Branding Divisive Patriotism


A play by the renowned writer Mahashweta Devi , DRAUPADI , Was yesterday enacted in Haryana University turning it into a battleground between right wing organisations and students. Its a story of a tribal woman killed in an encounter by special forces .

It is amusing how every prime time newsroom uses army as a brand for proclaiming a self defined and proffessed nationalism.
Why has it become a fashion for some to question a civilian’s patriotic credentials?
Your one post on facebook won’t make you more patriotic than every other citizen of this country .

What happened to the unsaid rule that the citizenry of a country stands with its forces no matter what ? While you explicitly try to show that your heart bleeds for all the lives lost , you very cleverly try to divide the masses , infuse in them a sense of hostility and suspicion.

Isn’t it easy ?
Human rights violence , rape or anything else … How subtly you link it to army and divide the nation?
Noone asks the question that needs to be asked . It’s not about the institution , it’s about men. Army doesn’t rape , men do . And no uniform gives anyone a clean chit affidavit of impeccable character.
You make it about pro n anti army ?
No one said …
More than the army its about rape, the brutual dehumanizing weapon in the hands of patriarchy and the State .
How cunningly the real issue gets lost in all the Newshours !
When we can question the legislature , the judiciary , the executive , the bureaucracy then what , what is so sacrosanct about the any nation’s army? Is it above the Constitution ?

I wonder when the pseudo nationalists will attack the Supreme Court for its recent ruling on AFSPA .
And this isn’t about Kashmir . Lets talk about north east a change .

Sometimes uniformity and vagueness is actually oneness . When you implicitly demarcate the invisible boundaries of Us vs Them then lines will emerge , cracks develop and organs severed .


Raghuram Rajan – The one Indians couldn’t afford

“Raghuram Rajan is no less patriotic ” – Pm on frankly speaking

Mr Modi ,
We don’t want verdicts from you or from any insane goons of yours on the patriotism quotient of Mr Raghuram Rajan or any Indian for that matter .
Stop being a baniya and calculating patriotism on the MODIMETER of yours.

P.s- We don’t deserve geniuses like Rajan.
P.P.S – stop selling nationalism.
Indians with Commonsense

Mr Swamy please go n settle on Mars . We need patriotic sermons there in case you know how to grow potatoes from your shit .

P.s – Watching Martian

Remembering Nehru

On the death anniversary of Nehru ,while his legacy might have been removed from textbooks , if it’s believed that his work shall be wiped away it is but a complete folly of the doers .

To all those who keep asking what was accomplished in 60 years – my sincere request is to read “India after Gandhi” by Ramachandra Guha. The size of the book maybe intimidating but please do not let that put you off – it is quite an easy read.

Here is an excerpt :

“In the first week of November 1949, the RSS chief, M.S. Golwalkar, addressed a crowd of 100,000 in Bombay’s Shivaji Park. The speech waxed hot on the virtues of Hindu culture. As the reporter put it: He had a cure-all for the ills of the nation: Make Golwalkar the Fuhrer of All India.

A week later Jawaharlal Nehru came to speak in Bombay. The same venue – Shivaji Park. A record crowd of over 600,000 stampeded the grounds to hear him speak. His message was emphatically different, for he spoke of the need to maintain social peace within India as well as peace between warring nations abroad.

A hundred thousand people had come to hear Golwalkar espouse the idea of a Hindu theocratic state for India. But in this Maharashtrian stronghold, six times as many came to cheer the Prime Minister’s defense of democracy against absolutism, and secularism against chauvinism”

And to think that this happened when the wounds of Partition were still raw. Plus Nehru faced the major handicap of being a moderate – and the middle ground is generally not conducive to the stirring rhetoric that compels men to act nor does it draw strength from fanaticism. Nevertheless, Nehru had the statesmanship and nobility of spirit to stand for what is right and take the nation along with him.

What would we have been otherwise? If we had had a leader who took advantage of the various fault lines that divided the newly formed country for his own political gains?

Some would say India may have been better off. But I would have to disrespectfully disagree.



WHAT NOT TO DO AT SSB – A fresher’s perspective

Three months before , I was just me , an individual with a voice and a pen. Well today , I am the the same individual ūüėČ , with just 15 days left to join the prestigious Officer’s Training Academy , Chennai

Since messages , requests have been pouring in for congratulations , for tips , for advices from so many defence aspirants , it’s impossible to separately respond to all . Trust me when I say this … repeaters , hardcore repeaters n then the recommended candidates can enlighten you more about the tricks of the trade , not someone who got an all India rank of 2nd in the first shot.

But still an earnest attempt from my side to share whatever I gathered from this wonderful experience called SSB .

SSB as per me is a game , not just of what you are but how well you are able to express what u think , say and do. Although the 15 officer like qualities are the benchmark of what they check and some of them are just ingrained in some yet some others need to develop it over a course of time.

To cut the long story short I would just get to the point .

1. Screening – The ppdt … No one wants to see or read a flamboyant story . Make sure a simple one with the picture fitting in your story . Don’t go about singing over road safety the moment you see a road in the picture . Make it realistic yet unique
– Since u have just a minute to narrate , get straight to the point . Be crisp , be clear with your pronunciation , speech and the way u present it. Don’t stammer, keep hand gestures in control
– GD –  Its more of a luck wrt your position in the group , but make the best of what you have. After the initial chaos settles , u will notice only a few speak . Take advantage of the 2 seconds and give your points. Ennumerate them if you want. Its better if you try to moderate the discussion by first urging everyone to decide onto a common theme . And then the actor , followed by the action of the story.

