February 28, 2016

On A Response to my previous Post by Prabhu Narasimhan

Arka – my response to your recent blog. Publish this as my rejoinder to yours if you will.

“What if a group of people started shouting misogynist slogans in a college campus citing evolutionary evidence. Or what about a group of students abusing a particular Abrahamic religion on their beliefs on rational grounds. What about taking this one step further and a group of students actively condoning rapes in Delhi citing idiotic things like women wearing inappropriate clothes and speaking about due process of law being violated in the judgment on Nirbhaya case. Would this all constitute freedom of expression?

As Arka says we as a country have been known as a land respecting a dissenter. So should we allow these above hypothetical protestors their right to protest however distasteful it might be. Or does the Government of the day follow the constitutional process.

In this whole debate, what has been conveniently forgotten is the facts and the law. Whilst the facts may be in dispute in many cases (and here) the law is clear – the Indian constitution allows for freedom of expression. But that freedom is not unfettered. There are a number of limitations – public order is one, sovereignity and integrity of the nation is another. In other words, utterances which can disrupt public order or statements challenging the sovereignity and integrity of the nation is not permitted under the freedom of expression right in the constitution. The sedition law is an additional limb in the IPC – whether utterances which are not constitutionally protected (I.e. seditious statements) should be criminal is another question. There is a rich body of law which sets out when it can be criminal.Supreme Court has ruled that the sedition law is constitutional. Now of course you can differ with the judgment but the Government has law on its side here.

Now coming to the JNU saga which has been hijacked by the left and losers (I.e. Congress Party which itself has a rich tradition of preserving freedom of expression – remember emergency), what is beyond doubt is that pro Afzal Guru slogans were shouted at and slogans challenging the sovereignity and integrity of India were chanted – in fact live on the television studios I have seen students and supporters of the arrested group say as much to that effect. That to me is not freedom of expression. Those are statements challenging our constitution, contempt of court and now I use the term – anti national.

Now what does “anti-national” mean – we the people of India resolved to ourselves and gave to ourselves our constitution. That created in us a nation following a set belief set out in our constitution. Now our constitution does not say we are the best country in the world or that we are superior to others – that is pseudo nationalism and jingoism. Let us not confuse jingoism with nationalism. Nationalism essentially means to protect our values. In an increasingly hostile world, we have to strive to protect our freedoms. I am all for wide interpretation of freedom of expression.

By all means debate intellectually where Afzal Guru case was handled correctly by the court and due process of law followed but do not call the hanging as state sponsored murder. That is challenging the constitutional role of the supreme court. By all means intellectually question the idea of India but to ask for it to splintered strikes at the heart of our constitution and the nation we created ourselves.

Finally, these students whose virtues Arka sings paens of are I do not think very humbly Gandhi shouting slogans against the British – they are shouting slogans against themselves and their own constitution. Fine by me as long as it does not cross certain lines. Public order (aka in my example earlier shouting distasteful slogans against religions etc. In my first paragraph) is not acceptable. Neither are statements challenging the sovereignty and integrity of the nation. To do so is inciting public disorder and challenging the very constitution that gives them the right to express.

The capitalism vs. Communism debate can happen no doubt and bankruptcy of capitalism is exceed by the bankruptcy literally and actually of communism. But that is an intellectual debate.

Psuedo intellectual, pseudo secular are as bad as pseudo nationalist.

Finally, if Kanhaiya and co are right to shout any slogan, surely other extremist on the other side can shout for Kanhaiya to be thrashed and killed. If violence happens in Kashmir because of students flaring up temperature there does not have any causal link surely lawyers beating up Kanhaiya also can claim no causal link against those who shouted for that to happen. Freedom of expression does not extend to inciting illegal acts or condoning them. Any sloganeering against the integrity of the nation needs to be handled sternly where it takes place in Government funded institutions. Modi and his Government have got this one right.

