Law that attracted me
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
The words echo in my ears, ‘Be thankful for whatever you have in the Present’ or ‘ Be happy with what you have now and be grateful to God.’ All sounds logical and definitely have a spiritual undercurrent in these wise words, but if we are ‘thankful’ for and ‘happy’ with our current situation, then why do we even need to desire for more or different?
I’ll share with you what has resonated with me: Life is about prioritising situations. So, when I am thanking Nirankar, I pick the best moments in my life. In other words, my life might comprise of a thousand situations and I feel happy only about less than a dozen of them. The highlight is the fact that I have something, however small, which stirs mirth in my life and that is what I shall be thankful for. But my desire is that I want more of such happy situations. Secondly, when I desire for more of ‘something that I already have,’ it actually means that I am not starting from zero but have something to begin with- again, a reason to be grateful. If I desire for ‘different’ then I must have potential to receive it and am ready to work towards it. What it means is: if I want to change my current job to another role which is better suited for my skills, then I have my skills to be thankful for; and if I improve my scope by learning new expertise, then I must appreciate my capability to learn. Lastly, with regard to ‘escaping’ the present movement is concerned, then again, remember prioritising life. Escaping negative is actually positive. Let me elucidate. If I have bad company and I desire to improve my social circle, then my focus would be to look for better people and should not think much about the current situation. So, this would be my new mission and God shall put me in situations where I would have an opportunity to meet new friends or colleagues. We hear people saying, ‘I escaped it by the skin of my tooth.’ This escape is good. Focus on glass half full, and desire for it to be filled to the brim, provided the desire is morally grounded and is not greed.
I grew up listening to adults saying, ‘Don’t waste; think of those who have nothing,’ ‘Be grateful for what you have; look at others who are less fortunate,’ ‘Be thankful, it could be much worse’, etc. etc. I understand the aim behind all these theories of moral mentation, but a question raised its logical head and I couldn’t ignore it. I wondered, ‘Should I feel guilty about looking at less fortunate to make myself feel better? Is it even moral?’ Once again, Nirankar blessed me with a response from within, which satisfied my curiosity. However, receptivity to my theory is absolutely reader’s free will.
I’ll explain with an example: in case you desire more money in life, it’s best not to ‘compare’ own current situation with anyone else’s circumstances. If you measure your pocket against someone more fortunate, then it’ll only magnify your feeling of deprivation, and if you think of a poorer person’s misfortune, then poverty would still be your immediate focus. In both cases, you would be attracting impoverishment as opposed to prosperity that you really desire. What I now understand from the moral lectures of the wise adults is – ‘Don’t waste, because whatever you have is by blessings of the Universe,’ ‘Be grateful for your current life, as you must build upon strong foundation,’ ‘Be thankful, as gratitude radiates positivity which is instrumental in manifestation of desire’, and ‘ feeling guilty has no place in spiritual realm, as its origin lies in negativity’. The morality in life, in this context, means to nourish Empathy rather than condescending attitude, Humility rather than ego and Contentment rather than perverse hunger. This is so because when we empathise, we could offer solace without ‘sharing’ someone’s misfortune. In other words, you offer to influence the other person with your own positivity, rather than walk under the cloud with them. Desire, but not to fan own ego, and to be grateful for now is like ploughing the grounds of life, in preparation to sow desire.
To summarise, I would say that one must focus only on own life, and not compare our situation with anyone else. Think about fellow human beings, only in the context of selflessness in helping them, however you could without pressure. I thank God for his blessings and also pray for the welfare of others. Thank you, my elders, for telling me about the precious half-truth about life, and my gratitude to the Nirankar for teaching me the other half. I desire to improve life by my own standards. I feel contented.
We’ve heard of phrases like, ‘ Take pride in yourself’, and yet ‘ Hubris leads to downfall’. Pride is a common factor in both, self-respect and self-conceit; but the amount of pride varies in both these conscious-concoctions. When a person is confident in his mind’s morality, it reflects through his thoughts, which convert into corresponding feelings and finally reflect in through his actions. For example, I would like to progress and elevate my current standard in life, then I would think of honest ways to invest my deeds to achieve the goal or desire. May I also clarify here that action does NOT mean 9 to 5 labouring only, as discussed in my other blogs time and again; but it could very well mean your best material efforts along with mandatory ‘meditation’. The action has to resonate with your moral senses and the meditation must be an introspective connection with your inner most self, which we loosely know as conscious. This stage is the helipad which uplifts your vibration to connect with the Universal frequency. One can manifest ‘only’ at this stage. The feelings or mindset generated thus, ignites confidence, which further strengthens our belief in self and through self in God/ Universe/ Nirankar…….(choose the best name that agrees with you). This is the definition of Self-respect, in my experience of spiritual journey.
Now, let’s see what ‘conceit’ bears. We know that venom has been used in many medicines, yet, poison is also seen as a catalyst for death. What does it mean? Simple- it’s the quantity and constitution of the substance that forms the demarcation between ‘saving life’ and ‘taking life’. Similarly, while self- conceit curtails character; self-respect blossoms our whole entity. We’ve already established the definition of self-respect. Hence, ‘too much of everything is bad’, is such a profound statement. I’ve already written a post about distinction between Confidence and Over-confidence, showing that while confidence helps to build a positive belief; Over- confidence topples every storey of our faith. Whether it’s self-confidence, self-respect or belief in self; these are all the necessary building blocks for manifestation.
Today I would like to share my shared sentiments expressed through the views of a known author and blogger, Mr Avay Shukla. One of the renowned political journalists, author and thinkers from Punjab in India, Mr Malvinder Singh Mali, had posted an interview of Mr. Shukla on FB recently. I was asked to write transcript/summery of this interview, which I am attaching herewith so the World too knows that the times of ‘Third Reich’ are not yet over.
The Wire supported by ‘The Glenlivet books’
Interviewed by Karan Thapar
Interviewee- Blogger and Author Avay Shukla
This YouTube Interview was held under the title, ‘Similarities between Hitler’s Third Reich and Modi’s India growing everyday’.
Transcript/summary written by Jasleen Kaur Sethi
Karan Thapar introduces by saying that many people think that his guest is Conscious of our country but if you think it is an exaggeration , then call him the voice of our conscious. In interview he confirms that Avay Shukla’s blogs are applauded and widely circulated right across the country and now he has put them together in this book called, ‘India the wasted years’.
The interviewer says that the book is a collection of blogs called ‘The view from Greater Kailash’. ‘They are critiques and not judgements’. Karan quotes Avay’s message in the book as, ‘Silence is no longer an option. Being neutral in the face of oppression, misgovernance and a collapse of a nation is to support the wrong and spurn the right. That you add, is not neutrality but complicity.’
Karan asks his first question, ‘Whom are you being critical of and whom are you in opposition of?’
Avay replies, ‘ Karan I am critical primarily of the Government at the Centre’; however Avay adds that it’s not limited to only government as he is also critical of his own ‘colleagues’, his own ‘service, people who have retired and who are still serving’. He goes on to add to the list the ‘senior veterans and defence forces who don’t speak out’. Avay says that he is also ‘critical of the media and at several points of times of our society’ which he thinks has changed a lot in the last 7-8 years. Avay talks about Karan’s recent article in which he has recollected his childhood and the times when he was growing up, but Avay observes that India has changed a lot since and it is not the kind of country or society where you would like to grow up in again. According to Avay, ‘It’s a very wide canvas and the criticism is generally about what is happening in the country and all of us in some measure or the other are contributing to it.’
Based on Avay’s response Karan wanted him to be even more specific and urged that Avay talked about these people and institutions that he has referred to in his blogs and in fact to start with Narinder Modi. According to Karan the collection of Avay’s blogs are really critical of Narinder Modi. He quotes from his blog, ‘Modi’s destruction of India can be divided into three broad phases, Demonetisation, 2019 and Covid-19’. Karan particularly asks, ‘Why do you call it destruction of India?’
Avay responded by ‘confessing’ that he started in his blogging life as a supporter of Modi. In 2013 he had written a blog with title ‘Why I shall support Modi in 2014’. He says, ‘Since then in the last 7 years one has been considerably disillusioned. In fact disillusioned is a very mild word now. One is now apprehensive of the direction in which he is leading us.’ Avay confirms that Modi had a ‘very good platform to build on in 2014’. Modi’s legacy in UPA was in two parts. On negative side, ‘the government was undecisive and almost intimidated by regional satraps. A nationalistic vision was missing and it was more of regional pressures and agenda which was coming and there was much talk about corruption etc.’ But on the positive side, Modi inherited a sound economy which was still growing at the rate of 7% to 8%. Avay adds that India had at that time survived the Global economic crisis in 2008 and two hundred and twenty million people had raised above the poverty line. Avay observed that India at that time was also becoming a ‘right based society’ and the ‘welfare measures were working’. He continued to elaborate that the UPA government ‘with all its faults had passed legislations like the ‘Forests’ Rights Act, Right to education, Right to Food and Mid-day meals, etc. etc. ’ According to the author ‘Modi had the good and the bad to work with’. He made promises when people voted for him in 2014 that ‘he would get rid of the weaknesses and the deficiencies’ and that he would ‘build on other things but unfortunately he has not done that’. Karan’s next question was – ‘So in other words, your disillusionment is because the promise he held out is the promise he betrayed?’
