Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Is India a country of rapists?

This was a hot topic a couple of years back right after the much publicized horrific incident of the Delhi rape.

Rape is one of the worst crimes. Full stop. If you ask me, there is no excuse that I have for such crimes and we as Indians should make it go away 100%. I am ashamed if even 1 rape happens per year in our population.

That said, the way our country got projected as a country of rapists was in my view not fair. It went to such an extent that a German professor declined admission to a student from India because she thought we harbored rapists. I don't think we deserve this image for sure.

To say that India is a country of rapists as there are so many rapes happening is the same as arguing that India is a country of smokers as there are so many people smoking or say to say India is a country of sick people as so many people fall sick every year.

In such a huge country obviously these numbers will be more, but you always have to contextualize it in terms of % of the population, the local law enforcement capacity, number reported vs. actual and so on.

If you look at the actual statistics per 100,000 we fare much better than most countries and are waaaaaay down at the bottom rank of 94 out of about 120 countries which means there are 93 countries that actually have more rapes reported per 100,000 people. Even developed countries like Sweden and US have way more reported incidents than in India. Of course in India far less incidents are reported. However, I do not think India is unsafe for women in comparison to several of these other countries. 

For instance, while travelling in South Africa, my brother was appointed a body guard and was told never to step out after 6 PM. Whereas, my cousin sister who grew up in Mumbai always tells me she feels fairly safe even late in the night and she has never faced an issue.

Yes, bad things happen in India and so do they everywhere else, but it is very unfair to brand an entire country a country of rapists. This image is a malicious portrayal of my country by western medias ignoramuses.

Here is my take
1) Indian men are actually fairly shy. I encourage a westerner to talk to an Indian and find out for themselves
2) There is a character in Big Bang Theory (called Raj) who actually has difficulty hitting it off with women and can only speak to women if he is drunk. Although he is a bit of an exaggeration - I tend to agree that we are in general a shy lot

Now, coming to the core issue. Why is there so much of talk about rape in India

1) Firstly it is a good thing that we talk about it because that is how it can be stopped. More rapes are reported in India now than before, which is good and it should always go up (i.e. the number of reported should match the number of incidents). 
2) Media is very active in India and reports every single incident and they do it because they need the TRPs. This however, gets carried away by the western media for a very malicious portrayal. I was watching a news in Canada about a rape in India when in fact, as per statistics, Canada has a much larger incidence of rape than does India. Canadas entire population is less than that of Mumbai and Delhi put together and hence obviously more incidents will happen in India. I love Canada by the way and I think crime rates are one of the lowest here and I really enjoy the hospitality of Canadian people (one of the least racist in my view). However, I was very surprised their media chose to cover a rape in India vs. the several ones that happen locally. This is all I am trying to point toward.
3) More women are now coming forward and this is a very good trend
4) I somehow feel our public service departments (police, judiciary) etc. are very stretched and we need to have more capacity created in all of these to solve this problem quickly
5) Contrary to popular belief India actually has a pretty high conviction rate for rape. We had an impressive 24.2% in 2012 compared to say UK which had like 7% and Sweden (one of the most developed nations) at 10%
6) In how many countries have you witnessed the kind of uproar and protesting in the streets as you saw in India? There were candle light marches, social media outrage and all over the country people came to the streets. I think that is a very positive thing to have happened. How many countries that are worse than us (in rape %) can boast of such a vibrant population?

So to sum up.

Yes, we have a long way to go. But we certainly are NOT a country of rapists or one that encourages this practice. 

Pasting this article from my other blog

Tejas - our first fighter aircraft

The HAL/ADA Light Combat Aircraft or Tejas is a brilliant achievement by Indians and is perhaps one of the most significant achievements of Indian inventors. It is a largely indigenous, about 73% as per the CAG report of 2012 (except for the engine, radar, the ejection seat and some missiles)

Is the project delayed?
Firstly, I have seen so much bad press about the delay of this project (such as this one). Some points to note here are
1) The first time money was actually spent to initiate a proof of concept was in 1993
2) The first flight actually happened by 2001

This makes it a 8-9 year from money given to showing a functional model which is about the time that almost any company/country takes 

From 1993 to 2016 is a 33 year time frame, yes, but 33 years is not a "delay". A delay happens after you commit to a time and then you do not deliver in that time. There were several challenges to completing this project in time such as changing requirements, Kargil, Pokhran blasts resulting in an Embargo, so on and so forth.

