Thursday, February 2, 2012

What is Good News?

Well you know the answer already. Yours truly only coined the question.
No news is good news.
Just look at the sample for today.
(1) Mody need not appear in court. Gujrat victims might never get justice.
(2) Egypt soccer clashes : 74 dead.
(3) Rs 100 cr recovered from Ponty Chadha complex.
(4) India preparing for small scale war with China.
(5) Pakistan considers India as existential threat.

And we rest our case.

Usually one reads the news to get informed about the society and the world. This is very well but our Elders tell us to read the newspaper to get admonition.

Now what admonitions could we get from above news items? Let us give it a try. That is how we can learn.

(1) Gujrat riots should be taken, juts like the destruction of Babri Mosque in 1992, as a watershed in the history of independent India. Definition of democracy has a fundamental instability. Suppose the majority decides to do injustice to the minority? In text books of political science this is solved by facile statements like asserting that protection of minority rights is an integral part of democracy. But then we have the reality. Did not Hitler come to the fore using democratic means? The similar scenario has been playing in India - though we prefer not to talk about it except for that short period when there is no possibility of ignoring it. In the context of Gujrat riots the possibility of justice for the victims is becoming more and more remote.

Here is just one of the many reminders of those horrific events. Nearly hundred people have taken shelter in the house of Ehsan Jafry. He makes an incredibly large number of calls for his safety, safety of his family and the safety of all those who had taken shelter in his house in the hope that the former member of Parliament will be able to manage safety for them. That was was not not be the case. One of those whom he called was the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The Chief Minister hurled abuses at him. Apparently communal temper is closest to short circuit in that state. That is when the avalanche of the tragedies start. Mr Jafry goes to the window outside which the lynching mob is waiting. He makes an offer. I am ready to come out if you want to kill me but leave others, the women and the children. None is spared. But that part is not easy to narrate. Even Ibn Katheer would say that it would be better if my mother had not given me birth and I was spared the narration of those events.

(2) Then Egyptians killing each others in scores over soccer. This is silly world in deed. You hear these things from Europe. And that is why yours truly criticizes that society. They have changed the physical character of sports that sports is not universal activity. Only the very odd (read special) can jump into the fray now. Then there is the show part. The money part. And then the emotional attachment part leading to violence. When one talks about sporting attitude it means that the attitude is broad minded in the sense that no emotional action will result because of victory or defeat. That is not the case. And indeed this event in Egypt is full of admonitions in all these aspects.

(3) For those who came late Ponty Chadha is the man who has been dealing in liquor for long. So much so that finally Mayawati honoured him with complete liquor distribution rights in the state of Uttar Pradesh. He must be having his fingers in Uttarakhand too. He is also the person ho made the most expansive land deal in the most expansive real estate in the country - Greater Noida. And then there are his shopping complexes. But even such a person can be caught on the wrong foot. Income Tax department raided his establishments and recovered lots of money from there. Needless to mention that Mayawati came in his defense by asserting that Congress is abusing CBI.

So what are the admonitions here? For some time we have been hearing that high and mighty people too are sometimes caged. Many big time politicians ended up in Jail. Many are having serious legal problems. But the fascination for the worldly things is such that they just do not give up their attachment to it. It is unlikely that Ponty Chadha might be eating more food the an average wrestler though he might be spending on it. His other expanses too might be qualitatively more than an average citizen who is productive. But how much more is required by Mr Chadha to go through life? Indeed there is no end to the worldly lust. If a man has a jungle all made of gold he shall wish for another similar jungle. This is playing in front of our eyes.

(4) What are the admonitions in the news that India is preparing for a small scale war with China? For one this world is full of tests. And many of the tests look as if they are beyond our capacity. Another admonition is that it is not a very good idea to follow Chanakya's theory that the countries that are adjacent to you are called enemy countries and the countries adjacent yo them are called friend countries. But After the India-China war of 1962 it is difficult to trust our northern neighbour. And if a mighty country like US is scared of the might of China then Indian worries are only understandable. The main admonition is that you can not afford to relax in this world. Apparently you have got to be on your toes.

(5) And what are the admonitions if Pakistan is scared of India? These are difficult to think of from the point of view of Ummah in general but from the point of view of Indian Muslims it is easy. Why was it created if it has to live a life of fear from India? But even after six decades of partition this the topic that is difficult to talk and absorb.

In short this world is not a place to fall in love with.