Year: 2008

Prelude to Mumbai Blasts: Hindu Terrorism

By Saswat Pattanayak Like Mumbai, also in Maharashtra, Malegaon was the site to bomb blasts on September 5, 2008 – less than three months prior to Mumbai blasts. Three bomb attacks killed more than 31 people – mostly Muslims – while they were returning from offering Friday prayers at a mosque. Immediately thereafter, the “India” woke up to terror alerts. Politicians and administration were quick to point out the role of Muslim terrorists. The usual hounding of suspects continued, and all the “illegal” Muslim student outfits were harassed. Police arrested Muslim youths under suspicion. Until, one after the other evidences led to a radically different conclusion: That, it is not the Muslim people of India, but Hindu terrorists who were behind the Malegaon blasts. Malegaon blasts have opened up a whole Pandora’s Box. Not so much of a shock considering that the Hindu fundamentalists who are still holding seats in Indian Parliament today were the despicable figures behind the biggest communal clash and tragedy to hit India when they demolished Babri Masjid on December 6, …

Fellow Decent Human Beings… (Translated)

Following is my translation of a poem by Sahir Ludhianvi: “Ae Sharif Insaanoen” I find the poem to be deeply relevant to our times. Just when the majority of us are blaming the minority among us for criminal acts of terror caused by the militarists and suddenly believing in the words of “our” national politicians to caste doubts upon innocent people of another country, at a time when we Indians have become mute witnesses to cultural bans on Pakistan and artists from Pakistan even as racist communal elements in Bollywood such as Aadesh Srivastava or Abhijeet are gaining grounds, at a time when artists such as respected Ghulam Ali are being banned from entering the land of a country – India- whose people love him immensely, simply because suddenly some communal Hindu supremacist leaders are opposing any possible cultural exchanges with our neighboring nation, at a time when we are allowing a bunch of proven thugs – the politicians who we all know to be corrupt to the core every passing day, the politicians who …

Beijing Olympics: A Humanist Success despite Tibetan Terrorism and Western Imperialism

By Saswat Pattanayak The opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics can easily be counted among the greatest of collective acts in human history. Despite years of reactionary movements led by religious and sectarian groups to sabotage the Games, the Chinese peoples stood firmly with each other in solidarity and thwarted every such attempt. For every step of success that the nation exhibited in celebrating togetherness of the representatives from all countries congregated with sporty spirits at one place, one time, and to quote the official slogan as ‘One World, One Dream’, there were scores of impediments along the way. Let’s visit some of the most dastardly instances that were aimed at undermining the great Chinese peoples, some of which are still underway: Free Tibet Movement: For a starter, Olympic Games are not a Chinese handiwork. Olympics are global celebration of sports. Logically, there should have been no connection of Free Tibet movement with Beijing Olympics. However, even after giving allowance for the necessity to politicize every event, the Free Tibet movement lacks credibility, honesty and necessary …

Hiroshima!

Apologist for collective indifference Bereft of long term amnesic stance Capitulated dissidence   Decades of glaring carcasses Emphasize countless tragedies Frantically reassess the losses   Grim prospects for peaceniks Hectored loftily by regimes Invidious despair from mavericks   Joyous wait for impending peace Kingdom of utopian bliss Ludicrous beliefs never cease   Misread pages of war histories Normalize causes of thy miseries Oppressive narrations of human follies   Peace comes not by bombing lands Quest for justice needs friendly hands Revolutionaries above mere firebrands   Solidarity in these times of wars Towards lasting peace and raising bars Unionize to defeat the militarist czars   Victory to boundless internationalists Workers of the world who unite to fight Xenophobes, reactionary nationalists   Yardsticks of progress are years of peace Zenith of harmony shall be rare to miss   – Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet

Political Economy Of American Colacracy

By Saswat Pattanayak The high moral ground for American democracy rests on the presumptions of healthy, competitive and fair elections. And holding these traits to be self-evident, the elections are held with utmost pomp and show. The grandeurs associated with US polls are unparalleled and are generally considered as reaffirming symbols of multiparty viabilities in the world. Countries that do not boast of a multi-party system are considered to be autocratic, and consequently despotic. Whether or not it is important to analyze the rationale behind such a forgone conclusion where fairness is associated with competitive party system is a separate matter. Considering the timeliness of the upcoming polls, it will be prudent to conduct a reality check on the core features that sustain electoral system of American democracy itself. The Election Farce: Some people say we need a third party. I wish we had a second one – Jim Hightower, national radio commentator America does not need two Republican Parties – John Kerry, former Presidential nominee for the Democratic Party What Hightower and Kerry are …