Talaq, Talaq, Talaq…oops! I made a mistake!

So the argument is that Sunni’s, a sect of Islam, adheres to ‘talaq-e-biddat’ or instant divorce. This ideologue is followed vehemently in India, after the Supreme Court judgment nullified its validity for 6 months we could see many Islamic fundamentalists clawing to find proof of its validity.

I call ‘talaq-e-biddat’ a heinous crime on the dignity of women. I say this from a perspective of a woman, and I can surely say this from a humanistic standpoint. It is considered ‘sinful’ in Hanaafi law, about 90% of the Sunni’s in India belong to the Hanaafi school, while approximately 70% of Muslims in India are Sunni, and there are 157 million Muslims in India. That is a lot of leeway for ‘sinful’ dissolution of legal and sacrosanct marriages. It’s humorous to see that specific organizations are clamoring to bring legality for a ‘sinful’ act, a hypocritical method of upholding the tenets of a religion.

When a husband says ‘talaq, talaq, talaq’ at once the marriage is nullified, so many men soon after realize the mistake they have made. To bring a twist, after the divorce if the husband realises he wants to reconcile with his wife she first has to marry another man and consummate the marriage, called Nikah Halala. The next step is for the ‘other man’ to grant her a divorce, and she can go back to her husband. It has become a total scam, a method of extortion, and human trafficking in which Maulvi’s play a huge role. Women who are desperate to be with their husbands re-marry and consummate their marriage with strangers, there are men that take money to be married for a single day to a woman. There are men who make false promises of giving this woman a divorce, but they go back on their word and sell her body.

The amazing wonder of patriarchy, always subjecting a woman to so called ‘freedom’ dictated by men, ‘freedom’ she does not want to suffer through, ‘freedom’ which doesn’t allow her to make her own choices. What is sacrosanct about marrying for the second time keeping in mind the need of its dissolution? What is sacrosanct about selling a woman’s body and soul thereby giving her permission to return to her husband who in a fit of anger might have said three regretful words?

Muslim women in India have been fighting against this crime of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ since its conception before Independence, from a time where it was termed as ‘Muslim Personal Law.’ The law follows mostly customs and practices instead of religion. There has been negligible change in this law since its founding, the infamous Shah Bano case where a 70+ year old woman went to court for maintenance was overturned due to the outburst of orthodox Muslims. ‘Hindu Personal Law’ which is on the same tangent as ‘Sikhs’, ‘Jain’ and ‘Buddhist’ personal law has seen many changes, social evils have been removed and major upheavals for the benefit of women empowerment has taken place. I am not saying that Hindu Personal Law is the epitome of equality for men and women, but at least it is more susceptible to change. At least there is a ray o f hope in a cloud of darkness.

The victory of Muslim women in the 6 month freedom from ‘talaq-e-biddat’ is seen as a great victory, the short term eradication has given respite to women of the 21st Century, in the fastest developing nation of the world! This shows the severity of the problem we are facing. The power of social stigma and patriarchal regime is prevalent in all matters, even in fundamental rights.

What I think should be the way forward

Create Uniform Civil Code and rid the nation of Personal Laws. It is not necessary to have religion dictate the nature of legal practices, it creates arbitrary factional divide in the nation. Letting go of Personal Laws is not a threat to the existence of our various religious. There are many other methods of following the words of sages, and prophets, and holy books, but it should not interfere with law.

When a marriage falls apart it has nothing to do with being a Hindu or a Muslim, it is purely a social and financial problem. After being divorced a woman finds herself without support. Other personal laws have been modified to include women in restitution of financial rights after a divorce, in the form of maintenance of herself and her child. In Shariat Law a woman’s right is nullified simply because she is a Muslim. All women should come under the purview of one umbrella – one nation, one law.

Talaq-e-biddat is unjust, not needed, and a menacing plague upon Islamic women.

Nirmala Sitharaman: Should feminists be happy?

Recently India has been witness to historic and landmark changes, the tide is turning when it comes to women.

1. Maternity leave duration has increased to surpass most developed nations

2. Triple Talaq has been banned for 6 months during which the Central Government is expected to pass a law banning Triple Talaq for good

3. The appointment of Nirmala Sitharaman as the first fulltime female Defence Minister

Niramala Sitharaman is India’s second female Defence Minister, before her Indira Gandhi held the same portfolio and was the Prime Minsiter as well. But Nirmala Sitharaman is the first fulltime female Defence Minister of India.

Indira Gandhi was the Iron Lady of India, well known for her strong tactical methods of fighting terrorism. Nationally, she had given the green light to extreme measures to claimed terrorists that were murdered in a bloodbath at the Golden Temple – Amritsar, in Operation Bluestar. She also took forward the nuclear program of India started under the leadership of Nehru, she gave verbal authorization of an underground nuclear test called “Smiling Buddha” in Rajasthan which caused ire to then Pakistan Prime Minsiter Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. On an international front, Operation Meghdoot was a success in the Siachen conflict. Not only that, but under Indira Gandhi’s leadership West Pakistan was liberated from East Pakistan, without Indira Gandhi’s support perhaps the creation of Bangladesh as a separate country would not have been possible. Indira Gandhi was a swift decision maker, tough, and unflinching in her use of strategized force against any threat whether internal or external. To top it off, Indira Gandhi was a woman and one of the strongest Defence Minsiter’s the nation has seen since its conception.

Apparently the media has forgotten our rich history of having a female leader who had proven much more effective and tougher than most defence ministers, all of whom were men. This forgetfulness has been keeping our newly appointed Defence Minister NIrmala Sitharaman in the news, but for all the wrong reasons. The question that everybody is asking – has she been appointed because she is a woman? Is this entire situation staged and politically motivated? If Nirmala were a man she wouldn’t be asked so many questions, most of which are based on her gender and her effectiveness as a leader.

To the people who are bringing up her gender as an issue I would like to state the obvious, patriarchy is a deep rooted social evil in India. It is a complicated issue and to have a role model, a woman in the role of Defence Minister which is highly stigmatized as being a male dominated occupation, is called breaking the glass ceiling. In this lifetime we are witness to glass ceiling in politics, and this glass ceiling has been broken directly by the Prime Minister Office. Our BJP government is traditionally believed to be an extremely patriarchal mindset, and politics a field where people are appointed based on the pull that they have. Nirmala Sitharaman has been able to bypass both categories, this is a milestone in the success of women of our nation.

There are currently two women in India who are extremely powerful: Sushma Swaraj the Foreign Minister and Niramala Sitharaman in the CCS (Cabinet Committee of Security). They consist of Narendra Modi’s CCS which has a total of five members including himself, with Rajnath Singh as Home Minster and Arun Jaitley as Minister of Finance. If one is observant than one will notice that the male counterparts in the CCS (with the exception of the Prime Minister) are superseded by women who have been provided much more powerful roles.

So why is Nirmala Sitharaman a viable candidate as the Minister of Defence? Nirmala Sitharaman has worked as a member of the National Commission for Women, is a Rajya Sabha member, and was a Minister of State for Commerce. She had started her path as a spokesperson for BJP in the election which saw Narendra Modi win with a landslide. Since then she gained popularity in BJP and was discovered by Sushma Swaraj in the NCW and has been known as a woman who gets work done immediately. Sitaraman has emerged as the Minister of Defence directly noticed and appointed by the Prime Minsiter Office due to her virtue of being a go-getter and a great worker for the nation, tokenism has no role in this appointment. Of course there will be a lot of learning to do, she might take a good 4 – 5 months of learning (just like her predecessors) before being able to grasp the in’s and outs of her profile, but she is smart enough, capable enough and dedicated enough to do justice.

As is famously said in India, you can tell the flavor of rice by taking one look at a grain. Recently, our newly appointed Defence Minister was seen in China for a BRICS meeting and she engaged in discussion on Doklam with her counterparts. Her official commencement of duties is from the 6th of September, 2017 but she jumped headlong into her role beforehand showing her commitment and understanding of the great task before her.

