Mainstream Weekly

Home > 2024 > War in Gaza, Iran Pakistan Spat; Ayodhya readied for state religion (...)

Mainstream, VOL 62 No 3 January 20, 2024

War in Gaza, Iran Pakistan Spat; Ayodhya readied for state religion spectacle before elections | Humra Quraishi

Friday 19 January 2024, by Humra Quraishi


18 January 2024

The unabated killings cum violence in West Asia seems spreading out, engulfing many more regions and countries and outfits. The Lebanon-based Hezbollah and the Houthis of Yemen started firing drones and missiles towards Israel. Most have been intercepted, but it does more than relay the furious aftermath.

And now with Iran and Pakistan launching targeted attacks against each other, the low-intensity war-ridden scenario seems active as never before. Let me hasten to add that these are some of the active players. Behind the scenes are well-tucked in arms lobbies and arms suppliers and, of course, the so-called powerful nations and worldly powers with vested business interests and expansionist designs.

If wars and conflicts rage in the front yard or in the backward, can they be halted from spreading out any further, towards this continent and subcontinent? As of now, it seems as though an inviable armed force or call it a combination of forces trying to intrude and wreak havoc, moving from country to country…ruining civilizations and the lives and livelihoods of men and women with such targeted force that generations would be affected.

In our country .

Here in our country, eerie build-ups stare in the face. Worries and fears spreading out, as this Right-Wing sarkar insists on using religion for political mileage. It’s rather too obvious; even the naïve do understand the game plans of the right-wing in this election year, but they seem utterly helpless. After all, the masses cannot outdo the State might, even as political tactics are only compounding the tense scenario. There seems a crisis turning point in the very democratic setup as there’s little of the democracy and more of the very obvious political Agenda. Tense times, with relays of what more could unfold to unsettle and sabotage and silence the democratic structures ...rather, whatever remains of them.

Only once in a while, brave rebel voices do come up which carry the courage to veto, cry hoarse to the Agenda. A rarity in today’s India. Cry out as much as one can that we are a developed cum civilized lot but the reality is quite the opposite. In fact, to quote Professor V.K Tripathi ( till his retirement he taught Physics at IIT New Delhi) , who has been walking for hours at a stretch distributing pamphlets and fliers in Delhi’s colonies and also in the NCR region to try awaken the masses, warning them not to fall in the Right Wing trap. To quote Tripathi on this: “On Jan 16, I distributed 400 copies of the flier "Ram Give Us Strength to Walk on Truth and Bear the Pain" walking 7 km in the Jehangirpuri-Bawana area. Jan. 17, 300 fliers in Faridabad, Ballabgarh, walking 5 km. I did not encounter hostility. Rather a few people expressed their appreciation. The build-up on Ayodhya is a frightening display of muscle power, money power, and state power.”

Yes, perhaps, there’s scare cum fear cum apprehensions of the State might coupled the private senas /brigades under the direct control of the political rulers of the day.

Another of those unsettling developments!

There’s been no doubt of this sarkar’s tilt towards Israel. Right from the day it came centre stage. Not limited to buying military /arms equipment from the Israeli companies but now going a step ahead. Sending our hapless-helpless -jobless young men to work in Israel. In fact, as citizens of the country, we ought to query and question whatever happened to the promises and assurances made by the government of the day along the strain that there’ll be adequate jobs for our unemployed. Where are those jobs? Seems nowhere in sight, as our young are getting packed off and sent off all the way to Israel!

And here comes in another very serious reality to it. To quote Vappala Balachandran (the former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat) from his column published in The Tribune on 18 January 2024: “There are reports that the National Skill Development Corporation and state employment departments are recruiting Indian citizens for work in Israel. The Haryana Kaushal Rozgar Nigam is reported to have registered 550 candidates from Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in a day for a skill test. These unemployed youths have chosen this option instead of approaching unscrupulous touts who charge Rs 40-50 lakh, as was seen in the recent ‘donkey route’ case. While the government route is preferable for overseas workers’ recruitment, what is disconcerting is the report that those selected will not undergo the statutory immigration clearance to ensure that their interests are protected at the destination. The report also said that the workers will not have insurance, medical coverage, and other guarantees, which the government usually insists on for such overseas employees. It also said that our labour unions are agitated over this and intend to seek judicial remedies…If all this is true, this scheme is not advisable. Our workers’ contribution to the foreign exchange earnings has always been higher than the foreign direct investment. During 2023, the foreign inward remittance, mainly from our overseas workers, had touched a record $125 billion. During the same period, the FDI was only $70.9 billion…”

o o

Ending this week’s column with this verse of Nida Fazli - who passed away almost eight years back on 8 February 2016 :

Nida Fazli’s verse ‘Just keep on Living’ (Translated from Urdu by Baidar Bakht and Lesilie Lavigne)
‘Just keep on living /
Just keep on living like this /
Say nothing /
When you get up in the morning /
Take a head count of the family /
Slouch in the chair and read the paper /
There was a famine there /
And a war raged somewhere else /
Be thankful that you are safe/
Switch on the radio and listen to the new pop songs /
When you leave the house /
Paste a smile on your face/
Pack handshakes in your hands /
Keep a few meaningless phrases on your lips /
Be passed through different hands like a coin/
Say nothing /
A white -collar /
Social respect /
A few drinks everyday/
What else do you need /
Just keep on like this /
Say nothing.’

ISSN (Mainstream Online) : 2582-7316 | Privacy Policy|
Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.