Is it fully indigenous?

Second, the common negative that is pointed out is that it is not fully indigenous as some parts are imported. Here I want to break up this argument in multiple parts
1) Indigenous actually means it is designed and manufactured in India which it is. So it is indigenous. Period.
2) Even if you want a model where there are no parts of the aircraft that are imported, there are two arguments. Worldwide some of the parts are pretty much used as a standard and there is no need to reinvent the wheel. For instance refer the article here "A few other important items of equipment (such as the Martin-Baker ejection seat) have been imported. But the Martin-Baker ejection seat is virtually a universal standard and virtually there are no aircraft systems around the world that manage without their technology." Second, across the world, there are many successful aircrafts that import parts. For instance F16 imports 60% of its parts. Gripen uses more than 50% of imported parts. 
3) There was an attempt to create an indigenous Kaveri engine. I have heard that we were not successful in completing it for the payload requirements. However, I am optimistic at some stage we will get there. 

The critical aspect is that we have designed it and are manufacturing it in India.

It is still a generation behind and not advanced enough

Obviously it will not be. Humans did not build the Brihadeeshwara Temple in Tanjore or the Great Pyramid before they built a hut to stay. 

We will get there. 

The important thing to note here is that all of the critical elements of having a R&D centre, a simulation lab, a training place, an infrastructure that supports prototyping, a large number of people who possess the knowledge and skills needed for a program of this kind, several patents in this area etc. are all now in place.

It took a lot of time for humans to invent a computer, but once we did, see how it has exploded the world in a few short years. Same is the case with the first model. Once you have that in place, the rest is not going to be so tough.

Does this mean we have done extremely well?

No. I do not mean to say that we have delivered a world class product in a very short time and there is nothing we could have done better. I know how Indian PSUs work, and how much bureaucracy there would have been etc. I am pretty sure there were unwarranted delays. All I am saying is, all said and done, I am proud and it is still a commendable achievement. We have not caused a delay that say any other country would not have had to go through to develop their indigenous aircraft and our aircraft is no less superior to any other aircraft of its class. So definitely a pat in the back.

Am posting my post in my other blog here as well

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Why did Hanuman carry a mountain when the logical/easier thing to do was to carry Lakshmana and the medic to the mountain?

This was a question that was asked by Shri Tarek Fatah in a recent video that I was watching of him.

I found this question to be fairly logical and from a mechanical point of view a much simpler thing to do and it bugged me that Hanuman would choose to act the way he did.

After pondering over this question for some time I think I finally know the answer

1) First of all, if someone in our house falls sick, our first natural response is go to the shop and buy the medicine and bring it home and not carry the person themselves to the medical shop
2) Second, we do not know if Lakshmana was in a very serious condition (which is fairly possible) and he may not have withstood the tough journey through the skies and may end up dying mid way in the journey because of the stress of journey
3) Third, the medics may be trying to keep him alive (for instance, even today if you are in a hospital, they think multiple times before they pull you out of life support to transport you). Some of the life supporting activities may not have been possible while doing the journey at the same time
4) Lastly, it is easy to say on hindsight that he could have carried Lakshmana. When he started the journey he never imagined that he would be carrying a mountain back. He only thought it was going to be a few herbs

I hope this answers the question. I am convinced logically that Lakshmana would not have withstood the journey and I am sure this would have been discussed at the time.

Hope this answers the question that Shri Tarek Fatah had.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

My predictions for oil and the Middle-east region in the near future (by 2020)

Oil price has historically gone up and down and that has never been a major problem for the world. Usually in about 2-3 years time it rebounds.

However, what is different this time, is that there are several forces that are going to keep it down. 