Gauri Lankesh: Regional journalist to national heroine?

With due apologies to the departed soul of Gauri Lankesh, a section of the country’s intellectuals and media are adept at conferring ‘sainthood’ and ‘martyrdom’ upon select individuals. They are masters at playing the victimhood card and deriving political mileage from certain unnatural deaths, as they are dexterous in the art of instantaneous cost-benefit analysis, within minutes of a person’s death. They can craft and implement their strategy with deep precision well before others can react, even as the police barely arrive at the crime scene. A dead body is valuable when they can utilise it to their political and ideological advantage in the battle for survival and relevance.


Thus, when Gauri Lankesh was barbarously murdered at her home in Bengaluru on Tuesday, 5 September 2017, the political vultures found a suitable body to prey on – a staunch leftist, a feminist, a journalist and social activist, and above all, an unswerving voice of anti-Hindutva, who had openly written and said reams of anti-Hindu, anti-Modi, anti-BJP/Sangh stuff. So, without wasting any time, these ‘progressive liberals’ instantly swung into action.


Before the Karnataka police could reach her Rajarajeshwari Nagar home in Bengaluru, where she was gunned down by unidentified assailants, the judgment was passed by these self-proclaimed sleuths that the Bharatiya Janata Party, RSS /rightist organisations, were behind this murder.


As if on cue, the media trial of the BJP/Sangh/Modi began from all sides. Television screens and social media were full of headlines that Gauri Lankesh was killed because of her anti- Hindutva/Modi/BJP/Sangh ideas. Soon the slogans proliferated – this country has become intolerant, there is no space for dissent left, Gauri was killed for her ideas, gun silences dissent, etc. etc.


Comrade Kavitha Krishnan wrote: “How many Godi channels will call the assassination of Gauri Lankesh by its right name ‘terrorism’” (possibly a misspelling for ‘Govt’)


Javed Akhtar tweeted, “Dhabolkar, Pansare, Kalburgi and now Gauri Lankesh. If one kind of people are getting killed, which kind of people are the killers.”


Shehla Rashid, a student activist from JNU, even linked one right-wing organisation, Abhinav Bharat, to the killing in her tweets: “Don’t know how to process it. Still coming to terms with the fact that Gauri Lankesh has been assassinated. Most likely by Abhinav Bharat,” and “Investigating Gauri Lankesh’s assassination can expose Sangh terror networks, like Abhinav Bharat. Sadly, no agency will conduct it.”


As the murder-related narrative had been given a direction, many out-of-job politicians joined the bandwagon. Sitaram Yechuri chipped in: “The cold-blooded murder of Gauri Lankesh is reprehensible. Dhabolkar, Pansare, Kalburgi – such murderous violence has an eerie pattern.”


This linking of four names sought to weave a ‘complete’ narrative. Rahul Gandhi pitched in with a tweet: “Anybody who speaks against the ideology of the BJP or RSS is threatened, attacked and even killed.”


Lalu Prasad Yadav could not be left behind and conveniently forgetting that Raj Deo Ranjan, a journalist from Bihar, who was allegedly killed at the behest of RJD leader, Shahabuddin, tweeted: “Noted journalist and critic of right wing politics Gauri Lankesh silenced in New India. Terrible time for dissent”. (New India is a veiled reference to the Prime Minister, in addition to the dissent narrative)


Foreign journalists contributed their mite. Pakistani journalist Mehmal Sarfraz wrote: “Several journalists will now think twice before taking a stand against the Hindutva Brigade.”


Amnesty International added fuel to the freedom of expression narrative about Lankesh’s death: “It raises alarms about the state of freedom of expression in the country.”


Political vultures thus pronounced a judgment even before police investigations could take off. Gauri Lankesh had become the new patron saint of left-wing politics. This high decibel media trial won Gauri Lankesh – not a State funeral – but certainly a 21 gun salute at her funeral. This is incredible as the lady had recently been convicted by a court for defamation (publishing allegations that she could not substantiate in court) and would have been serving a six-month sentence in jail, but for the fact that she received bail to approach a higher court for relief!


Gauri, a Kannada journalist with a Kannada audience, and largely unknown outside radical Left circles, had worked for the comrades in her lifetime. Her sensational death served them even better, by giving them a cause and a public profile, at least for a few days. The screaming banshees lost no time blaming Prime Minister Modi, the BJP, the Sangh, the Hindutva forces – their ultimate enemies.


But dispassionate analysis suggests that Gauri was probably felled by the purely domestic politics she was pursuing at the time of her death. While the police have not made any definitive statement so far, media leaks suggest they are investigating the local stories she was following at the time of her death, as also the alleged Naxal anger with her mediating with cadres to come over-ground and surrender.


But truth is the last thing that can deter the comrades when they march towards the socialist revolution. Recall how Rohith Vemula was lionized as a larger than life Dalit, when his father clearly stated that the family was Other Backward Class, and the official enquiry upheld that his mother’s Scheduled Caste certificate was false. Not surprisingly, the comrades never bothered to utter a word about the suppression and deaths of truly deserving Scheduled Caste persons.


The anti-Modi brigade had once conferred ‘sainthood’ to the terrorist accomplice, Ishrat Jahan, but the courts upheld the fact that she was actually a ‘terrorist’.


Still, the radical and secular crowd always scores the first goals because of its ability to ‘beat’ the real investigations and pronounce and tom-tom immediate judgment with great fanfare. They serve their agenda and move on to the next target. The real judgments come years after the event and do not gain the same media traction.


It goes without saying that the murderers of Gauri Lankesh must be brought to book. We need to know the motive behind the killing: personal, professional, related to her work with Naxalites, her exposé of influential state leaders, or any other issue. We need to interrogate the State Government for the poor law and order situation, which is a state subject.


There is some dispute over which agency should conduct the probe when the state leadership is also under a scanner. Interestingly, while a CBI inquiry would normally have been the first demand on the secular brigade, this time they maintained a stoic silence in this regard. Why? Anyway, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has now been set up by the State Government to investigate the matter.


Incidentally, has anyone been named in the probes into the deaths of Dhabolkar, Pansare and Kalburgi? Strangely, their ‘friends’ do not really care; they have already encashed the deaths politically and continue to do so at every opportunity. Now, Gauri Lankesh has been added to the list of usable deaths.


One hopes that the media trial and pre-judgment by Left progressive intellectuals and media does not hamper fair investigations in this case. Gauri had many enemies – personal (property disputes), professional (stories), social (had antagonized some hard core Naxals, as claimed by her brother), ideological (her hate-filled rhetoric on many issues). There could thus be many motives behind her killing.


It bears stating, however, that nationwide, many journalists have been killed by the sand, land, or mining mafias, but there is none to grieve for them. When Dera Saccha Sauda leader, Gurmeet Ram Rahim, was convicted for the rape of two female inmates in his ashram, it came to light that a local journalist, Ram Chander Chhatrapati, who had first exposed the crime, had been shot dead at point blank range at his residence in October 2002. Fifteen years later, the family is still fighting for justice, and till date, not a single reputed journalist, media house, or opposition party politician has espoused the cause.


The radical progressives break their silence only when it suits them, at other times they blackout inconvenient voices.


Nor do they have any consistency. They shout at the top of their voices about minorities’ rights, especially Muslims, but have little empathy for the Supreme Court’s judgement banning instant Triple Talaq which saves Muslim women from the fear of being turned out of their homes at any moment, for any petty reason.


Mercifully, thanks to a robust social media and a few TV channels, other facets of the story also started coming to the fore; else the lies would prevail until the day of the trial and final judgment.


Meanwhile, there is much heart burning over the political hijack of the journalists’ protest meeting at the Press Club of India on 6 September. Jointly organised by the Press Club of India, Indian Women’s Press Corps, Press Association and Editor’s Guild, the event was undermined by the presence of Left politicians like Sitaram Yechuri who were invited by unknown journalists, whose affiliation could hardly be a secret.


