Saturday, April 22, 2017

क्या कहूँ आज जो नहीं कही...

आज एक नए दोस्त ने टोका बहुत कम लिखने को लेकर... इस मैसेज के साथ -


2007-2011 average posts= 40,
2012-2016=15
2017 4 months gone = 1

सांख्यिकी सही हो या गलत, पता नहीं, बात तो सही ही थी। पता नहीं अब लिखना कम क्यों हो गया है। काम बहुत करने लगे हों, ऐसा तो नहीं है। लिखने का मन भी शायद बहुत करता है। विचार भी, ऊल -जुलूल ही सही, कम नहीं होते। उस नए दोस्त ने कहा कि प्रोफेसर बनने के बाद लिखना, खुलना, कहना मुश्किल होता हो शायद। शायद, होता होगा।
फिर सोचा।
ऐसा होने के कुछ कारण समझ आये... कई ध्यान ही नहीं आये.. कुछ कुछ समझ नहीं आये... कुछ समझना नहीं चाहे। जो भी समझा या जो भी नहीं समझा , वो कहना बिलकुल भी नहीं चाहा !

ऐ नए दोस्त मैं समझूँगा तुझे भी अपना 
पहले माज़ी का कोई ज़ख्म तो भर जाने दे।

Thursday, March 9, 2017

बुझ चुकी उम्मीदों का शहर

लखनऊ... लखनऊ .... लखनऊ... लखनऊ .... लखनऊ... लखनऊ ....

पहले इस नाम में कैसी लज़्ज़त हुआ करती थी... एक आकर्षण, एक पुकार, एक हूक, एक नॉस्टाल्जिया, एक  रौशनी, एक उम्मीद... कभी इस शहर के लिए ग़ज़लें लिखी थी हमने और कभी इसी शहर में न आ पाने के ग़म में वनवास जैसी नज़्में लिखी थी.

और अब... चौथा दिन शहर में... एक शाम बंद दरवाजों में बैठ कर गुज़री, दूसरी लैपटॉप पर. तीसरी घर पर, और चौथी ? पता नहीं लेकिन ये पता है कि अब ये शहर अपनी बाहें नहीं फैलाता... यहां पर बहुत सारी पुरानी यादें तो हैं... टहलने निकलो तो एक किस्म की पुकार - ये रास्ता तो फलां की वजह से याद है, इस सड़क पर तो उसका घर था, ये रेस्टॉरेन्ट की वो टेबल पर तो उसके साथ बैठे थे, और इस पेड़ के नीचे तो फलां के साथ भीगे थे...

लेकिन ये सब यादें लखनऊ को एक बोझिल जगह बनाती जा रही हैं. पहले यहां यादों के साथ उम्मीदें भी थीं - उम्मीदें नयी यादें बनाने की, नए दोस्तों के साथ नये रास्तों पर भटकने की, नए दिनों की खुशबूओं को साथ में पकड़ने की... अब ये शहर केवल मर चुकी यादों और बुझ चुकी उम्मीदों का शहर रह गया है.

और असल हादिसा ये है कि जब एक शहर से उम्मीदें बुझी तो ऐसा नहीं है कि कोई नयी शमआ जल गयी हो। सो इसी नाउम्मीदी के बीच, लखनऊ के एक होटल में बैठे हमारे साथ जगजीत सिंह साहब मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब को गा रहे हैं :
ज़ुल्मतक़दे में मेरे शबे-ग़म का जोश है
एक शमअ है दलील-सहर सो खमोश है. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

कुछ Facebook से


इधर काफी सारी लिखाई फेसबुक पर होने लगी है... कई चीज़ें हैं, जो सोची तो लिखी नहीं या लिखी तो फेसबुक के अनुकूल लगी. लेकिन वो तो कुछ दिन में उड़नछू हो जाने वाला माध्यम है. सो जब तक स्मरण साथ दे, सोचा क्यों न ऐसी कुछ लेखनी अपने फेसबुक से अपने ब्लॉग पर संजो ली जाए!

