From Cynicism To Admiration- Why An Ex Critic Is Saying That India Needs Modi ?

One year back I was the one person who was cynical about Mr Modi . Cynical to the point that had turned to hatred. A part of that hatred was a result of the tarnished image of his being associated with the RSS and a part because of the crony capitalism that I could foresee.But today a lot has changed . Although I am not enchanted by the magical persona that he exhibits or the excellent skills of oratory but even beyond that I am forced to think that there is something about this man which has the power to move the masses.

I write this post to all those people who are cynical or critical of him. Its ok to be critical , its ok to not blindly follow what the crowds are following but if that cynicism turns to hatred that is blind , that is where you need to stop and open your eyes.

The recent visit to the silicon valley , or even to all other countries that he undertook has been an eye opener for me. I remember my uncle going to singapore and telling me that the moment he mentioned that he was an indian people started greeting him with sounds of ‘Modi! he is so awesome’ and thats when he told me that he did feel proud. My brother staying in London says he used to feel ashamed when all the newspapers in London reported the commonwealth scam and tore the dignity of India into pieces. Its not the same anymore. So I wanted to enlist few points that I think his critics need to get over with because after all we all want whats best for India.

  1. Stop Complaining About His Oratory – He is a great orator and none can deny that fact. When Obama fought for US presidential elections for the first time people were moved by the conviction by which he spoke. Reciting his speech of change at a declamation competition even won me the 1st prize. Then why not Modi. What happens on ground is a different reality altogether but you can’t ignore the fact that we need words of fire to instill in a common man the sense of leadership. Can you imagine our freedom struggle taking the shape of a mass movement without the explosive speeches of Tilak, Nehru or Bhagat singh?
  2.   What Is The Harm In Collaborating To Learn- I may not be an IITian or from Oxford, does that make me incapable, or lesser intelligent ? Does my learning German from a 6 year old kid make me Inferior? Did not the west learn from India ? Didn’t we give it to them – The number system, the zero, the vedas , the science? Then why now do I hear dissenting voices that say ,” Modi , stop going to US and begging for investment”. Well I have the perfect answer for you. Stop taking everything on your ego. India has been known for modesty and shall always be. Accepting the fact that we have lacked behind them and acknowledging that there is nothing wrong in seeking investments to grow. We are seeking and creating resources not demanding alms and charity
  3. Technology And Internet Belongs to The World – The bid for pulling India out of ignorance and poverty can never be possible without technology. Technology and especially Internet doesn’t belong to US but the whole world. I was impressed by Modi and Mark’s dialogue that revolved mainly around how the vision is to spread connectivity and knowledge around the world.
  4. India’s Image Needs To Be Changed- Perception matters, and it matters a lot. When top CEO’S show trust in the new govt, when his words echo around the world making a noise that India is rising , perceptions change and they leave a huge impact. I agree that we need to MAKE INDIA before MAKING IN INDIA but like democracy trickled down to the otherwise ignorant Indian masses, the technology and fruits of Industrialization shall trickle down as well.
  5. Inclusive Development Over Crony Capitalism – The trust deficit that the people have in the govt needs to be bridged. The trust deficit that the investors have while investing in India needs to be bridged. I am not supporting crony capitalism but neither do I advocate Stalin’s communism . What I envision is Gandhian socialism. Agreed, that capitalism is filling the coffers of the rich but then isn’t it the duty of the govt anyways to ensure equitable distribution of resources? Isn’t it somehow fare that meritocracy should prevail and that hardwork pays off?  Let the government ensure that there is level playing field for everyone who competes with sincerity and merit rather than giving free lunches to the lazy bones.                                                                                                                          And so lets take pride in being Indians , pride that our glory is being seen yet again after millenniums of darkness . Lets march as lions to reclaim what is rightfully ours.                                                                                                          As Swami Vivekananda has rightly said,” Come up, O lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal; ye are not matter, ye are not bodies; matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “It is the same India which has withstood the shocks of centuries, of hundreds of foreign invasions of hundreds of upheavals of manners and customs. It is the same land which stands firmer than any rock in the world, with its undying vigour, indestructible life. Its life is of the same nature as the soul, without beginning and without end, immortal; and we are the children of such a country.”