In responding to this question, Avay was very clear in his reply, ‘Yes, that’s a major part of the disillusionment but even if he had not delivered on his promises and if he had taken us on the same route economically, socially, etc. I feel we would not be so badly off as a society, as an economy, as an administration as we are today. Because what he did, this is my personal view, what he did was he substituted the promises which he had made before the elections with his own agenda; the agenda of the organisations which were backing him.’ But Avay also added, ‘I don’t have to name them(the organisations that backed Modi)’ and the entire agenda which he had promised was ‘completely substituted with new agenda of social division, of non-cooperation with the state governments, deterioration and takeover of the autonomous institutions including the judiciary and the various institutions we had which were functioning fairly well during UPA time.’
Karan interrupted to interject another counter question, ‘So what you are saying is he coned people, particularly take yourself as an example, he coned you by promising that he would do certain things and he didn’t do and he replaced them with agenda that you had not voted him for? You were therefore fooled by his rhetoric, fooled by hi presentation of himself. And so the betrayal, therefore, is underlined by a sense of being fooled by him, being tricked and trapped?’
Avay answered, ‘Absolutely’, and he added that in one of his blogs he ‘has termed him as a pied piper. You know, that’s exactly what he did.’ Avay continued his response by saying, ‘He promised something else but he started or attempted to deliver on something else. That’s why not only did he lose the opportunity to build on a platform which was fairly decent which was given to him by the previous government. He has amplified those earlier deficiencies I was earlier on talking about. The indecisiveness of the UPA government has been replaced by over centralisation where no consultations are held before taking decisions. The broad based corruption of those days is now been replaced with very selective crony corruption where only a few of selected favoured few are entitled to the benefits’ of what Avay thinks are the government’s largest ‘handouts’. ‘The regionalism of that time has been replaced by very aggressive majoritarianism. The cooperation with the state has been replaced by…you remember he had promised us cooperative or constructive federalism, that is completely in tatters.’ According to Avay, ‘the society is driven and is absolutely split asunder’. He also said, ‘I am shocked to see that people from my own social background and education, economic status; even they have been taken in, as the voting percentage shows.’
Karan interrupts to ask another important question, ‘Let me stop you there because there’s a very important part of one of your blogs I want at this moment to quote to you-“ There is a monovalent common threat that runs through the three phases of Modi’s destruction.” With this Karan reminded the audience that those three phases as per Avay’s blogs are: ‘Demonetisation, 2019 and Covid-19’. Karan tells Avay, ‘You describe that threat in certain amount of striking detail. You say that subjugation of constitutional and regulatory institutions, gross misuse of enforcement and Police agencies, undermining of the judiciary, politicisation of armed forces and overbearing arrogance and insensitivity to public opinion, ruthless crushing of the dissent, false propaganda and image building on a **(missing term here was inaudible on video) scale. So, assuming that you are correct and not for a moment do I doubt it, none of this could have happened without the willing and active participation of the civil servants, military officers, judiciary, intelligent and enforcement agencies and the media. So Modi is not alone in doing what he has done, he had the support of the entire system and the people who man that system. He has successfully co-opt to them.’
Avay replies, ‘Absolutely right Karan and in fact what he has done- he has utilised these various instruments of governance in the manner in which he wanted to utilise them to further his agenda and not in the constitutional mandate which these instruments adjoined.’ Avay adds, ‘He (Modi) has actually not created any new institution. He has utilised what you (Karan) mentioned- the civil services, the media, the autonomous institutions, the judiciary etc. to his own benefit’.
Karan interjected with a commented, ‘And distorted them in the process.’
Avay agreed, ‘Absolutely, they are unrecognisable from what they were and what they were supposed to be. And I told you I blame my own service, my colleagues. Although it is wrong to assume that the government services, especially the All India services, etc., the IAS, the IPS etc. are willing partners in this. They are silent. I think they have been intimidated to the point where it is safer to remain quiet’. Avay continued, ‘ I have a theory about the IAS, you know in a light hearted way. The human spine has 33 vertebrae. My theory is that we lose one vertebra with every year of service. The more senior we get, the more pliable we get. By the time we reach the top, we have practically no spine left, not because we are collusive but because we don’t stand up, we don’t speak out and that has allowed Mr Modi to do what he has done to distort the systems, where now a lot of them appear to be part of the party rather than part of the Government.’
Karan asks, ‘Mr Modi is one of many Prime Ministers that we’ve had in the last 71 years since independence but he is now becoming one of the longest serving. How would you compare him not with all of them but with Indira Gandhi who also did great damage during the Emergency to things we honour and cherish- Constitution, guarantees of freedom, the right of the opposition, the right to protest even habeas corpus under the way Supreme court behave. How do you compare Modi to Indira Gandhi? Many people often try make that comparison and still suggest that she was worse, she did worse damage. She also corrected herself in 1977, how then would you compare the two?’
Avay replies, ‘My personal view, Karan, although I am not a historian, my personal view is that the damage being done now is far more fundamental, it is going to be longer lasting, it is going to be almost irreparable. Another few years of this and we will not be able to retrieve the damage done to the country. Don’t forget that she at least had the courage to declare an Emergency, she did it under the constitution, of course she had appliable President to rubber stamp it but it was a declared Emergency. And she for whatever reasons decided to bail out after two years and lost. So the damage was restricted to two years. What’s happening now, A is it’s been 7years, another 2 ½ years is certainly on and may be another 5 years. I think that’s a period. That length of the same policies, the same type of administration; I don’t think we are going to be able to get out of or to retrieve or repair in a hurry.’
Karan summarises, ‘In other words, Modi’s is an undeclared Emergency and he is more insidious.’ He also adds, ‘Indira’s was more upfront. This is creeping under the system and eating it from inside and making it hollow. Is that what you are suggesting?’
Avay replied, ‘Absolutely, absolutely. It is insidious and creeping sort of poison that is seeping in to the system.’ Avay goes on to further distinguish between Indira and Modi by saying, ‘ Another major difference I would like to point out – what Mrs Gandhi did was to the administrative structure, whether it was politics or administration or the judiciary. What’s happening now is that the poison is seeping in to the social fabric of the society. Once it takes root there, it becomes that much more difficult to eradicate at a subsequent point of time.’ He elaborates further, ‘The kind of damage she did was to the official structure, to the political structure, etc. What’s happening now is much deeper, much more fundamental, much more in here (at this point he touched his head to imply ‘inside the mind’)’. Avay concluded, ‘And therefore my worry’. Karan’s next question , ‘One more question about Mr Modi before I move on. You have a very powerful blog about his handling of the pandemic that we are all living through’. He quotes Avay’s blog post, ‘ We need to retain in our collective national memory the near Apocalypse the nation is going through and the persons responsible for it we should never forget, never forgive.’ Karan elaborates that he could understand ‘never forgive’ but does ‘never forget’ mean we should keep reliving those dreadful moments over and over again?
Avay was categorical in his response, ‘We need to, we need to. We need to ensure that this kind of situation, these conditions never arise again. We need to ensure that this kind of insensitive Government or governance rather doesn’t happen again in this country. I mentioned in the same blog, Karan, how the Jews have a long memory. It has helped them to survive because as somebody said that the struggle for democracy is a constant struggle against forgetting- Forgetting the good as well as the bad, particularly the bad. If we don’t remember how we are going to take corrective actions in the future and ensure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. That’s what I meant when I said that we should not forget. To remember what we’ve been through, we should remember who was responsible for this and take conscious decisions and make conscious choices in the future so that this doesn’t happen again’.
Karan then summarises by saying, ‘ In other words, our capacity to remember, never to forget, never to forgive is our means also of redemption.’
Avay agreed by saying, once again, ‘Absolutely. Public memory is very short, especially when you are having 3million pages being posted on to the internet every single day, you know. One crisis over takes the other and we forget. But this is the visceral crisis, this is the fundamental crisis of what we have been through. Therefore we need to have it retain it in our collective public memory even if not in our individual memory.’
