Friday, November 13, 2020

How to form political connections, gain clout and establish yourself in society: Learn the most basic model from Mr Agrawal


Shams Ur Rehman Alavi
Agrawal Sb is just an 'active' citizen. Always having important numbers & ready to make call to police station, a municipal official or minister's bungalow.
He presents himself as a man who ensures votes from entire housing society, in a candidate's favour, hence, gets attention. 
In fact, 1000-1500 votes that he claims from his entire locality, are not less, as this is more than the victory margin in closely fought polls.
He arranges visits of politicians to area & before MLA or leader's arrival, ensures that some people are ready--from guard to his trusted ones with garlands. 
Leader feels good, ensures that his representative, bungalow staff always respond to this man promptly. Interestingly. He (on behalf of others) makes similar promise to other important candidate too. Anyone wins, no issue.  In colony, he is not liked, people call him 'sharp' and 'go-getter' but when faced with an issue, seek his help. 
Though his community has less strength among the electorate, he is able to present self as important to all. It is about being active, smart & able to 'claim' and 'sell' others as your 'people'. Others too don't have an objection.
It is not even too much hard work, just systematically doing certain things over a period of time. And, it is mostly such people who are able to create 'clout', at a city level without doing great. Just marvel at those who 'manage' to do all this, find a way to become 'some sort of operators' in the city, region. 
You may feel it's petty but in times of need, it is important. Anything demands sustained work, cultivating people, yrs. It is not that politician doesn't know that any X, Y or Z can't get you votes. Who can? 
But, it's about claiming, arranging, playing the role of the 'in-between'. The netas also enjoy a show when in a locality they get genuine support from locals without party organisation or workers' involvement. There are many other models but this one is the most basic.

PHOTO: Aleksejs Bargmanis, Pexels

Friday, October 30, 2020

Open letter to Dainik Bhaskar: Stop publishing biased, inflammatory reports that divide society

It's shocking how journalism takes a backseat and propaganda, falsehoods and terms that are inflammatory, objectionable and divisive appear in news items of the paper.

It was a gory crime, a youth kills a girl (published on October 28, 2020) but the news was presented in Dainik Bhaskar as a case of Love Jihad. 

There was no 'alleged' as prefix or even the term in inverted commas though the reality is that there is no Love Jihad either in Indian Penal Code & Home Ministry has clearly said that this term has no legal basis.

Every day there are innumerable killings across the country but if in one case, if it is an inter-religious crime, the newspaper uses this term to strengthen this propaganda though Love Jihad was a term used by ultra right-wing groups and it is a figment of their imagination. 

However, they succeeded in repeating this charge and the term was brought in usage. But when a newspaper on its own starts using it, it not only makes a mockery of journalistic standards, but also divides society and tries to give the impression as if it is mouthpiece of a ultra-right wing group that feels there is a conspiracy and one community is targeting girls belonging to other community.

A crime is a crime and the accused must face action in accordance with law, that's all. There are no ifs and buts, stern action must be taken. But how the paper on its own decides to use this term, a usage which cleverly pushes forward a shameful narrative that demonizes one community, it is a dangerous thing. A newspaper is for public information, not to strengthen biases and create communalism or mistrust in society.

When you are fully aware that Home Ministry has said that there are no Love Jihad cases, the term has no legal basis and that no such cases have been reported by central agencies. This has been stated in the Parliament. So who uses this term? Did police tell the reporter that this was a case of Love Jihad? No. How, your editorial team on its own used this term?

That's not the first occasion. You need to be sensitive and practice journalism. Does your news organisation even have a basic diversity, representing the region's population or your editorial team doesn't have representation of all communities and sections. As, the reporting quite often shows deep biases and failure to adhere to high standards of fair journalism.

On the same day, another news from Indore came--a man killed his newly wed wife by strangulating her with dog leash (chain) and later stabbing her repeatedly. In this case it was not Hindu-Muslim issue, so it didn't get attention. Unfortunately, of thousands of cases if one case has an inter-religious angle, it is played up and people fall for the propaganda when newspapers too take such stand rather than reporting crimes as crimes.

Petition urging the newspaper to stop publishing biased reports and adhere to journalistic standards and media ethics

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Indian politics: From blaming 'foreign hand' for troubles to 'inventing' enemies to for polarization, inflaming passions

Till 1980s, national politics was about blaming 'external hand' for any disaster, failure and to divert attention.

It was so common that at the slightest opportunity, leaders would either blame an outside agency for the troubles or it was believed that certain leaders were working at the instance of the 'foreign forces'. 

But now it's a totally different scenario in India. Our own people are branded, enemies are 'invented' within the country in order to inflame passions and for polarization.

Entire groups-communities are defamed, targeted and hate fuelled through IT cells, media & propaganda. 

