‘Why Ghalib appears so contemporary even today ?’ : Interview with Hasan Abdullah

Ghalib has fascinated generations of people and they have tried to understand/ interpret his poetry in their own way. For any such individual it is really difficult to recollect when and how Ghalib entered her/ his life and ensconced himself comfortably in one’s heart.

This wanderer still faintly remembers how many of Ghalib’s shers were part of common parlance even in an area whose lingua franca is not Hindustani. His andaaz-e-bayaan, his hazaron khwahishein, his making fun of the priest etc. could be discerned in people’s exchanges – without most of them even knowing that they were quoting the great poet.

To be very frank, to me, it is bewildering that a poet – who died over 150 years back – looks so contemporary or at times even a little ahead of our own times. Is it because, he talks about primacy of human being, at times philosophising about life,  and on occasions talking about rebelling against the existing taboos in very many ways? But then have not many other great poets have dealt with the same subjects/ topics? Continue reading “‘Why Ghalib appears so contemporary even today ?’ : Interview with Hasan Abdullah”

Nehru, Ambedkar and Challenge of Majoritarianism

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( Photo courtesy : The hoot)

(To be published in the special issue of ‘Janata’)

 

The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organised religion, in India and elsewhere, has filled me with horror and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it. Almost always it seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction, dogma and bigotry, superstition, exploitation and the preservation of vested interests.

– Toward Freedom: The Autobiography of Jawaharlal Nehru (1936), pp. 240–241.

If Hindu Raj does become a fact, it will no doubt, be the greatest calamity for this country. No matter what the Hindus say, Hinduism is a menace to liberty, equality and fraternity. On that account it is incompatible with democracy. Hindu Raj must be prevented at any cost.

– Ambedkar, ‘Pakistan or Partition of India’, p. 358.

Introduction

India’s slow ushering into a majoritarian democracy is a matter of concern for every such individual who still believes in pluralism, democracy, equality and a clear separation of religion and politics. The way people are being hounded for raising dissenting opinions, for eating food of their choice or entering into relationships of their own liking or celebrating festivals according to their own faith is unprecedented. The situation has reached such extremes that one can even be publicly lynched for belonging to one of the minority religions or for engaging in an activity which is considered to be ‘suspicious’ by the majority community.

No doubt there is no direct harm to the basic structure of the Constitution, its formal structure remains intact, de jure India does remain a democracy as well as a republic, but de facto democracy has slowly metamorphosed into majoritarianism and the sine qua non of a republic—that its citizens are supreme—is being watered down fast. It does not need underlining that this process has received tremendous boost with the ascent of Hindutva supremacist forces at the centrestage of Indian politics. Continue reading “Nehru, Ambedkar and Challenge of Majoritarianism”

महाड़ सत्याग्रह के नब्बे साल

‘‘जब पानी में आग लगी थी’’
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प्रस्तावना
‘क्या पानी में आग लग सकती है ?’’
किसी भी संतुलित मस्तिष्क व्यक्ति के लिए यह सवाल विचित्र मालूम पड़ सकता है। अलबत्ता सामाजिक-राजनीतिक आंदोलनों पर निगाह रखनेवाला व्यक्ति बता सकता है कि जब लोग सदियों से जकड़ी गुलामी की बेड़ियों को तोड़ कर आगे बढ़ते हैं तो न केवल /बकौल शायर/ ‘आसमां में भी सुराख हो सकता है’ बल्कि ‘ पानी में भी आग लग सकती है।’
2017 का यह वर्ष पश्चिमी भारत की सरजमीं पर हुए एक ऐसे ही मौके की नब्बेवी सालगिरह है, जब सार्वजनिक स्थानों से छूआछूत समाप्त करने को लेकर महाड नामक जगह पर सार्वजनिक तालाब से पानी पीने के लिए डा अंबेडकर की अगुआई में हजारों की तादाद में लोग पहुंचे थे। /19-20 मार्च 2017/ कहने के लिए यह एक मामूली घटना थी, लेकिन जिस तरह नमक सत्याग्रह ने आज़ादी के आन्दोलन में एक नयी रवानी पैदा की थी, उसी तर्ज पर इस अनोखे सत्याग्रह ने देश के सामाजिक सांस्कृतिक पटल पर बग़ावत के नए सुरों को अभिव्यक्ति दी थी।

Continue reading “महाड़ सत्याग्रह के नब्बे साल”

