Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Questions for our dear PM on Demonetisation

Mananiya Pradhan Mantri Shri Narendra Modiji,

I am not a politician and I am not involved in any chopper scam or any other scam. I have patiently waited for 50 days and supported you in every way in your decision to demonetise ₹1000 and ₹500 notes.
Now, I seek following answers as a common citizen of India. These are not only my questions but questions of 125 crore Indians.
1. How much of unaccounted cash have you unearthed?
2. What was the expense incurred to do this demonetisation exercise?
3. How much of revenue loss has been incurred by states and central governments in terms of indirect tax revenue?
4. What is your plan to revitalise the businesses that suffered due to demonetisation exercise?
5. How many corrupt officials have been caught and jailed?
6. How many people died that can be directly attributed to demonetisation.
I am seeking these answers from you directly. Perhaps live on any tv channel at 8pm? These questions may reach you through social media, electronic media, print media or from any member of parliament, member of any legislative assembly, corporator or any other common man or woman. 
These are straight forward questions. Please provide straight forward answers for my knowledge and understanding.
PS: Political spokespersons or supporters of any political party - I don't need answers from you. This is only for Mananiya Pradhan Mantriji. Hope you understand this.

Thank you
Musten Jiruwala

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Void of God

I was born with God inside me. The moment I was born, that God was removed from inside me without my knowledge and thrown away. Then religion was stuffed and hammered in its place.
As I grew up, the void of God inside me started to grow as well. I searched for something to fill this void with.
I tried to drown myself in my profession in hope that this void will go away. But, it kept on growing.
I tried to fill it with home and family, art and philosophy. But, this void grew bigger.
I tried to fill it with more religions, but to my despair, it kept on growing.
I travelled to the mountains and valleys, waterfalls and seashores and soaked in the beauty of nature in an attempt to fill this void with.
But, all in vain. The void inside me kept growing.
Finally, I tried to fill it with love, joy and peace. But, it kept on growing incessantly.
This void of God is much much larger than all the religions of the world, all the nature and beauty, all possible knowledge and skills put together.
The God that I was born with is somewhere out there and growing.
Or is it growing inside me?
- Musten Jiruwala, August 13, 2016.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Redefining Society and its purpose

A lot has been discussed about body and mind without reaching any conclusion. It could be because the mind is not a physical entity and mostly it's consistency depends upon many variable factors that the body is subjected to.

Body demands food when it is hungry. Mind reacts by figuring out how to go about getting it. It shuffles through many "conditions" to reach food to the body. When the body is in pain, it demands comfort and mind reacts by organizing medicines or whatever that can make the body feel comfortable. Criminal investigation methods largely depend upon torturing the body of the accused to make their mind spill the beans. Vishwamitra tried very hard to control his mind from fulfilling his bodily desires, but his mind gave up when Menaka seduced him.

In today's society, we don't have a mind of our own. What we have is the mind of the society we live in. Society has created a conditioned mind by way of legal and moral laws and tenets. It has created a framework for the mind to work with in order to fulfill the needs and desires of the body.

So, the body demands something and the mind fulfills its needs in a conditioned way. As the society evolved, it observed that not everybody is using the conditioned mind. So they created systems to forcefully make people follow the mind by way of penalties and punishment. This was perhaps the biggest mistake our society made in its evolution.

Penalties and punishments gave rise to lies and pretensions. Lie became the biggest savior of crime. Society reacted (wrongly) by creating more systems to curb lies. But in vein.

Today, it has become difficult to remain honest. Society has lost its purpose and now most of us are only pretending to be civilized and honest.

There is an urgent need to redefine the purpose of the civilized society and employ learned methods to realign with the redefined purpose.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

यक़ीन (Belief)

आज शमा खुश है क्यूंकि शम्श ने उसे सराहा है
अपनी काबिलियत पर कर यक़ीन दोस्त
की एक ज़र्रे ने भी समंदर को मोती से नवाज़ा है
क़दर करना सीख हर इंसान की तू

की मुर्दो ने भी कई इंसान में जान डाली है
- Musten Jiruwala (26th October, 2014)

Aaj shama khush hai, kyunki shamsh ne usey saraha hai
apni qabiliyat par kar yaqeen ae dost
ki ek zarre ne bhi samandar ko moti se nawaza hai
qadar karna seekh har insaan ki tu
ki murdo ne bhi kai insaan me jaan dali hai

Today, flame is happy because sun has appreciated its light
Believe in your ability, my friend
because, one grain of sand has given a gift of pearl to the ocean
Appreciate every human being
because, even dead body has given life to many people

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Haider - A nested metaphor!

Only a master narrator like Vishal Bharadwaj can do justice to this Shakespearean masterpiece in contemporary setting and that too with a new twist!

Haider, which is based on the Kashmir conflict where I could relate Tabu's character of Hamlet's Gertrude with current state of Kashmir, which is married to India but flirting with Pakistan. She has brought out the trials and tribulations of a "half-widow" state. KayKay has done an amazing job of portraying Pakistan's character through Claudious who uses "terrorist" (Mukhberins) under his control to kill people who are in his way. And, of course, Shahid has done a wonderful job of portraying the current generation of Kashmir through the character of Hamlet. Shraddha has done a good job with Ophelia's character.

