Thursday, December 17, 2015

Ginny, Jade and Santa


Ginny, Jade and Santa

“Truth resides in what, while learning comes from why.”

It was snowing heavily that night at North Pole. Santa had once again braved the weather and arrived back at his home after delivering all the Christmas presents world over. But something was amiss. Elf Victor knew it the very instant Santa disembarked from his sleigh, entrusting his tired but still vibrant reindeer in the hands of his trusted stable manager. But he didn’t ask the elderly saint a question, and just bowed his head and went along with his business of managing the stables. However, it didn’t take long for all the elves to figure out that something was bothering their beloved Santa, as days went by, but the frown on his face didn’t leave.

With almost a month having passed since Christmas, the senior most elf Gloria finally braved her inhibitions and asked Santa, “Dear Saint most noble, what has been bothering you all these days since Christmas?”

Santa heaved a huge sigh and then looked at Gloria, and with tears brimming up his eyes he exclaimed, “I just can’t face Ginny and Jade anymore.”

“But why?” a shocked Gloria asked the revered Saint.

“I fail them every time,” exclaimed an exasperated Santa, “They are the two most lovely kids in this world, who never tell a lie, who never hurt anyone, and who always listen to their elders, and love everybody true from their hearts, and yet I have failed to grant them their wish every Christmas for the last three times.”

“But why can’t you grant them their wish,” Gloria asked innocently, as she wasn’t aware of what Ginny and Jade’s wishes were, “What is it that you can’t provide to them in this whole world?”

“Ginny’s mother and Jade’s father,” Santa replied with tears rolling down his cheeks, “They both lost one of their parents’ when they were still very young, and every year they only ask for one thing that I cannot give them.”

A shocked Gloria covered her mouth with both her hands, “But you can’t grant them that wish, we all know that.” She then paced around the room a couple of times before asking, “So what are you going to do this Christmas?”

“I don’t know, but I am thinking,” Santa spoke stroking his beard, “I might make the trip.”

“To the pearly gates,” Gloria asked, a big frown growing up on her face.

“Only God can help me on this now,” Santa exclaimed throwing away his hands haplessly.

“But you can’t take that journey. It is just too dangerous,” Gloria insisted.

“I don’t have a choice,” Santa replied looking out of his window, glancing at his sleigh.

“But it takes a hundred days to and a hundred days back,” Gloria exclaimed.

“I’ll be right back in time for the next Christmas,” Santa exclaimed.

“But there’s a ferocious beast that guards the way,” the mere thought had terrified Gloria enough to make her grab Santa’s arms to dissuade him from taking the journey, “Please don’t go! They say he devours alive those who dare to make the journey, their souls going directly to the hell. Such ferocious are his eyes they petrify anyone that dares cast a glance upon him. His body grows with the growing fear of his impending victims, and his breath is deadlier that the most poisonous snake.”

“He’s no beast my dearest Elf Gloria, he’s a king cursed to be a werewolf for eternity, by a woman scorned, the one he turned out of his kingdom for witchery upon innocent civilians,” Santa explained to Gloria in reply.

“The evil Witch of the West,” Gloria exclaimed as she reminisced the story Santa had told her once before, “Didn’t she have three daughters with the king, all of whom turned into witches?”

“Yes she had, before the king found out her truth and cast her away as a punishment, the one that the evil Witch took to her heart and laid the spell on the king,” Santa reminded her the rest, “And now together with her three daughters, the Witches of the East, North and South, she controls the beast and patrols the path that stretches between the heaven and earth, along the milky way.”

“Oh dearest Santa, I beg of you, please don’t go on this journey,” Gloria pleaded with him once more.

“I’m afraid, I have no choice,” Santa exclaimed grabbing his coat, hat and bag in a jiffy, and marching out of the room, a crying Gloria pleading with him to change his mind. But he had already made up his mind, and nothing was going to stop him now.

“Where art thou my reindeers?” Santa called out loud as soon as he stepped outside his house, and in a flash came Prancer, Dancer, Donner, Blitzer, Dasher, Vixen, Commet, Cupid and Rudolph, hoping and dancing.

Elf Victor rushed out behind the nine, and was immediately at Santa’s disposal. Gloria immediately asked him to plead with Santa, to not go on the wretched journey, but nothing would deter Santa now that he had made up his mind.

“Oh holy Saint, if you have made your mind to not turn around your sleigh, then please take this magical moss with you,” Elf Victor exclaimed as he extended out a bag full of the reindeer feed, “Feed this to your nine companions once you reach the milky way. It will make their fur impervious to claws and teeth of any evil beast.”

“Thank you my dear friend,” Santa exclaimed as he got ready to take off for his next journey, “They say once a king ordered every man, woman and child in his land to pray only to him, and to no god. He banished the only innocent child who refused to obey his diktat, into the darkest dungeon, without food and water. The kid prayed to god, who spilled his jar of milk, for milk to flow all the way down to the dungeon, to feed the starving child. That milky river still flows out of the heaven, and to the house of that kid, who now lives in a world god made just for him. God asked him that day, if he would like him to take him out of the dungeon right away, but the child refused, saying if he left without the king having realized his mistake, no one will ever believe in God again. For thirty eight days the kid stayed in that dungeon, but the river never dried. So astonished and shaken was the king by the turn of the events, that he fell at the feet of the child, seeking forgiveness. But the kid said that who was he to forgive him, for it wasn’t him that the king had sinned against. And that is when god took the kid away from the dungeon, in a flash, while the king became a hermit to do penance for his sins.” And the Santa looked away and exclaimed as his sleigh took off, “Don’t worry about me, for God will take care of me.”

