ਰੂਹ ਨਾਲੋਂ ਜੁਦਾਈ

ਫੜ੍ਹ ਹੱਥ ਵਿੱਚ ਕਲਮ,
ਖੁਦ ਨੂੰ ਸਿਪਾਹੀ ਮੰਨਦਾ ਹਾਂ।

ਖੂਨ ਤੋੰ ਵੀ ਵੱਡੇ ਕੰਮ ਕਰ ਜਾਂਦੀ,

ਜਿਸਨੂੰ ਸਿਆਹੀ ਮੰਨਦਾ ਹਾਂ।

ਲੋਕ ਕਹਿੰਦੇ ਹਨ ਦਾਨਿਸ਼ਵਰੀ,

ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਤਬਾਹੀ ਮੰਨਦਾ ਹਾਂ।

ਕੁਛ ਹਰਫ਼ ਕਾਗਜ਼ ਤੇ ਪਿਰੋ ਕੇ,

ਖੁਦ ਨੂੰ ਇਲਾਹੀ ਮੰਨਦਾ ਹਾਂ।
ਏਥੇ ਹਰ ਕੋਈ ਹੀ ਸ਼ਾਇਰ ਹੈ,

ਇਸ ਨੂੰ ਫਿਜ਼ਾਈ ਮੰਨਦਾ ਹਾਂ।

ਹਰ ਕਲਮ ਚੋੰ ਨਿਕਲੇ ਲਫ਼ਜ਼ਾਂ ਨੂੰ,

ਅੱਜ ਤੱਕ ਰੁਬਾਈ ਮੰਨਦਾ ਹਾਂ।

ਦੇਖੀਂ ਰੁਕੇ ਨਾ ਕਲਮ ਤੇਰੀ,

ਮੈਂ ਇਸ ਨੂੰ ਰੂਹ ਨਾਲੋਂ ਜੁਦਾਈ ਮੰਨਦਾ ਹਾਂ।

Why am I an Atheist

Many years ago, a revolutionary youth from my home state published an essay with the same title. He is the most celebrated revolutionary in India today. I know that Bhagat Singh was an atheist because he was influenced by Marxist and Leninist ideology. Now the question arises that why do I have to write this essay. I am neither a Marxist nor a Leninist and also my family background is extremely religious. My three previous generations have been associated with religion deeply and passionately. My father holds his PhD in Sikh religious Philosophy.

Why then do I write this essay and what made me turn into an atheist? I in turn ask you people why are you theists apart from the fact that you were born in religious families and theology has been drilled into your brains? Why is it that your religion and your views on God depend upon the family you are born into? 

My atheism does not come from the predetermined notion that my family would be atheist or that I am immoral or vain. My friends would testify that I neither live in vanity nor immorality. My family is also religious as already stated above. I am an atheist because I don’t see any need of religion or God in my life and I feel that the concept of religion and God has outlived it’s utility. The institution of God was created when people saw different things happening around them and had no answer to why were they happening. So easiest way was to create an all powerful institution that was all powerful and was capable of doing anything and was unquestionable. In early civilization era, religion also served as a tool of state formation. The Monarchs till medieval times and in some places till modern times used religion to derive a devine right to rule over people with unlimited authority as questioning them would be equal to questioning God.

Now as we live in era of science, I don’t see any need of either religion or God. I have my own brain which works on logic that can easily differentiate between good or bad. And if you say that my intelligence is given to me by God then I have a simple question for you at the end of this. By your logic God should be more intelligent than humans as he makes intelligent beings. What is the source of his/her intelligence?

Muslims are Right: ISIS has got nothing to do with Islam.

Yes, you read it right. ISIL or ISIS or simply IS ( Islamic State ) that have become the flag bearers of Islam actually have got nothing to do with it or at least it’s religious aspect.

Before coming to what really drives IS let’s examine another scenario. The scenario of Khalistan terrorism. Do you think they have anything to do with Sikhism or Khalsa? No. Not the religious aspect at least. They just want dominance over others in that area which is not possible in a secular and democratic setup of the country. Till 1849, Punjab was ruled by Sikhs and they were the sole lawmakers of the land. Their word was the law. But they were dethroned by the British. After the Independence, Sikhs wanted their monopoly back but it was denied to them. Since then, Khalistan is being demanded. It’s because Sikhs think it’s their land and they should be the sole rulers of the land. That superiority complex doesn’t go easily.

