Archive for November, 2010

Bihar: An enigma

Bihar and bihari image has remained an enigma for many years to most Indians. The moment you think of Bihar there are stereotypical images that flash onto your memory namely Laloo Prasad yadav, poverty sickened Bihari and lawlessness. The movies like Gangajal and Aphaaran made by prakash jha and middle class bihari’s sending child away from bihar to study to an extend gave credibility to it. Though, the thing that confuses the rest of the India most is…

  1. Biharis make most in IAS, yet Bihar suffers.
  2. Biharis migrate and develop other states yet not Bihar.
  3. Biharis are hard working but Bihar is in a bad condition.
  4. People migrate from bihar to rest of India but not visa versa..
  5. Past of Bihar is glorious why not present?
  6. Why was no politician or political party developing Bihar?
  7. Is Bihar a burden on India?
  8. Is Bihar going to slow India’s economic rise?
  9. When will good education come in Bihar ever?
  10. Will industries be setup in Bihar ever?

Thought the question are many and hold true from rest of the India, the thing that mattered the most was the questions in a Bihari’s mind.

This election like last one was more about economics and governing capabilities than politics and one would like to keep it that way. In the growth of India the story of Bihar need not be left out (it is what Bihari want it seems). Though one can’t help it but see it more like a fight for self-respect or of Bihari pride  that has taken a severe beating in the last 3 decades (the political class it seemed was responsible for it).

The empowerment of womenfolk was also an issue, irrespective of the fact whether there is development or not, the respect of a woman needs to be maintained which it seems was fading in Bihar due to bad condition in law and order.

Therefore the election result of Bihar as it comes out has got to do more with Bihari pride and deep rooted desire for development. The development of state will do greater good for not only Bihar but rather for India too, wherein a Bihari need not have to travel so many kilometers away from his home to earn a living. Hopefully there might come a day when there would be reverse migration that is people from rest of the country would come to Bihar to study and work and its cities will be as good as in any other “developed” state ( high tech type with good infrastructure). Since the development of the country is more got to do with economic development of every state and certainly not just few cities, therefore the true integration and correct form of development needs to be a complete one.

The most important message would be for other states in terms of economic parameters, who use to accuse Biharis of taking  their jobs away (much like west do to India). When development of the regions like eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar would occur then the more regional fanatics and naxalism will erode(which in recent times have increased). Since we are all Indians and all need to be inclusive in the development of India, therefore no region should be left behind.

Though the setting up of the industries in Bihar is the point which will be “wait and watch” for many Indians. Microfinance has worked in Bihar and nitish government’s giving money instead of food grains for work, this has also improved the purchasing ability of Bihari(thereby boosted growth). The growth rate of 11.44 per cent State Gross Domestic Product (SGDP) during 2008-09 was achieved because Biharis had money in their hands to spend. There was also a record set that of 22 per cent SGDP in 2006-07.

The administrative capabilities and the economic policies of the new government would not only affect a Bihari in Bihar but rather Indians all over India because like the famous saying “you got clean your own mess”. The Biharis need to show their true brand by making their state as an accelerator of growth of India and yes the whole of India is watching with hope and optimism towards Bihar for the first time in two decades.

This trip was in planning for a longtime (2 years to be specific) but for different location that too Amritsar. Lack of resources (namely bike) and lack of motivation (namely people interested) were the hindrance in not getting possible. Though one fine day Hardeep Singh and Sahil Singh decided enough is enough and will begin their own voyage from Delhi.

For this voyage Hardeep Singh got a Bullet Enfield (India’s most reliable bike) but there was a problem it was in a bad condition but with high spirits the two Singhs started their journey.

First day into the journey:

4:30 pm

Hardeep Singh : I got the bike but the clutch is not working…but we will still make it.

Sahil Singh : Paaji I hope that destination is Amritsar and not heaven…..

5 pm

Hardeep Singh and Sahil Singh got some accessories for the bike namely mirrors and got its head light checked, hoping it would work for the whole journey….

6 pm

Hardeep Singh and Sahil Singh get on to GT Karnal road chatting about what they will do , making plans….

Hardeep Singh : I think we will reach Amritsar by 1 am but if we donot stop much in between…..but we will eat in Ambala first…(apparently Hardeep Singh says there is a good dhaba in Ambala famous for non-veg)

Sahil Singh : OK Paaji ,the food must be good rest no issue, chak de paattee….

