Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Review on Ethnic Nationalism in Germany and its Repercussions on India

To understand the concept of Ethnic nationalism, right from its emergence to its pinnacle, where it was strong enough to give way to some major repercussions, a talk at Jawaharlal Nehru University gave a deeper and more comprehensive insight. Circulating on the ends of history and touching the boundaries of world politics, the author still drives on the culture of governance and its weaning ideas with time. Let’s have a look of what we can understand out of this rich discussion.

Author proclaims that in European states, the medieval scheme had the concept of empire and state dominating its political ideas. The principles of nationalism went through a sea change with the spirit of religious tolerance in the next few ages. It was believed that every religion worked in its own way to steer the way towards salvation, so there had to be a patient acceptance of all the religions. It broached up the concept of religion, citizenship, self governance and human rights in most of the nations. But this was not the end to the change. The next debate that kicked up was of deliverance. While the people were getting together with Nationalistic feeling, was it the collective independence, or the individual independence to be prioritized? While a few nations were siding with the individual liberty, there were many would stand by a sense which understood the nation to be a single whole organism.

Before going through the tribulations of the consequences of nationalism, the author takes a chance to relate to us that the concept of Nationalism. Nationalistic fervour indicated with a clear reference, the elimination of the religion guiding the people’s life with secularism taking its place. An environment where people had the right to pursue their own believes and nation had nothing to do with their sets of believes. State was more concerned with the independence and growth factors related to nation. Different nations saw this change in their own way. But one thing is for sure, for none was a peaceful gain. It was a violent struggle to free the politics of the religion, bringing secularism. This congeniality of its emergence draws a parallel between the west and the east, as both have been the strugglers in this filed. While the history of India is full of clamorous bloodshed and violence, in the wake of its independence struggle, French people saw this change a long time back with the French revolution. French revolution is known as the fall of aristocratic regalia, forcing the laws of religion imposed on the people. The underlining force of the revolution was read as political intolerance of religion by the people. While the French people shirked off the religion, it also deshelled from a belief in god. While it brought the man against man, a sheer power struggle free of every inhibition also ensued. French Revolution was the inception of Nationalism, and a swift air blew the western countries in its sway. India with its diversities in nearly every possible field, from religion, ethnicity, race, to many more folds in its crease, drew a breath of nationalism against the dominance of British rule. The horrendous differences in Indian culture have not been a recent thing. Its people not only know how to live, rather how to thrive with its pluralities.

Ethnic nationalism was a fresh concept, which erupted as a reaction to Napoleon’s invasion of German speaking lands. The sense of freeing a collection of people grew more pressing than the individual’s freedom. And Germans stood up against the French people. People had a choice of living with their ‘individual freedom’ under the ideology of French, where they could have lived culturally free and politically under German rule. This would have brought them democracy, emancipation of the Jews, a civil code and religious freedom. But the idea of emancipation of the collective people took over the idea of individual emancipation. Visualizing nation as a single great individual brought a struggle to breathe a free air. Organic growth replaced active political deliberation.
The era saw a surge of romantics, hoisting a flag in favour of the glamour of feudal age and it simplicity. They wanted to bind the nation as a one; no matter was it under the monocracy or a democracy. With the rise of 20th century, India adopted the idea of ethnic nationalism not just as the language and cultural difference; rather it showed the racial acceptance as well.

Author has made some memorable points in the discussion, without ever verging to boredom. Many points serve to be a feast to our intellect. Nationalism has been both positive as well as negative leading to some great effects. While in nationalism, the likes of a relatively smaller group is suppressed by the powerful, and a denial of difference is brought by bringing emergency, to make people huddle together and forget their issues for a time. It works on great levels. Author has taken a commendable stand, bringing about the changes forth.

But on one point the author appears to be misled. It is of his Ethnic Nationalistic understanding of Indian nationalism. Differences have been the part and parcel of India. Not only in the culture and language, India has its spheres in race as well. Indian Nationalism is something way off from the usual nationalism, where there are no boundaries of any kind. People from different ethnic groups live and thrive as one unite, coming from their peculiar roots and understandings. They don’t share a common language, and there is a multiplicity of language. Indian nationalism refers to the many underlying forces that molded the Indian independence movement, and strongly continue to influence the politics of India, as well as being the heart of many contrasting ideologies that have caused ethnic and religious conflict in Indian society. Indian nationalism often imbibes the consciousness of Indians that prior to 1947, India embodied the broader Indian subcontinent and influenced a part of Asia, known as Greater India. In light of this fact, it will be holding to a very myopic view to have India in Ethnic Nationalistic flavor. India deftly handles a difficult and a unique Nationalism, which has inspired many nations of the world gradually.


The darkness of the room was impinged by the light, that the window was transferring from outside. The window was emitting a pale and dull street light, which threw streaks of light on the opposite wall of the room. Gradually, before she could have realized what was happening, the structure of the window began melting away. Melting into the darkness of the room. And the light started receding back. The silhouette of the objects in the darkness, were drifting away. Getting beyond her reach. Her eyes could follow the distance. But they were getting away from her. Away from the reach of her touch. Light retained the constancy in its beams. But the source of it was slipping away. It was covering millions of miles in every fragment of a second. Soon the distance exceeded the moon’s distance from the earth. And this distance, she could feel in her every limb.

