RAB NE BANA DI TOADY

If the Hindutva bhakts are good at anything, it is their dumbass public display of aggressiveness and chauvinism towards innocent bystanders and minorities.

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Teachers’ Day in September this year was a day of grand celebration for climate-change deniers the world over, and they must be wallowing in self-praise. They got a new chubby pot-bellied member in their club, a high-profile globetrotter whose reckless selfies with animate and inanimate entities alone amount to gigabytes of e-waste, and whose unceasing frequent foreign tours alone make a case against him for having a disproportionately large carbon footprint.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about none other than Mr Modi, the deity of the dumbass diaspora and the imbecile right-wing fanatics.  With his arrival in the club, the deniers will definitely get a new lease of life because mind you, wherever he goes he not only carries his idiosyncratic megalomaniac persona, but also invents some spontaneous barmy doctrines.  In a televised address to schoolchildren, he explained his doctrine thus:

Climate has not changed. We have changed. Our habits have changed. We take too many selfies and expect our data storage won’t run out—is that even possible?! These wiry old men and women bathing in the lazy afternoon sun in the hinterlands of Haryana and UP feel it is cold out there. No no no, mere mitron aur balakon, they have actually lost it: it is their bodies that have become weak, because they work too many hours in those big fields, which yield nothing more than a seasonal grain for them. If they sell these fields to us they will never feel cold and they will never say climate has changed. Just look at those smart guys in Gurgaon’s tall office towers, ask them whether they feel cold and do they feel the climate has changed. No of course not. Because they are smart people, they work for my buddies Ambani and Adani, and my buddies make sure their bodies are always strong and they do not feel cold and they do not say climate has changed.

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The Grand European Sale of Humanity concluded in Brussels a few days ago. Turkey, the former sick man of Europe, got a package of $3.2 billion from the 28 European Union member states, besides promises of entry into their buddy club that would be just short of full membership, for now at least. The steam of this newfound love with Turkey seems not strong enough to warrant an immediate marriage at Brussels. Notwithstanding the promise of the European dream, the sceptics warn to be wary of this political hanky-panky.

Remarking on the agreement, European Council President Donald Tusk said:

We Europeans are a smart people, you know that. We outsource services and manufacturing because we want to reduce certain expenses, like corporate taxes and healthcare costs, but maintain salaries of gargantuan proportions for our executives. This is our successful business model.

So here at this historic moment, we are also applying this model to the current migrant and refugee crisis. We are outsourcing humanitarianism to Turkey because it is cost-effective, politically and economically. We do believe in human rights, refugee rights and all that, but lets us put this burden on Turkey for now; we believe they can manage it. See, if they can host over one and half million, they can cope with many more. They need money, we will provide that, but please do not let them come to Europe. Our capacity of preaching human rights to others is excessive, but this crisis has confused us, really.

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The past few years have shown us that if the Hindutva bhakts are good at anything, it is their dumbass public display of aggressiveness and chauvinism towards innocent bystanders and minorities. But with the arrival of Modi on the scene there is an added element to their dumbassery: their Modi-manic hysteria, which made Salman Rushdie call them Modi toadies.

They have their own warped logic and hare-brained doctrine: you cannot criticise the BJP because BJP is Modi and Modi is BJP and in turn Modi is India which means BJP is India and since Modi and BJP are one, criticising the BJP government is tantamount to criticising Modi and criticising Modi is tantamount to criticising India and we are desh bhakts who will never tolerate it. Good grief! Thesebhakts really must be as high as a kite. And when people whose minds are filled with such bilge are put in charge of important cultural and educational institutions, you’ve got to marvel at the interesting times we live in.

One of the interesting episodes was the India release of the latest James Bond film. Since the chairman of the censor board is big-time Modi toady Pahlaj Nihalani (of “Modi Kaka!” fame), he was adamant that Mr Bond act as sanskari as possible while in Modi’s India. He took Sam Mendes ke Gunahon Ka Faisla and ordered cuts in the kissing scenes, removing Shola from Shabnam for the viewers.

Another interesting episode was Aamir Khan’s so-called controversial remarks about intolerance. The bhakts argued that since Aamir was the brand ambassador of the !ncredible !ndia campaign, he should not have opened his mouth, which in turn ruffled the feathers of the brand ambassadors of the intolerant India campaign. However, what was more interesting in this episode was not the hyperactive overreaction of the Modi toadies—which is now as predictable as a loud belch after a Punjabi dinner—but the way Anupam Kher again tried to poke his baldy crown into this overblown affair, fanning the degenerate politics around it and exacerbating the situation. True to his absurd logic, he again harped on about “What about the Kashmiri Pandits?”, a refrain he brings into any discussion whether or not it is remotely connected; it has become a pathological obsession, for which he recently got a slap on his wrists by Rajdeep Sardesai.