6:30 pm

somewhere after sonepat (in Haryana)the Bullet gives in…….

Hardeep Singh : OOO teri aye ki huaaa ?

Sahil Singh : Paaji aye saddi kismet phooot gayi…..

Hardeep Singh and Sahil Singh wait for some trolley to help with bullet but villagers ,it seems were scared…….

Sahil Singh (calling one uncle driving tractor in particular) : Bachcho ki help kar do uncle  tractor mein bike chadda do..

Uncle replying: I have to go I am getting late…..(as though he had to make food for the wife and he zipped off…..)

7 pm

Sahil Singh and Hardeep Singh wondering: why they even began this trip?

In the mean while an auto guy comes along with a vintage auto carrying his passengers, he offers a ride to the nearest mechanic for Rs 40, the two Singhs are delighted.

The best part that a rope given in the hands of Sahil Singh and Hardeep Singh….

Hardeep Singh  and Sahil Singh (singing and Haryana crowd watching dumbfounded) : Yeeee dosti hum nahiiii choddengee………..

8 pm

Upon getting the bike fixed the duo reaches Ambala where they eat at Puran’s Dhaba. They have nice dinner with all the delicacies. The non-veg was certainly good as Paaji mentioned.

There both of them talked about the condition of the bike.

Sahil Singh: Paaji, I think we will make it to amritsar by 3am, I think.

Hardeep Singh(replying) : Are you kidding I doubt it might even reach Chandigarh…. I think we should go to Chandigarh instead….

Sahil Singh : Paaji but the dream of going to Amritsar on bullet will remain a dream then….

Hardeep Singh : OOO koi nahi, we will make it next time with better bike…

( 2 years on still no sigh of new bike and no sign of the trip to amritsar….)

9 pm

After leaving Ambala the two Singhs start their redirected journey to Chandigarh. In between ,upon going out side of Ambala city the two realized that headlight of the bike was not working.

Sahil Singh : Paaji the light in not working , what to do… ?

Hardeep Singh : No problem we will make it to Chandigarh and then get it fixed.

In the journey on the highway with no head light on just 20 mins had passed when :

Sahil Singh : watch out Paaji, there is a barrier in front of you….

Hardeep Singh : OOOOOO Teriiiiiiiiiiiii………….

The bike goes skidding in the barrier , BAAAAM …….. luckily both survive…..(quite an experience though)

Passer by: OO no worry ji, it is a daily happening that 3-4 bikers fall down here, consider yourself among those royalty….

Hardeep Singh: Why doesn’t people take it away… ?

Passer by: Construction is going on, besides who has the time….. plus it is good this way at-least people can see the work is going on in this region.

Sahil Singh (wondering as usual) : wow nice… need to fall from a bike to be a royal…no pun intended.



Both eventually reached Chandigarh , it was cold at night so it was decided to crash night in some ok motel in sector 19 . I guess.

Hardeep Singh : now let us sleep and in the morning we will go to sector 22 market and hopefully see some totaas….

Sahil Singh: Paaji sector 22 really has tottaas…

Hardeep singh: the whole Punjab has totaaas , I doubt sector 22 might not have.

Sahil Singh and Hardeep Singh order some menu to their room and then sleep dreaming about the tootaas they will see in the morning.

Next Day


Both ventured out to Chandigarh sector 22,21,19,18,16,13,14………etc……etc…..etc……

10 am


market closed

Hardeep Singh : I guess it will take some time to open.

Sahil Singh : Where will we eat ?

10 :30 am

the two Singh see KFC OPEN !

Sahil Singh : Paaji kahaaannnnnaaa !

Hardeep Singh : wajii waa,Chak de patteee….


11: 30 am

Went to that Booring children park in chandigarh……

Hardeep Singh : I reckon someone died here making this ……

Sahil Singh(agreeing) : No wonder considering the sad state…..

12 pm


Enjoying the Chandigarh and the tootaaas of course…

While we were enjoying the bike breaks down again, and now both have to carry it to a mechanic…. Whole one hour wasted in the process.

Sahil Singh : Paaji apni toh kaat gayiiii….

Hardeep Singh : No problem next time we will come with full PROTECTION……

1 pm


The journey back to Delhi begins and sahil Singh takes the CHARGE of driving the bike.

Sahil Singh : first time bullet that to Chandigarh to delhi , awesomeee…… (no Barney intended)

Hardeep Singh : Only till Ambala………

Sahil Singh : why Paaji…… ?

