Kashmir: Freedom to Conspire

Kashmir has entered in its 50th day of predicament and bloodshed, by the time 70 lives are lost and thousands are severely injured of pallet guns. Any day in Kashmir starts with horrid quietude and all of sudden it becomes grim and strident. Those hands deserve pen and paper, hold stone to pelt upon people who are there to guard them. Barely they know the reason. Why?

You pelt a stone, we fire a pellet gun; one has to injure, blind, disable. That’s not the future of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Which freedom you seek? The darkness of illiteracy, so that you keep on act as a ‘thing’ propagandize. Our economic corridors are fallen, no tourism anymore, hotels are unoccupied. What to gain out of that freedom? Hunger, lack of opportunity to grow together as an affluent hub.

Being a state-subject, I have the right to proclaim that the state of Jammu & Kashmir is one and only, whether it was governed earlier by the crown-head or the Republic of India. There is no question of freedom separately for Kashmir. Under no circumstance it is even possible whether to discuss strategically or practically. The idea of militancy has failed drastically and the “strategic partners” feel so miserable to act. Even a novice can understand why Pakistan support traitors and whose blood is lost. What they did (and keep on doing) in Balochistan is a heart-breaking lesson to learn.

We, the common people of Jammu and Kashmir want peace, prosperity, infrastructure, good education etc. This violence needs to end for the good of Kashmir and its people. Because stones cannot be eaten instead of food. No glory in dying for those who himself are wicked.

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Failure is NOT Fatal, Quitting is!

In our lifetime, we fail and we fail many times. Ironically, failure has been seen as a dead end instead of a step towards success. The more you fail, the more you learn; the more you learn, the more successful you will be. It’s not that we should fail then; it’s about we should never give up. Failure makes us tough, patient and to do the best we can with what we have.  As Mary Pickford said,”There is always another chance…. This thing that we call ‘Failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down”.

To produce a masterpiece, to create what will be acclaimed as greatest, to succeed; you have to fail, many times, to be original. That’s how Edison filed 1093 patents notwithstanding, the numbers of truly superlative achievements can be counted on fingers of one hand. 248 papers of Einstein have no or minimal importance before he wrote E = mc2

Timon Of Athens and All’s Well That Ends Well are known as worst plays ever produced; guess what, William Shakespeare produced them. The Chronicles of Narina, The Diary of Anne Frank, Gone with the Wind, Harry Potter, Lord of The Flies; were many times rejected before they get published.

Michael Jordan missed 9000 shots in his career, 24 game decisive shots, more than 300 games. “I failed over and over and over again, in my life, that’s why I succeed” he said.

This is how Abraham Lincoln  in his life before he became the greatest president in the history of United States of America:

  • 1816 His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
  • 1818 His mother died.
  • 1831 Failed in business.
  • 1832 Ran for state legislature – lost.
  • l832 Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
  • 1833 Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
  • 1834 Ran for state legislature again – won.
  • 1835 Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
  • 1836 Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
  • 1838 Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
  • 1840 Sought to become elector – defeated.
  • 1843 Ran for Congress – lost.
  • 1846 Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
  • 1848 Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
  • 1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
  • 1854 Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
  • 1856 Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – get less than 100 votes.
  • 1858 Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
  • 1860 Elected president of the United States.

 

“Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.”

 

Panama Papers: A Brief Summary

About one year ago, an anonymous source contacted Süddeutsche Zeitung (the largest subscription newspaper of Germany) to submit the stolen data of world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. Famously called as “Panama Papers” includes; 11.5 Million documents comprising e-mails, pdf files, photo files etc. This 2.6 Terabytes of data was researched and analyzed by Süddeutsche Zeitung in cooperation with International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

What are the findings?

The data reveals that how rich people and companies avoid taxes by investing in offshore firms of tax-heaven countries like Panama. Apparently terror groups, mafias, drug & weapon dealers use such money to finance their activities. How civil wars in countries like Syria and other parts of the world are fed on it. Many influential people of the world are named in it and the list includes Russian President Vladimir Putin, Footballer Lionel Messi, Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif, Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter in law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan etc.

How Mossack Fonseca works?

Started by Jürgen Mossack & Ramón Fonseca Mora, the leaks reveal that it has acted for more than 300,000 companies. More than half of the companies are registered in British-administered tax havens. It has offices all over the world and has strong intermediately collaboration with various banks and asset management companies.