I loved the twist in the tail (If you have not seen Haider, please stop reading from here).

As Gandhiji had said, an eye for an eye will make the whole nation blind - this message is delivered very well through this 2 hours 40 minutes saga on Kashmir. Optimist Vishal created a twist in the end where Hamlet stops from killing half-dead Claudious. To me, it seemed that current generation of Kashmir has realised that vindictive and revengeful mindset will not help bring peace and there is no point in wasting bullets on Pakistan which is will meet its painful end of his own making (Tabu's suicide by blowing herself off leaves KayKay limbless and nearly dead, suggesting destruction of traditional Kashmir will hurt Pakistan greatly).

A very intense movie that does full justice to the original master-piece, Hamlet.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Man You Admire And Dread

It is one thing to aspire for something and its entirely another thing to achieve it. Even though I am a left-leaning liberal, I admire Narendra Modi for having the ability to achieve what he aspires for. He has created such a cult like following that he is considered to be no less than a super-human. Forget about criticizing him, even if you term his achievements as ordinary or less than ordinary, you will invite wrath from die-hard Modi-fans. And, never even try to highlight achievements of his opponents. If anybody can turn a Modi-fan away from Modi, is Modi himself!

On one hand I admire him as an able leader and on the other hand I dread his far-right ideology of authoritarianism. Whether I like it or not, the perception that he has created for himself (which is reaping benefits for his party), he will be in Delhi for a long long time. As an authoritarian, his first agenda will be to systematically weed out any challenger within or outside his party.

He has smartly worked on two things. One - systematically demolish the credibility of his opponents and two - amplify his own credibility. Am I complaining as a left-leaning liberal? No. Its all fair in love and war - and winning election is no less than a war.

As a liberal voter, I am accustomed to evaluating candidates based on their performances and/or credibility. I don't know about others, but I am not accustomed to voting for a party or for a personality or out of sympathy or empathy. (Yes, clean sweep after Indira Gandhi's assassination was out of sympathy. Fortunately, I was not eligible to vote back then.) Because, chances of going wrong are very high if I vote based on these criteria.

I am more wary of candidates who misrepresent or distort facts to win votes. I am extremely wary of candidates who base their campaign on weaknesses of their opponents rather than their own strengths. And, voting blindly for a candidate because he/she is contesting from a specific party - its a no-no.

If a Congress supporter considers voting for any candidate just because Rahul Gandhi is considered to be the PM candidate, I would say s/he is doing a big mistake that will cost our nation very dear. Not because Rahul Gandhi is considered to be a novice in politics but because this supporter will end up voting for a local candidate who does not deserve his/her vote. Same goes for Modi supporter (I don't think there are as many supporters out there for his party). Same goes for Kejriwal and his party.

Media, esepcially the electronic media, has played a very vital role in creating this larger-than-life perception of Modi. This was further amplified by crude and derogatory comments about his opponents on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. In a nutshell, I would say, it has been an excellent brand building by Modi's brand managers. Ironically, I am also indulging in creating an image of Modi which is larger than life :-)

Many well known academicians and achievers have expressed their concerns over Modi's rise. But, all on deaf ears and blind eyes.

After May 16, when Modi will emerge as a clear winner, how will he tackle issues that are of national importance? Will he emerge larger than his parent organization RSS? Will he turn a blind eye (like he did in 2002) when his "well-wishers" try to shred the fabric of unity and integrity using racial overtones? Will he protect our democracy and freedom?

I don't know anything about that, only time will tell. But, one thing I am sure about is that the large corporates are going to benefit hugely from largesse of Modi.

Further reading

The Wonderbra PM

Blog by St Xavier's Student

Dread Narendra Modi Coming to Power

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Tectonic Shift in Indian Politics

There are three basic political ideologies. Conservatism, Liberalism and Socialism/Communism. Since independence, Indian politics is centered around liberal ideology - Sometimes leaning towards Conservatism and sometimes towards Socialism/Communism, but predominantly on Liberal lines.

2014 is bringing in an ideological shift in Indian politics. It seems to be moving right towards Conservative ideology. Farther right to this would take us to Anarchy. This will certainly make the Liberals lean heavily towards left to keep the balance. If they move too far towards left, it would take us to Anarchist Communism. Over a period of time, Indian politics will become bi-polar like in the west, Conservative and Liberal.

What will be the impact on citizens?

Economy, human resource development, environment, law and order and social harmony are defined by the dominant political ideology. Since we are witnessing a shift, initially there will be a degree of resistance to change. If resistance is high, ideology will shift again in the next election.

In the recent past, we have witnessed ideological shifts. During '77, '89, '96, '98, '99 and last in 2004. At an every attempt, there was a decrease in resistance towards Conservatism. Many states have also witnessed ideological shifts, for e.g. West Bengal and Kerala.

As we vote in this election, we are endorsing a specific ideology. Not many of us have studied politics so not many of us are aware of what are the pros and cons of each of these ideologies. It would be better to look up the pros and cons of these ideologies. Maybe you can lookup with keywords of "Conservatism" and "Liberalism".

Since India is a representative democracy, whatever your leanings are, you must go and vote to endorse your ideology.