Hardeep Singh : because I want to live………

Sahil Singh : Ok , we shall see..

3 pm


At karnal Sahil Singh gives away bike to Hardeep Singh fully  satisfied and after innumerable negotiations since Ambala to karnal……(in which process Hardeep Singh’s heart beat broke all records)

Sahil Singh : Here Paaji enjoy, my bumm is really hurting sitting on the bike so long….

Hardeep Singh : That sore bum will remind you of you ride to Chandigarh, lol….. next time be ready for Ladakh from delhi….. and thank you for letting me live……

The return journey didn’t had much of the flavor as of the going one. But none the less we reached home (Delhi) at 5pm and saw Indo-Pak bus being escorted by the police vehicle (certainly being a priced catch).

The journey was full of fun and excitation, hopefully will be better next time when a new bike  be taken along  and the destination spot even farther. (not one whose clutch plates were not functioning properly). A journey with a friend is always cherished and good for life long memories.

Badshah khan: My beloved Pathan

Many in this generation in this neo-modern era who  grew up in the  1990s and 2000s might understand by term “ Badshah khan” as a reference to some bollywood  actor in India who has been “proclaimed as the Badshah khan by his friends.”

I guess I have to say this to clear the air “No, I am not recounting of some bollywood movie star or someone who pretends to be something which he is not but rather of man who had a heart of gold.” Though in a free country it is alright to call yourself anything even if the meaning and interpretations have changed.

I am talking about a man who fought for the freedom of his people. Someone who fought for a better life for his people and for the future generations. Someone who in this fight lost his beloved ones and when he got freedom from his exploiters, it was not the freedom he was hoping for.  I am talking about that Badshah khan who once famously said “you have thrown us to the wolves” when partition was accepted by congress party. I am talking about a man who stood for words like loyalty, Honour and Pride.

I am talking about Khan Abdul Gafar Khan better known as frontier Gandhi, a patriot, a fighter and a Pathan.

I observed the name “Badshah khan” for the first time when I was just six and since then it has remained with me. If I may add  apart from Bhagat Singh he has been another personality who taught me what fighting for your own people means even though if it comes at the cost your own personal loss or your own life. Though both were very different in their approaches but both were inspired by Gandhi in particular and were extremely Patriotic. ( Bhagat Singh was a huge Gandhi fan in his teenage time till the time he disagreed with Gandhi’s taking back of non-cooperation movement.)

Badshah Khan was born in 1890 into a wealthy and aristocratic Muslim family in Mohamadzai Pashtun clan.

He was educated and inspired by British missionaries, he began opening schools among the most impoverished and mostly illiterate Pashtun villages of the Frontier Province while still in his early twenties. In 1919, he led demonstrations against British rule and was imprisoned for sedition for three years in unusually harsh conditions that almost broke his health. Undeterred, he continued devoting himself to education and reform work among the Pashtun, and claimed to have visited all 1000 villages over a period of about ten years.

He completed his education from Aligarh Muslim University and after that he wished to study in London just like his elder brother Dr. Khan Saheb who became a doctor but his mother was afraid of losing her son to an alien culture and namely its women. That left Badshah Khan with no option but to work for his father in their fields.

Badshah Khan’s life was plagued with personnel loss but this did not deter him from being a hope to his people who were tired of the continuous wars amongst themselves.

He married his first wife Meharqanda in 1912. she was a daughter of Yar Mohammad Khan of the Kinankhel clan of the Mohammadzai tribe of Razzar, a village adjacent to Utmanzai. They had a son in 1913, Abdul Ghani Khan, who became a noted artist and poet. Subsequently, they had another son, Abdul Wali Khan (17 January 1917-), and daughter, Sardaro. Meharqanda died during the 1918 influenza epidemic. In 1920, Abdul Ghaffar Khan remarried; his new wife, Nambata, was a cousin of his first wife and the daughter of Sultan Mohammad Khan of Razzar. She bore him a daughter, Mehar Taj (25 May 1921- ), and a son, Abdul Ali Khan (20 August 1922-19 February 1997). Tragically, in 1926 Nambata died early as well from a fall down the stairs of the apartment they were staying at in Jerusalem.