They are
1) The shale boom - The discovery of shale and its economical extraction at $50-60 price range per barrel has created a new so called "regulator"/"moderator" that is  never going to allow oil to go above this price range. 
2) Iran - A new supplier into the world market has been added who has a potential for 500,000 to 1,000,000 barrels of crude a day
3) Market forces prevent production cut - history has taught Saudi and other OPEC countries that ceding the market position is a very dangerous play. Hence they will not cut production for fear of losing market share. This market is based on long term contracts and if you lose market share, you will have a very tough time getting it back. The other problem is cutting production will only result in the US taking advantage of the shale boom. All these countries realize that it is only a matter of time before oil is no longer used in the world and people switch to alternate forms of energy. Hence these countries are making an attempt at "making hay while the sun shines". In the long term who knows if there will be takers for the oil. 
4) World demand is slowing - Rise in alternate energy sources, most countries going through economic slowdown, world population slowly reaching a plateau and hence the demand is bound to follow that curve to some extent (it is expected that population growth in the world will stop by 2050 by some studies based on current trends)
5) Supply glut - US storage in Cushing and several other places are almost full, most countries have filled up their reservoirs, UAE is in fact agreeing to supply oil free of cost to India if it allows them to store oil and later recover 1/3 of it (2/3 will be free). It will take several months of demand exceeding the supply for these reservoirs to start getting empty
6) Technology - Rapid improvements in technology are making shale and other remotely available oil sources economically viable at the $50-60 mark
8) Geo politics - A low price is advantageous to US and Saudi from a political standpoint as it keeps Russia in check. Russia will not cut production for fear of losing market. Venezuela is under 60% inflation and cutting oil will only worsen this situation. A low price is also going to keep the ISIS coffers lower which is good for several countries. Low price is always an advantage for oil consuming nations and hence they would "let things be" and not interfere. A low price is good for OPEC as it prevents US and other countries from extracting oil via shale. From a political standpoint it has reached a stalemate where everyone has something to gain from this situation and the only loser being oil itself. 

As a result of the above I predict that oil price will remain sub $50 for the next foreseeable future. It is likely never to cross that mark.

What this means for the Middle-East

I predict that unless there is rapid cultural, economic, skill development and political change in these countries, one or more of the following is likely to happen (and I will give my reasons why)

1) A massive political turmoil/internal strife will likely take place in most of these countries
Similar to the Arab springs, it may not be unusual to see a massive internal strife in several of these countries demanding other forms of political management (kicking theocracy/autocracy out and bringing in democracy)
2) War between countries
Some countries may even go to war with each other (Iran vs. Saudi, ISIS vs. a few others, Israel may get sucked into this, Pakistan may get sucked into this)
3) Countries breaking apart 
Where there is a significant population of Shia and Sunni followers, the region may witness split of a country in two or more parts

Why do I make these predictions

1) US - US is a monkey in the story of the monkey and the cats. It will always look out only for its best interest and it will let other countries go through a lot of suffering as long as it gains from it. This has always been the way it has operated. It will meddle in the world affairs only from a self interest perspective although the official narrative is that of being a world watchdog.

In this situation, a middle-east turmoil benefits the US (it did not do so in the past). Why?
1) US now is self sufficient and no longer needs the middle eastern oil. Earlier it was dependent on middle-east oil but now it is a competitor to them
2) US can sell arms and weapons to these countries and benefit from its sales if they go to war or if there is a strife
3) It does not matter which country wins the war/struggle in the region as that will ALWAYS benefit US because
a) It will push oil price up and hence US shale will benefit
b) It will allow US to sell weapons/arms
c) Whoever emerges the victor would still have to depend on US to supply technology for the extraction. It is a win-win situation
4) It is in direct US interest that these countries go to war with each other because otherwise the shale deposits may go unused forever (like the saying goes "the stone age did not end because the world ran out of stone", the oil age may end without shale being used)

US has been clearly hypocritical in advocating democracy, liberalism and all that crap to the world but has been supporting the theocracy and the repulsive human rights record of Saudi regime. They support Saddam as long as he stands with them. They never supported Iran and did their best to prevent Iran from being a democratic power. They foisted a false WMD story on Iraq and completely screwed it up (as Iraq was about to set up an oil exchange that would trade in non US currency)

US did all this purely from a self-interest perspective. Oil. 