To The Brave Son Of The Soil

shaheed-bhagat-singh-wallpaper

“शहीदों की चिताओं पर जुड़ेंगे हर बरस मेले
वतन पर मरनेवालों का यही बाक़ी निशाँ होगा

कभी वह दिन भी आएगा जब अपना राज देखेंगे
जब अपनी ही ज़मीं होगी और अपना आसमाँ होगा”

May lions like you , be born a million times …
May the ferocious power of truth and valor triumph in milleniums to come…
May this country’s youth forever , not just remember your sacrifice but fill it in every drop of our blood,
To a soul so divine I pay my homages
‪#‎Birthcenetary‬
Inquilab zindabad We breathe this air of freedom because you payed the price of it but until we break the chains that bind our souls shall we forever remain slaves to lies and hatred and cowardice!

Will The Modi Magic Work In US ? Agenda And Expectations

Much has been said and done in the intellectual circles pertaining to the Indo – US relations. After the onset of the new government and the rise of Mr.Modi as the face of India the Indo-US relations have seen a major, if not a drastic shift. The presence of a strong leadership at the center definitely has improved the bargaining capacity of India and made it  a major stakeholder in the global arena.

So what are the agendas and expectations that come with this visit to US? For the record the first Modi-Obama visit was more so a state visit unlike this, which is a work on progress.

The main agenda that stems up from this visit is the increase of bilateral trade with us up to 5 times .Also keeping in mind that the US is the buyer of Indian services and we have a trade surplus with the US , that can be furthur  enhanced to strengthen ties and to improve upon the bargaining capacity of India

Gauging the historical ties one may find that the 1992 leap of the Indian economy and the LPG reforms were possible only because of the US. As in the case of India there has been The backward penetration of the IT sector. The opening up of the markets in 1992 led to India making the IT services for the US which resulted into IT penetration into India as well. So IT as always will be the strategic sector driving Indo-US cooperation.

India is the rising star in the global economy and a major investment destination to many MNCs . Modi’s silicon valley visit is expected to boost the campaign of digital India back home. As the land of start ups and the cradle of technology in the world it can reap many benefits to the Digital India programme. From pitching in new ideas and innovations to attracting investment , modi’s visit to the silicon is a big step towards digitization . Also he may bank upon the growing Indian diaspora in the valley.

It is high time that India looks beyond IT sector and becomes an effective exporter of goods to US . Also since US is so keen on selling arms to India it has formed a country specific arms cell for India in the pentagon. India must effectively utilize this option to not just purchase arms but also to develop its own capacity building into making of arms and ammunition.

What Mr. Modi should aim at is a defense trade and technology initiative.

Mr. Modi’s visit to Tesla is another important facet which clearly shows the agenda of embarking on new horizons in the field of Renewable energy . Tesla has been achieving new breakthroughs in the field of solar energy , especially the making of solar batteries . This is a wonderful opportunity to drive home the technology which will become useful for the smart city initiative.

The Indo- US start up summit is also expected to give a huge boost to the Indian entrepreneurs to get global investment and recognition and also exposure on such a huge scale. But the Indian government would have to keep in mind the ease of doing business index which ranks India fairly low. The trust deficit faced by the investors has to be checked and reduced by removal of policy paralysis and steps towards single window clearances etc.

The whole plethora of indo -us relations has been a package of security, economy and environment and amidst all this the grappling question that Mr. Modi has to deal with is that what would it take him to pitch in US for the permanent UNSC seat to India ?

The cards are on the table and overall its  a positive outcome that is expected to come out of this strategic visit. The only winning point remains is India’s bid to a permanent UNSC seat and that too with a VETO!

Feminine Fury

In the shine of the stones she finds her reflection,
In the tinkling of bangles she hears her voice ,
In the subtle grace these bangles carry ,
She lets it awaken … Her feminine fury !

I AM INFINITE

If u name me, you negate me . If u put a label , a tag on me you possibly negate all the infinite things I may be capable of doing . And such firm is my belief in my infinity that even the name I posses sounds absolutely redundant .
‪#‎Athena‬

Writers Share Madness

“How can I tell them I LIKE being high?
Being high on these euphoric bouts of stimulated thoughts
being high on arguments with a loved one…high on the words of wisdom and the stale fragrance of old pages …
And I feel dull when asked to conform to protocols… to norms … and to the rut of career and life… I feel robbed of my creativity. I feel robbed of who I am, or rather who I was”

Writers should never marry; writers should live alone, exist alone. It is absolutely insane to sit and talk to people who are not there. It is absolutely insane to sit alone and slave over words, try to articulate existence to an unseen audience. Only crazy, solitary people talk to people who are not there. And isn’t it fine to not destroy others with your madness?

