fortunes of the Congress.

Why is the Swaminarayan Sect important to these election?

Traditionally, the sect has always kept its distance from politics. It has been ideologically opposed to Dayanand Saraswati’s Arya Samaj — the fountainhead of the Brahmanical Sangh movement in Gujarat. It’s major followers include the politically powerful Patels like former BJP Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, not the greatest fan of the current prime minister or dispensation.

Post-independence,  growing affluence drove some of these Patels  towards towns and cities looking for education and jobs. They weren’t available. This was pre-liberalization and most jobs and education was government owned.

At the time, the Congress was busy building the KHAM coalition and it’s own Mandal base with reservations. Affluent Patels like Keshubhai and his ilk turned towards the Jan Sangh in the late ’70s and early ’80s. They were the rebels of the time. This was then known as the Nav Nirman movement and signaled the first broad basing of the Sangh.

It didn’t take long for that movement to turn communal with the Sangh at the heart of it. 1985 anti-reservation stirs took a communal turn and the BJP was soon in power with Keshubhai at the helm. In Gujarat, this gave people like Narendra Modi a chance to power. In Uttar Pradesh it meant the growth of people like Kalyan Singh. Meanwhile, poorer Patels in Gujarat, who now call themselves the Patidars or small landholders — kept waiting for their turn at the table.  Hardik Patel represents that group.

Successive Mandal and socialist groups, or even the Liberalization movement of Dr Manmohan Singh, however have had no interest in land rights or agriculture.

In fact, the Modi government has taken specific steps under the Land Reform (sic) act, to make it easy for governments to take land away from rural owners without consent.

This has hurt farmers, including the Sangh’s own Bhartiya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh (BKMS), Patidars and immigrant Punjabi farmers. Rajasthan farmers recently dug themselves into holes , demanding the government recognize their right to own their land.

The Patidar movement under Hardik Patel had begun with a demand for land rights but soon turned into one for reservations. In the last week, schisms seem to have appeared within the Patidars too. Hardik Patel’s earlier organization, the  Patidar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (PASS), or (Patidar Reservation Struggle Committee)  has spoken independently with Amit Shah and according to one report, has pledged its allegiance to the BJP.

Mr Modi’s welcome to Akshardham indicates that the Swaminarayan Sect has given him their nod of approval. This consolidates the non-Dalit, non-OBC Patels among the Hindus. At least, a blessing was asked and given.

The chief Pradhan of Swaminarayan sect had shunned Mr Modi even in the aftermath of the Akshardham attack in 2002 when he was at the peak of his popularity among Hindu Gujaratis. Blood was spilt in the very premises from where Modi addressed the political meeting on Thursday. Gujaratis will not miss the significance. So this is huge for Modi. The Question is why?

What really happened at Akshardham?

For those who don’t remember much about the Akshardham case,  here is a rundown of the facts.

  • The Akshardham Temple was built in 1992, a year remembered for the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya
  • The temple is most remembered in Gujarat  for the Akshardham Blasts on September 24th 2002, the year of it’s tenth anniversary.
  • 2002 is also most remembered in India  for the Gujarat Riots of February 2002.
  • 37 people died and 81 were injured in the Akshardham Attack which lasted 16 hours.
  • The NSG was flown in the same day from Delhi to contain the “terror attacks” as it was being called then. It took about 99 highly trained men , five hours from midnight to 6.45 am the next day to corner the attackers.
  • The attackers turned out to be two men. Why they hung out for 16 hours was never revealed.
  • They were found dead, drenched with blood and dust and riddled with bullets. But with a pristine, clean note in Urdu was found on the body of one of them.  The SC wrote it off as nonsense.  Then DGP K. Chakravarti claimed they were Pakistani terrorists, but how he deduced that, was never clearly explained.
  • Finally, the Supreme Court acquitted all the 6 accused. It passing strict strictures against then Home Minister of Gujarat, Mr Narendra Modi and the investigative agencies. It also released four convicts  , who in turn filed a case for compensation, which the SC refused, worrying about the precedent it might set on wrongful incarceration cases.

Bottom line — the real attackers who killed 37 people and injured 81 at Akshardham temple, have still not been caught.

Events after Akshardham

Rumors have been rife of course. Then Congress general secretary Madhusudan Mistry told Indian Express that Narendra Modi had prior information about the Akshardham Attack.  To quote: “Asked if he was suggesting that Modi had a role in the attacks, he said, “I suspect [it]. He must be knowing it.””

