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Ramjas Fiasco-An Outsider’s View

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The Ramjas fiasco has once again stirred the debate on nationalism, Freedom of Speech and Expression, Right to peaceful protest as a fundamental right being infringed upon and what accounts as a national or an anti national but one point that I find the most important here is about the “Student Politics”. I think what happened in Ramjas is deplorable and unfortunate. Students aligned to opposing student organizations hurling shoes, abuses and what not on each other. I don’t even know which party did what because in such situations, categorically marking students as per their ideologies is a very difficult process as some hooligans, not aligned to any ideology in particular take advantage of the situation to further the damage and nuisance. Through this article, I am not declaring anybody neither the culprit nor the victim. What I am trying to convey through this article is the misuse of rights given to Students or individuals in general, as power derived. Formation of Student Organizations like any other organisation must promote the interests of the group they are representing. The youth is the future of every nation. It is only right that they in their capacity learn to work towards the progress of the nation. Since the era of the Congress Party domination, the students’ unions in India have developed a complex tradition of student politics. Most of these unions are affiliated to a political parties and actively participate in any current crisis, especially those related to students. But lately, we have witnessed student organisations turning to violent attacks and radical ideology of not allowing opposing views to be given an audience. There are numerous cases where such Student Organisations have not allowed an opposing point of view to be heard. I respect the feeling of Nationalism and at the same time also am aware of the atrocities people in some parts of our country have to go through and the problems they deal with but I find it absolutely unwise to raise slogans against one’s own country. I also feel that there are many ways and means to stop somebody from doing that. Turning to violence, creating a fracas and fear among students, leading to police being called in a campus for such reasons and converting a place of study into a ground for politics and waging war is something that I do not stand by. I do not want to sound too idealist here but I do believe that as students, as youth, as future of the country we should not only be tolerant of the antagonistic opinions but must also not succumb to violence and abrupt belligerent behavior. As a student of DU, I believe that University should be more a place of conflicting beliefs and arguments rather than National level politics being myopically reflected by students and that the sacredness of this place must be maintained in its absolute sense.

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Dejected Soul

Taluqat badle talkhi mein

No possibility to condone

Shayad ghuroor hi tera le dooba

Despondent will you remain?

Marizana sa kahan tak sochega

Let the dampened emotions cascade away….

 

 

 

This entry was posted on January 30, 2017. 2 Comments

Bateshwar-The Uncharted Complex of 101 Temples

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Bateshwar Nath temple is very ancient temple, situated at a distance of 70 km from Agra (Uttar Pradesh) on the bank of river Yamuna. Bateshwar is one of the oldest towns with a rich history. It is one of the important spiritual and cultural centers in India. Bateshwar is known for the 101 Shiv temples, built by Raja Badan Singh Bhadauria situated on the banks of Yamuna. Hindus make pilgrimage to the river Yamuna in honor of lord Shiva. Some of the temples have decorative ceilings and ornamental walls. The 22nd Tirthankar lord Neminath was born in Shaouripur. This area attracts Jain tourists as well. In fact, not many are aware that Bateshwar is the ancestral village of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

As per the mythology and legends, here under a marvelous Banyan tree (Bat in Sanskrit), lord Shiva took rest for some time under that tree which is still standing at that place, the place hence came to be known as Bateshwar (i.e. Bat ishwar or The banyan lord).Legend has it that King Badan Singh Bhadoriya changed the flow of Yamuna river from east to west towards Bateshwar. Earlier the river used to flow from west to east. The king also built a dam to protect these temples from the heavy water coming from river Yamuna. Bateshwar Nath temple finds its mention in the holy scripts of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Matsya-purana.

Bateshwar Fair
Every year an animal fare is organised here in the month of October-November. One of the names of Lord Shiva i.e. Pashupati signifies this animal fare. Tourists from different part of the world come here to see and enjoy the event.This animal fare event comprises of three stages. In the first stage, Camels, horses and donkeys are sold and in the second stage cow and cattle are sold. The third stage ends the fare with cultural programs. The animal sellers start reaching this place one week before the start of the fare. Many animal races are also organised during the event.  This small town of Bateshwar provides peace in the hectic lifestyle.

Due to its obscure location away from the urban into the rural, not many know that a chain of 101 temples along the river Yamuna exists. The temples are of varying sizes and some  are situated a little bit away from the main stream of the river, into the fields. This has led to a dilapidated state of majority of the temples except a few big ones which gather most of the attention of not just the tourists but also the pilgrims. Bateshwar which was surrounded by the hub of dacoits-the Chambal Valley boasts of large-sized bells hanging in the temple complex with names of various dacoits carved onto them. Another story attached to the temple goes about Raja Badan Singh Bhadauria’s daughter and her marriage and a series of events that followed which led to the building of these temples by the Raja.

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This makes the temple not only mysteriously captivating but also intriguing in its own way.

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This entry was posted on January 29, 2017. 2 Comments

Alana Coates at LSE Summer School

Alana Coates, working in the Engagement Team at Financial Times was the Guest Speaker on “Towards Audience-First Journalism” London School of Economics Summer School.