The strategy now is to term a group 'anti-national' & hound it through TV and social media. It becomes a 'tamasha' and weeks, even months pass as channels and newspapers enter the fray, forcing people to discuss, while forgetting all other pressing issues. 

Effort is made to pit own people against each other, at least that way focus is away from failure on development, other issues. There is always more passion when there is hate & rivalry among groups. TV is playing a major role in this sinister campaign. 

New terms are coined, dissenters can be branded, one is Urban N, other is Tukde Tukde Gang or Love Jihad, et al. And above all this Hindu-Muslim issue. Anything from what one eats, what one sells or cooks, from Vande Matram to Cow, Madarsa, Jinnah, Burqa, Marriages, name a word, even one of them can be used to spread hate through 9 pm debates, FB pages that are for this reason & it just never stops.

It's not that people don't know. You have to live together, hundreds of millions of each community, no one is going anywhere. You know, this hate is manufactured, it serves a purpose but still people continue to fall for this. Distrust and hate keeps going up, people do not even get tired! 

Now it has hit the level of creating enemies from within, own people termed outsiders, students and activists branded, sometime it is religion, then regional from M'shtra Vs Bihar or anything that just pits one group against other, keeps minds occupied, grab eyeballs, inflames passion.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

America yet to elect first women president in 230 years, Asian countries chose female heads of states long back

It has taken 230 years. America has seen 45 presidents in history.

But not a single woman head of state, till now.

That's strange, isn't it?

In a few weeks, results would be known and we will know if United States of America (USA) is going to have a new President. The contest between two men, once again.
And, no woman in sight, as yet. In the last elections, there was a chance.
In fact, Hillary Clinton was expected to get elected, but ultimately Donald Trump became the president.

Compared to the 'progressive' USA, countries in other parts of the world, Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania have elected many women head of states including Presidents or Prime Ministers.

Today, Europe has Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany and there was Theresa May in Britain, till sometime ago. However, in Asian countries--Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim nations, there is a long history of popular women leaders who led their countries.

Srimavo Bhandarayaka was the former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka [Ceylone]. Indira Gandhi was, of course, Prime Minister of India, for so long. Benazir Bhutto, the former PM of Pakistan, was a charismatic leader. Tansu Ciller was Prime Minister of Turkey.

Bangladesh has the best record of electing female leaders. The contest has been between Sheikh Hasina Wajid and Begum Khaleda Zia. Both of them have been PMs in the country. Among the initial women leaders was Golda Meir, the former PM of Israel.
One of the most well-known women politicians to lead a country was Margaret Thatcher in UK. There have been many more names. It is surprising that America hasn't had woman president before or even a serious contender. This is surprising because countries where women empowerment is believed to be far less and where literacy among females is quite less, have had female leaders. Sylvie Kinigi was acting president in Burundi (Africa) and later women leaders were elected in other parts of Africa too.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Great Freedom Fighters of India: Revolutionaries who were hanged for the role in independence movement during the British rule

Mohammad Abdullah who was hanged 

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

The role of revolutionaries in creating the awakening among masses and their sacrifices for the motherland, can never be forgotten. 

The fact is that martyrs were the real heroes--those who hanged and happily went to gallows for the cause of freedom. 

Remember, it was an era when Indians were treated like slaves and there were large-scale killings after 1857. 

Even in later years, the Jallian Wala Bagh Massacre and Qissakhwani Bazar Killings, had infuriated Indians. 

After 1857, freedom movement saw participation of hundreds of such patriots who were willing to give their life for the cause of independence.

Each such martyr--every hanging and freedom fighter shot or matyred, was responsible for the rise in nationalistic fervour and as a result created awakening among the people. The list of martyrs and revolutionaries is long from Tatya Tope, Azimullah, Sher Ali, Bhagat Singh, Ashfaqullah, Rajguru, Madanlal Dhingra, Mohammad Abdullah to Chandrashekhar Azad and many others.

Mohammad Abdullah had assassinated the judge who was known for giving harsh sentence to freedom fighters, especially, the revolutionaries. History books mention that John Paxton Norman was assassinated by Mohammad Abdullah. 

The incident took place in Kolkata (then, Calcutta). The judge John Paxton Norman was known for harsh sentences on freedom fighters and revolutionaries. Historians, for this reason, mention that the revolutionaries despite strong repressive measures, preferred to die but remained committed to the cause of freedom. 

Sir Paxton Norman was acting chief justice of Calcutta High Court in 1871. Abdullah was later hanged. His portraits adorn museums and homes, now. Just like later years freedom fighters and revolutionaries who wanted the atrocities to end, and took up initiative--Bhagat Singh and Rajguru killed Saunders, and got hanged, the flame of resistance continued to burn. 

READ: Sher Ali, revolutionary freedom fighter who assassinated Viceroy, got hanged