5

S – Secularism | #AtoZChallenge

S – Secularism | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

We witnessed one of the most barbaric acts of terror in the recent past yesterday in Sri Lanka. The ones who were present in a church and met death; their only crime was that they practiced a specific faith, which wasn’t acceptable to some followers of other faith. This was fuelled by not love towards their religion but hate against all the other. No religion teaches that but sadly this ideology doesn’t suit anyone.

When I was in school, I was taught how, which and when was the words added in the Indian constitution. Secular was added to the constitution in 1976 by the 42nd amendment but those who claim to know the 5000-year-old history of this land would unanimously agree that the land was secular in its virtues ever since.

Read also: What if there was no religion.

Oxford dictionary defines,

Secular as, ‘Not connected with religious or spiritual matters.’

Secularism as ‘The principle of separation of the state from religious institutions.’

The sad reality is that in India most of its politics founds a foundation in religion and when religion begins to exhaust then caste system takes over.

Discrimination is everywhere; in some places, it is on the basis of your skin, in some on the basis of language, in some on the basis of religion and in some on the basis of how much wealth you hoard. So what should be done – shall the countries be made on the basis of religions? I am sure the ones already formed on the backdrop of religion; the citizens are still discriminated with one tool or another.

The spineless and toothless EC continuously begs not to bring in religious context during public speeches but each and every speech is spewing hate on the name of religion. This time they have started even threatening the public – that if they won’t vote for them then they will have to face consequences. Don’t think I am blaming only the ruling party. Each and every candidate is a perpetrator. The best solution is since we can’t stop them for doing this, to remove the words like secular and democratic from the constitution, which the ruling party anyway wants to do.

The idea of nationalism and patriotism isn’t bad, but the idea of nationalism based on one religion is dangerous. It is often (read always) propagated through the machinery of hate.

Every party when comes to power begins to paint the city in their color but this time around the coloring of institutes, public transport, and government offices in a single particular color was on an all different level. When you continuously preach, ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ and at the same time aren’t even open to accepting any other faith or ideology then it literally exposes the shallowness.

All the developmental promises that were made; on which you rode to the power galleries of New Delhi are now nowhere in discussion. All you feel, hear and see is hate, hate and hate.

How ironic it is that for some their religious identity because of their birth in a certain family becomes the reason for a lifetime of miseries.

As former vice president Hamid Ansari pointed out about the current regime, ‘Religious pluralism will be tolerated (but not accepted) but cultural pluralism will not.’ That is what the current dispensation is out to do.

Let’s go by their logic and for a moment consider that, Hinduism is the greatest religion, then by sensible reasoning, it should not have been defeated on so many instances in the past. Have the Hindus or the so-called upper caste Hindus gave a thought why so many people got converted? It was only and only because of discrimination and atrocities against them.

For the sake of discussion and not to demean any particular person or religion, there are a lot of things that are done and contributed by some minority – Would the so-called best religion and its flag bearers take up those tasks as well? I am sure they would not otherwise slavery would have never existed.

When a Hindu girl marries anyone of other religion, you tag it as ‘Love Jihad.’ Let me buy that argument for a moment; so what you are saying is that the girl didn’t marry for love but was misguided and in a way hypnotized to marry. In other words aren’t you saying that the girl is so ‘dumb’ that she cannot think for herself? If the girl is a Hindu, then as per you she should be the most intelligent creature on the planet…right!

When you compare with our neighbors that they are a state with a declared official religion, then you need to compare what has been their growth in each and every respect. All their focus is on proving that their majoritarian religion is the greatest.

I know this is a pessimistic view of the future but over the years observing how things are shaping and how the mainstream public is endorsing and getting convenient with the idea of hate – the first thing that the world would be devoid of will be ‘Morals’ and ‘Ethics’ since the thing that originated to comfort is the only reason for their miseries. I am afraid it will all come in the name of God and religion.