Now, what has changed with the Shale boom is that the middle east now seek to become the competition to US. Hence US will slowly pull sanctions out of Iran, it will slowly withdraw from the region and will give some lame excuses for changing its stance etc. (again it will talk about liberalism, freedom, democracy and all that crap) and will drive these countries to war.

2) Cultural/Religious - There is too much bad blood between the countries of these regions over religious and cultural differences and they have historically been warring nations all through. It is not hard for them to pick up their swords and sharpen them once more. 

There are so many warring/jihadi/wahabi/ and all sorts of sects that give all sorts of religious and other reasons to go to war and keep fighting over a piece of desert sand.

3) Lack of skill development - People in these countries have historically enjoyed the benefits of oil boom and several generations of their population has led a very comfortable and cushy life. They never bothered to improve their skills. If the population does not work hard for a living and does not know how to work hard, it is only a matter of time before the country falls

These countries need oil to be at a very high value for their budgets to break even (ref. link ). Saudi needs oil at $104, Kuwait at $78, UAE at $81 etc. 

Oil is never coming back to those levels. Hence, there will be budget cuts, there will be job losses, there will be closure of oil companies and government jobs. Where will people then staff themselves if they lack skills?

Unemployment will surely rise if the countries do not have anything else to offer to themselves and to the world.

4) They have nothing else - Without oil, the best these countries can offer to the world is a desert tourism. Tourism will hardly sustain their current lifestyle. 

Countries that lack natural resources (Japan, Singapore etc.) have invested heavily in other areas such as being a technology front runner, a manufacturing hub, a financial capital etc. Small countries like Denmark own the patent for Insulin medicine and that would give them revenue. Korea and Taiwan are manufacturing hubs. Switzerland is the worlds financial capital. 

Unless the Middle-East brings something to the table for the world to benefit from, they stand isolated. They are not self-sufficient unlike countries like India or US or China that have vast agricultural and arable lands. Hence they need the world to need them or they will go dry very soon. Literally.

I hope that I can give a better prediction, but I am sad that a lot of trouble and sorrow are imminent in these regions unless something changes quickly.

If I were the leader of one of these countries, here is what I would do to prevent chaos in the future

1) I would encourage rapid skill development initiatives
2) Force austerity and cut down unnecessary spending 
3) Invest heavily in alternate technologies/initiatives
4) Put a lot of money in Wealth management funds that will invest in other countries/resources to give me sustained funding for the near future
5) Connect with people regularly and keep them informed/engaged so that they do not engage in any unlawful activities
6) Encourage emigration
7) Encourage voluntary population controls
8) Invest heavily in R&D and identify other things that my country can offer to the world

The views expressed are not intended to hurt anyone or any sentiments but more of a "Nostradamusy" urge to predict the future. I hope I am wrong. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Why celebrities have to be responsible while endorsing products/services? (like Maggi, Amirta institute etc.)

The recent controversy over Maggi had sparked off a debate on whether or not celebrities are responsible for the product they endorse.

Here is my 2 cents on this issue. My view is that celebrities are responsible and here is why.

1) "Hey I like Shaktimaan - so let me jump off this roof wearing a costume and try to fly"

Dont you think Shaktimaan should warn kids not to try and do what he is doing? Why are there disclaimers that say "these stunts are performed by professionals".

2) Even Lord Krishna in the Gita has clearly said in Chapter 3 verse 21 that "However a great personality conducts himself so also will common men follow"

In Spiderman a famous dialogue comes "With great Power comes great Responsibility"

3) "I am a railway minister, so how am I responsible for an accident because of a foreman"? Did Lal Bahadur Shastri think in this manner?

What would you say if BP CEO said "Hey, someone else goofed up and hence the gulf oil spill happened. Why blame me?"