September 8, 2016: wrote this while teaching at AIT, Thailand

Today morning, I told my students (from different countries including Thailand, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, China, India, Nepal, Bangladesh...) that Indian culture is very music and celebration oriented and that is one of the many things that connect all of us!
Personally, 15 days back, it was loads of Krishna-vandana in Hindi, Awadhi, and Brij. Last week, I was listening to Marathi Zingat and Sanskrit archana of Ganesha. Two days ago, I was finding Benagli songs and discovering fresh facets of romantic poetry with Nilanjana, Ruby Roy, Bela Bose, and the classic Ami Chini go Chini. Today, I've been galloping in Punjabi songs from Shiv Kumar Batalvi and Hans Raj Hans to recent ones like Yaar Anmulle, Roohafza, and Kharku...
So many languages, so many varieties, so many shades of celebrations... You know why I love India? Because there is so much to love!!

March 23, 2016: Wrote this on the Martyrdom anniversary of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru (English version below)

२३ मार्च १९३१ - भगत सिंह, राजगुरु, और सुखदेव का बलिदान दिवस. देश के लिए जान देना बड़ी बात है. लेकिन वो तो कितने ही और क्रांतिकारियों ने भी किया था. तो इन तीनों ने ऐसा क्या ख़ास काम किया कि अलग से याद रखा जाए? मतलब चंद्रशेखर आज़ाद, मदनलाल ढींगरा, वासुदेव बलवंत फड़के, रोशन सिंह, अशफ़ाक़ुल्ला खान, लाला हरदयाल, लाला लाजपत राय, और भी जाने कितने शहीद हुए. तो फिर भगत सिंह, राजगुरु, और सुखदेव ही ख़ास क्यों?
क्योंकि इन तीनों की शहादत ने वो किया जिसके बिना आज़ादी मिलना तो क्या आज़ादी की मांग उठना भी नहीं होता. १९२९-३० तक कांग्रेस की मांग केवल इतनी ही होती थी कि ब्रिटिश राज के अधीन भारत को स्वायत्तता अर्थात आंशिक आज़ादी या डोमिनियन स्टेटस भर दे दिया जाए. मतलब इतने साल से कांग्रेस केवल अंग्रेज़ों के अधीन रहते हुए अपनी स्थानीय सरकार बनाने और ब्रिटिश राज का भाग बने रहने के लिए ही लड़ रही थी. लेकिन भगत सिंह, राजगुरु, और सुखदेव के बलिदान ने उस चिंगारी का काम किया कि स्वायत्तता का नारा पूर्ण स्वराज में बदलने को विवश हुआ. पहली बार देश में अंग्रेज़ों को बाहर निकालने की बात शुरू हुई. भगत सिंह सही थे. अगर गांधी उन्हें बचा लेते तो भगत सिंह का काम शायद अधूरा रह जाता. भगत सिंह, राजगुरु, और सुखदेव - उनका बलिदान ही उनकी सफलता थी.

23 March 1931 - the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev. It is a really big deal and great honor to give away one's life for the motherland. But didn't so many others did it too? I mean, why are Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev more special than, let's say - ChandraShekhar Aazaad, Madan Lal Dhingra, Raushan Singh, Rajinder Lahiri, Ashfaqulla Khan, Binoy-Badal-Dinesh, Lala Hardayal, and Lala Lajpat Rai?
Because the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev achieved something that eventually made the independence possible. Till 1930, Congress as the flagbearer of independence movement was demanding only a dominion status within the British raj. It means Congress only demanded local governance and representation while happily accepting British as the natural masters. But the fire that Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev ignited with their sacrifice of life forced Congress to abandon the demand of self-governance and replace it with full independence. For the first time, Indians wanted to throw British out of our land. Bhagat Singh was right. Had Gandhi agreed to save his life, which Irwin was willing to grant by commuting his death sentence to a life imprisonment, then, Bhagat Singh's ultimate sacrifice would have been incomplete. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev - their sacrifice was their success!