Non-aligned journalists were aghast, and then enraged when CPI poster boy Kanhaiya Kumar took the mike. Next in line to speak, Umar Khalid, was restrained from taking the mike! As recriminations grew amongst journalists, with many taking to Twitter to express their angst, the anti-establishment show of strength degenerated into nothingness. Gauri Lankesh could not be cast into an icon of opposition unity for 2019, and returned to size as a regional journalist who crossed paths with regional strongmen.


Hollow cry of the dispossessed elite

Blessed with an inflated sense of impunity, the all-India Lutyens brigade’s oracular intellectual, Ramachandra Guha, pompously declared after Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot that, “It is very likely that her murderers came from the same Sangh Parivar from which the murderers of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi came”. Guha imparted this deep wisdom in an interview to the website, Scroll.in, on 6 September 2017, the day after Lankesh’s death.


The statement is clearly defamatory. Guha’s contention is that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliates (Sangh Parivar) indulge in serial killings of persons who differ with their nationalist ideology, and that the Parivar is behind the premeditated murder of Gauri Lankesh, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M.M. Kalburgi.


All these persons shot to national fame only after they were murdered by unknown assailants for unknown reasons. It is said that they were ‘rationalists’ (whatever that means) who virulently opposed the RSS. If so, the grassroots impact of their ideological affiliation seems to have been negligible on the growth of the RSS and its associated Bharatiya Janata Party; there seems no reason for the Parivar to connive to eliminate them. Murders generally have more personal motives.


What is notable is that their ideological fellow travellers have tried to derive political mileage from the tragedies. Guha’s blaming the Sangh Parivar suggests that the run-up to the 2019 elections is going to be vicious, perhaps even bloody.


Karunakar Khasale, secretary of the BJP Yuva Morcha, Karnataka, has rightly sent Guha a legal notice asking him to apologise or face defamation proceedings. As the deadline for the apology expired without response, Guha has obviously decided to take his chances in court. But he runs the danger of meeting the same fate as ideological comrade Gauri Lankesh, who could not substantiate the allegations she made against BJP MLA, Prahlad Joshi, and was sentenced to six months imprisonment. She was out on bail at the time of her murder.


Yet it is impressive that following the murder, the Left-dominated Lutyens elite, displaced and dispossessed after the verdict of May 2014, instantly composed a narrative of hate and used its media dominance to blame its ideological opponents for the crime. That too, when the police had barely processed the crime scene or examined the footage from the CCTV cameras at Lankesh’s residence. To neutral observers, this smacks of a classic red herring.


Undeterred by such niceties, Guha continued to develop his plot (The Hindustan Times, Sept. 9, 2017) and observed that Gauri Lankesh was unhappy that her home town, Bengaluru, was losing “its progressive and emancipatory ethos”, as women could no longer move freely in ‘public spaces without fear of lecherous goons, fundamentalist fanatics and brainless men in power…’ Surely she knew that Congress was ruling the State since 2013?


Guha argued that Lankesh was murdered six months after writing these views, because “fundamentalist fanatics had long targeted her for her fearless criticisms of the hateful and divisive politics that were threatening to tear her state and her country apart”.


He applauded Lankesh for writing fearlessly in Kannada, but did not mention the miniscule circulation of her weekly tabloid, nor the fact that she seemed to be having serious financial difficulties in running it. He said “right-wing politicians brought an array of cases against her in the lower courts”, but conspicuously failed to mention that she lost the defamation suit filed against her (mentioned earlier). Instead, he posed the rhetorical question, “So she had to be killed?”, and linked her death with the murders of independent-minded writers “detested by right-wing Hindu fundamentalists”.


Guha lambasted Union Minister Nitin Gadkari for denying any BJP-Parivar link with Lankesh’s murder, “How, so soon after the event, can he be so sure?” Surely the question applies equally to Guha who explicitly accused the Sangh of not one, but four, murders. In fact, he went further, “Even if the BJP or the RSS is not directly involved in this and similar murders, there is little question that the ruling dispensation has enabled a climate of hate and suspicion that makes such targeted killings of writers and scholars possible”.


The same day, senior advocate Soli J Sorabjee (Indian Express, Sept. 9) deplored Lankesh’s murder, “apparently not for any personal enmity or monetary gain”. However, Karnataka police are reportedly investigating her provocative articles (not just against the RSS-BJP), personal issues, property and sibling issues (including division of father P. Lankesh’s estate and magazine), and Naxalite and right wing angles.


Sorabjee asserted that dissenters must be free to express their views vigorously, without any lurking fear of incarceration, provided only that that there is “no incitement to violence”. This is odd coming from a former Attorney General of India (Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime), as Gauri Lankesh was sentenced to six months imprisonment by a court of law, for willful defamation of an elected representative. As for her views, social media has highlighted some of her tweets, which are crude and uncultured, to say the least. Significantly, one of her last tweets bemoaned the infighting amongst fellow travellers.


Like Guha, Sorabjee vented his bias that the fact that the killers of Lankesh, Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi were unknown, “points to a war between fundamentalism and rationalism, with the former showing its virulence”. The question may legitimately be asked, how in the absence of any corroborative evidence, did the legal luminary come to this conclusion? Why did he point fingers in one direction only?


Sorabjee concluded with the homily, “Let politics not be injected into the matter”. It’s too late for that. The morning after Lankesh’s murder (Sept. 6), journalists who gathered for a condolence meet at the capital’s Press Club of India, were shocked to find the dais occupied by Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary, Sitaram Yechury; D Raja of the Communist Party of India; CPI poster boy Kanhaiya Kumar, all of whom addressed the gathering even as many senior journalists could not speak. Fledgling leader Umar Khalid was firmly dissuaded from speaking as tempers rose.


The highlight of the event was Shehla Rashid of Jawaharlal Nehru University berating a journalist from a television channel and not allowing him to enter the Press Club premises to cover the event. This leftist hijack exposed the politicisation of the event. The media fraternity was outraged, but a card-holding comrade applauded Rashid, which proves that the lamentations were part of a carefully choreographed political narrative. Truth and facts are for bourgeois fixations.Gauro

“Uniform Civil Code: Drawing the line between religion and law” in TOI Blog

Uniform Civil Code

Amendments have been made in all personal laws, except for Muslim Personal Law which until recently witnessed the Supreme Court’s historic verdict against instantaneous Triple Talaq (Talaq e biddat). As expected, some Muslim religious groups have come together to oppose the Supreme Court’s judgment stating that it interferes with their religion. Massive hullabaloo’s have been ensuing for decades due to religious and judicial discrimination, where do we draw the line?

The infamous Shah Bano case of 1985 was presented in front of a five judge bench, they unanimously decided to overturn the appeal and keep with the High Court’s decision to provide maintenance to 70 year old estranged wife Shah Bano. This decision caused uproar amongst orthodox Muslims who said “This is an attack on our personal law, this is an attack on our religion.” The fear wasn’t limited to one court case, but the subsequent fear of diminishing practices and rituals which they have been practicing in the name of Islam. The fear was overturned with a law which allowed maintenance to be paid only for the period of ‘iddat’. Wasn’t this religious appeasement taking precedence above human rights, above gender equality? It turned out to be a victory of religious groups, and failure of law.

The main conflict that personal laws face is the prejudice and upkeep of patriarchal norms which are in many cases unrelated to the religion that they have risen from. With the exception of Muslim Personal Law, all other personal laws are inching towards an egalitarian approach of treating women with the dignity and respect she deserves. There has come an understanding that maintenance is required by a dependent spouse, a majority of these cases are of women who are dependent on their husband. An understanding has also arisen in the form of changing divorce laws, domestic violence laws, and moreover property succession laws. From what can be seen now none of the religions of India whether it is Hinduism, Christianity, and Parsi’s are facing a threat to their existence. Each religious group celebrates special occasions with full zeal and in respect to their customs and practices, now it’s just done without gender inequality.

In the Supreme Court Talaq e biddat was termed by the opposing counsel as ‘sinful but legal’. Isn’t the word ‘sin’ enough in terms of religion to keep one away from an act that is reprehensible by God?

