Monday, May 31, 2010

Rabindra Nath Tagore: Visionary in Multiplicity

Rabindra Nath Tagore, who commonly known to the world with the surname of “Tagore” was undoubtedly the topmost acclaim as representative of the identity and belief of India’s national culture but sharply away from the popular notion of Indian nationalism. The Tagores were an aristocratic elite family with a very sound family tradition of learning-father Maharshi Debendra Nath was not less than an institution of knowledge; bond between father-sons cultivated a relentless tradition of learning for long time.
Linguistic division has turned India’s national culture into many chocked status that badly haunted the creativity-remarkable literaturer like Bankim Chandra Chatterji or Subramania Bharati who shown great zeals to consolidate the India as a supreme unit {Authority}by spending years at Varanasi couldn’t get similar attention because of same divisive trap of British colonialist.
In no manner,Tagore faced the similar ire, as universalism was much sacrosanct for him then anything else…he was in favour of Indian independence but not through Swadeshi movement or any other nationalist stances based on the boycott of foreign conception or material goods.

At his own frame of mind, sovereignty of nation remained a puzzling issue before him-his book on the contemporary Swadeshi movement “Ghare Baire {The Home and the World}”poignantly touched the entire issue and left as reference point for his dislike with nationalism at the cost of internationalism. His idea of internationalism were primarily a humanist stand and broadly a world vision to see the world borderless atleast in sphere of culture-leading Sociologist Ashish Nandi’s work “The Illegitimacy of Nationalism” provides some deeper insight on this debate.
He was an avid proponent of Universalist aspiration though Universalism with a difference-his imagination hadn’t any place for power struggle and that were the real point of unusualness.
Two ideologue of Asian Universalism-Okakura Kakuzo and Sister Nivedita were the propagator of his vision in Asia and beyond;he himself extensively traveled across the world including Central Asia and CHINA-in a short span,he visited thrice time to China and streamlined the bond of sharing between these two ancient civilization.His official Chinese translator in 1920’s, Xu Zhimo {affectionately he called him Suo Sima} shared with him a bond that weren’t lesser then father-son relations.
They were so close that Tagore stayed at his house in Simingcun or Siming village {Shanghai} during all three visits; Tagore’s quotation placed the village’s community walls and he still remembered as most profound cultural representative from India. Tagore’s theme or life philosophy “the crescent moon, adolescent heart and the quintessence of nature” received mix response in contemporary Chinese literary circle-Chinese literaturer Tan Chang came out with a reverse opinion through his essay “Tagore’s Inspiration in Chinese new Poetry”; he termed Tagore’s view as escapist but his stand must not be confused with collective opinion of Chinese.

Leading social historian Ram Chandra Guha’s view on Tagore, ‘If Tagore had merely been a ‘creative artist’; perhaps one would not have found him put to rank alongside those other builders of modern India-draws his unique persona in terms of multiple efforts he had relentlessly made in his lifetime. His humbleness that always exposed him as “creative artist” in consistent effort largely differed from his very early acceptance into a worldwide figure. Tagore always enjoyed this intrinsic struggle of art very intimately and entwined those cruxes to different realm of life.
Literaturer and classical music exponent Amit Chaudhuri’s elaboration that Tagore knew this, and it’s from his intimacy with solitariness and secrecy that his extraordinary language and his transformative vision of the world emerge-he often seems to make this solitary self an interlocutor, in a tone at once self-flagellating and accusatory; in India, Tagore is viewed as a sort of Guinness Book of World Record holder {Nothing but a Poet, Hindustan Times, May7,2010,Friday}, deciphers the versatility of this unparalleled man.
Indeed we Indians have masterly command in forgetting our own strong side of tradition and being a part of that tradition, Tagore’s assessment also suffered similar flaws both at home and the world. Amit Chaudhuri’s concern,”from Vidyapati {great Maithili poet of14th century AD, of whose songs he once composed a pastiche} to Tagore, there’s an immense movement; but of what kind? Brilliantly covers the historical series of negligence towards the discipline of literature.
After 150th birth anniversary of Tagore on May17th, 2010, time has sufficiently mature now to convert some of positively earmarked proposition into action-prolific work of Tagore essentially needs a revisiting for streamlining and formation of proper views on his life and accomplishment. He had unique capacity to converge the pastime to painful efforts-remarkably; he succeeded on most of counts with same consistent calibrated blend of action. He was a Poet, Artist, Institution Maker, Patriot, Conservator, Reformer, Naturalist par excellent-moreover, he epitomizes perfectly as a mean-line between tradition and modernity which is indeed a rare combination in itself.