The business model of Mossack Fonseca is based on a simple principle: If someone wants to hide his money or its source, Mossack Fonseca helps to set an anonymous company. If required, it also provides a sham director for the company, thus hiding its true owner. The sham director can sign all the papers though things remain in control of its true owner. In this way the identity of true owner remains anonymous. These shell companies can buy stocks and invest into desired businesses in tax-heavens.

What Mossack Fonseca has to say?

On Monday, the firm has stated:

“Our industry is not particularly well understood by the public, and unfortunately this series of articles will only serve to deepen that confusion. The facts are these: while we may have been the victim of a data breach, nothing we’ve seen in this illegally obtained cache of documents suggests we’ve done anything illegal, and that’s very much in keeping with the global reputation we’ve built over the past 40 years of doing business the right way, right here in Panama.

Obviously, no one likes to have their property stolen, and we intend to do whatever we can to ensure the guilty parties are brought to justice.

But in the meantime, our plan is to continue to serve our clients, stand behind our people, and support the local communities in which we have the privilege to work all over the world, just as we’ve done for nearly four decades.”

Cheers! It’s My Second Birthday

Past two years have changed every prospective of my definition about life. To lie broken and unconscious, waiting for last few breathes to pass away. I had one word in my soporose mind, “Mother! It’s my time to go & never to come back”. Let no-one inform that her son is about to disappear out of his bodily obligations.

The audacity of my loving younger brother, to hold the pen tight and writing in tears. He had put all his faith together to mend my broken face. 9 hours of everlasting wait was the longest of his life. How couldn’t miracles bound to happen? Death was powerless that day to cease me away.

When I woke up again, it was a different world. The man, who couldn’t sit even for a minute, was bound not to walk an inch. He couldn’t even speak to ask what has happened to him? who did all this, and why? Countlessly I prayed to die that day, and wrote on every paper. Pain had kissed its extremity beyond limits. I conversed in flawless tears, no expression was easy to pronounce my emotions.

Amidst all, God had different plans. The acceptance of my fate has reincarnated into the best I could offer back to life, in awe. I have decided to live, and never to give up. I have never felt before such a power within, the whole universe was certainly acting in synergy to unleash my eternal consciousness, in this way, I won the greatest battle of my life.

Perhaps, the bewilderment of living twice in a single life is the best thing happened to my existence.

 

We shall sit on the shore of that river

Life is a strange journey; sometimes lead us nowhere & sometimes we have it all in a moment. Think often of how swiftly all the things pass away and are no more- all those creations of nature, those pains and laughters, affable conversions & warmth. The whole universe a flowing river and never it stops, changing constantly and infinitely. No moment is skipped unchanged, and that river ends nowhere but becomes steeper and narrowed to those who do not accept the change.

Nothing awaits to grieve our sadness,  dawn will not veil its splendour, nor the stars refused to shine. We have to flow along, to make every sorrow a forgotten yesterday. flowing along, we’ll find what we have lost, into the form of new, on a new day.

We shall sit on the shore of that river, to chatter all those days we spent without each other, all the new things we saw and learnt about, about others whom we met on the way. Chuckling grins will echo in the air to flick the warmth of sunlight. Birds shall sing for us the song of happiness. We’ll smile till our tears come out in affinity.

….and this way the cycle of eternity completes.

 

 

Five Major Challenges That India Continue To Face This Year

Every passing year rewriting the glory of India; as a nation of great potential, a young, vibrant and emerging economy, a source of human resources to the world. Since 1991, though unhurriedly, India has moved far ahead but a lot is yet to be done,. Right from social evils to natural resources, India is still not in ideal position to call itself a prosper nation. To mark 2016 as a year of marvellous success and to continue efforts towards the goal of establishing itself among developed & peaceful nations, I believe that the following five major concerns are needed to be addressed at a greater pace.

Quality of Education and Unemployment: India has evolved a significant change in terms of ‘quantity’ of education. “Since 2000, when countries committed themselves to the global education goals, India has reduced its out of school children by over 90% and Universal Primary Education has been achieved.” according to UNESCO.

But the ‘quality’ of education lags far behind, about 69 percent of unemployed Indians are educated but lack adequate skills, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry. As per to Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey, 75% teachers have called for restructuring of course curriculum in collaboration with industry to provide better employment opportunities to students. Outdated learning and teaching practices, lack of career planning and exposure results into the education without actual learning of how to get things done, without complex problem-solving skills, without knowing how to put their theoretical education into practice.

