Contemplation..

I like sitting silently in any natural setting, contemplating on myriad thoughts. In cities, now there are hardly any pristine locations where one can sit and listen the chirps of the birds and can float in his/her imagination. But, of course, manmade parks come to rescue me at many occasions. If there is no one to disturb, I can sit there, hours and hours mutely. Perhaps, I should say this is my favourite time pass. Someone has rightly said “I am alive because I think and not that I think because I am alive”.

Yesterday, as we all know, was Dewali or Deepawali. The day, when Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya after conquering Ravana and serving exile for fourteen long and tortuous years. I went on to offer my obeisance to one of the temple of Lord Ram.

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Ram-Janki-Laxman-Hanuman

I spent nearly an hour or hour an half in temple. Then I decided to return. There is a park nearby that temple. On returning, I was up to my favourite task:-). I sat down and enjoyed the songs of the numerous birds and the frantic movements of the squirrels jumping from one tree to the ground and then to another tree.

I was recalling some of my past Diwali celebrations, and then suddenly a person came and sat beside me, which I usually don’t like when I want to be alone. But, that was a public park and in India, if your are having a seat in any public transportation and even if it is occupied to its maximum capacity, still a new person will come and ask you “please adjust” or “Bhai Thoda adjust kar lo”. So his usurpation was legitimate on that account. 🙂

Soon he opened his bag pack and took out three plastic bags from it. Two of the bags were filled with grains and one with sugar. He started to scatter it in specific locations, as I can see there were some earlier remnants of those grains as if he usually do it. He poured some sugar near by the habitats of ants which was adjacent to the bench where I was sitting. Then he started to disperse the grains in the bottom of the trees and then he was leaving the place.

Seeing the generosity of that person towards those animals and birds who can’t speak, cannot demand, cannot assert their share; I asked him “Do you regularly do this generous act?”

His humble answer caught my imagination. He smilingly said “Who am I to do this? What is my capacity? I am in slippers (hawai chappa as he said it)? I am from very humble background. The one, sitting inside that structure (pointing towards temple) does it all, for me and for entire universe.” Before I could have asked any supplementary questions he ran away from the place towards the temple, as if he was in hurry. I remained silent. Even though he went from that place, he left many thoughts in my mind. I am concluding all these in point wise manner:-

  1. There is something about Indian Culture. Since ancient times, people thorough myriad instructions and teaching via scriptures, are told to not to take credit anything done out of generosity and dedicate it to the Lord
  2. If we start taking credit of the act, then it will result in developing ego and ego is one of the root causes of evil.
  3. From the point of views of birds, insects and other species which may have benefitted through the act of that person, in reality they don’t know or will never be able to know about the person who has actually done it. Similarly in our life also, there are many persons which help us but we are not able to recognize their contribution and in turn never able to show our gratitude towards them
  4. Even if the person would not have arranged those stuffs, still those little creatures would have survived. Alternatively we can say that, these species are not dependent on anyone’s generosity. They derive everything necessary for their survival from the Mother Nature, yet the persons act as facilitator. This also has been the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita.
  5. Sometime we may not know the mean, but whatever is required for us to survive is being arranged by someone, somehow, somewhere.
  6. Spirituality makes us humble and humbleness is revered as crown jewel of all qualities.
  7. You don’t have to be a millionaire to serve others and to make this place beautiful, what you all need to have a gentle heart.

That’s it for the day. I hope you had a memorable and safe Diwali this time and if you are in National Capital, then must have abide by the orders of Honourable Supreme Court,  and for those like me, who are not the resident of that part had Diwali as usual 😀

 

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Propaganda of Petroleum Price

In India, petroleum price has always been used as political weapon by oppositions. The reason is very simple because it is easily understood by the people and it directly affects them. In democracy, no party will always remain in power; hence this tool has been utilized to wedge dissatisfaction against the government, irrespective of political ideologies by the opponents.  So either it’s right or left or even those who are having centrist ideology, if they are in opposition, they will vehemently oppose any price rise in petroleum products in domestic market.

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In 1973, Vajpayee Ji arriving in Parliament in bullock cart, to show protest against the price rise in Kerosene and Petrol.