The most genuine tribute to Tagore would be introspection in broad light about his activism as an epoch-maker during significant and decisive phases of late nineteenth century and first half of twentieth century; his sustainable world view amidst the wave of his prolific work symbolizes his zeal to uplift his motherland and entire humanity at large.
Apart from his contribution, one aspect is equally imperative to cover the rare quality of this doyen of non-conflict-at no point, Tagore even for a moment never subdued with the gap of his conception and standard of worldly acceptance. Infact, he felt aggrieved, shocked but never let allowed those melancholic inferences to block his voyage of Universalism.

Among much uniqueness, Tagore had credit to compete the national anthem of two neighboring countries-“Jan gana man”, the national anthem of India is thoroughly entrusted with “Rag Kedar” after first stanza and national anthem of Bangladesh “Amar Sonar Bangla” emerged from the “Baul Music” tradition of Bengal; that naturally reflects his vision for beauty around the corner. Truly, this defender of natural human development amidst the healthy environment easily imparts a solution for mankind in next course of development. Time would be never as appropriate as presently to shed the growing discontent through contemplating the vision of Tagore.
Atul Kumar Thakur, New Delhi
May28th, 2010, Friday

Why Census of Caste?

The Henry Hutton was Census Commissioner of India in 1931, the last time a caste-based Census was carried out-an oxford trained Anthropologist and an expert on castes, tackles the issue in his report on the Census of India in chapter, “The Return of Caste” which is very crucial to know the real intent of colonial initiatives behind the caste Census.
Opposite to Herbert Risley, Census Commissioner in 1901, who ranked castes in the Census according to their social standing, Henry Hutton had more academic and administrative conscious stands behind his propositions.

Obviously, introduction of caste Census in contemporary order were akin to fetch an administrative suitability rather with any plan for affirmative action-in a more generalized perception, it was a sort of numerical counting for administrative reasons.
The crux of caste Census initiated a wider transformation, with hundreds of caste associations formed between the 1880’s and 1930’s aiming their categorical demands both to the state and within the social system. Further, apart from caste, religion and language were politiczed by the Census-these harmful practices could be vanished only from 1941 Census because of intensification of independence movement and winding-up plans of British establishment.
In independent India, the constitution recognized the evils of the caste system and provided for provision for affirmative action with a view to eventually eliminating it from our social structure. But unfortunately it remains, even stronger-the entire arrangement of affirmative action has only created a creamy layer subclass and the benefits are continuously being denied to the vast submerged poor in backward classes, and to the rest poor in all the states.
So, the programme of social justice routes through reservation is grossly falsifying the essence of its inception-it’s so derailed now that even a daughter of past President {K.R.Narayanan}morally saw no wrong in availing the easy ladders of SC reservation to climb the destination of Indian Foreign Service examination.
These diverse and confusing debates are thriving in every nook and cranny about the prospect of caste Census in upcoming 2011 Census despite knowing the mandate of Supreme Court{India}, that cap the reservation beyond 50%both in job and education.
Besides there wouldn’t be even a minimal change in the wake of Backward caste population would juggle around 60-70%, which is going to be most viable probability-if relying on National Sample Survey Organization {NSSO,2004, OBC-41%}then prospective scenario becomes more crystal.
Unfortunately mapping of caste would make census exercise very stodgy for all indulged components and impulse them to shift from original issue of developmental inquiries-surprisingly, prominent voices including Psephologist Yogendra Yadav too seeing caste Census as tool of dynamicism to know about the changing social structure-alas! He also missed the use of competent National Commission for Backward Classes {Act1993} and state Backward Class Commissions for identification of the backward classes and to make special provisions relating to such classes.
“Remarkably even Mandal Commission was not entirely based on Census of 1891 and 1931; recommendations of Justice Venkataswami {Backward Caste Commission II} were sufficiently taken into account in this Commission; though later some flaws were noted by Justice Chinnappa Reddy {Backward Caste Commission III}-Nandini Sunder, THE HINDU, Tuesday, May 11,2010}”.
The constituent assembly framing the Census Act of 1948 decided to exclude caste returns {except SCc and STs}, so Indian constitution hardly gives any romantic space to play with caste at major arena. But in reality, case is reverse, since caste didn’t disappear from public life as was anticipated, so, political attitudes towards counting it have changed dramatically. Political groups and lobbyists who support such plan have in mind of race and ethnicity counting as it’s prevailing in the U.S and U.K census respectively.