January 24, 2016: After watching the movie 'Airlift' (English version below):

एयरलिफ्ट देखिये. अगस्त १९९० में किसकी सरकार थी याद करिये. विश्वनाथ प्रताप सिंह की सरकार और विदेश मंत्री थे इन्द्र कुमार गुजराल. महीनों तक बढ़ते तनाव के बावजूद कोई तैयारी नहीं की गयी थी. १ लाख ७० हज़ार को बचाया ज़रूर लेकिन कुवैत जाकर नहीं, १ हज़ार किलोमीटर दूर ओमान बुलाकर. दो महीने तक एयरलिफ्ट करना पड़ा. अगर एक क्लर्क ना जूझा होता तो गुजराल साहब सद्दाम हुसैन से गले ही मिलते रहते बस (इतिहास पढ़िए - खाड़ी युद्ध के दौरान हमलावर सद्दाम से गले मिले थे गुजराल और अमरीका को कोसा था - क्यों?!!).

इसके बाद याद करिये १९७२ में भारतीयों को ९० दिन की चेतावनी देने वाले ईदी अमीन के दिन. उन ९० दिनों के दौरान युगांडा को चेतावनी देने वाली इंदिरा सरकार सिवाय एक तिनका न हिला पायी. बस अपने कूटनीतिक रिश्ते तोड़ लिए और युगांडा में बसे भारतीयों का निकलना और दूभर कर दिया. अपने दम पर कुछ ४-५ हज़ार भारतीय भारत पहुंचे और हज़ारों अन्य दुसरे देशों की शरण में जाने को मजबूर हुए.

इसके बाद याद करिये २०१५ का यमन में चला ऑपरेशन राहत. २७ मार्च को हमला हुआ और चौथे दिन से "राहत" शुरू. ११ अप्रैल को ऑपरेशन पूर्ण. इस हमले के महीनों पहले से ही भारत सरकार चेतावनी दिए जा रही थी. वीसा देने में कमी कर दी थी. गैर-ज़रूरी स्टाफ को निकाल लिया था. इसको कहते हैं सरकार. अब याद रखियेगा कि अप्रैल २०१५ में किसकी सरकार थी.

Go watch Airlift. Can you recall whose government was that in August 1990? PM VP Singh and Foreign Minister IK Gujral. There were warnings and signs of tensions and problems but all the great government of India did was to hug Saddam Hussain, the aggressor - and got no concessions in return. (Read History - IK Gujral did that at the height of aggression). 1.70 lakh Indians were evacuated but not in Kuwait. They had to travel a 1000 kilometers across borders to reach Oman. The operation lasted for 2 months and had a clerk not fought his way through, IK Gujral would have happily got those thousands Indians killed.
Go back a little more and recall August 1972 - Idi Amin, the mad dictator of Uganda, warned Indians to leave his country within 90 days. The Iron Lady - Indira Gandhi - warned him against aggression and Idi Amin couldn't care less. Sadly, Indira's warnings worked in India only. We severed our diplomatic relations suddenly, making escape even more miserable for those thousands of Indians.
Now, recall Operation Raahat - Yemen, April 2015. The aggression started on March 27, 2015 and government of India started the evacuation on April 1st. The operation was complete on 11 April, 2015. Before you jump on numerical comparisons, GoI was issuing warnings much in advance, had slowed down visa issues, and had taken the non-essential staff off-duty. This is what is called the governance and the government!
Now don't you forget whose government was there in April 2015!!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

फ़ुर्सत के पल

कभी जब फ़ुर्सत हो, मतलब एकदम फ़ुर्सत ... ऐसी फ़ुर्सत कि काम तो चाहे जितने हों, मन पर बिल्कुल न छाये हों... तो ऎसी फ़ुर्सत में मन क्या करेगा?

ऐसी ही फ़ुर्सत है इधर कुछ दिन से. भारत से बाहर निकल कर कुछ ऐसा ही हाल होता है. तकरीबन दो महीने थाईलैण्ड में गुज़ारने हैं पढ़ाने के लिए. हफ़्ते में एक या दो क्लासेज़ होती हैं और बाकी रोज़ पहाड़ सी फ़ुर्सत।

सो ऐसी फ़ुर्सत में मन क्या करेगा? पुराने ब्लॉग पढ़े, एक कविता लिखी, भीष्म साहनी की कहानियाँ पढ़ीं, कैमरा लेकर एक लम्बी दूरी तक टहले भरी धूप में, भूपिन्दर की ग़ज़लें या हरि ओम शरण के भजन सुने और अथाह सोचा.