Then at the same time, you see some hope when a collective of 1.24 lakh students in Kerala chose to skip the caste and religion column. However, I am sure, they will be collectively discriminated as atheists.

A friend commented on a post that he will still support the current regime to get another term and then ended up the conversation congratulating me to take up this theme in such ‘charged’ times. All I had to reply was ‘read your comment slowly and you will find the irony lying naked’.

For all those who believe all religions are equal,

For all those who believe only their religion is great,

For all those who believe there should be no religion,

And

For all those who believe in secularism…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 19th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘T’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.

11

R – Ram Temple | #AtoZChallenge

R – Ram Temple | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

Any political discussion is incomplete in Indian politics without discussing the Ram Temple issue. Elections after elections, government after governments and manifesto after manifesto…the matter or the dispute more or less remains where it existed. I didn’t find any substantial evidence but I am sure the British would have got a great clue to divide the country along political lines when the first riots broke around 1850 regarding the same issue.

The ideological parent of the current ruling party brought the subject into the mainstream, which became the flag bearer of all the issues for the party since the 1980s. They grew from a dismal 2 seats in the Lok Sabha to a resounding 282 seats on the back of the Ram Temple dispute.

I was around seven years old when the issue reached its tipping point in 1992 following a ‘Rath Yatra’ from one of the founding members of the party. The horrifying blood bath that followed is still fresh in my memory. I just need to close my eyes and I can still see those open skulls, burning screaming souls and charred bodies.

Nearly three decades later, the ones who were in their twenties during the riots are now in their fifties and the ones carrying out the yatra are breathing their last…but the issue is as alive as ever with no resolution in sight.

That sowed the seed of hate forever in so many Indians against each other. We are killing each other for a treacherous act of an invader. For a heinous act committed five centuries ago, what sanity it is, to keep burning humans so that you can justify your agenda.

Let me tell you, no soul ever finds solace by killing another.

I wonder if anyway Lord Ram could see all this – Don’t forget he gave up that throne and land for keeping the words of his mother, I am sure If he would have been alive, he would have given up now too. How can one slash the womb of a lady, take out an unborn and chop it into pieces in front of her and that too on the name of Ram? No lord would want so much hatred and kill on his name.

The irony is that the so-called followers of Ram, do not follow the ideologies of him. To be honest these Ram-Bhakts have started to betray him and become the Bhakt of some other hate spewing supreme commander.

This was the perfect opportunity for BJP to at least start the construction of the Temple rather than just use it as a gimmick once again to trivialize the sentiments of the followers of Ram. With them being in power at the center as well as state, this opportunity might never return for them. Forget about making the country a Hindu rashtra, they can’t even make a temple.

The fallacy in the logic of, that the Jews have their Jerusalem, the Muslims have Mecca, what have Hindus got. As per the Hindu religious texts, there are so many Gods and so many sacred places linked to each one of them. How will you decide which one is the most superior of all? We already have the dhams, the jyotirlings and the shaktipeeths, what would one less or one more temple to do the religion. It’s all in the mind but for that it requires sanity.

The people who have been to the birthplace of Lord Krishna, they would recall that there is a mosque just adjacent to the temple; in fact they share a common wall. Since the beginning of mankind and their arrival in this land, everybody lived in harmony because there was acceptance of everyone.

The people are too blind to see how mercilessly they are being used for their political gains. They claim that there was a temple long before Babar demolished it and constructed a Mosque, a place of worship. It was an unpardonable sin – but wasn’t he a barbaric invader, what else can we expect of him. That in no way justifies you again destroying a place of worship claiming to be the protectant of a religion, which is considered to the most peaceful.

I sometimes think, Did Ram take birth in a temple? Ideally, it should have been a palace given the fact that his father was a king. If that were the exact location of birth then somebody would have destroyed the palace too, to make a temple.

If the court decides on logic and merit some people are ready to burn it…if they simply discuss it as a ‘matter of faith’, they lose their credibility forever. The court itself is caught in a tussle to maintain peace and harmony and somehow give a verdict that pleases every party.

