Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Indian Spring Revolution

Everyone has been harping about the Jan Lokpal Bill and about Anna Hazare.  Never ever have I seen such a concerted effort from the print media and the TV media for any movement.  Additional impetus for this movement has been provided by the social networking sites too.  Anna is a hit on Facebook and a trend on Twitter. Almost everyone has been tweeting about the Jan Lokpal Bill.  Everyone has been hailing this as a second freedom struggle (Oh really!! Come on). For some, Annaji is the new Gandhi and for some, a messiah.  I have been following this movement right from the days of the first fasting and I even participated in show of strength at Gateway. I understand that this movement is for the good of the country, and I join my countrymen to hanker for a strong Lokpal Bill, but let me stick my neck out and make some observations on this movement. 

First, let me start with the person who is the face of this movement, Anna Hazare; I would never question his credentials. They are impeccable. He is a Gandhian who at great distress to self has always fought (in a nonviolent way of course) for the rights of the citizens.  But let me question he and his team’s intention to project the Jan Lokpal Bill as one-stop solution for all the corruption problems in India. It is not. It is definitely not that. It is just a stronger bill than the one proposed by the Indian Government. The Jan Lokpal bill brings under its aegis the PMO and the judiciary and allocates the right to the ombudsman to prosecute them for corruption charges. It also proposes a higher jail term for corruption charges.   In no way is this bill going to be the ultimate solution for India’s corruption issues nor would it see a turnkey implementation. If the bill is passed and becomes a law, we have gained only 30% of the ground in the fight towards corruption. The remaining 70% is going to be tough because it will require changing the collective mindset of the whole populace.

Now this is where I come to my second observation and the first part of the equation, the people who are part of the morchas, dharnas and the whole fasting thing. Let us look at who constitutes the populace who are out on the streets shouting slogans and raising their voices against “corruption.” Out of the total populace, almost 45-50% is “youth” or the Generation X or Y whatever we call it ( what happens after we come to Z- do we go back to A?), while the remaining percentage is made up of people from all walks of life including government servants, salaried employees, daily wage workers etc.   Let me ask the new generation some grave questions here:
    a)   Would you pay money to the traffic constable to escape a traffic   violation charge?
    b)  Would you pay bribe to the ticket collector to escape the huge fines if caught ticketless?
    c)  Would you pay “management donation” to get admission to the college of your choice?
    d)  Would you buy tickets from a tout?
    e)  Are you open to bribing the office staff in your college to get a look at a question paper?
    f)  Do you realize that you are corrupt?

If your answers to the questions (a-e) is Yes and No to (f), please go home. You should not be a part of this movement. You should not externalize corruption. You and the generations before your’s planted this seed and watered it.  Now you cannot pin the blame on politicians and government officials (the obvious fruits) only. They are the illegitimate children of your actions. Face it, acknowledge the tear in your moral fabric, repair it, and resolve to never let that happen again. The fight against corruption begins with you. Understand that and BEHAVE!  Candlelight vigils are fun, but do not serve the purpose unless you change; be the light that though will flicker, will ultimately cast away the darkness.  

As for the other section that makes up the remaining of the protestors, the less said the better. This monster was created by your generation, join us in killing it. Start with self.

The Jan Lokpal movement has been touted as the People’s movement and I hope it remains the same. Annaji and his core team should take a very critical look at their bed partners. They should be aware of the politicians and the parties which might hijack this movement for their own benefit. The opposition, though it has been only whimpering, has tried to hijack the movement at various levels. Annaji has to come out with a very clear declaration about who is and who is not with this movement. This will augment legitimacy for this People’s Movement.

Now the industrialists - All the major industrialists have been conspicuous by their absence. They who can participate in a marathon or an art promotion cannot put their support behind such a movement is a matter of shame. Where are the Ambanis, the Birlas, the Tatas? Vested interests? 2G ? I am veering towards a Yes here. Shame.

Now the celebrities, please do not come out. This is not a bloody fashion show or a film promotion. Stay indoors. Spare us the nautanki.

Now the second part of the equation - to cast a light on what Jan Lokpal Bill would mean if passed - It asks for the prosecution rights of the PMO and the judiciary. It asks for creation of an independent ombudsman with investigations to be done by the national investigating agency. My question here is whether with creation of ombudsman with all assuming power of prosecution over the Prime Minister’s Office and the judiciary, are we laying the foundation of another institution that would one day become as power hungry and corrupt as the one we have now that we call The Parliament.  Would it not become a center of corruption if not properly monitored?  Who will monitor the Monitor?  The bill is not clear on that.  To catch a thief, are we creating a robber? Need to seriously think about it.

Though I do not support the movement in its present form as it constitutes a danger to a democratically elected institution and heralds the rise of what looks like a power hungry grapple that will break out soon, I believe in the need for such a movement to prick the collective conscience of the people and stop the destruction of the moral fabric and stop a democracy from falling into deep oblivion. I know I am being ironic here, but then I am faced with a morally and intellectually bankrupt democratically elected government who did not take the requisite steps when required and is still seen whimpering like a wounded dog, growling at intervals in a weak show of authority and strength. Manmohan Singhji is an impotent PM (I have called him this quite often I guess) and he would not be able to handle this situation. What is required here is for all the Big Three, the Governement, the Opposition and Team Anna to sit together and work out their differences for once and for all. A bill which would ultimately curb corruption (hard to kill eh?) is what should be the ultimate aim of these institutions and not display of power. Forget Rahul Gandhi (Mommy, where are you?), I hope the stalwarts in Congress whom we have grown to respect do come forward and help draft a plan to handle this issue. It is imperative that this be handled soon and handled right. I hope they are listening.   