Karen takes the interview further by pointing at that the other section of society which Avay is ‘very critical of is the Corporate India’. He says that Avay has devoted several blogs criticising its support for the ‘renegade channels’ which are basically just two, ‘The Republic channel’ and ‘Times now’. Karan quotes from Avay’s blog, ‘ A Corporate entity has the same legal rights as an individual. Surely you ask, they should have the same moral and social duties as an individual to condemn immoral ideology, to abjure hate and communalism, do not incite one community against the other, to distinguish between truth and falsehood.’ Karan then asks Avay that if in the west it’s very common for corporates to stand up and be counted, so why in India are they so scared to raise a hand?
Avay replies, ‘ Two reasons, I think Karan. One is the general fear of intimidation. It happens every day over here. The use of the government’s sovereign power and regulatory agencies to crack down on the corporates.’ Avay explains that this is the contrast with the west. He says further, ‘The second is the regulatory framework we have under which corporates work, although a lot of the licensing and regulatory framework has been eased out and reduced but most of it still remains. So the corporates are at the mercy of the government and that is why it’s so important to break the nexus or the connection between the corporate houses and the media because if the corporate houses are controlling the media, they are susceptible to enormous pressure from the government to fashion their narrative in the media in a particular way which exactly what is happening in India. So when your systems don’t work, your judicial system don’t work, your regulatory agencies are suborned by the government the corporates have nowhere to turn to except to comply with the governments.’
Karan at this point wanted to explore the link that Avay mentioned between the corporates and the media and mentions that the corporates are an ‘extremely rich entities and are owned by extremely rich people’ and whilst it doesn’t protect them from getting intimidated by the government. Government regulations or the threat of reprisal means that even the richest, economically the most powerful are waste to the ‘one man’s tyranny’.
Avay, in response, comments,’ You remember how a particular company, a big corporate was persuaded (Avay made a finger quote gesture on the word persuaded) to handover the management of the Bombay (Mumbai) Airport to another company, even though it had the rights to run that Airport. So it’s a fact of life. But that doesn’t excuse their spinelessness. Not all corporates are intimidated.’ Avay then quotes example of Mr Bajaj who said that he would not like his daughter to grow up in this kind of intimidatory atmosphere and Avay talks about Mr Bajaj pulling out certain ads from a couple of channels and certain other corporates followed.
Karan points out that Avay has also mentioned in his book that ‘not only should Republic and Times Now as channels must be boycotted, but you’ve gone one step by saying that pressure and boycott should extend also to those members of India Ink who continue to support these channels with their advertisement.’ Karan tells that Avay’s book lists names of such companies who are advertising on the Republic and advertising on the Times Now. Karan says to Avay, ‘You are saying that if these corporates feel that it is in their right to promote support and nurture channels that divide our country, then let us also put pressure to boycott those corporates because those corporates are financing what eventually becomes the division and destruction of our country.’
Avay comments back, ‘Absolutely, absolutely. It’s a vicious cycle- the corporates fund these channels; these channels look for TRPs. Unfortunately, our social mentality and mindset is such that we go for sensationalism, abuse, WWE type of panel discussions every night which lead to higher TRPs, higher TRPs then persuade the corporates to put in more money in to these channels.’ And Avay confirms that this is how vicious circle continues but it has to be broken. He elaborates by saying, ‘The Government won’t break it because it suits the Government. The corporates won’t break it because it suits them as they are making money. It has to be us, you and me like they do in the West. A civil society has to be aware and has to stand up and speak out at certain points.’
Karan interrupts to add a question if Avay believe that civil societies would stand up as the TRPs of channels like The Republic and Times Now are growing. ‘People spend a lot of time even in the social circles you and me mix in criticising these channels and yet when they go home they make a point of watching them. So I ask you again do you really think that civil society will make that move?’
Avay explains, ‘I don’t really have an answer to that Karan. They may they might not but we have to keep hammering away at it. We have to keep making this point, which is what I mentioned in the beginning that I also blame society. We are not responsible enough, we take the easy way out and therefore they can do it abroad.’ Avay mentions the TV channel in USA called ‘Bright Heart- the purveyor of hate of Mr and Mrs Trump.’ Avay informs that more than 1200 companies had pulled out ads from Bright Heart because of pressure from civil society. We have to wake up and this connects with another point I have that retired bureaucrats; retired defence service people don’t speak out enough. We don’t speak up enough to the conscious of the society.’
Karan asks the next question, ‘ There are two people in your blog who are considered icons almost in India that you are surprisingly very critical of. Let me bring them up one by one. The first is Ratan Tata. You say of him ‘not withstanding his tall claims to philanthropy, Ratan Tata always knows which side of his bread is buttered and this is usually the winning side.’ Karan points out that this is not how Indian people think of Ratan Tata, then why Avay has such a poor impression of him?
Avay replies, ‘Mr Tata is a philanthropist, no doubt’; however Avay also goes on to say, ‘But he doesn’t speak out on issues that require to be highlighted or the issue that require to be condemned or commented upon. You know it’s all very well to fund a school here or an Angio there but this small change for somebody of a stature of Ratan Tata. He needs to do more. He can’t assuage his conscious by giving out a few crores for certain welfare activities and not speak out where the future of the country is concerned, where type of governance we need is concerned. You remember the withdrawal of the Titan ad about remarriage or interfaith marriage. It just took 24 hours of protest by some goons in Bangalore or Hyderabad for him to pull the ad. That doesn’t impress me at all.’
Karan corrected the record by confirming that the protest was held first in Ahmadabad and also added that the reason given for the withdrawal of the ad was to protect the security of the Titan staff, which may or may not be the truth ‘but instead of standing up for an ad which most people thought was touching and beautifully made, Titan capsized’.
Karan then proceeded with his next question by highlighting the second major celebrity that Avay has been critical of in his book, i.e. Amitabh Bachchan. Karan quotes Avay, ‘Amitabh Bachchan has too many bulls in his mouth to be able to bark. What are you suggesting that he has let down the country or that he has let himself down?’
Avay replied, ‘ He hasn’t let himself down. He is doing pretty well I would say financially from the various endorsements etc. which he does. He also great face of a lot of government ads, which is good, which is good, on wild life, on conservation, on things like water supply, Swachh Bharat and all that, that is fine. But he is an icon. He is a role model. He’s acquired that stature because the public look up to him. But he has a duty to that public also, like what I mentioned earlier that corporates also have duty. Similarly, he can’t just ride the gravy train, make money out of it and ignore the other issues. Once in a while you would expect him to come out with a tepid bland statement at least if you don’t wat to go the whole hog and condemn the government. So at the end of the day, he is letting himself down also, he is letting down his stature. So one is disappointed, extremely disappointed because you expect such people to once in a while make a mild…(not clear audio on the word) kind of statement if you will, but show that you are also concerned with some of the visceral issues of this country also and not just making money.’
Karan asks if it would fair to say that it seems Avay’s criticism of both Ratan Tata and Amitabh Bachchan is that they both have the stature and the economic standing to protect important issue but they still fail to speak up. Karan also adds that perhaps it’s because they both ‘don’t have the guts presumably or perhaps they have something that advise them that would make them vulnerable to the government. Unless there is a weakness in the closet that they are hiding which make them vulnerable to the government so silence is protection or they lack the guts, the moral commitment to speak out. One or two applies to both, doesn’t it?’
Avay answers, ‘Yes, probably all the things that you mentioned, probably all of them is what holds these people back. But, then you know, how do you differentiate men from the boys? I mean everyone has these fears, we all do. You dig deep enough into anybody’s life, the most ordinary citizen’s life and you’ll find something with which to if not crucify but at least make life difficult. I don’t what kind of financial affairs Mr Amitabh Bachchan could be having. At the end of the day I think that it’s just greed.’
Karan is quick to add, ‘They want more from the gravy train.’
Avay responds, ‘Absolutely, absolutely, but these people are influencers. You have a duty, you have a duty; it’s not just a voluntary thing, you have a duty, otherwise you step down.’
●Karan asks, ‘ In contrast to the Ratan Tatas and Amitabh Bachchans, is the future, the light down the road that you saw when young people in their hundreds, thousands came out in the streets of India to protest at the time of the Citizenship Amendment Act, at the time of the National Registers Citizens Protest this is what you wrote on those protests, ‘ These are miracles which will make this country a much better democracy. For the very first time in our 71 years of history the concept of secularism has come out of rarefied and elite portals and it now mingles joyously with ordinary citizens in the streets, parks and universities in India. Explain that a bit more fully.’