4) How about you say the following before an ad

"Main Amitabh Bachchan bol raha hoon. I am not responsible for this products quality since I cannot check it. I Am just here for the Ad and to make money. So buy it at your own risk"

Do you think anyone will buy it if he said so?

5) Or how would it look like if Rajnikanth says "Guys, I love smoking. So please smoke" Is he correct to say so?

I agree that the celebrities are not responsible for every packet that comes out of every facility and I also agree that educational institutions may not have a 100% placements and celebrities cant be blamed for it. I fully understand all that and I am not dumb. It is physically impossible for celebrities to just check everything prior to endorsement.

However can these celebrities not do the following at least

Prior to endorsing:
a) Independently check if the product/service is what it says it is
b) If it is an institute can you not spend 1 hour driving down to the institute campus to see if really it is like a "Dubai 5 star hotel" before you tell others?
c) If it is a hospital - will you get yourself admitted there? have you checked to see what the general perception is
d) Check all of their certifications?
e) Ensure you are not legally bound to them if something wrong is found downstream
f) Use the product yourself for a period of time and see if you like it?
g) Is it ethical to market this product?
h) If you cannot do all of the above, then at the very least negotiate a disclaimer with them (and in the advertisement state that you are not responsible for the product/service that you are endorsing

Post endorsing:
1) If there is a flaw in the product/service identified terminate your contract
2) Stop all advertisements in the product
3) Issue an apology in social media or twitter
4) Inform the public on what basis you had originally selected to endorse it and why you have changed your stance

Have you ever seen a street performance of a monkey trainer? The monkey does a lot of self degrading stuff just for a peanut that the trainer will offer.

I ask the the celebrities if they are just working for the peanuts or do they have a sense of their own?

Something to think about.

If you are a general public, then you are also responsible for what you buy. So please do your independent assessment and stop following these film stars as though they are Gods. They are after all humans and have limitations.

Finally, how responsible are each of the parties in this whole game?
1) The manufacturer or provider of service is of course the most culpable
2) The regulator who has given the licence to operate is the next most culpable
3) The authorities and system that enables all of these to happen is the next most culpable
4) They person who uses the product/service without research is in my view the next
5) The person who endorses without due research and due diligence, and refuses to retract if the prouduct is found problematic, although the least culpable IS STILL CULPABLE

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Manmohan - the Bhishma Pitamah of Indian politics

Everyone has jumped the bandwagon to come and support Manmohan after he was recently summoned by the court in relation to the coal scam case. The sad thing about all who support him is that they are missing the point!

I see Manmohan as the classic Bhishma of the Mahabharata story. Though himself incorruptible and honest, Bhishma was silent during the Draupadi Vastraharan (in Manmohans case the looting of the country's wealth through coal, 2G and other scams)

The greatest dilemma of Arjuna was to kill Bhishma in the battlefield before he could lay his hand on the sons of Dhritharashtra. And if we were to go by Lord Krishnas teachings in the Gita, Bhishma has to be punished as well for allowing adharma to progress unchecked. Bhishma could have simply ordered Dhuryodhana and Shakuni to not do adharmic activities, but he put his personal oath ahead of the nations interest which is where he faltered and had to pay with his life in the battlefield of Kurkshetra.

I see stark similarities between the character of Bhishma and that of Manmohan. Yes Manohan may be good on a personal note - but how is it that under his watch he allowed all of these events to go unchecked?

The sheer magnitude of the scam (the Govt. has already collected Rs. 2 lakh crore with the sale of just 36 mine blocks and there are another 160+ blocks more to be allotted) is something that breaks all world records for looting.

As did Bhishma watch silently the evils committed by the sons of Dhritharashtra so did Manmohan watch silently as all these scams unfolded.

Was he involved? Maybe not - but Bhishma also was not involved in the Varanavrat episode.

Is he to be blamed for it? 100% Yes. If there indeed was a scam - which is quite evidently there then he is to be blamed for it as it happened under his nose.

I request those who read this blog to keep this in mind before judging Manmohan and feeling sorry for him.