I am banking on the current and future generations that they would evolve above all this and won’t let themselves get divided on religious lines. But sadly a process has been created where people are kept uneducated and jobless so that they are always ready to pick up arms so that they can fight for the religion, whether it is any religion.

It is like the Kashmir conflict; the moment it gets resolved you would not have another issue to invoke your nationalism card on. Similarly the day the temple gets built, the privilege to use of the religious card would also get neutralized.

The best solution lies in creating a facility on the land that serves everyone irrespective of any religion – construct a hospital or school or anything but not a religious structure. The land has seen enough violence and blood and it shouldn’t take another five centuries to resolve the issue. Make sure when you vote, you vote for the future of your child.

For all those who believe the conflict will never be resolved,

For all those who want peace,

For all those who feel all this would have aggrieved Ram,

And

For all those who believe in the ideologies of Lord Ram…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 18th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League

Please do visit on monday for the next post with letter ‘S’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.

4

Q – Questions | #AtoZChallenge

Q – Questions | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

It was just yesterday when I was discussing the issue of political candidates switching sides and today we witnessed two such cases. Both motivated by opportunism – one was a historic moment when two major rivals, for the past 25 years, decided to share the same stage, however reluctantly. The second just taught me a lesson. Till noon I was backing a move and had so much respect that someone took a stand against harassment and decided to value her dignity and ultimately quit.

By 1 pm, I was heartbroken when the same person joined another party whose history is only of harassment and hooliganism. They continue to harass women on a daily basis and flash it proudly across their badges. But nobody would dare to question the dignity and ideology that shifted base in a mere 12 hours. Let’s not digress!

The biggest motivation behind me choosing this theme was that this was the first time in the history of independent India that a Prime Minister has not held an open press conference i.e. simply means no direct hard questions were put across.

We all know what kind of tough questions are really being put across.

PSU after PSU is sinking while the PM’s picture is flashed across marketing campaigns of private firms. When the anchors and the ruling party brazenly highlight that the PM works for 18 hours a day, does that mean he isn’t accountable or does that mean we can’t question him?

He won’t appear on platforms, which are ready to put across those questions. The last time when that happened, I don’t want to write this, but he took a sip of water and simply ran away. If he was a man of what he claims to be he should have sat out the entire duration and should have answered, irrespective of how uncomfortable the questions were.

The ones on which he decides to appear are such outright cowards. I don’t take sides but honestly, I must say that dynast had the spine to appear against their so-called pseudo spokesperson. He knew he would be blasted with tough questions and given how his IQ is perceived nobody would be kind to him but to his credit, he still appeared. Did the same jingoist anchor put across the questions with equal ferociousness to the PM? I guess we know the answer.

It is like appearing for an exam for which you already know all the questions and ironically all the answers…since they too are prepared. The PM just has to get ready…appear…and enact or I should say act. The opposition leader might be dumb but dumber are those who are putting these pathetic dolly questions to the PM when the country is reeling under so many issues. And even dumber are those who still believe that these are fair questions and answers session.

I was taught, ‘Democracy is for the people, by the people, and of the people’ but when you taking away the power of putting across people’s questions and issues then you are literally cutting the people out of democracy and voting just becomes a sham.

They say not to question the supreme authority. Consider the scenario when you are working in a team in your company and every member has chosen a particular member to be their team leader. Now working on a project nobody was involved in the decision-making and later the project fails. Don’t we get disgruntled and try to pose the question as to why it happened or do you go to the company next to your office and ask them why it happened?

If somehow the project gets executed and reaches its desirable goal with the hard work of each and every member but when it comes to getting recognition, the team leader decides to hog all the limelight and tries to convince that it was all due to his decision-making that the team achieved the results. What would be your state? I am sure every one of us working in corporate has faced this kind of a scenario. Don’t we feel extremely gutted?