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A new scandal has come to the fore on which the media has strangely remained circumspect. On Twitter, though, it is trending as #ModiMediaGate. Washington Post journalist Annie Gowen has revealed that the BJP government tried to influence her newspaper. She tweeted:

We have been contacted twice in recent weeks by private PR companies representing Indian govt. officials. Good use of govt funds?

Well, when a PR company contacts a newspaper they do not talk politics, they talk business. However, after the revelation that Lance Price, a former BBC journalist, was paid to write Modi’s biography The Modi Effect, one would not be as surprised to learn that The Washington Post was approached to succumb to the Modi effect too. But the million-dollar question is how many have succumbed so far?

That the BJP government could somehow tame the important players of the corporate media in India does not mean that criticism against it, especially against its fascist anti-minority agenda, would have ceased to percolate from major international dailies onto social media. One after another, prominent news outlets like The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Al Jazeera English have come out with editorials and op-ed pieces that were unflattering for the Modi government. The left-leaning Guardian carried searing critiques of the Modi government from noted intellectuals and writers. Pankaj Mishra called Modi a “divisive manipulator” and Anish Kapoor described the present BJP regime in India as “a Hindu Taliban”.

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As much as he is the father of Omar, Farooq Abdullah is also the father of political absurdity. We are all well accustomed to his political shenanigans—his dumbass attempts to bamboozle us with his linguistic hocus-pocus, barmy theatrics and bunkum ideas. He is everything that is wrong with Kashmir, the chief patron of the occupational kleptocracy whose primary aim, nature and raison d’etre is to exploit the people of Kashmir and their misfortunes.

More crucially, he is the one who propagates, along with the Muftis and Syed Qasims and Bakhshis and Waheed Parras, the political doctrine in which the occupied are asked to abandon the resistance struggle for political justice and dignity and instead asked to internalise a slave mentality and accept the status quo and live an apolitical and an ahistorical life. Isn’t this audaciously asinine, political chutzpah?

That is why when Farooq Abdullah says Pakistan-controlled Kashmir will remain with Pakistan and India-controlled Kashmir will remain with India, he should not be taken seriously. There is, after all, a principal party to making this decision. They’re called ordinary Kashmiris, and they’re known to goRagda Ragda de Ragda from time to time to bring Abdullah and his ilk to their senses.

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First published in Kindle Magazine on December 2, 2015: http://kindlemag.in/rab-ne-bana-di-toady/

Israel-Hizbollah War: David and Goliath Re-enacted

The outcome of the 34-day war between Israel and the resistance group Hizbollah has been rather vague. Israel was largely successful in destroying Hizbollah’s strong base in Lebanon and occupying some strategically important areas in the south, which Israel will most probably keep as ‘Buffer zones’ to protect its cities from direct Hizbollah rocket attacks. While Hizbollah, under the leadership of charismatic Hassan Nasrullah, courageously resisted West Asia ’s most powerful military for little over a month. Hizbollah achieved what combined Arab forces could not achieve in 1949, 1967 and 1973 (Yom Kippur War). It destroyed the myth that Israeli military is invincible. Eventually, Hizbollah’s historic victory has raised its political stock in Lebanon . It has now attained an iconic status and Hassan Nasrullah has become an inspiration for the Muslim youth around the world.

In this asymmetrical war between a nuclear armed power with around 6,50,000 well-equipped army-men and a small guerilla force of about 5000 fighters (largely armed with AK-47’s and second-hand former Soviet made Katyusha rockets) no one would have imagined that Hizbollah would inflict such heavy causalities on the Israeli forces; more than 100 Israeli soldiers were killed by Hizbollah. Moreover, several Merkava tanks (believed to be the world’s most protected tank) and an F-16 warplane were also destroyed. Israel faced the worst defeat (militarily as well as morally) in its history of 58 years, that too at the hands of a non-state force. This historic achievement of Hizbollah will certainly give Iranian defense strategists momentous encouragement.

Moreover, this war will be remembered by the world and studied by military analysts for Hizbollah’s heroic resistance, which has gained its own definition – Fourth-generation warfare. And more for the war rules, which were followed by the weak (Hizbollah) and violated by the strong ( Israel ). While Hizbollah’s targets were mainly- enemy forces, tanks, warplanes and military bases, Israeli warplanes wreaked havoc on the Lebanese infrastructure, killed thousands of innocent civilians and caused ‘the worst environmental crisis in Lebanese history’- an Israeli air strike on the Jiyeh power plant in south Beirut led to a 15000 ton oil-spill into the Mediterranean.