 

Recently the same noise has been reverberated in the news channels. Opposition argues that the oil price has been plummeted in the international market, but the government is not forwarding the benefit to the people and charging excessive custom and excise duties. They say, and rightly so, the price of 1 barrel of oil was approx $ 120 in somewhere around 2013-14 and now in 2017, due to various international dynamics, this is hovering around $50 per barrel. But the price paid by the Indian citizen for one liter of petrol/ diesel has been kept same or rather has been increased despite the steep fall in the oil price in world market.

At very naïve stage, the argument of the opposition seems very plausible and rational. But again the economics come in to play. In economics, what is obvious to the eyes may not be in reality. Let me present you a different narrative, which is based on economics and not on rhetoric.

India is a net importer of petroleum product. A significant amount of foreign exchange is spent purchasing Oil from various countries (contribution Gulf Countries in the significant in this regard).

Sometime economy of a country should be looked as whole and not as individual entity. The methodology to look economy of a country as whole is known as “Macroeconomics”. Government needs money to run various schemes and projects, such as building infrastructure, providing food security to the marginalized community, providing healthcare to those who can’t afford, building power stations to generate electricity, giving grants to educational institutions and students, providing subsidies to the farmers, (now they are also waving the loan off, which in my view is not a prudent choice), purchase of defence equipment etc. Many of these activities run by the government is performed which will not result in revenue, rather it put constraint on the limited resources. Our country performs this task as it is believed to be a welfare state.

So for running welfare scheme and building infrastructure money is needed. Government generates this money through taxation. But as you might know only 1% of the Indian Population pays taxes. Hence government resorts to indirect taxation. Excise duty and custom duties fall under this category of taxation. Even though indirect taxes are considered as regressive taxation system, but since our tax base in narrow (only 1% as mentioned earlier) government has imposes it. But the fact of the matter is that even after imposing indirect taxes each year government experiences Fiscal Deficit. Fiscal Deficit in simplest of words “occurs when the revenue generated is less than expenditure incurred.”

Now in case of India, as we all know tax generated is less and the government has huge responsibility, so every year it resorts to borrowing and other means to meet the expenditure. But borrowing to meet the consumption expenditure is not regarded as good policy and it is even true in our family, isn’t it? We can borrow for purchasing a home or a car but if we borrow to have food and cloth, then certainly our family economy will not be construed in good shape. Same is true for a big family called “India i.e. Bharat”

So what government is doing by taxing high on petroleum product is that it is generating additional revenue which is plugging the gap between revenue generated and expenditure incurred. This can be understood through a pictorial graph that how the current government is doing in terms of improving the Fiscal Deficit of the country over the year in comparison to the previous government.

FD
Fiscal Deficit over the recent years

Apart from improving on the Fiscal Deficit front, high taxation on petroleum products has many additional advantages and some of them are very vital. Since I have already bored you with this lengthy article hence I will keep short in explaining the additional benefits of high taxation on Petroleum Products in detail.

High taxation in petroleum product results in :—-

  1. Judicious Consumption of Petroleum Product
  2. Low burden on government Foreign Exchange
  3. Lower Pollution
  4. Boost to Public transportation
  5. Search for alternative energy which is Eco-Friendly
  6. Inflation Control

If you find any doubt in understanding any of these benefits which I have highlighted, just let me know in comment section, I will try to answer your query.

I hope this will help in develop some understanding related the price mechanism of Petroleum Product and high rate of taxation. Now imagine a situation, if the price will rise in international market and commensurately government will increase the price of petroleum product, the same opposition will started making noise and will term government as anti poor and all for raising the price. So next time someone will give any illogical argument to you, you may say “No Ullu Banawing..No Ullu Banawing..”