So if the project fails no questions should be asked and no accountability should be fixed but if it succeeds then it is just a masterstroke of one brain.

The same is happening in the country right now. When either the public or their representatives pose any serious question they are met with only diversionary tactics and not surprisingly the bootlickers begin to question the company next door.

The same PM, when he was a CM, awarded a compensation of Rs 1 cr to Karkare’s wife, which she royally refused. Today when he is the PM, he is fielding a candidate, a terror accused, who says that Karkare didn’t die at the hands of terrorists but because of her curse.

Think for a second that we are living in a parallel universe, and let’s believe each and everything she is saying and assume that Karkare was actually the one who harassed her…then also…if her curse is so powerful, shouldn’t she curse our enemy nation so that it gets destroyed or is there a bandwidth limitation to her curses? This isn’t stupidity any longer this is telling you on your face that we are going to take you, the public, for a ride and forget about doing anything, we won’t even let you ask a question.

I would again reiterate the same point that I presented in the first post; stop teaching and encouraging your kids to ask questions because in the end they have to get this rude shock that whatever is taught in school on the name of democracy is just to pass a standard and it does not hold any true logic in the real world.

For all those who are frustrated on how politicians are taking us for a ride,

For all those who hate the ideology of hate,

For all those who want an accountable government,

And

For all those who believe we should still keep Questioning…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 17th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘R’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.

6

P – Political Candidates | #AtoZChallenge

P – Political Candidates | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

In continuation with the yesterdays’ post, I will discuss the political candidates and candidature of the country, when we discuss what are the options and whom to choose from it is a lot dependent on us. Some might say we vote for what is available, I believe its how and whom we vote decides the kind of candidates being fielded.

A terror accused, against which the NIA has admitted that they have sufficient proof, gets a ticket to contest the election. I wonder if any other party would have done the same, the whole world would have gone berserk saying that they are anti-nationals and supportive of such forces.

It is high time that we as voters start thinking about the kind of candidates we want to see. If we vote for the current lot whether from any party, not based on the kind of work they have done but just some sloganeering then we don’t have the right to blame anyone else.

Whether it is a dynast or a megalomaniac, no one is purchasing a seat in Lok Sabha. They are all contesting and it is the majority of the people that vote and send them in. So the elections should be on issues that directly concern us. Even if we can’t choose the candidates, then at least we can pose the right questions to the ones already contesting. Aren’t they answerable?

There is a comical trend that has emerged that highlights both the hypocrisy of a party as well as its supporters. A person is accused of so many things only and only if he or she is a part of the opposition. The same candidates when they are in the opposition party are looked as criminals but the moment they join the current ruling party, a halo emerges around them signifying their innocence and it is then loudly proclaimed that they were criminals only till they were in the opposition.

The candidature of a candidate should be immediately barred or canceled as soon as they migrate from one party to another after a particular election has taken place. People voted for a symbol and the ideology he represents but then a mockery of the system is made, when the next day the candidate jumps to the other side. Election after election we are seeing this and it is a huge cause behind the current horse-trading scenario of politicians.

The much hyped ‘Joota Kand’ that took place between two gladiators of the ruling party. Did anyone try to listen to the charges that they were making against each other? Everyone got lost in counting the number of times one has honored the other with the shoe rather than focusing on the grave accusations made by both on each other. That’s a live proof that nobody is a saint even if they are under the flag of a particular color.

I grew up with a notion that whether you do good work or not but to have criminal inclination is a necessary quality if one has to succeed in politics and that’s the sad reality. Look at the kind of charges against candidates. There are a wide variety of serious charges against them including rape, murder, terrorist activity, and sedition and so on. The system even corrupts the ones who start clean with good intentions. Try to remember the time when we were in school and the teacher used to ask what do you want to become when you grow up…and nobody answered a politician.

Why to only blame the politicians when we ourselves are at fault on so many accounts? The moment our relative or someone close comes to power as a politician or a bureaucrat or even a government official, we try every possible bit to get our work done through them however illegal it may be.