Israel adopted its old inhuman and immoral policy of targeting innocent civilians (1948, 78, 82, 96) to terrorize the enemy population and force the Lebanese government to act against Hizbollah. But this time this barbarous policy backfired and Israel had to face vehement international criticism. However, US showed its perpetual moral bankruptcy by saying ‘ Israel has the right to defend itself’ and continuously making impediments in the way of ceasefire. Thanks to the US support Israel moved on and in a ‘deliberate bombing’ killed 40 Lebanese in the village of Houla within days of July 30 Qana massacre, in which Israeli Air Force, in the middle of the night, indiscriminately bombed an apartment building that killed some 60 civilians, most of them little children, who were crushed under the rubble of the building in which they had taken refuge.

By killing UN monitors on the pretext of ‘mistaken identity’, Israel very tactfully tried to keep the international monitors out of the Israeli occupied areas. The presence of such international monitors would have made Israeli’s policy of using indiscriminate and disproportionate force difficult.

Notwithstanding US support Israel could not realize its primary objective of wholly dismantling ‘a state within a state,’ though everything was in its favour. By the virtue of UN Resolution 1701, atleast Israel ’s one objective of bringing the international force to Lebanon ’s southern border and the Litani River was successful. But that will not bring any significant change. The international force, UNIFIL, will only assist the Lebanese army. It cannot disarm Hizbollah because it does not have a mandate from the contributing countries. So the main motive of UNIFIL is to maintain a ‘Buffer Zone’ between Lebanon and Israel .

However, Zionist state’s Lebanon offensive in the present political scenario has only whetted the appetite of already dangerous blade of Muslim anger. Its international reputation has sunken to all time low. The war, initiated by Israel on the pretext of freeing its two abducted soldiers, will have a long term effect on the entire Middle East, where a whole new generation of Arab Muslims will grow up perceiving Israel as a serious threat to their very existence on the one hand and as vulnerable on the other. And many of them will join Hizbollah, which has very deep roots in the Lebanese society, or form new guerilla groups on its pattern.

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First published in September 2006.

The Curious Case of The Indian Republic

If someday I am to write a book, I will certainly be interested in dirtying my hands in the murky waters of history writing; but I am not sure how I would go about doing it. One thing that I am certain about, however, is that like every other author worth his or her salt, I will cherry pick my facts and give my own interpretation of the past and showcase it as ‘history’.

EH Carr puts it so well in his seminal work What is History?:

It used to be said that facts speak for themselves. This is, of course, untrue. The facts speak only when the historian calls on them: it is he who decides to which facts to give the floor, and in what order or context. It was, I think, one of Pirandello’s characters who said that a fact is like a sack—it won’t stand up till you’ve put something in it . . . The historian is necessarily selective. The belief in the hard core of historical facts existing objectively and independently of the interpretation of the historian is a preposterous fallacy, but one which it is very hard to eradicate.

Therefore, the old adage “Is hamam mein sab nange hain” aptly explains the nature of history writing. As much as one wishes otherwise, everyone is naked in the bath of historiography.

Having said that, the caveat that I think should always be adhered to is that people like Y Sudershan Rao and Dinanath Batra should not be allowed to venture inside in any case, because it is one thing to be reasonably naked and it is altogether a different thing to be shamelessly and recklessly so. These gentlemen do not want to write history, but want to spread a load of malarkey and poppycock.

Given the way that team Modi is building a gang of chaddi nincompoops to expedite its cultural project, it seems they will succeed to some extent in at least rendering few impressionistic minds pathetically garbled and wired. If they do succeed in achieving such a feat, then the current chairperson of the Indian Council for Historical Research must be conferred with at least a Bharat Ratna, if not the Nobel Prize. He is an ideal bhakt who religiously attend the “national workshop of the Mythic Society in connection with their project on ‘Re-Writing the History of our Glorious Nation’”. Wallah! The British colonial historians must be turning in their graves!

The serious contender to the ICHR head is his fellow bhakt—Minister of Culture Mahesh Sharma, who thinks that only those Indian Muslims who can make ballistic missiles for nuclear warheads are real nationalists. Just a few weeks ago, he threw open an exhibition at Rabindra Bhavan, titled “Cultural Continuity from Rig Veda to Robotics”. A pamphlet circulated at the exhibition by its organisers, the Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas (I-SERVE), demonstrated that the present dispensation at New Delhi not only has knack for throwing election jumlas but pose some serious pathological challenges like fascistic-neurosis. Their objective, they clearly stated in their publication, is to “provide a solid foundation to the new idea of rewriting the history of the world on purely scientific basis”. Then, one should not be surprised if tomorrow, these history ninjas claim that Mark Zuckerberg or even Google is the 9.5th avatar of Vishnu!

Of course, India is what its corporate media and intellectuals tell us it is. At the stroke of the midnight on 15 August 1947 Nehru claimed that India had rediscovered itself (although the likes of Benedict Anderson and Eric Hobsbawm would have laughed their asses off at such primordialist naïveté, because every nation-state is, ultimately, a “construct”). Amartya Sen believes that an Indian is virtuously argumentative (and still in his books one finds arguments over disputed Kashmir confined to footnotes only).

