India Freedom of Speech – Is it really free?

Yeh sab hum sab ke andar hai, hindu mussalman sikh. Hum sab haramzaade hai, hum sab janwaar hai (This is all within us, hindu muslim sikh. We are all bastards, We are all animals)

I’ve been meaning to see a few of Deepa Mehta’s movies and I managed to see two this week, ‘Water’ and ‘1947 Earth’. These two along with ‘Fire’ complete her highly controversial trilogy.

Fire was the first movie released based on love between lesbians. When the movie released, the Shiv Sena party (the fascist moral policemen of Bombay) burnt a couple of theatres in Bombay which were screening the movie on the pretext of it showing Indian society and Hinduism in a bad light. After the initial acts of vandalism the film was never screened again in India. Their judgement was final, obviating any need for a government or a censor board.

1947 Earth the second movie in the series is a very touching story based in Lahore (current day Pakistan) during Independence and Partition. This movie really brings out all human emotions exposing the basic frailty of human nature. There is one scene which was a very sobering experience for me. Amir Khan, one of the leads playing a muslim, is observing the riots from the top of his building. When a mob of Muslims starts killing Hindus in lahore, without realizing it, his mind is suddenly filled with a kinship towards Muslims and hate towards Hindus. On expressing these thoughts in front of his hindu friend he suddenly realizes the effect of mob mentality.

Water (released 2006) is based on India sixty years ago and depicts the life of a socially ostracized widow. This movie, inspite of having all clearances from state and central government, was still vandalized during filming by people of the ruling BJP party, RSS and VHP. They caused extensive damages to the set and crew based on the charge that the movie was showing hinduism in a wrong light (as they felt with the previous two movies).

Deepa Mehta in her short journey of just 3 films may have realized that India is a democracy just on paper. The rule of political power and goondaism is all pervasive.

India has freedom of speech, but there is always going to be a price to be paid.

Urdu shayari and poetry – VI

Check out the rest of the urdu shayari’s on the links on the right of the page.

Jamane se nahi to tanhai se darta hu,
Pyar se nahi to ruswai se darta hu,
Milne ki umang bahot hoti hai dil me,
Lekin milne ke baad teri judai se darta hu.

Kuch nasha to aapki baat ka hai,
kuch nasha to dheemi barsaat ka hai,
humein aap yun hi sharabi na kahiye,
is dil par asar to aap se mulakat ka hai

ho sakta hai anjane mein unhe rula diya…
unhone duniya ke kahne pe hume bhula diya…
hum to vaise bhi akele the…
kya hua agar unhone yaad dila diya…

aapki muskan hamari kamjori hai…
kuch keh na pana hamari majboori hai..
aap kyun nai samajte in assuon ko….
kya khamoshi ko zuban dena jaruri hai

aansuon aankh ki dehleez pe aaya na karo….
ghar ke haalaat zamaane ko bataya na karo…
log muthhi mein namak le ke phira kerte hain….
zakhm tum apne kisi ko bhi dikhaya na karo…

saanp Khushbu ke ahaate mein basa kerte hain….
phool ke peRon ko aangan mein lagaya na karo…
haathh aaye usi lumhe ko Ghaneemat jano….
apni palkon pe koi Khwab sajaaya na karo…

yaad ki tapti hui ret mein jalne do mujhe….
aas ke badlo sir pe mere aaya na karo…
aaj ke daur ka paiGham yahi hai taalib~…
koi gir jaaye to bhoole se uthhaya na karo…

Unke Bewafai Par Wafa hum Karenge
Yaad Ko Unki Dil Se Juda hum Karenge
Itna Chaha Phir Bhi Yakeen nahin
Aise Zindagi Jee Kar Kya Karenge

hum doston ko bhulte nahi hain,
Magar yeh baat jatate nahi hain…
Doston ko hamesha rakhte hain yaad,
hum bhulne ke liye dost banate nahi hain…

Zindagi nahin humein doston se pyaari,
Doston pe haazir hai jaan hamaari,
Aankhon mein hamaari aansoon hai toh kya,
Jaan se bhi pyaari hai muskaan tumhaari !