The question not only arises regarding the process of Talaq e biddat, but when a husband realizes that in a fit of anger he has made a mistake and the toil his now estranged wife has to go through. The aftermath is the horrifying and well known as ‘Niqaah halala’. These funny rules do not empower women, nor does it do justice to a relationship which with each hurdle diminishes the chance to be salvaged.

Whenever a religious group will come forward to take a stand against the Supreme Court’s decision I would like to remind them of the following reasons as to why talaq e biddat is unconstitutional, and an insult to women everywhere. Talaq e biddat doesn’t respect women, it is derogatory, it doesn’t allow a husband and wife to exit the union as they had entered it which is through an equal opportunity to make a sound decision, and it especially isn’t endorsed in religious documents with the vehemence with which its being fought for.

We are living in a progressive world, globally there are so many countries that does not accept Talaq e biddat as a legal method of having a divorce, India being a so called progressive nation is the one country which is lagging behind! Up till now this was done due to appeasement for votes, I hope and believe that the appeasement done henceforth will be based on moral integrity and will create gender justice.


Segregate Mixed Waste to Save Nation and Earth

Waste means anything which is of no use to us and we want to get rid of it , Segregation means Separating

So far what we have seen in India it is a common practice to throw wet and dry garbage together in one dustbin at home , further it goes in mixed form to dump sites. Once garbage is in mixed form it is very difficult to separate it at dump sites after it has rotted for 1-2 days, still poor rag pickers do this job to earn few pennies by segregating dry from wet which has some resale value .

.ag pickers, companies involved in recycling, municipalities so need arises to do basic segregation at source ( at time of discarding). Mixed Garbage attract hungry dogs and cows. Segregate garbage sent wet(biodegradable waste) directly for composting .Mostly people tie plastic garbage that has wet waste , since Cows don’t have hands they eat plastic bags along with garbage.

Landfills in almost all big cities have exhausted their capacity and bursting to seams, Situation is very grim in many cities like Delhi.

Segregation is essential part in Waste Management as mixed garbage is making landfills toxic , give out toxic gases , making underground water toxic .

Throwing mixed Garbage should be made a Punishable offence. India has potential to produce 540 L tones of compost every year from waste, Imagine how much waste we are throwing which has so much potential. Waste management is important because improperly stored refuse can cause health, safety and economic problems.

Urban areas produce more garbage than Rural areas . Call it down side of living in cities there is a marked difference in garbage production in both. Blame it to new life styles, eating habits, use of plastic in daily life .

Waste can be segregated as 

1. Biodegradable and
2. Nonbiodegradable.

Biodegradable waste include organic waste, e.g. kitchen waste, vegetables, fruits, flowers, leaves from the garden, and paper.

Nonbiodegradable waste can be further segregated into:
a) Recyclable waste – plastics, paper, glass, metal, etc.
b) Toxic waste – old medicines, paints, chemicals, bulbs, spray cans, fertilizer and pesticide containers, batteries, shoe polish.
c) Soiled – hospital waste such as cloth soiled with blood and other body fluids.
For all practical purposes and reality on ground If we Indians just do basic segregation at source that will also be a big help in lessening burden on landfills. Nearly 20% of methane gas emissions in India is caused by landfills.  You can Imagine seriousness and why Segregation is so Important.

Only Segregated waste can produce Waste-to-Energy.

Easiest way of waste segregation at source is to have two coloured Dustbins one green for biodegradable waste and another for non biodegradable waste at home, school , market places , hospitals , offices.

Once garbage is segregated at source , dry waste can straightway go for recycling according to their respective character like paper, metal , batteries , plastics, glass etc .

Wet waste can go for composting if composting. Currently there only 46 waste-to-compost plants are functional in country, 283 more are under construction.

While talking about waste segregation we can’t forget a very important feature in whole waste management scheme i.e. Rag pickers. Rag pickers contribute a great deal to waste management as they scavenge the recyclable matter thereby saving the municipality of the cost and time of collecting and transporting this to the dumps.

The rag picker has a special role to play in the segregation of waste in India. He sells all the material he picks to the whole sellers and retailers who in turn sell it to the industry that uses this waste matter as raw material. The main items of collection are plastics, paper, bottles, and cans.

Segregated Waste is a little help towards rag pickers who will not waste energy and time in scavenging for useful resalable? Recyclable garbage.

Some suggestions to Govt

  1. Encourage manufacturing of Biodegradable bags for disposing wet waste.
  2. Make councilors of Municipalities connect with citizens and let them campaign about waste segregation.
  3. Make sure that municipalities don’t mix wet and dry waste after collecting    from source.
  4. Involve rag pickers in a more organized way. Make it an employment opportunity for these underprivileged poor segment of society .
  5. Involve voluntary organizations along with Municipalities.
  6. Organize workshops and train Municipality staff that is involved in garbage collection.
  7. With current situation in country a separate Minister should be appointed for Waste Management with clear Duties and Agenda.
  8. Ban use of plastics, which are difficult to segregate like plastic straws, plastic, spoons and forks.
  9. Promote disposable plates, cups, glasses made up of biodegradable material.
  10. Give more powers to Municipalities and Urban Local Bodies