Even the Supreme Court intervened in the matter but with no result. The percentage of tainted candidates who won in the last election was around 35% and it is definitely on the rise in 2019. Everyone from the BJP to Congress, from DMK to AIDMK, each and every political party is a culprit of that.

The political class has played with the law and rules in such a shameful manner that you will be shocked to know that currently, a person who has served less than two years in prison can also contest elections.

We are so dumb that the moment a movie celebrity joins politics and becomes a candidate, everyone blindly votes for them, knowing that they will hardly visit their constituency forget about visiting Lok Sabha and raising the people’s issues.

Nobody questions the returning candidates on their previous performance. Forget questioning, the candidates themselves know that they can’t highlight their own work otherwise they will be shown the mirror royally and hence they play divisive tactics.

I am not saying that every candidate is a criminal but somehow the Good Samaritan gets lost in the glitz, glamour, and influence of a criminal. A Nobel man would never be able to generate the amount of cash and muscle power required to win an election and hence the illicit and immoral will keep coming back to power. The political parties will do everything possible to keep it corrupt, the latest electoral bonds is a prime example of it.

The fallacy lies within us. Till the time we are going to vote for such much-acclaimed candidates the political parties will keep fielding them. We need to look beyond caste, creed, family, lineage, religion and focus on the issues that directly are of concern otherwise the future of your kids’ education will keep going into the hands of those educational ministers who lied about their educational qualifications under oath.

For all those who are fed up of the current lot,

For all those who vote for tainted candidates,

For all those who vote for celebrities,

And

For all those who want a change in the political candidature…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 16th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘Q’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.

4

O – Opposition | #AtoZChallenge

O – Opposition | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

Indians are the big fans of cinema – in fact, it flows in their veins. The recent blockbuster KGF saw a downtrodden guy from the slums making it to the top. Everybody loved the heroics and the movie became a blockbuster. Nobody talks about his ways to achieve things. That is how the ruling party is setting the current narrative.

Every time you question them about the policies and failures of the government and they come back with the same rhetorical answer, ‘If not Modi then who?’

Have you noticed how during every conversation with any BJP member they begin the dialogue by saying ‘Modiji ke netritva me’ (under the leadership of Modi) suggesting and trying to portray that each and every work has been done by him? So that means all the other ministers in the government are useless because at the end of the day whether its decision like Demonetization, PM is taking it or whether it is the construction of roads or whether the sale of spectrum, everything, and anything are only decided by the supreme commander.

This whole idea that only one individual is superior and not even that ‘idea’ is too dangerous. It is actually equivalent to something that they preach against – not to vote for one family while asking for a vote for one man.

I have no objection to the BJP coming back to power…that’s their democratic right but saying that PM is the only option is illogical. When you vote, you vote for a symbol and not for an individual, if that is going to be a reality then let’s remove the logo or the name of the party and simply write a four-letter word on the EVM. They won’t consider even a performing minister like Gadkari because they have set their narrative in such a way.

Where was this wave before 2013? He was nowhere with respective to the national political scenario but with directions from their Nagpur head office, it changed overnight. I am from UP and the same thing happened here. Everybody here was so convinced who the next CM would be but just before the oath-taking ceremony the name was changed and we now know who the CM is. There are reports that claim that the nameplate of a candidate was even made but with a call from Nagpur the city slept with a name for CM and woke up to an altogether different.

If you observe the political spectrum it has more or less remained the same over the past two decades. If you observe even closer you will find that whichever state had an alternate people have voted for them. Isn’t it ironical, a wave makes you win at national level disappoints you at the state level.

The options are available you just have to look beyond biases. When it comes choosing for a nation we should see the ideology and not one individual. Didn’t the same thing happen in 1974 when the slogan was coined, ‘India is Indira and Indira is India’ and we know what followed in 1975. That was the perfect example that even the supreme leader can go drastically wrong.