Daily Bhaskar reported ” the Akshardham Temple is located yards away from CM Narendra Modi’s residence and police failed to detect the people who had come to kill him?” In fact, Modi was scheduled to start the fourth leg of his 2002 Miyan Musharraf Gaurav Yatra  that very Saturday from Ambaji, and had to postpone it in view of those attacks.

Rumors are however just rumors.  They may have as little familial relation to fact as did BJP’s rumor mongering that the Akshardham attack was the work of Muslim terrorists.

That September though, Narendra Modi went to meet the head of the temple. He wanted to speak at the prayer meeting after the event. According to reports of the time, he was roundly rebuffed by the Pramukh Swami Narayan Swaroop Das.  The Sect quietly buried the dead, purified the temple and refused to make a political event out of the tragedy.

According to a one report of the time Modi  was told:   “Whatever has happened at Akshardham has happened. Whoever has done it, we don’t want to blame anyone. There is no need to drag any names into this now. And I think you should also stop referring to the ISI and `Miya Musharraf’ and make efforts to maintain peace.”

Modi’s road show resumed on October 5 2002, and he has since made it a point to conduct a Gaurav Yatra before every election . 

In April last year Brahmaviharidas, a witness to the blasts and its aftermath, wrote a book called Swaminarayan Hinduism published by Oxford University India . He confirms the story in his book and speaks to the Pramukh’s determined opposition to politicizing the event. In the excerpt carried in Scroll he wrote:

“In the prayer assembly on 29 September on the open lawns of Akshardham, which was attended by religious, political, social, and community leaders along with over 25,000 people, there were no speeches or slogans – only bhajans and prayers. Only religious leaders were on the platform. No aggression. No protest. No communal bitterness.”

November 2nd brings politics to the temple doors. The Sect has openly thrown its robes in with Modi. No one yet knows why.  But Thursday’s speech may well be the event that will be remembered as the day that marked the Congress loss at Gujarat.

With inputs from Sanjana Reddy/Hyderabad


Picture credit: Screen Grab from Quint broadcast on Facebook, November 2, 2017

To Tum Naye Bharat Ho? 

In Hindi @

To tum naye bharat ho?
Bhakton ke masiha,
Bazaareeon ki chahat ho?

Na maryada na sharm,
Na itihas ka ehsaas
Tughlaq ke bande,
Theek to hai hosh-o-hawas?

Chappan ka seena
Aur chappan ki akl
Suiton ki dukaan,
Par wahi purani shakl?

Mukhota to badl,
Na badla ‘gar insaan
Kuch nayi ada to bata,
Kuch aur kar pareshaan

Seene mein dil to hamara bhi hai
Chappan na sahi
Ek behosh junoon hamara bhi hai
Be-pak hi sahi

Khud chal ke na jayenge
Kabristan hum
Khench ke le jana hoga
Is murde ko hum-sitam

Ghar, bastiyon, insanon
Ko jalane walon
Ye soch ke to dekho
Murdaghaton par watan nahin

Vidhur, vidhvaen bana karte hain.

–Sarita Rani


Dedicated to:

— Drought stricken farmers
— Laborers, white & blue collar workers, losing their jobs every day

— Chattisgarh women being raped and molested every day
— Soldiers dying in internal battlefields, reviled as oppressors not heroes

— Muslims being singled out on the basis of their religion; women and others, on the basis of their sexuality, color, caste or creed

Picture credits

Narendra Modi Official/Flickr

IndiaSpend Team/Flickr

Quote source Indian Express

तो तुम नए भारत हो ?

In English

तो तुम नए भारत हो ?
भक्तों के मसीहा ,
बाजारियों की चाहत हो ?

ना मर्यादा ना शर्म,
नी इतिहास का एहसास ।
तुग़लक़ के बन्दे,
ठीक तो है, होश-ओ-हवास ?

छप्पन का सीना,
और छप्पन की अक्ल,
सूटों की दुकान
पर वही पुरानी शक्ल ?

