FROM SECULARISM TO HINDUTVA; INDIA AT 70

Jawaharlal Nehru, our first prime minister may not be able to recognise the India of today , the one he carved out of the ashes left by partition and the leftovers of British rule .

While the British left with the
loot of our resources, communities which had co existed for centuries turned onto each other with swords and knives pillaging human lives on the basis of religion .

With this disastrous background of instability the Prime Minister and his trusted cabinet of elected representatives presented the constitution of India highlighting the secular notion that the state will adopt and abide by come what may.

Even though most of the decision makers of that time including Nehru were higher caste Hindu men, they never shoved Hinduism down the throat of a country where different religions and cultures originated and spread.

This secularism is not new to India, throughout history even with the Mughals who were Islamic rulers , there was always encouragement of other religions including having Jesuit, Buddhist, and Hindu sadhus as advisors to Akbar and other scions of the Mughal dynasty as opposed to just having Muslim ulama-priests.

While in modern India the media portrays Muslims and Islam as terrorists and practisers of forceful religious conversions, hiding under this banner is the crimes that are being committed by the RSS, a wing of BJP-the ruling party. Our current prime minister Modi, who is a very different man from Nehru in ideology and working, comes from this RSS school of ideology.

What is the RSS ideology?

it demands that Non-Hindus namely Muslims and Christians should be subservient to the majoritarian culture that is Hinduism.
While all Hindus are not supposed to be blamed for the workings of a few, the tragedy is that moderate Hindu majority including a handful of politicians do not have the moral courage to stand up in defense of their fellow citizens who offer their prayers to a different god.

IS THE IDEA OF SECULARISM UNDER ATTACK OR IS IT JUST PROPOGATED BY THE MEDIA ?

As much as supporters of a certain party might hate to admit it, the idea of secularism is certainly under fire. It started with innocuous attacks like undermining secularism with ‘secularism’ and ‘pseudo
secularism’, secularism was compared as a disease affecting Indian society where in reality secularism is supposed to act as an elder brother one that accepts all and loves all while showing bias to none.

The rise of right wing nationalism and the party which adheres to this ideology winning majority of 282 has given a commanding majority to practicing the notion of Hindutva and serving blows to the concept of secularism which was already tattered with.

Thanks to this majority only sticking to the Lok Sabha and not the Rajya Sabha, the higher house of governance, legitimizing laws with Hindutva ideology at its core
still hesitates while making bold policies.
While it is true that media overplays stories of anti secularism and communal riots to garner higher TRPs for commercial interests, all this smoke of anti secularism and one religion dominance is not without
fire.

The attacks on Muslims, all of a sudden debate on the divine nature of cows and as a result vigilantism on cow traders, exporters and killing of meat eaters are major symptoms of this anti-secularism that is affecting Indian society.

THE TASK OF SECULARISM
So how can people who worship different gods, speak different languages and subscribes to different
conceptions of doing good live together in a certain level of civility, dignity and with mutual respect?

It’s not easily find an answer for this troubled question but one way would be by understanding that administering secularism does not just lie with the government of the country but its a collective social responsibility.

Every fundamental right guaranteed by U.N constitutions, resolutions, national policies
and laws proves incapable in real life situations of fully protecting citizens when they targeted on the grounds of their identity.

Therefore unless society learns to respect groups of different religious
persuasions, these groups will always be vulnerable to riots and crimes by dominant religious communities.
The task of secularism which
was long given off to the governments to administrate has served its time in the wrong hands and is now finally being passed onto the people.
In this 70th year of independence , let us begin the work of ensuring religious freedom throughout the
country and interpreting the notion of secularism as seen through the eyes of our nation-makers armed with the constitution to restore India to its glorious past of respecting and practising more than a
thousand religions all within the borders of the subcontinent .

So that if the noble ghosts of our past leaders tend to make a visit here, they’re not greeted by a country filled with human carcasses and massive herds of cows roaming the street instead of people .

Because the last thing we need in this country of superstition is a tryst with the supernatural.

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Tough love and second laps 🖤

I’ve always wanted to write about heartbreaks . Always . Always in the sense from when I began to understand that writing is where my heart lies and not in playing the piano or strumming the guitar .

But the awful thing about writing about heartbreak is that it’s impossible to go on about it without acknowledging your own . And how could I share something so deeply personal in a blog where I’ve been strictly discreet given the readership .

So I was one of those people who used to go around promoting the notion of there’s a certain Grace in having your heartbroken curated by this generation’s favorite feminist and funny woman Lena Dunham .