Lastly I also want to table a note - I have heard Congress leaders make a remark that "no coal was mined so there is no harm done"

That is akin to a thief who was caught red handed when he was stealing saying "I never spent what I stole, so I have done no crime"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Its the problem with Fundamentalism not the religion"

I hear this remark often made by the likes of Arnab, Rajdeep and all the other media folks who talk about terrorist attacks.

They comfortably blame it on fundamentalism. But I find that stupid. Simply because it is incomplete!

The "" definition of this term is roughly "rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism."

Hence, if you say it the problem of adherence to "something".....then.....
unless that "something" gets filled with Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Communism, Marxism, Capitalism etc. it is not complete.

Hence "Fundamentalism" CANNOT be the problem standalone.

It has to be what follows/precedes "Fundamentalism" which acts as the base.

The following things lay the foundation of fundamentalism

1) A doctrine/philosophy in which you absolutely believe
2) A leader/teacher/motivator/father figure who has applied that doctrine/foundation in real life (or has at least pretended as if he/she followed it and is misguiding you)
3) The context of your life (where/when are you born, who are your parents, where did you study, what did you study, how poor or rich were you? etc.)

The three factors above play a huge part in what you turn out to be.

Now, assuming you are a fundamentalist, that STILL is NOT a problem.


Mahatma Gandhiji was one of the greatest fundamentalists in recent history. Although a Hindu, he was unknowingly or knowingly in my opinion, a hardcore Jain philosopher who probably resembled Jesus Christ  (he actually refers to Leo Tolstoy's works in his book My Experiments with Truth, who in turn takes on Jesus Christs Non Violent ideology).

Bill Maher once calls the Mahatma "He was so f***ing Christian that he was a Hindu".

The context in which he was born into turned this combination to lead him to become the greatest crusader of freedom movement in India. Take away the doctrine or the leader or if he was born today, it is hard to tell if he would be revered the same way he is.

Turn it the other way, if you look at an Ajmal Kasab, who was made to believe in a version of Islam, by a group of terrorist elements, and he was a poor man (who in his own interview goes to say that he would have done anything for Rs. 1.5 lakhs and that was the amount that the terrorists had promised his mother would get). And what you get out of the above is a terrorist.

Now, having seen the examples, let us analyze these three factors in a bit more detail.

1) Doctrine/Philosophy - you can NEVER have a Fundamentalist Jain terrorist bomber. It is an oxymoron to call a true Jain, a terrorist. Hence it is wrong to say that the doctrine has "Nothing" to do with making you a terrorist. It does. It very much does.

If the doctrine is full of violence, it has expletives, it encourages violence, if it promises wild rewards for acts of violence etc. then  it is quite possible that it will play a role (how much of a role it plays is also dependent on who your teacher or motivator is) in turning you into something which is not desirable for the society.

I certainly believe that all the doctrines of the world can easily be compared scientifically and we can definitely grade them on some parameters such as
1) Equality of gender
2) Freedom of speech
3) General violence factor

etc. etc. what is today considered as a moral construct for general human well being (as what a Sam Harris would say)

I will not be giving out what i think is the gradation of the different religions of the world, but it is definitely possible to do this scientifically. Take for example violence, we can look at

1) How many instances of chopping of limbs/head etc. per 1000 words in the text exist?
2) How many instances of child abuse are shown as examples?
3) How many instances of robbery etc. are there in the doctrine?
4) What kind of punishments does the book prescribe?

 etc. etc.

Basically what I am talking about is giving a CBFC(Adults only or Universal) type rating to the religious texts around the world and you can decide the gradation of violence, equality , freedom etc.

Take the above and you can easily plot a graph around it.

The basic point of this exercise is that if you arrive at the conclusion that religion X is the most violent based on the above gradation, there is a good likelihood that if you belong to that religion and the below two factors are also right, you may end up being an anti-social element. I am willing to bet Jainism will be the least violent religion as per above yardstick!