The nine companions of Santa galloped away as Santa took out his violin and started playing merry tunes, to make light of the journey. On the sixty eighth day they reached the milky river, and that’s when Santa asked his reindeers to stop in their stride.

“This is where the reign of the beast begins,” Santa exclaimed as he pulled out the magical moss from the bag to feed his reindeer, “Here, munch this magical moss for it will protect you from the evil that lurks along these milky river banks.”

A vile growl reverberated in the sky as Santa looked around to take stock of the surrounds. The nine reindeers trembled in fear, but only once. Santa patted them as he looked around before getting back on his sleigh, “Let’s go!”

But the moment the reindeer started to gallop, the beast sprung out of the milky river and straight behind them, growling out loud.

“God speed you,” exclaimed Santa as his reindeer galloped in unison. But the beast followed them, growling viciously. The reindeer looked back at the beast and the sight of his ferocious eyes scared them. Frightened, they sped up. But the more they got scared, the bigger the beast got, and faster he galloped, gaining on them. And the more the beast grew and gained on them, the more the reindeer got frightened. Santa looked back at the beast, and then at his reindeer.

“Do not fear the beast for he cannot harm you,” Santa yelled, but the fear of the beast had clouded their senses, and the reindeer didn’t pay head to a word Santa said.

Finally the beast pounced on the Santa on the sleigh, but the holy halo around the Santa immediately set the beast’s fur on fire, and he couldn’t even touch Santa. The burning beast immediately jumped into the milky river to douse his flames, and the reindeers heaved a sigh of relief. But their joy was short lived, as the beast sprung out of the river, more enraged than ever. His growl was louder and more ferocious, and scared the reindeer even more. The beast galloped to the front and pounced on Prancer, but neither his claws could scratch him, and nor could he sink his teeth into his fur. He then tried to bite Dancer, and then Rudolph, and then the others, but failed to scratch any of them. The reindeer finally started to gain their confidence. At this point Santa started playing a merry melody on his violin that cheered the reindeer up even further, until all their fear was lost and the beast was no bigger than the size of a small dog. Donner immediately picked the beast up on his horns, and threw him playfully up in the air towards the others, and the reindeers started a game play of catch and throw with the beast, as they marched along their way.

“Enough,” finally Santa exclaimed, and Rudolph tossed the beast towards Santa, who immediately opened the mouth of his bag, and the beast got sucked into it. The reindeer gave out a cry of victory as they galloped away.

But unknown to them, the four witches had witnessed the fate of their beast. The four immediately emerged out of shadows laughing hysterically, their evil laugh drowning away the melodies of Santa’s violin.

“You think you are too smart and strong,” the evil witch of the West exclaimed, “But none has ever gone past our way before, and so won’t you.” And with a loud war cry, she let out a magical beam from her wand straight at Santa. Santa however immediately grabbed his own shaft and defended the attack. Not impressed, the evil witch fired a salvo, but Santa defended it all. Seeing their mother fail in her mission enraged the three daughters, and they too joined their mother, and all four of them simultaneously attacked Santa, from four different directions.

Santa immediately closed his eyes and cast a spell that created a magical protection layer all around him, his sleigh and his companions. This layer negotiated all the attacks the four inflicted upon them, and Santa’s journey continued uninterrupted. Their unprecedented failure enraged the four witches as they gathered together to figure out a way to defeat the old man.

“He has got the power of truth and good protecting him. We can’t beat that,” said the wicked witch of the East.

“But such power does not work on innocent beings and inanimate objects,” the wicked witch of the South exclaimed.

“That is so true my sweetest and most evil daughter,” exclaimed the wicked witch of the West with a grin on her face, “And I think I’ve just got the plan to hurt him now. Follow me!”

And the four witches flew away as the mother lead them to an asteroid belt.

“Here lays the mine field that would destroy their train,” exclaimed the wicked witch of the West with a loud evil laugh, “Come; let’s rain meteors on the caravan.”

And the four witches immediately set on casting a spell on the rocks, changing their course to aim at the galloping caravan.

“To make this a success, we will have to be one with the rocks,” exclaimed the wicked Witch of the East, as the four laughed out hysterically, before turning into rocks, and then flying towards the Santa.

“Oh my god, that’s not the way the meteors should be coming,” exclaimed Santa as he saw the approaching meteorite shower.

But the spell cast on the meteors had made their approach so quick and hard, it gave no time to Santa to avoid them. His sleigh ran right into the middle of the rock shower, as pieces of rocks started hitting Santa and his reindeer mercilessly. His protection didn’t work on inanimate objects. He tried in vain to fend off as many as he could by swinging his shaft, but he had been caught unawares and unprepared.

“Quick! Into the milky river,” exclaimed Santa to his reindeer, and they immediately followed his command and galloped straight into the river.

“How do I find them hiding in rocks?” thought Santa to himself, as he caressed his wounds with the milk flowing around him. But tending to his wounds gave him the answer that he needed, “Real rocks don’t bleed!” In a flash he was back on his feet, “Out of the river now.” And the sleigh was back on the path, and the meteorite shower returned too. But this time Santa was ready. He swung his shaft so hard and fast, it started shattering each and every rock piece that dared come near his caravan. Didn’t take too long for him to have hit all four of the witches, who cried out in pain, and Santa found out the rocks that bled.

Santa immediately opened up his bag, and the four mighty rocks that were much bigger than the bag, got sucked into it one by one. And Santa immediately tied the mouth of the bag.

“Hey holy man, please let us go, we plead of you, we are sorry,” pleaded the four witches one by one, as they realized they were now caught.

“Why should I release you, the evil ones,” asked Santa in a roaring voice.

“Please forgive us for our sins you kind man, we promise never to repeat our mistakes again,” exclaimed the wicked witch of the West, “My daughters are bleeding, and so is my husband. Please have mercy on us.”