मुखौटा तो बदल
न बदला गर इंसान,
कुछ नयी अदा तो बता,
कुछ और कर परेशान ।

सीने में दिल तो हमारा भी है
छप्पन न सही,
इक बेहोश जुनून हमारा भी है
बे-पाक ही सही ।

खु़द चल के न जायेंगे
कब्रिस्तान हम,
खेंच के ले जाना होगा
इस मुर्दे को हम-सितम ।

घर, बस्तियों, इंसानों को जलाने वाले
ये सोच के तो देख,
मुर्दाघाटों पर वतन नहीं

विधवाएं बना करती हैं  ।।

सरिता हैदर-आबादी

Dedicated to:

— Drought stricken farmers
— Laborers, white & blue collar workers, losing their jobs every day

— Chattisgarh women being raped and molested every day
— Soldiers dying in internal battlefields, reviled as oppressors not heroes

— Muslims being singled out on the basis of their religion; women and others, on the basis of their sexuality, color, caste or creed


Picture credits

Narendra Modi Official/Flickr

IndiaSpend Team/Flickr

Quote source Indian Express

Knock-Knock, No One There


One heard the argument first in the preparation to U.P. elections after demonetization. It sounded something like this: “The BJP has to lose. They’ve ruined the economy. People have been standing in lines. They will vote them out.  Thousands of jobs have been lost. There will be payback — you just wait and see. ”

What people wrapped in their own bubbles refused to see was in the pictures they themselves were sharing every day — people were standing in lines.

Instead of rioting or breaking down bank and party offices, people dutifully stood in lines month after month, hoping… begging to be handed out their own money.

No opposition politician or intellectual drove by in his car, either of the left, center or right, throwing out wads of cash from his car window. No one came to fight with bank staff to make sure every one got their due and cash wasn’t siphoned off to VIPs. No Rahul Gandhi or Kejriwal barged into the Prime Minister’s or went on a hunger strike to ask Why?

But many believed the great democratic process would have its revenge and the BJP would be thrown out of power in U.P.  But it wasn’t, was it? It even came to power in Goa and Manipur.

Political pundits who had to eat their words came up with  schadenfreude — or the pleasure comparatively poor people might have got, in seeing comparatively rich people suffer.  Gautam Benegal in the august tradition of all lazy liberals gave his yatha praja, tatha raja verdict. Senior journalists who should have known better, swallowed his lazy translation of Alexis de Tocqueville quote: “people get the government we deserve,” as an original and profound thought.

And then Delhi MCD happened. Some explanations will appear, no doubt. Yogendra Yadav of Swaraj India already has one, of sorts.  Yadav may well call for opposition unity. Benegal might well find more fellow travelers.

The BJP will still win the 2019 electoral results. Here’s why.

1. They have the men, they have the might, they have the money too

More, they have the mood on their side. And sheer brilliance.

Performance, facts, data — these have ceased to matter. Those who think the Sangh is stupid and call this “the Jumla Sarkar,” have got the most important communication principle wrong.

I’m told Stanford has repackaged it as moral psychology. But when people of my generation were educating ourselves, in Aristotlean times, “Jumla” used to be called Rhetoric.

The Sangh is a master of rhetoric.

It knows how to create the exact rhetoric, at different levels of information consumers.

That’s why it seems to contradict itself. But it really isn’t. It’s merely a communication strategy. They always have the message right on point for whoever they want to connect with. Sometimes this message spills over to other consumers and creates confusion.

The MNC consumers get the swadeshi message, and the “integral humanism” consumers get the “rape dead Muslim women,” message.

But the Sangh is aware of the spillover and has a management strategy in place. It uses key spokesmen, at key points, to manage the costs. Sambit Patra and Shaina NC for daily briefings. Kanchan Gupta or more involved conversations. Makarand Paranjpe for academia, Swarajyamag for intellectuals.

The riff-raff are too many to count. Zee News , whose strategy is evolving brilliantly on a daily basis; Rajat Sharma, ; newspapers they’re buying or bullying by the dozens in all languages; Shiv Sena and it’s communication factory and so on. .

Yet, when the costs become too high — as with Smriti Irani — the Sangh doesn’t hesitate to ruthlessly cut the cord.

They are playing the long con. It is not stupidity. It is brilliance.

2. The Opposition has none of it

No opposition party has the men, the might, the money, the mood or even a tenth of the brilliance the Sangh has.

At the time of our greatest peril, there is a tendency to be most nostalgic. But nostalgia can sometimes be a friend. Sometimes, it can be an enemy of the future.

This time, Nostalgia is the enemy. 

Nehru is dead. So is Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. They are the past. The Congress party itself was born in the throes of the Freedom Struggle. It is over a 100 years old.

This struggle needs a newer, more youthful leadership. People with fire in their belly, hungry and angry. People who refuse to compromise.