Urdu shayari and poetry – V

Most of my hits seem to come from people searching for urdu sher’s. So here are a few more coming your way

Jiski yaad mein hum sara jahan bhul gaye,
suna hai vo hamara naam tak bhul gaye,
kasam khai thi jisne sath nibhane ki,
yaaro aaj vo hamari lash par ana bhul gaye.

Tute hue paimane me kabhi jaam nahi ata,
dil ke mariz ko kabhi aram nahi hota,
ae dil todne wale zara itna to socha hota,
ki tuta hua dil kisike kam nahi aata …

humse door hokar bhi hamare pass ho tum,
hamari suni zindagi ki ash ho tum,
kaun kaheta hai humse bichhad gaye ho tum,
tumhari yado ke roop mein hamari sans ho tum

Kismat ruk gayi dil ke tar tut gaye,
woh bhi ruk gayi, sapne bhi toot gaye,
baki rahe apne khazane mein do aasu,
yaad teri aayi to do aasu bhi lut gaye.

Talash karo koi tumhe mil jayega,
magar hamari tarah tumhe kaun chahega,
zaroor koi chahat ki nazar se tumhe dekhega,
magar aankhe hamari kaha se layega.

Yakin mano woh maut bhi badi suhani hogi,
Jisme hamari dosti virani hogi,
Chalo vada raha pehele hum jaenge,
kyunki tumahari swagat ki rasam bhi to nibhani hogi…!!!

na koi kisi ke paas hota hai,
na koi kisi se door hota hai,
Pyar khud chal kar aata hai
jab koi kisi ka naseeb hota hai.

Chand mein dekha to aap dikhe.
Badal mein dekha to aap dikhe.
Taro mein dekha to aap dikhe.
Yaar thoda side mein ho jao to kuch aur bhi dikhe.

Jaanta hu ke bewafa hain who,
Fir bhi dil ke haatho fareb khata hu.
Roz kehta hu ki bhool jaaunga usko,
Roz isi baat ko bhool jaata hu.

Raat hue jab sham ke baad,
Teri yaad aayi har baat ke baad.
humne khaamosh rehkar bhi dekha,
Teri aawaz aayi har saans ke baad.

Woh chand hai magar aap se pyara to nahi,
Parwane ka shamaa ke bin guzara to nahi…
Mere dil ne suni hai mitthi si awaaz kahi,
Aap ne hume pukara to nahi….

Zindgai udaas hone ka naam nahi,
Dosti sirf paas hone ka naam,
Agar tum door rehkar bhi hame yaad rakho.
isse badkar hame koi enaam nahi..

Book Review – Lajja (Shame)

Lajja, The Controversial novel by Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin, is a savage indictment of religious extremism and man’s inhumanity to man

For people who aren’t familiar with the book, Lajja is a book by Taslima Nasrin recording events in Bangladesh after the babri masjid demolition in India. For expressing her views, there was a fatwa taken out against her in Bangladesh. Taslima is currently in exile in India while the government dilly dally’s on her citizenship application.

December 6 1992, Hindu Fundamentalists converge at Ayodhya to bring down the Babri Masjid believed to built on the birthplace of Hindu God Ram. These events gave rise to Hindu-Muslim riots all over the country.

The anger spilled over into the neighbouring countries, Muslims in Bangladesh took out their anger against the minority Hindu community.

I knew Lajja had a lot of historical baggage associated with it and the book holds back no punches. It is a very touching story about a family caught in the widespread riots in bangladesh. I had read about the troubles in bangladesh, but never imagined the widespread reaction to an incident in another country.

The chasm between religions seems to be looking out for any reason to widen further. Taslima had to flee her country because fundamentalists in her country could not accept her voiceing an opinion.

For anyone researching into the events revolving around Babri Masjid, this book is a must read. At the least you come away with the senseless nature of human intolerance and extremism.