Sent from my iPhone

Prabhu Narasimhan

February 27, 2016

On Umar Khalid and the Right to dissent

First , watch this video:


Now, please tell me, who dares paints these kids Anti-nationals without first painting themselves buffoons plus thugs plus enemies of reason, with the same brush!!

As long as we have been in existence as a people our respect for the dissenter, or the other view has always been more inclusive than any other nation known. The standoff vs. Modijis Govt. and the students at JNU is a special point in the case to be made about the attempt to stifle dissent and the fallow hope of trying to make a bankrupt ideology sound good by using "sexy" words like Patriotism and fear mongering terms like "Terrorists" , " Antinationals", " Jihadis", "Maoists" etc.

All the same while the attempt is on to malign and denigrate any differing viewpoint be it Secularism "Sickularism" or the voices that cry foul when personal liberties are trampled - the so called Anti-nationals and Reservationists- the folk the RSS and BJP right wing hardliners would "Shoot at Sight" (Their actual words!).

But here, in the video shared above, contrary to the media painted image of some medieval Islamic unschooled Umar Khalid and his equally silly followers at JNU doing some seeriously seriously stupid and objectionable things, you see an Umar Khalid addressing an audience of students that took my breath away when I heard him speak here [the first time I took notice of this issue really - as I'm. breaking my self imposed hiatus from Political posts on the web! :) But I really had to!]

We are dealing with educated, balanced and suave students here at JNU. Students who've done far more than merely read books and pass exams. Students who have applied their minds and thought about what they are being taught and how things are unfolding in the Nation and the World around them. Students smart enough to know their rights and the tenuous limitations that curtail those rights illegally. And as youth they quickly spot the bluffs they are and impatiently give tongue to their frustrations. But THAT IS THEIR RIGHT!

As Umar Khalid, the student at the eye of the storm over the JNU issue states - " Anti-nationals of the world unite!" - in peace. It's time. We've seen enough and more bloody wars as a species all these last hundred odd years. We can't handle another such century , let's be clear!

If being Nationalist means one has a monopoly on what the Truth is and What the Right is, then it's time to break this fake monopoly.

No man, no club, no group, no mob, no school, no religion, no university, no nation and no group of nations even can ever claim dominion or monopoly over what's the Truth. Nor over what's RIGHT.

These students are fighting for what's RIGHT. The irony of their raising Leftist slogans isn't an irony at all unless one subscribes to the rather bankrupt view that Capitalism is somehow a far better system. It may have proved be longer enduring than Communism but is it really any better??

One must remember the greatest examples of how great either Communism or Capitalism can be are respetively a bankrupt war mongering Nation that collapsed in the early 90s and a bankrupt war mongering nation verging on collapse perhaps very soon unless it changes its direction drastically.

These Students are inpiring. In them one is confident, the future of our country is secured. They have guts and conviction. Poise and inner steel. More Power to them. More Power to them!


February 17, 2016

On Chaos and Order

Mandelbrot Says :
The play between Order and Chaos is ages and aeons old. Time is but a partitioner partitoning but infinitesimal segments of an infinitesimal segment within this play. Wheels within wheels.Layers within Layers. Levels upon Levels. Like Warp and Woof. From the point the mind posits to the Universe the Mind imagines and all in between.
From Chaos, Order:
The process sublime, magical, mathematical and above all mystical. Arresting. Mind Expanding. Mind Creating even. Truly Powerful. And exceptionally , exceptionally beautiful. 
But then again, from Order, Chaos: 
The process where boundary fluctuation and turbulences give an illusion of interplay locally. But the interplay isn't local it's everywhere for every ordered system a boundary. At every boundary turbulence, at every turbulence , chance, ramndomness and Chaos.
Is it Chaos? 
Or merely self similarity disguised as local Chaos. A Grander Order. An Infinite Cosmos from Infinitesimal Chaos.
This universe. Our grand mystery. Is really quite simple a story perhaps.
Mandelbrot Says.
The End