Ramachandra Guha believes that Nehru created a “liberal, humanist credo” and that the Indian democracy accommodates diversities (and yet he fails to see the Indian state, even under Nehru, suppressing and disappearing dissenters in many places without much opposition from India’s public intellectuals, including himself; he should read Perry Anderson’s essay ‘After Nehru’ in theLondon Review of Books). Ananya Vajpyei thinks it is a “Righteous Republic” (and is outraged at Arundhati Roy for despoiling the righteous image of Gandhi in her preface to Annihilation of Caste) and yet, NDTV and Zee and other mainstream channels regularly produce and disseminate “unity in diversity” lollypops for mass consumption (read manufacturing consent).

All these savarna intellectuals and networks diligently work on the grand national project called‘Aisa Desh Hai Mera’, à la Yash Chopra, without ever telling their audiences that for much of the populations who are at the receiving end of the bourgeoisie dominance and the margins of the Indian State, all this talk is bunkum, outrageous, and serves no other purpose but the further entrenchment of the ruling classes (or castes?).

Therefore, it is better to select those facts that highlight those dingy and grey areas of politic-space which often escape the filtering lenses of the pseudo-liberal savarna intellectuals, who dominate the Indian mainstream media, and it is equally good to upset the bulging stomachs of the self-righteousbhakts because they are pathetically intolerant to those foods which provoke alternative humanistic thoughts.

As the cliché goes, Modi is the poster boy of Hindutva, a doctrine of right-wing nationalism or a distant cousin of European fascism. Generally an adherent of this doctrine is a neurotic person who is obsessed with one and only one entity: Muslims. From Abdali to Aurangzeb to Jinnah to Owaisi (and occasionally Geelani), a Hindutva nationalist only sees a spectre of Muslims hovering over its head. For a Hindutva nationalist, Mussalmaan is the source of all ills that beset India and the Hindu society because it was the Muslims who robbed India’s glory through successive invasions in the past and the partition of 1947. So, in order to regain that lost glory and pride, bhakts want to turn the clock back to a utopian Vedic era of interstellar cars, televisions, plastic surgery and rid India of the foreign influences that have crept into its body-politic.

As such, Modi has unleashed his grand political project, which in the words of Stuart Hall can be called “regressive modernization”. It is regressive for it is obsessively nostalgic about the Gupta empire (supposedly “the Golden Age”), and it is modernising because it wants Chandragupta to grab a coffee with Zuckerberg at Silicon Valley, or at least let Apple manufacture a few parts for the iPhone in India or, to give a Marxist turn to it, install mega engines of global capitalism on lands stolen from poor farmers.

According to Antonio Gramsci, an organic crisis “consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” Exactly at such an interregnum, “a man of destiny” appears on the scene and presents himself as the solution to all ills; though, his solution is not any well-formulated rational program but the sheer power of his 56-inch chest. This man of destiny is readily hailed by frustrated elites. The party of thesavarna castes, on whose behest he works, hires a costly PR agency for his makeover; they trim his graying beard, puts on impeccable ethnic suits and make him wear Gucci specs and a shimmering Swiss watch. This makes him look far better than a modern-day Nero! At public rallies and foreign tours he throws jumla after jumla and his acolytes in the media provide him much space to build his image and let him spread his capitalist propaganda. And ironically, he launches the Digital India initiative in San Francisco by imposing an 80-hour Internet ban in India-controlled Kashmir first!

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First published in the Kindle Magazine on October 1, 2015: http://kindlemag.in/the-curious-case-of-the-indian-republic/

Peer-ing into the Abyss

Last month, we learnt from highly placed sources that the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Sayeed was undergoing hallucinatory experiences; his advanced age of 79 summers taking a toll on his old mind and bladder made him see ghosts of the bygone era called 2002-2005.

Now just last week, our sources told us that Mufti was feeling dizzy and then, in the next few moments, whirling like a (very slow) dervish. He was almost going to fell down but Naeem Akhtar, the crusading education minister of J&K, emerged like Shaktimaan and caught him mid-air.

“Thank you, Naeem,” Mufti told him in a meek old man’s voice.

“Mention not, Mufti sahib. Anything for you.”

After recovering from this momentously sudden fall (which was kept under wraps by the PDP’s clever PR men and women), Mufti asked for Mehbooba Mufti, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Syed Basharat Bukhari, and Naeem Akhtar Andrabi.

No one knows what transpired in this highly secretive meeting, not even well-known PDP acolytes like Waheed Parra. However, the meeting has particularly piqued the Srinagar press colony where Mufti’s falling health has set tongues wagging and rumors mills churning.