Avay replies, ‘ You know Karan, the concept of secularism is perhaps the most debated in this country even more so now days. But the debates remain academic, you know, they are either academic or they are in the Parliament or they are in the High Court or the Supreme Court. It is very rarely that you get the common man, the man, the boy and the girl in the street to express their concept of secularism and some of these protests, especially the CAA and the NRC protest show us in no ambiguous terms at all that how strong the routes of secularism are in this country. These protests were tried to be branded as being supported or in favour of a particular community. So they came out, they came out of their hijabs, burkas and everything. You remember the famous case, a young student from JNU, a Hindu girl spoke up against the CAA and she said, ‘I am a Hindu but I oppose this particular bill’. There was a recent true research survey, just a couple of weeks back which said that 84% of the respondents in India, they interview around 42,000 people , 84% of respondents from all communities were in favour of secularism and for having the faiths together for tolerance. It was an occasion when the people spoke as against the rulers and the judges and the Parliamentarians, and they spoke very loudly, and that gives me a lot of hope that it was primarily the youngsters, you know, who are going to be the future of this country, who were making this particular point. That is very exhilarating for me.’
Karan says, ‘ There was one other particular community at that time won your applause, and when I say won your applause it is euphemism.’ Karan highlighted that it was ‘The Muslim women of India’. He then quoted from Avay’s blog, ‘ They have sprung the biggest surprise. Theirs is the real secular push back against both Hindu fundamentalists and these obscurantists polemics ( audio not very clear on term polemic). But I want to put it to you that this is not so much of a miracle as a reflection of the fact all of us didn’t know them, didn’t understand them and made no effort to know them which is why we are surprised but they were always strong, determined, loving, caring and committed. It’s just that our eyes were not seeing or may be wore-they were closed.’
Avay responds, ‘True, absolutely but I called it a miracle Karan because it required a lot of courage for these women who have been brainwashed, traditionally told that this is your role, you don’t come out on to the streets, you stay at home and you do whatever needs to be done at home’. Avay adds, ‘ But these women came out. It was a rebellion not only against the CAA but a rebellion against their own religion or certain traditional rights, of passage of that particular religion, that’s what makes it even more secular, even more secular, it’s not just the CAA, it’s their own tradition and past which they have come out of. Hopefully having tasted that kind of freedom in Shaheen Bagh and other places they will not be the same again.’
●Karan adds, ‘We’ve come right to the end of this interview but there is one last question I have to put to you, right at the end of your book you quote from William Shirer’s famous book ‘The rise and fall of the third Reich’. I am going to read that quotation out and I am going to ask you whether there really is a hidden meaning in that quotation that applies to us in India as well. This is the quotation ‘The cardinal errors of the Germans who opposed Nazism was their failure to unite against it. At the crest of their popular strength in July 1932 the National Socialist had attained about 37% of the vote. 63% of the German people who expressed their opposition were much too divided and short sighted to combine against a common danger which they must have known, would overwhelm them unless they united and yet they failed to unite. Those percentage are uncanningly similar to the percentage that brought Mr Modi to the Parliament in 2014. Hence, my question- is there a lesson here for Indian people?’
Avay replies, ‘ Yes, the similarities between the two- the Third Reich and this period of India is unhappily passing through. The similarities are only growing and these may be coincidences, I mean these voting, percentages etc. but they also indicate that other countries have also gone on this path with disastrous results. And therefore it is time for our disunited cantankerous opposition parties etc. to read the writing on the wall, to read the writing on the wall because that wall is not going to be standing there for much longer if this goes on. So this is the time to read the writing on the wall.’
Karan says, ‘ Can I put this to you, I want to quote how you began the answer- ‘The similarities between the Third Reich and India of today are only growing’- it’s not just, I take it in terms of the statistics that brought Mr Modi to Power and those that brought Hitler to power in (19)32 that there is the similarity. That similarity stretches to many other areas, isn’t it? Treatment of minorities, treatment of dissent, of opposition, the attitude of running the country, the cult and personality around the leader the Fuhrer or the ‘Pradhan Sewak’ as he likes to call himself. That similarity stretches across to many horizons, isn’t it?
Avay answers, ‘ It does, including also, you didn’t mention, control of the media, manufacturing or fake news on colossal scale, the re-writing of history. These are tremendous similarities and also rather very important similarity is that the overwhelming support of the people, of the citizens of the country for this kind of a ruler- that is the frightening similarity.’
Karan asks, ‘Is that a similarity that should worry you particularly? Hitler had support of the German people in (19) 32 when he came in to power, let’s be honest he retained it right up to the last year or so when he had to commit suicide.’
Avay interjects, ‘Even today if you look at the Neo-Nazis.’
Karan says, ‘Absolutely but similarly Mr Modi today has an enormous support of the people despite demonetisation, despite Covid-19, despite 2019, he still has that support. For many he is beloved just like Hitler was beloved in the (19) 30s. That’s the problem for you, isn’t it?’
Avay answers, ‘ It should be a problem for all of us, Karan. It should be a problem for all of us.’
I can absolutely tell everyone that I struggled not once but a few times to ‘let go’. After hit and miss successes in the beginning, I tried a technique which to this day has helped me to take my mind off the desire I am praying for. For those who might be confused at this point and wondering why would one let go of something one wants? It’s important to understand the concept of Let go first. Let go does NOT mean forgetting, as you might have heard from a few self- acclaimed pundits of LOA. It never works to consciously try to forget anything. It’s just not even scientifically or physiologically possible. Try it yourself to confirm. ☺ I have already written an article on Let Go (‘All it requires is focus variability to Let Go’) and can be read in conjunction with this post, which might assist to further understand the topic in hand.
After I desire for something I go through the whole process of introspection and retrospection to see if my desire is morally justified and would in fact enrich my life. Once my desire has been nurtured and it has bloomed, it’s time to let go of it till it is returned back to me by the Universe in its adult form or manifested state. In the meantime I self-impose a period of time for myself to meditate but only to thank the Universe for what I have in the absence of what I’ve desired for lately. I started with a period of a week, then eleven days and last time I prayed for 40 days only to offer my gratitude to God. The experience received has been pure bliss and quenched my sub-conscious. This technique would compel you to look deeper in to your present life and find a lot of hidden treasure that we over look and forget to be thankful for, like life itself, lives of your near and dear ones who enrich your life with their presence, your skills and capabilities which have helped to find the right job for you, every time you smile and laugh it makes you feel content, etc. etc. Small things impact life in huge ways. This practice has also coached my conscious to be patient and grow spiritually.
So, ‘Let Go’ in LOA does not mean abandoning of a thought. All it means is that you clear your conscious mind of a constant thought about the desire to prevent obsession. You must push it into your sub-conscious for safe keeping. For example, you leave your baby with your partner to be able to go to work. At work, you focus on your work to keep your job secure. Does that mean you don’t love your child because you left him at home? Or that you forgot about having a child all together? Of course not. What it means is that if you don’t work, you can’t feed the child you love, which requires to leave that child behind and shift your focus from the child to work for a few hours of the day. Similarly you need to put the desire in the safe arms of the sub-conscious while you must shift the constant focus to your current life and thank God for it. Consider this to be your job. The blessings by the Almighty are the wages that would feed your desire to grow in to adulthood. This is what Let Go means- a temporary shift of focus to positivity. Gratitude is must and mandatory to turn your dream in to reality. (Please refer to my previous post, ‘Grow your desire in to manifestation don’t let go prematurely,’ ‘ Let Go but what exactly’ and ‘Let the sub-conscious lead’.)
One has to be prepared to receive what one has desired for. The technique of ‘self-imposing a period of time strictly to thank the Universe’ has been the best way to prepare myself to let go wilfully before receiving the blessings.
You can try too. You have nothing to lose, I promise.😉🙏
This article is a synopsis of my understanding of the farmers protest in India. My target readers are mainly the non-Indians with little or no information about the Indian farmers’ movement; but if they are humanitarians this article would appeal to their conscious. However, I would also welcome those non-resident Indians and residents of India who would like a diverse perspective than what is propagated by the India’s groomed -right wing- nationalist broadcast which includes the IT cell set up by the government to abuse all opposition. I am ready for my share but one must speak what one believes in.
For a comprehensive reading of this feature it’s vital to project the subject matter against the political-socio-historical background first. Since the farmer’s agitation started from the Punjab region, I have chosen to elucidate the topic with focus on Sikh farmers from Punjab.
In my views the consolidated leadership team of the current movement is the ‘Parent of the Indian workers Revolution in the 21st century’.
Introduction : A glance at Sikh background in India-
It’s imperative to have a basic idea about who the Sikhs are first to appreciate their place in the Indian history and their leadership in the current protest.
Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak (The first of the 10 spiritual teachers or Gurus of Sikhs) around 1500 CE. This was a new advent of socio-spiritual movement in India. (*Please also refer to my previous post, ‘Enigma of Guru Nanak’s simplicity’*). So, social reforms have always been part of Sikh philosophy and in fact, the initiated Sikhs called the Khalsa (The pure) was created by the tenth spiritual teacher, Guru Gobind Singh, to fight injustice in life when the then ruling Mughal regime was prosecuting the Hindus and converting them to Islam by force, besides other atrocities against the minorities. The fight wasn’t against the Muslims, but the dictatorial and oppressive rule. Many of the soldiers fighting alongside Guru ji were themselves Muslims. For Sikhs, oppressor is a sinner but it’s an equal sin to accept oppression. A Sikh thinks outside the four walls of his own house and endeavours to build the entire town for the greater good of humanity; hence their exemplary selfless service towards others throughout the world is part of the values embedded deep in their culture by their 10 Gurus. Free food, free medicine, free oxygen tanks, free hospital facilities for the most deprived during the current pandemic in different parts of the world are but a few examples of their magnanimity.