Santa thought for a moment and then said, “OK! Let me first heal your wounds first.” He then closed his eyes to say a spell, and then exclaimed, “Each one of you will now have a bowl in hand, full of magic porridge, that would heal your wounds.”

“Yes, kind man, yes indeed,” exclaimed the witch as she and her daughters and the beast could be heard eating porridge.

Once they had finished eating porridge, Santa continued, “Let me first release the beast, but not without undoing the wrong that had been done to him.” And then he cast another spell before opening up the bag, and the righteous king emerged out of it.

“Hey kind Saint, how can I ever repay you for your kindness,” the king exclaimed as he knelt down in front of Santa.

“Rise oh king,” exclaimed Santa, “I have not only removed the curse, but from now you will have the power to change into the beast form and back, at will. Continue to use your powers in the service of God, protecting the way to his abode from evil souls, but do not harass the noble that fly past from hence forth.”

“As you command my Saint,” the King exclaimed, once again bowing his head.

“Now let me release your wife and daughters too,” exclaimed Santa.

“What do they mean to me now holy Saint,” however exclaimed the king, “They are evil incarnate. What good will they do for humanity, and why should I forgive them?”

“You should forgive them for forgiving starts a new life, while reliving keeps the war alive,” Santa replied, “Besides; your wife had no choice. She is a fairy who was cursed by an evil witch. And fairies are your daughters too. Let me set them free, like I’ve set you.” And out came four beautiful fairies with magic wands and wings, the prettiest of them all, their mother.

“Hey holy man, how shall we ever repay you for your kindness,” asked the fairy mother with humility.

“Simple; keep doing your job of keeping the way safe for the noble souls,” exclaimed Santa.

All five of them bowed to Santa and flew away, while Santa’s reindeers galloped away towards the Pearly gates.

On the ninetieth day they arrived at the pearly gates, still ten days away from the god’s abode.

“Hey holy Santa, what brings you here?” asked the gatekeeper as he recognized the revered man.

“I need to see god,” replied Santa.

“Yes of course, please carry on,” exclaimed the gatekeeper as he let Santa’s sleigh carry on.

Finally Santa arrived in God’s court.

“Santa, my beloved child, what brings you to your father?” exclaimed God as he opened his arms to embrace his child. But Santa fell on his feet.

“I am not worthy of this honour father, but I am honoured to know that you hold me in such high regards,” exclaimed Santa as he sobbed.

“You are my sweetest,” God exclaimed, “Tell me, what brings you here.”

“I need your permission, to take Jade’s father and Ginny’s mother back to them,” Santa replied, wiping his tears.

“But I never stop anyone,” God exclaimed, “They are all free to leave whenever they want to, and yet no one leaves.”

“But why?” asked a surprised Santa.

“I don’t know,” exclaimed God, “Why don’t you go and ask the two people you came here for, and let them tell you why they don’t go back.”

“But where will I find them?” asked Santa.

“Back where you came from,” God replied with a smile, “They are always there, with Ginny and Jade, all the time.”

A surprised Santa got back on his feet, “Then how come none of us sees them.”

“Because they don’t want anyone to,” God answered, “But this time, I’ll ask them to show themselves to you, to reply to your queries.”

And Santa bowed to the God, and flew back.

On the two hundred day of his journey, Santa was finally back on earth, and at the playground where Jade was playing. And there by the side of the tree he was, Jade’s father, watching his every move. Santa walked beside him, but he didn’t notice. He was lost in watching his son.

“If you love him so much, why don’t you return to him?” Santa asked him, breaking his trance.

“Why should I?” replied Jade’s father, “Now I am there with him all the time, watching him grow, make friends, play, study and grow big and strong. If I go back, I will not be able to be with him even a fraction of this time. I will have to go to work, travel everywhere, and miss all his games, never pick him up from school, or sit by him. Life takes me away from him. But now I am here with him all the time. Why should I miss this beautiful chance of being with him all the time?”

“But what about him?” asked Santa.

“I know it is hard on him,” nodded Jade’s father in agreement, “But then it also makes him a stronger person. Knowing that I am not there makes him take care of himself. He is learning how to stand up for his friends, and how to make good friends. With me around, he will remain weak; something I don’t want to happen.”

And Santa finally realized why Jade’s father didn’t want to go back. He also knew what Ginny’s mother would say, but still went to Ginny’s piano lesson, to catch up with her mother.

“Isn’t she an angel sitting over there?” exclaimed Ginny’s mother to Santa, “Now imagine me at home, preparing dinner for the family; I will miss all this fun. And of course not to mention, with me around I will definitely be her best friend, and then she will never learn how to make good friends with other girls. Every time she wins a competition, I am there to watch her, but she thinks no one is there who feels proud of her. It makes her dissatisfied with her current success, and makes her yearn for bigger glory in search of satisfaction. She is growing up to be a champion. Why would I want to ruin that?”

And Santa wiped away his tears as he left the mother with her daughter. His heart was heavy, but he was satisfied. He now had a gift each to give to Jade and Ginny the upcoming Christmas; a personal letter from Jade’s father and Ginny’s mother.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Blinding Education (Paper Tigers)


Blinding Education
(Paper Tigers)

“Education should not be an assembly line production system, destroying individuality.”

A cell, a unit of life, can be defined in four words, as I just did here, or an entire line, paragraph, chapter, or even a book be written about it. A cell, a unit of life, is made up of many smaller structural units including nuclei, mitochondria, ribosomes, DNA, RNA, vacuoles etc. A cell, a unit of life, can also itself be a miniscule part of an entire body of a multi-cellular organism, for which it might be nothing more than a disposable entity, like the dead epidermal cells of the skin, or it may have a really vital role to place, as an ovum in a female. A cell, a unit of life, if I was your educator and I asked you to go and do a thorough research on some aspect of it, saying that you are free to choose what you want to research about it, for I intend to develop and test your research skills, and that I will be judging you for how deep you can go with your research, which aspect of a cell’s existence would be the right one for you to pick?