WHY INDIA DESERVES THE PERMANENT MEMBERSHIP OF UNSC ?

UNSC is one of the highest decision making body over peace and security of a region. Originally it had 4 permanent members later china was included in 1963. Since then no reform has taken place. The UN General Assembly on Monday adopted a negotiating text by consensus for the long-pending Security Council reforms, setting the stage for talks on the issue at its 70th session beginning Tuesday, boosting India’s bid for a permanent seat in the revamped world body.

The question arises, why the reforms needed?

1.Geo-politics have gone a sea-change
2. Over 2.5 billion population has increased
3. Increasing threats from extremist groups
4. ARBITRARY utilization of power such as the US invasion of Iraq without UNSC’s authorization etc
5. Political bias over highly disturbed regions

Presently the 5 permanent members are all developed nations and consequently it has been seen that the interests of the developing countries are often undermined be it nuclear issues or climate change. India being a land off different communities and cultures would be able to project their view in growing discrimination over the world over various issues.

India’s support in the peace keeping mission has much more significance as compared to other member which shows willingness to create a peaceful environment in the world . In fact India’s peace keeping forces are more than those combined of the 5 permanent members.

India itself is facing territorial and border disputes with neighboring countries , a permanent position will further help to resolve this issue. The major opposition with respect to the grant of permanent membership is coming from China and Pakistan. Its imperative that the rising hegemony of China in the Asian subcontinent is checked or else there’s every possibility that we might head to a 3rd world war or even a cold war for that matter. Also the growing relations between china and Pakistan are not good for the overall world peace.

One of the largest and young democracy India has set an example as to the smooth and non violent transition of power into the hands of people. And the way it has been carrying out the processes and institutions of this democracy is commendable and shows India’s rise as a very capable and mature state.Apart from being the 3rd largest economy which has till now successfully withstood the global economic depression India also has the 3rd largest standing ARMY and is a Nuclear power state.And lastly India has made a mark for itself in the field of space technology , achieved a feat that was up till now the reserved domain of the P5.

Despite all this , if the US and China think that they shall hold India back from the UNSC it shows their insecurity and ill intentions to hold the power and misuse it as they have been doing till date. My India is a star and it shall shine the brightest as always . US n China or any despot for that matter can go to hell.
JAI HIND . JAI BHARAT.

The Debate That Is Shaking India – Who Are We Fighting In Our Battle Against Sexual Violence?

To begin with let me draw your attention to Sunitha Krishnan, the activist leading the #ShameTheRapist campaign, filmmaker Leslee Udwin (“India’s Daughter”) and journalist and editor Barkha Dutt, discuss the politics of shame and stigma in India during the Women in the World summit in New York City. While the internet and media is all gaga about the fierce response that Barkhaa dutt gave to the anchor of the show defending her country and the so called western propaganda associated with shaming India as the land of rapists , it was much more than that that grabbed my attention.

  1. Hearing Leslie Udwin all through the debate I could feel the goosebumps that I got from the conviction that i saw in her eyes. The conviction towards a cause that was so dear to not just an Indian or american but to each n every citizen. I was  awed by the humility and the attitude by which she out-rightly refused to be called as a British, claiming to be a global citizen. Well in this era of technology aren’t we all global citizens as well?
  2. I guess we Indian’s can never get away from that mental sickness of ” LOG KYA KAHENGE”. What the intent of creating that video was not shaming India . The video was to shame ALL THE RAPISTS. The video was to shame the sick justifications that we , our families , our ministers give to justify the causes of rape.
  3. I would even go to the extent of treating that documentary as a tribute to all those hundreds of men and women who flocked the roads, braved the atrocities and sent a loud clear message to this world that ITS NO LONGER THE INDIA OF SATI AND DRAUPADI ITS THE INDIA OF DREAMS , HOPES AND CHANGE. Have you ever seen a protest of such scale in a UK or USA ? How come you didn’t see that those people protested because in India we still respect our women and that we as young men and women are brave, very brave to rise above everything and even slap our own skewed traditions or mindsets that bring us this shame? The world must have been proud of India .
  4. During that one month every Indian on the street ,was not fighting for Nirbhaya or for the Indian women, but the woman of the world. They fought for the divine feminine.
  5. We are not talking about America or India, we are talking about the garbage that we feed into the minds of our children boys and girls. The rapist’s response was reflective of that. Of course we know that was what it was supposed to be , but tell me truly haven’t you heard the same exact lines spoken by your fathers and brothers about not going out after dark, about not dressing up in a particular way. Haven’t you seen how all the movies bollywood/hollywood potray a well groomed , well behaved woman getting the love of her life and someone like Veronica (Deepika padukone) of cocktail left loveless.So its we who have taught a thinking like that.
  6. Coming to Barkhaa, she was equally good in clearing the air about India’s image that has been portrayed to the world and I really appreciate her for that , for highlighting the intrinsic values that the modern India holds and attaches to womanhood. I personally feel that the west does no good in terms of equality of woman. Be it Hollywood or anything else for that matter what is this obsession over the parameters of beauty that they set for a woman. why can’t the accept that being a nerd is okay? Why has the monster of capitalism grappled them to an extent that they are completely blind to the other necessities of humans?Why don’t you look at the India where now parents put their everything at stake to educate their daughter, give her her dreams ? Do you see that in america ? I am proud to belong to a country where  families would go extra mile in the face of a crisis to cushion the person.Where they would sell of their own luxuries to see their children become doctors and engineers.
  7. The comments of the lawyers were enough to infuriate anyone. We might not accept but deep down we all know how many times have we heard these remarks from our near and dear ones. Sometimes it takes a bomb to make the deaf hear and shock to make the world respond!
  8. Lastly what one sees is the solidarity and oneness with which these two women stood with each other. Beyond boundaries united for womanhood and with a hope that world needs to be united against a change.