The Congress isn’t that party anymore. It hasn’t been that party for a few decades. There is not a single Congress worker who will march unless he’s paid to. There is no compromise that the Congress won’t make. There is no party that a Congressman will not defect to.

The Congress is the party that made BJP possible; that makes BJP possible every single election. I have friends who are die-hard Congress fans. But if ever there was a time for bitter truths, this is it. Surely, some things matter more than loyalty to a party?

The Congress is dead in the water. Let’s write its obituary and get on with it.

3. The non-Congress Opposition. Well, what about them?

AAP? It lost Delhi Municipal. Kejriwal threatened a “movement” if he lost. And made his first major compromise with a ‘graceful defeat.’ It will be first of many major compromises he will make.

Second Rule of Fight Club — Don’t make threats you don’t follow up on.

Then there’s the little matter of AAP’s non existence in most of India.

Local opposition parties? Either they’re lining up to tie-up with the BJP; or they’re all fighting with each other. U.P. and Bengal are eminent examples. Delhi is too, by the way. Read the non-EVM reason that Yogendra Yadav gave for Kejriwal’s loss.

If you’re looking for a viable, existing, political opposition to the BJP in 2019; Knock Knock — there’s no one there.

4. EVMs – How many parties does it take to vote for the BJP?

Doesn’t matter, they all lead to the BJP button anyway. Yep. There are EVM jokes now. It’s a thing.

I love technology, always have, always will. I normally believe that the solution to the ills of technology is more technology. But on this, I am that loony – the one who believes that some things that are best analog or brick and mortar.

MONEY and VOTES are two of those things, I firmly believe, should stay physical. There is evidence and more that EVMs are giving out false votes. Yet, we are always given an explanation we believe, because we want to. 

We buy silly arguments like “only some are”; But they came “from U.P. and didn’t get enough time to rest (purge, puke?)”; But “they were not provided by the EC!”

The worst yesterday: “Tamper-able doesn’t mean they were tampered with!!!”

The meme forgets to mention that they were apparently designed so that one cannot prove they were tampered with. (n alleged security feature so stupid, it beggars belief.

But we are ready to buy any argument that doesn’t force us to make hard choices.


So what are the hard choices?

The first hard choice is to let go of the imagination of hope.

To let go, is not to despair, but to stop pretending.

Reality begins where pretensions stop.

And it is only when we face reality, that we can begin to imagine action at all.

The Sangh is here to stay. It is not going away in 2019. Its followers will be raiding our homes, our shops, our kids, wives and daughters. It is killing people on the roads, in broad daylight. No party or leader has stopped them. No one will stop them in the future.

No one’s coming to help us. It is going to get worse, not better.

Now what are you prepared to do to save yourselves?



Image Credits The Daily English Show

Killing Us Softly With Our Hands

Osmania University to Start its Centenary Celebrations in Hyderabad with mass fingerprinting of students, as Preemptive Crime Measure. Will the High Court act in a timely fashion?

Post-war Polish writer Stanislaw Jerzy said: “Youth is a gift of nature, but age is a work of art.”

If so, Osmania University that turns 100 this year, is a work of dystopian and holocaust art. It belongs in the museums of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, where hand-prints of condemned Jews mark the stone walls of Gas Showers.

Only this time, the condemned are not men. But an idea. More powerful than all the men and women combined, because it makes living possible. The prints are not marked on walls but in digital readouts. This time, it is possibly scarier because the passing of the idea may leave nothing behind but empty space.

For the first time in India, on Wednesday April 26th, the University, with the active cooperation of local police authorities and the state government, plans to use mass fingerprinting of students as a measure of preemptive policingan idea so bizarre that one must shudder at the mere thought of it. It up-ends the fundamental concept of justice that says, “innocent until proven guilty” and says instead: “guilty until proven innocent.”

Yet, according to a report by The Hindu  on April 19th,  (read here), this move to link student fingerprints with their Aadhar cards came as a consequence of reports that student activists might protest against some state government policies. Or lack thereof.

At least one of those policies included Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s promise to provide jobs to university students.

First he  Promised 50 lakh jobs , then he pared that down to One Lakh Jobs . And now it’s down to 50,000 jobs , hopefully by next year.

Unsurprisingly, he’s unpopular.

Unsurprisingly, he hasn’t entered university grounds in the last three years due to fear of protests.