Recently, over a cup of tea, senior journalist Naseer told me in no uncertain terms: “I always told my friends and colleagues that PDP is an upper-class syndicate. Did you hear about the recent secret meeting Mufti called? I heard that he only called Peers into that meeting. He’s at the fag end of his life; he probably wanted to pass on some message like those Freemason and Illuminati types.”

Naseer is of the firm belief that politics in Kashmir is actually dominated by a few influential groups. For example, the PDP, which Naseer calls the “Peers’ Deceptive Party”, is dominated by people of what are called Peer surnames: Andrabi, Mufti, Bukhari etc.

Isaac, the naysayer, has a different view. “By saying that a pro-Indian party like PDP is peer dominated, Mr Naseer is implying that all Peers and Syeds in Kashmir are pro-India, which is factually incorrect. How can he say that—no, no, I would say how dare he say that? If you look at Hurriyat, yes Hurriyat Conference, you will find Peers there also, that too on top positions, like Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Not only that, even the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen is being run by a Peer, Syed Salahuddin. So how can you try to malign Peers like that?”

Naseer argues that Isaac is saying what he too wants to drive at, that the Kashmiri political, cultural, and educational institutions are dominated by certain influential groups. As an example, he points out that Board of Directors of the resource-rich Muslim Wakf Board, which takes care of the shrines and the mosques in Kashmir and the donations and offerings to them, has nine members, out of which five are from the Peer group.

“Peers and Syeds are like the Kammas and Reddys of Kashmir,” he says. “If they are in ideologically opposite groups, that still does not make any sense. It is like Manish Tewari blaming Arun Jaitley blaming Barkha Dutt blaming Sudhir Chaudhary blaming blah blah blah…but at the end they are all upper castes.”

“He is actually jealous of Peers for their intellectual superiority,” scoffs Isaac. “Peers achieve top positions because they are intelligent; why should there be a problem with that?”

Naseer believes that is hogwash. “Meritocracy is mostly overrated. Success depends not solely on one’s merit but considerably on one’s network and access to resources. If Basharat Peer was any other ordinary Kashmiri and not one from a privileged background with a cultivated network,Curfewed Night would probably not have been published by Random House.”

In the meantime, the information gathered from the media and snatches from tea vendors and barber shops tell us that Mufti Sayeed may pass on the chair of Chief Ministership to his beloved daughter Mehbooba Mufti anytime soon.

“Mehbooba is in the town, she is seen everywhere, and she is making all the right noises,” says Gul Kak, the most impartial political analyst in Kashmir. “Walla! Something is cooking!”

Sul Kak, a longtime comrade of Gul Kak, adds, “Mufti will die with a big regret though, that Manmohan’s Aman ki Asha was turned into a big nirasha by the 56-inch chest of Modi sarkar.”

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Published in Kindle Magazine, September 2, 2015: http://kindlemag.in/peer-ing-into-the-abyss/

Re-positioning Resistance

When political closure gave rise to the Kashmiri armed militancy in the late 1980s, the autonomous political process was suspended momentarily by the complexities of the militant phase; yet in January 1993 a common forum was founded in the shape of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC). APHC was a broad alliance of some 30 political and socio-religious organizations represented in a General Council while the main seven political groups formed an Executive Council.

How these leaders “re-positioned” the political process was to make the Kashmiri pro-resistance groups eschew their differing ideological projections and instead present a common minimum program in terms of maintaining a united stand on the right to self-determination.

APHC, however, faced a split in the year 2003 when Hurriyat patriarch Syed Geelani accused that some APHC members had had fielded “proxy candidates” in assembly elections (election boycott was an accepted principle among all the members). Syed Ali Geelani, who represented Jama’at-e-Islami at that time, started working independent of what forms Hurriyat (M) now; he later on formed a separate political forum called Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH). Masarat Alam (ideologically closer to Geelani) joined it in 2007.

Over the years Tehreek-e-Hurriyat emerged as a relatively credible group in the eyes of general public in Kashmir because of the ‘steadfastness’ of its patron on the position of right to self-determination and its apparent Islamist orientation; and on the other side, APHC’s (M) pragmatist approach and the secret parleys with the state come to be seen with increasing suspicion.

Thus, as John Cockell argues, “there is significant flux in the dynamics of nationalist mobilization, with political formations first gaining popular legitimacy and then losing it to new formations as they become compromised by their engagement with the state and its dominant discourses”.

That is why Sajjad Lone, son of late Abdul Gani Lone, was accused of harming the “freedom struggle” when he decided to contest elections.

Then there are leaders like Azam Inquilabi, Shakeel Bakhshi, Shabir Shah, Nayeem Khan, Ghulam Qadir Wani et al who remained entrenched in the mainstream of the ethno-political strain of the Kashmiri resistance movement both ideologically as well as in their political positions, allowing them to retain some credibility among the people and be able to represent politically on the basis of their long association and contributions to Tehreek. As early as 1994, Shabir Shah had appealed for the “dissolution of all political parties” to have a common stand. Interestingly, in 2014 Shabir Shah along with some other members came up with the third Hurriyat and called it the true one.