I was almost a novice in my knowledge about farmer’s issues in India before the 26th of November 2020. I had a very restricted information about the real problems, except that the farmers of Punjab were committing suicide due to destitution. This was enough to perturb my feelings since I am a Sikh myself and my roots go back to Punjab, even though I’ve been living in the UK for decades which is my homeland now.
I was brought up thinking that Punjab was the bread basket of India. The very fact that one would not see a Sikh beggar EVER anywhere in the World speak volumes about a sikh character. This is because of their rich heritage and culture: A Sikh rather live a short life with dignity than ask for a hand out to prolong mere survival. Sikh history is overwhelmed with examples of valour from WW1, WW2 to India’s struggle for freedom achieved in 1947. Standing at mere 1.7% approximately of India’s total population, their sacrifices mount to higher than rest of the populace combined together in comparative ratio during any war or battle fought for the nation.
Yet, against this background, I’ve witnessed the 1984 attack on the holiest of Sikh shrines, ‘The Harmandir Sahib’ which is also popularly known as ‘The Golden Temple’, one of the wonders in the world once. The attack was carried out by none other than the government of India itself using its Army ordered by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi of the Congress party. Along with many other ulterior motives, she wished to dismantle the very foundation of Sikh identity, i.e. their self-respect, self-pride and self-sufficiency. Glad to say that she failed miserably. In time there have been diverse interpretations wrapped in political fervour and religious passion about the affairs that led to 1984’s war against own citizens. Mrs Gandhi was assassinated as a result and Sikh genocide was instigated in retaliation by the collaborated political machinery of the time. (*Please refer to my previous post on ‘ Once you’ve lived through storm, you understand the pace of wind’, for detailed view on ethnic cleansing of Sikhs in India in 1984*).
The autonomy of Punjab which was established in 1935 under the British rule was reversed with Independence of India, despite false promises to the Sikhs by the then politicians to honour the agreement on ‘Punjabi Suba’ (Province state), based on Sikh majority population in the region. Besides the broken promises by leaders like Mohan Das Gandhi, father of the free country and Pundit Nehru, the first Prime Minister post -independence, there has been series of iniquitous manipulations against this minority.
Intolerance for Sikhs by the majority Hindu masses has been carefully brewed in the political cauldron since the birth of Khalsa Sikh identity in the 17th century- The prima facie entity of initiated men with turban and un-shaven hair immediately separates them from the Hindus in looks, apart from the variability in spiritual philosophy and social perception. Even women wear turbans after initiation to Khalsa or faith in its pure form and do not shave or cut hair. In addition, the existence of Sikhs is a constant reminder to an average Hindu that it’s because of the resistance and sacrifices of the Sikhs that Hinduism was saved or the Mughals would have succeeded in converting them to Islam centuries ago. Instead of accepting their sacrifices graciously, extreme right wing ideology was engineered by the nefarious organisation called the RSS, formed in 1925, exerting all its force to prove that Sikhs are a branch of Hinduism, which has been refuted vehemently by all Sikhs to the day. The RSS or the ‘Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’ (The National Volunteer Organisation) is the largest ‘all male’ establishment formed to steer India towards becoming a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (‘Only Hindu Nation’) and has been mother of all discrimination and communal un-rest in the country. Though the organisation claims to be non-political, it is very much active in camouflage within all the political parties, especially the current ruling BJP. The illegitimate brat born of this party has been performing a naked dance of hatred against all minorities, especially the Sikhs, in the streets of India. One fact that even the ultra- Hindu Nationalistic Psyche can’t deny is that Sikhs are the only minority who have withstood formidably against all injustices and discrimination, not only towards themselves but others too. The united Indian polity has thus tried to pull down this mighty wall to establish an absolute control required to form a Hindu dominated country rid with caste and class discriminations. This mantra has mesmerised and manipulated the easily led masses against the Sikhs for decades.
The state of Haryana was annexed in 1966 out of Punjab based on the ‘Hindi speaking’ population and a new rivalry was politically instigated between these two sibling states for decades, whether it was remapping the most fertile land of Faizabad as part of the new state or Punjab water distributed favourably to Haryana. All was aimed at stripping Punjab of its richness and self-sufficiency. The water rights of farmers in Punjab were amongst the vital issues raised even during the 1980s agitations against the central government, prior to the attack on Sikh places of worship in Punjab. See the connection? This subject needs a whole dedicated post to do justice to it but is outside the scope of present topic. Anyway, hopefully even this precis has clarified that in Sikh faith spiritualism stands in balance with socio-political life of a person and sense of justice is central to a Sikh mindset. So, there is no surprise that the current voice of farmers against the exploitation was also first raised in Punjab.
Tired of political persecutions and being considered as second class citizens in own country, the Akali Sikhs body compiled a document called, the ‘Anandpur Sahib Resolution’ in 1973, which enlisted all the just demands of the Sikhs religiously and politically, many of which reflected the rights of the farmers too. However, it’s hardly surprising that the document has never been given an honest thought by any ruling party. I even think that while Sikhs fought for the country’s freedom, their own liberation was shackled in the process. After all, despite forming 15% of the Indian Army against only a1.7% population in the country, they qualify for at least a fair treatment as equal citizens in the biggest Democracy in the World! But it’s a sham.
Farmers’ discontent in the Punjab state
Approximately, 66% of country’s populace is employed in the agricultural sector and more than 80% of the total 5.03 million hectares of Punjab’s land is owned by Sikh community. Punjab showcased the Green Revolution that started in India in the 1960s. Despite the augment in crop yield, the input costs of agriculture too kept creeping up. Small to medium status of farmers have since been struggling to maintain both ends meet. In the meantime, Indian Government, regardless of the political party, has failed to invest appropriately and support the agricultural sector. A meagre 2% of the GDP investment into the predominant agrarian society in the country is pretty pathetic policy gesture by any standard of a government. Thousands of farmers have committed suicide since the mid- 1990s but no ruling party has made appropriate provisions to sustain a farmer’s life. Once again, there is evidence of discrimination against the Sikhs even in this tragedy. Where other states of India have been acknowledged as ‘suicide affected’, the data of suicide rates from Punjab has been refuted by the government!
Instead of supporting the agriculture sector, the government came up with a cunning plan. Heads of the main corporates in India attended a meeting in 2017 with government representatives and Farmers Union leaders, where the corporates proposed to take the responsibility for the whole agricultural sector without any interference from the government, and by implication- without legal interception too. Even though the Indian constitution works on Socialistic pattern, the Modi Government is hell bent on snatching from the poor farmers and workers to make a couple of rich corporates richer. According to the senior most farmers’ leader, Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal, the seeds for the present revolt were sown on the day of the meeting of 2017.
Momentum mobilised and unites the country
The Punjab farmers have been protesting long before other states realised the extent of the jeopardy. In November 2020, the Farmer’s unions in Punjab decided to call for a united action of ‘Delhi Chalo’ or ‘ Let’s march to Delhi’. This call mobilised a momentum to make the deaf government listen to the forgotten community of farmers. The echo of this call reached the neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and then many more. Now the domino effect has started with most country united in the cumulative movement. Another interesting detail here is the fact that Haryana, an ex-rival created by polity is currently represented by a sikh farmer union leader, Mr Gurnam Singh Chadhuni, who is also part of the 32 leadership team of the current movement. This also proves the divide between people’s wishes and the political manipulation.
The Punjab farmers were the first group to have reached the borders of the capital on the 27th of November 2020 and were welcomed with water cannons, tear gas, lathi charge (truncheon-beating) by the ‘democratic governance’ in the country, which operate on the ethics of ‘By the people, for the people’ ! A shameful irony.
The agitation rose as a direct result of the three infamous anti- farming Laws which were passed dubiously by the Indian Government. The unconstitutionally passed bills are:
1. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act.
2. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
3.The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act.
According to Modi, India’s current Prime Minister, these laws are watershed for the farming community but according to the farmers themselves, these bills are a death warrant for them and their families. To understand this contrast let me reflect on the conflicting interpretations individually:
Benefits as per the Government’s propaganda:
** Farmers would get a new option to sell their produce outside the APMC (agricultural produce market committee) market, which would also give them higher freedom to sell their produce to the merchant wherever they will get a higher price.