भारत की किसी भाषा में नैशनलिजम का समानार्थक शब्द है ही नहीं। भारत में जो शब्द है वह है राष्ट्र और राष्ट्रभाव। राष्ट्रभाव का अंग्रेजी मे ठीक अनुवाद नहीे है। जो परम्परायें, जो विषय, जो शब्द पाश्चात्य जगत् के साहित्य मे हैं, वे यहां के जीवन चलन में नहीं हैं।अथर्ववेद के एक मंत्र में भारतीय राष्ट्रवाद के प्रति जो भाव है वह इस प्रकार है-
माता भूमि पुत्रोअहम् प्रतिव्याह ।।
अर्थात् पृथ्वी मेरी माता है और मैें इसका पुत्र हूं।
जिस भूमि पर हम रहते हैं उससे मातृवत लगाव की यह भावना हमारी संस्कृति में हजारों साल पुरानी है। मातृभूमि से लगाव राजनीतिक नहीं है, बाध्यकारी नहीं है। ये उस भूमि के प्रति कृतज्ञता है जो हमारा पोषण करती है, हमारे लिए कल्याणकारी है और इसीलिए हमारी माता के समान है। ये कृतज्ञता, ये लगाव हमारे संस्कारों का हिस्सा है, हमारी संस्कृति का अंग है।
कुछ राजनीतिक दल, जिन्होंने “राष्ट्रवाद“ के मुद्दे को खासतौर से हवा दी है, वो इसे सरकार पर हमला करने के एक सुनहरे मौके के रूप में देख रहे हैं। ये उनके लिए एक अवसर है अपनी विचारधारा का प्रचार करने का, अपनी विचारधारा को सही साबित करने का, उस नेरेटिव को फिर से प्रचलन में लाने का जिसे उन्होंने आजादी के बाद बड़े जतन से पाला पोसा और बड़ा किया है। उनका यह नेरेटिव मूल रूप से राजनीति विज्ञान की पश्चिमी अवधारणाओं पर आधारित है।
दूसरी और सरकार के लिए यह मौका है उन ऐतिहासिक, राजनीतिक, सांस्कृतिक आदि तथ्यों कोे अपने तरीके से पेश करने का जिन्हें अब तक एक खास मकसद से एक खास नजरिए से ही पेश किया जाता रहा है।
मैं एक शिक्षाविद् हूं और व्यवसायी भी। मेरे लिए राष्ट्रवाद राजनीतिक लड़ाई का मुद्दा नहीं है और सत्ता पर कब्जे के लिए धार्मिक मतभेदों को भड़काने का तो बिल्कुल भी नहीं।
मेरे माता-पिता बहुत ही उदार और प्रगतिशील सोच रखते थे। मैं लड़की थी लेकिन उनके लिए मेरी शिक्षा-दीक्षा, संस्कार और करियर मेरे भाइयों जितने ही महत्वपूर्ण थे। लेकिन अपने बच्चों से भी अधिक उनके लिए महत्वपूर्ण थे देश के प्रति वफादारी और ईमानदारी। उनके लिए देश सिर्फ धरती का एक टुकड़ा नहीं था। उनके लिए देश एक ऐसी भावना थी जिसके लिए वो अपना सर्वस्व कुर्बान कर सकते थे। उन्होंने हमें अपने अधिकारों के प्रति सचेत तो बनाया ही, साथ ही यह भी सिखाया कि देश और समाज के प्रति हमारे क्या कर्तव्य हैं। अगर हम इस देश से कुछ ले रहे हैं तो इसे कुछ लौटाएं भी।
देश के प्रति कृतज्ञता, समर्पण और कुछ कर गुजरने का जज्बा। मेरे लिए राष्ट्रवाद का यह पहला और मौलिक पाठ है। मेरे लिए राष्ट्रवाद एक संस्कार है, राजनीतिक मसला नहीं। यह कोई नई अवधारणा नहीं है। मैं यहां आपको अथर्व वेद का वो मंत्र फिर से याद दिला दूं जिसका उल्लेख मैंने आरंभ में किया था – माता भूमि पुत्रोअहम् प्रतिव्याह।
अगर हम देश से प्यार करते हैं और उसके लोगों का सम्मान करते हैं तो इसका मतलब ये नहीं कि हम इसकी मिट्टी को रोज हल्दी चंदन से पूजें या इसके लोगों के लिए भजन कीर्तन करें। मेरे लिए देश से प्यार करने का मतलब सिर्फ यही है कि मैं अपनी सामथ्र्य के अनुसार जितने लोगों का भला कर सकूं करूं, जितने लोगों के सुख दुख बांट सकूं बांटूं। मेरे लिए राष्ट्रवाद का अर्थ है देश के लोगों की सेवा।
मेरे लिए देशभक्ति और राष्ट्रवाद कोई दिखावा नहीं, ये मेरी मूक प्रार्थनाओं और दुआओं हिस्सा हैं।
मैंने राष्ट्रवाद पर बड़ी बड़ी बहसें सुनी हैं और टीवी पर देखी हैं। हमने इसे सिर्फ राजनीतिक विमर्श तक सीमित कर दिया है। पोलिटिकल साइंटिस्ट और एनालिस्ट इस पर शब्दों के अंबार लगा रहे हैं। मेरे लिए राष्ट्रवाद का सीधा सा अर्थ है अपनी धरती से जुड़ाव और उसके लिए कुछ कर गुजरने की भावना। मेरे लिए देशभक्ति और राष्ट्रवाद एक ही सिक्के के दो पहलू हैं।
यह सही है कि देश से जुड़ाव या देशभक्ति के लिए आर्थिक संपन्नता जरूरी नहीं है और ये भी जरूरी नहीं है कि सभी संपन्न व्यक्ति देशभक्त हों हीं। देशभक्ति एक ऐसी भावना है जो हमारे देशवासियों को पीढ़ी दर पीढ़ी पारिवारिक संस्कारों में मिली है। यह देश के प्रति हमारे लोगों का प्रेम ही है जिसके कारण हर भड़कावे, विकृति, और दुष्प्रचार के बावजूद केरल से कश्मीर तक और गुजरात से पश्चिम बंगाल तक हम एक है और एक रहेंगे। मेरे विचार से अगर स्वतंत्र भारत की सबसे बड़ी कोई उपलब्धि है तो वो ये है कि सारी राजनीतिक, भौगोलिक, भाषायी विषमताओं के बावजूद आज सवा सौ करोड़ लोग भारत को अपना देश मानते हैं और खुद को शान से भारतवासी।
भारतवर्ष आजादी से पहले आधुनिक अर्थ में भले ही एकीकृत राष्ट्रराज्य न रहा हो, लेकिन सांस्कृतिक दृष्टि से यह सदैव अखंड इकाई रहा है। आज भी जब हम कोई पूजा-अनुष्ठान शुरू करने से पहले संकल्प लेते हैं तो जिस मंत्र का उच्चारण करते हैं उसमें जम्बूद्वीपे….भारतवर्षे…भारतखंडे आता है कि नहीं? हमारे लिए तो किसी अनुष्ठान का संकल्प भी अपने देश को याद किए बिना पूरा नहीं होता। हमारे लिए तो देश सांस्कृतिक ही नहीं आध्यात्मिक आइडेंटिटी भी है। इसलिए राष्ट्रवाद हमारे लिए देश की आत्मा की अभिव्यक्ति है।
शायद यही वजह है कि लोगों ने सदैव ही राष्ट्रीय अस्मिता को क्षेत्रीय गौरव से ऊपर माना है। देश में चाहे कितने ही राजे-रजवाड़ें रहे, लोगों ने हमेशा खुद का भारतीय ही माना। हमारी आजादी की लड़ाई खुद इसे सत्यापित करती है जिसमें देश के हर हिस्से से लोगों ने अखंड भारत के लिए लड़ाई लड़ी। दुखद बात तो ये है कि कई तथाकथित आधुनिक राजनीतिक विचारधाराएं इसे क्षुद्र राजनीतिक और सांप्रदायिक स्वार्थों के लिए स्वीकार ही नहीं करती।
इसमें कोई शक नहीं कि आजादी की लड़ाई ने भारतीय राष्ट्रवाद में एक नयी ऊर्जा का संचार किया। लोगों ने अपनी भावनाओं और सपनों में बसे भारत कोे वास्तविकता में ढालने का सपना देखा। लेकिन तत्कालीन अंतरराष्ट्रीय परिस्थितियों में, खासतौर से यूरोप में विकसित हुए विस्तारवादी और उग्रवादी राष्ट्रवाद के कारण तबके प्रमुख भारतीय नेताओं ने राष्ट्रवाद के इस भारतीय उभार को सिेरे से नकार दिया और उसे वो महत्व नहीं मिला जो मिलना चाहिए था।
आज फिर मौका है कि हम भारतीय राष्ट्रवाद को विशुद्ध भारतीय परिप्रेक्ष्य में फिर से समझने की कोशिश करें। राष्ट्रवाद का जो अर्थ यूरोप या अमेरिका में है, जरूरी तो नहीं कि वही भारत में भी हो। वैसे भी भारत के सामाजिक और सांस्कृतिक इतिहास और चेतना यूरोप से भिन्न रहे हैं। आज भी हमारी राजनीति और लोगों की सांच वहां से बिल्कुल अलग है। जरूरी है कि हम यह भी समझें कि पश्चिमी राजनीतिक शब्दावली को न तो हम भारतीय संदर्भ में हू-ब-हू अपना सकते हैं और न ही उनका भारतीय भाषाओं में अनुवाद कर सकते हैं। भाषाएं और विचार समाज के विशिष्ट अनुभवों, संस्कृति, भौगोलिक और अन्य परिस्थितियों के संदर्भ में पैदा होते हैं। यही वजह है कि उनका जो ‘नेशन‘ है वो हमारा ‘राष्ट्र‘ नहीं है……. उनका जो ‘कल्चर‘ है वो हमारी ‘संस्कृति‘ नहीं है…….उनका जो ‘रिलीजन‘ है, वो हमारा धर्म नहीं है।
लेकिन दुखद है कि आज राष्ट्रवाद को सिर्फ सत्ता की लड़ाई का हथियार बना दिया गया हैं। निहित स्वार्थों के कारण कुछ राजनीतिक दल इसके मुल तत्व को ही नहीं समझ पा रहे हैं। भारत में राष्ट्रवाद का आधार सांस्कृतिक रहा है लेकिन यूरोप में पूरी तरह राजनीतिक। भारत में राष्ट्रवाद पूरे देश को एक सूत्र में बांधने का उदारवादी साधन रहा है जबकि यूरोप में राष्ट्रवाद राजनीतिक अस्तित्व को बलपूर्वक मान्यता दिलवाने का औजार बना। भारत में राष्ट्रवाद खुद को बलिदान देने की भावना है जबकि यूरोप में बिल्कुल विपरीत है। वहां राष्ट्रवाद विश्वयुद्व का कारण बन गया।
भारत में देशभक्ति और राष्ट्रवाद का विकास ऐसी किसी पश्चिमी आधुनिक राजनीतिक विचारधारा केी वजह से नहीं हुआ। अगर बंगाल से उठा वंदे मातरम का जयघोष सारे देश के लोगों की आवाज बन गया तो इसकी वजह यही थी कि हमारे लिए देश से प्यार राजनीतिक नहीं सांस्कृतिक और आध्यात्मिक चेतना का अंग है। भारत महज एक भूखंड नहीं, भारत माता है, लोगों के लिए वंदनीय अपने संसाधनों से लोगों का भला करने वाली, अपने साधकों को सफलता और समृद्धि का आशीर्वाद देने वाली……..सारे देश के लोगों को एक सूत्र में बांधने वाली।
मै देश के विभिन्न हिस्सों और विभिन्न वर्गों के साथ अपने अनुभवों के आधार पर दावे से कह सकती हूं कि लोगों में राष्ट्रवाद और देशप्रेम की भावना में कोई कमी नहीं है और वो वक्त आने पर इसका प्रदर्शन भी करते हैं लेकिन अब शासन और प्रशासन को और अधिक सक्रिय और जवाबदेह होना पड़ेगा। भारत मां कल्याणमयी है, मगर इसके संसाधनों के ृिवतरण और लोगों की समृद्धि और विकास का कार्य आज हमारे चुने हुए प्रतिनिधियों के हाथ में है। भारत मां आपकी वाणी को सुन रही है, आपके कर्मों को देख रही है। आप उनके कोटि कोटि बालकों का उत्थान और विकास करते हो या शोषण और विनाश, वो आपको इसी आधार पर फल देगी।
इसलिए आज हमें भारत मां के कोेटि कोटि बालकों कोे साथ लेकर, उनकी भावनाओं का सम्मान करते हुए उनके आर्थिक, सामाजिक और सांस्कृतिक विकास के लिए प्रयास करना होगा।
मैं ये भी कहना चाहूंगी कि लोगों के देशप्रेम और देशभक्ति को सहज ही न लिया जाए। सहस्त्रों वर्षों मे पीढ़ी दर पीढ़ी विकसित हुआ ये संस्कार, सूचना तकनीक और आर्थिक विषमताओं के इस युग में एक आलोड़न से भी गुजर रहा है। अब न केवल केंद्र और राज्य सरकारों को नागरिकों के प्रति अधिक उत्तरदायी और ईमानदार होना पड़ेगा, देश के संपन्न वर्ग को भी साधनहीन लोगों के प्रति और संवेदनशील होना पड़ेगा।
हमने भारतीय नागरिकों को उनके अधिकारों के बारे में तो काफी शिक्षित किया है। अब वक्त आ गया है कि हम उन्हें उनके कर्तव्यों के प्रति भी सचेत करें ताकि अधिकारों के गौरव और कर्तव्य निर्वहन की विनम्रता में तालमेल बिठाते हुए हम बेहतर कल की ओर बढ़ै सकें।
अंत में मैं राजघाट पर स्थापित एक शिलालेख का ज़िक्र करना चाहूंगी जिसका शीर्षक है – गांधी जी का तावीज़। हम सबने उसे पढ़ा है। मैं इसे भारत मां का नेताओं और समृद्ध वर्ग के लिए आदेश मानती हूं। इसमें गांधी जी नेताओं से कहते हैं – तुम जब भी कोई निर्णय लो, समाज के सबसे निचले पायदान पर खड़े दीन हीन व्यक्ति का चेहरा याद रखो। सोचो, तुम्हारे निर्णय से उसका क्या भला होने वाला है। मैं मानती हूं कि गांधी जी के रूप में ये भारत मां ही बोल रही हैं। जब तक अंत्योदय नहीं होगा, निर्धन और शोषित वर्ग का भला नहीं होगा, भारत मां दुखी ही रहेगी। राष्ट्रवाद का उद्देश्य सत्ताप्राप्ति नहीं, लोगों की सेवा और कल्याण है और यही होना भी चाहिए।
भारत भूमि अगर मेरी मां है और मैं इसकी पुत्री तो मैं इसे दुखी कैसे देख सकती हूं?
जय हिंद