Therefore, we can say these developments marked the elements of “discontinuities” in Kashmiri national movement in terms of faction splits, political repositions, and ideological clashes. What weakens the position and credibility of political formations is the growing perception among the people that the movement ‘suffers’ from dissensions and cannot effectively represent us and in extension, has fewer chances to negotiate successfully with the state on their behalf (Cockell). This is what ultimately transpired in the case of Kashmir national movement. People grew wary of APHC leaders and lost confidence in them.

However, 2008 -2010 mass protests allowed the pro-resistance leaders to re-establish themselves as the ‘guardians’ of Kashmiri national movement.  The scene and intensity of the protests and discontentment between 2008 and 2010 changed the political discourse about Kashmir so much so that pro-India parties in Kashmir were forced to emphasize that elections had nothing to do with the Kashmir conflict and they even appropriated the resistance discourse to stay relevant in Kashmiri politics and be seen as ‘pro-Kashmir’.

First published in Kashmir Life on June 1, 2015: http://www.kashmirlife.net/re-positioning-resistance-issue-11-vol-07-79989/

DYSFUNCTIONAL DIPLOMACY

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Chutzpah had American legislators on their toes on 3 March when he came to the corporate office called Congress to lash out at the nuclear deal being negotiated with Ay-ran.  The deal would all ‘but guarantee’ Ay-ran will get the bomb, he warned the members. Bibi’s message was clear: there should be absolutely no nuclear country in the Middle East, of course except Israel. A nuclear Islamist Ay-ran would be more dangerous than a nuclear-armed Jewish State of Israel. In other words, Mullahs cannot handle Uranium-235 as easily as Zionist Rabbis can. Everyone in the audience clapped profusely, some members even angrily struck the wooden floor with their walking sticks as if it was Obama’s ass. On every sentence Bibi received a standing ovation and deafening handclapping. The US Congressmen had never before broken the sound systems in the hall so convincingly. Some commentators even said that if the White House was a man then the Congressmen had virtually sodomised it on March 3 and even federal courts could not prove the charges.

A highly placed source Edward Snowden (name changed) has informed that while the world media did talk about the political implications of Bibi’s speech, they, however, censored the more interesting story about its biological implications. Reportedly, too many Republican Congressmen were found visiting a Washington-based orthopedic for their sudden health complications. An MIT-based ‘self-hating Jew’ explains the biological implications thus:

If you read the transcript of Bibi’s speech, there are approximately 43 interjections of applause. The whole speech is about 43 minutes long. That means, on average, the Congressmen went hysterical after every one minute, (and we know Republican friends of pro-Bibi Ronald Lauder and the eighth richest man Sheldon Adelson toiled really hard for that) which had put intense pressure on their bodies, leading to severe joint pains. Later some of the Republicans were diagnosed with rare disease, which has damaged the political cartilages of their bodies. Medical experts believe that if the Congressmen continue sodomising the White House like this, there is likelihood that this dangerous disease will pass on to the next generation of American legislators which may create severe problems for the political health of the already ailing Empire. So much for the Bibi Syndrome!

Another interesting part that the media completely ignored was related to an alleged burglary in the Congress. Apparently, somebody had stolen a whole rim of A4 size papers from one of the offices in the Congress and just before the Homeland Security guys would give orders to strip the black employees, somebody pointed at Bibi Chutzpah who was reading his speech one sentence per page. Had Bibi stolen the rim of A4 paper? The question remained unsolved. And once again the American media censored the Bibigate scandal altogether.

“This was a serious issue”, said economist Robert Reich on his widely popular Facebook page, “and yet we Foxified this news also, because Republicans didn’t want to upset their corporate bosses like Adelson and co.”

Commenting on the issue a former White House official said, “a Prime Minister of a foreign nation comes to our country, steals from our office and then audaciously tell us straight on our faces that we are dumb in statecraft, and ironically our own legislators give a standing ovation to this humiliation”.

Although Bibi’s speech was not altogether bull, many intransigent left-wing detractors kept saying it was full of right-wing garbage. Whatever their viewpoint, my favorite quotable quote from the speech was this: “I deeply regret that some [people] perceived my being here as political. That wasnever my intention”.  This one surely deserves a place in the hall of fame of political jokes.

Now that the right-wing Likud party has won the Israeli election and Bibi is all set to invite far-right groups to form the next government, it seems Israeli establishment is stretching far too right to be able to do anything right [pun inevitable]. However, his racist statements during the Election Day have not gone well with the Obama administration.

