ravi and ravi

Naval Bhave

The name of this scoundrel is Ravi.
As soon as the day breaks on him to wake
He creates an illusion.
On a span of hand as small and short as the palm
He means to settle all the beings, all of them as if on a platter.
Awaking them all from their slumber.

In his view, there are only two classes-
The haves, the have-nots.

All my properties are only my two bags.
Even then he won't let off, keep quiet
Until he mixes
Divides them, among all.

Dragging them, mixing, admixing
He fixes each one’s shares and parts
Giving mine too as a part.

I couldn't understand so far
Whether we should call him the Naxalite or the Sarvodite.
Maybe both, maybe they are the same
Though not called by the name, the very same.

from kritya. a poem by ismail, translated by dr.v.kondal rao.

as man, river
i know him


lifeless state*

i know him as a life, a current

call him mattem ravi kumar**

call him manjeera

in the city among students in thousands

in warangal among peasants coolies in lakhs

in the jungle, plains for long

he flowed as the spirit of battle

poetry prose

the homeopathy of sweetened pills

the surgical intervention of guerilla strategy

whatever he wrote

it became thesis anti-thesis

as debated by a democrat

in the south telangana plains

where the river flows

in leaf-green attire

he dreamt of taking part in the drill

in the dandakaranya nallamala

to the leaf-green jungle

to the leaf-less jungle

that rivers flow and run dry

but do not die he taught

what's changed even now

our walking running river

might be the stream of our tears

or as another ancient poet said

tomorrow the roar that shall strike your heart dumb

it's become that immortal river.

a poem by varavara rao from here. i tried the translation, taking some liberties (especially with the last two lines).

update: since last night, i realized the translated poem needs some punctuation (the poet didn't use any). and also that these two references needed to be clarified-

* state: as in nation-state, and not as in a state in a federation.
** mattem or mattam ravi kumar: read more about him here and strangely, here.


enjoy india

quoting from an article on sudha bharadwaj in the telegraph:
She sat through all her examinations with an easy nonchalance, topping in each of them. Her five years at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, were a repetition of the story. A piping first class resting in her pocket, the world was at her feet, more so since, by virtue of the place of her birth, she was the possessor of an American passport.

She could have gone away to the US, earned academic plaudits and plenty of money in a university position. She could have joined a transnational corporation as some sort of a technical apparat. She could have become a management guru in India itself, or travelled high along the totem pole of the Indian administrative service. She did none of these. Once she reached the age of 18, she walked to the US embassy in New Delhi, disowned her American nationality, and returned her passport. Sudha then slipped away into the wilderness of the Chhattisgarh forests.

you didn't top in any of your exams, didn't sit through, with easy nonchalance, five years at iit, wherever. therefore, you couldn't have gone to the u.s., and earned 'plaudits and plenty of money', or joined some transnational corporation as 'some sort of a technical apparat' or become 'a management guru in india (shiver) itself, or travelled high 'along the totem pole of the indian administrative service'.

india must be very easy for you, chhattisgarhis. and the rest of you, indians. especially since you sacrificed nothing to enjoy all this wilderness.


asses in ananthapur

Two asses, maybe a combine.
One standing this side, another that side
As if in a trance.

"Who knows which way wisdom would dawn",
They decide to man both the sides, North and the South
One at one end, another at another.

Suddenly, the one manning the South bursts out into a neigh
Coming back to its original position
Running for some time round and round around.
The second one would neither move nor ask
As to what happened for the other one to so happen
Knowing full well that wisdom would only dawn
From this but not from that end.
a poem by ismail, the anubhuti poet, that i found at kritya (translated from telugu by dr.v.kondal rao). anubhuti poetry, ismail says elswhere, is the point where experience and feeling meet.


who pays for your food security?

murli deora says the country's oil companies will lose rs.2,25,000 crores in revenues if they continue to sell petrol & diesel at last week's prices. hence the hike. to save the oil companies. but there is a lot of merit in the argument of the left: the government doesn't need to raise the prices, it just needs to reduce the duties and taxes. one might think that the government and the left have different objectives: the government wishes to save the oil companies while the left is concerned about the consumer. one's wrong.

