Hindustan Times shutting down editions – it’s dangerously lazy to blame demonetisation

Standard

A couple of days back, some people on Twitter posted about speculations over Hindustan Times closing down several of its city editions. On the same day, reports claimed that Hindustan Times had decided to shut down its business bureau. Now it appears that both the speculations about the paper shutting down some of its city editions and its business bureau are correct, as the media company has not issued any denial so far.

As per a ‘leaked’ letter being circulated, the newspaper has decided to close down its Kolkata, Bhopal, Indore, and Ranchi editions. It’s not yet clear what happens to the journalists employed for these editions i.e. whether they would be absorbed into the main business or would be laid off. If chatter among the media community is to be believed, most probably they are going to lose their jobs. Continue reading

Narendra Modi has forgotten the 2014 elections, and this is why he has done that

Standard

In May 2014, Narendra Modi recorded an unprecedented victory in the history of contemporary India. I have deliberately called it a Modi victory rather than a BJP or NDA victory, because it indeed was victory of a personality called Narendra Modi.

While hardly anyone gave Congress any chance of it returning to power, and people talked about Modi wave, no one knew about this Modi tsunami that would strike the pollsters, some “intellectuals”, and of course, the Congress party.

People just couldn’t stop talking about 2014 after the results were out. Well, even otherwise it was a hotly debated election, but the results made it burning hot. How it happened, why it happened, does this change India forever, and all kinds of things were discussed.

Whether Modi haters or his ‘bhakts’ – both love to go back to the last general elections, and remind or warn each other that it will repeat or it will not repeat in 2019. Books were written and are still being written about the 2014 elections.

It’s been around 30 months now, but it appears that most people can’t get over the 2014 verdict yet.

Except one man – Narendra Modi himself. Continue reading

A short passage on ‘introspection’ from a ‘right winger’ to ‘liberals’

Standard

“The meaning of nationalism has been reduced to a joke by fans of this regime. Anyone criticising the government is branded anti-national. This is a dangerous trend that can’t be good for healthy democracy at all.”

So said a self-declared liberal person. And it’s not a new grouse. This has been being repeated ever since the JNU incident came to light in the beginning of this year, where the government unwittingly made a lout like Kanhaiya Kumar a hero for the self-declared liberals. Continue reading

Why the so-called liberals forced Paytm to take off an ad

Standard

In India, more than being a liberal – where you are willing to accommodate dissenting voices – it is important to appear a liberal – where you shout every hour that you’re liberal and thus drown out the dissenting voices.

This shouting is a form of virtue signalling that helps people with otherwise sad credentials to aspire for respectability in a particular social circle.

And a lot of so-called liberals indulged in collective shouting yesterday after mobile wallet brand Paytm released an ad that hurt their guilty conscience. Continue reading

This is why bodies like Muslim Personal Law Board oppose Uniform Civil Code

Standard

One of the oft-repeated arguments put forward against Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is that this is against the fundamental right to practice one’s religion. It is argued that the act of the state to legislate in matters, which ought to be governed through religious texts, is an attack on religious freedom.

Outwardly it might appear so, but in practice, UCC doesn’t take away any religious freedom. Yes, it takes away the rights of religious bodies to control a group – and that’s why those who fancy themselves as representatives or leaders of a religion are opposing it – but it doesn’t strip an individual his freedom to follow certain religious practices or rules. Continue reading

The problem with ‘reforms must come from within among minorities’ argument

Standard

Last week, the government took a stand in the Supreme Court against triple talaq, arguing that such practices were regressive and needed reconsideration. Around the same time, the Law Commission of India issued an appeal (pdf link) seeking public consultation on the issue of Uniform Civil Code (UCC). Continue reading

The ‘problem’ with Islam – a short analysis

Standard

Every religion has broadly three aspects:

Mystical: Pertaining to mythology and supernatural aspects of religion. This could be the basis of creativity as well as of blind faith and non-scientific temper.

Socio-political: Pertains to how the society should behave and be governed. This aspect gives rise to civil and criminal laws and deals with people on an aggregate level.

Philosophical: Pertains to ideas like ethics and morality. The socio-political aspect is in a way dependent on this, after factoring time, and together they form culture. Continue reading

Where is the Ambedkar that Islam needs? And it needs one badly

Standard

Every time there is some news report on caste atrocity by the so-called upper castes, our “liberals” never fail to remind us of the ‘ugly reality’ of our society and the Hindu religion. Hinduism is reduced just to caste. And due to the evils of caste-system, Hinduism is declared the most violent society in the history of human civilization.

Now contrast the reactions to those when every time there is some news report about an act of terror carried out by a Muslim group or an individual. The same set of people never fails to remind us that all religions are the same. Islam is reduced to ‘peace’ (even though its literal meaning is ‘submission’, not peace). And due to merits of peace, Islam is declared just as peaceful or violent a religion as any other in the history of human civilization.

The reactions might appear totally diverse but there is one commonality – the response (attack on Hinduism in the former case and defense of Islam in the latter case) is carried out ostensibly to protect a set of people (the lower castes in the former case and the Muslims in the latter case).

The victim in a case of caste-atrocity is the person from lower caste (obviously), while the victim in a case of terrorism becomes the Muslim who might have to face persecutions due to ensuing Islamophobia (umm…).

Essentially the liberals end up fighting the crime yet to be committed when it comes to Islamic terrorism.

And this is why the problems within and around Islam are never discussed. Those who raise the issues with Islam after a terror attack are painted as perpetrators of Islamophobia – a crime the liberals were already geared up to fight. It works like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Continue reading

When “liberals” targeted my family for cracking jokes on Congress leaders

Standard

Recently an interview of filmmaker Shirish Kunder, known for making comedy movies like Tees Maar Khan and Joker, was being shared by a few “liberals” on Twitter. Kunder, who was often target of their ridicule earlier, has suddenly become a role model for them because of his frequent anti-Modi and anti-BJP jokes and tweets.

One paragraph from his interview caught my attention. The same paragraph was shared by the so-called liberals too with much enthusiasm. In his interview, Kunder claims that no one was attacked online for cracking jokes against Congress leaders. Continue reading

It is not just Barkha vs Bhakts, it is also Barkha vs Gunday

Standard

Barkha Dutt, the celeb journalist from NDTV, has written a book and it’s getting negative reviews (one star) on Amazon, by scores of people who have most probably not even read a sentence of it. It’s silly, but it’s not unprecedented.

Barkha is blaming it on “bhakts” – a term she and other “liberal” commentators use very liberally to describe people who support Narendra Modi. And the truth is, most of those giving one star and negative reviews to her books are indeed Modi supporters.

So this is all about Barkha vs Bhakts? Or rather just about Bhakts, who last month, angered by Aamir Khan’s comments on “rising intolerance”, raced to uninstall the Snapdeal app and give it a bad review on app stores?

Can we simply close the case because these Bhakts appear as an organized gang of online goons? Gundays harassing a “liberal” law abiding citizen Barkha?

Yeah, gundays, rather Gunday. There lies another story.
Continue reading