Last but not the least “today’s opposition will run tomorrows government and vice versa” 🙂

Chalo, bye bye…. 🙂

 

Image Credit: Google Image

प्रकृति पुकारती

प्रकृति पुकारती

गंगा हुई गन्दी
यमुना मैली
मैला हुआ धरती का आँचल
शोषण के रुदन क्रंदन से
फ़ैल गया आँखों का काजल

मुरझाये कुसुम
पीले परे पत्ते
सूखी, सारी शाखायें
वन विवश हो विनती करता
निरीह दृष्टि हमपर टिकाये

हम  निशब्द निरुत्तर
निश्चिंत बने बैठे
कहते, ये तो यूँ ही चलता है
शोषण के विरुद्ध जो न आवाज़ उठाये
उसका हश्र यही होता है

आवाज़ उठाएगी धरनी तो क्या
उसका दंश सह पाओगे
धरती के हश्र की बातें करते हो
समूल नष्ट हो जाओगे
और, फिर कुछ नहीं कर पाओगे

………अभय………

 

Whats happening in US

Hello friends!

Diversity brings different ideas on table, different tastes in food plates, different festivals to celebrate and different cloths to wear and so on so forth. But, if it is not nurtured well, it also brings myriad conflicts, hostilities and divides in the society.

Diversity in India is well known. Diversity in India, in terms of culture, religion, castes, language, ethnicity, food, dressing sense etc. is incomparable in world. But at many times we hear, these divides causing much of the disturbance in society. Some time the disturbance due to these divides is comprehended at such an extent that a prominent Actor in Bollywod was told by her wife to “settle in other country as intolerance is on rise in India”!!!

America is seen as the paradise by many Indians. The democratic values, personal liberty, freedom of press, secularism and tolerance have attracted many of us to that place. One of the prime motive or desire of many, if not all, software engineers working in IT firm is always to have an onsite opportunity in US!

But the ideals are not practical. Recently some of the events in US have suggested that their society, although having less diversity than India, is also grappling with some serious issues related to ethnicity, communalism and racial discrimination.

Charlottesville, Virginia incident:

US
Image Credit: Google Image

If you are having a close or even a partial eye on world news affair, you may have came across Charlottesville incident, where a white supremacist (A philosophy according to which white is supreme) rammed his car on a peaceful African American demonstrator against Confederacy Symbols. In that incident a woman got killed and more than 20 incurred major and minor injuries.

What is Confederacy Symbol and why African Americans were protesting against it?

To explain the story, you have to travel with me in history and to the American Civil War!!! I assure you, travelling in history will not be as boring as you may think.

So, American Civil War, a watershed moment in the history of US, has started in 1861 and ended in 1865. Abraham Lincoln was the president of US at that time. He had proposed a legislation, according to which the slavery (most of the slave were African American) would be annulled and  be termed as illegal and hence punishable. But many of the southern states of US were not happy of this decision. They have a certain notion that white is supreme and blacks are meant to be slaved. Apart from this there were some economical factors were also associated with their discontent. Slaves provided very cheap labor and hence profitable businesses. So 11 of the southern state formed a confederacy and revolted against the union. They seceded from the union in 1861. After that, a civil war had started in US, which finally got ended in 1865, with the victory of the union over confederacy and they were again merged with the union.

So the racial difference between the so called Nationalist American and the African American is deep seated in history. Now after the civil right movement in America, Blacks were legally brought on par with the Whites, but the prejudice is still prevails in American Society.

After the elevation of Mr. Donald Trump as 45th US President, whos is also seen as Right Wing nationalists and pro whites, simmering discontent gets the expression through various means.

One of the demand of the African American people is that in all the southern states, where they got legal protection by law, but the presence of Confederacy Symbols such as monuments, statue, declaration of public holidays, name of the park, name of the streets are on the name of White Supremacist, is not helping the cause of assimilation of the African American in mainstream as they reminds them the suppression by whites.  Naming all these places after white, glorifies their act of brutal repression. These symbols (such as statues) who glorifies the white oppressors, should be removed for once and all.  But the white population thinks that they all were the part of their cultural heritage which they cherishes and they are their source of inspiration, hence it can’t be removed.

So there were protest and counter protest held in Charlottesville. In one of such protest by African American, a White Supremacist, in his 20s, attacked the crowd with his speeding car which resulted, as I mentioned earlier, in killing of a lady and injuring several others.

So the point which I wanted to bring here is that, no country is paradise or perfect. Every country has their own sets of problem. It doesn’t matter that they are developed or developing, western or eastern, above the equator or below the equator differences will be there. So even though we hear so many negative news about the divides in India, we should not get carried away by negativities rather we should bring and use all the means which will bring the peace and harmony in the society.