Now to be sure that’s something someone cured of a heartbreak would say after analysing the whole experience , having obviously said it myself until quite recently I realise now that I propagated that idea because I was healed and was completely out of it but now that am back in that zone again I call bullshit .

Heartbreak as an experience for an outside viewer to see might be graceful , oh how the girl picks herself up and decides to leave , oh the grieving period , oh the am too sassy for crying in a sofa in my PJs period and the oh I can survive period but that’s just a third person persepective .

By running that course a second time I can guarantee to you all that it’s bullshit , pure bullshit and you feel like even purer bullshit while going through this jackshit emotion .

See first time around you’re like omg what is happening what is all this surge of emotion am feeling all of a sudden , is this normal , do people actually feel so many emotions at once , how was I such a fool to trust him , was I not enough am I not enough questions which takes you another lap along the insecurity circuit .

The second time around and trust me this only happens if you are as naive as me when it comes to that one person you go in thinking it’s gonna be different this time . But sooner than later you understand that this boy has you running around in circles when you know exactly what you want . What is the point in taking aimless laps in hopes to find something worth your while when you already know exactly what you want . So you try and try and try and try because you’ve lived life till now believing that if you want something you go get it .

But it is when you are chasing that you understand that it’s not a thing , it’s a person , a whole compete person just like you with all the emotions and needs intact just like you . And this person might want something else . And so as we studied in economics ,kids, the currency of love in order for it to actually be something is still barter system it hasn’t moved onto modern financial systems yet and so if there ain’t no double coincidence of wants then it’s better that you get moving .

Even if it’s the hardest fucking thing you have to do , even if like me you are a follow your heart / wear your heart on the end of your sleeve kinda girl , sometimes you have to choose intelligence over emotions and know when it’s time to let go .

Because no matter how hard you try you can’t force love or wanting to be with someone and if you guilt trip and force them into stuff then is that actually what love is .

So now instead of having a grieving period that is due for my second lap around this big beautiful ocean called heartbreak I am catapulted into my dream city which is also called the greatest city in the world for a week and how can I sit around and whine about a boy when I get a chance like this .

So am saving it and letting go because honestly one thing I’ve learned from the start of this year alone is how true that over used Paulo coelho quote that everybody who has been guilt tripped into reading the alchemist knows, that if you really really really want something and if you actually do deserve it and is meant to be then the whole universe conspires in helping you achieve it / make it happen for you .

And trust me if this small town girl who dared dream about going to New York one day could end up actually going there before she becomes an adult and all on her own merit then anything can happen .

So my dear boys and girls to sum up this drawn out article on heartbreak and my love for New York City is that it’s going to be okay , whatever decision you made or was forced to make, follow through with it and anytime you feel like falling back just remind yourself why you chose to walk away in the first place .

Love is hard that’s why most people strictly do flings and I totally understand , but us hopeless romantics of course believe in the impossible and end up in the gutters feeling gutted but that’s okay because at least we tried , atleast we put ourselves out there and admitted to our feelings and emotions and if that’s not EQ right there I don’t know what is even if you lack a little of that IQ .

Just like Bebe rexha and Georgia line keep singing if it’s meant to be it will be otherwise, it wasn’t .

Which obviously means that bigger things are coming to screw you even harder . 😗

Tryst with Rese 🤐(reservation system) 


In the corridor of the oldest kids in school , there was a class full of hypocrites . 

These beings perched on the desks and benches with hypocrisy spewing out each time they opened their mouth causing disruption to an entire floor . 

What was the cause of this ? 

The humanists who once advocated reservation of seats when they learned about affirmative action-taken by the government to makeup for the years of injustice done to the ST and SCs communities- last year in political science . 

The very same bunch of kids who inhabited the same body ,brain ,consciences as they  and learning as they had last year except for sitting in a different class and on a different floor with their futures and college admissions looming closer with each month , these ones who were awoke with sentiments and sympathy who vouched and debated for the reservation system had now turned against it . 

 For the first time in their life they understood the consequence of the cut off list and how being a general or upper section of the society is gonna be a setback for a class of kids who seldom experienced any setbacks in their 14 years of education . 

And how for once being privileged is an underprivilege . 

See reservation I’ve come to know is like that good friend of yours , you know the one you say hi to in the hallways and often smile at and make great small talk . But who is not your best friend and who you’ll never hang out with unless you have a choice . So when your best friends are not there , it’s just you and ol’boy rese (reservation) and then when you get to know him more you understand that he’s not that great , that in fact whilst being buddy buddy with you in the hallways he was actually plotting against you the entire time . 