both of them wish to save those who work in the oil companies and those who buy their products: the brahminized classes. in real terms, neither is exploited because losses do not mean layoffs for the first category of the brahminized classes and higher costs do not mean lower subsidies for the consuming category. a majority of the motorized vehicle owners in the country work in the organized sector or are self-employed professionals or are businessmen selling goods and services to the other two classes of people or are those fortunate farmers whose efficiency is rewarded by the government through, for instance, loans and loan waivers. all those classes have the freedom to raise the prices of the goods and services they produce and sell: so, they can take the extra cost. so, who actually pays for their oil security? those who do not have the freedom to raise the prices of goods and services they sell, but still have to pay extra for the goods and services sold by the first classes of people (the brahminized classes). who pays for your oil security? the same folks who pay for your food security. like maize farmers, for instance.

the world's open only for iitians etc

the united states has diverted around 30 million tonnes of its maize/corn production this year to ethanol production. that's around 5% of the world maize output, and a much larger percentage of the tradeable maize surpluses in the world. the world needs those 30 million tonnes to feed millions of non-americans and also americans (each of whom would be paying $47 extra because of the increase in corn prices): who'll step in and produce and supply those 30 million tonnes?

indian farmers can fill a significant portion of that shortfall in the short term of 1-2 years and, perhaps, more than half of the gap in 4-5 years. but the indian government won't allow them to do it.

if prices go up, the government imposes a ban on exports thereby controlling the maize farmer's returns. this is what happened in april this year.

if the domestic market expands because of the entry of new, large users, the government threatens controls on sale of maize to these new users. this happened, again, in april this year. and again, the maize farmer paid the price for your food security.

who's the maize farmer?

you should recognize him from this recent post. maize is mostly grown in the arid, rainfed regions of india. which means large parts of central and peninsular india: the regions with the most inter-state and intra-state migrations. yes, places like mahbubnagar (check this page). though maize is the third most widely grown cereal in the country, it doesn't rate the same attention from the government as wheat and rice. the fci is not so interested in procuring the grain or storing it for distribution via the pds. less than 20% of maize farmers have access to regular irrigation- no state government is overly concerned about improving that situation. but the indian state does expect a heavy price from the mostly lower caste maize farmer for being a citizen of this country.

it expects him to pay a price that it has never asked any graduate from the iits or iims or the innumerable less well-known engineering and medical colleges and universities in the country to pay: to sell his labour and his future at a certain price and place, to certain parties. no questions asked.

i don't really know how to end this post: the ironies are too overwhelmingly large and i don't think they need to be pointed out again.


a soul mate

some interesting remarks made by commenter ghulam mohammed here:
The whole community that formed about 30 percent in British India, were divided in three antagonist groups, by Nehru and Indira, both Brahmins. In sixty years of Indian independence, Muslims have been so devilishly persecuted for the alleged sin of partition, that they had no confidence left to challenge the false propaganda of the power grabbers. In United India, one can see that Muslim population percentage with a democratic constitution, would have been ruling the whole subcontinent. I can go on and on, listing the sins of Brahmins and Brahminical conspiracies. The trouble with Sudie is that he cannot see his back. There is no smoke without the fire. If Brahmins are clearly pointed out as the culprits in the plight of the Muslims, one can see how all Brahminical political groups — Congress, BJP, Communists — all led by Brahmins are blatantly perpertrating crimes against Muslims and still hide behind the pious garb of secularism. A day will come, when the 3% Brahmins will not be able to concoct and flaunt the 85% Hindus as majorities.

If 3% Brahmins can conjure up a majority of 85 percent “Hindus” — by projecting 15% Muslims in Independent India, as the other, the ‘other’ who have supposedly divided ‘Mother India’, then no one should rule out the possibility of a 30% Muslim population of Indian sub-continent, after 60 years of freedom from British colonial rule, could have been overtly or covertly registered its overwhelming presence in Indian (sub-continental) politics and would have been virtually ruling India, just like the present 3% Brahmins, by cleverly organising through propaganda, a 85% Hindu majority and ruling the roost.