The very grounds from where he started the Telangana agitation, that great peoples’ movement that led to the separate state, that  led to his becoming the chief minister, that led to the promises, that led to the loss of face, that led to the ….


According to Legislative Assembly members, the now unpopular KCR has lately been reaching out to his friends on the right – the BJP. His two key allies are believed to be BJP leaders Bandaru Dattrareya (he of the HCU fame) and Indrasena Reddy.

These three had rousted university students as “outside politicians” during the Telangana agitations in 2011. (Read Osmania University Under Police Seige )

All three at that time had used the University to launch their Telangana careers. All three are now using the university to squelch all further political activity.  The BJP now wants to further the Aadhar agenda and KCR wants to stay in power, with the BJP’s help if necessary.


On the very day that the first Hindu report was filed, a quick compromise was apparently reached between what were described as “leaders of O.U. student groups” and the TRS. The intent was specifically to avoid media attention. It succeeded.

Read:  Unemployed Group Leader Agrees Not to Create Trouble

Manavata Roy, head of the Telangana unemployed JAC is quoted as saying, “We don’t want a negative image to be portrayed in the national media and we will not take up any protests during the three-day celebrations,” starting on April 26.

Why this man,  who is constantly in the news for criticizing KCR over the jobs issue, caved, is not clear.

A number of other things are also extremely unclear.

  • What happens to students who don’t have an Aadhar Card? Do they get banned from attending the centenary celebrations of their own university?
  • What happens if their fingerprints don’t match?
  • What happens if students refuse to be fingerprinted?
  • Will the police forcibly collect rest of their data — like name and address? Do they go on a watch-list of troublemakers? 
  • If this is about law and order issues – why are only students being singled out? Is student political activity now a banned activity?
  • All of today’s VIP politicians are yesterday’s student activists. Is the gate closing on new politicians?

Not only are these grave questions, these are from on all accounts, hidden questions. Most real students were apparently unaware of them till recently. Still are.

An O.U. Student found out late Sunday that he was being barred entry to his own University celebrations unless he was willing to be fingerprinted.

He has filed a writ in the High Court today, which will only be heard Wednesday, if he’s lucky.

One can only hope that the Court, in its wisdom, will give specific orders and not a post-facto homily or a further date. The future of  policing, independence and politics in India, may well rest in his hands.


Feature Picture Credit : Imgur

Shortlink Killing Us Softly With Our Hands

The Moral (& Legal ) Case for Private Self Defense

It is the first duty of man to help himself. The right of self-defense must be fostered in the citizens of every free country. The right is recognized in every system of law and its extent varies in inverse ratio to the capacity of the state to protect life and property of the citizens.

With the government now backing vigilante Anti-Romeo squads in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, citizens are left with no choice but to take care of their own security. The Indian legal system also recognizes its citizens’ legal right to protect themselves.

One of the peculiarities of the anti-Romeo squads is the seeming lack of a G.O. to back it. Which government policy has allowed these squads, private and official to flourish? Where is the memo? What is the G.O. number? Who has this authority and how has it been designated? Which piece of official paper proves it?

It is very likely that no piece of paper exists to prove it. That this is how the wink and nod bureaucracy works. There is paper to prove, however, that your rights exist. Use them.

First off, the disclaimer.

This writer is not a lawyer. This is not legal advice, but an introduction to the principles of political philosophy, law and the relevant bare acts of the Indian Penal Code (IPC 1860) that define the principle of  Private Defense

The most important thing to know first, is that Private Defense laws exist. 

It is a national shame that we don’t know our own laws. It is a national shame that we don’t have activist lawyers who will educate us, stand up for us and tell us our rights. 

It’s a national shame that The Honorable Opposition won’t fight for our rights.

It doesn’t matter which opposition it is. Whether it is the Congress under the BJP or the BJP under the Congress or the TDP or the TMC.

In an elected democratic system, the right to self-defense is typically handed over to The State as duty to protect.

Even in a functioning democracy, it is not always possible for the police to be everywhere, all the time. So citizens help the state by retaining the right to self defense with themselves in a limited capacity. Even the British Raj understood this and kept provisions of law under IPC Sections 99 to 106 for the Right To Self Defense.

But imagine a non-functional state. Or worse, or dystopian state that actively connives with thugs to attack you and your property. 

Imagine a democratic system in which The Opposition is silent, and men in uniform just stand by and video record vigilante groups beating up citizens on the road, merely for the crime of walking together.