विदेशी कलम से भारत गाथा

म कौन थे? हम क्या हैं? जब तक इन प्रश्नों के उत्त हम अपने भीतर नहीं तलाश लेते तब तक न तो हम अपनी शक्ति को पहचान पाएंगे और न ही पूरी ताकत के साथ अपना ‘श्रेष्ठ’ दिखा पाएंगे। कई बार हम अपनी ताकत को खुद न पहचान कर दूसरों की नजरों से आंकते हैं। जब हम राष्ट्रवाद की बाद बात करते हैं तो उसका सीधा सम्बन्ध राष्ट्र प्रेम से है। राष्ट्र प्रेम के लिए आवश्यक है की राष्ट्र के प्रति हमारे मन में स्वाभिमान का भाव हो। लेकिन दुर्भाग्य की बात है कि हम अपने राष्ट्र पर गर्व करना भूल चुके हैं। एक लम्बे अरसे से अपने देश को नीचा, पिछड़ा हुआ घोषित करने का एक फैशन सा चल पड़ा है। जबकि हमारा देश एक ठोस ध् ारातल पर खड़ा है। अब जरा भारत की संस्कृति, सभ्यता और ज्ञान को ही लें, बहुतों को लगता है कि यहाँ सब कुछ दोयम दर्जा का है, पश्चिम देशों में जो कुछ है वही श्रेष्ठ है। या जो पश्चिम से आये वही श्रेष्ठ है। लेकिन सच ऐसा नहीं है। फिर भी अगर हमारी कही पर यकीन नहीं कि हम ऐसे देश के वासी है जिस पर हमें स्वाभिमान होना चाहिए तो आइये पश्चिम की नजर से ही खुद को देखते हैं।
पिछले दिनों मेरी नजर एक किताब पर गई। शीर्षक था ‘व्हाट इज इंडिया- नो द आन्सर्स फ्राॅम द वल्र्ड रिनोंड इंटेलेक्चुअल जाइंट्स’। पश्चिमी देशों की महान विभूतियाँ भारत को किस तरह से देखती हैं, भारत के बारे में क्या सोच रखती हैं, जब पढ़ा तो एक कहावत याद आ गई-दिया तले अँधेरा।
जर्मन दार्शनिक मेक्समूलर कहते हैं -‘‘अगर मुझसे पूछा जाये दुनिया में सबसे अमीर देश कौन सा है जिसके पास अकूत धन सम्पत्ति है, शक्ति है, प्रकृति ने अपने सौंदर्य का खजाना जिस पर लुटाया है, तो धरती पर स्वर्ग जैसा हो तो मुझे भारत का नाम लेना चाहिए। अगर कोई मुझसे पूछे वह कौन सा खुला आसमान हैं जिसके नीचे मानव मस्तिष्क ने सबसे ज्यादा विकास किया और जीवन की सबसे मुश्किल गुत्थियों को सुलझाया, जिसकी तरफ देखे बिना पश्चिम के दार्शनिकों प्लेटो और कान्ट से भी न रहा गया-तो मुझे भारत का नाम लेने चाहिये। अगर मैं अपने आप से पूछूं कि पूरी दुनियां में किस साहित्य में अपने आंतरिक जीवन को पूर्ण बनाने, ज्यादा यूनिवर्सल बनाने, सही मायनों में इन्सान बनाने की बात कही गयी है तो एक बार फिर से भारत की ओर इशारा करूंगा। ‘वे आगे कहते हैं-‘अपने अध्ययन के लिए आप अपनी मानव बुद्धि को किसी भी दिशा में दौड़ाएं चाहे वह धर्म हो, पौराणिक शास्त्र हों या दर्शन, कानून हो या संस्कृति, प्रिमिटिव आर्ट हो या प्रिमिटिव साइंस-आप चाहें या न चाहें आपको भारत कि तरफ देखना ही होगा। क्योंकि सबसे कीमती और सबसे ज्यादा ज्ञान का खाजाना भारत में है, सिर्फ भारत में।’’
आपने परमाणु बम के पिता कहे जाने वाले जूलियस आर. ओपेन्हाईमर क नाम जरूर सुना होगा। वे कहते हैं – आज हम जो कुछ मेटा फिजिक्स में देखते हैं, वह प्राचीन भारतीय बुद्धि का ही बेहतरीन उदाहरण और परिवर्द्धित (रिफाइन्ड) रूप है।’’