 

जीवन मतलब चुनाव

राखी की छुट्टी तो मिली नहीं, पर वीकेंड था और फिर एक दिन के लिए आप अस्वस्थ तो हो ही सकते हैं 😁. तो फिर मैं बिना समय व्यर्थ किये अपने बहन के घर राखी के एक दिन पहले पहुँच गया. बहन ने पूछा कि कल खाने में क्या बनाऊं..मैंने झट से बोला.. और क्या नाश्ते में बटर मसाला डोसा और लंच में पनीर की कोई सी भी सब्जी..बहन हँस के बोली कभी और भी कुछ फरमाईश कर लिया करो….
जब बहन चली गयी तो, तो मेरा ध्यान उस प्रश्न पर गया. “खाने में क्या बनाऊं ?” थोड़ी सोच की गहराई में गया तो ध्यान आया कि वास्तव में यह प्रश्न एक चुनाव की तरह है, जिसमे आपके सामने कई विकल्प होते हैं और उन विकल्पों में से आपको एक विकल्प का चयन करना होता है.. फिर मैं शाम को पार्क में टहल रहा था और
जो विचार आया तो उसे आपके समक्ष छोड़ रहा हूँ. सम्भालिये इसको..

कुछ मुस्लिम और तथाकथित साम्यवादी राष्ट्रों (Socialist Nations) को छोड़ दें तो दुनिया ने मुख्यतः लोकतंत्रीय प्रणाली शासन व्यवस्था (Democratically Elected Forms of Government)को अपनाया है. लोकतंत्र का विचार सुनने भी अच्छा लगता है. इसलिए जो राष्ट्र लोकतंत्रीय नहीं है वह भी अपने को लोकतंत्रीय साबित करने में लगे रहतें हैं. वे भी चुनाव करवाते हैं, भले ही चुनाव में एक ही पार्टी क्यों न रहे (चीन को ही ले लीजिये ना), या चुनाव पक्षपात से पूर्ण हो (मैं रूस का नाम नहीं लेना चाहता क्योंकि उन्होंने हमारे बहुत कठिन समय में कंधे से कन्धा मिलाकर सफर तय किया हैं, पर सत्य को कोई झुठला भी तो नहीं सकता).

ख़ैर छोड़िये, हममें से कई हैं जो लोकतंत्र को भी पसंद नहीं करते होंगे. उनको लगता होगा कि काश हमारे देश में भी चीन की तरह एक सख्त सरकार होती तो निर्णय लेने और उसको जमीं पर हकीकत में लाने में सहूलियत होती. और यदि चीन के पिछले तीन दसक के विकास रफ़्तार और दुनिया में उसकी बढ़ती साख को देखेंगे थो हमें यह विचार और भी अच्छा लगने लगेगा.

ख़ैर मैं इसपर ज़्यादा तर्क नहीं करूँगा और एक बात जो मैंने किसी साहित्य में पढ़ी थी, उसको वापस दोहराऊंगा. Don’t compare practical Democracy with ideal Autocracy. मतलब कि “व्यावहारिक लोकतंत्र की तुलना किसी निरंकुश शासन से ना करें”.

चलिए ये तो हो गयी भूमिका. अब आते है आज के तत्व पर. लोकतंत्र की सबसे आवश्यक गतिविधि क्या है? तो निश्चय ही “चुनाव” पहले स्थान पर आएगा. चुनाव के माध्यम से ही हम प्रतिनिधि चुनते है और अपेक्षा रखते है कि वह हमारी आशाओं और आकांक्षाओं को पूरा करेगा.