This is nothing short of a blunder…after sixty-three years of democracy in India, now even caste shouldn’t be seen in terms of class-even partial benefit of reservation and mobility have considerably changed the traditional social structure in India. Central government has unwarrantably acting in complicity this regard by offering the heed to the lobbyists of caste politics. In an already fractured political space, it would be a grave jolt, after all introduction of caste Census will marks a parochial re-shifting of Indian politics. Even contemplation on this issue indicates the deeper sycophancy imbibed in collective cognition of a section who still finding solutions in the worse age of colonialism.
Atul Kumar Thakur, New Delhi
May28th 2010, Friday

Who care for Peoples?

In last few weeks, Maoists have shocked the nation through three cowardly attacks-one was carried out to ambush the entire team of seventy-six security personnel and rest two including yesterday’s attack on a train in West Bengal primarily targeted the innocent common peoples who even in deadly nightmare, can’t be regarded their class enemy or an instrument of state against them.
The derailed radical outfits who are trying to mould Maoism as a tailor-made ideology and use it in an alien terrain of India forgetted that even their chief ideologue, Maotse Tung{Mao} wasn’t aware of any possible future expansion of his closed dream-his idea and vision were strictly woven around political atmosphere of China. Ironically, radical outfits in India are unnecessarily entwining themselves with those alien ideas in the name of people’s war!

They practices the tenets of Maoism that”Power flows from the barrel of gun” albeit forgetting that politics must be in command behind any major action, where is politics from their side? They are in consistent denial mode, even escaping the truth that war they are fighting against Indian state is unachievable…instead of realization; they are following a blend of euphoria and solace by wiping out the signs of development from their command area on the name of fight for development? For which peoples, they are waging such action?
On the name of peoples, they are implicating the same clamour “either you are with us or against of us” as of neo-imperialists. The biggest humanitarian violation is swiftly in place in this country and no indulged party has time to think of amicable solution.

State has every reason and right to retaliate those who challenge its existence in armed capacity but not without appropriately enforcing one among two pronged solutions instigated by the Home Minister, P.Chidambaram, and Indeed developmental intervention and winning the trust of mass peoples who willingly or unwillingly dwelling with opposite camp should be the first priority.
State as a supreme authority should be and must be revisit the blunder of past where in the name of development, crores of peoples loosed their conventional sources of livelihood-insensitivities have to be evaporated from top to the bottom of administrative structure besides any outsourcing of law and order control {Salwa Judum}must be stopped.

Administration and policing, these two must be flow directly from the hand of state but not through the trust deficit of local peoples. Verbatim from Siddhartha Vardrajan’s article {this war can’t be won by mines and bullets, THE HINDU, May20, 2010} that” Maoist party subscribes to the same political culture and moral universe as the state it condemns” vehementally shatters the pseudo facades of violent and unconsineful Maoists.
India as a nation is endowed with diversity in different spheres, and these are more assets then liabilities-red belts are mostly constituted through the tribal population and backward castes that hitherto have been missing the benefits of governance and still living with insecurities of various essential means.