Gospel of Judas

National Geographic announcement of the discovery of the gospel of Judas has put to question a lot of the assumptions on which Christianity is based on.

Judas who is believed to have betrayed Jesus, was actually acting on his instructions. The gospel of Judas along with those of Thomas and Mary Magdalene were deemed as gnostic and heretical by the early roman church and most copies were destroyed.

However with these revelations, the whole theory that jesus acts were based on divine intervention is put into doubt. This also lends more credibility to the theories put forward by the authors of ‘Holy Blood Holy Grail’.

Some of the more sensational theories were that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a child (giving rise to the Merovingian dynasty) and that Jesus staged his own crucifixion.

Though none of these theories should affect christianity as it is based more on principle, but it does question the motives of the church and possibility of fraud perpetuation for personal gain.

On a personal note, since I’m against all organized religion, hopefully we soon see the fallacy of basing life on religion.
Karl Marx once said ‘Religion is the opium of the people‘.
It’s time to stop looking for our fix.

Selective Democracy

A few days back in the year 1959, a monk called Tenzin Gyatso, crossed the himalayas after a 15 day trek taking refuge in India. His flight against Chinese oppression would have gone unnoticed, if he wasn’t the Dalai Lama who had to flee after the Chinese Red Army invaded Tibet.

2003, America invades Iraq with the promise of bringing democracy in Iraq and the middle east. With more than 30,000 civilian deaths iraq is no closer to democracy with the real chance of internal civil war.

1994, Jean Bertrand Aristide the president was overthrown in a coup allegedly supported by the CIA (like Pinochet and various other dictators). The election which Aristide won with a two-third majority was called the most honest election ever conducted in Haiti.

2006, Hamas wins elections in Palestine. Several United Nations observers testified it to be a fair election, however most of the western world has refused to recognize hamas as the ruling party.

There is no question that it is now a uni-polar world with America calling most of the shots, but it is surprising on how losely democracy is used and promoted based on need or usefulness.

I had visited McLeodGanj where the Dalai Lama and the tibetan monks are currently living in exile (missed meeting him by a day unfortunately), and though my definition of democracy doesnt seem to match with the policy makers in DC, but after 45 years, has Tibet earned the right to practice democracy?

Trip Down Memory Lane

It’s 3 am and I’m on a major trip down memory lane. I’ve come across so many memories which have been almost forgotten.

Growing up is over rated, it may nice going back to the uncomplicated times of growing up in India in the 80’s and 90’s.

Television had just come in, I remember our first black and white television. I remember the amazement with which we used to watch Door Darshan the national channel and the only one running at the time. It used to run only for a few hours a day with the remaining time filled with a shrill sound and multiple stripes to fill up the screen.

Those were the simpler days

Sundays used to be for mythological serials where the entire country used to sit together to watch ramayana and mahabharata at a later time. Since tv wasn’t a major part of daily life, all the kids used to get together to play different games like cricket, football, gotis (raja rani), l-o-n-d-o-n, hide and seek.

Those were the simpler days

Then we had two channels.. DD1 and DD2. Cricket matches got split between both the channels during NEWS. A lot more episodes started running.. buniyaad, bharat ek khoj, dekh bhai dekh, malgudi days, tenali rama. Summer holidays meant episodes of Fraggle Rock, Giant Robot, Dee Dee’s comedy show.

Those were the simpler days

School was a lot more fun. Friends to be met. Fr Agnels was tough but it has made me the man I currently am. The only worry was being made to stand outside the class and being scared of Father Almeida walking by and noticing you. You would always be scared to talk to girls. Bring your lunch not to eat it, but exchange it with someone else’s lunch that you fancy.

Those were the simpler days

When you really look back there are so many memories that have been locked away in the vaults of your mind. Things will never be the same again, but its nice being nostalgic for a different era sometimes. I’m sure when you look back to your formative years you’ll have your memories of those days ….. those simpler days …