बहुत कुछ सोचने के बीच ये भी सोचा कि कोई देश अच्छा या बुरा, अपना या पराया कैसे लगता है. भाषा? जब दक्षिण भारत में घूम रहे थे तब भी भाषा अलग थी लेकिन अपनत्व तो कभी कम नहीं लगा. मौसम? यहाँ थाईलैण्ड का मौसम इन्दौर जैसा ख़ूबसूरत नहीं लेकिन शायद कलकत्ता या मुम्बई जैसा तो है ही - उमस और तीखी धूप से भरा. पेड़-पौधे या जीव-जन्तु? यहाँ भी वही मैना, कबूतर, गौरैया, अमलतास, बादाम, और गुलमुहर हैं जो वहाँ होते हैं और दक्षिण भारत या मिज़ोरम या गोआ में तो विभिन्नता इससे कहीं ज़्यादा थी. मुद्रा? शायद. लेकिन अमेरिका या दुबई की मुद्रा भी तो अलग थी. वो इतने पराये क्यों नहीं लगे?

खैर, हमें क्या पता! क्योंकि हमारे लिए भारत में सब अपना सा लगता रहा और देश के बाहर सब पराया. ये फ़ुर्सत भी अपनी नहीं, परायी है. तभी तो इस फ़ुर्सत से कुछ अच्छा नहीं, सिर्फ़ ये अनर्गल प्रलाप ही निकला. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

आज की लिखाई

बारिश के दिन बड़े उदासी लगते हैं 
ताज़े पत्ते सारे बासी लगते हैं 

बारिश और हम-तुम भीगें स्कूटर पर 
शीशे कार के सत्यानासी लगते हैं 

गलियों में बारिश कीचड़ जो असली थे 
दसवीं मंज़िल से आभासी लगते हैं 

अंदर बाहर सब पानी हो जाता है
सारे जन पानी के वासी लगते हैं 

पोखर भरते एक छलावा हैं लेकिन 
कुछ दिन को तो बारामासी लगते हैं 

व्यस्त परिंदे, उगते अंकुर, हँसते बच्चे  
तुम बिन मुझको सब उपहासी लगते हैं

Monday, February 1, 2016

Learning from SHaPE: What Golwalkar actually said

I got to read a friend's post about RSS' Vishwa Sangh Shivir. A PGP from IIMA, Ami, happened to attend the shivir and wrote a beautiful post (here) about it. This reminded me of one of my long-gone blog for "policy, politics, economics", called Pragmatica. The blog couldn't be continued but I had saved the posts. Today, got reminded of a post from that blog and sharing the same here:

***
Friday, November 16, 2012
Last post was about the course SHaPE (Social, Historical, and Political Economy) of India. The course is over now but in the process, we hit a treasure trove of  knowledge. The participants raised a lot of interesting and intriguing questions and I discovered a lot in my effort to meaningfully answer them. For example, during the course, I gave an assignment on contributions of these influential figures of post-independence India - B.R. Ambedkar, Ram Manohar Lohia, M.S. Golwalkar, J.R.D. Tata and another public figure of own choice. The purpose was to make participants discover beyond text-book information, mostly limited to Gandhi-Nehru and family.

Post-submission, I received many interesting questions. One such question is given below, followed by my answer. I am copying everything verbatim except the name of the participants. Any formatting, spelling or grammar errors are not removed. If you wish to read the full book yourself, please drop your e-mail id here as a comment. Now, set all your previous judgments, favorable - unfavorable prejudices, and opinions aside to read the communications below:

QUERY: 
Sir,
While reading about MS Golwalkar, i came across different articles and interviews which represented conflicting views of his philosophy.
eg, in his book "Bunch of Thoughts", he was very critical of Muslims, Christians and Parsis, and said that they can't have same right over the country as Hindus do, whereas in an interview given to Dr. Jeelani, he said that "a Muslim is as good as a Hindu. It is not the Hindu alone who will reach the ultimate Godhead. Everyone has the right to follow his path according to his own persuasion."
How do we resolve these differences in his writings and his speeches? What can be treated as reliable source of information, and what is just writer's personal bias?
Regards,