That last one above might be a question that you would want to ask me. But then, I am not judging you for what you find out about the cell, or what you have to say about the cell. I want to judge you for how good you are with your research skills. My inquiry is not as to what you find out about the cell, but about how adept you are in researching facts and coming to conclusions, were you to be put in a real life scenario, which may be totally unrelated to the existence of any cell. Of course, the quality of your research will be a reflection about your ability to research, but does that really limit the choice of what aspect you may wish to research? Perhaps if I said that your research should only be confined to biological sciences, it might be a limit, in the sense that if one was to go truly deep, then at the end of the chain of a cell’s existence are macro-molecules like proteins, fats, lipids and carbohydrates etc. These molecules are further made up of atoms, which have sub-atomic particles like electrons, protons and neutrons that can further be broken down into quarks. But if you were to go and do a deep research on atoms and sub-atomic particles, you would no longer be in the field of biological sciences. You would have transgressed into the field of particle physics, not even chemistry.

But what is the point of this example?  Perhaps it would still not be clear at this point, so let us dig a bit more into this example.

Let us say that one of you decides to do a research on cell’s internal organization, and one of you decides to do a research on cell’s roles in various capacities in a multi-cellular organism. Both of you can go as deep as you want to in either direction. But say I have put a limit on how many words you can use to explain your findings. Given this limitation, say the one working on internal organization decides to pick up just the mitochondria inside the cell for research, and the other one decides to list all the kinds of the cells that could be in a multi-cellular organism. So what would happen when the two would compile their reports? The one who would research upon mitochondria would fill up the report with various facts about mitochondria, which would give a detailed account of one aspect of cell’s existence. The other however will fill up with short accounts of all the different kinds of cells that could be found in a multi-cellular organism. The point I want to make originates from this point onwards.

A poor educator or academic would judge the two reports differently. For him or her, the detailed account of a cell’s mitochondria would represent a more comprehensive research, while the fleeting reference to various kinds of cells in the other report would represent a superficial research lacking effort. However, it is not the student but the educator who has failed here. How, you might ask!

To explain, let us consider the second report. Being a functional part of a multi-cellular organism is as much a part of a cell’s existence, as its internal structures. Of being more than one in kind is also an equally important part of the cell’s existence. And without thorough research, none of this could have been identified by the researcher, and the report details the various kinds of cells effectively. So, not only the report is well researched, but it is also of the same value as the other. However, the educator has failed not because of having failed to judge the value of the report correctly. Rather the educator has failed because the educator forgot what the objectives of giving out the assignment were. The educator failed to take account of how much research was done, and whether the two students were adept at going deep in whatever direction they chose. Magnifying a tiny dot in the picture for evaluation, and evaluating the entire picture, and perhaps how it fits with its environment, all three of them involve equal levels of skill. But the point here is not just about the failure of the educator. The point here is also about the failure of the modern education system, which I would for the time being address as western education system.

As an educator with a sizeable experience behind me, teaching science in a high school in rural India, that too after having had all my education in English all my life, and then imparting the science education in Punjabi, I have never been impressed by the western education system. Let me sum up what I want to talk at length in a simple sentence. While the western education system is busy spoiling the student with all the freedom at the school level, it is out to destroy everyone’s individuality beyond the school, churning out similar products out of every stream, like an assembly line production facility. Let me break the two for explanation.

Schools and homes are the nurseries that raise future citizens. A discipline at these two places inculcates the respect for law, so that the naughty kids going through the school pass out as responsible adults headed into different economic directions. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is not a proverb that equals to destroying individuality. As long as the child is free to pursue their talents and abilities, no freedom is destroyed. However, behavioral correction at these two institutions is reminiscent of the work that legal system does outside these two places. Breaking the law has consequences, and discipline at school and in homes represent a schooling that develops this understanding and respect, so that the individual does not have to go out in public and test the consequences themselves. However western education system has removed this vital function from the equation. The results are reflected in both the levels of delinquency, as well as general irresponsible behavior by young adults. This is the first stage of failure for the western education system.

The second failure occurs at post school levels, where the same individuality that was upheld at the schooling level, is severely constrained throughout the higher education process. Institutions are busy churning out professionals who do the same things, in similar ways, that confirm to a similar existing pattern, with any change being looked down upon. The higher education style in western system has indeed degenerated into an assembly line production facility.

The example that I have used above reflects this failure in ample terms. By making everyone learn how to focus on the tiniest details, the western education system has made their products incapable of seeing the bigger picture. To put it simply; they are simply not accustomed to looking at the bigger picture. And this is the reason why even though the western democratic structures are deteriorating fast and bad, yet no one really sees it. Now I will talk about the “Paper Tigers” in a moment, but let me explain this statement first.

About six or seven decades ago the western academics went around the globe, telling all and sundry as to how great the capitalistic society is, and how any man can dream big, and then provided he works hard, he can convert those dreams into reality. Today their current torch-bearers are going around the world telling how great Corporations are, and how the best thing that you could ever achieve in your life is securing an underpaying job with one of them, a job that will barely fulfill your desires, let alone make you capable of raising a family, something which a married man could do in India on his own means even two decades ago. What these torch bearers don’t realize is; these corporations have grown so big that they have effectively started replacing your democratically elected governments as bearers of opportunity. Have a look at the list of top 500 economic entities based on GDP, and you will realize that out of the top 180, nearly 120 are corporations some of whom generate more money than nations like South Africa, Philippines, Malaysia, etc. In simple terms, one of them could have easily bought any of these nations and run it for free. However unlike the governments of these nations that cater to the needs of millions of people, most of these corporations barely employ a few hundred thousand workers, most of who don’t get paid enough to manage a family on their own. But this is not the worst aspect of the “bigger picture”.