A White House spokesperson released a statement in this regard: “We know Mr. Netanyahu sometimes gets carried away. The temperature in Jerusalem has that effect on people sometimes. But he should not have publically exhibited his true colours; such speeches and actions affect our [US] ability to manage things for Israel in the UN. But our commitment to Israel is as strong as ever and we will continue to support it even if heavens fall or US falls apart”.

In the meantime, India seems to be on a fast track to changing its governing model from Nehruvian Hindustan to Modian Banistan. Modi and co, who apparently detest every Mughlai tasting thing, like kebab and keema, have decided to curb the source of this taste nuisance and ban the beef market altogether. State after state ban is spreading throughout India pretty fast. First it was Maharashtra, now Haryana and Jharkhand have joined the fray.

“I think beef is an overrated thing”, said Haryana’s Health Minister in a recent press conference. “You know our state is famous for pahalwans, boxers and what not. But they are milk pahalwans not beef pahalwans. Do you know how Virender Sehwag smashed a triple century against those beef eating Pakistanis? Because Sehwag ki ma makes him drink milk every day, not beef”.

In order to fight the beef ban, many left liberals (and what right wing Bakhts call sickularits) tried to reason that Vedic Hindus also relished beef and even Manusmriti allows it. But Bakhts are Bakhts. Their love for poppycock is second to none and that is why their Bakhtistan reason is the caged bird.

“These beef references in our ancient scriptures were inserted by crafty Muslims and Angreez[British] to impure our Sanathan Dharm” says Mr. Batra, “We demand the Modi government to immediately purify our history of any impurities thereof. Cow is our mother and this should be taught in every school of India”.

Asked to comment on the beef ban issue in India scholar Wendy Doniger responded: “See, to be frank Mr. Batra still scares hell out of me. Lately I am seeing him in my dreams also and it is so creepy. If he says cow is his mother, then it must be so. I am not writing anything against it. Even if he claims dinosaur is his grandfather, I would say: ap se milkar badi khushi hoi [nice to meet you]”.

Meanwhile, in a newspaper interview Historian Ramachandra Hoo-Ha has said that the beef ban is a noble mission. He argues that the proliferation of videshi companies like McDonald’s and Burger King had affected swadeshi subaltern class like Vada Pav vendors and now that these neo-colonialist companies are rendered beef-less their customers will queue up at Vada Pav wallahs and boost the subaltern economy. Mr. Hoo-Ha believes that this move would have been very much supported by Gandhi himself were he not bumped off by ‘crazy guy’ Nathuram.

“We should give full credit to Mr. Modi”, said Mr. Hoo-Ha, “for reinvigorating Indian values among our youth. What Gandhi launched as Swadeshi movement, Modi is only taking it forward. I am currently writing a book about it titled  India after Modi”.

Asked about the effects of this ban on the Muslim subaltern class associated with the trade, Mr. Hoo-Ha said, “They can still sell their chicken biryani”.

Turning to Kashmir, it seems that the BJP-PDP “coalition of conviction” had a rough start when the Indian media created a big hullabaloo over the release of Masrat Alam, a Hurriyat leader associated with the Geelani faction.

Sajad Gani Lone was immediately dispatched to Delhi by CM Mufti Syed to sort out the issue.

“See Barkha”, he said in a conversation with Barkha in a cafe, “you people are making Masrat Alam into a hero. He is now more popular among the Kashmiris than Mufti Syed and me.”

“But wasn’t he the architect of the 2010 protests?” asked Barkha.

“No, no Barkha. See this is the problem”, he said in his nasal tone, “what architect! That is complete nonsense. He might have coined those Ragdo Ragdo slogans and all that. But protests were largely spontaneous and boys were killed in police firing.”

After taking a sip, he continues, narrowing his eyebrows, “But Barkha, you know all this already, don’t you? Oh! Of course you do. See … to whom am I telling all this, hahaha…” (both laugh).

He looks around and says: “You know far more people in Kashmir than I do [he winks]. But see the thing is you people should focus more on me, us, I mean mainstream guys. You should make me, I mean us more popular. Do you understand what I mean? [winks again]”.

“Don’t worry Sajad, I gotcha”. Barkha replies [winks back]. On the café’s television screen flashesThe Newshour.

“Look at that Arnob, he is a big pain in the ass”, said Sajad, “you know, if you measure on the political barometer, anti-India sentiment in Kashmir is directly proportional to Arnob’s crazy Newshourrants”.

“Yeah, he is a problem”, agrees Barkha, “But what to do?”

“It is easy. Just make him the Lok Sabha speaker and he will pass all the bills himself.”