And I do believe that the doctrine is the most important factor in contributing to fundamentalism - because it is the basis. Without it, a leader/context is going to do nothing to you

2) Now comes the motivator. This is another important factor. A clever speaker can twist the most non-violent doctrine to make it the most violent, while at the same time can moderate a very heavily violent text into something which is very peaceful.

We can see for example a doctrine being, rights for Tamilians. Combine it with a Prabhakaran and you may get the first suicide bomber in modern history  Thenmozhi Rajarathnam (who killed Rajiv Gandhi) - combined of course with the context in which she was born and brought up etc. Now, a similar Tamil sentiment exploited in India for instance during Indira Gandhi regime, and you may get a DMK party in a different context, under different leaders which is now a leading political party in Tamilnadu. Completely different results in both cases.

3) Lastly, the context, I believe critical too. And it is quite self explanatory why a context can shape you completely differently. A most violent doctrine, combined with a most violent leader may still not force you into committing a crime, if you are quite well off, and are well taken care of in your life.

Now, to conclude, to say that fundamentalism is the problem in terrorism, and NOT that of the religion is NOT correct.

Religion or Doctrine has the most important role.
So does the motivator as well as the context. You cannot separate these from a terrorist or a hero.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Secularism = Anti Hinduism = Minority Appeasement in India

Indians, and especially several Hindus find it very fashionable (take our Home Minister Mr.Shinde’s recent irresponsible remark) to bash other Hindus and organizations which are doing welfare in the country with a nationalistic bent of mind. More so if you are from the Congress party (who call themselves secular but have been directly/indirectly behind some of the worst communal riots in India).

There are some events that I have been seeing in the recent past as well as some of the events which have happened in history which I want to bring the readers’ attention to which have led me to writing this article.

Discrimination of Hindus by the Government

     1)Several lakh temples in India have been nationalized. Their revenues are not being utilized for Hindu Temple development. There are several temples which are now collecting spider webs because of lack of money to renovate them. I recently learned that much of the revenues of all Hindu temples go to the Government of India which turned out to be a shocker.

You can google for this, but I can post a few places where you can read about this

Now I do not have a problem with this if the same is done to mosques and churches. However the sad truth is that mosques and churches and other sacred places of worship are not even audited.

Why this double standard?

      Is this the Government’s (read-Congress as they have been in power in India for over 80% of the time) idea of secularism? 
     2)      The clear hypocrisy when the Government deals with Hindus vs. other religions is visible with the examples below

a.       As per indications in some of the Vedic rituals a recommended age for marriage is prior to puberty for both men and women (not that I am in favor of this in today’s context). Please read Shri Chandrasekara Saraswati’s book “Hindu Dharma” for references to what the Vedic rituals prescribe on marriage. However, the Government finds it convenient to BAN this effectively and increase the marriageable age to 18-21. However, in 2012 a high court declared that Muslim women can marry at 15. On top of this, to be tolerant to the Muslim faith, a Muslim man can marry more than one woman under the Indian law.

Don’t get me wrong, you can tolerate other faiths and you should.

But why do you go “anti-Hindu” in your policy? Why the double standard? Either you permit a much younger marriageable age for Hindus as per their customs or you do not allow it for everyone in the country. When it comes to passing a law which hurts Hindu sentiments people find it ok, but not when it comes to other religions

b.      Next comes the way divorce is handled. People of all other religions go through a rigorous process when it comes to divorce. However, the triple talaq is accepted in the court of law.

As per the constitution of India, equal rights are given to men and women (Article 14, Article 15 and Article 21). Fundamentally the triple talaq allows a man to say it and be done with the wedding, but does not bestow a similar privilege to a woman. So this is in direct violation of the above articles.

Men are misusing this left right and center (such as giving telephonic talaqs) and there are several people in Islam itself who say this is a repugnant practice. (

Please also read the famous Shah Bano case. The Congress (under Rajiv Gandhi) in an effort to pose as secular, passed the The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986, which denied even utterly destitute Muslim divorcĂ©es the right to alimony from their former husbands.  (

To me, it is a simple question.

Does Indian Constitution come first or does Sharia come first in India?