REPLY:
Hi,
I think there is a lot of misrepresentation of thoughts of RSS and specially Golwalkar. I think what you have read is from different sources. So I thought that in order to be a better judge of RSS / Golwakar, why not read his major book - "Bunch of Thoughts" ourselves. Therefore, I am attaching a word file with the complete book. Also, I'm copying some excerpts from the book for our common understanding.
==================================
But, unfortunately, what do we see all around us today? Some are Hindus, not out of conviction, but out of reaction. To give an example, our workers once approached a prominent Hindu leader during the signature collection campaign demanding ban on the slaughter of cows. But they were greatly shocked to hear him saying, "What is the use of preventing the slaughter of useless cattle? Let them die. What does it matter? After all, one animal is as good as the other. But, since the Muslims are bent upon cow-slaughter, we should make this an issue. And so, I give you my signature." What does this show? We are to protect the cow not because the cow has been for ages an emblem of Hindu devotion but because the Muslims kill it! This is Hinduism born out of reaction, a kind of ‘negative Hinduism’.
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Once a gentleman asked me whether we are organising Hindus in order to counteract the various activities of the Muslims. I simply told him that even if Prophet Mohammed had not been born and Islam had not come into existence, we would have taken up this work just as we are doing it today, if we had found Hindus in the same disorganised, self-forgetful condition as at present. The positive conviction that this is my Hindu Rashtra, this is my dharma, this is my philosophy which I have to live and set up as standard for all other nations to follow-well, this should be the solid basis for Hindu reoorganisation.
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Then there were the Jews and Parsis who had come here as refugees. The Jews were ignored as they were very few. The parsis, though small in number, were an intelligent, industrious and prosperous community. But to a large extent, they had merged in the mainstream of the Hindu life here. They had developed intense love for our motherland and were in the forefront of our freedom struggle. Dadabhai Naoroji, Pherozeshah Mehta and Madame Cama became symbols of inspiration for all freedom fighters.
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In spite of this catholic and rational approach of Hindu Rashtra towards the so-called minorities, it is amazing that some people should harbour fear that the 'minorities' live in mortal peril if Hindu Rashtra comes into its own. The fear, if at all genuine, can only be due to their misconception that 'Hindu Rashtra' would treat other religious groups in much the same way as the Semitic religions did. The first Semitic religion was Judaism-an intolerant faith. It was this intolerance that nailed Christ on the Cross. Then came Christianity, the child of the former. That too was equally intolerant. Doubtless Christ was a great saint. But later, what went on in the name of Christ had nothing to do with him. It was no Christianity but only 'Churchianity'. The saying "There was but one true Christian and he died on the Cross" is true to the letter. The Christians committed all sorts of atrocities on the Jews by giving them the label 'Killers of Christ'. Hitler is not an exception but a culmination of the 2000-year long oppression of the Jews by the Christians. Then came Islam – a long story of 'Sword and Koran' written in the tears and blood of millions of innocent human beings. It’s latest chapter of 'Pakistan', the self-declared theocratic Islamic State, is no different with the entire Hindu population butchered and driven out from its western wing and the same process continuing in its eastern wing. All these have ingrained in their blood intolerance of other faiths.
The fear that Hindu Rashtra will imperil the existence of other religious groups arises by applying the above Semitic yardstick to it and imagining that the concept of Hindu Rashtra in analogous to that of the Semitic states notorious for their religious bigotry and persecutions.
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There is the story of ‘Saint Xavier, who used to experience the highest joy of his life when he used to see the new converts trampling upon their former gods and goddesses, razing their temples to the ground and insulting their own parents and elders who remained Hindus. And even as recently as during the Congress rule (a de facto Christian rule?) in Kerala after the quitting of the British, hundreds of ancient and scared Hindu temples, including the famous one at Shabarimalai, were desecrated and their idols broken by the Christian vandals. It is the same Christian fanatics who smashed the Vivekananda Memorial Tablet on the Vivekananda Rock at Kanyakumari. Such are the men who come to us to preach that Christianity would shower bliss of peace and milk of human kindness on humanity!
So long as the Christians here indulge in such activities and consider themselves as agents of the international movement for the spread of Christianity, and refuse to offer their first loyalty to the land of their birth and behave as true children of the heritage and culture of their ancestors, they will remain here as hostiles.
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Q: Some Muslims in U.K. would like to join with us in this effort. Should we encourage them to do so?
A: Provided they are prepared to own the Hindu culture as their own. They could have their own way of upasana but should consider the Hindu heritage and history as their own.
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The Muslims, Christians and Jews etc., have perfect upasana swatantrya, freedom of worship so long as they do not seek to destroy or undermine the faith and symbolism of the national society. They should subordinate their exclusive claims for final and sole revelation vis-à-vis the national society. They could bear witness to their faith in life and speech but they should not indulge in any unfair and unspiritual modes of conversion.
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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lessons in History - Lest we forget!!