Their inclusion and streamlining of plights should be the major concern of both state and central government-absolutely issues like, drying of SON river{first time in history}and chronic deficiency of waters in Bundelkhand region have to prioritized in development agenda instead of attaining complacency for inflated balance sheets of mining Multinational Companies in the region.
Industrialization is must but they will have to be labour intensive, environment conscious and overall people centric-unless the checking of discontents would be remain a distant dream. Trust building measures have to be strengthened as true step to retrieve the trust of peoples who in absence of option are forced to juggle around the disasters. Discipline and skills would be decisive to end this standoff-presently that professionalism are lacking, among government officials, political parties, security forces, press…everywhere.
Most of us ignoring that we are facing a serious time within our country and its handling would never be same as matters of cross border intrusion. Mines and bullets, both have to be passive as the basic human needs are hardly begins with these two objects…enough is enough! Peoples of India need harmony not a new status of mourner for the loss of dear ones which always will be a possibility in current set of condition…
Atul Kumar Thakur
Friday, May28th2010, New Delhi

Lukewarmness in Accountability

Multitasking like a growing banyan tree have adversely shadowing the Indian political space, this is now a frequent and established phenomenon that vehemently breaking the ethos of public accountability.
Among few sleepy options, sports chosen to be an area of commercial pastime by the high rank politicians-worst of all, by taking into account of marginal-utility principle, they grossly subsuming the task of in an unfortunate single row. Now a days, it’s hard to anticipate the area of interest and experiences of politicians, at least in top order who matters most-ironically, in this new game, there’s nothing exist like opposition except ideologically stricken left parties.
Like Newton’s third law of motion- a man like Arun Jaitely is always ready to give competence to his peers, notably to the farmers leader turned Minister in various crucial capacities turned the biggest sports Mentor of the world, Mr. Sharad Pawar. Their sharing of interest in sports politics strikes some serious concern-in the wake of recession and mismatch of demand-supply mechanism,adversenee fuelled the Consumer Price Index {CPI} led inflation rate to the spiraling high at 16-20%; instead to draw focus, this most challenging reality has been marginalized by the vested interest of Cricket politics and some other trivial issues that hardly matters for a common man who faced hardship on day to day basis.
Today prices of foods are skyrocketing, availability of power per capita is alarmingly going down, employment in organized sector is getting scarce, almost half of countries terrain facing some sort of deadly conflict…amazingly neither ruling coalition nor opposition have much to do with it.
BJP as a party and stakeholder in Indian politics is facing an unusual sort of deficiency in issues and leadership-derailed transition of party leadership is making things impossible for them to foresee real issues at the moment.
Lack of opposition zeal’s are indeed the most surprising outcome of the recent time-though exception exists but on matter of their own existential issues, such as on caste census, women’s reservation etc. The convergence of mode and agenda of two vital components {ruling and opposition parties} are very shocking from the basic point democratic point of views-such circumstances abnormally breaths on the vulnerability of public issues.
Amidst the hullabaloo, a mean path has emerged into popular political stand; the formidable among its evangelist is Congress leader, Digvijay Singh, who is showing rare gesture of hide and seek with his colleagues-like a gifted batsman, he is demonstrating clever footwork on political pitch. In recent past, he has chosen some matter of highest sensitivity, issued his opinion like a maverick albeit in same skill accommodated the resistance followed by it-so, overall resultant left was zero, an abysmal number in solitaire.
Forthrightness remains another front where the acts of Ministers like, Jairam Ramesh and Shashi Tharoor appears fairly silly-where apart from outspokenness, Jairam Ramesh has shown some remarkable reform in his Ministry of Environment &Forest, on the other hand casualness of approaches led Shashi Tharoor out of Ministry and high perception.
One common thing among the Ministers which they all have forgotten that politics is completely an art rather a science as its being preaching blindly in Universities-here uncertainty is strictly attached with the ones action and failureness to live up on expectations. So, arrival of high placed persons from International Multilateral Organizations like, U.N and others have added more unusual alienation in Indian political sphere rather impacting on the matter of significance.
This new political culture is indeed marks a shift of political attention from the ground realities…a section of peoples are absolutely availing the fruits of neo-liberal economy but a big mass is on the verge of pauperization as their skills are hardly considered competent in changed set of productions and services.
Moreover, whose features appears as long hours of work with negligible earning, lack of any social security or labour protection and extensive use of child labours-now debate on history and most of book launches are accompanied by the glamorous cocktails where the issues are exactly placed outside of its sphere. For remaining different in such scenario, one have to show indifferences with deviants and at events of all sorts…political, industrial, intellectual etc; then freedom of expression can only live up in reality.
Atul Kumar Thakur
May28th 2010, Friday, New Delhi