When you ask BJP members and ministers they will say that the prime minister gets angry if he is asked questions. To question someone means asking for accountability and that he can go wrong. The narrative that there isn’t any choice or alternative is based on a fallacy that he can’t go wrong or he isn’t vulnerable.

It has also to do with the army of bootlickers that are surrounding him. They hardly give him the correct picture and just to save berths for them to keep on egging him on whatever path he chooses. To claim that he is superior to everyone or he is the most intellectual of all is just their narrative. Saddam became ‘Saddam’ because of the spineless stooges he kept, who always appreciated him in all his actions.

Let’s not go far away, a current politician who is serving a term for his sins brought so much glory for the Indian Railways. Since independence, railways performed the best under him and the only time when it became profitable – he was invited to the most prestigious institutes around the globe to give an insight into his strategies.

What this has done in the current tenure is the lack of accountability. I am yet to see a minister being sacked for their performance. Whichever ministry you pick, the moment they are questioned for their actions they start looking at one individual and then everybody seems to get blinded with the aura he is exuding. Just remember he is no God.

The opposition was never so weak but there are options and if there aren’t then we should create some but if you say that a particular individual is great but their ideology of hate is bad then you are fooling yourself. A person who spent 50 years of his life dedicatedly working for an ideology, how can that person not have the same thought process. It’s all about how you package, brand and market.

I think a lot is in the hands of the media to start a wave and then decide which wave blows in what direction. We have been seeing the character assassination and character rebuilding of so many people over the years with the simple use of media. A once hated superstar, by media, is now a messiah, all thanks to how they portray him.

Since I began with a movie example I will end also with one. Have you seen the movie Shaurya starring Kay Kay Menon and Rahul Bose? If not then watch it. Even if you don’t catch the whole movie just watch the monologue in the end by Menon and you will understand what I am trying to say. It is not necessary that a person who has family involves in corruption and a person who doesn’t have any monetary interest be always right. There are other reasons too and some of them are imbibed in their ideology.

All I can say is the opposition needs to take a cue from Bollywood and we have seen the mightiest fail and fall.

For all those who believe that opposition is weak,

For all those against anarchy,

For all those who believe in democracy,

And

For all those who believe there are alternatives…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 15th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘P’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.

4

N – National Education | #AtoZChallenge

N – National Education | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

India is one of the youngest countries of the world with about 38% of the population below the age of 18 years and the average age somewhere around 29 years. With so much young population India has a tremendous opportunity to outgrow some of the major western economies that are being laggard behind because of their aging population. The countries like Spain and Italy have average ages around 45.

For that young population to contribute to nation building education plays the most crucial role along with basic necessities of life. With the right education and guidance, they can enhance their skills and contribute to the nation. But the stark reality is; issues like ‘Education’ aren’t being even discussed at the time of the election. It is one of the things that have fared badly under the current regime.

During the 2014 elections, their manifesto stated – “Education must create minds free from superstitions, hatred, and violence and become an important vehicle to cement national unity, social cohesion and religious amity. Our endeavor should be to inculcate moral, ethical and humanistic values in the individuals and the society.” It laid a lot of emphasis on increasing the expenditure on education and take the total contribution to 6% of the GDP.

The reality is that during the initial four years it has continuously declined with a marginal increase in the last year. The current overall expenditure stands around 3.5%. It’s startling to notice with so much underperformance in this sector there’s hardly any talk on these issues during the current elections. They are back to their ways of Saffron v\s Green dividing.

They began with a swash-buckling minister whose education itself was under question and the fact of the matter is she lied under oath in the 2014 elections. It was because of authoritarian assaults and mishandling of cases like Rohith Vemula, JNU, BHU and so on that she was removed overnight. I still remember the sight when in Lok Sabha she declared herself to be a bigger mother of Vemula than her real mother and how she would be ready to be beheaded if she is found wrong. Well, the irony is that the government made a committee to look into the matter and you will find it comical that the committee consisted of only ONE member.

