The Selfish Politics of Language

Date of Publishing: June 26, 2019

Source: https://indusscrolls.com/the-selfish-politics-of-language/

Having born in a Telugu speaking family in Tamil Nadu, mostly educated in Kerala and partly in Karnataka is what enables me to speak all the four south Indian languages of Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. English helped me to interact with people in new states in the beginning and later on I also learnt to write and speak in Hindi. Having learnt Hindi has empowered me more in understanding and expressing my thoughts with my Hindi speaking friends in Delhi and particularly JNU. I can use Hindi language to express my thoughts with a Bengali, Assamese, Odia, Marathi, Kashmiri, Marwari, Gujarati, Pahadi, Sindhi or Awadhi speaking friend and he/she is happy to see a Hindi speaking South Indian through me! The language of Hindi is a wonderful common option of expression for India. Hindi has enabled me to understand the trans-culture that is India. Obviously it was difficult learning Hindi in the beginning for me, but then could understand the importance of learning Hindi to interact, exchange ideas and survive in a Hindi speaking part of this nation and I’m proud of my attempt in this regard.

Many of my progressively thinking Hindi speaking friends have also benefitted by understanding the basics of the four south Indian languages and the associated culture from me. Many coming from a Non-Hindi speaking family but still can speak in Hindi can understand this two-way flow of information quite nicely. This phenomenon is very much cherished in JNU too. We live in a nation where progressive-minded people are willing to learn Arabic, French, Russian, Italian, Chinese, advanced English among other skill requirements to equip themselves better in this competitive world. Learning a new language today has become as important as learning computer programming was in the 1990s and 2000s.

Hailing from Tamil Nadu myself, I know many of my close relatives and friends who have very sadly accepted that they have been put to tremendous employment, social and cultural disadvantage when they are away in the northern part of India, because they don’t know how to speak Hindi. This gives an advantageous edge to those who can communicate better in Hindi inspite of possessing technical skills. Many also have lately realized and accepted that discouraging Hindi learning had been an important aspect of Tamil politics or even Dravidian politics of being Anti-Hindi. Let me tell you these are the selfish politicians who just think about themselves and just about their regional political career. Laws bring about a unity in the method of governance in a democratic way. If laws don’t then guns will have to govern, but then that will be undemocratic. The government is trying to do things democratically and we have the freedom to critique it, but constructively and futuristically. Political debates in the name of saffronisation of culture, language imposition, rights of linguistic minorities and all are mere politics of stupidity run by idiosyncratic politicians. So this issue of the Politics of Language is immature and deserving of a kick in its butt.

WHEN A SOUTH INDIAN LEARNS HINDI OR A NORTH INDIAN LEARNS ANY OF THE FOUR LANGUAGES OF TAMIL, TELUGU, MALAYALAM OR KANNADA IT NOT ONLY OPENS UP EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE SPEAKERS AT PAN-INDIA LEVEL BUT STARTS TO FILL UP THE PREVAILING NORTH – SOUTH DIVIDE THROUGH WELL-INTENDED INTERACTIONS AND CULTURAL EXCHANGES. THIS COULD INFACT RIGHTLY GUARANTEE WHAT IT TRULY MEANS TO SAY, ‘UNITY IN DIVERSITY’ IN THE SOCIO-CULTURAL SENSE.

It is high time that people think logically about the future rather than fall victims of idiotic – lunatic narratives as this is. The pathetic fact is that the ones who have Hindi as their mother tongue or have learnt Hindi are also part of discouraging non-Hindi speaking students from learning Hindi or understating the culture associated with Hindi. This is disgraceful and Pity! Come on folks you are learning a new language and the very attempt promotes your brain to develop newer neuron connections because learning a new language too is a skill. People who have understood this must take and ask others to take a positive attitude towards it. Learn and let others learn.

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Hit Pakistan where it pains the most

Date of Publishing: February 17, 2019

Source: https://indusscrolls.com/hit-pakistan-where-it-pains-the-most/

The legacy of boxing reminds us of the aggressive and gloved sport that requires the players to score points by punching the opponent’s face. The player hard punches in the areas of abdomen and ribs too so that the opponent lowers his arms to expose the ‘sweet face’ where every punch brings points. But there is another way of winning the bout: Knock out! To do that the winner hits the face in such a hard way that the opponent loses consciousness and this is what Prime Minister mostly refers to as “Muh-thod Jawab” which means ‘jaw shattering response’.