Gender Inequality and Rapes:  Gender discrimination continues to be an enormous problem within Indian society. Gender inequality persists in India despite of economic growth and modernisation. In 2014, India ranked 127 out of 146 countries in UNDP’s Gender Inequality Index with a value of 0.563. Though PM Modi led government has launched several commendable schemes to save and educate the girl child but that would not work unless people stop treating girl-child as inferior.

The situation is worsening due to increase in number of rape cases every year. As per National Crime Records Bureau, there is an increase of 900% registered rape cases in India over the past 40 years. In every 20 minutes, a woman is raped. One out every three victims is under 18 & one out of every ten victims is under 14. There is a higher probability that only one out of 100 rapes is reported.

Health & Infrastructure: India owes 21% of the world’s disease burden and unacceptably high rates of maternal and infant mortality.  It is horribly worsened by the burden of infectious diseases and a dramatic rise in non-communicable diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and chronic respiratory conditions. It accounts approximately more than half of all deaths. It is estimated that over 63 million Indians are affected by these diseases in 2012 alone. India also lacks in adequate infrastructure, according to WHO recommendations there should be at least 3.5 beds for 1000 people, but there are only 1.3 beds in India for a population of that size and just one doctor per 1700 people. According to a study conducted by WEF in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health, India stands to lose $6.15 trillion due to non-communicable diseases and mental disorders by 2030.

Poverty and Rising Social Inequality: India is home of a third of the world’s poor and hungry. One in four people in India is hungry and every second child is suffering from malnutrition. The 2010 Multidimensional Poverty Index indicated that eight Indian states account for more poor people than in the 26 poorest African countries combined. In 2011, India was ranked 73rd out of 88 countries listed in the annual Global Hunger Index, six places down from the previous year.

On the other hand, India also houses the second largest number of affluent people in the world, with three million households having over $100,000 of investable funds. The gap between rich and poor is continuously widening. Adequate efforts are not made to uplift poor population, and this is worsening by inflation and corruption. If judged by the median developing country poverty line of two dollars a day on purchasing power parity, more than 80 per cent rural and just below 70 per cent urban inhabitants in India continue to be poor

 

Water Scarcity and Increasing Pollution:  Natural resources in India are strained by its continuously increasing population. It has only 1,000 cubic meters of water per person which is far below to the ‘water-stress’ mark of 1,700 cubic meters per person.

According to a report of WHO, 97 million people in India lack access to clean water. The World Bank estimates that 21% of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water, and it causes more than 1,600 deaths every day.

It is followed by pollution as 13 out of top 20 most polluted cities are in India. Air pollution slashes life expectancy by 3.2 years for the 660 million Indians who live in cities, including Delhi. The impact of rising toxins in the air is clearly visible as air pollution ranked sixth in top reasons that cause death in India, according to a Lancet study.

7 Remarkable Ways to Lead a Better Life.

Life is nothing a big deal to be hedged in useless traps of complexities. I find an ant happiest among us, just because it has an ability to keep things simple. No matter how hard we blow it away, it toils hard to overcome every obstruction. Amidst the glittering world, we often find ourselves dark inside. This darkness becomes eternal in our personalities and we lose faith, hope & courage in life. There is no particular way, though, to head for a better life. Yet it’s on us, how far we can see out of nothing. Here are a few things that I feel about:

  • Acceptance: I had horrible dream last night, my dentist mistakenly plucked out a wrong teeth out of my jaws. Traumatised of pain and anger, I yelled on him furiously. Finally he decided to glue it back on my jaw, and off-course he couldn’t able to. It filled me up with utter disturbance and consternation. At last, I decided to consult another doctor and he was able to convince me that no one can put the teeth back. As soon as I have accepted the verdict, I got a new horizon to think how to deal better with it. Whether I should go for a implant and I should stop chewing from that side. Accept what life has to offer, overcome every fear, be courageous to deal with worst of life.

Never get down on knees, held your head high.
Shoot down the difficult, straight in the eye. 

  • Befriend Your Body: The function of our body is not just to carry our brain around but to keep it healthy and wise. Our body is only the physical existence of ours, it also can project confidence or timidity, power or weakness. Research shows that up to 93 percent of communication is non-verbal. Be good with your body, and learn how to best project it to outer world. Exercise and meditate everyday to keep your body and mind healthy. A weak body and thoughtless mind is evil.
  • You’re Already Naked: External expectations, pride, and fear of embarrassment or failure all drop away in the face of death. Be spiritually enlighten and dwell with the foremost truth of life i.e. death. There is no moment next and may be there is no next life too. “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” Steve Jobs quoted. Do whatever you want to do, live as if it is the last day of your life. Because….