A plethora of new IIMs and IITs have been started with most of the seats remaining vacant. On one hand, it is not cost-beneficial, on the other, it simply dilutes the brand of the institution. We don’t want our IIMs and IITs to become the Amitys of the world, with all due respect to Amity.

Another scheme, to increase funding in national institutions was brought in with the aim of increasing their overall global ranking. To this date, the government is yet to release any data as to how much funding was released, what is its effect, has the ranking of any institutions jumped?

I didn’t anyone question the government when they awarded a private institute, ‘Institute of Eminence’ for which the foundation is yet to be laid and aiding them with a grant. How justified is that? This is all too much visible but the enigma is in the blindness of the followers.

Since the new National Education Policy promotes the agenda of privatization, commercialization and communalization it will simply accelerate the existing culture of loot by private institutions. Barring a single government in Delhi, no state or national government has come out in the open and spoken about the absurd rising prices of educating a child. The proposed NEP clearly disagrees with the constitutional vision of a common education system.

When we were in school, our parents used to evaluate public educational institutions too, but this has seen a tremendous decline. The previous Government of Rajasthan had decided to operate 225 schools on public-private partnership (PPP) model, which was nothing but handing over public schools to the private sector. Similarly, the previous BJP Madhya Pradesh government had planned to close about 15,000 government schools and in Maharashtra, the state government has decided to close some 13,905 schools that have a student count of less than 20.

The last budget from the FM highlighted a shift in providing the aide to a government institution. Now they will be treated as loans. All it will do is convert public education institutions into commercial units with an aim to generate profits.

With RSS figures now at the helm of key educational bodies of India, a systematic communalization of education is being done. For instance, I saw that they have simply changed the facts of history where they have depicted Maharana Pratap victorious during the war of Haldighati – that is way off from what actually happened. They are rewriting history just to suit their narrative of hate.

The steep cuts in funding for research is another key issue. When students protest against it they are dealt with force and when things become unmanageable for them they declare not even the students but the whole institute as anti-national. Can you believe the institute that has given the largest number of civil servants to the country is now tagged anti-national?

If the government had been really serious about the promises made in its manifesto there wouldn’t have been so many teaching positions vacant in almost every institute. Don’t forget that all this is laying the foundation for the future of India and if you want to rule the country in times to come, this is definitely going to backfire.

Forget about the left-wingers and neutrals, what about the right-wingers. Do they don’t want their children to get a proper education or they are simply satisfied with them taking to the streets and brandishing swords on every Hindu festival? The ball is now in your court for what future you want for your child.

For all those who still have hope,

For all those who believe every child should be educated,

For all those against the commercialization of education,

And

For all those who believe the current education policies should change…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 14th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘O’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.

8

M – Media | #AtoZChallenge

M – Media | #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z

There are four pillars of the Indian Democracy – Judiciary, Executive, Legislature and Press. With the evolution and with technology taking over along with the bombardment of media houses and news channels, I believe the fourth pillar can now be called ‘Media’.

The main role of the fourth pillar is impartial reporting and creating transparency of how the other three pillars are performing, spreading awareness till the last village of India and informing every citizen what is happening in the country in the political, economic and social spectrum.

In an ideal democracy for proper functioning, all these pillars should perform efficiently and independently. Each of the pillars should be given equal importance and no one should dominate any other. In America, judiciary overpowers everyone and in UK it’s the legislature that is the dominant force. Hence the question arises – Is the media playing its role properly?

Ownership of media houses plays a critical role in deciding which way their narrative and propaganda will be inclined. How can one ensure transparency, honesty and fairness when the owner of an established and renowned media house gets a Rajya Sabha ticket from a political party? It is impossible to expect it.

As of now, there are more than 400 news channels including regional language ones. This makes them among the most powerful tools and with its activity becomes the center of every other pillar; their integrity holds even more importance. But everyone has their own loyalty and their own agenda.