** No license would be required to purchase agricultural produce of farmers outside the APMC mandi ( Market). In addition, those holding PAN card ( A tax paying identity card) could join this trade.
** In case of any dispute, a sub division magistrate would settle the matter within 30 days.
** Heavy penalties would be applied on those who might violate the system.
Let me now summarise the concerns of the farmers against the government’s spin, as I’ve understood :
** Under this law, mandis (markets) operating under the APMC law of the states will be abolished. Following this, the farmers will be forced to sell the crop to corporate companies at lower prices.
** Once the mandi system was abolished, Minimum Support Price too shall vanish as no one would buy crops on MSP. There is also no guarantee on MSP within these laws, except for verbal bluff by the Political leaders.
** The new laws only favour the Rich Corporates and would only benefit their profit margins, not the farmers.
** New people without license entering the trade would pose a risk of fraud and the farmers would be vulnerable to exploitation.
** With the dictatorial control over the law institutes in India, including the Supreme Court, would further jeopardise a poor farmer’s position in case of a dispute, and benefit the Corporates.
** Besides these, farmers fear losing their land and becoming ‘slaves’ to the corporates as far as The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 is concerned.
** It’s a general belief of the farmers that The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 is also in favour of big buyers.
** Open favouritism by the government towards the big Corporate sharks, especially market monopolisation by two giants, the Ambani and the Adani houses, cement the farmers’ belief and fear that this Government is setting precedence against the poor farmers and in favour of the rich businessmen, for the foreseeable future. This doesn’t just determent the current generation of farmers but their progenies too.
Punjab ignited with passion against a perpetual trend of injustice launched a peaceful agitation. A coalition of 32 farmers unions was formed and called, ‘Sanyukt Morcha’ or the United Front’. As mentioned above, Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal was unanimously nominated as their united leader.
About the Chief leader of the movement
Mr. Rajewal is originally the union leader of ‘Bhartiya Kisan Union-Rajewal’ and have been representing the farmers for over half a century. Amongst his personal acumen, he is highly educated, experienced, multi-lingual, sagacious with tactical mastery, a foresighted person and above all an honest and down to earth leader for his fellow countrymen- he openly invites people to have a debate with him or ask him any question pertaining to farmers and workers issues- Pretty impressive and total contrast to the hoodwinking politicians! He has an in-depth knowledge of farmers’ issues with a 3D view, which he shares regularly with his listeners and readers in a comprehensive manner from stage, in interviews and through written accounts. He has tied not just the diverse union leadership teams into a single organisation but has helped to influence thousands of farmers, workers, sympathisers, charity volunteers from all over the world and put the issues of the Indian farmers on the global map of recognition. No wonder he is the nemesis of the notorious ruling party led by the defamed Prime Minister, Narinder Modi. Mr Rajewal remains un-faltered, despite his health issues, like a committed commander in the battlefield. Since November 2020 eleven meetings have been held between government representative and Farmers’ United Front. But all the meetings ended with no resolution, except for shifty offers like- suspension of the bills for few years (?) or agree to unlimited amendments in the current bills to the extent of leaving an empty frame with only the title in the government files(?). Bizarre! Right? Mr Rajewal has repeatedly counter questioned as to ‘what shall happen after those few years of suspension? If everything is agreed to be erased then why keep the mere title in the official files? There has been no explanation by any government official but anyone with common sense can smell the rat. Such is the mindset of the current regime in India. Hence, the demand of the farmers is clear- ‘Repeal the 3 bills and make a law on MSP’. Farmers have called out for another meeting but in response, many conspiracies have been woven to break the protest by BJP/RSS. However, it’s impressive to see how the peaceful United Front leadership and the followers have surfed on many a violent tide created by the government and its agencies.
Mr Rajewal has repeatedly stated in his addresses to the farmers that ‘till they remain peaceful, they shall win but the moment there is violence Modi will win’. It seems that all the volunteers protesting have taken this message to heart and are guarding it with their resilience and life, literally. The only violence that has interrupted the movement has been organised and instigated by the politicians, mainly the RSS organisation with the blessing of the ruling party, of course.
It won’t be an over statement that under farmers’ united leadership, the capital city of Delhi is now surrounded by the protesters holding the fort at Singhu village in the North west of Delhi bordering the Haryana state, Ghaziabad bordering Uttar Pradesh in the East and Tikri bordering the West Delhi, along with Dhansa at the South West border and Shahjahanpur at East side of Delhi.
Challenges for the farmers:
True to its character, the BJP Government is doing all to keep the farmers out of the capital by fortification and heavy barricading around the farmers camps, including spikes erected in concrete on the roads (which is illegal but the RSS &BJP coalition is beyond the law), cutting electricity and water supplies, withholding sanitisation in the camps from time to time, and many other levels that the present governance to stoop. But they forget that the farmers are resilient and self-sufficient community. If anyone can withstand the storms of offensive aggression, it’s them.
Just a couple of examples should suffice to illustrate the abominable plans of the government machinery, including the judiciary and Police force along with its affiliated agencies and controlled media to wreck the movement and discredit the farmers’ leadership.
On the 26th of January, the Sanyukt Morcha called on all the farmers in the country to march into Delhi peacefully from all the surrounding borders to mark the Republic Day. This parade was named as the ‘Tractor Parade’ to symbolise the farming community. But on the 25th of January, the original route agreed with the leaders was altered by the Police authority due to unexplained potential security issues!!! At the same time, a group of young men under the instigation of a certain self-acclaimed youth leader, called Deep Sidhu, carried out a separate plan in cahoots with the legal polity, as per an educated notion and evidence on camera. By doing so, the group tried to discredit the farmers’ leadership team and establish their own authority. According to eye witness accounts a few Police officers themselves were seen not just facilitating a head start for the separatist group but barricading the agreed routes and deliberately misguiding the farmers on the wrong path! As a result, many farmers ended up in front of the historical Red Fort premises, before they even realised that they had separated from the main group. As if this was not enough, an innocent unsuspected farmer was encouraged by the notorious self-acclaimed leader to hang (not hoist) the sacred flag of Sikh symbol from a pole inside the fort. Though it’s not a crime in itself, this act put lives of thousands of Sikhs at risk (same as during 1984 Sikh genocide) with RSS and Modi machinery already fuelling the propaganda that Sikhs are anti-national and are demanding separate land under the guise of farmers protest. The symbolic connotation of this act was interpreted as revolt and anti-national as it’s the same fort from where the Indian PM addresses the nation every year on the 15th of August to mark country’s Independence. This distortion of truth would have served as straw for the communal spark ignited by the RSS think tank. (*Please also refer to my previous post, ‘Once you’ve lived through a storm, you understand the pace of wind’*).
When a few confused farmers recognised the culprit in the crowd, he was captured on camera fleeing from the scene. The protagonist of this foul plan was arrested after two weeks and released on bail to carry on with his ill-campaign to defame the farmers’ leaders and promote his own political ambitions!!! The National media reported the whole drama as if the farmers went rogue and their leaders had either lost control on them or they too are all terrorists and fake farmers.
The parade, which would have showcased the might of thousands of peaceful farmers in front of the world, came awfully close to a total collapse. Thanks to the sagacity of the farmers’ leadership and common sense of the public themselves which resuscitated life back in the movement. Today the protest stands much wider and taller than even before. A real kick in the teeth for RSS.
In another incident, RSS mafia attacked the farmers’ tents at Singhu border with pelting bricks and batons, injuring women, children and elderly indiscriminately, while Police was seen standing around as silent spectators on social media. The mob had come in a mish-mash guise of police and army personnel but many forgot to change their jeans and wear uniform shoes- ‘even a crook requires brain to carry out crookedness’. However, once again the enslaved national media totally eclipsed the incident in their broadcast. There is a good reason why the national media is also nick-named as ‘Godi’ media (Godi in Hindi means lap- hence by implication, the journalists report while sitting in Modi’s lap). Many of these media houses are owned by politicians. There have been many more of such incidents and accidents since. Thank God for the social media which has played a vital role in connecting people from all over the world with the movement and showing the reality from ground zero. There are journalists like Mr Malvinder Singh Mali and YT channels like ‘Sangat-Televison’, keeping the soul in the media. Many independent reporters and farmers were arrested wrongfully but the charges didn’t stand in the court of law, and they all had to be released on bail. Such challenges continue as such is the state of democracy in India today.
Achievements of the Protest so far
** Farmers have been agitating now for over 7 months. Maintaining peace and discipline with a gathering of 50,000 plus people for such a long period of time is a wonder in itself. The influencing force behind such remarkable mass-restraint and composure has to be the leadership team. The united force of the farmers has written a new chapter in the Indian history by uniting the voice of all citizens regardless of their caste, religion, creed or class. Consequently, Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Dalits and other diversity in the country have now joined hands to sculpture this monumental peaceful protest. The agitation gets bigger and mightier as it advances forward like the tumbleweed.