From afar everything looks like rainbow , gold and cupcakes but its only when you get up close and personal do you understand that the gold was just yellow glitter , the rainbows where the product of an animals nether regions and those sprinkles on the cupcake was actually algae acting up . 

While my classmates and I are gonna learn the hard way about the perils of our once much loved reservation system and pay the price of the moral debts our forefathers incurred-oppressing the SC and STs to such an extent that a support system had to be constructed-I hope the you guys don’t forget the header image of this blog and the solemn message it contains . 

SO to all the clickers who thought this was about reese cups and ended up sourly disappointed just like how Indian general category students feel after looking at the cut off list . 

The rese mentioned here is a less chocolatey and very hard to digest form of its chocolate counterpart which is a relief and comfort to many . 

Coachella : 21st century’s finest example of cultural appropriation 


The recently concluded first weekend of  Coachella-an American music and arts festival- that has been the sweetspot for the young blood of Hollywood to show off their eloquency in fashion has garnered much attention from the international media this time for more wrong reasons than for right . 

This year it has been in  the limelight for being the biggest platform to showcase the most smoothest way of cultural appropriation after years of getting away with it . 

For those of you who ingest magazines like vogue and marie Claire and the lot as the Bible and have accepted Vanessa Hudgens – often touted as the queen of Coachella – as your Lord and saviour as to what to wear to the festival and  what not , this article if at all successful in conveying the essence of its very title might turn wry your other wise ardent sentiments towards the Coachella attendees . 

What Is cultural appropriation you ask ? 

The Oxford reference definition would be 

A term used to describe the taking over of creative or artistic forms, themes, or practices by one culturalgroup from another. It is in general used to describe Westernappropriations of non‐Western or non‐white forms, and carries connotations of exploitation and dominance.

Simply put , you take what is appealing to you from one cultural without knowing the background of it and appropriate it into your own for your benefit .

If you think only the native American and black cultures are being appropriated intensively as always  during the course of this fest then you are wrong no regional or geographical discrimination is made when it comes to matter of appropriation thereby garnering the most likes and views on Instagram or Facebook and what have you . 

From the bindis– a regular adornment of South Asian females to distinguish the married women from the unmarried and to ward off  evil –to custom store bought recreations of tribal headgear which in tribal traditions are awarded only to the brave and noble of the lot are now being worn by every other wannabee it girl in hopes to be Instagram famous and to turn up the follower count by a few thousands . 

The use of war paint in further hopes to highlight how open you are to trying new cultures and ides and not knowing its symbolic meaning ,  converting even those kinds of tribal sentiments to make  personal fashion statements and to be the talk of the town only proves exactly how selfish and how far milleneals can go to get the look and be the next kylie or Kendall Jenner.  

A culture my dear fashion forwards, is not something that you can use and discard as easily as disposing the fall fashion line for the summer one in hope that what you are wearing is deemed fashionable and will get you in with the crowd . 

Culture infact is a  myriad of human emotions and sentiments, of traditions and of sacred rituals and most of all  the feeling of belonginess to be identified as a part of a  particular community . 

Let us not demean cultures and sentiments for a few thousand likes and popularity.

Coachella of course may not be the only platform showcasing the appropriative patterns of the privelaged class but it might be one of the many happening in many countries across the world and not just the west but as soft hegemony comes into play , whatever is going viral in the united States must go viral for the rest of the world too . 

Let us hope that all the articles written about the first weekend of Coachella are seen in time enough for the attendees to make haste and swap their costumes for something a lot more appropriate and lot less culturally appropriating or else the media and social scientists will be having a feild day.


Sitting alone in a cafe at prime time , meaning 3 to 5 , when you’re surrounded by couples and office guys strategizing marketing techniques and getting judgy looks from the guy behind the counter for your state of solidarity makes one highly aware of how lonely they might seem . 

So how come you don’t feel lonely when you travel was my first question to her , now answering through voice recording over our staple mode of communication,whatsapp . 

“See that’s the thing ” she says “you are never lonely , you’re with your thoughts and yourself even when others perceive you to be completely alone and you learn to make a bond with your soul ” . The she mentioned here is rafiya sherin a 20 year old Muslim girl ,who had intrigued from the very start when I read a piece on her by a local daily , more than her passion for travelling it was her roots that encroached me , hailing from a very rural part of malapuram district in Kerala and a member of an orthdox Muslim family , solo travel especially a girl travelling alone is unheard of in her village . 