महान अमरीकी कवि, समीक्षक, दार्शनिक और नोबल पुरूस्कार पाने वाले टी. एस. इलियट जब कहते हैं कि ‘‘भारतीय दार्शनिकों कि सूक्ष्म दृष्टि के सामने गयी यूरो के दार्शनिक स्कूली बच्चों जैसे है। ’’तो हमारा मन अपने अतीत में झँाकने का होता है। अपनी संस्कृति, सभ्यता को नमन कने का मन होता है। जानते हैं विश्व के सबसे महान वैज्ञानिक अल्बर्ट आईन्स्टाईन भारतीय मेघा को परनाम करते हुए क्या कहा था? ‘‘हम उन भारतियों को प्रणाम करते हैं जिन्होने हमे गिनती करना सिखाया, जिसके बिना कोई भी वैज्ञानिक खोज संभव नहीं हो पाती है।’’ वेव मेकेनिक्स के लए नोबल पुरूस्कार पाने वाले आॅस्ट्रिया के भौतिक शास्त्री और क्वांटम फिजिक्स के जनक इर्विन श्रोडिन्गर ने यहाँ तक कहा कि ‘‘पश्चिमी विज्ञान को स्प्रिचुअल एनीमिया से बचने के लिए पश्चिम को पूर्व से ब्लड ट्रांस्फ्सजल की जरूरत है।’’ कोई तो ऐसी बात है भारत में कि जिसे देखकर प्रो. हिरेन ने कहा है-‘‘भारत एक ऐसा देश है जहाँ से न केवल बाकी एशिया बल्कि पूरी पश्चिमी दुनिया अपना अपने ज्ञान और धर्म के स्रोत के रूप में देखती है।’’
फ्रासिसी लेखक और दार्शनिक फ्रांस्वा वोल्तेयर ने सीधे-सीधे भारत का नाम न ले कर गंगा का उल्लेख करते हुए कहा-‘‘मेरा मानना है कि हमारे पास जो कुछ आया है वह गंगा के किनारों से आया है-चाहे वह एस्ट्रोनोमी (खगोल शास्त्र) हो या एस्ट्रोलोजी (ज्योतिषशास्त्र) या फिर अध्यात्म।’’ वे एक और रहस्य खोलते है-‘‘यह जानना जरूरी है कि कोई 2,500 साल पहले पाइथागारस समस से चल कर गंगा तक आया था ज्योमेट्री सीखने के लिए।’’ जिस गंगा के देश ने पाइथागोरस और दुसरे वैज्ञानिकों, गणितज्ञों, विद्वानों और दार्शनिकों को आकर्षित किया उसी गंगा के देश में रहते हुए आज हम अपनी ओर देखना क्यों भूल गए? क्यों अपनी संस्कृति, अपनी धरोहर, अपनी ज्ञान सम्पदा की ओर से मुंह मोड़ कर बैठ गए? यह सवाल बार-बार जेहन में कौंधता है। कौधना भी चाहिए क्योंकि जब हम सवाल नहीं करेंगे तो उत्तर कि खोज में कैसे निकलेंगे? कहा भी गया है-जिन खोजा आतीं पाइया’।
डाॅ0      विनीता   गुप्ता

लेखिका   महाराजा अग्रसेन इस्टीट्यूट    आॅफ   मैनेजमेंट स्टडीज, गुरू गोबिंद सिंह इन्द्रप्रस्थ  विश्वविद्यालय,  दिल्ली में   पत्रकारिता एवं जनसंचार विभाग  में   एसोसिएट प्रोफेसर है।

When GIA Turned One – The First Anniversary Celebration Report

Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA)  has m registered its not – to- be – missed presence in the academic and intellectual circles of the country by working tirelessly for almost a year for the society  by being  sensitive to all the current happenings shaking the collective psyche.

The one-year-old baby GIA celebrated its First Anniversary Programme on  6th   May  2016 at Hansraj College,  University of  Delhi.  The Chief Guest  of the programme was  Manniya Krishan Gopal  ji, the  Sah  Sarkaryawah of RSS, Guest  of Honour Geeta  Munde ji and keynote Speaker,  Monika Arora  ji.

The programme commenced with  the introduction of GIA by Dr. Poonam Kumaria who not only spoke about the objective and mission of GIA  but  very  ably  synchronized the various achievements of this vibrant women group. The group is actively  engaged in organizing seminars, activities and discussions on  sensitive issues  concerning society  like  the  case  of judicial  hanging of Yakub  Memon, JNU  issue  and  respond to other  concerns of social security and  national integration.

Monika Arora,  the  Keynote Speaker  of the programme and  the Convener of GIA, spoke in  her  immaculately aggressive style  about the  rich  idea  of nationalism prevalent in the Indian society  when other  civilizations had not  even  seen  the  light  of day.  She lamented the loss of patriotism as exhibited in the JNU incidence and  the  expression of grief  of the judge  writing the  bail order of Kanhaiya.

Roaringly she challenged those  teachers who have  been  trying to pollute ideas  of students through JNU type  Pathshalas and  divide the states  in  the  name  of religion, customs and traditional  practices. She  warned them  to beware as we are a unified cohesive body and not  different pieces  of a dice  that  can  easily be broken and  divided.

She asserted that  India  is a land  of diversity not in the sense of geographical variation but because of the  presence of multi-races and languages in  the  country which  have  been surviving and  flourishing since ages. Further making a reference to  our  ancient glorious civilization, she  continued that  when other countries were  struggling with  their  search for  fuel  to  cook  their  raw  food,  India  had already created rich  literature like  that  of Vedas. She  further shared about   how  even Muslim dominated  countries like  Indonesia have  been  inspired by  the  Indian ideology, religion and  the  concept of Vedas and  that’s why  they  still worship Ganesha and  Sarswati as  their   deities   of  knowledge,  and   even named their  airlines  as Garuda .

The  brilliant speech  of Monika Arora  ji was followed by an enlightening exuberant lecture  of Krishna Gopal  ji, a true  nationalist and    Seh Sarkaryawah   in RSS, a fluent speaker,  a  w ell-read  man   with   perfect expression, informally called,  ‘Bhai  ji’ or ‘Gopal  ji’. As a social  reformer especially in the  area  of tribal  upliftment, he  began  his speech  with  the  concept of ‘Nation’  which according to him  is not an Indian notion but a perception which  comes with  the differences and the policy of ‘Divide and rule’ by British  imperialism. As the  manipulators of  economic,  geographical,  cultural  and political  resources of the  country, the British introduced the  one-nation concept as  if we were  not  a nation before.

Going into the etymology of ‘Nation’ (formation of colonies  for  others), he  went on  to  explain   that  the  term  is  related to intolerance and  exploitation which  is not the trait  of  India.  According to  him,  Poland, Ireland,  USSSR and   MNCs   are  the  best examples of this  division and  colonization which  flourished because of diversity on the basis of religion, custom, language and colour. We may have limited resources but our personal harmony enables   us  to  maintain unity  and  strength.