Where the politicians had kept the country divided for nearly 74 years of independence, our simple and hardworking farmers have ‘united the whole country under one banner in less than seven months!’ This is true democracy. Whom Modi shamefully called ‘parasites’ during a parliamentary session have proved to be the antidote for hatred instigated by the so-called democratic system.
** Mr Rajewal’s mantra of ‘Non-violence’ and ‘peaceful protest’ has strengthened the movement tremendously, especially when this slogan has appealed to the global organisations, political and non-political. It’s because of the peaceful nature of such a massive National revolution that the movement has become talk of the global town- For example, the issues of the farmers have been discussed in the Parliament of England, labour MPs in Australia extended solidarity with the peaceful farmers, Canadian PM expressed concerns about the Indian Government mishandling the protesters. United Nation has supported the farmer’s right to protest peacefully. My daughter is member of Socialist Party in UK and they support the movement categorically. The non-resident Indians worldwide protested locally to show their solidarity with the protesters in India.
** In balance with Mr Rajewal’s peaceful methods, Mr Gurnam Singh Chadhuni plays a vital role in infusing the movement with positivity and courage. He has stirred a debate amongst the Indian masses, not just the farmers, by asking an open question- We have toppled ruling parties in the past, but that has not changed the depravity of Indian people, so just by focussing on uprooting the current Modi led BJP government would it meet people’s demands? His answer is NO and is supported by the common sense of the populace. No wonder he is rising in popularity amongs the masses who have been deprived of ‘straight talk’ for over 74 years of the so called freedom of the country. I shall write more about his vision in a separate post, to do justice to it.
** For the first time in six years, Modi Government has been exposed for what it really represents, i.e. fascism and greed. Indian Hindus are beginning to realise the myth of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ and everyone wants to live as INDIANS together in harmony now. Thanks to the farmers for this awakening in the country. Admittedly, not ‘all’ get onboard in any movement through out the world but so long that oddity remain in minority, its ok. But there is a long way still to struggle with anti-national regime still in charge.
** This protest is no longer a protest of the farmers only, but has become a collaborated movement of labourers, workers and general public because directly or indirectly everyone will be affected eventually through colonisation by the Corporates. What was a wave of Protest till yesterday has grown into a tsunami of Revolution today.
** The best way to have perturbed the deaf government to hear the workers’ concerns was by hitting them where it hurts the most, i.e. Votes. Farmers started touring the whole country, especially in the states where there were Assembly elections of 2021 being held. BJP, the ruling party suffered losses in all these areas so far. This was the direct result of farmers’ campaigns in these areas strategically. In addition, an open letter has been circulated in the country by the farmers’ leadership to educate and inform all citizens of the issues. No media support yet such long reaching approach! Bravo!
** The farmers’ leaders have made it clear in all his speeches that ‘this is not a religious protest, nor is a protest of any one state’. As a result, the whole country is united in its diversity. Farmers’ leaders have also maintained that this movement is strictly non-political and consequently, no political leader is allowed to speak from the stages at protest sites. It’s a proven fact that the whole polity in the country is corrupt one way or the other.
This point needs to be understood in juxtaposition of two view points- one, as per what Mr Rajewal is saying and also what Mr Chadhuni has stated that even though the movement remains non-political we cannot eradicate the politics woven in the issues raised by the people. Hence, without the corruption of the present state of politics, there should be a way in which even farmers who have proved their allegiance and honesty towards people’s movement should be encouraged to come forward to challenge the existing political goons. People are resonating with this balance.
This is now a ‘Jan Andolan’ (Movement of People)’. In fact, each leader of the 32 unions deserve a collective tribute. Salute to the elderly, men and women, young and children who are determined that they would go back home only after the 3 laws are repealed or they rather die at the borders fighting for their rights.
** The protest sites at all the borders are little villages of comradery. Cooking and eating ‘langar’ together (Free communal kitchen for all as started by Sikh Gurus); however langar is not just limited to partaking of food, it also means sharing anything which is needed and could include langar of tents, medicines, clothing, toiletries, beds and bedding, etc. Farmers have also built semi-permanent structures for houses to suit all weather. Volunteers maintain sanitation and general cleanliness in and around the camps, including vigil around the clock keeping themselves and their brethren safe. The free services are not just limited to the farmers but serve people of the adjacent villages at the borders and orphans from the nearby areas too. The provisions that government should have made for its deprived citizens are being served by the ‘terrorists’, ‘separatists’, ‘parasites’- even irony is embarrassed. (* Please refer to my previous post, ‘A battleground or a village of brotherhood*)
People need to acknowledge this particular unique factor- ‘Amongst more than 500 deaths of farmers on the borders none of them demised due to Covid’ in contrast to the stats in rest of the country which are alarming! Protesters are given appropriate diet and medicines. Absolute cleanliness is maintained by the farmers and volunteers in contrast to hollow propagandist slogans by the Modi party. Sikh charities around the world have also pulled together their support, in addition to generous contributions by countrymen, especially from Haryana state. Such is the utopia formed in the camps at the borders! If this doesn’t put the government of a country to shame then such leaders must be beyond redemption.
This is not just a Revolution but an awakening for the entire Nation.
Bravo all the farmers including men, women and children who have become part of this peaceful confluence. Commemorations to all the demised souls. May they rest in peace.
Everyone in the world eats food and thus can’t ignore the issues of who grows the means of human survival. ‘No farmer No food’. Rest is up to one’s conscious. May God bless the farmers and hardworking people everywhere in the world.
Various expressions have been used to express that one must ‘feel’ the desire, be ‘passionate’ about your desire, ‘recognise’ what your desire really is, and in my version- ‘become one with your desire’, etc. etc. I would like to discuss HOW to become ONE with your desire and WHY.
When I first started manifesting, I struggled for a long time. I’ve written a lot about ‘struggle’ in my previous posts, if anyone would like a reference. Anyway, I had to connect to my inner self through meditation and gradually I began to go deeper and deeper. I went through various stages of interpreting, what I thought at the time, was my contemporary desire. But at every stage, I realised that a part of me was not actually convinced with ‘this is what I really wish for myself.’ I knew I need to persevere and get in touch with my deepest level, what I realised later was my sub-conscious. It’s here that I found the technique of ‘how’ to become one with own desire. I knew when I became absolutely comfortable with my desire and actually felt the plausibility had become very strong within my own mindset. At this point visualisation evolved from mere imagination at the surface of conscious level to a live thought even without realising it. For example, at this stage you’ll suddenly realise that you’ve been seeing yourself in the situation and in the role of what you’ve desired for yourself. It happens so naturally that you don’t feel it’s a conscious effort, and slide in and out of the desirable situation and role many times a day. This is the real synchronicity than what one hears and reads about in theory form. If you desire a particular job, you’ll find enacting that role in mind as if you’re already working in that capacity or you would be looking at a model of car and saying to yourself,’ No this is not my model, but hey THAT is the one over there!’, and so on. It won’t be out of place to compare this state of mind to trance- You are detached from the conscious world around you and are rather immersed in the inner world of your own. This state doesn’t have to and in fact does not last for too long at a time. Don’t worry, no one would accuse of insanity 😉 as the whole process is very subtle- ‘You innermost secret’. 😎 There is no ‘conscious’ effort now, no ‘ deliberate’ imagination, no ‘forced’ visualisation and no ‘struggle’ to keep up your faith in yourself or the Universe itself. This all is replaced by effortless meditation, un-conscious visualisation, no wrestling with your belief and no discomfort with your desire. You experience this state while walking your dog, driving, watching tele with your family…yes, anywhere and at any time.
Now I shall share my thoughts on ‘why’ we need to achieve this stage of mindset before manifestation is even possible. It’s simple. If you suffer from headache, you’ll ask the chemist for a pain relief for your head and not anti-acid tablet. But before you go to the pharmacy, you need to experience the symptoms which guide you to decide what you need and where shall you find what you need. This is exactly how a desire rises and guides you. The real desire is understood from how you ‘feel’. I would like a car, a job or a house because…..Now, the blank after the word ‘because’ MUST be filled before deciding which drug and in what quantity you need. For example, I wish for a bigger house, but I need to ask myself one question- why? And I shall only ask for a house that fulfils my need. Hence I shall not desire a palace or a mansion. Even if I do, it’ll never manifest as it exceeds my needs and the want has grown out of greed. Hence, shall remain a ‘wishful thinking’. Most people who struggle to manifest either don’t connect with themselves at the right depth or their desire itself is un-realistic, so much so that deep down in their sub-conscious they too know that ‘it’s too good to be true’, and unfortunately it probably is. So it’s vital to desire at the same level at which you really feel it. Your inner belief and desire must be balanced together perfectly.