I saw death knocking at my door-step
Asking me to get up & live the fullest

  • Let It Go: To discover your true self, let go of who you think you are. Let go of labels, the limiting beliefs, the ego & resistance, and the things you can’t control. Just let go. Let go everything that makes you worry and discourage you to grow in life. Be like a beggar in abundance and a king in destitution.
  • Be Kind: An act of kindness never goes wasted. Every single good-deed heals our broken side. Kindness is a food of soul, it is our subconscious purpose of existence, on earth, as a human-being. That’s how Emily Dickinson describe it:

“If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain”

  • Be Truthful, Loyal & Gentle: Character of a man is best adjudged when no one is actually looking at him, except his own consciousness. Staying loyal towards others is the true strength of character, and a weak character is death of a worthy existence. Be gentle to others, love them, have no grudges, overlook small things, stay warm & share big smiles.
  • Dream, Dream & Dream: Dream your best dreams and then dedicate yourself to making them real. Give your heart and life to your dreams. Build them for greater good, more than your own sake. Never let time to slip out of your vicinity. As Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” When we pursue our dreams, we can see and express who we really are.

मृत्यु जीवन का रंग है ||

मृत्यु जीवन का रंग है, समय की डगर पर चलना सबको को संग है ।


क्या होगा घबराने से, कौन रोक सका है आने जाने से,
पहचान सत्य की भली, बाद पछताने से ॥

जीवन-रस को यूं चखा जाये के मोहब्बत के मेहखाने में गर्दिश न रहे ।
तृष्ट मन से हो अंत समय का सामना, कोई अधूरी ख़्वाहिश न रहे ॥

 


साहस हर मुश्किल का मोल है, हर सीख विप्पत्ति की अनमोल है ।
मृत्यु जीवन का रंग है, समय की डगर पर चलना सबको को संग है ।

 

 

Why not HUMANITY?

This blog was also appeared in one of India’s leading blogging platform riseforindia.com

We men and women are filled of profuse love and competent of give-away tons of love to each & every creation of Mother Nature. Even our birth is the result of the most intimated and sacred form of love. Why violence?

World has witnessed the greatest of the greatest leaders who have embraced the path of non-violence and made the significant contribution to make the world a better place. Why do we forget about it, and we always forget about it. The blood-drenched sword is double edged and it justifies Newton’s third law of motion.  Violence serves no one; even the aftermath of the great battle of Kurushetra was grief-stricken to thePandvas. Though the violent battles fought in ancient times were mostly, good versus evil, and the purpose always remained unique i.e. to prevail peace. But in today’s era, things are worst; we fight for baseless things, which have no relation to the accomplishment of peace.

Let me share my own story with you, I had a very tragic road-accident in the year 2014 and the credit of my survival goes to the generous humans who overlooked the conundrum of religion, caste, creed etc and made every possible effort to keep me alive. My Boss, who is a believer of Sikh faith, was among those angelic humans who donated me the blood. My fracture leg was precisely treated by a Muslim doctor, I was mentally supported by my friends across the globe and all of them are Christians. Do I need to say that how much I owe to them?

There are so things in this world like poverty, education, hunger to care about except the fanaticism of violence and inhumanity. Religions were made to serve humanity, not to lynch it.   In his book Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India, Dr Kalam wrote, ““For great men, religion is a way of making friends; small people make religion a fighting tool.”   To a thirsty, the religion is water, to a hungry, the religion is food; above all is humanity that serves the needy.

In her letter to me, Irom Sharmila writes, “What we really need to do now is to inculcate the art of love and kindness for others around the world, so that the world be the real sole-abode of a civilised generation of ours, without madness of killings and supremacy in dealing with other fellow beings. Why not it is possible?

We, the citizen of this planet, are desperately in need to salvage the pearl of tolerance. Our minds should be broad enough and our hearts must be warm enough; to act or react without harming others, to analyse precisely before making pre-emptive notions, to help the feeble with all our strength, to think positive and TO make a constructive change.

After all, life is too short to be lived with hatred.

“In the face of fear, I will LOVE, fiercely.”

My heart went piercing & senses numb, while reading this dignified & soul-stirring post from a mother, a wife & a true believer of love & peace. The story of Kia Scherr is worst than the word ‘tragic’, that day of 26/11 changed her life completely. And now….