In such a society it is clear that :

(a) The Opposition is no longer a party. The only Opposition is The People.

(b) The State has tacitly declared that it has given up its duty to protect. The formal pronouncements of some policemen being suspended are just that — a formality.

In such a scenario, self defense not only becomes the only road to take, it become an immutable moral principle. Each of us not only has a right, but a moral responsibility to take care of ourselves. And the ones we love. 

This is not a new principle or a new discovery. It is age old.

In the law books that our courts once upheld and still might, there is a legal right to private defense.

In plain English, these are the rules:

If no policemen are nearby, you have a right to physically defend yourself with any means necessary. If you perceive any physical  threat to yourself, your loved ones or your property (not just the threat of death)– but grievous bodily harm, rape, and assault of any kind – you can protect yourself.

The only caveats are:

  1. The person is not a government official acting in his capacity as a government official. This requires that he show his identity. And subsequently show the Government order (G.O.) under which he is acting.
  2. That the person is not deputed by a government official and has written orders by relevant government official.
  3. You have to prove that you did not inflict more harm than was necessary to protect yourself.

Here are the laws that delineate your right to private self defense. In states where vigilantism is becoming a major problem, take these and go talk to a lawyer:

IPC Section 96

Things Done in Private Defense

Nothing is an offence that is done in the exercise of the right of private defense

IPC Section 97

Right of Private Defense of the Body and of Property

Every person has a right, subject to section 99, to defend:

  • First – His own body, and the body of any other person, against any offense affecting the human body
  • Second – The property, whether movable or immovable, of himself or of any other person, which is an offence falling under the definition of theft, robbery, mischief, or criminal trespass; or which is an attempt to commit (the above)

IPC Section 99

Acts Against Which there is No Right of Private Defense


There is no right of private defense against an act which does not reasonably cause the apprehension of death or of grievous hurt, if done, or attempted to be done, by a public servant acting in good faith under colour of his office, though that act, may not be strictly justifiable by law.

There is no right of private defense against an act which does not, reasonably cause the apprehension of death or of grievous hurt, if done, or attempted to be done, by the direction of a public servant acting in good faith under colour of his office, though that direction may not be strictly justifiable by law

There is no right of private defense in cases in which there is time to have recourse to the protection of the public authorities.

Extent to which the right may be exercised-

The right of private defense in no case extends to the inflicting. of more harm than it is necessary to inflict for the purpose of defense.

Explanation 1- A person is not deprived of the right of private defense against an act done, or attempted to be done, by a public servant, as such, unless he knows or has reason to believe, that the person doing the act is such public servant.

Explanation 2- A person is not deprived of the right of private defense against an act done, or attempted to be done, by the direction of a public servant, unless he knows, or has reason to believe, that the person doing the act is acting by such direction, or unless such person states the authority under which he acts, or if he has authority in writing, unless he produces such authority, if demanded.

IPC Section 102

Commencement and Continuance of the Right of Private Defense of the Body

The right of private defense of the body commences as soon as a reasonable apprehension of danger to the body arises from an attempt or threat to commit the offence though the offence may not have been committed; and it continues as long as such apprehension of danger to the body continues

Good Luck. 



Representative Picture Credit Radka Hlisnikovska

Aao Thoda Sa Rumani Ho Jai

Aao thoda sa rumani ho jai
Thoda pyaar, thoda balaatkar ho jai

Arre khichti kyun ho mujhse 
kapde hi phade hain, dil to nahi
Tum hi nikli thi sadak par
saj sanwar kar, mai to nahi

Na lajja, na sharm, na dunia ka dar
Kya soch ke chali thi, yun befikar ?
Sikhana tha hamen free speech ka matlab ?
Pehle seekh to le darling, free love ka sabab

Buniyad hai ye meri, haq me mila hai
Baap Dada se suna tha, khu’ me pala hai
Ram ka beta hoon, duryodhan ki santan
Taimur ka taalib aur gengis ka suleiman

Kya pada kya likha, maine nahi dekha
Maa ne kaha hai, bas lakshman ki rekha
Gale me daal, ye motiyon ki lagaam
Purdah ya hijab, tu meri ghulam

Muh khol ke to dekh, kuch bol ke to dekh
Sadak par aa ke to dekh, dil laga ke to dekh

Mai khada hoon yahi ……

Aao thoda sa rumani ho jai
Thoda pyaar, thoda balaatkar ho jai


–For the girls at Delhi University and elsewhere, who are speaking up nonetheless. #HappyWomensDay

A Divine Right to Stupidity

Time and experience has forced me to consider the possibility that God might exist.

