Category Archives: Bad ideas

Witnessing Madness 24/7

What is happening? The Taj is burning, gunmen are shooting, the police is storming, the Oberoi is burning, the army is descending, people are running; bleeding; dying. Barkha Dutt is talking, Rajdeep Sardesai is talking, Srinivasan Jain is talking, Vilas Rao Deshmukh is talking, L.K Advani is talking, Manmohan Singh is talking, Vikram Chandra is talking, an eye-witness is talking, the army chief is talking, the naval chief is talking, an ex-hostage is talking, the terrorist is talking, Javed Jaffery is talking, Arnab Goswami is talking, is anyone even listening, is everyone listening—But what is happening?

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Grotesque Terror Attacks in Mumbai

Courtesy Indian Muslims Blog
Courtesy Indian Muslims Blog

In one of the most daring and yet cowardly terror attacks, Bombay/Mumbai has been attacked. In an earlier post we had discussed the question of violence – ‘revolutionary’ violence, and the utter futility of resort to such methods. Violence is not a solution to anything; it cannot be. If anything, it is part of the problem; it is the problem. For violence begets more violence. Continue reading Grotesque Terror Attacks in Mumbai

Muslim Madrasa Modernisation

A rather animated debate is on among different sections of the Muslims as also among the civil and the uncivil society in India about the Madrasa, their importance, the role they play and the need to make them more modern, thereby converting them into institutes that are more relevant to the contemporary requirements of both the Muslims and the market. The former is openly stated while the latter is rarely articulated.

Before proceeding with an exploration of some of these concerns and to try to understand the trigger behind the proselytising zeal to modernise the madrasa, let us understand the institution of the madrasa itself. Continue reading Muslim Madrasa Modernisation

Bhaiyya Troubles in Mumbai

The Juhu Versova beach is divided into two sections, guarded by two stray dogs and the bare dirty arses of bhaiyyas who step off their kholis to shit straight into the sea. The other side of the invisible divide is reserved for the civil society which comes to walk, exercise and meditate in the morning. Including well off bhaiyyas like ourselves.

Returning from the beach when I accosted the panwalla by calling him bhaiyya, three bystanders gave me a sharp look. I figured they were marathi manoos. Leaving the shop I tried to inject some pathos by saying that it has become so dangerous to call anyone bhaiyya these days. They did smile, all of them. But I detected a gleam of satisfaction in their expression.

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हि‍न्दी के वर्जित प्रदेश में…

[यह लेख कुछ अरसा पहले वाक् पत्रिका के लिए लिखा गया था – पुराने दोस्त सुधीश पचौरी के इसरार पर। जब यह लेख लिख रहा था तब से अब तक हालात कुछ बदल चुके हैं। इसे लिखते वक़्त तक भी मुझे यह गुमान था कि शायद एक रोज़ मैं हिन्दी के क़िलानुमा परिसर में घुस पाने क़ामयाब हो पाउंगा। हज़ार पहरों में घिरे इस क़िले में एक रोज़ ज़रूर दाखिल होने का मौक़ा मिलेगा। मगर इधर कुछ समय से ऐसा लगने लगा है कि यह क़त्तई मुमकिन नहीं है। हिन्दी के पहरेदार ऐसा कभी न होने देंगे। लिहाज़ा अब इस क़िले में घुसने की कोशिश छोड़ कर हिन्दुस्तानी के खुले और बे-पहरा मैदान में, खुली हवा में टहलना चाहता हूँ। कह देना चाहता हूँ पहरेदारों से कि मैं आप के मुल्क का बाशिंदा नहीं हूँ। मैं एक लावारिस मगर आज़ाद ज़ुबान में पला बढ़ा और वही मेरी ज़मीन है। अलविदा। – आदित्य निगम]
एक ज़माना हुआ हिन्दी से जूझते हुए। यह दीगर बात है कि हिन्दीवालों को इसकी ख़बर तक नहीं। हो भी क्यों? आप बेचते ही क्या हैं?
Continue reading हि‍न्दी के वर्जित प्रदेश में…

Welcome to Kerala’s Haven of Ease and Vice — Chengara

Make no mistake — this is not my assessment. I’ve just borrowed it from our Chief Minister, the redoubtable V.S. Achuthananadan, the foremost of (official) revolutionaries in Kerala, whose memories of struggle stretch back right up to the workers’ uprising of the 1940s in south Kerala, the Punnapra-Vayalar, celebrated in communist myth and legend.  In September this year it appeared as if the CPM was ready to negotiate with the protestors, but nothing has really moved. The latter have hung firm in their resolve, it requires a rather strange imagination to read that as evidence for ‘peace and prosperity’ at Chengara. The Congress has now emerged, after much slumber, with support for the struggle, and V.M. Sudheeran, one of the most popular and respected leaders of the Congress, has sharply condemned the CM’s statement (below).

Continue reading Welcome to Kerala’s Haven of Ease and Vice — Chengara