Her rise for a cause, her believe for love & her quest for peace; makes us hopeful, and to do good. Today, on 26/15, her words made me speechless. I shall document this for my whole life, to remind myself that; no matters how strong the evil is, love is invincible. 

My gratitude towards you, for being so strong, for being so inspirational. 

P.S. Thank You, for allowing me to repost it. Here follows the text:

 

In the aftermath of 26/11 I was often asked by the media “What would you say to the terrorist if you could meet him face to face?” I was at a loss for words at the time, but in 2012 after having been working in Mumbai for 2 years, I realized I had a lot to say and wrote this letter to the lone surviving terrorist who has now been executed.

Dear Mr. Kasab,

My name is Kia Scherr and I was the wife and mother of 2 Americans who were killed in the Mumbai terrorist attack of 26/11 2008. They were in the restaurant of the Oberoi Hotel when your team members stormed in shooting everyone in sight. My husband was shot at the back of the head and died instantly. My daughter was shot multiple times and bled to death. She was 13 years old. Given this reality, you may wonder why I have used the term ‘Dear’ in front of your name to address this letter. That is what this letter is about and at the end you will understand.

To begin with – we have some things in common, Mr. Ajmal Kasab. We exist at opposite extremes of this spectrum of life, but yet we are forever connected by the Mumbai terrorist attack that may one day bring us face to face.Life as I knew it ended when my husband and daughter were killed. Just like that, a family is no more, and so a part of me died along with them. I am no longer the wife and mother of Alan and Naomi Scherr. Your life was supposed to end in the Mumbai terrorist attack. Your colleagues were each killed one by one, but you survived. You survived, but life as you knew it, too, has ended. You are no longer the terrorist on jihad as you sit alone each day in your jail cell awaiting your execution. Your identity as a terrorist has been stripped away, as was my identity as wife and mother. But I am still here and with each passing day, more alive than I have ever been.

I feel like the ringing bells from a song by a Canadian folk singer named Leonard Cohen – “Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in.” The Mumbai terrorist attack was more like an earthquake than a crack. But, the bigger the crack, the more light gets in and that is why I am more alive than ever before. This is the light of love – love never dies.

Who do you think you killed? Who died? You may have destroyed many individual lives for which you need to be accountable, but the sacred life that resides in each of us can never be destroyed, no matter how big and powerful your weapon.The light that emerged from the ashes of Mumbai began when I first saw your photograph on the news as the lone surviving terrorist. The words of Jesus Christ came to me in those moments – “Forgive them, they know not what they do.” I felt compassion for the human being I saw on the TV that was so shrouded in darkness that he forgot who he was.

The connection with the sacredness of life had been brutally broken by your teachers in the terrorist training camp. They destroyed any value you may have had for your life and the life of others. How closed your heart had to be to carry out your mission to kill as many people as possible and to not come out alive. But yet, you did come out alive – you alone, out of the 10 terrorists who attacked the city of Mumbai. I wonder… who are you now? Only you can answer that question and someday I would like to hear that answer.

I will share a bit about who I am now – Through the grace and support of other 26/11 survivors and many citizens of Mumbai, including Mr. PRS Oberoi and Mr. Ratan Tata, I am leading an initiative to restore the value of life as sacred in each of us so that honoring the sacredness of this life becomes our highest priority. I refuse to leave the memory of my husband and daughter lying on the floor of that restaurant.

My daughter Naomi told me that she wanted to become a heart surgeon so that she could save lives. In another way, I will fulfill her wish by living more fully from my heart so that I can be more loving and compassionate with everyone I meet. If living with love and compassion becomes our committed focus, who knows how many lives may be uplifted, nourished and even saved – and if we can reach them first, how many young men in your side of the world could be educated to make other choices than joining a terrorist training camp? What would you have to tell these young men about the outcome of such a choice?

Do you realize that you have the power to save lives if you speak the truth? Do you know that the life that empowers you empowers each and every one of us? Do you know that your life essence is as sacred as every form of life on this planet? And do you know that as a response to your destructive actions, people of all religions and cultures are joining together around the world to engage in a new conversation, one that will restore balance, increase peace as we honor our shared humanity?

I am here to tell you about that. Like it or not, we’re all in this together. A Muslim friend told me that your Holy Koran states ‘if you kill one human you kill them all.’And as Martin Luther King, a leader of the American civil rights movement said, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.

”Sincerely,
Kia Scherr