Here we are talking about knocking out Pakistan’s face and that is by liberating Baluchistan which is the largest province of Pakistan bordering Iran in the west, Afghanistan in the north & northwest and Arabian Sea in the south where the strategically important Gwadar port is being developed with investments from China. India should liberate Baluchistan just like it did in 1971 to liberate Bangladesh from its erstwhile East Pakistan. We need to show Pakistan once again what the Indian Army is capable of, that if it can send ISI sponsored coward Jaish-e-Mohammed terror modules to the Indian soil in the name of Jihad, then they have to pay a very big political price for it. A state like Pakistan whose government has no control over its army is undeserving to be called as a state. This should not be told in words but must be deliberated through sheer and brutal military action. The current government has shown the boldness to do it.

Jaish al-Adl which is yet another Pakistan based ISI sponsored militant group also martyred 27 soldiers of the Iranian troops in a similar fashioned suicide attack. So the pressure piling up on Pakistan is not just from India but also from Iran, apart from other world nations, because Indian and Iranian armed forces were martyred the same way by ISI operated Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups within a gap of a week. Not just that, the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria which is on the verge of a defeat at the hands of US backed forces would definitely be looking for another safe haven for sustaining its terror activities and we cannot allow it to establish in the Indian soil. Yet another developing scenario is the visit of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman to Pakistan and the simultaneous willingness of the representatives of Afghanistan Taliban to meet Mohammed Bin Salman. Though Saudi Arabia has condemned the attack on the Indian armed forces, it has also gone ahead with financial assistance worth billions of dollars which is apart from delivering free oil to Pakistan for at least three years. Reuters reports that this is seen as a renewed token of gratitude for Pakistan’s commitment in endorsing and protecting the order of Saudi’s royal family in the Arabian Peninsula and in return Saudi Arabia shall be Pakistan’s strategic friend and a participant in its investments along with China. Doesn’t it smell foul?

But all that India could manage to diplomatically checkmate the crown prince’s visit to Pakistan is by countering it with a stopover visit by India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Tehran, Iran’s capital, to meet Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Aragchchi and deliver a strong united message against Pakistan’s terror atrocities. What and where India would stand diplomatically with Saudi Arabia when Mohammed Bin Salman visits India early this week is to be eagerly watched upon.

At this instance, the national sentiments in India are for a befitting retaliation and revenge but I opine that we have to give a “Jaw Shattering Response” that is fit to be engraved in Indian history. When you hit the enemy, you hit it where it is weak and pains the most. For Pakistan, Baluchistan is weak, strategic and has witnessed pro-independence sentiments and insurgency by Baloch nationalists for several decades. If China and Pakistan are too interested in Kashmir then India is damn interested in Baluchistan. Let’s not forget Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support to the people of Baluchistan in his address to the nation from the ramparts of the red fort during his Independence Day speech in 2016. Now is the time to walk the talk.

ISA: India’s quest for the high table in global energy geopolitics

Date of Publishing: MAR 23, 2018

Source: https://southasiamonitor.org/news/isa-india-146-s-quest-for-the-high-table-in-global-energy-geopolitics/sl/26917?title=isa-india-146-s-quest-for-the-high-table-in-global-energy-geopolitics&type=sl&nid=26917