Left right Left 🙄

Death is imminent and lurks around our vicinity each time we step in or step out, so when death has this immenency factory to it , we are pressurized both by the society and our conscience to fill our short life spans with rights . 

Rights as in the right thing to do , the right way to go and the right things to choose . 

Lets face it right from the beginning of life as we know it , it has been shoved down our throats even by pop culture which has always been popularised as the devil’s advocate and by superheroes , soap operas and boooks to always do the right even if that means you lose out . Doing the right thing is what makes the good guy good right ? 

But you know why the ratio of good guys to bad guys are so miserably decimal , it is because doing the right thing sucks . 

I know for a fact that the person who had this thought of instilling in our minds the right thing to do must have been a melancholic person who had one thing going for him for sure no matter whatever else went south , a guilt free conscience.

WHY ? Because doing the right thing is almost always self sacrificial . You do it even though you kill a little part of yourself doing it . 

And that leaves you melancholic but you get a guilt-free conscience. 

If that’s the bargain you consider profitable then like me you are going to be melancholic , my friend . 

CHAUHAN SAHEB 💂

There are some people you meet and you just know , know that you’ll click and be around for quite a while . 

So what do you do for the birthdays of these people who mean so much to you ? 

You devote entire blog posts to them . 

So here chauhan is your birthday blog post . Because the world needs to know the rivalry as you keep saying . 

But what is the rivalry between us ? I still have no idea , maybe it’s the rivalry of who surprises the other , the most . For which you’ll stay winner for a long time to come . 

Happy birthday chauhan 🎂you were undoubtedly one of the best things about kendriya vidyalaya . 

At least now let me call you bhaiya , because you have a girlfriend now na , JK I can’t decipher all that Hindi you’d throw at me again , from the last time I suggested the same . 

Happy birthday🎂 , you are now turning legal . Time for us to do illegal shit . I know you hate physics and that your mind is more literaryily inclined than you can admit to but you have to get through this and don’t worry ill pep talk you through it .  

Happy birthday chauhan🎂 , thank you for picking up the pieces of whatever I throw at you and for always being there no matter the time and who you are with . 

Happy birthday chauhan🎂, thank you for existing and making life better . 

Happy birthday chauhan🎂 , am going to one up you this birthday , your book will reach you by April cause if I send it to you now then boards toh pakka gaya . 

Toh mere dosth , shukre guzar hain bhagwan se ki thum jaisa lambu mil gaye zindagi ki dard hasee mazak ke sath jaleney ke liye . 🍧

Asha kartha hoon ki tujhse bahut jaldi mulakat ho kyunki hamey bohot sarey cheez karna hain na? Isliye shanth raho picture abhi bhi bohot bakhi hain 😉

The Humanities Massacre 🔪

A special kind of event that occurs each year when thousands of typical Indian parent’s dreams are killed by kids who are even bigger dreamers . 

I have killed dreams to reach here , just not my own . In that sense the whole lot of my class and the entire humanities division are selfish dream killers . And this year our infamous course is going to grow in size yet again . 

Welcome to humanities town population: 100,00,00 + 

Temperature : warmer than commerce ,India when compared to the Pakistan that is science , where you have no idea who’s attacking you , the government ,the terrorists or the military . 

One common factor in all the individuals who practise this science called humanities , oh wait just got more backlash for calling humanities a science . 

Sorry am not sorry , the one common thing in us the disappointments who scored 90+ in tenth and still took the arts is that , we’re selfish and all in the pursuit of our OWN dreams and ambitions not the ones chacha , mama , mausi , papa and ma  imposed upon us to brighten the family name . 

We like seeing our own names in journals better than our family names , mainly because they’ve never foregone a chance to guilt trip us for not being more like our every-Indian- parents- wet -dream kinda kids , our  cousins who took PCM and became engineers and landed a job straight out of college  . While whatever debate competitions and internships we bagged was looked down upon because c’mon “its only arts,da“. 

So winning the hearts of the family was naturally never on the bucket list . 

I remember when I first broke the news to my family , believe me in India it’s as tense as telling your family you’re gay especially if you got 96 percent and still want to pursue arts , my mother as always was playing her role as a smother ( smothering mother ) amazing as always and supported me because she’s undoubtedly the one person who believes I can do anything I want to .
But my dad on the other hand , like every other Indian parent freaked out but never said no yet warned me several times and just last week that when all my other friends becomes engineers and doctors I must not come complaining to him . 