Back in the days when kings and queens used to rule aristocratic societies, feudal lords owned all the land and opportunity. The rest of the people were peasants who used to work for them in various capacities. This is what modern western capitalistic societies have become today. But the western academics won’t notice this. They are too busy researching micro-economics!

At this point however, it would be unjust if I don’t talk about the “Paper Tigers”, and give them their due credit that they so desire. So who are these “Paper Tigers”?

“Paper Tigers” my dear friends are the academics who write the same stuff that I write in my blogs as well as talk in the videos. In fact, they might have already written a lot more than what I have written in this blog thus far. Yet no one knows what they have written!

“Paper Tigers” are the academics who write not because they want to change the world, but who write because they want to satisfy their conscience, by writing the truth and publishing it in a discrete publication that not even everybody in academic circles reads. They are tigers for they talk the truth, but made of paper for they don’t have the guts to say the same things openly in public forums for they are scared of ruffling the feathers of high and mighty, lest their careers should come crashing down to the earth. They are the cowards who have historically made no difference to the fate of their fellowmen, like Aristotle and Cicero, two very well known gentlemen, hoping and wishing that one day many centuries later, human posterity will re-visit their works and hail them as great visionaries of our time.

No, you can’t have my respect!

I am a man of honor, who still believes men have honor, and that men live, die and kill for honor. The only men who don’t have honor are feminists and academics, the two groups who never had the guts to go to a duel to settle their scores. The only men that write how men have no honor, and how men don’t fight for honor, come from these two groups. Look at my personal website, and it will bear a testimony to what a man of honor does and how he reacts. You didn’t need to read this article this far down to get that idea.

Now let me return to the education.

Now if someone was to come and say that I’ll provide you the best education, but you will have to give up your individuality, I will not blink an eye before showing that person the closest exit. But with a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Forensic Science already backing my name, there is not another degree in this world that I need, to establish my academic credentials. However, the point I do want to make here is; what identifies me as a man today are not these qualifications, or what I was taught, or what I learnt in my educational institutions. What identifies me as a man is the individual that I am. Nobody taught me politics, social science, economics, music or literature, yet I’ve done work that covers all these fields. This has been possible because none of my teachers ever tried to mould me into a particular person that would satisfy the professional needs of an industry. The result is a man who is capable enough of satisfying any industry’s need. The determining factor is my individuality which is still intact after all that education.

Now if I am going to teach your educators and academics as to how they should do their job, shouldn’t I be getting more money than what I already am?

Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss “Amanpreet Singh Rai”



Monday, April 13, 2015

Baisakhi 2015: The road ahead


Baisakhi 2015: The road ahead

“Wine, women and money will not buy you a real Sikh. (The essence of this statement is the Sikh sense of commitment to a socially just cause, rather than Sikh as an identity.)”

First of all, a very happy Birthday to Khalsa on this auspicious day that marks their 316th Birth Anniversary. Now let me get down to the various business items that I intend to address in this write-up. Some of them I have already brought up previously through my various supposedly un-connected articles. But let me assure you; nothing is unconnected for I never lose sight of what I ultimately want to achieve, and hence work my way towards the goal in incoherent manner so as not to give away too much when it is too early. Now everybody may not like what is written in this article, but I do recommend reading this piece all the way to its end. There is plenty of stuff that the whole world needs to know about, in addition to what one may not like. Besides you might have a different view about what you didn’t like initially, by the end of this piece.

Now I need to mention here that I intend to address Sikh issues first on priority because of three very good reasons (not just one). Firstly, if I as a Sikh won’t address those issues, then no one else in the world will have a reason to do so. Secondly, when the Sikhs themselves are unaware of these issues, I cannot reasonably expect any other good human being to be aware of these issues in a friendly manner. Thirdly, I see a very prominent and important role for Sikh values in the future, and thus it is all the more important to not just protect them, but also highlight them at appropriate times.

Now there is a reason why I specifically mention Sikh values instead of Sikhism as a faith. The reason is that in current form and content, Sikh teachings have themselves become afflicted with the same shortcomings that plague any of the diverse religious thoughts in the world. Sikhism, which is supposed to rid human brains from the grasp of superstition and help it see the reason and rhyme behind every reality, has itself become overawed with superstitious beliefs. To give just one example outside a full length video; “Damdami Taksaal” tells of its’ origins as to how after the battle of Muktsar, the tenth Guru had stopped at the place now called Damdama Sahib, where while listening to a Sikh read the holy scriptures wrong, he had corrected the Sikh and explained that a wrong pronunciation of a word is akin to inflicting a wound to a Guru’s limb. The Sikh Holy Book is the current Sikh Guru, and every word written in it is like a part of that Guru’s body. But rather than grasp the real reason contained within Guru’s explanation, Sikhs have instead laid more emphasis on learning the correct pronunciation, going as far as superstitious belief that a wrong pronunciation is a sin. The real reason is; the words as written have a literal meaning and a contextual meaning. While the latter can change, the former stays consistent. And it is the former which can be affected by a wrong pronunciation, thus impacting all future contextual meanings. I’ll explain this in the video using the example of Punjabi words “Kitta” (Profession) and “Keeta”(did). But this is just an example of things going wrong with Sikhism at many levels.