With the initiation of a solar movement worldwide, India has gained an opportunity to exercise its diplomatic ‘soft power’ and lead global collaborative and renewable energy geopolitics, from India’s point of view, writes Sabareesh P.A for South Asia Monitor.
By Sabareesh P.A
India’s initiative, along with France, to form the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the Conference of Parties 21 (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 30th November, 2015 was aimed at attracting investment and the world’s attention towards India while portraying it as a viable destination for investment in the renewable energy sector.
The goals of the ISA are to achieve a target of 1 TW of solar energy by 2030; promote solar technologies, new business models and investment in the solar sector; and formulate projects and programmes to promote solar applications. India’s solar quest is to effectively use the sunshine streaming over 121 nations between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn to bring about a ‘universal orange revolution’.
On March 10, 2018, New Delhi hosted heads of state and government and ministerial delegations of over 30 nations at the first ever ISA Summit. The ensuing document stated that the challenge of clean solar energy being costlier than thermal power could be faced with more private commercial players entering the renewable energy sector under the supportive shade of government. They could initiate research and develop solar technologies and efficient solar components. The ‘solar cooperation movement’ is being currently spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The ISA Summit not only reminded world leaders about the most abundant renewable source of energy but also that a rapid shift must be initiated for them to meet their respective Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). The alliance also outlines the importance of solar energy in achieving the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Though the India-led global alliance is a first at the international level, India has been locally working on the solar angle through the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) which was launched in 2009 to achieve the earlier target of 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022. The Modi government has recently revised that target upwards, to 100,000 MW.
It is important that India formulate a viable solar policy to execute massive solar projects to achieve the target of 100 GW. This also requires an estimated investment of a massive six lakh crore rupees, initially from the public sector, to provide a boost to the solar manufacturing sector.
The most important outcome of a successful solar mission in terms of climate change mitigation is that it can reduce the filthy smoke emissions from thermal power plants (about 170 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over its lifecycle).
There are always challenges during any paradigm change. Recently India was dragged by the United States to the World Trade Organisation over a trade dispute related to the ‘local procurement’ clause in the procurement of solar panels for solar projects, which is in contempt of world trade obligations. The precise and devoted focus at the policy level and multilateral interaction are now required.
According to the Economic Times, “The International Solar Alliance is … India’s contribution to enabling developing countries to make the transition to a low-carbon economy. In diplomatic terms, it was a game changer for India, when it emerged as a proactive partner in the transition to more sustainable development.”
With the initiation of a solar movement worldwide, India has gained an opportunity to exercise its diplomatic ‘soft power’ and lead global collaborative and renewable energy geopolitics, from India’s point of view.
(The author is Chief Coordinator at http://www.scienceindia.in, a web portal which provides scientific mentorship programmes for Indian school students. He can be reached at sabareesh.pa@gmail.com)

Changing political dynamics in South Asia and India’s defense strategy

Date of Publishing: December 11, 2017

Source: https://indusscrolls.com/changing-political-dynamics-in-south-asia-and-indias-defense-strategy/

Ever since the partition and Independence of India, the world has looked upon India’s development by coping up with its multi socio-cultural, multi ethnoreligious and multi-linguistic society adorning diverse cultural traits. The historical shaping of Indian Subcontinent, politically comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka is unique in terms of polity, economy, and socio-cultural dimensions. The contemporary South Asia’s ‘buzzing epicentre’ of ‘concentric geopolitics’ is indeed the beginning of shift in power axis from the ‘Northern Atlantic Sub-hemisphere’: United States of America (U.S.A), European Union (E.U) and its allies towards South Asia comprising China and India.

The existing friendly relationship between U.S.A and E.U is a result of historic conflicts, disputes, diplomacy and spheres of agreements. South Asia being a diverse theatre, a non-bipartisan relation can ensure sustained peace and development. The rising Chinese influence in South Asian region with the ‘Dragon’s Paw’ reaching to West Asia till Europe and to the neighbouring countries of India. The ‘String of Chinese Silk’ (String of Pearls – Maritime Silk Road)strives for massive infrastructural projects, some being reached out to Pakistan, it’s all-weather cosy friend, through the disputed territories of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Icing the ‘cake of menace’ for India is the twin threat of Pakistan exported terrorism and the increasing radicalization of local Muslims in India, particularly in Jammu & Kashmir. The ‘epicentre of global terrorism’ is a reality of this notorious neighbour. India’s foreign policy over the decades has shifted with the changing dimensions in South Asian politics with the ‘yet to revive’ Afghanistan being cared post withdrawal of U.S special forces.

The past one decade saw the Government of India increase aid and assistance to its neighbouring countries. However, China has stood at the periphery of nations neighbouring India. At this instance, India’s emancipation of ‘Act East Policy’ focusing on the Asia-Pacific region for strategic dialogue and economic cooperation aims to strengthen ties with ASEAN countries. The policy gains attention at a time of China’s hegemonic agenda to ‘wall’ the South China Sea. The recent milestones to consolidate relationships with a ‘cherry of trust’ may not work with all the countries, but it emphasizes India’s seriousness to take forward SAARC nations together as a bloc like the European Union.