With the advent of social media, the touch points are massive and uncontrollable. They have taken over the courts as well through their way of media justice and media trials. They are pronouncing decisions even before the matter reaches a trial court. This rising trend of handing out verdict isn’t democratic in any sense.

Even managed properly it has some positives too. Movements like ‘MeToo’ movement gathered momentum and unearthed so many heinous habitual offenders because of social media and its reach. But then again, their job is to report and then let the law take its course. With the majority of the population engaging in trolling, its usage is becoming tremendously taxing for mental health.

Something that started as a boon to the society has started turning into a bane – and it is not long before social media will lose the ‘social’ aspect of it.

Media should be playing a more progressive and constructive role in a developing country like ours, which is going through a major transition phase. They should be the voice of the largest democracy in the world and take ownership of their issues and causes. Instead, the media does the exact opposite by simply curbing the voice of the common man and creates noise about the existing propaganda and narratives.

A poor urchin falls into a bore well and everything comes to a standstill for the next 48 hours. A leading Bollywood celebrity visits court and the media goes into a frenzy. The last time something like this happened, the SC was handing out a verdict on a CM but there was hardly any coverage. I am now sure that when something like this happens, the deafening noise is created to subdue a very important matter directly concerning the public.

If you are dedicatedly running shows on the happenings of daily soaps and then I will not shy away from saying, but that’s not reporting – that is bullshit entertainment for TRPs. News like where a monkey pulls the tail of a lion – I think these sort of programs should be left to animal planets of the world.

For hours they run advertisement shows of God men just because they are paying you massively, forgetting that in a way all they are doing is promoting superstitions.

Wait for the cricket world cup to start – Instead of reporting about the matches, the newsrooms will convert into cricket pitches where every tom dick and harry would be advising what should be the next move of the captain. The educated class, at least, should understand that these are just mere diversion tactics so that the people of the country are distracted from the real issues.

They were supposed to report the news rather than creating news. These days they are just looking for opportunities to create news without even checking the credibility of the information and in the process, giving rise to a new vertical of ‘Fake news’.

Since the use of the word ‘pseudo’ is in fashion I think I can take the liberty of calling many of the news anchors behaving like pseudo spokespersons of the political parties. There is hardly anyone left who can be termed as a neutral reporter who is trying to present a piece of news as per facts.

Read the book, 1984 by George Orwell and you will understand how the media is used on a day-to-day basis by the political machinery to brainwash you. Imagine if social media and the current army of trolls would have been present during the times of Hitler. Honestly, no one can visualize the rampage it would have caused.

Media is supposed to raise voice against oppression and against the current establishment. They should raise voice against the narrative like casteism and Hindu-Muslim divide; rather they are the ones fuelling it. There is hardly any reporting of educational issues, farmer issues, and healthcare issues.

The irony is that on the launch of a new food product there will be hundreds of media personalities covering it, but there would hardly any covering the real issues of those who are growing it.

It also speaks a lot about what kind of viewership it is getting. Higher TRPs for such content means that people are hardly concerned with real issues. It is a high time that we think real hard about what is the kind of content we are watching and what are the issues that directly affect our lives otherwise it will be too late and all we will become are stooges of this maddening noise.

With one pillar so pathetically losing its credibility and integrity it is not long before, the foundation of democracy will be under threat and the signs of which are already becoming more and more visible.

For all those who use social media,

For all those who hate trolling,

For all those who watch the news for news,

And

For all those who are worried for the current state of media…

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

This is the 13th post for the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z. My theme in Politics Category is ‘IPL – Indian Parliamentary League’, where I would be covering some relevant issues with the General Elections 2019 through the course of 26 posts.

Read the previous post here: IPL – Indian Parliamentary League

Please do visit tomorrow for the next post with letter ‘N’

I am also taking part in the #AtoZChallenge #BlogchatterA2Z using another theme –‘Dubai – City of Gold‘. If you love travel head over to the Travel Theme and share your feedback.