Now the first point that I specifically want the Sikh (especially Khalsa) and Hindu communities to take note of (while the rest will be relevant for the entire world community, this one might arguably have some important lessons as well); democracy is not a perfect system. It has some major flaws that can adversely affect the fortunes of a nation if not addressed adequately. Now I will be making a series of videos about Sikhs, Sikhism and Khalsa, which will not only introduce Sikhism in a fresh light at the world stage, but will also address various issues that have plagued the Sikh fortunes since the British adopted a specific approach to deal with Sikhs after their two wars with them. A lot of them get overlooked in the din of the facts that the Indian Army under the British was made up of Sikhs up to 50%, when the Sikhs had never numbered more than 2% of the total Indian population.

But more important than those videos will be the one where I will specifically address the close blood bond between Sikhs and Hindus (and will touch on the bond between Sikhs and Muslims too), and how and why that bond came out to be. People often overlook the fact, that when Kashmiri Pandits needed respite from the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, they approached Guru Teg Bahadur, and not some Maratha or Rajput general for help. Guru Teg Bahadur wasn’t an army general who commandeered a mighty force to have challenged the tyrant regime, but just a saint. People fail to think; “Why a powerless fakir? What relationship did he have with the people who went to him?” People fail to question; “Why did Jassa Singh Ahluwalia ride with about 12000 men to repeatedly assault a one lakh strong force of Ahmed Shah Durrani in 1761, and effect the release of more than half of the people taken captives by the Afghan army at the battle of Panipat (mostly Maratha soldiers, and Hindu pilgrims who were undertaking holy trip to four Dhams under the protection of Maratha Army)? And from where did 20000 new Sikh soldiers come from, that rode under Jassa Singh Ahluwalia when the Sikhs routed the Shah in October 1762 at Amritsar, and again in 1766, when in February 1762 Ahmed Shah led forces had almost wiped out half of the Sikh population in what is known as the second holocaust in Sikh history (the figure being somewhere around 25000-30000 Sikh men, women and children dead)? Who became Sikhs, and why?” Just to give you an idea of Sikh resilience and rise, let me bring to your attention; 1762 was the year when the British forces comprehensively defeated the Spanish forces in Havana, a victory that decided the fate of the Seven Years War which ended in 1763, and the British emerged as the strongest imperial force.

Perhaps I might also mention here; Gujrat was a part of the Sikh empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, its’ Governor being an American who never came to the war when British and Sikhs fought the first time. He was one of the few people in India who were handsomely rewarded for their non-contribution by the British, as he retained his Governorship after the war.

But more important that this video will be the series of videos where I will address the issues of how and why this bond between Hindus and Sikhs was broken. Who was behind this, and has ever since been, given the fact that the British needed to control the spread of Sikhism, which had been spreading like a wild fire? The British experience in their second war with Sikhs had all but made it certain that only one thing will be able to rise in the Indian Subcontinent; it would either be a British Empire, or Sikhism. The importance cannot be overstated by mentioning the fact that after this second war, the British had banned people from carrying even a knife on the streets in Punjab, leave alone a sword or gun. The search for an answer to this question led me to extensively question motives of various communities and sections of the society in India in those times, and has thus helped me form an opinion that I will share with everyone through this series. Let me cut long story short.

I want the Khalsa to treat RSS, BJP, Congress, Shiv Sena and similar organizations as nothing but a modern day version of the “Pahari Rajas” (Hill States Chiefs/Rulers), who had always been the adversaries of Sikhs. I want Khalsa to specifically address the issue of lack of education about Sikh history even in Punjab. I grew up feeling proud that I am being taught in a CBSE affiliated school, without realizing that I haven’t even learned two pages of Sikh history in my entire school life. All my knowledge about Sikhism is a result of an extensive search and study that I have taken post education. My parents were both Government employees, with neither having time to teach me Sikh history. In fact I sometimes tell them stories that surprise them. I cannot stress the importance of history enough by saying that the pride that a community gets from its’ rich cultural, social, ethical, political and military history is the basis of the inherent bravery it exhibits. By disconnecting Sikhs from their own history, not only have the tenants of Sikhism and Sikh bravery been diluted, but even the Hindu community has become totally unaware of the connection with Sikhs. Why do BJP, RSS and others talk about Safronization of education? What purpose will modifying an education that makes people proud of their history serve? The answer to this question is the reason why Sikh history has been sidelined. The situation is so bad, that the majority of Indians don’t even understand why so many Sikhs have died for India since 1947, defending against our neighbours. There is a reason why the Sikh component of army was dropped from 50% during the British times, to the less than 2% level by late 1970s. But has this really strengthened India? Is this really what the ordinary Hindus want, the Hindus who are not even aware of the real political game that has been played since the British annexation of India?

In one of the videos I will raise questions as to what part of Indian population had actually betrayed India during the British times. The answer to this question is important in ascertaining as to whether we have been following the right people since our independence, for if we had been, there is no way there would have been as big a gulf between the fates of China and India, as it is today. The real traitors were not the ones that we were told about by British, or the subsequent Indian leaders. No one discloses their allies and then leave them to be mauled by people when it will serve no better purpose than sacrificing dummies. The answer to this question lies in the question: who would have interest in gaining access to the power? There was a section of Indian society that hadn’t experienced the power of authority for centuries. This section of the community was quite possibly approached by the British, and has since been amply rewarded for its dishonesty. And unfortunately, the only people who have suffered since are the ones this section always pleaded to as being their own. And no, I am not saying that the organizations that I have red-lined for Khalsa, their predecessors alone were a part of that section of traitors. There were people from Muslim faith as well, the ones’ who lead to the creation of Muslim League. But the main reason to bring this up is; we as Sikhs are guilty of having overlooked a sizeable section of our own court for a possible breach and betrayal (in order to gain control over the empire), what to talk about ordinary Indian who is not a Sikh.