* Don’t contradict anyone’s point
* Don’t be adamant upon trying to force your story onto everyone
* Don’t be too aggressive onto the group
*Try to cooperate more than contradict .

2. Psych Test
Day 2 of the ssb , if you make through the screening.
This is mainly a rest of speed and the quickness of your decision making.

TAT – * same as the screening , make sure the picture fits the story .
* Make the story positive .
* Write nearly and DON’T CUT OR CROSS ANYTHING on your answersheet , even if its wrong , try to avoid it .
* have mercy on the psych officer and give him something fresh to read rather than the same old road safety , pollution and awareness camo stories .
*read newspapers daily especially the new govt schemes , you’ll get a lot of ideas .

WAT – *Don’t miss a word , it shows u r confused as u took time to think over a word
* try to avoid preaching, advices , should , must , can , universal facts , general knowledge facts as all this shows u r trying to preach what u can’t do
* prepare beforehand , think , innovate and then write trying to frame positive sentences even out of negative words.
*keep up the speed . Attempt all

SRT – *Don’t assume a problem. If its not implied then its not there
* Don’t write long sentences . Finnish off with crisp phrases showing the subsequent steps in your reaction.
*Don’t showcase your fears . They are checking your courage .
*check what the srt is asking for , which olq , and respond accordingly.
*where u find a conflict between reasoning and courage , ignore the reasoning .
*attempt as much as u can . I did all 60

SD – Self Description
Don’t write a thesis . Just 4, 5 lines are sufficient. The interviewing officer  is gonna ask u everything from it so do a PhD in whatever u write about urself , yourfamily , friends, teachers etc . Prepare atleast 3 examples of any and every quality that u r mentioning in the sd.

3. Interview
* prepare ur piq well in advance and prepare any possible question that can arise from it . Your hobbies , your family , friends , teachers , etc , your own qualities .
* be confident , but not overconfident .
* Don’t show off unnecessarily , the one in front of u is smarter than u r .
*Don’t lie if you can’t justify it. Simply , justify anything and everything you say .
*be to the point . Answer as much as is asked . Don’t be a chatki .
* The most important thing : try to maintain a cheerful atmosphere in the room. Smile often. If you stay serious , he ‘ll make sure that you feel a dementor has sucked all happiness out of you (harry potter fans would understand the pun) .
*your knowledge will help u a lot. Don’t appear a fool . Although a personality test but highly advisable that you be well versed with the current happenings of the country atleast. Read The Hindu . For god sake don’t pick up a glamour coated TOI .
* not just for the ssb , I would strongly advise you to have a balanced opinion about things and issues as a rational person. This country is already filled with fanatic fools and they are doing no good. Atleast the army needs to be cool headed .
* In the wake of the anti national , fake nationalism drama this country is witnessing , for god sake refrain from showing your patriotism in the ssb. We don’t need martyrs but more enemies dead.
* Don’t show your stupidity by glorifying your caste n creed. “Hum rajput hote hain and we don’t keep calm ” . The answer will be a polite Fuck Off from the army .
*strictly speaking … no bhakts ( modi bhakts ) and pseudo intellectuals , etc needed . Keep it all in your pocket.
*Don’t discuss any negative personality issue with the io. Especially when the negative qualities of your parents n friends are asked.
* lie if u have to , but be diplomatic and confident enough to justify it with rational grounds.
*KEEP SMILING and don’t succumb under pressure .

* the only 3 things u need to focus on are
– the military planning
    ~ Don’t contradict the one who gives the group plan. He is the commander and u have to trust and agree to him.
   ~ write ur plan in points or small paragraphs , include all your resources n men .

– the lecturette
  ~think ur ideas well , while u hv time.
   ~atleast 5, 7 . And then just expand them
   ~ be clear and confident about the way you speak , don’t stammer , don’t use hand gestures , don’t choose those My favourite teacher , my favourite actor topics . Grow up please.

– Group Discussion
  ~ the same points as in mentioned in the screening above .
  ~ your knowledge will help u here
  ~ Don’t repeat points
  ~ give innovative points , try avoiding the routine stuff
  ~ speak well , trying to include the non speakers in the group.
  ~ exercise your right to keep silent as well . Speaking 4, 5 times is enough . Let others speak as well.

– Group tasks
~ Don’t stand in the background to just preach ideas , if u have it , implement it. Be a doer
~ if you don’t have any idea , help out the group with executing the ideas . Make urself useful .
~ Don’t try to be bossy and shove everyone out of your way .
~ your group dynamics are being tested and eventually the leader amongst u will emerge .


*during all the other physical tasks , especially snake race , help all the group members to cross over , don’t act selfish .
* doesn’t matter how many individual obstacles u do. Chill n do as many as you can. I did just 5 . Didn’t want to cut my hands n all so no tiger leap for me. Hehe … but yes if you fail while doing a task , don’t give up . Do it again till you succeed .

That’s all about it and overall Euro g the ssb

1. Make yourself indispensable . A humorous , jolly person is like by all and helps you to bond well with ur teammates .
2. Don’t show Off unnecessarily.
3. Try to help your fellowmates to de stress . I kept on making them laugh resultant of which they themselves were marketing me in front of the GTO.
4. Enjoy yourselves . If you worry too much about the outcome your performance in the process would show your nervousness.
5. Enjoy being bored with no technological connectivity. Being bored means being innovative.

© Ambika {Athena}

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Will The Modi Magic Work In US ? Agenda And Expectations

Much has been said and done in the intellectual circles pertaining to the Indo РUS 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!