Badshah Khan dreamt of greatness for his people, he dreamt of good life far away from the continuous wars in the modern Khyber-Pakhtunkwa and FATA region. He was tired of the oppression by the hands of the British, the repression of the mullahs, and an ancient culture of violence and vendetta. He wanted to uplift his fellow men and women by means of education. At 20 years of age, Badshah Khan opened his first school in Utmanzai. It was an instant success and he was soon invited into a larger circle of progressively minded reformers who were also determined for a change.

In the late Twenties, after a long period of fasting and meditation, Khan came up with the idea of a “nonviolent army” of Pashtun tribesman who would renounce violence and the code of revenge deeply embedded in Pashtun society. They wore red military uniforms (and were called “Red Shirts”), took an oath foreswearing violence, retaliation and revenge, formed regiments, trained and drilled, and devoted themselves to village uplift, education and reform.

During the civil disobedience movement initiated by Gandhi in the remote Northwest Frontier, the repression was far worse. The British considered Pashtun tribes as savages. They sealed the borders to the province and unleashed a campaign of violent repression unmatched during the civil disobedience movement. “Red Shirts” were publicly stripped and beaten, their property confiscated, their crops burnt.

There was an instance in which on 23 April 1930, Badshah Khan was addressing a gathering during which he was arrested. People started to come from far away to Peshawar’s main square to protest his arrest. The British forces in their panic open fired on the crowd. What occurred during that period left many dumbfounded. When the first layer of people were shot and killed the second layer stood up to face the bullet and they too were shot and killed. This event kept on occurring till it was 5pm (a total of 6 hours of shooting on armless people). This whole situation resulted in the loss of 200 to 300 Pashtun lives. Many of the soldiers who refused to fire were court-martial and were served hard prison sentences.

This made Gandhi stand up and say that Britishers have no moral right in India where innocent were killed  just because they are protesting for their rights. Badshah Khan became a close confidant of Gandhi. Gandhi took many of his important decisions upon consulting with him.

Badshah Khan strongly opposed the Muslim League‘s demand for the partition of India. After partition, Badshah Khan was frequently arrested by the Pakistani government in part because of his association with India and his opposition to authoritarian moves by the government. He spent much of the 1960s and 1970s either in jail or in exile.

In 1985 he was nominated for the Nobel peace prize. In 1987 he became the first person not holding the citizenship of India to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award. He died at home near Peshawar in 1988, at the age of 98, having served thirty years in prison. Upon his death in 1988, he was buried in Jalalabad, despite the heavy fighting at the time, both sides in the Afghan war declared a ceasefire to allow his burial.

Just to keep things in perspective the famous khan market in which most of “new high society children” venture out smoking,drinking and doing all the crazy “stuff” was named after Khan baba in his honour so that even though he was far apart still he will remain close to our heart. Though I would be surprised if Khan Baba would have loved what  it has become among the future generation for which he fought. Still the market named after him stands out to be the richest in India and is listed 16th in the list of richest markets in the world.  Badshah Khan’s name seems enough to make it rich in life, not to mention world.

To honour him there was a bollywood movie made in 1992 in which Amitabh Bachchan played the role of Badshah Khan, the movie portrayed Bachchan as the Pathan of Kabul for whom a word given must be kept at any cost and for who love is his religion. It showed him living in jail term for most of his life till returning back to Kabul. Though it had all the bollywood masala but none the less till now it remains the only movie made on Badshah Khan, a true Pathan. My beloved Pathan.

She was born in Shillong on November 24, 1961, to a Bengali Hindu father and a Syrian Christian mother, she spent her childhood in Kerala before moving to Delhi, where she studied architecture and wrote film scripts.

She has also acted in an offbeat film “In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones”. Her modest background and fighting the tedious daily grind, the 49-year-old “dead writer” got financially liberated when her first novel “The God of Small Things” was conferred the Booker Prize. Her essays on contemporary issues fired Indian elites’ imagination. The award brought her International recognition and a platform to hold forth on issues that caught her attention.

Baring a single book that won her bookers’ prize, Arundati Roy has not written a single book which might actually be good for conversation. Yet she has found way and ways to stay in the controversies be it the Narmada, her endorsements of Naxals or be it calling herself the mobile republic and now sedition attempt.