भाई, ये चुनाव हैं बड़ा लाजवाब चीज. और आपके बता दूँ कि मैं खुद को राजनितिक चुनाव तक सिमित नहीं कर रहा हूँ. मैं जिस चुनाव कि बात कर रहा हूँ वह हमारे पुरे जीवन में व्याप्त हैं. या यह कहना कि जीवन “चुनाव” ही है exaggeration (हिंदी में उपयुक्त शब्द नहीं सूझ रहा था, शायद अतिशयोक्ति हो) नहीं होगा.

choice

अब देखिये ना चुनाव भी कैसे कैसे हो सकते है: कौन सा लड़का या लड़की जीवन के लिए सही होगा या होगी, यहाँ पर चुनाव; प्रेम के पश्चात विवाह या विवाह के पश्चात प्रेम, इसको तय करना;अब बच्चे हुए (अब क्या करें, ये तो होते ही है ) तो उनको कौन से विद्यालय में भेजना वहां पर चुनाव, बच्चों को पढ़ने के लिए कौन सा विषय चुनना, वहां पर चुनाव, पढ़ाई करना या खेल में भाग्य आजमाना, यहाँ भी चुनाव, IPL में कौन सी टीम का पक्ष लेना वहाँ पर चुनाव, सम्माननीय राहुल गाँधी जी को चुनना या 56 इंच के सीने वाले मोदी जी को चुनना यहाँ पर चुनाव, मैगी खाना या पतंजलि आटा नूडल पकाना, यहाँ पर चुनाव, शाकाहारी बनाना या मुर्गे कि टांग दबोचना, यहाँ भी चुनाव, यदि आपकी माशूका को कोई बहुत घूर रहा है तो तत्काल में ही उसकी आगे की दो दांतों को तोडना या योजनाबद्ध तरीके से उसपर हमला, ये सभी चुनाव के ही उदाहरण हैं.. आप और भी उदाहरण सोच सकते हैं, क्योंकि सोचने में किसी के पिताजी की रोक टोक तो है नहीं 🙂

इन चुनावों के अलावा एक और चुनाव हम सबके जीवन में आता है, और वह चुनाव है बड़ा महत्वपूर्ण . वह है जीवन रूपी युद्ध. इस जीवन रूपी युद्ध के चुनाव में केवल दो विकल्प होते हैं

1. संघर्ष
2. समर्पण

समर्पण भी कोई ख़राब विकल्प नहीं है, इसमें आपको प्रतिस्पर्धा का डर नहीं होता, न ही अथक परिश्रम की जरुरत, न तो किसी स्वानुशासन का कष्ट और न ही लोगों की अपेक्षाओं का बोझ.
पर इसकी एक अजीब सी शर्त है, जो खुद्दार लोगों को कभी मान्य नहीं हो सकती और वो है समर्पण के लिए आपका स्वाभिमान मरा हुआ होना चाहिए. और यदि आपका स्वाभिमान मर चूका है तो समर्पण कर सकते हैं

समर्पण के विपरीत होता है संघर्ष. भले ही सकल जगत आपके खिलाफ हो पर यदि संघर्ष की भावना बची हुई है और मन में यह विश्वास बचा है कि आपका उद्देश्य जायज़ है तो इसको अपनाया जा सकता है. संघर्ष में दो संभावनाएं हैं विजय या वीरगति. योद्धा के लिए दोनों स्थिति ही मान्य होनी चाहिए. इसकी सत्यापन स्वयं श्री कृष्णा करते हैं. मैं गीता पढ़ रहा था तो एक श्लोक पर दृष्टिपात हुआ इस श्लोक में भगवान अर्जुन को संघर्ष का मतलब समझाते हैं

हतो वा प्राप्स्यसि स्वर्गं जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीम्‌ ।

तस्मादुत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय युद्धाय कृतनिश्चयः ॥2.37॥

हे कुन्तीपुत्र! तुम यदि युद्ध में मारे जाओगे तो स्वर्ग प्राप्त करोगे या यदि तुम जीत जाओगे तो पृथ्वी के साम्राज्य का भोग करोगे | अतः दृढ़ संकल्प करके खड़े होओ और युद्ध करो |

भैया-बहनों को राखी की पूर्व शुभकामनायें और मित्रों को Belated Happy Friendship Day. वे यह लेख उपहार स्वरुप रख सकते हैं …. 🙂

Not just as the other morning..

Today’s morning was very fine here in my city and it became even more gorgeous when I had a south Indian meal in breakfast at one of my friend’s home. 😛 Knowing my likings, he had invited me on several occasions, but somehow or the other I kept delaying it. But today was the day. I love South Indian cuisine, especially the Dosas and Uthapam along with the Sambhar and Chatani.