We fight against the devil of our own creation . We fight against the devil in us.

-Athena

Why I Love My Scars – My Refusal To Move On

Since the time I have known why a man is a man and a woman a woman and that’s practically never , I have been told, we all have been told to forget the past and move on. From the bad scores at school where your mom used to say,”No worries beta, forget it and next time do well” to the screwed relationship we have had , where even if you are not suffering from the breakup syndrome any Tom, Dick and Harry would pat your back saying,”leave it man, bhool jaa and MOVE ON”. Its the same story everywhere all the time. 

Since the time I was a kid I had this amazing fascination with wounds. Not that I was a sadist but somehow they made me feel brave and proud. A brawl there, a fight here, a scratch there and stitch here … It all hurt so bad and the blood was horrible but the scars … Oh the scars ! How much I loved them! Its weird but its me. Subtle, vivid reminders of the pain that I had felt but more importantly ENDURED and SURVIVED. Reminders of the putting up a fight even in situations where I had a chance to escape. Reminders of holding on… of hanging on … of not leaving the ground even when it was ruthless and brutal to me. 

Its still the same. I still see the scars on my body with the same delight and awe. I still love them. I still treasure them. And my fascination with scars has only grown… from my body to my heart , to my mind , to soul. I have had my heart wounded and battered since the time didn’t even know that we have a heart. From my near ones to my elders they made sure it turned dark, trampled and fearful. From the first man that I looked upto and the first man that I fell in love with the nature, the circumstances, the destiny made sure that I was betrayed all the time, that I was crushed and humiliated further and that I would have a past that would want me to hide that part of my life in a closed suitcase. But I choose to differ from the expected consequences of the circumstances and events. So I choose to keep my wounds fresh, exposed and not hidden in the bandage of ignorance and oblivion.I choose not to forget them because they are my gems of wisdom that have made me wise. My tests that have nurtured my intellect and built my character. My lessons that have been bestowed by the guru called life and I don’t forget my lessons.

I choose this because I have never seen a lion cover his wounds. They are there… open, unkempt , exposed , vulnerable … and yet the nature heals them in its own ways , by its own magic and LEAVES BEHIND THE SCAR. So to all those who think that I am exposed because they saw my wounds, that i am weak because I bleed , that I am defeated because you injured me … sorry to say but I will have a proof of my bravery once these wounds heal … MY SCAR … and what shall you have to prove your oppression and power ??? NOTHING 

And yet I am not writing this for myself. This is for every heart that has been broken, every soul that has been burnt, every eye that has shed a million tears . My pain may be nothing as compared to yours , but my words are as as true as you all would want me to be. Don’t move on ! Don’t forget what happened , don’t throw away that memory of that heartache, that betrayal that exploitation away. Dive right into that sea . Find your pearls of wisdom and then treasure them forever.

Don’t hide your wounds, don’t be ashamed of the wrongs that happened to you, neither of the mistakes you did , nor of the times you were hit… Let the wounds lay open , let the nature work its magic and LET YOUR SCARS SHINE !!!

-Athena/Ambika