Writing these days has been quite a luxury. So when I wrote a long story for Facebook, thought of sharing here too - just for the record and longevity of the post. Original Hindi post comes after the English (rough) translation.

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Go watch Airlift. Can you recall whose government was that in August 1990? PM VP Singh and Foreign Minister IK Gujral. There were warnings and signs of tensions and problems but all the great government of India did was to hug Saddam Hussain, the aggressor - and got no concessions in return. (Read History - IK Gujral did that at the height of aggression). 1.70 lakh Indians were evacuated but not in Kuwait. They had to travel a 1000 kilometers across borders to reach Oman. The operation lasted for 2 months and had a clerk not fought his way through, IK Gujral would have happily got those thousands Indians killed.

Go back a little more and recall August 1972 - Idi Amin, the mad dictator of Uganda, warned Indians to leave his country within 90 days. The Iron Lady - Indira Gandhi - warned him against aggression and Idi Amin couldn't care less. Sadly, Indira's warnings worked in India only. We severed our diplomatic relations suddenly, making escape even more miserable for those thousands of Indians.

Now, recall Operation Raahat - Yemen, April 2015. The aggression started on March 27, 2015 and government of India started the evacuation on April 1st. The operation was complete on 11 April, 2015. Before you jump on numerical comparisons, GoI was issuing warnings much in advance, had slowed down visa issues, and had taken the non-essential staff off-duty. This is what is called the governance and the government!

Now don't you forget whose government was there in April 2015!!

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एयरलिफ्ट देखिये. अगस्त १९९० में किसकी सरकार थी याद करिये. विश्वनाथ प्रताप सिंह की सरकार और विदेश मंत्री थे इन्द्र कुमार गुजराल. महीनों तक बढ़ते तनाव के बावजूद कोई तैयारी नहीं की गयी थी. १ लाख ७० हज़ार को बचाया ज़रूर लेकिन कुवैत जाकर नहीं, १ हज़ार किलोमीटर दूर ओमान बुलाकर. दो महीने तक एयरलिफ्ट करना पड़ा. अगर एक क्लर्क ना जूझा होता तो गुजराल साहब सद्दाम हुसैन से गले ही मिलते रहते बस (इतिहास पढ़िए - खाड़ी युद्ध के दौरान हमलावर सद्दाम से गले मिले थे गुजराल और अमरीका को कोसा था - क्यों?!!).

इसके बाद याद करिये १९७२ में भारतीयों को ९० दिन की चेतावनी देने वाले ईदी अमीन के दिन. उन ९० दिनों के दौरान युगांडा को चेतावनी देने वाली इंदिरा सरकार सिवाय एक तिनका न हिला पायी. बस अपने कूटनीतिक रिश्ते तोड़ लिए और युगांडा में बसे भारतीयों का निकलना और दूभर कर दिया. अपने दम पर कुछ ४-५ हज़ार भारतीय भारत पहुंचे और हज़ारों अन्य दुसरे देशों की शरण में जाने को मजबूर हुए.
इसके बाद याद करिये २०१५ का यमन में चला ऑपरेशन राहत. २७ मार्च को हमला हुआ और चौथे दिन से "राहत" शुरू. ११ अप्रैल को ऑपरेशन पूर्ण. इस हमले के महीनों पहले से ही भारत सरकार चेतावनी दिए जा रही थी. वीसा देने में कमी कर दी थी. गैर-ज़रूरी स्टाफ को निकाल लिया था. इसको कहते हैं सरकार. अब याद रखियेगा कि अप्रैल २०१५ में किसकी सरकार थी.

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