She was afraid. Afraid that everything might leave her behind. That every iota of this universe might collapse into the vastness. Leaving her alone. Alone amidst nothing. In the vacuum of an immeasurable space. The magnanimity of it haunted her. She wanted to shriek. Shriek at the highest pitch of her voice. But her voice failed her. It was painful. Like a dream, where you want help and want to shriek, but can not produce any voice. Yet, she wanted to shout. Shout, to disturb this musical flow of things.

As the palpable world was falling away, a sense of loneliness crept over her. The solidarity of the world was shattered. But as the things got on the verge of disapparation, she yelled at the pitch of her voice. Her yell disturbed the rhythm. The rhythm that whole world seemed to be following in. Strangely enough, even she had felt the coarseness and needlessness of it. But now the falling world had come together. Things were proximate once more. But the trance of that distance, hadn’t betrayed her yet. She heard a voice, in a loud whisper, calling at her. It was asking her what was happening. She couldn’t bring out words from her mouth, till the question was repeated a few times. Then she forced out a fragmented sentence, in a faint voice “papa.. .. papa.. .. Everything is drifting away.. .. away from me.” She heard the consolatory words “no my child. Nothing is away. I am near you. See? Here, touch my hand.” She touched the parental hand, tender with affection. It retrieved the feeling of solidarity in her. The broken pieces of the lost world, were falling into their place. Things once more coagulated to solidify. And now, she was awake. But awake from what? No one could tell, if she could not. Her eyes had been wide open all this while. How many whiles, she had no idea. She heard her mother calling “what happened my child? What was it?” “Everything was thawing into the darkness. Look at the window. Its light has been receding”. “Must have been a very bad dream. Come, sleep my baby. Everything is fine now. It was just a nightmare. Here, I am by your side. See? “

She didn’t say anything anymore, and closed her eyes. This was much better. She fell into the drizzling reality of dreams. Not once, she had this vision many times. . Frequently, she saw the bleak margin, that dissevers the dream from reality dissolving…She dreaded it. Then she began loving this strange feeling, coming to her. She waited for it. Even tried to evoke it herself. It made her feel that she wasn’t a replica soul. She was original and stood apart from all of the rest. She was meant to see and feel the unknown realities, and not just to live.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Page 221 of my Autobiography

Things haven’t changed much. I am still standing there, and life seems to be running on the tracks of train. Finding out what I am, or particularly which corner of the universe I have come from, has transformed everything inside me, to the very outer appearance. Something inside me has gone under a sea change. To express it in the right feeling, it is like sitting in the compartment of an express, running blind towards somewhere. As a sedate person, I haven’t done much. Not moved 'a muscle' as they say. But a running train has carried me somewhere far. Yes. Somewhere far. Something transformed inside me. I am on a new plane today. Feeling is fresh, with the same me inside….

Driving on the wheels of aspirations, I aspire, I fail at times, and gear up all afresh, to start again and get something to my heart’s content. I haven’t hired a life. I am living it of my own. Working out something that is in my grain. I am unaffected by the bureaucracies of a tainted life!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Series of Short Stories.....


One month had passed but the nightmares continued. He would wake up screaming and stare out of the window till sunrise. His dignity taken away and insomnia given in return. As a welcome gift perhaps. For them, it was just healthy interaction. All he longed for now was the day he would become a ‘senior’.

Beginning of a Novel..

“It was not a dark and stormy night, but quite the opposite actually”. Now that was something different, something ‘hatke’- a word used so often by those fat slobs at the publishing houses, that it had inadvertently registered itself at the back of Ruhaan’s head. What did they know about literature- could they even tell apart their Tolstoys from their Bhagats? COMROMISE. That was their crack cocaine. Nothing like an eye- catching sentence to begin a novel. Follow it up with a few pages of Bollywood- style masala and the readers are hooked. Then put in whatever literary rubbish you wish to, who cares. The publisher gets his bestseller and you realize the long cherished dream of your first novel in print.
Oh ! To think of people like them; sitting in their plush, air conditioned offices, thinking of cheap little tricks to sell a few thousand more copies of a book at the expense of Literature; governing the fate of writers like him. It used to drive him mad. But now it only brought a smirk to his face. 7 long years of rejections had finally gotten to him.
With this- “the perfect first line”; he began to write (or rather rewrite) the story of his life, not exactly as he had dreamt.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dhadkan ko Awaz Banade

‘Dhandkan ko awaz bana de smoking smoking nikle re dhuaaa…..’
1,2,3,4,666666 . The significance of six, coming after the number “4”.. Well Anurag Kashap is quite meaningful with his loss. Anurang Kashay lovers must have caught it by now. It’s the long time longing to release his movie ‘Panch’, still waiting to get approved by the censor board (till December 2009). This Oxymoronic director has spilled out many award winning and controversial movies like “Black Friday”, “Gulaal”, and the memorable “Dev D”. A piqued Anurag finds words in the loss of his words and he meaningfully turns to ‘Dhandkan ko awaz bana de smoking smoking nikle re dhuaaa”.

