Were the ancient astronauts aliens from another galaxy or our ancestors in space suits heading towards another planet amongst whose inhabitants they would be known as their ancient astronauts ? May be it is both, may be neither. The previous statement is quite consistent with ancient Indian philosophy which had place for every strain of thought, even the seemingly contradictory ones. This gave abundant space for inquiry and assimilation of new ideas. Over the last few centuries this space was being gradually eroded by dogmatism, today it seems we are regressing. Are efforts to gain respect for Hindu Nationalism leading to embarrassment of genuine contributions of ancient Indian Civilization ? Should we be gloating about ancient aviators which cannot be proved or about Brahmagupta, the first mathematician to use zero as a number and who laid down rules for a number of mathematical calculations.
Last weekend I sat down with debutant writer Saurabh Garg's thriller "The Nidhi Kapoor Story" which had just arrived. I found myself putting it down even before I had finished the first chapter. A couple of hours later I picked it up again,without giving much thought and within 24 hours I was finished reading the whole book. If this sounds odd you could just order your copy and see for yourself but I had rather prefer you go through my review !
Anyone who has visited this blog before or just takes a cursory glance at my previous posts would know that I am not really a fan of Narendra Modi. Some have gone on to say that I have a pathological hatred of Modi. What I know is that till now Modi hasn't really given me much reason to applaud him, although since assuming premiership he hasn't given me much reason to criticize him either. Before elections, one of the dangers I saw, in case of Modi becoming PM, was the threat to India's foreign policy. Leave alone experience, maturity and global recognition of statesmanship such as that commanded by Ex-Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and some others, Modi appeared as a complete stranger to the power corridors of Delhi.
Further, his devotion to an organisation known for its archaic values and worldview presented a rather bleak and eerie picture of the future of India's foreign policy. Fortunately, by inviting heads of Saarc countries in his swearing-in ceremony, Modi gave a very clear signal that India's foreign policy was finally out of coma, his visits to Japan and renewal of ties with South-East Asian countries and especially engagement with China declared the new Indian government's resolve to take more proactive role in world politics.
FRight-Wingers are at it again, alleging a conspiracy called "Love Jihad" and I am not sure if I should laugh, get irritated,amused, angry, indifferent, outraged, sympathetic or feel all of them at the same time. Both the words, "love" and "jihad" have beautiful connotations but now distorted into a grotesque shape. While the connotation of "love" is self-explanatory, the meaning of jihad has undergone changes, especially for those looking from distance. Jihad essential means "to struggle in the way of GOD", it can be an inner spiritual struggle called greater jihad and fighting tyranny and persecution, through violent or nonviolent means, which is called lesser jihad.. Do note, the meaning of the word jihad is "struggle" which implies it is for self-defence and fighting against persecution. However, in context of this allegation of "Love Jihad", other political parties, members of civil society, journalists have exposed it as a lie but it perplexes me why women's rights organisations haven't launched Jihad (non-violent kind) against those who manufactured this hoax. .