To tell you the fact, my friend is not from South India. Yet the taste of Dosa was so delicious and sumptuous that I can bet that any South Indian cook would be proud of it. I had the breakfast as in the manner that I am having lunch. One after another, I devoured three Dosas one by one, partly due to the reason that I like it and partly due to the immense pressure from his family especially from his granny.

After having breakfast, I chatted for some time with his family members. His family is having same place of origin as I am having and we both speak same beautiful language “Maithili”. I find his family very decent and everybody in my surrounding having a word of praise for them. I spoke with uncle but the best part during my conversation was with his granny. She would be around mid 70s. She is quite religious and very soft spoken. She speaks in so humble way with me that sometime I wonder how someone can be so modest. Every time I talk with her, I get some life lesson.

As I had some other engagements later in the morning, so I asked permission from them to leave. They all seemed to be very happy that I came there and so was I. When I was leaving, out of respect I bent down to touch the granny’s feet, but she moved backward with a shudder and said “No, no, no, no….don’t dare touch my feet. Do you want that I commit sin?”

I said with anguish, “Why you never let me touch your feet Dadi and what sin are you talking about? Don’t you want to bless me?” Her response was “ You are bigger than me”. I said “Wow!  How could that happen! Do I look older than you?” She said smilingly “Beta! You are Brahmins and we are not suppose to let you touch my feet, it’s considered as one of the great sins, which has been taught to us by my ancestors and I am not going to disobey them like your uncle”. I was shocked, ashamed. Uncle never resisted me from touching his feet. Her statement was probably a dig at him. Since I was running out of time I did not plead much and with folded hand I said Namaste and returned back to home.

On returning home, I got to know that my further engagement which I had, got cancelled. So I had free time. The sound of the granny “you are bigger than me” reverberated in my ears. I was forced to contemplate about the caste systems in India among Hindus. I never experienced this divide in recent times and unheard of this untill this moment. Yet the response of granny was shocking to me. I thought in those old days this divide must be very rigid, as much so that it had an indelible imprints on her mind.

I find this cast system as one of the reasons why foreign powers and their culture attacked us from centuries. It was one of the most debilitating factors of backwardness of our society. It is the phenomena which militated against the dignity of the humans.

And I find this caste system in today’s context as pernicious as it was ever before. Some political outfits are using this divide to gain their political leverage. Some netas, like Britishers, believe in the philosophy of “divide and rule”. They want that whole population should be divided on the cast line so that they could not stand together on the developmental issues. With this they are able to maximize their interest. Now is the time when we should relinquish all our identities and should stand for the cause of building a more secular, tolerant and accommodating society and nation.

Although the Constitution of India guarantees that there should be no discrimination of the basis of caste, gender, religion, place of birth etc. but these things has to be dealt on the societal level, and cannot be completely enforced by law alone. The onus is on current generation, we should thrive for a society where no elder should feel blessing the younger as sin and prevents touching feet.

भूमिपुत्र

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Image Credit: Internet

भूमिपुत्र

मेरे देश में अब भी कृषक

भूखे पेट सोता है

हत्यारे कर्ज के बोझ तले वह

बिलख बिलख कर रोता है 

 

सरकारें आती हैं

सरकारें जाती हैं

उनकी वयथा फिर भी

जस की तस रह जाती हैं

 

हमे शर्म नहीं क्यों आता जब

खुद को हम कृषि प्रधान देश कहते हैं

कृषकों के नाम पर  राजनीति करके

नेता केवल अपनी जेब भरते हैं

 

डॉक्टर का बेटा डॉक्टर बनेगा

इंजीनियर का बेटा खुद को इंजीनियर कहेगा

पर कृषकों की यही व्यथा रही तो

देश में न कोई भूमिपुत्र बचेगा

 

तो क्या सॉफ्टवेयर हम खायेंगे ? 

या बढ़ते हुए GDP का गुण जाएंगे ? 

या डेवलपिंग कंट्री के तमगे से  

खुद को सांत्वना देते रह जायेंगे

……….अभय…….