Friday, August 5, 2011

Destiny and Something Unknown

The wish that I cast on
the northern winds that blow yonder
Never believing it will reach
anyone who will believe
All the longing and the loneliness
and all that I couldn't express
kept in the secure corners of
my heart
Never believing anyone could read
the darkest pages of my life

I wonder how you 
heard the wishes on the winds
believed in them to 
search me out
I wonder how your arms 
reached into my heart 
and plucked out the 
pages of despair 
I wonder how you knew to
make me feel loved and cherished

I wonder about a lot of things
on a lonely evening night
but when I gaze at the stars
twinkling without a care
I learn to believe in God
and the unknown something 
that they call the destiny
though the skeptic that I am
your love makes me believe
in destiny and God
makes we want to dance
under the full moonlight
with you in my arms
and your song on my lips

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Death of a Poet

Woh haseen mehfile 
woh logon ki waah waahi
goonjta jab 
mere kaanon mein woh sab
ghoomta mein 
Ana ke galiyaron mein
ek haath mein 
sharab ki pyaali liye
baahon mein 
shabaab ke saaye liye
dooba rehta 
hamesha nashe mein
ghira rehta 
hamesha lakar bagon se

Ek raat woh bhi thi
Ek raat aaj bhi hain

Pyaar bahut karti thi 
mujhse woh naasamajh
sisak sisak kar 
roti mere intezaar mein
kehti thi mujhse 
tum hi mere dil mein ho
lekin mein samajh 
nahi paaya uske pyaar ko
khareedi hui shabaab 
pyari thi mujhe tab
apne sacche pyaar 
ko pairon se thokar maar aaya
rooh uski kab 
pigal gayi samajh naa paaya
kabhi woh mitti mein 
mil gayi jaan na paaya
khush tha mein
apne gharoor ke nashe mein

Ek raat woh bhi thi
Ek raat aaj bhi hain

Ayyashi ke garmi mein 
kab daulat pigal gaya 
woh pata na chala
Doston ne kab 
saath chodd diya
woh pata na chala
akela reh gaya mein
gham-e-ulfat ke aasoon rota raha
naa ab sharaab ka saath tha
naa shabaab ki nazdeekagi
bus korhi bankar reh gaya 

Ek raat woh bhi thi
Ek raat aaj bhi hain

Andheron ki chaadar 
mein lipta soya hoon mein 
kisi anjaan shehar
ke sookhi aanchal mein
dekh raha hoon apne zakahm se 
nikalte mawad ke liye ladhte
hue makhhiyon ko
pata nahi kyon yeh 
mujhe yeh apne purani 
zindagi ki yaad dilate hain
yahan lete ab aakhri saans
gin raha hoon mein
khush toh honge sabhi
kal ke akhbar mein padhkar
kaise ek shayar aaj phirse
marr gaya apne ruswayiyon ke 
saaye mein
sochte honge kya 
chhoda hoga usne hamare liye 
koi ek akhri shayari

Ek raat woh bhi thi
Ek raat aaj bhi hain  


tumhare hoton par sajna chahta hoon
tumhare gungunaki wajah banna chahta hoon

koi aasoon joh tumhare aankhon se gire
usko moti ke maala mein pirona chahta hoon

bay aaram hogaya hoon tujhe yaad karte karte
Ab tujhe mein yaad aana chahta hoon

chaa gaya gar zindagi mein tere andhera
roshni ho isliye apna ghar jalana chahta hoon

tere pyaar mein agar maut bhi aaye
toh maut ko shayarana banana chahta hoon


anjaan manzil ki aur chali hoon
tere baahon mein baahein daal kar
saath chalne ka waada kiya tha tune
itemaad hain tujhpar mujhe ke
tu apna waada nibhayega
aur hamesha rahe saath mere
tere mohabbat ka yeh naayab tohfa
laakhon jafayen sahe hain dil par maine
lekin kabhi shikwe nahi kiye
isko bhi ginn lo tum mere
masoom gunahon ke fehrist mein

kaise kar sakta hain koi
apne hi zindagi se dhoka
tera pyaar toh khuda hain
tera pyaar mera imaan hain
tujhmein mein khuda ko paaon
tujhmein mein jannat dekhoon
tujhmein mein khushiyan dekhoon
tujhmein hi apne deewangi dekhoon
bus maangta hoon mein sirf yehi 
apne uss khuda se ke
jab meri rawangi ho yahaan se
tab bhi saath rahe hamara tumhara
kyonki bina tumhare pyaar ke
jannat bhi registan mehsoos hoga

Loving you

In my darkest hours
Your love's warm illumination
fills my soul
The kind words that you say
touch my heart
with warmth of a loving hand
The blue sea in your eyes
that I see 
wants me to savor its stillness

My fingers caress
your lips 
the shape of a boat
that I want to sail 
your kiss that lingers
intoxicating and sweet
I savor the taste on my lips
lingering honey on my tongue
I smell the air 
I feel you there
I cannot touch you
still I breathe you in
I love it when you blush
when I ask you for a hug
all the tender caresses
How love blesses

Dont worry if you do find
all this a bit confusing
ambiguity rules my mind
I do not understand what I write
Do think of what love has
done to the two of us
then I hope you will understand
all the bits of bunkum
I have written for you 
I know it is love 
for the soul that stirs within you
which makes me insane
but I never would 
barter my love for sanity
Insanity is what I would revel in
if it means loving you forever