The current Government hints at the future strategic ambitions to tilt the opportunities of the ‘Asian Pivot’ in favour of India and bring the ‘cusp of change’ in ‘diplomatic and geopolitical winds’ from diverse landscapes adjoining the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal in favour of India. India’s bilateral relationship with neighbouring countries comes with ‘pie and thorns’. Amidst such a hotspot, India’s defence measures and preparedness and strategic relationship with South Asian nations take the limelight.

India’s assistance to Bhutan for development of hydropower projects; expertise for the Constitution of Nepal; energy cooperation with Bangladesh; assistance to build the Afghan Parliament; quick humanitarian assistance for supply drinking water in Maldives and much importantly the ‘SAARC satellite’ are just a few ‘sweet-toothed’ strategies to strengthen India’s relations with the immediate neighborhood in return for their support to leverage India’s strategic role in International politics particularly India’s permanent membership at the United National Security Council.

The blind tribeman

(POETRY)

In a corner of the world,
where wolves always howled.
There lived a barbaric tribe,
which never heard of bribe.

It hunted with aggressive pride,
all that they found on their side.
They wore ornaments of bones,
and held weapons of stones.

The tribesmen spoke using their fingers,
and sniffed along, to spot strangers.
But one man stood forever in dark,
and all that he had was a great heart.

He guided the hunters in night,
and taught the children to fight.
His mimics attracted the prey,
and the tribesmen gave him a pray.

He picked even the slightest of the vibration,
and led the fellow tribals through tradition.
Stood in the front as a brave wiseman,
portraying as a simple tribeman.

A Child that was

(POETRY)

A little naughty child,
whose face was mild.
Stood behind the window,
watching the tree shadow.

Her bright little black eye,
peeping out like a spy.
The fine fingers held a toy,
Which she never knew why.

The red little lips passed out a rhyme,
which went on and on after each time.
Her fingers counted the rose,
all that the garden had to pose.

The shadow of the trees grew longer,
as the sun sat across the border.
Far away came marching her father,
with a opened box beneath the shoulder.

The child climbed up the window frame,
like the lion keeper failing to tame.
The child’d eyebrows took a bowed stretch,
to find what it was inside the box trench.

Rose a white kitten with a red neck bell,
it was looking too young to even spell.
With her father making the kitten indulge,
the child’s rose cheeks took a deep bulge.

The Shining Canine

(POETRY)

I had an extreme front fall,
while playing basketball.
the doc found a broken tooth,
and said it’s as hard as a boot.

He prepared for its extraction,
it filled my mind with distraction.
Giving a little twist using his plier,
came the small boy like a lair.

The usual smile, i started to avoid,
for all would ask about the void.
A week after the extreme fall,
i went for shopping in a mall.

There i saw a dental clinic,
Where i could settle my panic.
I checked my wallet for money,
which matched as said by the honey.

A masked man with an alien goggle,
asked me gently to gargle.
A couple of tests finally,
fixed the shining tooth manually.

From then on whenever i smiled,
my pals looked like jailed.
Because out on a sunny day,
the other teethes looked like hay !

Chosen to Serve.

(POETRY)

It was a dark gloomy rainy day,
not listening what mom had to say.
Geared up my new bi-wheeler,
which gave my image a new feeler.

The drive was free and calm,
with intermediate shops and palm.
clouds covered the above blue sky,
like a squad following the spy.

A car gushed through from back,
and it was as speed as a buck.
The hair width gap between us,
put my balance in a fuss.

Sliding away from the hard tar,
made me fall a distant far.
What i remembered last seeing,
was that car speedily fleeing.

Unknowing three days had passed,
inside a room that was glassed.
My head was blunt and pale,
as if it carried a heavy bale.

Trying to open my left eye brow,
gave the unclear glimpse of the show.
But the voices that hit my ears,
coughed off all my fears.

A tiny question emerged in my heart,
which gave my life a new start.
For knowing a very noble reason,
‘To live, why was i chosen ?’