Thanks to Mandal, that unity of 85% is now fast disintegrating and all sorts of permutations and combinations are in play. Muslims are in serious disarray, but be rest assured that there is constant churning in their midst to regain their due. The mere mention of that possibility has ignited our friend. That is expected. He had never encountered an Indian Muslim speaking in these terms. It is the monumental scale of demonisation of Muslims, in India and abroad, that the virtues of a peaceful, humane and progressive Islam are not being given any thought to.

First I will start, with Congress. Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, PV Narasimha Rao, are all Brahmins. ManMohan Singh is a powerless appointee — the real power lies with Sonia Gandhi, a Super Brahmin, a white from a European country. If Congress had any place for non-Brahmins, we would have seen Sardar Patel at the one end, and Sharad Pawar at the other end of its 60 year history to have become Prime Minister, even from among the Congress members. The top place and total power is reserved only for a Brahmin. Only a Brahmin is eligible.

BJP: All RSS stalwarts, from Hedgewar, Golwalkar to the present Vajpayee and a whole list of leaders are all Brahmins. Advani had been given tough time, just because he is not a Brahmin. There is many a slip between the cup and the lips and we have to see if Advani can ever become PM.

CPM: Namboodiripad, Jyoti Basu, Buddhadeb, Prakash Karat are all Brahmins; so is the all the front ranking Communist party.


no one's going to light any candles for dead gujjars

certainly not at india gate. nor will anyone from jnu ever hold any marches for them- they'd have been celebrated if they were vietnamese or bolivians, not gujjars. not people stupid enough to believe in election promises, as a pundit remarked on television.

the brahminized classes use different scales for measuring these kind of problems. one poor brahmin among thirty would always rate more media attention and angst and breastbeating than 27 poor gujjars among 30. isn't are brahmins the dalits of today the most widely circulated article ever among indian netizens? i never expect much from the indian media, but the fact that such a pathetic piece of shuddhest cow shit was actually published by a news portal never ceases to amaze me.

let's try to get a grasp of the scale of the problem: there are more gujjars in the world than scandinavians. there are as many gujjars in india as there are scandinavians in the world. the swedes, the finns and the danes etc have their own nations, the gujjars are a part of india (and pakistan). or 2.2 of 100 parts of india. now, consider this: how would the swedes, or the finns or the danes etc feel if they were ruled by a government in which they had no more than, let's say, 5% representation?

0.11%, or 5% of their proportion in the national population - that's an objective estimate of the gujjar representation in the central government and public sector jobs, in my view, considering all the obcs together have 5% representation. now, look at the brahmins: they probably constitute around 30% of the central government. there are probably 30% more brahmins in the country than gujjars- does that account for the difference in the representation figures? you'd require a gautierian imagination to even attempt to answer that.

oh yes, they're probably better represented in the rajasthan government, but still not adequately, as the protests tell us. but several columnists, analysts, professors, countless articulate others will tell you the gujjars are a key component of the variously labeled and greatly reviled upper obcs. the buffalo nation. grown prosperous from the green revolution and now looking to secure urban assets like government and public sector jobs. jobs which actually have shrunk by more than a million in the last one decade. . yes, they're so prosperous that they squat on railway tracks and roads in 45 degrees centigrade and let the police shoot them down. that's stupid? yes, prosperous and stupid and dead gujjars don't deserve any sympathy. or candles.

now, consider this too: if the gujjars had their own nation, their own membership in the u.n., wouldn't bolivia and vietnam have stood up for them? stupid bolivians and vietnamese.

now, please, consider this too: would it be possible for lower obc communities, ranging from one tenth to one-hundredth (or less) the size of the gujjars to even dare think of persuading bolivia and vietnam to push for their membership in the u.n?
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