It’s amazing how an Indian dad can turn career counsellor the minute his only daughter plans to venture into the arts . He said engineering , I said I would undoubtedly flunk 11th because I knew math only enough to get decent grades in tenth and don’t plan to do something I despise just to earn a living when I can do the opposite and be content. 

Immediately he propositioned the next desired profession , emphasizing that there would be no math just physics , chemistry and biology and this time I couldn’t slip out easily because fortunately or unfortunately in this case I had got A1 in science ( but we all know 10th science doesn’t matter at all in 11th)  so I countered it with the fact that the maths in physics and chemistry would compensate the loss of actual math . 

My dad rolled around with the idea for a few more days , going as far as to say I could become a gynecologist and be the family doctor .

 Yeah right , if I wanted to look at hoo Haa’s and pee pee’s for a living I might as well could be an engineer and view that on my laptop screen ( read :porn) get paid for it and not even get my hands dirty . 

But naturally I got what I want , like I usually make sure I do,  because like Blair waldorf once said ……

 destiny is for losers , it’s just an excuse for waiting around for things to happen instead of making things happen . 

So here I am,  where I always wanted to be . 

God knows how many people’s dreams we have killed in pursuit of our own dreams which are a 


 little more out of the ordinary than the rest  . 

Because we are the batch of dreamers who aren’t afraid to kill , stand up for ourselves , our ideas and our beliefs . 

Welcome to humanities town  , we’re all a little selfish around here. 
 

Scares & ‘mares 👁‍🗨

As a kid I was terrified of the dark , I couldn’t move between rooms at night because the darkness I had to dispell before drowning the room with light was too much for me to bear even for a few seconds . 

But as I grew older my fear of darkness transitioned into a fear of love . 

 this is not because of some forlorn childhood and not being loved enough by family in fact I had the most amazing childhood and being an only child and the youngest of a whole bandwagon of first cousins , the one shortage I never experienced in my family was love . 

Its not familial love that I was afraid of but romantic love . I am a big time romantic , I love love , I love the idea of love and I wear my heart on my sleeve because I don’t think there’s any other way I can experience raw emotions other than experimenting with the fragility of my heart . 

But when it comes to falling in love , I am afraid , I advocate the theory of taking a leap of faith in everything but falling in love . Because the faith that has to be there for the leap to be taken , vanquished long ago . 

I have seen people who’ve told me they love their significant others and then cheat on them , hell I’ve been with them . I’ve seen the most amiable of relationships turning into a nasty affair where the once can’t keep each other’s hands off couple cant even look eye to eye . Most of all its the temporal nature of love that haunts me that one day a person can mean so much to you and one mistake can wipe them entirely out of your lives . 

So you see why I am afraid , its because I’ve seen it . My idea of love is placed in this secular , bullet proof glass but with each passing year a new bullet gets stuck trying to get through it and the glass is almost about to break . 

When you meet people and ideas that have the ability to break your entire belief system then the perils of the dark seem a less scary reality

Because in the darkness of, the night you don’t see the faces coming at you , but in the  light of love , people who we come in contact can never be fully forgotten . 

Letters are not for granted🗯

Something stirred inside me today while teaching a 14 year old , 9th grader how to write the alphabet . You read right , today in my time at Cresecent-a Muslim girls home at payanapilly , I was teaching a 9th grader how to write the alphabet in a two line notebook . 
In ninth grade , you and I were engrossed in quadratic equations and acing our 300 word essays , we had long surpassed the writing in a two line book stage and were too far out to even remember that such a phase existed in our early school years . 

The girl in question was suffering from a writing disorder called dysgraphia , its  certainly not as famous as its sister disorders like dyslexia and ADHD but the chances are it’s as common and the failure to understand it, is from our part.

 The knowledge and the experience you gain while dealing and working with people struggling  with such disorders , opens doors of gratitude within yourself .

While it does sound pretty narcissistic to be grateful of your abilities whilst encountering people who aren’t as fortunate , the reality is that a mere engagement with them is as humbling as any experience . 

It just reminds you that the things we consider as the most fundamental of our abilities and which we often take for granted are in fact a blessing that most people are impaired of . 

Simple joys like writing , creating and formulating your own ideas and thoughts in a way that only you can are in actually not such a common ability . 

So like every other thing in life , letters too are not for granted .