Now think about it. If a community that ruled a land for a brief period and were dethroned more than one and a half century ago don’t give away the superiority complex, what would you expect from people who had established a world order for more than a mellinium and who were dethroned just about a hundred years ago?

What really drives the ISIS is not the religion but the thought of getting back the world order. It’s about superiority of the religion and not religion itself. Islamic world order collapsed once the Ottoman Empire fell in the 20th Century. It’s natural that after being the ruling class for more that a mellinium, you wouldn’t want to live as a commoner and would want your erstwhile status back.

So before blaming it upon religion, try to dig a little. It’s not the religion that drives them. It’s not the Quran as many people blame ( I don’t blame it because I haven’t read it) but it’s the urge to re-live the past glory. Nothing can justify their acts against humanity. They are as heinous as they get. But to blame the religion for it is equally unethical.

Is Jamia’s Minority tag Justified?

These days two Universities of Delhi are making headlines. JNU for Anti India propaganda and Jamia Milia Islamia for the decision of Government of India to oppose it’s minority tag in the honourable Supreme Court. This has led to creating a uproar in the Academia. People are terming it as an attack on the Muslim community by a fascist right wing government. But is it really legally right? Let’s find out.

First of all, let me make it very clear. I am myself a student of the University in question and hold nothing against it. I am tackling the issue purely from a neutral point of view.

First let’s discuss what is a minority institution. It’s an institution based on religion run by any minority group for educational purposes. In such institutions, seats are reserved for that particular community. It may be partially funded by the government but that is not necessary.

Well it is correct that its well within the rights of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice as provided in the Article 30 of the Constitution of India. This same argument has been put forward by many supporting Jamia’s minority tag. They also argue that institutions like St. Stephens College for the Christian community and SGTB Khalsa College or Shri Guru Granth Sahib World University for the Sikh community also work on the same principle of minority institutions as Jamia so taking away of minority tag of Jamia alone would be unfair. This is their main argument. Let’s see if it’s viable.

Once and for all let’s be clear Jamia is a Central University directly functional under the Government of India.It is not run by a minority but the Government of India itself. As we all know that India is a secular country. In a secular country, Government does not meddle in religious matters and nor does it run any institutions based on religion. So Jamia should not be a minority institution as there can be nothing called a minority Central University in a secular country. All the above mentioned institutions like St Stephens are private in nature and are not run by the government. So they can continue being minority institutions but Jamia can’t.

Let’s face it, deliberately done or not, Government is on strong legal footing in this case. They are actually right in taking away the tag. So let us give it away gracefully or else the reputation of the University could be affected by this bitter fight in the court.

Capitalism or Socialism?

Around me I see many people romancing the idea of Socialism as the only true system which gives equality to all. Socialism started as a labour movement but now has become a political system of governance and a full fledged political ideology. It fights it’s rival capitalism which may not be used as a political ideology by any one (and if someone does, he is demonised) but is a widespread system of governance. In their rivalry, I have decided to take a side. Yes, I am a
Capitalist. I will give a few pointers backing my choice.

1. First of all,why would I want to start a business ( If I am allowed to do so in a socialist country) if I know I would make no profit and all the profit would go to workers. Who would dare to open up factories. And even if the Government does open PSU’s whose losses would be compensated by the government, whose money does the Government use for compensation??? It’s ours, the taxpayers money. So if we see deeply, Government doesn’t run companies even in Socialism. People do. That happens in capitalism too. But losses are incurred by an individual and not by the entire nation.

2. I see no true socialist nation really prospering. To name a few nations, the first name that any socialist would throw at you would be China. But let me tell you, China isn’t a true socialist nation. It follows an open market policy and welcomes the big ticket multinationals. Other name is North Korea which you know is starving it’s own people in the name of communism. Other than that you find no prominent nation which can be called a socialist. So lack of a working model is a big disadvantage.

3. If you see the market trends, what is a luxury today would be affordable in future. The prices of everything settle if you give a bit of time. Cycle was a luxury in my Grandfather’s childhood but by the time I was born, cycle was very much affordable. I got mine when I was 3. So is the case with TV and cars. A few years ago, only rich could afford cars and TVs. But now middle class has got cars and TV has gone even to the BPLs.