If you say the Constitution comes first, then the triple talaq as well as the above act should be disallowed or changed as it violates the fundamental rights espoused in the constitution. If it is religion above the nation, then is it not a question of danger to national security? I am not sure if I am missing a point here?

Any self-respecting Indian should proudly say they are Indians first and Hindus/Christians/Muslims/Sikhs/Parsees etc. next.

c.       Why does the Government give subsidies only for Haj Pilgrims? Why not for Kashi/Amarnath/Rameshwaram yatra for the Hindus or for a trip for Christians to the Vatican or Jerusalem or the Sikhs to Amritsar?

I am not against giving subsidies for the Haj Pilgrims. By all means do. But please also give it to the Hindus in that case. Do not show leniency to one religion and call it secular.
Increasingly I get the feeling that “anti-communal” is seen as secular and true secularism is just dropped into the dust bin.

These are just some of the things which the Government does. I can go on about the Kashmir problems, Tripura conversion problems and several other areas where the Government chooses to look the other way. 

Media Discrimination of Hindus

It is not just the Government which has acted in a biased way in this regard. The media too has played a significant role in contributing effectively to defining anything “Anti-Hindu” or “Anti-Communal” to mean secular.

Let us take some examples

     1)      One of the Heads of Hindus, Seer of Kanchi – Shri Jayendra Saraswathi swamigal is arrested (for a crime for which he was eventually absolved by the courts), and all that I could see in the TV that day was how he “conspired” to commit the crime. There was absolute horror in our houses, and the media only portrayed one side of the story.

Turn it around and there was hardly any attention paid to Owaisi who openly declares war against Hindus and no action is taken even for a month and a half. Eventually media wakes up and we see our dear Arnab trying to play the Devils’ advocate. Instead of focusing attention on Owaisi (who by the way I did not see any Muslim cleric openly declare that what he said was wrong), he talks about Praveen Togadia and Hindu Terror. Talk about changing the gear and shifting attention toward Hindu terror.

I really fail to understand how one can compare the two?

    2)      Hindutva – The moment the word is used the media persons turn pale. Nobody wants to use the “Hindutva” word because that has been clearly branded as a communal word. I strongly contest this. Here is my take
a)      The western world (who we acknowledge as secular democracies) – be it US or Canada or UK, are all Christian states. They support all religions and they allow all religions to flourish, but they are clear about their roots. There are hardly any communal riots in the US. There are instead more communal riots in Pakistan where Shias are murdered in hundreds every year. Why is it wrong for an Indian to acknowledge that long before we had our Christian, Muslim and other brothers stay with us, the land was practicing the Vedic religion? Why is that so hard to believe? There is today archaeological evidence of this.

But no – the media will never allow such topics to even be discussed

b)      Aryan invasion theory is now gone to dust. It has also been clearly established through DNA analysis that all Indians have a particular DNA strain. Why is this not mentioned at all in the media?

The moment this calling everyone as “Hindustanis” or “Bharatvanshis” is called for, media brands us as communal forces

I think it is high time we stop having double standards and call a spade a spade. All the pseudo-intellectual Hindus who go on appeasing other religions should pause and think how many countries are there where they are the religious minority and the majority religions support their free speech, support gender equality, support equality among humans the way it happens to minorities in India.  For sure I encourage friendliness, and mutual brotherhood with all the religions. However, that should not be at the cost of your own faith. The two are NOT opposed to one another if you are a Hindu. Please understand that.

Take this data point for a minute - at the time of independence there were close to 20% Hindus in both Pakistan and Bangladesh and about 10% Muslims in India. Today, there are 2% and 7% Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh whereas there are over 15% Muslims in India (probably a lot more as latest census data has not revealed the religious mix, this is based on 2001 census)

This goes to show who is secular and who is not.

There is nothing wrong in proudly declaring that I am a Hindu. I am NOT COMMUNAL if I do so. There are Sikhs, Christians and Muslims who I am proud to have known. Nevertheless, I am an Indian and I am a Hindu and I will not let my religion be exploited at the cost of pseudo-secularism.