It Is So Difficult to Write

It is so difficult to write….its like lining the edge of a river……fortifying the seemless deluge of life..its onrushing copious flow in varied directions. Its like taming the numerous indulating waves rising and fading ,in one moment, running mad ;to some unknown destinations……. …its pouring out thoughts…giving vent to imagination ,putting soul in the inanimate world of heart , its making the soul of life
Palpable that the reader can feel it....its making people realize…life is not
about working…its about breathing the spirit of life……and reaching out the
recesses of heart and

Movies and More..........

How a simple line can convey so much…..Here’s an example…….
The chaida chaida chaida line from Oye Lucky’s title track. One simple word sung 12 times over.
But notice how the tempo gradually rises as Lucky’s tone changes from simply yearning to rightfully demanding to forcefully commanding.

How our aspirations enchant, embrace and ultimately conquer us. And what roads we take to achieve them.

Your home is my heart

Your home is in my heart,
My heart is like an ocean
I will rock you while you are sleeping,
On a wave of sweet devotion……

Your home is in my heart,
And my heart is very strong,
When you are feeling lonely,
It will carry you along……

Your home is in my heart,
And my heart is everywhere.
Wherever you may wonder,
Know that I am there……….

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Collecting Words

Word are so powerful… so powerful they are in their meanings and their implications.. even those left out morsels of words.. even the crumbs fallen on the mat.. the slightest gesturing of saying something says so much.. even their absence has such a powerful ambience that it grips our senses. And it bulges out in our eyes. Words don’ hide themselves… they get so powerful that they stand out in us.. think about those lied words, with a stench of strength hidden behind, under the reason… probably this is actually what makes us stand apart from the animals…

Monday, July 5, 2010

Catch 22 Review

Well. I am back with my words. Novel is brilliant, but it does never attain that supremacy in words, as the ideas it coveys. Much can be read between the lines. The ideas and their connotations are much superior to the happenings endlessly going on and on. The 500 pages could have gone far beyond to 1000. “Waiting for Godot”(A play) by Samuel Backett was something similar. But the novel practically fails in invoking the very same power in the emotional turbulence, with the reason simply being its too lengthy for its readers to keep up the pace. You tend to loose the track of it, if you just don’t gulp it down the throat in one sitting. There can not be a second sitting for it. Unfortunately..I couldn’t afford that eminence in labor of going through this binding and shirking novel in one sitting.
I would restate: The meaninglessness that plays on it is amazingly stupendous. With high soaring meaningless thoughts running across the heads of Yossarian and Clevinger are probably the most understandably associative to the thoughts that might have had infested the minds of then society.
Remember the lines ?
"'I’m afraid.'
'That’s nothing to be ashamed of,' Major Major counseled him kindly. 'We’re all afraid.'
'I’m not ashamed,’ Yossarian said. ‘I’m just afraid.'"
It shows a shared feeling of loss and hopelessness shrouded in every action. What might happen next can go unpredictably hapless with utter lack of support by anything one can see around. The men have already lost their brains with the war, nature is just to be pitied with the destruction going on. There is a lack of sense. And the outburst is in Yossarian’s word in next 100 pages where he says “How can he live and I have to die? or Damn the thing how can I live and he has to die? “ Loss surround.

A brilliant novel if somebody really wants to delve the inner workings of psychology. And a useful penny for the thought of warring nations.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Old and Aged Days

Remember the grey floors in an old building. Where the corridors run from one corner to another through dancing and inebriated steps? Small rooms with tattering furniture, where the students don’t sit, they fall back in the uncouth plastic or wooden chairs. Classes, classes dusters, earphones, cells and books and registers without pens. Friends come so close that scarcely you can have a place to sit alone. Talks mature with the texts, thoughts improved with discussions. Life was still at Orkut, without the facebook interruptions. The world was still measurable with the Literature, news and boyfriends/girlfriends. Days were really old… untouched by the supreme technologies and knowledge instead of intelligence playing its role….

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Preview to the Readers of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22

The god is dead, and the world has lost its meaning. People are going frantic, and the circulation in their talks and action represents a static state of mind. Words can be read as devoid of the basic ingredients ‘meaning’. These words are a state of mind, what they are living. Yossarian has inherited the loss to have his soul berserk. Catch 22 revolves around Joseph Heller’s truth. The truth that was shared by all the people around him during the period of world war in 18th century. When actions and meaning have reduced to the level of nothingness. A non conformism to the theory of life and spirit, spirituality and dignity. He chooses to call this novella a ‘polymesmeric novel that no one can ever forget’. An obvious excitement would be with the question “Why can’t it be forgotten?”. Well, because it chooses to touch the deeper meaning of life, which was subdued under the bombardments and the clashes of swords! At any other time, Mesmeric would mean something positive. I am still reading the novel. It’s an experience to read and live the meaningless, purposelessness and sheer negation of sense. When the only reason behind the action and words is the ‘Waiting”. What defines waiting ? “Different meaning shall come out of different psyche. Gosh!! There is so much to drill into.