He further elucidated that the idea of ‘Nation’ is  nothing but  of  division  and   forming colonies  on  the  basis  of caste,  creed,  colour, race,   religion  and   histor y.   He   further emphasized that  India   has  sustained its religions, scriptures, historical glory  and  its traditions, blending even with other religions. In spite  of many  foreign  attacks  Indians did not lose its identity or disappear like European nations as  Indian society  did  not believe  in  the  uprooted principles of life. It was  possible as Indian soil did  not  just give birth  to  kings  but  to  some  great  spiritual leaders too  who  made humanity fertile  and cherished its  people with  love.  Tukaram, Gurunanak      De v,       Namde v,       Kabir, Vivekanand, Dayanand Saraswati and hundreds of other  names could  be  cited  to prove  it.

After  presenting his  thoughts on  Indian ideology, he  very  beautifully elaborated the meaning of Vande Matram,  which  he  termed as not mere two words but encompassing and signifying the history of India,  which  has the richness of  the  preaching’s of  Krishna in Shrimadbhagwad Gita to sustain the spirituality of India.

He  elaborated on  the  concept of Namaskar also  which  is a  symbol  of Indian tradition which  means ‘we accept everyone wholeheartedly’ and acceptance and salutation to  the  godly   presence  within everyone, not as a sign  of weakness or being inferior  by bending. He quoted widely from Rig Veda, Buddha, Tagore,  Vivekanand and even Atal  Bihari Vajpayee.

After  Krishan Gopal  ji, the  Guest  of Honour of the programme, Geeta Munde ji expressed her concern  on the issue  of disinterestedness of women in dealing with  and  responding to pertinent issues like nationalism. Focusing on the role of women throughout her presentation, she thanked GIA for its marvelous efforts  in  generating intellectual interest in  the  society  about  these  issues  by involving academician and intellectual women through movements and discussions. Concluding her  speech,  she  outstretched a concern     about     maximizing    w omen ’s participation in society and the big responsibility on the shoulders of organizations like GIA.

Congratulations to  all  GIAites,  especially Monika Arora  ji and  Lalita  Nijhawan ji for leading the  baby  GIA  to  newer heights! Expectations of the  society  are  also  soaring to  take  it  further to  cover  many  miles  and reach  innumerable milestones!



The writer is an Assistant Professor, RLA College, University of Delhi

Western Theories of Nationalism and their Relevance to India

When  the  discussion is on        theories        of Nationalism three  theorists should be mentioned amongst the  many  that  have contributed  to   the   field. These   three   are   –   Ernst Gellner, Antony Smith and  Benedict Anderson. Though their theories are detailed and complex,  here it would suffice to lay bare their  core  ideas  and  their  implications for theoretical formulations of Indian Nationalism.

Broadly  speaking, Gellner ’s theory says  that Nations are by products of Industrialisation. He sharply demarcates the era of Nations and Nationalism from  agrarian societies  and places   the   former   within  the   ambit   of modern industrial societies.  Once  formed, cultural homogenisation perpetuates  the Nation. One culture, one language is essential to keep  it together. It is noteworthy that  this has to be a ‘high-culture’. This massive project  then  requires a State.

Anthony Smith also goes with  the formulation that nations are modern phenomena. He however proposes that  they have  an  ‘ethnic-core’.  Economic,  political and   cultural  revolutions are  needed to transform these  ethnic  cores  into  Nations. Smith contends that Nations were first formed in  the  West  and  then  taken  up  by non-  western regions.

Benedict      Anderson ’s      book  Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin  and Spread of Nationalism first  appeared in  1983. Since  that  time  it  has  become  one  of  the standard texts  on  the  topic  of nations and nationalism. Anderson says “In an anthropological spirit, then, I propose the following definition of the nation:  it is an imagined political  community – – and  imagined as  both  inherently limited and  sovereign.

Further, “It is imagined because the members of even  the  smallest nation will never  know most  of their  fellow-members, meet  them, or  even  hear  of them,  yet  in  the  minds of each  lives  the  image  of their  communion.

He  further says  “The  nation is  imagined as limited because even  the  largest  of them encompassing perhaps a billion  living human beings,  has finite, if elastic boundaries, beyond which  lie other  nations. No  nation imagines itself  coterminous with mankind. The most messianic nationalists do not dream of a day  when all the members of the  human race  will  join their  nation in the way  that  it was  possible, in  certain  epochs, for,  say,  Christians to  dream of  a  wholly Christian planet.”

“It  is  imagined as  sovereign because  the concept was born in an age in which Enlightenment and Revolution were destorying the  legitamcy of  the  divinely- ordained, hierarchical dynastic realm. Coming to  maturity at  a  stage  of  human history when even  the most  devout adherents of  any  universal  religion were inescapably confronted with the living pluralism of such religions, and the allomorphism    betw een     each     faith ’s ontological claims  and  territorial stretch, nations dream of being  free,  and,  if under God, directly so. The gage and emblem of this freedom is the  sovereign state.”

On the nature of Nations he says, “Finally,  it is   imagined   as   a community ,   because, regardless  of  the  actual   inequality and exploitation that  may  prevail in  each,  the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship. Ultimately it is this fraternity that makes  it possible, over the past two centuries, for so many  millions  of people, not so much  to kill, as willingly to die for such limited imaginings.

“These  deaths bring  us abruptly face to face with  the central  problem posed by nationalism: what  makes  the shrunken imaginings of recent  history (scarcely  more than  two  centuries) generate such  colossal sacrifices?  I believe  that  the beginnings of an answer lie in the cultural roots of nationalism.”

Anderson also  theorises that  Nations are  a modern phenomena and  are imagined through innovations like  ‘print-  capitalism’. The  spread of  the  printed word enables citizens  of a nation to  relate  across  massive geographical divides even  when they  might not know  each other. Newspapers for instance enable  such  communication. For Anderson, in colonial  states,  ‘Elites’ helped ‘natives’  to ‘imagine  the  nation’.

The perspectives that  all three  theorists have towards  non-western societies   are  very informative. All  three  theorists claim  that Nations  are  a  Western  construct.  P ost- colonial societies would do well to accept this proposition uncritically and  stop  trying to fit into western definitions of a nation. However we  are  at  the  receiving  end  of Academic Imperialism. If you  look at history of human beings in the last one hundred and fifty years, there  is a strong tendency in imperial culture and  imperial practice to  see  societies  which are not European as they see a field. You want to cultivate a field, a field on which something is  growing you  consider wild, what do you do? You’re forced to eradicate everything in the field, and  then  you manure it and  immediately you plant  your  own  seed. If this  is not  done,  then  wilderness will take over again.

We see a lot of resistance to political imperialism, but  for  some  reasons, there  is no resistance to the imperialism of knowledge. Our universities today are all part of that imperialism of knowledge; that whole empire of knowledge that has been constructed over  the  last  one  hundred and fifty years. So we must  look at Western theories of Nationalism as well. Let us try and extend Andersons  idea   of  an  Imagined community, to  India.

So what  does  India  imagine herself  as  and what    is   the   Idea   of   India?   Tw o   clear perspectives emerge in  the  answer to  this question. The  first  is  the  perspective  of colonialism. India   it  is  felt  emerged as  a nation only  in  1947.This  fits  in  well  with Western theoretical assumptions that say that Nations originated in the West or as a native reaction to the West. Along  with  the idea that there  was  no  India,  the  idea  that  there  was no  Hindu is  also  promoted. Much  against recent  researches like  those  of Diana  Eck, it is  felt  that  Hindu ’s  were  nev er  one,  but simply  a loose conglomeration of people following similar  cultures. So, if there  is no identity then  there  is no civilisation as well. For  India,   Identity is  rooted in  Western Colonialism, Language is  English,  again  a Western Language and  History is what  the Colonials  and   their  Indian  comrads will decide.

The second is an anti-colonial Indian perspective. We must  first reclaim  our  rights over  our  History, Identity and  Civilisation. India’s Hindu roots  are  the  roots  of all  her people, Muslim or Christian or Hindu. Once our roots are discovered we will also discover our  Nationhood.



The writer is an Assistant Professor in Miranda House, Delhi University