The level of human stupidity witnessed since the beginning of this millennium has to be by (intelligent) design. Nature just could not have come up with this accidentally.

Tarek Fateh  is that kind of stupid, at a divinely ordained level. Japanese Encephalitis and Fateh – they have to be God’s revenge against man. God seems to do this kind of thing once in a while. I have no idea why.

I don’t say he’s stupid because he disses Islam. Many people do that and some of them, I deeply respect. There are many who diss Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and religion in general. Some of those I deeply respect too. I even admire them and as an atheist, am happy to join in the chorus once in a while.

Tarek Fateh is a special kind of stupid though. He elevates a personal tirade to an ideological one and lays claim to virtues he possesses neither personally nor ideologically.

He’s a man who gets around. A Pakistan born Canadian writer he was recently in India dissing, what else — everything including Indian Muslims.

Guess who he loves though? Sri Sri  and his Clout of Living.

Sri Sri is a corporate spiritual guru with seemingly unlimited wealth, deep political connections with the Hindu Right, and a knack of always burying all controversies.

They are constantly lauding each other on twitter.



Apparently Yoga and Politics Do Mix

Really? Practitioners of Yoga make better politicians?

Like a whole bunch of new age militant atheists, guess what Fateh continuously and consistently ignores? The militarization of other faiths. Right wing Hinduism right here in India and Buddhist violence against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.

To many like Fateh, Islam IS the only faith. Which is an irony itself.

Now you see what I mean by the Divine Right to Stupidity? He obviously gets it from his intimate relationship with Islam.

I do believe in everyone’s Fundamental Right to Stupidity though. It is a natural corollary to the Fundamental Right to Life.

In his latest escapade, Fateh was in India recently suggesting that India is better off as  federation of smaller countries.

It’s actually an old idea. It’s not even an alien idea. Tamilians and others in the South have thought so for a long time. The North East of India has fought for decades for their own identity. And well, everyone knows Kashmir’s problems with India.

There was nothing “Islamic” or anti-Islamic about Tarek Fateh’s suggestion on a divided India. And nothing new.

So it took even more Divine Stupidity than Fateh’s for someone to assume that his statement had anything to do with religion. And then even more DS to pass a fatwa for murder on Fateh for trying to divide India on religious grounds. (Read 10 Lakh Reward for beheading Tarek Fateh)

There is just so much divinity going around, I’m positively swimming in it.

Thing is, Fateh and Faisan-e-Madina are both provocateurs of the same kind. They are sharks who swim in troubled waters, in troubled times, to see how much they can eat for the day.

Fateh is a professional trouble maker. FeM is a professional bait catcher. They dance to each other’s tunes and play a public symphony of hate, that has little to do with the issues.

The issues, though, are real: Federal India;  Hate; A deeply disrupted and divided polity; religious Violence. Distractions like Tarek Fateh and JeM need to be put in their rightful place – the dustbin.

However, since we seem to have acknowledged some sort of divine rights, let us arrogate to ourselves another divine right — The Divine Right to Ignore Them. (DRIT)

In a world full of noise, it seems we will be needing as much Drit as Grit.


Labels and Lost Worlds

And there it is. Death by Government. (Army Whistle Blower Jawan Found Dead)

But there is no outrage. No media. No protest marches. Just a forgotten headline. Because there is no political gain to be found here.

Unless he gets a caste, a religion or a class, no one will care.

It is a tragic irony of our times that Rohit Vemula died wanting to be something more than his caste. More than a label.

Yet, in a replay of Aaj Ka Arjun, his death has been hijacked for the very label he sought to overcome.

That’s is all we recognize now — labels.

An individual human being’s life — that has no label, no meaning.

He used to walk a dog. He was at the scene of a sting. He was a whistle blower.

We don’t understand such men. So we don’t care about them.

Which category do such people fall into?

Which box do we tick, so we can start feeling sympathy or empathy for him?

He was a soldier. So does he fall into the nationalistic bloc? Er no — because he was a whistle blower.

He was killed by the government and a poor man, so does he fall into the Azaadi block? Er no…….he was a soldier after all. Who know what atrocities he committed?

A nation that must tick a label to start thinking of a human being, as a human being? There are labels for such countries.

Lost Worlds.