With technological advancements and larger digital platforms reaching people, Journalism has now started adapting itself to these changes that leads to competition and Rat Race among the news media. But Alana brings us to another dimension of how more important it is to stick to the quality of news and yet attract audience. At Financial Times, Audience first is considered the main marketing policy in spite of it being called a cliche in the News Market today. Alana says that Financial Times is trying to get the right audience not a large audience. And today journalism being mobile and happening on news websites through videos, question-answer live sessions, she says that for print media it is harder for them to reach people today. She says that Journalism has changed from being a monologue to now becoming a dialogue propelling a whole new interactive relationship between online platforms and people. This has changed the way traditional newspapers worked.
As a member of the Engagement team, she says that it is important for journalists to know who their audience is and what do they need. It is equally important to understand their expertise to plan out their marketing strategy and the time of publishing. Reactions play a very vital role in comprehending the changing needs of the audience. In this aspect she says that social media helps build loyal audiences as we talk to people directly and a “comment” section helps further with the kind of news audiences want to read. To make this process even more interactive and alive, news media/journalists can further reply to the comments posted by the audience.
Alana quotes that Financial Times has 200 thousand print audience but a lot more global audience but still for Financial Times essentials don’t change. Financial Times still follow the rules of “Traditional” Journalism. She proudly says that Financial Times is data informed and not data led and that priority for Financial Times would always be its audience and not the “clicks”.

My say on Turbulent India

Today I am compelled to pen down a turbulent wave of thoughts that’s been disturbing me for quiet some time now. Today, when I was watching news in the morning and simultaneously scrolling down my Facebook timeline I realized that it is the time to speak up now, it is the time to let my thoughts be known to all, it is the time when a student should let her opinion be told!!! There’s so much going on, so many opinions, so many disturbing events,Rohit Vermula’s suicide case, JNU controversy of who is a nationalist and who is not, Media’s trial,  JAAT agitation for reservation, Murthal Case, Smriti Irani’s Speech, “Aunty-National” controversy and subsequent debates on all those matters- provoke me to finally give my opinion as a student,a 19 year old, a young body trying to understand things of national importance.

Without going into the details of the matter,I just want to give my opinion on the crux of each matter. JNU controversy rose around the issue and debate on who qualifies as a nationalist and who does not. While reading news reports on the ongoing verbatim quarrel, I read several articles where the “accused” either calls them an “Internationalist” from a Marxist perspective or explains his own interpretation of being a nationalist by using confused rhetoric from scholarly works. I do not want to comment who said what and what not but as a simple citizen of my nation, phrases like ” Bharat ki Barbadi tak jung rahegi ” is purely an anti-nationalist statement and i do not need alesson of some nationalist scholar to teach me what NATIONALISM actually means. Whether JNU students shouted these slogans or some “foreign” students, I just want to say that this does not qualify as a “DISSENT” for me and whether whoever shouted these slogans, they surely belonged to the “STATE” of India. If we as Indians are going to glorify these terrorists and shout “ Har ghar se Afzal niklega” then I would re-quote Smriti Irani’s mentioned quote –

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

And that is a big concern and not a thing to pretend to be cool at- as some media houses were trying to portray it through their media trials.

Coming to the JAAT agitation.However, personally I am against reservation but still the way Jaat community has put forward its demand for reservation considering themselves as poor and backward by destroying public and private property and yet again rewarding the country with a national shame of mass molestation and rape of women behind the aegis of the so called agitation. I want to ask the so called “JAAT” community that if you are burning down the schools, colleges, hospitals, etc then for whom are you asking reservation for? Where will you study after getting reservation if you yourself are smashing, destroying and burning down the temples of education?? Why not simply give reservation(if you have to) on economic basis because there is a large so called “general” community that is still poverty ridden?Well, reservation is something that I would like to comment on in a different post.

Smriti Irani, a woman Member of Parliament, an HRD Minister has, in my opinion, given one of the greatest speeches in the parliament of our times. MPs like Mayawati tried to get down on the government by debating upon the issue of inclusion of a Dalit member in case of Rohit Vermula’s probe committee. I understand her sentiments as a Dalit leader but I am amazed to know that a non-dalit member cannot provide justice to a dalit victim and the only one who can do that would be a Dalit!!!! If that is a case on which Mayawati tried to debate upon in the government then I believe a separate Court should also be instituted for the Dalit community in the country.

And then a newspaper’s headline comes as “AUNTY-NATIONAL” and I see some websites publishing articles in favor of the newspaper and I see very little uproar by the feminists of the nation who try to create a scene out of almost every little issue but a lady MP is being mocked at by a leading newspaper but to my amazement I see very less people coming and standing up for Mrs. Irani. Chetan Bhagat tweeted-” When a man makes a passionate speech,he becomes a hero.A woman does it,she gets sexist headlines.” and I couldn’t be more satisfied with the tweet.

I am really glad to see the comments of the general public on the posts by several websites, trying to create a public opinion in favor or against the government instead of just putting the facts. It is the time that we become more rationale, more logical and more mature, if not for anything else in life but at least for the issues of National Importance.

 

 

This entry was posted on February 29, 2016. 5 Comments