4. Last of all it sets in a sense of competition. Every company big or small wants to give best possible product to sustain it’s market. Inferior product diminishes the market of the company. So more the companies, more the competition and better the product.So the real winner is the consumer.

These points make it very clear why capitalism for now is better than Socialism and also why most of the world follows Capitalist and Open market economy model. Socialism has to reform or perish.

K Issue- Is plebiscite only India’s responsibility??

These days Kashmir has taken center stage in the discourse in India after the Handwara shooting. Separatists claim that a 16 year old was molested by army personal. Army claims it is rubbish. Whatever the truth may be, it brings up the Kashmir issue and I find that there are a few misconceptions that need to be cleared about UN resolution on Kashmir. People have made it look like the conduction of the plebiscite is responsibility of Indian state alone. Is that so?? Let’s look at it.

Any discussion on Kashmir cannot end without a mention of Plebiscite promise by Nehru and UN resolution on it. But when we look closely at the resolution, it says the plebiscite can be conducted only when Pakistan withdraws it’s army from Kashmir. And mind you this resolution is not only for Indian side of Kashmir but also for PoK. So those people who want a plebiscite should ask Pakistan to withdraw it’s army from PoK before we can proceed further. Don’t make it sound like it’s only India’s responsibility to conduct the plebiscite. If plebiscite has to happen, it has to happen on both sides. Or are people of PoK are not Kashmiri?

One more misconception is that Pakistan doesn’t want Kashmir for itself but wants it as an independent nation. Are those people who believe this live in utopia? Pakistan has not even allowed an independent local government and Federal government ( in records) and Army (in reality) control PoK directly. And irony is that it is called Azaad Kashmir because in reality it’s nothing more than a colony for Pakistan.

On the other hand India has allowed democracy in its side of Kashmir with regular elections. Kashmir has more rights than any other state of India because of Article 370 of the Constitution of India which allows distinct flag and own Constitution for Kashmir. All the matters except defence and communication are governed by the elected government of J&K. No act of Parliament can be enforced without being ratified by the J&K legislative Assembly which is elected by the people of J&K.

Just remember when Kashmir’s King wanted Independence, India left it alone. It was Pakistan which invaded Kashmir,PoK was born and then King came running to the Government of India with a request to save Kashmir. It was then that India intervened. Till late 80’s Kashmir was relatively peaceful. It’s only after militancy erupted that situation worsened there. Blaming India for the situation is living in a fool’s paradise.

Though the Handwara shooting is condemnable, pelting stones at the army isn’t a great act of valour either.
Please read the history behind the conflict before blaming the Indian state for “occupation” of Kashmir.

Blasphemy Laws- Does Punjab need this of all things?

They say blasphemy is the biggest crime one can commit. Many theocratic nations have blasphemy  laws in place. But does this law has a place in a secular nation like India?? This is the moot question.

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Recently Punjab Assembly passed a bill amending IPC Sec 295. Now any disrespect for any religion will land you in jail for up to 10 years. But most interesting part is that a new Section 295 AA has been inserted into the IPC which will exclusively deal with disrespect to Shri Guru Granth Saheb. This has maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

I don’t say that any religion should be disrespected. But of all the things today, do we need blasphemy laws??
Blasphemy laws are prevalent in most nations that are theocratic in nature. There you cannot go against the state religion. Anyone going against the state is slapped with blasphemy law if nothing else can be found against him.
So can we assume that Punjab has turned into a theocratic state with Sikhism as the state religion?? If yes then it’s open defiance of the Constitution of India which makes it a Secular nation. Here no government can make provisions for a particular religion even if it’s majority religion of the area.

What baffles me most is that Punjab is the state which is facing big challenges like debt crisis, farmer distress, drugs etc and all the government does is making laws against blasphemy.
No media has ever taken up this matter at all I don’t know why. This is the most unconstitutional thing I have seen and yet even the opposition is quiet on this matter. Maybe they have electoral compulsions because Punjab is poll bound next year and nobody wants to lose the Sikh vote bank which is the deciding factor in the state.

I hope Judiciary strikes this law down because if it doesn’t then every state will follow the suite. I also hope that our government gets some wisdom and brains so that it doesn’t commit such blunders in future.