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Published in Kindle Magazine on 02.05.2015: http://kindlemag.in/dysfunctional-diplomacy/

Tale of a Political Fugitive

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If latest reports are to be believed, then it is no surprise to inform you that Jersey-cow-turned-political-fugitive Victor Yanukovich has been seen drinking Russian Vodka in a palatial Dacha (Villa) of Big Brother Putin somewhere on Black Sea coast. Intriguing indeed!
Chuvak (Russian for ‘dude’) is a term seldom employed by Big Brother Putin in his informal conversations, as it is reserved for his rarest of rare buddies, like that showpiece of Russian politics Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Mr. Zhirinovsky is famous for publicly, which is his default setting any ways, showering generous praises on American leaders, especially Condoleezza Rice. Once he even threatened President Bush by saying that Russia can alter the gravitational field of the planet to sink America. Now without vodka shot that is a big thing to imagine! Elsewhere he offered free vodka for men and better underwear for women in his prime ministerial race. Anyways, whenever Big Brother Putin feels bored of his burgeoning Gay fans or high adrenaline Caucasian games he often invites him to his Dacha to showcase his multiple talents, chief among them being riding a polar bear with dude Zhirinovsky as a pillion.
“Chuvak, hold on tight, else you will break your stupid Polish bum!” Big Brother has to repeat on every ride with vodka-mouthed Mr. Zhirinovsky.
Now let me come back to poor Yanukovich here. When he mysteriously arrived on Putin’s Dacha, Big Brother literally sprung up on his sofa on seeing him.
“What the heck are you doing here! Fella!” Putin’s eyes had opened wide in surprise. Momentarily he floated in air over his leather couch.
Poor Yanukovich was gasping for breath, he looked dejected, and protruding his mouth he cried “Kashmar, Kashmar (disaster), Cooo….cooo, Bolshoy brat, cooo!”
“What cooo…cooo!, what happened to you!”
“They tried to cooo me, Bolshoy brat, Kashmar, kashmar, cooo”
“Who the hell is this cooo? Filthy poking CIA, M15! Who? Would you tell me?” Putin looked with enquiring eyes at two KGB guys standing nearby.
Unsure, they looked at each other. Nodding their sunglasses mounted heads sideways, they shrugged and stood still.
“That boxer, that famous Gorilla, Bolshoy brat”
“Ah! Ha! That Goliath of a guy, what is his damn name….yes, yes I got it….Vitali Kalashnikov, right!”
“Klitschko, Sir” the nearby KGB guys corrected him.
“Yes whatever, Kalashnikov or Klitschko, it doesn’t matter. Even the name of his party is violent, what is it called?”
“Udar, Sir”. KGB guys informed.
Yanukovich now recounted his story to the Big Brother. He told him that he had called KGB to get him out of the mess and they smuggled him out of Kiev in a Soviet era four-wheeler called Zaporozhets or ZAZ 965. (Better half of India’s Ambassador Car)
KGB told the President that Zaporozhets was used because no one could suspect it for any clandestine use and besides only in Zaporozhets’ spacious trunk could portly Yanukovich fit in.
After Yanukovich made his Bolshoy brat (big brother) understand the reasons of his escape, the President decided to impart some Judo skills to him to make him ready for a comeback to his country.
“Look Chuvak, if you want to fight that Gorilla, learn how to hit him in the right place, ok”
“Got it, Bolshoy brat”
“Apart from Judo I will teach you how to tame a polar bear, you got to tame lot of Gorillas out there, right, Chuvak?”
“Got it, Bolshoy brat”
“And you got to be fit. You will be served special Lincolnshire beef cooked on special Gazprom fuel for four times a day and Lincolnshire sausage and Lincolnshire beer and Lincolnshire milkshake also prepared with Gazprom fuel”
Yanukovich was baffled. “I have taste of Gazprom but why everything Lincolnshire, Bolshoy brat!”
“That is the problem with you, eastern guys. Our efficient scientists – our own Russian scientists – already proved that Lincolnshire food stimulates geostrategic thinking. Remember that old British guy Mackinder he was born there, wasn’t he?”
“And this time when you get hold of that old blond, what is her name, ah Yulia Tymoshenko, send her to our Siberian jail. I am sure frozen Olympian braid will look much prettier on her”
“Sure, Bolshoy brat”
“And besides, get rid of those smartphones immediately, you cannot trust poking nose of Washington nincompoops. And always keep a watch on Kerry’s Brussels honeymoon, got it!”
“Bolshoy brat, you are a genius!” Though, Putinian metaphors seemed to him tad heavy to grasp.
But Yanukovcih was convinced and now according to sources, he has already started to follow Big Brother’s dietary prescription called Heartland Diet. He is yet to learn the bear taming techniques but he regularly takes Judo lessons to have a smack down with the Gorilla Klitschko. Reportedly, he will begin his encounter in favorable Crimea ring first.

Published in Greater Kashmir (March 1, 2014)

http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2014/Mar/1/tale-of-a-political-fugitive-6.asp