Saturday, February 26, 2011
Mahatma Gandhi is a scion of nonviolent movements. He is known worldwide for having brought an end to the world’s most powerful empire through peaceful agitations. Instead of creating armed rebellions like most other colonial countries, Gandhi insisted on tactics like non-cooperation, bandhs, hartals, hungerstrikes, and peace marches, all in an effort to bring a change in the heart of the enemy, to make the enemy respect him, and eventually gain freedom from that enemy. It goes without saying that Gandhi and his non-cooperation methods are credited with bringing freedom to India from the British. [It is a matter of debate if India would have got independence if there was no Second World War.]
For a while, imagine it was not British who had ruled over India but it was Nazi Germans. Would Gandhi become a hero, and would his methods have succeeded?
Only a fool who doesn’t understand history would believe that Nazis would have respected Gandhi’s nonviolent agitations, that Nazis would have stood up when Gandhi entered the court, or that they would have freed Gandhi so that he does not die on a hunger strike. If Nazi Germans were ruling India, most probably we would never have heard of Gandhi, because he would have died as a nameless victim in one of the many concentration camps. Gandhi’s methods would not have worked against Nazi Germans.
The only way to defeat Nazi Germany was through massive invasion, involving millions of soldiers, thousands of planes and tanks and hundreds of ships, showering millions of bombs and firing billions of bullets. No matter how great Gandhi was he would not have brought Nazi Germany to its knees with his noncooperation and nonviolent agitations. Asking Jews to embrace non-cooperation, bandhs, and hunger strikes to fight Nazi Germans will sound foolish to any historian.
Friday, February 25, 2011
The Telangana activist who sent me the link to this video writes:
If this video doesn't move you, then nothing will. Watch how dozens of Paramilitary forces encircle an Ambulance near OU and drag out two teenaged kids, who were already injured. They then brutally assault these kids.
Is this democracy or dictatorship?
Let’s not tolerate this kind of oppression. Get ready for the final "March For Telangana"
Thursday, February 17, 2011
SriKrishna Committee Report is now being studied by the Central Government in New Delhi to provide a solution to the Telangana issue. Unfortunately, the report fails to provide a political solution to the current problem, and instead provides too many options thereby creating confusion. It provides six options which are self-contradicting making a mockery of itself. It has too many factual errors, and in some places downright supercilious when it calls entire people of Telangana lazy and subservient.
The report not only puts on record its prejudices against creation of new states in India but also callously dismisses a 54 year old struggle and a genuine aspiration of 35 million people as ‘having some merit’ and ‘not entirely unjustified’. The report not only fails to deliver a practical solution to the impending problem in Telangana, but it poses a grave danger to Indian democracy by establishing an undemocratic yardstick for creation of new states in India.
Back in 1950s, the national leaders of the newly formed Indian Republic looked at the state divisions based on regional identity with strong suspicion. These leaders were still recovering from the aftermath of Partition and the recently concluded exercise of annexation of various reluctant kingdoms. Linguistic Provinces Commission under SK Dar and JVP Committee headed by Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramaiah rejected the idea of forming states based on language. The Dar Commission said ‘Nationalism and sub-nationalism are two emotional experiences, which grow at the cost of each other’ and therefore ‘all sub-national tendencies in the existing linguistic provinces should be suppressed’. The JVP Committee held the security and unity of India paramount to caution that the ‘language could equally be unifying and divisive force’.
Friday, February 11, 2011
The movie ‘Jai Bolo Telangana’ is directed by N Shankar and features actors like Jagapathi Babu and Smriti Irani. It is now being screened across various theaters in Telangana and is becoming a roaring success. Borrowing Dileep’s comments: 'Telangana is going through a cultural renaissance. It has produced hundreds of songs and hundreds of books already. Now, it can proudly boast a movie as well'.
Indeed, Telangana is going through a cultural renaissance. It is reasserting itself after nearly 50 years of suppression, having been shown to be inferior, as a culture worthy of being discarded. All attempts to erase this culture now stand futile. The lesson is clear, you cannot erase someone’s identity and culture for so long; it comes back with a vengeance. The assertiveness comes out in many forms, in speeches, in body language of Telangana people, in songs, in defiance, and in every aspect of Telangana people’s lives. They even dream of creating their own state.
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Watching the ecstatic Egyptians waving their national flags while walking on a million-man march can make almost every human being on the planet go ecstatic. It is the greatest struggle of mankind - the struggle for freedom. Witnessing one such freedom struggle unfold before you, one cannot help but sympathize with these Egyptians. Every man who loves freedom for himself and for his fellowman cannot help but support these Egyptians in their struggle. Following what happened recently in Tunisia where angry and irate Tunisians came onto streets to kick out their autocratic President, now the Egyptians have come out onto streets in an attempt to overthrow Hosni Mubarak, the dictator for nearly 30 years. And the whole world is watching this grand spectacle on their TV sets. Almost all international media units are in Cairo to cover this march of humanity which is celebrating their struggle for freedom. Even Indian news media have sent their cameras and journalists to cover this event to bring it live into the homes of millions of Indians.
Telanganas feel happy for Tunisians and Egyptians, and congratulate them, but then they look at themselves and their plight, and that happiness slowly turns into sadness. The despondency is palpable in the hearts and faces of Telangana people, at their helplessness. Less than two months ago, nearly 2.5 million Telanganas marched to Warangal to convey only one message to India, “Give us Telangana”, and yet, nobody paid attention. NONE of the Indian national media covered it on TV. For these Indian media houses, million-people march of Egyptians is important and significant to be covered live, but not the million-people march of fellow Indians.