Taj Mahal as Tej Mahal – Once again “There is a Bee in the Bonnet”

It was probably late sixties or early seventies – when a gentleman called P N Oak started appearing in Marathi magazines peddling his weird theories about well known monuments in and outside India. An article which made lot of news then was centred around Taj Mahal where it was claimed that it was ‘Tejo Maha Aalay’ or hindu god Shiva’s abode. It tried to establish through various ‘explanations’ that a Shiva Temple was destroyed to build Taj Mahal and if we dig deep we can find ‘remnants’ of the earlier structure. Mr Vinay Katiyar’s latest advice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that he “should go into the Taj Mahal and see the Hindu signs inside it” reminded one of P N Oak. Continue reading “Taj Mahal as Tej Mahal – Once again “There is a Bee in the Bonnet””

Deendayal Upadhyaya : BJP’s ‘Gandhi’ !

( This article would appear in the coming issue of ‘Think India Quarterly’)

(Photo Courtesy : jansatta)

 

 ..Kovind acknowledged that “the key to India’s success is its diversity” and “our diversity is the core that makes us so unique” and ended his speech with a call to build an egalitarian society as “envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Deendayal Upadhyayaji”… The Congress took umbrage at the way Kovind mentioned Upadhyaya in the same breath as the Mahatma. “The President should remember that he is not a BJP candidate any more. He is the President of India. He has to… rise above and think beyond party politics,” Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

(https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170726/jsp/frontpage/story_163934.jsp)

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In Search of an Icon

Fighters for Hindu Rashtra who have reached topmost echleons of power in this part of South Asia and are expected to extend and deepen their influence in coming times – if secular and democratic and left forces do not act together now – find themselves in a typical quandary. Continue reading “Deendayal Upadhyaya : BJP’s ‘Gandhi’ !”

एक  नायक की तलाश में भाजपा 

दीनदयाल उपाध्याय: भाजपा के ‘गांधी’

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( Photo Courtesy : thewire.in)

एक पेड़विहीन देश में एक एरंड भी बड़ा पेड़ कहलाता है – एक  संस्कृत सुभाषित का रूपांतरण

/In a treeless country even castor counts for a big tree/

/संदर्भ: http://www.epw.in/journal/2006/12/

 

राष्ट्रपति कोविन्द ने इस बात को स्वीकारा कि ‘‘भारत की कामयाबी की कंुजी उसकी विविधता में है’’ और ‘‘हमारी विविधता ही वह केन्द्र है जो हमें इतना अनोखा बनाती है’’। अपने भाषण का अन्त उन्होंने समतामूलक समाज बनाने के आवाहन के साथ किया जैसी ‘‘कल्पना महात्मा गांधी और दीनदयाल उपाध्यायजी’’ ने की थी।… महात्मा गांधी के साथ दीनदयाल उपाध्याय का नाम लेने पर कांग्रेस ने एतराज जाहिर किया। कांग्रेस के नेता गुलाम नबी आज़ाद ने कहा कि ‘‘राष्टपति को यह याद रखना चाहिए कि वह अब भाजपा के प्रत्याशी नहीं हैं। वह भारत के राष्ट्रपति हैं। उन्होंने दलीय राजनीति से ऊपर  उठना चाहिए।’’

(https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170726/jsp/frontpage/story_163934.jsp मूल अंग्रेजी से अनूदित )

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एक प्रतीक की खोज़

हिन्दु राष्ट्र के निर्माण के लिए प्रयासरत जमातें – जो फिलवक्त़ दक्षिण एशिया के इस हिस्से में हुकूमत के सबसे उंचे मुक़ाम पर पहुंची है – वह अपने आप को एक विचित्र दुविधा में फंसी पाती है। Continue reading “एक  नायक की तलाश में भाजपा “

Petition to President of India, Visitor of BHU from Alumni of the University

BHU, Banaras Hindu University, BHU violence, BHU lathicharge, bhu female students protest, BHU lathicharge, Benaras Hindu University, yogi adityanath, bhu students beaten, indian express newsTo

The President of India

Visitor

Banaras Hindu University

Sub : On recent agonising developments in Banaras Hindu University

Dear Sir

We alumni of Banaras Hindu University would like to convey to you our sense of concern about the recent developments at our alma mater namely Banaras Hindu University. Developments which have brought forward the issue of safety and security of girl students on the campus and administrations callous attitude towards it. Continue reading “Petition to President of India, Visitor of BHU from Alumni of the University”