Since it has been a decade when she wrote the novel which gained any recognition, her repeated attempt to hog the limelight is a good reflection of trying to remain in the news. It is without doubt replicating behavioral characteristics exhibited by those of Rakhi Sawant (who with her latest show Rakhi Ka Insaaf is trying her best), Mallika Sehrawat (with her feminist onslaughts) or so better Paris Hilton(with her love animals and cocaine). In a recent interview with barkha Dutt on the launch of this book , Ramchandra Guha very well said “neither” upon being asked by Barkha Dutt whether he considers Arundati Roy as writer or a scholar.

Arundati Roy’s claims are powered by one of her ideas, where she says that more you spit on your country and call names to it, the cooler you would be (apparently she is unhappy with Indian government, since they donot seek advice from her on topics she has opinion on). Her supporters repeated attempts to call “Indian nationalism as the last refuge of a scoundrel” is laughable. These very pseudo-intellectuals having their “Indian passports” are hiding behind quotes of others exhibiting a scoundrel behavior. One guesses that act being a pseudo-intellectual involves in generating sensationalism in order to get attention. After all coffee shop debates where you are all dressed up to “debate” doesn’t get you much recognition (exception from people taking your order).

Seeing herself as a failure in every event in which she has been a part of Arundati Roy seem to have got bit unnerved and her recent attempt to call India “an imperialistic state” can again be assed by many psychologist as a behavior of a child who wines when not given due attention.

Her repeated attempts to call hindu as oppressors of various communities is also her sedition attempt to malign majority Indians, though let me categorically point out I am not a RSSwalla remotely so and neither do I support what occurred in Gujarat. She it seems thinks she is the sole correct person (along with the band of her anti-nationalist not to mention pseudo-intellectuals), even though her hateful speeches might result in partition of India. But ask her this question and pat would come the reply against Indian state probably because she is of a different republic that is republic of Arundati Roy.

Though what must be really taken into consideration by pseudo-intellectuals and azaadi chest beaters is:

  1. No one seems to talk about the first and the longest serving Prime-minister was a Kashmiri.
  2. No one seems to be talk about how the future of Kashmir is safe with India in terms of the economic development process as India is 2nd fastest growing nation after china in the world.
  3. No one seems to talk about the Kashmiri Boy topping the IAS civil services examination in 2010.
  4. No one seems to talk about that the region of Jammu and Kashmir doesnot only involves just Kashmir but rather: Jammu, Ladakh, Siachen and Kashmir.
  5. No one seems to talk about the fact that no one outside Kashmir can buy land in it even though it might be for the development of the state.
  6. No one seems to talk about the Pakistan’s attempt to break Kashmir in its occupied region where it has named gilgit as it province.
  7. No one seems to talk about the fact that Kashmir as an independent country will become a pawn in the hands of Pakistan, china and not to mention the Jihadist elements. Just as many breakaway new nations in the world have become.
  8. No one seems to talk about the ethnic cleansing which the Kashmiri Pundits had to go through via jihadis that their women and young girls were raped and men killed.
  9. No one seems to talk about the special status that Kashmir has in India.
  10. No one seems to talk about the Omar government’s incompetence nature in dealing with the problems of Kashmiri.
  11. No one seems to talk about the rise in infiltration from across the border in recent times when violence broke in Kashmir.
  12. No one seems to talk about Gilaani’s one point agenda : Pakistan
  13. No one seems to talk about the attack on Indian parliament.
  14. No seems to talk about killing of Indian security forces.
  15. No one seems to talk about Kashmiri’s working in Top Indian MNCs.
  16. No one seems to talk about the pain India takes to keep Kashmir happy.
  17. No one seems to talk about Pakistan’s submitting Aksai chin to china without asking the “azaadi prone” Kashmiris.
  18. No one seems to talk about Bhagat Singh’s belief in keeping India united but rather selectively quoting him and using him as an excuse to further their agendas.
  19. No one seems to talk about that according to US report Pakistan will be a failed state and chaos it will be bring will be ever lasting in the region.
  20. No one seems to talk about the fact that Arundati Roy can’t write a decent book and that she is writer’s rakhi Sawant.

But yes they will talk about India being wrong and Pakistan right, Kashmiri youth must

Understand that India is the best bet for them and a rightful place in the world but yes this is the Muslim youth of Kashmiri valley who need to understand it because the rest of the region already knows that.

Lastly one would like to put a reminder to Miss Arundati Roy just as one my friend puts it nicely:

“arundhatiji…if you are an ‘independent mobile republic’ do you not forfeit the moral right to protection at the hands of the police force that you criticize so vehemently???”

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