Now this brings me to the first important video that I will make for the purpose of entire world community; “The ugly side of democracy.” Now I have already given examples of how western democracies have degenerated into oligarchies, and how their famed capitalistic systems are fast degenerating into “Corporate Communism,” this video will however dig much deeper and point out the grave flaws that go to the root of the democracy. Inadvertently however, this video will provide another example of how UN fails as an organization.

Democracy at its worst can stifle all the minorities. I will take current examples from Indian democracy to highlight this shortcoming and show how an overpowering majority in a democracy can very easily, systematically and legally influence the fate of minorities in the society, to diminish, dissolve or annihilate their existence. The worst part of the democracy is; the minorities cannot change the outcome using democratic means (because they are democratic minority), and cannot pick up arms and break away, because the UN charter does not acknowledge independent states that have broken out using force, doesn’t matter how strong a reason there had been for the minority to resort to such a means. Sri Lankan Tamils are a recent example of this fatal flaw, while who doesn’t feel pity for the Palestinians? Has UN got a power to change either of their societies’ fates? I have nothing against the people of Israel for I see my own reflection in every ordinary man or woman. We Sikhs have seen more holocausts and testing conditions than Jews, and hence I feel solidarity with them. But the question here is not of taking sides, rather of what is just.

Now I may or may not make a video about the failing of UN for it would amount to giving too much importance to an organization that has already failed miserably and lived much beyond its shelf life. But I do intend to make a video and explain how the Middle East conflict came about to be. What was the driving reason for the imperialist powers (all democratic governments that had intimate connection with some of the biggest business houses with business interests globally during imperial days) to have a forward colony of their own in the region, that originated out of mass migrations from 1890s to 1910s? However, I don’t want the ordinary people, irrespective of what religion they come from (for all religions talk about something that doesn’t exists, and hence equal in value to me) to suffer the consequences for the greed inspired decisions of the people who were never really under their control. Hence I will put forward a solution that may not appeal to any of the parties concerned, but would still be a just outcome.

Perhaps as a side note I might mention as to how impressed I was with Mr Netanyahu when he convinced the US lawmakers 28 times in one sitting, that Iran has actually attacked US. And without going into the legitimacy of Nuclear power, I do want to ask; “How many times has North Korea nuked South Korea since they developed a nuclear weapons? Why haven’t they?” If anything, given the fact that allies and South Korea repeatedly incite North Korea by conducting military drills next doors (imagine yourself having a real issue with a dumb yet physically strong neighbour, and you repeatedly taking a friend along to his door and shouting obscenities at him), North Korea has shown commendable restraint by not losing its’ head. Perhaps the North Koreans are intelligent enough to realize the consequences of any idiocy. Why would Iranians not be intelligent enough? And even before that question; “Why would Iran attack US the first thing when it develops a Nuclear weapon (not considering the distance and ergonomics involved just for a second, and the consequences too)? How many times have Iran actually attacked US or US army in the past history? How many times have Iranians themselves said that they will never be friends with the US or any of its allies? What is the source of all this distrust?

Another video that is due is the one that dwells upon the question of loan and a bailout. While a loan is an advance for a returnable security, a bailout is a forced sale of the collateral. Why would an organization be interested in buying off your nation’s assets, rather than just earn money in the form of an interest on loan? Who would actually benefit from such a forced sale? Who is actually lending the money? This question actually brings me to the video that I would make to analyze the impact of Mr Obama’s visit to India, from the perspective of an ordinary Indian.

For a government that is running its own nation with a begging bowl in each hand, what possible financial advantage can US provide India at governmental level? Is it the advantage of western businesses investing in India? But will that investment really be helpful for India and ordinary Indians in the long run? And before even discussing that question: “Who needs the opportunity to invest in a market as big as India more; the western businesses, or the government of India?”

With all this talk of “Make in India”, I decided to analyze China. For all that we hear about China’s atrocious government policies, it’s funny how it is the Chinese investors spending thousands of dollars in global real estate market, so much that a big reason for skyrocketing real estate prices in the Australian market is the overpowering Chinese buyer. For all the bad things one hears about Chinese society, it is the Indian student who is using student visa route to migrate everywhere in the world, while Chinese students come to study for a year or two, have fun, and then happily return to their homelands. Why would they want to return to a tyrant nation?

Anyway, getting back to the question of “Make in India”, let me reflect on the Chinese renaissance as a production powerhouse. China is the largest importer of Australian minerals, so much that a Chinese slow-down results in a direct recession in Australian economy. China has an insatiable internal market for one, but do you remember how China first emerged as a production giant? They reverse engineered every technology and then flooded the global markets with sub-standard products that cost a fraction of what they imitated. I remember the days when I could buy two AA batteries from a recognizable brand for Rs 10, while a similar Chinese product cost Rs 2 per pair. Five pairs, even if substandard, invariable lasted more than the better quality reputed pair, although their usage was restricted in some other ways. But the point is; the Chinese production revolution was based not on “Make in China”, but on “Export from China”. And it was this approach that lead to the Chinese businessman leapfrogging ahead of his international competitors, and in turn strengthened China both as an economy and as a nation. The “Make in China” trend was an automatic outcome of the notice global business community took of the Chinese potential. And it is the same community that the Indian economy will supposedly benefit from, if I am guessing the intentions here correctly. But will it really?