Please refer to other relevant posts from my blog which give further impetus to the subject matter of this article. Happy desiring and manifesting.
Offering my gratitude to all the followers of my blog, ‘ Law of Attraction Finds Me.’ I couldn’t have reached this point of journey without the feedback and encouragement by each one of you. I understand that I’ve been on this path of blogging for not very long, but my life is richer with 500 confidante, friends and like minded bloggers and readers already. It can only get better and may this caravan of hopeful optimists swell further. The journey is more exciting than the destination and with your continuing support, I shall continue on my path to spiritual growth.
Once again, please accept my humble gratitude for your participation till this point and hope we shall sail together for the rest of the voyage too. Happy manifestation to all. 🙏🙏🙏
Confidence is a positive emotion which changes the outlook of life into a ‘can do’ attitude. Belief in self, in life and in God is formed on the foundation of confidence.
Even in Law of Attraction, confidence plays ‘the’ vital role for success. It begins with confidence in the Universe or Almighty that your prayers are being heard. This is called belief. Then you need to introspect and thoroughly analyse your desire. You have to be 100% sure about what you need in life and only then you start believing in your desire. This gives you confidence that your wish shall be fulfilled. So, from the beginning to the end, LOA work on the emotion of confidence which becomes interchangeable with belief thenceforth.
Let’s take a few examples of ‘confidence’ from day to day life- ‘I feel confident to get this job’, ‘I feel confident that the constituents would vote for me’, ‘ I am confident that I will win the race’, so on and so forth. The level of confidence in any scenario of life depends on the real factors. Your expertise in the field and preparation for the job interview are the basis for your confidence to be successful. Party’s policies and campaign give a candidate the confidence to win elections. Your fitness and training give you the confidence to win the race. In other words, your investment into ‘action’ delivers confidence which forma the basis for manifestation. What I mean by Action is, studying, training, building relationship, communicating skills, etc. are all the actions that you have developed by didn’t of hard work. It’s the appropriate action which helps to build your confidence brick by brick in your success. Your action must correspond with your wish.
So far I’ve talked about what confidence is and how it’s synonym with belief and the resultant success. Now, let’s see what ‘over’ confidence looks and feels like. In one sentence, it can be summarised as, ‘ Passing your weaknesses as your strengths’. In the process, you are not only preventing yourself from developing mentally or spiritually, but also infesting yourself with negativity.
Take the same 3 statements mentioned above as example. If you just say to feel good about yourself, then it’s neither confidence nor positive- It is simply a lip service for a superficial gratification. You will NOT get a job by just saying so, a candidate will NOT win the election by merely talking about victory, an athlete WON’T win a medal by standing still on the track. This is what ‘over’ confidence is. The victorious words or hyperbole is exalting but only momentarily. It’s non-productive. The effects of over confidence are the same as that of alcohol. Like one suffers from hangover afterwards; one could slide into depression as reaction to overdose of confidence. I would like to draw the difference between absolute belief and confidence-exceed here. Absolute belief has a solid foundation of concrete actions, whereas excessive confidence is built upon shaking foundation of ego and thus, the result is rash presumptuousness. One can even tell from the body language of such a fake believer- the person would come across as being hyperactive, loving the sound of his/her own voice, arrogant, aggressive including passive aggression, dominating and wouldn’t get on with many people around them. Such behaviour normally is a result of low self-esteem which triggers lack of self- confidence but in an effort to over come it, the person might over compensate. If you over-steer, you would drive your vehicle off the path.
For example, if a child suffers from such unfortunate symptoms, the parent or both parents become obsessed with the safety of the child and display over-defensive syndrome. This is admirable but can damage the child more than protection. A child sees this as an encouragement and approval from the preferred parent, so he/she carries on with the fake superficial belief in self along with the negative behaviour that accompanies such an unfortunate mind set.
This is not an incurable condition, but the environment needs to be re-created and purged. Either such a victim of ‘confidence -over -dose’ can cure himself through introspection and meditation or the over bearing person in the victim’s life must open eyes to see the reality. Otherwise, change in perception would be impossible. A test to see if things are steering in the right direction would show more sobriety in the affected person’s behaviour, admittance of one’s failures and short comings, along with higher tolerance and congenial behaviour in general. One could still be a party animal or disco diva, without being ‘in your face’ in the name of ‘confidence’. Admitting own failure or mistake is not a weakness but needs a strong willed person to do so. You are a force to reckon with when you take a step to change your wrong to right. You don’t need to enact a public drama of your confession or actions. You are the only audience of this Act but the pleasant results in one’s personality would definitely have halo effect on others around. You might need support and training to alter your inner and outer environment, but you become un-stoppable when you invest action of will power and determination towards building a wholesome YOU. Meditation is the best action towards purging your own negativities. Meditate and deal with the inner demons and stop living in denial. No point turning one way on the roundabout of desiring and failing. No point getting more and more frustrated or becoming more and more delusional. Get rid of the carpet under which you have been brushing all your weaknesses. Once you have reinvented yourself, you wouldn’t even need anyone’s protection nor your own excuses to cover up the inner and outer negativities. Stop living in a doll’s house, the whole world is your oyster. THIS is the positive ground on which to lay the foundation of belief, in self and the Universe; and this is the right time to desire with right confidence. Invest whatever appropriate action you can within your capability and be hopeful. You don’t have to be perfect, so long you have tried sincerely to the best of your strength. You have to first stretch your arm for the Almighty Nirankar to hold your hand for rest of the way. Remember the 3 step plan- Introspection, Acceptance and Action. Good bye to the over protective people around you, good bye to the deceiving inner voices, Good bye to life of hiding in the dark. Welcome the beautiful image of self in the mirror of reality. I bet you’ll see the confident YOU.
I had an interesting conversation with my sister recently. She told me that she was going to light earthen lamp, called Diya, for nine evenings of Navratras for good luck. Navratra is a Hindu festival, where worshippers of a female deity called Durga Mata (Mata meaning mother) is observed by fasting for nine days and eating only once in the evening. Since I am a Sikh I try to keep ritualistic routine to a minimum in my spiritual journey. Although my sister too is Sikh by birth, there might be influence of Hinduism on her due living in India, just like I celebrate Christmas living in UK. However, this post is not about a discussion around how majority populace could influence the minorities where they may join in certain celebrations. I think its healthy and shows unity in diversity. Nevertheless, my only interest for the scope of this post is to reflect on the diverse meanings and psychological effects of rituals on a person and its impact on one’s spiritual growth.
Most people start their spiritual journey with some kind of ritual or the other. What could a worshipper be gaining instantly from lighting a Diya in the temple or a candle in the church? What could be the motivational factor for such an action? In my strong views, people do it to satisfy themselves. It gives them a sense of achievement and thus, fulfilment. And this creates a positive mind set within. It might be temporary but for those few moments they must feel what peace and calm would feel like.
Ritual doesn’t stop at light which one can see, it spreads to other senses too. Bells and singing hymns in places of worship can be heard. Pictures and idols of imaginative deities and gods can be touched. In sikh Gurdwaras (Sikh place of worship) there is free vegetarian food offered to every visitor, regardless of nationality, caste, colour or creed. So, now the satisfaction within is aroused by taste buds. Incense stick or rose water has no spiritual connection on its own but an atmosphere is created through its scent. Together the mixture of the five senses makes one feel complete. You are in bliss, even though it’s transitory. As a beginner you like to sense spirituality in tangible terms- see it, touch it, hear it, smell it and taste it. Incense sticks, colours, aromas are all tools to help toning your celestial health, like the gym has all various equipment to tone different parts of the body. So, performing ritual is a MUST to start the spiritual journey, in most cases. It’s equivalent of ‘Amuse-Bouche’ in the fine dining experience. Even though it’s not a complete meal nor would satisfy your hunger for long, it washes your palate and prepare the appetite for the first course. Similarly, the package of rituals might not be Nirvana in itself, but it encourages your spiritual journey. The concoction of this creates an abstract image in your mind, which, in my opinion, is the first picture of spirituality drawn inside you. Everyone paints this picture in own favourite colours and strokes. You are the artist of your own celestial being.
This is elementary stage of treading on Almighty’s path; it’s a long way ahead. So, don’t stop at this carnal level as your limit could be beyond the skies. If you spend the whole valuable life time in just lighting the candles, the divas; sing hymns to enjoy the harmony but not the meaning; seeing the pictures for their colours but not the abstract symbol and in fact going to Gurdwaras to eat langar (vegetarian curry offered in sikh temples)…well, then you would only experience short spurts of satisfaction but not peace. There is higher education too available in this school. Don’t stop at pre-nursery. You are capable of a lot more. Meditate. Meditate. Meditate.
Rest in the next blog. Please refer to earlier posts on how to meditate in the meantime.