Who is this global community, and where is it coming from? A community that couldn’t be loyal to its’ own people (ask the Aussies who took pride in how Holden was their car, and now have been left jobless by the same Holdens), what makes anyone else in the world think it would be loyal to them? They are not even loyal to their own governments? Why should they be? Their governments are their own representatives that they projected as leaders to their people using their own media. These representatives lead the ordinary people but do the bidding of these business houses. They killed their own people in 9/11 to wage a war that was only meant to protect their business interests in a far off region, and the real culprits are still at large in their own nations. What will they give to anyone? The jobs that they bring will destroy the local businessman rather than strengthening him. The local businessman, who is the real strength of a nation, will be reduced to an employee. The people who will get the jobs will get them at the cost of the economy where today they are free and able to set up a small business which might not make them filthy rich, but still enables them to stay independent. And the jobs, do you think they will stay forever?

Let us come to another video that has been a long time coming, and probably reflects on the answer to the question above; the takeover movement in Argentina. The first outsourcing of production began from Latin America. People had worked their entire lives for business houses, so much so they thought they were a family; were left high and dry when the same business houses ditched them like hot cakes. The reason was; they could have produced the same products at a fraction of the cost in, no prizes for guessing, Asia. Did it matter to them that they were betraying their own people? Did they even consider those people as their own people? Recently, stores like Target are closing their shop in Canada. First such stores wiped out local competing small businesses, to an extent where it was more viable to work a low paid job in places like Target, than run an own store. Now they don’t even have those low paid jobs anymore, leave aside having enough money to restart their own small businesses.

But anyway, coming back to the case of Argentina, the workers decided to take matters in their own hands and take over the control of the production facilities themselves, and restart production. Did their government or courts help them, especially given the fact that a successful venture would have only meant well for Argentina itself? Rather every hardship that could have possibly been thrown in their way was indeed thrown. The intention straightaway was to ensure this movement was a failure, for any resounding success of this scheme would have meant a death nail for the big business hounds globally. The US was the next location to lose production to offshore facilities, and then Europe. Imagine what would have happened if Argentina had proved comprehensibly, that workers can run their own factories and yet make profit. They actually did in many cases, even if after a lot of struggle, and they still are, yet you don’t hear any eulogies in your mainstream media because you all know who controls your mainstream media.

I must however add here; I have much respect for what the workers did in Argentina, and I support them and their endeavors, yet I do not propose a society based on a similar pattern, simply because it tends to corrode the importance of individual talents and efforts, much like socialism. “Disciplined” greed is a must for humanity to progress march into space age. Now this brings me to another video that I intend to produce about corruption in India, especially given the fact how some people have abused the pain of every Indian to build political careers for selves.

Now first of all; I hate the topis (caps) that give the impression of “putting a topi on every Indian’s head” (Sabko topi pehnanan – an expression that means “cheating everyone”). Now let me begin by first asking; “Who is not corrupt in India?” When people search for a groom for their daughters, one of the things they consider is the prospective groom’s employment, for that gives them an idea as to how much money the boy must be earning outside his official income. Recently a state government dropped electricity prices to please the poor people of that state, and claimed that the discount has been given by reducing the chance of electricity theft. Oh well! Who was stealing the electricity anyway?

Who is not corrupt in India? The people who employ underage house maids, the parents who would rather have their daughters work as maids than go to school (or in addition to going to school), the people who never give or ask for receipts of purchases, the people who adulterate food, the people who want to jump the queue everywhere, the people who want to get away with polluting vehicles (leave alone industries), the people who won’t dispose of their garbage properly (and then pick up a broom for clean India campaign as if someone else had littered in the first place), the people who like free rides in buses, trains and trams, the people who buy pirated CDs, watch pirated movies, steal satellite television signal; who is not corrupt in India?

When a politician says “take bribe money from others but vote for me”; is he really laying the foundations of a stronger society, or is he weakening it even further? At least until that point those who were corrupt were still honest once they had been paid. This is degrading the society even further where you have paid someone to do some work and you still cannot be sure if that person would be honest to you after having been paid. Is the real solution; catching the corrupt? Or will it open more avenues for corruption where authorities authorized for catching will themselves abuse the power to let those accused escape the net, albeit after having been amply paid for it? Besides, wasn’t this option always available and been used on numerous previous occasions? Besides, isn’t one of the reasons for corruption that most people want to see their work done quickly rather than wait for an agonizingly long time for it to get done in routine? Why is the routine so long? Is it because of over-population? Who is really the source of corruption? Now since it is me, and not some one-track opportunist politician, let me put a better question; “what” is really the source of corruption?

The difference between chalk and cheese is; chalk says “all greed is bad”, cheese says “humanity needs disciplined greed for it is good for progress and freedom”. Details I can’t explain for they go down to the root of who is really a leader, who is merely a politician, and who is just a worker.

At the end of it all, I have one final messaged to Sikhs; ask the Akali Dal (Badal) to ditch BJP and partner BSP. Sikhism is against any form of social discriminations as is evident from the historical fact that one of the very first “Panj Piaras” was from the weaker section of the society, but was given equal place by the Guru himself. All the new religious “God-men” that are perturbing Sikhs; neither of them or their religious off-shoots have a worth when compared to the real Sikh teachings. You don’t need to give them undue importance by talking about them. Rather concentrate on uplifting Sikhism and bringing to the fore its inherent goodness. Rid the Indian population of the control of superstition, just like the days of Khalsa under Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Baba Deep Singh and others, and all other so called “God-men” will go out of business automatically.

Also, and this will be another video too; catch the drug smugglers. One of the ways to weaken a community is by making its’ posterity a slave of drugs. When imperial powers wanted to control China, they made its’ entire generation (including army) a slave of opium. The drugs flowing in Punjab have only one purpose; weaken Sikhs. Weak Sikhs also means weak India, but the Indians today probably won’t understand what I am saying because they don’t even understand why Sikhs have always died for them. Hence, it is up to the Khalsa to take care of our enemies.

Fatal Urge Carefree Kiss “Amanpreet Singh Rai”